Ever heard the saying time is money? That is because we are each given a finite amount of time on this earth and so many of us exchange some of that time with companies that pay us. So when people talk about work-life balance it means balancing out our time between both! What’s helped me in this endeavor has been making sure I know what my priorities are and then setting boundaries. When people have asked me in the past how I can do it (meaning work+the portion of life they are aware of) I tend to make sure they understand the other parts of my life too (which has tended to make them more confused) before saying that I have set priorities, I have set boundaries, and since work is busy, I have made life busy too so they are balanced (which usually gets me a funny look of comment)! The main reason for this in my life is so that neither can interfere with the other because they are pretty full. Now the key to this all working has less to do with me and more to do with something else. My priorities put God first and so each morning I get up to read God’s Word and allow Him to speak into my life and today’s very situation! My morning time before everyone wakes up, before I do anything else is so important to the success of the rest of my day! It sets my positive attitude (for this is the day that the Lord has made so that I can rejoice and be glad in it), I know this because there are occasions where I end up needing to do something else first then read later in the day and the time before my reading I don’t tend to be in the right frame of mind. My morning time with God and in His Word fills me up so that when I start my day my tank is full! With a full tank I am able to make it through each day no matter the highs or the lows, the victories or the battles, the good or the bad, the joy or the sorrow others around me are going thru, it gets me powered up to deal with whatever will come my way! It also prepares me for whatever is coming my way! I am not sure how God does it, but He is able to make my morning reading be applicable to my day! I pick a reading for the year and the reading picks the books, the chapters, the verses I am to read and somehow God manages to coordinate it so that I am able to receive it and live it out! Anytime I am asked or I am set to speak before a large group at church and am supposed to share a devotional, I use my morning reading and it always amazes me the impact it has on the life of those people and how applicable it is to the very meeting. God is good and making time to be with Him is critical! Getting to spend time before my day starts with Jesus allows me to be filled up and prepared for the day ahead! Getting to talk with Him throughout the day when faced with question and asking for wisdom or just thanking Him for the great day and knowing He is with me every step of every day is so incredible! Knowing that He will never leave me and never abandon me gives me hope and confidence through it all! God even put it upon my heart to write a blog! So originally I was going to put together a private blog to share with friends and family what life was going on, but He had another idea and said to make it public and so to that I said if I am going to make it public then I am going to have to change the topic and so ever since then He has given me topics to post about!
How important is your time with Jesus? How do you spend your time with Him? How are you building up your relationship with Him? What have you gotten to see God do in and through your life? How has it transformed your perspective on things? How has it impacted the way you live life with the world around you?
Day 53: The Bible in One Year 2017 Today's Reading: Devotional, Psalms 25:1-7, Mark 6:30-56, Exodus 31, Exodus 32, Exodus 33:1-6
Time with Jesus
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” –from Mark 6:31
Let’s go through the readings in today’s devotional…
1. Time to look to God … Psalm 25:1-7
In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. Show me your ways, Lord , teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, Lord , your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord , are good.
–from Psalm 25
Not sure how to get started with your time with God? Jesus gave us a pattern with the Lord’s prayer which starts very similarly to our first reading from Psalm 25 by giving it up to God. Let’s review the Lord’s prayer and consider what we can take from it as we consider our private time with God, our alone time with God, our quiet time with God!
So as we start to pray let’s praise God!
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Asking for His will to be done in and through our lives to His glory!
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
God knows what you have need of even before you ask, so ask for what you have need of. You have not because you ask not. Ask, Seek, Knock!
Give us today our daily bread.
Ask God to forgive you! Consider what you have done that needs forgiving since the last time. One of the benefits of doing this daily is you only have a list since you last spoke to Him! And you don’t have to wait till morning, you can always give it up and ask for forgiveness in the moment too.
And forgive us our debts,
Now consider what has happened to you and who you need to forgive! As you forgive others, God will forgive you!
as we forgive our debtors.
Ask God for wisdom and discernment to direct your path today. Ask Him to help guide your step and give you the courage and the boldness to resist the temptations that will come your way to try to throw you off and get you off track. Help us to avoid the snares and the traps of the devil!
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
Now close by praising Him and thanking Him for all that He is about to do in and through your life today!
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen
As I consider this I remember it in French which means I was taught it in public school. How far has this world slid that we don’t start each day with the national anthem and the Lord’s prayer in our schools? Wow to think back to having learned it in French as a young child at school, a public school.
Ever realize how many time God has gotten people to poor His truth into your life before you captured it? Today is a new one flashing back to public school. God never gave up on me and when I was saved at the age of 31 there was an incredible celebration in heaven! Since then God has taught me a lot through sermons, bible studies, morning readings, and life experiences! My hope and trust is in Jesus!
2. Time alone with Jesus … Mark 6:30-56
30The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 32So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. 35By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.” 39Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42They all ate and were satisfied, 43and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. 45Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. 47Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50because they all saw him and were terrified.Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened. 53When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
–from Mark 6
It’s important to make time to be alone with Jesus! Just as Jesus made time to go and pray with the Father, His example to us shows us how important it is for us to daily make time to get away to a quiet place where we can meet with God! There is so much going on in life that we need to make the time (don’t try to find the time as life will steal it from you) to get away and meet with God and get filled up for the rest of the day! If it was a priority for Jesus go and be alone with God, it should be a priority for us too! And then when you go out to do life, don’t go and do it alone, but rather bring others along and allow them to be a part of God’s miracles! It’s so important for us to have Jesus with us! When we end up in a storm having Him with will allow us to have Him either calm the storm or calm us! Without Him we would try to struggle through lives on our own and in our own strength! With Him all things are possible! So let’s walk out our day knowing Jesus is with us! We need to know we have Jesus with us and we have to build our relationship with us so that we can enjoy our relationship with Jesus!
3. Time to receive help from God … Exodus 31:1-33:6
Bezalel and Oholiab
1Then the Lord said to Moses, 2“See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 4to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. 6Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you: 7the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent— 8the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, 9the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand— 10and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, 11and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you.”
12Then the Lord said to Moses, 13“Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.
14“ ‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people. 15For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death. 16The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. 17It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’ ”
18When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.
–from Exodus 31
The Golden Calf
1When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
2Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
5When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
7Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’
9“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
11But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ ” 14Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
15Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
17When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.”
“It is not the sound of victory,
it is not the sound of defeat;
it is the sound of singing that I hear.”
19When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.
21He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?”
22“Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. 23They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ 24So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”
25Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 26So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.
27Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’ ” 28The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”
30The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
31So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
33The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. 34Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”
35And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.
–from Exodus 32
1Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 2I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” 4When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. 5For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.’ ” 6So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb. –from Exodus 33
Don’t lose hope! Be patient! Trust in God! Believe in Him! Persevere!
Make time away with God to get renewed, refreshed, and restored!
Take time to hear from Jesus!
God’s Word is alive and will speak to you right here and right now!
God’s timing is perfect! Trust that He won’t be late but will be right on time! God is rarely early and never late!
Don’t allow peer pressure to make you do something you know in your heart is wrong!
Today’s devotional closes with a point that I want to share with you:
Today’s passage can be more fully understood in the light of the New Testament exposition of it. St Paul writes, ‘Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did’ (1 Corinthians 10:6). He says that this passage warns us about four things:
– Self-indulgence (1 Corinthians 10:7; Exodus 32:6)
– Promiscuity (1 Corinthians 10:8, MSG)
– Self-worship (v.9)
– Grumbling (v.10).
St Paul goes on to say, ‘These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us’ (v.11). The severity of the punishments here is a mark of how serious and destructive these sins are. They show us God’s unwillingness simply to let them fester.
Yet Paul does not just leave it there, he tells us how to deal with temptation. ‘No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it’ (v.13, MSG).
These final words remind us of God’s extraordinary grace towards us helping us through temptation. However, even when we fall down in these areas we can be forgiven through Jesus.