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“And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while.” Mark 6:31

When I was in Bible College, one of our teachers used to quote the following: “Time out to sharpen the sickle is never spent in vain.”  I think of this quite often.

Back in the days when farmers had to harvest their crops by hand, I am sure they took time every morning to sharpen the sickle or scythe before they started to work.  That time spent meant that their work would be so much easier.  To bring it closer to our time, have you ever tried to peel potatoes with a dull knife? How much easier it is when we take time to sharpen it.

Jesus knew His disciples were getting tired, and so He took them away from the crowds to give them a chance to rest.  He knew they would not be at their best if they didn’t take care of themselves.  God made us with the need to sleep.  How often do we get so busy, that we overwork our bodies and don’t get our proper rest? The student who only gets a few hours of sleep each night, will not do his best in class. The worker who stays out late at night will not perform well on his job. The driver, who is sleep deprived is a danger on the highway to himself and everyone else.  And, even those of us who are at home all day, need our rest to function properly.

The same principle can apply in our spiritual lives.  We need to take time every day to pray and read the Word of God – sharpen the sickle.  The Lord knows exactly what the day will bring, and in those times of fellowship with Him, He provides the strength and the guidance for whatever the day holds.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and you know the rest we need to be at our best, both physically and spiritually.

 

Devotion by Anne Johnston

 

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18

With all the turmoil and strife that is in our world today, it is sometimes easy to forget that God is in complete control and that He sees a much bigger picture than we do.  It sometimes seems like we are questioning what He is doing, thinking we could do a better job of managing this world.

He has told us we are to walk by faith and not by sight.  In His love and mercy, He has hidden the future from us and blinded our eyes from the things that are going on in the spirit world.  We cannot possibly understand the reasons behind all that is taking place.  From His heavenly viewpoint, He sees the whole picture, and, in His wisdom, He is directing the world.  Everything that is happening today is part of the plan that He has had from the beginning of time, and we can rest assured that it will all work out for the good.

There is nothing we can do to change His plan, so He just asks us to trust Him, and to be thankful in all things.  We may not understand it all, but as we give thanks to Him, He will give us peace and joy in the midst of this world’s turmoil.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we do not understand everything that is happening in our world, but we rest in the assurance that you are in complete control, and we thank you for the peace you give.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

 

 

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” II Chronicles 16:9a

As I read this story, I pondered over what God was looking for in a heart that was perfect toward Him.   In his early years as King, Asa had trusted God, sought Him for direction and made many changes that helped Judah.  Because if that. God had given him victory over his enemies.  But at this time, instead of seeking God’s help, he had turned to Syria to fight with him.

God sent a prophet to tell him that he had done foolishly and from this time forward he would have wars. Further down in the chapter we find him at the end of his life suffering from a painful disease.  How sad that someone would turn so far from the Lord, that he would come to such an end.

So what does God look for in a heart that is perfect?  None of us are perfect, as long as we are here on this earth, we will have faults and failures.  But I believe, God is looking for consistency, trusting Him one day at a time, seeking Him for answers to our problems, and walking in the way He leads.  The beginning of our walk with God is very important, but how we finish the race is most important of all.

Prayer: Lord as you look at our hearts today, may you find the trust and dependence on you, that pleases you as we walk step by step with you.

Devotion by Anne Johnston