As we start off this new year, what do we expect of ourselves? Are you one to set goals...new year's resolutions? We will all agree that we want this year to be better than last... But what are the things that make it better than last. More money, better housing, children doing better, easier job...These are all good! But what do we expect from deep within ourselves? Do we want to be of better character...closer to God? Seriously do you want to be closer to God? For most of us that means change; a lot of change and even hard change. Sometimes it even brings about fear; can I start to get closer to God? Look at me, my life...I'm a wreck deep down.
Our last devotional ended with this verse Gen. 4:7 "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it." This is a very important verse for us to consider, and it is a principle that we all must put into practice. So what we are going to do is to use this verse as the "cornerstone"...for our devotionals over the next few weeks...we will talk about touchy, hard...topics.
So here we go, "If you do well,". What does this phrase mean? Does it only apply to offerings? No. Remember Adam and Eve, what happened when they did not do well. What we need to do, is to do well according to God's standard. Not of what man may think but what God wants. So many times man's approval...get's in the way of us doing well. The next thing I want us all to recognize is that we need to think about doing well. That in our daily living we need to be thinking about doing well. That every day we have choices...and in these choices we need to be thinking about of doing well. If you are like me sometimes I just do without thinking about doing well according to God; I just do. We all need to keep our Lord God at the fore front of all that we do. Is what I am doing pleasing to God. Is my work pleasing to Him? Is my play time pleasing to Him? Am I more interested in pleasing myself versus pleasing God? You see you can be doing the littlest of things that is pleasing to God and guess what He lifts you up. Or better said is that He accepts you and what you have done. Or you can be doing something big and guess what He lifts you up, accepts what you have done. Be it little or big God accepts those "good deeds" and to have God's acceptance is what it is about. Now with that there is a beginning or a starting point. No one can by pass this, let's call it the first good deed. Last week was Christmas week...on Dec. 25, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God. The Savior of all mankind. Now here is the question what have you done with the good news, the good news of Christmas? Have you put your trust in that child, who was born that day in Bethlehem? The child who grow up into a man, doing miracles...then dying on a cross as it was written; then three days later coming back to life. Proving to the world that He is the son of God, that He is the savior of the world, that He has the ability to do what He said He could and would do. I know we have heard these words before, but they are so important John 3:16-17 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. "For God did not send the son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him." Have you believed? Have you put your trust in Jesus? For this is the beginning of being accepted of God. It starts with God giving us the Gift of His Son. All we have to do is believe, trust...and accept this most important gift of God. This is the most important thing for being accepted...of God. You cannot by pass this first step.