I had to share this message that was a definite “eye opener.” As I have been on vacation this week, I did not take the time to write the weekly verse and message. Therefore, God “opened my eyes” to what is most “important” whether on vacation or not…..commune with our Creator consistently. Check out this devotion sent to me by a sister in Christ, Beth Yoe. I have used her work occasionally in my “extra inspirations” but she has provided this week’s feeding for my verse and message. I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Memorial Day! Have a fantastic weekend ahead!
Blessings and Smiles,
42 At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
Luke 4:42-43 (NIV)
It was not unusual for Jesus to go off to a solitary place to pray and meet with His Father. We are also told of this in Mark:
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 (NIV)
How very important this is for us too! We meet with our Lord alone in the early hours of the morning to commune with Him. To be able to “visit” with the Most High God is indeed an honor and a privilege that we do not want to miss! Through prayer and the reading of Scripture, we learn to “grow up” in Him who is Head over all. With the Holy Spirit’s illuminating power, the Word comes to light and we are enabled to take the Truths gleaned and apply them to our lives. We become a changed people – more and more conformed to the image of Christ. This is exactly what Scripture is referring to in Romans:
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:29 (NIV)
I can tell you from experience, whenever you determine to have a “quiet time” alone with the Lord – the people come looking for you! Distractions abound because Satan does not like believers in God’s Word! Period! He goes to great lengths to prevent our success in this matter. And not only Satan, but our flesh does a pretty good job on us too! The promise of Scripture is that if we resist the devil he will flee from us – the flesh, on the other hand, is a constant battle! The important thing here is to just persevere. I love this quote by :
“I am sorry for the men who do not read the Bible every day. I wonder why they deprive themselves of the strength and of the pleasure.”
I fully believe if you make this a discipline in your life, it will soon become a desire!
Once filled with the strength that comes from being in His Word, we are able to stand our ground against the schemes of Satan and his distractions that keep us from God’s best for our lives. In the above verses the people were unwittingly trying to prevent Jesus from persevering in God’s will. They were holding firmly onto Him to keep Him with them. Oftentimes in life, distractions from others may seem like the correct choice. The option looks viable and good to the senses (much like the apple!). Yet it is oftentimes the good that is the robber of the best. The center of God’s will is exactly where we want to be (whether we realize it or not) – it is good, pleasing and perfect but NOT without difficulties! Some of the hardest things in my life have happened in the VERY center of God’s will! But like Paul says in II Corinthians 1:9 – “This happened so that I might not rely on myself but on God.” By equipping ourselves through His Word, when the storms do come or where there are decisions in our lives to be made, we are prevented from making poor choices that would cause us to go down wrong paths. The promise of Scripture is crystal clear in this:
- 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)
- 9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. Psalms 119:9 (NIV)
- 165 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalms 119:165 (NIV)
- 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. Jer 29:13-14 NIV
Jesus knew His purpose here on earth. He had come to do the Father’s will. That too should be our battle cry!
What I glean from this:
- Following the example set forth by Jesus, I should seek to meet with Him early in the morning.
- Through prayer and the reading of Scripture God reveals truth to me that I should in turn apply to my life.
- Through the understanding of Scripture I can keep my way pure.
“The rabbis spoke of the text being like a gem with seventy faces, and each time you turn the gem, the light refracts differently, giving you a reflection you haven’t seen before. And so we turn the text again and again because we keep seeing things we missed before. When you embrace the text as living and active, when you enter into its story, when you keep turning the gem, you never come to the end. Inspired words have a way of getting under your skin and taking on a life of their own. They work on us. We started out reading them, but they end up reading us.”
NOTE: Sharing Bread is a Devotional sent out Monday, Wednesday and Friday (prayerfully and Lord willing). If you are receiving this and would like to be deleted from the list please respond to me via e-mail: beth  and I will take you off (very understandably!). Also, if you would like for me to add anyone else to the list just e-mail me at the same address! All Scripture cited is from the New International Version. Blessings!