Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (AMP)
Joel 2:25a – And I will restore or replace for you the years the locust has eaten. (AMP)
Many of us have our favourite Bible, and it seems we can find our way more easily through its well-worn pages. Recently, I opened one of my Bibles which I do not use very often. I glanced at the kind words of the young woman who had presented it to my husband and me, and the Bible reference to which our attention was drawn.
Her husband was in the ministry, and the young woman was well suited as a minister's wife with her very gentle spirit. They were a wonderful active Christian couple in the church, eager to do God's will in their lives. We moved to another location, and they also moved. We kept in touch over the years, however, by the occasional Christmas card. A few years ago, my husband and I travelled to the west coast, and on our return, we were within a few hundred miles of their city, so we tried to arrange a dinner or lunch "get-together", but it was not possible.
This past Christmas, I did not receive from this couple a Christmas card with the usual few sentences expressing their joy of the season, but rather a Christmas letter. The contents were very surprising, making no mention of Christian living, but rather their involvement in marathons and their employment, which was connected to a very fine university. Indeed, it appeared that their interests and goals in life had completely changed; they had slipped into a mould, acceptable to this world's terms. What difficulties had they faced which had led them to adopt such a lifestyle? Since reading this letter and its contents, I have included them in my daily prayers, for I know the dangers of slipping into an easy style of life to avoid the pressures of the world with its many challenges and opposition.
Perhaps today as we read this devotional, we realize that we have allowed the world to remould us. The tempter suggests that it is too late to begin again. But this is our moment! Regardless of the passing of time, God, with His wonderful understanding of the human heart, has promised, "I will restore the years the locust has eaten." I have personally witnessed an incredible miracle when time was restored through circumstances and the recipient received an awesome blessing and assurance which remain with him always.
Prayer: Our gracious heavenly Father, what a privilege it is to know that we can begin again because of Your great provision: the past can be forgotten and forgiven, and the future can stretch before us unblotted — with its thrill of commencing new adventures in the Christian life. Age does not enter into the picture at all — we all have this day! Help us to make it a day which will receive Your blessing. We bring this request to You through the authority of Your Son and our Saviour Christ Jesus. Amen.
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