We have two of the most annoying cats you could possibly imagine. One of them, which I have lovingly nicknamed "The Scrawn," loves to get into things. He grooms himself so much that there is a bald spot on his back. And he likes to clean his nether regions right in the middle of the living room floor with his hind leg held high in the air for all to see. He also loves my wife's lap. Wherever it might be, there shall he be also (That almost sounded like a Bible verse!) He loves my wife's attention!
Our other cat is kind of slow, both physically and mentally. His favorite thing is to sneak up behind us when we are in the kitchen and just sit there, waiting for one of us to trip over him. His other favorite trick is to simply fall over. That must take REAL skill! But late in the evening, after we have put both cats in the basement for the night, he loves to sit at the top of the stairs and meow. He almost yowls, it's so loud. He doesn't like to be separated from my wife.
I tell you about our two cats and their affection for my wife because they have something that many of us, including myself, lack in our faith lives. Devotion.
When I think of the word devotion I always think of those little booklets you can get at church. Devotionals are those little daily, encouraging stories we can read each day. We read the three or four paragraphs and the Bible verse at the bottom of each page and think, "There, now I'm good to go for the day." That is NOT devotion.
The 1828 Webster Dictionary defines "devotion" magnificently. There are eight different usages of the word. Read them all and let the meanings soak in. Do we live as though we are devoted to our God?
- The state of being dedicated, consecrated, or solemnly set apart for a particular purpose.
- A solemn attention to the Supreme Being in worship; a yielding of the heart and affections to God, with reverence, faith and piety, in religious duties, particularly in prayer and meditation; devoutness.
- External worship; acts of religion; performance of religious duties.
- Prayer to the Supreme Being. A Christian will be regular in his morning and evening devotions.
- An act of reverence, respect or ceremony.
- Ardent love or affection; attachment manifested by constant attention; as, the duke was distinguished by his devotion to the king, and to the interest of the nation.
- Earnestness; ardor; eagerness.
- Disposal; power of disposing of; state of dependence.
Let us live our lives in devotion to God. Not by simply reading a few lines of encouraging text each morning, but by living out our daily lives, each day and every day, totally devoted to God.
Today, instead of picking up that romance novel, pick up the Bible and spend some time with God or with someone you love. Instead of turning on the television, leave it off and call someone on the phone and tell them you love them. Bring honor to God by devoting yourself to Him today.
God gives us these days as gifts to be used to bring Him glory. Let's do that, as long as it is called today.
"12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end." - Hebrews 3:12-14
If you do not have a devoted relationship with God, get one today. To do that we must repent of our sins, acknowledge that Jesus truly is who He said He is, the Son of God, and surrender your life, your heart, your devotion, to Him. He died for you, accepting the punishment for YOUR sins on Himself. How deoes one repay a gift like that? Devotion would be a good start.
Devotion by Hillsong United