Weekly Devotional – August 29, 2019

I’m starting a new thing with my congregation – a weekly electronic devotional based on one of the readings of either the previous or upcoming Sunday.  This is the first one.  I trust they’ll get better :-)

Begin by reading the verses indicated below, and then continue on with the devotion.

Psalm 50:1-15

Growing up chores were a source of little enjoyment for me. By all standards expectations weren’t excessive – taking out the trash, washing up dishes (or more accurately, putting them in the dishwasher) after dinner, those sorts of things. As kids these often seem like major impositions but as adults we realize how easy we had it and how much else our parents did, and we do now!

Predictably, chores were often done hurriedly and without much attention or love. This would result in lectures about pride of work and a cheerful heart and….well, I’m sure you remember such interactions with your own parents or your own kids/grandkids! And you may also recall this resulting in slight improvements in the short-term, but not necessarily a larger-scale change of understanding.

Our relationship with God can be very similar if we begin to see his gifts to us as chores. Instead of the opportunity to gather in worship with other believers, we might feel Sunday worship to be more of an obligation, as though we’re doing God a favor with our presence. Similarly with tithing – instead of an opportunity to grow in trust of our God and to live out our belief that all we have comes from God, it’s easy to give to God grudgingly and sparingly, clutching tightly to the rest.

God does not need your worship or your money. What He wants and deserves is thanks and trust (v.15). To help show us these things He gathers us for worship each week so we might hear again how He has loved and served his people not only in the past, but you and I today as well. So that we might hear again of God’s faithfulness and look forward to the final fulfillment of his promise that our Lord Jesus will return to deliver us finally from the sin in ourselves and the world around us. He gathers us to feed us with the body and blood of his Son, that we might taste forgiveness and experience a unity with him as well as one another and all the faithful before us that strengthens us for the week ahead and changes our perspectives and feelings from the inside out.

Don’t come to church or workdays out of a feeling of obligation. Don’t tithe or sign up for clean-up duties on Sunday mornings as though you’re doing God a favor. You aren’t. But receive them as opportunities to align your hearts and minds in thankfulness and trust for who God is, what He has done, is doing now, and promises to do eternally in the future.

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