Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Shall Reign"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 5:2 – And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (NKJV)
Malachi 3:3b – That they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. (NKJV)
I was told that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. However, as a young girl, I was not very domesticated, and the kitchen was an unexplored terrain that I did not desire to explore. That left me severely lacking when it came to winning my man though his "stomach". Now, my mother was most skilled in the art of wonderful meals, so really, she won my man's heart for me!
He had heard that if the girl's mother could cook, then he could rightly assume the girl to be a good cook too! Well, that myth was soon expelled when I presented many "burnt offerings" that were supposed to be dinners. That was over forty years ago, and I am happy to announce that my kitchen skills have vastly improved. But there are still some meals that my patient and gentle husband will eat, then remark, "Boy, your mother was some good cook, wasn't she? Maybe next time you could try to make that [stew/steak/roast] like she did." (One would think that after forty-plus years, he would know that isn't going to happen, but as I said, he is a patient and gentle man!) In spite of this, our relationship is strong and full of love.
My relationship with God has also matured over the years. Some days, I give Him my best, and some days, I give Him only what is left after I've struggled through the day trying to make things right for everyone. One would think that after being on this journey of faith for such a long time, I would be getting better each day, but not so! I forget to follow the directions in His Word:
Psalm 27:6b – I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle. (NKJV)
Psalm 116:17a – I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving. (NKJV)
Psalm 27:6c – I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. (NKJV)
We can all become too busy with the daily struggle to remember that only when we allow God to walk with us will we learn to love Him more today than yesterday. He patiently encourages us to walk in love, leaning on His strength. Today's verse from Malachi 3:3 tells us to walk our journey of faith with God day by day so "that [we] may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness." What will this do for us? "The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." (Isaiah 32:17 NKJV)
God desires that on our journey of faith, we live in peace with a gentle confidence that we are not alone — ever!
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for Your gentle patience with each one of us. Help us daily to allow You to guide us on our journey of faith. Fill us with Your love and peace so that we may shine for You. Amen.
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