Saturday Devotional – April 17th

This is getting posted  a bit late again. I have been at a women’s retreat all weekend. The scriptures for today are: Joshua 15:1-63; Luke 18:18-43; Psalm 86:1-17; Proverbs 13:9-10.

In Joshua chapter 15, God lays out the boundaries for each tribe of Israel. Each one was given a specific piece of land. The boundaries were clear including which cities were to go to each tribe. An allotment is defined as one’s share. God gave them the Promised Land and each tribe had a share of it. It was his provision for them.

God has an allotment for each of us as well. He has reserved a piece of the Promised Land for us, and it is sufficient to meet our needs. When you feel like you’re wandering the desert, set your eyes on God’s promises. Run the race set before you. Walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit, and eventually you will reach your Promised Land. God’s provision will be there for you.

In Luke 18 we see a lesson about wealth and riches. A rich religious leader asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus reminded him to follow the 10 commandments. He doesn’t list them all, but the gist of what he said was to obey them. The man claimed to have followed all of them, but Jesus could see the heart of this man, so he gave him one more thing to do. He told him to sell all of his possessions, give the money to the poor, and then follow Jesus. The man was immediately sad because he was very rich. Jesus asked a great deal; the price of eternal life was high.

Jesus was getting at something here. Our possessions should not possess us. This man’s wealth and riches possessed him to the point that he wasn’t willing to give them up in exchange for eternal life. Sometimes God will ask us to give up something very precious to us. Hannah gave up Samuel (I Samuel 1), Abraham was willing to give up Isaac (Genesis 22), and Jesus gave up his life. God wants to be first place in our hearts and lives, and when our possessions begin to take on more importance than him, he may ask us to give them up. Are you willing?

I am reminded of my dad and an obedient sacrifice that he made. He loved to play his guitar. He played in church as he led worship. He played for company when they came for Sunday dinner, and sometimes he played for an audience of one in our living room. He had a guitar that he loved, and God asked him to give it to a teenager in our church. I don’t know if my dad’s guitar and music was taking up more of his heart than God intended or if God just wanted to bless the socks off the boy, but whatever the reason, my dad was obedient. I remember my own heart throbbing with my dad’s sacrifice. My mind was in awe, “How could he give his guitar away? What will he do? He plays all the time?” I learned at that moment that obedience may require sacrifice, but one who really loves the Lord will give up whatever God asks of them even if it hurts. My dad moved up a couple of notches in my heart that day.

I know that giving up things can be hard. Here in America we are burdened with wealth, and sometimes find it hard to give and yet I hear story after story of people who have gone on mission trips to places where others have so little, and yet they share with others. God has been challenging me in this area, and I’m finding that as I give, he blesses in return. As I give my time to help someone else, he helps me to get my work done anyway. When I drop some extra money in the offering plate, it comes back in some blessing. My needs are met; my allotment is secure in Christ and no possession in the world is worth the loss of eternal life.

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