Devotional for April 28, 2021

Greetings in Christ,

  Who doesn’t like organization?  After all, how many times have you gone to look for something only to spend more time looking for it because you think you placed it in a specific spot?  Our levels of organization vary from person to person, but we all do it to some degree.  We organize to save us time and effort when we want to accomplish things in a short amount of time.  We do not like to look for something for a long time or waste effort if we can avoid it. 

  For example, our kitchen area, we do not mix our spoons with our forks in the drawer, nor do we mix our drinking glasses with the pots and pans.  We separate those items into the respective categories so we can go to a drawer and find the utensils or open a cabinet door to find our pots and pans.  We do this to avoid wasting time while we cook.

  We organize to group certain items into their categories so we can remember where we have placed those items.  We are separating items when we organize.  We separate or set apart those things which have the same characteristics, so we call tell them apart easily.  We do this with a lot of things in our lives.  We like to separate things or set apart items to help us function in life more easily.  We have not established something new by organizing or setting apart things in our lives.  God has been setting people apart for a long time and organizing them for a long time.

  The book of Joshua records the actions of Joshua as he is obeying God.  The people of Israel are camped at Gilgal, and they had just built an altar to God there with twelve stones.  While at Gilgal, God tells Joshua to circumcise all the men who were born in the wilderness.  Joshua obeyed God and circumcised all of those who needed to be circumcised.  God wanted to set apart those men who had been born in the wilderness as His own.  God wanted them to set apart having the same characteristics so they would be recognized as the children of God.

  Peter continues with the same theme in his writing to the people in his time.  Peter writes telling the people to be humble.  He starts with the elders telling them not to be lording over those who they oversee, but to serve as an elder with joy and gladness setting the example for others to follow.  He goes on to tell the young men to respect their elders, and to be humble to each other.  When they humble themselves, they allow God to shine through in all they do.  Peter wanted them to be set apart having the same characteristics so they would be recognized as the children of God.

  We all like to be organized to some degree so we can save time and our efforts to accomplish things.  When we think about God wanting to set apart His people it was not for His purpose, but for ours.  We need to be set apart with those who are like minded so we can minimize our time and effort living a Christian life.  When we gather with those have the same characteristics the tension of life melts away and the burdens become lighter.  When we are set apart, we share the same joy of being a Christian with others making our journey easier.  It is when we are set apart, we are able to utilize our time and our efforts more wisely so we can enjoy our walk with God.

  “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.  The Lord performs righteous deeds and judgments for all who are oppressed.  He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.  The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.  Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.  For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.  As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.  When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer.  But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them.   The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules overall.  Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word!  Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, you who serve Him, doing His will.  Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion; bless the Lord, O my soul!”  Psalm 103

  Lord may we find joy in being set apart and be like minded with our fellow brother and sisters.  May this joy overflow in us as we share it with others as we walk with You.  Amen


  Mark Johnson
  Psalm 63,98,103; Joshua 4:19-24, 5:1-9; 1 Peter 5:1-11; Matthew 7:15-29

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