[CF Devotionals] 2010-01-03 - New Year Thoughts

Luke 18:14, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other.”

It is a new year, and so out with the resolutions and in with the practical stuff we might do. I would like to consider a couple verses that essentially say the same thing, in a moment, but may I suggest that this year, we talk twice as much to the Lord as we do to others. I mean this respecting total time. If you spend one hour, in a given day, talking with people in conversation, then I am suggesting that you spend two hours in prayer/communion with the Lord. It actually doesn’t seem practical. It does seem absurd to think like that, but it betrays how much time we spend on earthly matters and how comparatively little we do in communion with Jesus Christ.

So how about something that maybe we can all do. How about 10% of the time we spend in conversation with others – how about making 10% of that time our goal in seeking the Lord in prayer. This is reachable, and if you try it, I think you will find even this difficult. I would love to hear if you do. The idea is that throughout the day we guess-ta-mate how much time we have spent speaking with others, and then make sure that we spend at least 10% of that amount of time in prayer, alone with God. This would mean the weekly church prayer meeting doesn’t count toward the total. I am taking about closet religion. I am aiming at the personal, private times we spend with the Lord, that almost no one knows about. We spend so much time with our earthly friends, family, co-workers – should we not also look to make the Lord a high priority? The answer is obvious.

One prayer we ought to be praying is for mercy. I have quoted, above, a portion of the account of the publican and the Pharisee. The publican, who simply cried out, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner,” Luke 18:13, went to his home justified. The passage does not say that the Pharisee did. In Psalm 41:4, David says, “O Lord, be merciful to me.” It is a prayer we all need to pray – and pray often. We need God’s mercy. We always need His favor and kindness. Some would say we can’t thrive without it. I would go further, and say we simply don’t live, can’t live with out it. I encourage you to add this to your regular prayers throughout the day. “God be merciful to me.” Every day, the child of God experiences a thousand-thousands mercies from their Lord. We ought to seek even more. We must give thanks for what we receive.

In our prayers of 2010, let us all be thankful people. God sends us compassionate love everyday, throughout each day. Returning thanks, acknowledging His care and provision, is not only proper; it is right. To forget to return thanks to God is the worst form of ingratitude. The love of God unto us is unmerited. His children cannot live conscientiously, without remitting thankfulness unto Him.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] GodRulesTB@aol.com