Monday Morning Devotion-December 27, 2021
Looking Back to Go Forward
This week's devotion is going to be a little different. You probably already noticed there is no scripture at the top of the page per usual. There is a reason for that. It's because there is not going to be one scripture guiding this devotion. There will be many scriptures. Here's the skinny:
This is the final devotion of 2021. What a year it has been! Certainly, before it began, we didn't know what a Covid19 virus was. And while we may have come across the word "pandemic" in the dictionary we probably didn't pay much attention to it until we were immersed in one.
Now we know what a pandemic is, and we look back on it because we want to go forward and leave it there in the past. Still, it has made its mark on our lives.
I thought it would be fitting, as we complete our 17th year of Monday Morning Devotions, to look back on a few of the individual devotions that have made their mark over the years before we go forward.
The first devotion was published on May 2, 2005, it's called:
What's in a Word?
By the word of the Lord, were the heavens made, their starry host, by the breath of His mouth. Psalm 33:6
This devotion talks about the importance of words and how we use them. We've all had the experience of saying something we regret and instantly wish we could take them back. Words are important because they make our thoughts public. The right word at the right time can make a world of difference. God's word is the Bible.
The Right Time (Feb. 7, 2011)
God's secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ designed long ago according to His good pleasure. And this is His plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ. Everything in heaven and on earth.
In the 14th century book, "The Cloud of Unknowing'" the anonymous author writes: "Nothing is more precious than time. In one small particle of time, little as it is, heaven can be won or lost. So, take good care of time and how you spend itÐ. While you can't place a time-value on each second of your life they are all important because put together they make up a lifetime. And at the right time those all will add up.
In 2006, the second year of posting these Monday Morning Devotions here's one that still ranks as the all-time champ as the most read devotion out of the 800-plus devotions posted on this website. Over 12,000 visitors read this one:
The Little Foxes that Steal Your Joy (Sept. 4, 2006)
Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in full bloom. Song of Solomon 2:15
In her book, "Be anxious for Nothing," Joyce Meyer points out that "the Bible teaches that anxiety brings a heaviness to a person's life. The dictionary defines anxiety as "a state of uneasiness; worry...Abnormal fear that lacks a specific cause." Don't look for those little foxes that spoil the vines. It's kind of like Kudzu: once that stuff gets in a field or wood or garden it will just take over. The little foxes of worry will do the same. Don't let them.
Many of the devotions talk about Prayer and its importance in our lives. Here's a good one:
Deep Fried Prayers (March 8, 2021)
Lord, teach us to pray! Luke 11:4
Mark Batterson, author of "Draw the Circle" among many others talked of hearing a 76-year-old African American preacher praying at an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. This preacher had served alongside Martin Luther King Jr. His prayer was so moving he referred to it as a prayer that was "deep-fried in the faithfulness of God." There were about 200 religious leaders there that day. When that pastor finished praying Batterson said he turned to Andy Stanley who was sitting next to him and said: "I feel like I've never prayed before."
The disciple felt the same way, the heard the deep and moving prayers that Jesus offered up and one time after He prayed, they said to Him: "Lord, teach us to pray."
Now About that Attitude (Oct 25, 2010 & Oct 29 2018)
Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made himself nothing, He took the humble position of slave and appeared in human form. Philippians 2:5-7
How's your attitude? You probably answer, "It's just fine." But is it really? We all have attitudes about stuff...usually about a person, place, thing or event. The late Zig Ziglar once said: "Your attitude affects your altitude". Winston Churchill once said: "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
Speed Bumps in Prayer (January 29, 2018)
O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God. Daniel 9:19
As Mark Batterson said: 'Praying hard is hard because it's hard." You see that is what Satan likes to do. He is a master of confusing us. He wants us to think that God is not listening for that He has better things to do. Nothing could be farther from the truth. But as Batterson says "It's the prayers you pray when you feel like you want to quit praying that can bring the greatest breakthroughs." So, what speed bump to prayer will the Lord help you surmount today?
Chasing the Wind (December 23, 2021
Everything is meaningless says The teacher, completely meaninglessÐI observed everything under the sun and really it is all meaningless---like chasing the wind. So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Ecclesisastes 1:2,14, 2:22
Toward the end of his life Solomon wrote that seeing worldly things was as futile as "chasing the wind." The king who had been given wisdom and wealth beyond compare had spent much of his life chasing pleasure and power; it all proved to be empty. His priorities were out of order. Relationships are always more meaningful that activities. The most important relationship we can have is with God.
Stand Fast (September 17, 2018)
Therefore, my brothersÐstand fast for the Lord. Philippians 4:1
What does it mean to stand fast? Basically, it means to stay right where you are. That is an instruction not only to stay where you are physically standing but it can also mean where you are mentally. Don't move. Don't change a thing. It was Paul's instruction to the church at Philippi, but it is something that doesn't come naturally. Through prayer and meditation, if we determine that we are where He wants us to be; then we need to 'Stand Fast' and seek further guidance from Him.
So, there you have it a sampling of 17 years and over 800 devotions. I feel very fortunate that the Lord has blessed me with so many ideas and instructions to follow in coming up with a devotion each week. Who knew that one day a friend would come in the radio station and tell me, in the presence of the general manager, that he had just come from the police station where the officers were having a Monday Morning Devotion? Then an idea was born to start a Monday Devotion at work and from that came two books, "Monday Morning Devotions" and "Monday Morning Devotions II (eBook) and many ideas for talks at various churches especially my own Good Samaritan United Methodist Church of Tallahassee.
All I can say in closing is: God is good. All the time!
Prayer: Thank you Lord for each and every idea you have blessed me with and for the opportunity to share them all over the world. Amen!