Troy Thorton • Pastor of Small Groups and Outreach
Monday: Fasten Your Seatbelts!
From time to time, I have enjoyed driving go-carts for fun. It is really a great time, racing and bumping around the track just blowing off steam. A key step in go-cart racing is fastening your seat belt. This keeps you on the road and allows you to enjoy the ride. God told the Israelites that He was going to do marvelous and “awesome” things in their midst, things that could be God. In essence He told them to fasten their seatbelts, because they were in for quite a ride. God wants us to see Him work and wants us to be involved in His work – these are the marvelous and awesome opportunities we have in being eyewitnesses to God-sized work. Look for ways to be involved in what God is doing and then fasten your seatbelt!
For Today: What is God doing that you can be a part?
Tuesday: Take Care!
Exodus 34:11-12, Ephesians 2:10
I love watches — not the digital ones, but the real time pieces with hands and a face. They are not only functional, but beautiful works of engineering and art. The watchmaker must take care as he works with such intricate gears and mechanisms, so it is indeed accurate and functional. It certainly should look good, but if it doesn’t function it is merely a bracelet. As followers of the one true God we must obey and “take care” in similar fashion. Our allegiance must be to God and Him alone. It is easy to become lax in how we view our relationship with God. We cannot become careless and be concerned with how our life appears on the outside. It is only God and following His ways that gives our life function and beauty as we reflect Him.
For Today: Walk carefully with God today.
Many cultures around the world have multiple gods (note the little “g”) to which they are beholden. Few have a system of only worshipping one God, or monotheism. God is jealous and will only accept our undivided worship. Often, we make God just a part of our life, rather than the focus of our life. It is in Him that we have our very life and existence – He is more than worthy of the focus and worship of our lives! God tells the Israelites to tear down any altars and images to any other gods. He will not tolerate our divided attention! Most of us would claim to be monotheists, but it is really easy to live like we are dividing our attention and worship to many “gods.” “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
For Today: Live as a monotheist!
We are a society that does a lot of observing. With all of the various devices and media outlets in our culture, we spend much time simply observing activities, or events. Scientists believe that this may be the cause of a lack of “good Samaritan” behavior in modern society – we simply observe without getting involved in situations. There are increasing incidences of people watching crimes or accidents happen and simply observing the circumstance without taking any action. God asks to observe His commands. This observation comes with action – following God’s standards require action. Following Jesus is a participatory life! Observation on God’s terms equals change and brings about action in our lives.
For Today: Are you active observer?
Friday: Take Time to Celebrate!
Exodus 34:18, 22
I grew up in Indiana. In the fall of each year, many of the little towns around where I lived would have some type of festival. There was an apple festival, a blueberry festival, a maple syrup festival, and even a turtle festival. Autumn, particularly after the harvest, was a good time to celebrate, because farmers had all of the work done for the growing season and they could celebrate the bounty! Israel was commanded to celebrate in regular intervals in their calendar. The celebration was not to acknowledge their hard work, but rather God’s provision and His very person. Our Lord desires for us to celebrate His blessings and the joys of life He brings and also simply who He is. We cannot be so soberly serious that we miss chances to celebrate what God has done and who He is.
For Today: What has God done in your life that you can celebrate today?