Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Reward’

Sin on Parade

For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.

The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. ~~ Isaiah 3:8-14 (KJV)

Unacknowledged and unrepented sin is fatal. When a people will not acknowledge its sins as sin and will not repent of it, they have marked themselves for destruction.

I read this verse and shuddered: “They declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.”

As a nation, we, too, parade our sins like Sodom. We parade the sin of sodomy and give it place in our world by trying to legitimize it.

We make laws that put innocence in danger and justify expediency over righteousness.

We reward those who manipulate and scheme and commit fraud and usury.

Our legal system has been skewed to favor the powerful over the just; it has overstepped its boundaries at the behest of the powerful.

As a nation, we are in terrible shape. We have committed every sin in the book. We have earned all the reprisals listed in the book.

God is just and merciful to those who acknowledge their sin and repent. But God is also righteous, and those who flout their sin proudly will not receive mercy.

As individuals, let us examine our hearts to root out and repent of our personal sins. As a nation, let us work to return our country to the righteousness of the Lord.

Father, God,

Shine the light of Your love into our hearts to show us our sins that we may repent of them. Give us the discernment to see those who would lead us astray, and let us have the courage not to elect leaders who will pull us down that path.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

The Fool

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.

Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.

There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.

Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. ~~  Psalm 53 (KJV)

“There is no God.” These are the words of the fool.

But we seem to have a whole society of fools. People run after wealth and possessions and power. We live as if God did not exist. We flout His laws and do abominable things.

When the consequences of our sins are upon us, we whine “why me?” We never stop to think that every action carries within itself the seed of its own reward or punishment.

Because God is a faithful parent, He never stands between a child and the consequences of his own actions. Children learn safe paths and acceptable behavior by the natural process of actions and consequences.

Of course, if we see a child on the highway in the middle of traffic, we pull him out. But we also admonish him about the dangers of playing in traffic. And he may lose a privilege as a consequence of his disobedience.

God has warned us about the consequences of actions. He has given us specific directions about what is and is not acceptable in His sight. We cannot sow the wind and not reap the whirlwind.

Just like any faithful parent, God grieves over those who go astray. Let us resolve never to grieve God.

Father, God,

You have given us an illuminated path to follow. Keep us faithful to your laws and let us not stray from the path you have given us. Help us not to grieve You.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen

First published on Garment of Praise on May 7, 2009.

Restored

Focus verses: Zechariah 7:4-10

During the rebuilding of the temple, God spoke to Zechariah again, to encourage the builders and to set forth some simpler goals for the people.

The pivotal question here is why do you feast or fast? Are you fasting unto the Lord, or are you doing it from selfish motive. Are you feasting in the joy of the Lord, or is it because that is the expected thing, so you do it grumbling?

The motive for any action is as important as the deed itself. When you give to the church, do you give expecting a return? Or do you give for the use of the Lord without thought of recompense? Do you do something just because the Lord says to? Or do you do it because the Lord promises a reward if you do?

When the motive for any action is to please the Lord – regardless of consequence – then the temple of your life is restored to God’s original design.

Look at what He asks of you. Administer justice, show mercy, Do not oppress the less fortunate. Do not think evil of one another. Two commands to do. Two commands to don’t. That should be simple enough. But why do you do these things? Because He said so. That’s why.

Only when our hearts are restored to complete obedience will we be restored totally to the Lord.

Father, God,

Grant us the keen ears to hear Your voice and the humility of heart to obey instantaneously. We thank You for the saving work of Jesus on the Cross. Keep us ever mindful of our total dependence upon You.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

The Fool

Focus verses: Psalm 53

“There is no God.” These are the words of the fool.

But we seem to have a whole society of fools. People run after wealth and possessions and power. We live as if God did not exist. We flout His laws and do abominable things.

When the consequences of our sins are upon us, we whine “why me?” We never stop to think that every action carries within itself the seed of its own reward or punishment.

Because God is a faithful parent, He never stands between a child and the consequences of his own actions. Children learn safe paths and acceptable behavior by the natural process of actions and consequences.

Of course, if we see a child on the highway in the middle of traffic, we pull him out. But we also admonish him about the dangers of playing in traffic. And he may lose a privilege as a consequence of his disobedience.

God has warned us about the consequences of actions. He has given us specific directions about what is and is not acceptable in His sight. We cannot sow the wind and not reap the whirlwind.

Just like any faithful parent, God grieves over those who go astray. Let us resolve never to grieve God.

Father, God,

You have given us an illuminated path to follow. Keep us faithful to your laws and let us not stray from the path you have given us. Help us not to grieve You.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Sweeter Than Honey

Focus verses: Psalm 19

David, as a shepherd, had a lot of time to observe the heavens and let the wonders of God sink into his spirit. He saw them day and night. Look at his descriptions. Indeed the heavens do declare the glory of God.

It was in the fields that he learned the statutes of God and the truth thereof. His apprenticeship was nearly perfect because it was uninterrupted by the things of men.

David only got into trouble when he was embroiled in the king’s house and the affairs of men. In the fields, alone with God, it was a different story. There was nothing to stand between him and his knowledge of God and God’s sovereignty.

In keeping the Lord’s statutes there is great reward.

He closes with the prayer that all of us must have in our hearts.

Father, God,

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.