Bible Reference: Exodus 23:25-26
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)
Bible Text: 25 Worship and serve only the Eternal your God, and I will bless you with an ample supply of wholesome food and clean water. I will take away all sickness from you, 26 prevent miscarriages and barrenness, and give you long, productive lives.
OBSERVATION: In spite of miracle after miracle, yet God saw that the Israelites were still tempted to sin and worship idols at every opportunity. Much like ‘believers’ today, I believe. So I want us to meditate on the promises that God told to the Israelites, because I believe that He will do the same for us, if we meet the same conditions stated in these verses!
APPLICATION: I wonder what types of responses we might receive if we asked the typical church attendee in each of our towns, or churches: ‘Why does one worship?’ and ‘Why would one serve God?’. I would imagine that would yield an interesting set of answers! But I also believe that in pondering those hypothetical questions, believers might also be forced to answer those questions from a very personal standpoint: Why do I wake up from my warm bed, forego the trip to the beach on this beautiful day – one of the few that I’m off from work each week? Just as challenging, they might also question themselves: Why do I sacrifice my time in serving at my church? It seems so unappreciated and the good Lord knows that there is so much more that I need time to accomplish in my personal life. I believe by now you have probably pondered these questions personally, and have a few choice answers of your own! But let’s look at this from a scriptural standpoint. You see, I believe that God actually created us to worship Him. The following scriptures help to convince me of this: John 4:23-24; Revelation 4:11; Hebrews 1:6; Friends, I believe that a reminder is in order for us, so that we stop fooling ourselves into thinking that worship is about: Going to church, even though this is one of the best places you can find yourselves at, with other believers; Good worship songs and a rocking worship band, although this truly enhances our worship services; Worshiping a God that you do not personally know – for then you go through the motion without a personal attachment; Worshiping God out of obligation or requirement, rather than from a heart of self gratitude and personal experience with the Almighty. Friends, when our hearts are right with God, we will not only worship Him wholeheartedly, but we will desire to serve Him faithfully from a pure heart. Think about what this type of service might yield, versus a sense of obligation to serve, or just wanting to see all positions filled in a certain ministry area! Please note that God promised the Israelites wholesome food, clean water, good and productive lives in return for changed hearts that show evidence through worship and service. I can only believe that our God is the same today as He was yesterday, and that He has many blessings in store for those of us with thankful and loving hearts who sincerely dedicate ourselves to spreading His love through reaching others for the Kingdom, and serving from the depths of our heart as an extension of God’s outreached hand to those who need Him. Please communicate with your Savior, Jesus the Christ – my wonderful Lord, and commit yourself fully to Him. There is absolutely no telling what He has in store for us when we join Him in Heaven, dear friends!
PRAYER: Precious Lord, I come before You today as one who is not perfect, and I am therefore guilty of many of the things I shared in this devotional. I believe that many of my friends who will read this devotional today will honestly bow before you also with guilt about the things that are discussed above. You know the temptations and sin that distract us from a right and honest relationship with you, and because of this we are prone to wander and therefore not worship You in Spirit and in truth, and we serve out of obligation rather than as a result of our desire to share Your wonderful love with others who need You. Please dear Lord, make us a people who love You from the very depths of our heart, so that we may share with others from that same deep love that we experience. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may You be magnified in everything that I do or say. AMEN!