Devotional for September 9, 2020

Greetings in Christ,

  In the selected readings we are reminded we are commanded to love God, but it should be more than a commandment to love God, rather it should be the desire of our heart to love God.

  The author of Deuteronomy pens these words, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”  In the writings of Deuteronomy, the author is capturing God’s words and His desire for His people to follow.  God was telling them if they were to love Him, He in return will bless them.  They would prosper, they would have many children, they would have many resources to live life, and they would not fear anyone trying to overtake their land.  God would be their protection in return for their devotion to Him.   All God wanted from His creation was to love to be reciprocal on both sides.

    The author of Hebrews writes about the contrast of Sinai and Zion.  Moses approached Mount Sinai with fear as it was commanded by God if man or even a beast would touch Sinai death would be certain.  God did call Moses to go up Mount Sinai to meet with Him, and Moses approached it with fear and trembling for he did not want to die.   “Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.”   He lived with fear on his mind and did want God to strike him dead. 

  The Hebrew author also writes about the gathering in Zion of all the angels, the general assembly of the church, and all who are enrolled in heaven.  There is quite a contrast to the behavior here for there is no fear of coming before God.   The opposite is taking place and it is rejoicing.  Everyone is glad to be there.

  The Hebrew author continues with warning, “See to it you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.”  The writer is reminding the people there will be consequences for their decisions.

  John quotes Jesus, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”  Jesus uses this example of the servant in a way to make a point—there is no separation between Him and the servant.  Jesus and the servant are so close they become one in their actions, and as a result of this oneness God honors the servant for his/her devotion.  

   There is a difference between being a slave and a servant in our spiritual life.

  Webster’s defines a slave as, “a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; bond servant.  A person entirely under the domination of some influence or person.

  A servant is defined as, “a person employed by another; a person in the service of another.”

  The word service in the definition of servant is, “an act of helpful activity; help; aid.”

 While Moses may have felt he was a slave at times, he was slave to the laws which he followed.  He lived his live according to the law, and it bound him to the rules and regulations it had leaving no room for him to completely obey all the laws successfully.  It was a matter of doing rather than being.  Moses was willing to be the servant by his actions, but there still was fear to disobey the law as an under lying issue in contrast to what Jesus taught.   

  Jesus was the true servant.  Jesus acted in faith and out of love on behalf of His Father because He wanted to be helpful.  Jesus knew the joy of being in the presence of God, and He wanted everyone He crossed paths with to know what He knew.   He wanted to pass on the love He had for the Father.  It was love which was the motivator for Jesus to follow His Father’s commands.

  We can be a slave to God in our actions.  We can get caught up in the act of doing the right thing we forget to do the right thing.  We can get caught up in a regimen of Bible reading, church going, and prayer time to the point we become a slave to our actions thinking we are doing what God wants us to do.   They become drudgery, and it is reflected in our actions.

  We can be a servant and do our service out of the love we have for God.  When we are one with God, our actions are out of love.  It is in the act of love we will be the best help to God, and as a servant, we will be providing the best service for our Lord.  It becomes a joy to serve God, and it is reflected in our actions.

  “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven.”  Psalms 148:13

  “Praise the Lord!  Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.”  Psalms 149:1

  “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord!”  Psalms 150:6

  Lord help us not to get caught up in the doing for just doing, but rather doing out of love for You.  Let us reflect the love we have for You in all our actions.  Amen


Mark Johnson    

Psalm 114, 115, 148,149,150; Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Hebrews 12:18-29; John 12:24-32

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