In the sight of God

A devotional using Lk 1.6 as base, says in part:

One of the old artists was chiselling with great pains on the back part of his marble. “Why do you carve so carefully the tresses on the head of your statue?” asked one; “it will stand high in its niche against the wall, and no one will ever see its back.” “The gods will see it,” was the reply.

We should learn a lesson from the old heathen artist. We should do our work just as honestly where it will be covered up and never seen by human eyes, as where it is to be open to the scrutiny of the world. For God will see it. We should live just as purely and beautifully in secret as in the glare of the world’s noon. There really is no such thing as secrecy in this world.

Focus question: Do I live and act for God to see, or for man to approve?

No reason to be discouraged

There are times when we question this truth. We speak the word. The effort seems vain. It appears useless. But God “knows the end from the beginning,” Isaiah 46:10. His word will achieve what He sent it to do. We have no reason to be discouraged.

In Plow New Ground, this is Ed Mathews’s last paragraph, not counting the prayer, in his last devotional based on Isa 55.11. It has been a blessing to read this year. I recommend it.

How to separate your work in the kingdom from expected immediate results?

Doubt dooms the doubter

Isaiah 7.9 is the main text for today’s devotional.

The way of doubt. King Ahaz hesitated. He was overwhelmed by his predicament. When Isaiah prompted him “to ask the Lord…for a sign,” Ahaz refused, Isaiah 7:11,12. Doubt dooms the doubter. It kept the people of God out of the Promised Land, Hebrews 3:16-19. It is the cleverest ploy of the devil, Genesis 3:1. A lack of faith is like a fox in a chicken coop worrying about having enough to eat. The Lord expects more from us than that, Isaiah 7:9b; James 1:5-8.

Focus question: What situations cause us to feel overwhelmed and begin doubting?