DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-05-12
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Job 23:10-12
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)
BIBLE TEXT: 10 But he knows every detail of what is happening to me; and when he has examined me, he will pronounce me completely innocent—as pure as solid gold! 11 “I have stayed in God’s paths, following his steps. I have not turned aside. 12 I have not refused his commandments but have enjoyed them more than my daily food.
OBSERVATION: Like Job, we too have gone through an awful lot over the past 2 months with the constraints of every government, in order to help protect us from the harm of Covid 19. Notice in the first chapters of Job, he became very disheartened over all that he was going through, and it was more than any of us could image. However, in this chapter, Job was able to truly face God and rejoice over His goodness, in spite of what occurred. I wonder how much rejoicing we will do as we attend our first church service following this pandemic!
APPLICATION: Kids tend to tell you like it is! So often they will be the first to whine: ‘church again?’ or ‘I’m really too tired to get up for church today’ or ‘we have spent no time together as a family this week, why don’t we skip church and spend time together today’! However, often some adults will follow through based on these same statements, even if they don’t say them. So regardless of where you were at in your relationship with Christ on the first day of lockdown, over the past two months you no longer needed an excuse to stay home from church! You enjoyed a sense of freedom from the religious stuff! Don’t you see that last statement applies to many who might attend church occasionally? But for those who has a true relationship with the God of this universe, I wonder what changed in your relationship with Him? The accountability of a Sunday School teacher, or even your Christian friends, may have been minimal during these past months. In fact, there hasn’t been much of a daily routine! Can you honestly join with Job and say to God today that regardless of the circumstances that encumbered your life during Covid, you are convinced that He still lives; He still loves; He still rules; and that He is still on target for returning to take you home to glory? Can you genuinely say that you were faithful every step of the way (as God is fully aware) and that you still long for His return, and you are actually growing impatient in sharing Christ with your family and friends who need Him? Some of you might be precisely in the same boat as Job, where you have lost loved ones and material things due to Covid and its consequences (unemployment, illness, death, etc.). However, some of you may have unfortunately just taken a break from religion altogether. I heard a sermon once that was entitled ‘Saints on Vacation’. It was a real eye-opener, for it spoke of how different people might act when they are on vacation – out of town and possibly no one watching their every move or action. But the sermon also spoke to times when Christians, or just people at large, take a vacation from certain routines. They take a break, just to see what life is like without a particular routine. Unfortunately, I believe that we all do each of these things from time to time, and the Covid lockdown may have been the ideal opportunity for that. I hope that each of my readers could stand strong, like Job, and confirm with Jesus that you never lost sight of who your Savior is, and that you were very strong in your own faith while trying every day to share that joy with others. I wish that we could all say like Job: ‘we never turned aside, and we enjoyed being a son of the King every day and in every word and action that we shared with others’. Friends, Jesus has not changed at all! I pray that you have not changed any at all, but that you feel closer to the Lord now than you ever did before.
PRAYER: Thank You Jesus for working in the hearts and souls of our pastors and church leaders so that they remained strong, and found awesome and innovative ways to reach and encourage their parishioners in ways that they never thought possible during these months that the church doors remained shut. Please continue to encourage them and give them wisdom for Your church as it emerges from this crazy time we have just come through. May our lives be so reenergized in our relationship with You that our churches will not be able to contain the overflow of people wanting to know the Christ who kept us safe and strong through the roughest of times. Oh that we may be able to emerge like Job, and shout our praises to You for helping us maintain a strong and righteous relationship with You, even when there were no pastors, preachers, teachers or friends breathing down our necks. We love You in the good times, and now we know that we could also love You in the challenging times. All glory to You, our Lord and King! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!