Week 44 Tuesday

Wholehearted Devotion

Today’s scripture selection: Second Chronicles 29-31

Key verse: Second Chronicles 31:21

“In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly.  And so he prospered.”

In everything we do, there are degrees of commitment we can choose.

We can do things reluctantly or in a perfunctory way; we can put a little more effort into it, but still do them half-heartedly; we can do things in a committed way, but only at certain times under certain conditions.  Or we can be wholeheartedly committed to the tasks at hand.

That’s how King Hezekiah approached his faith – at least at one point in his life.  And when he did that – he and his people prospered.

We all have the same choice provided to us.

We can treat our faith with disdain.  We can attend to it when we feel we must, in order to avoid trouble.  Or we can put our total selves into it – no holds barred – in order to have a life-changing encounter with the living God.

Where are you along that path of choice today?

I admit, for me, it’s not a steady road – with no turns or changes – that clearly leads me steadily forward into a closer and closer relationship with my God.

Nope, even as a preacher, I have those times when I feel pretty far away from God – and even saying the simplest of prayers seems to be a chore.

Thankfully, there are plenty of other times, when I feel much closer and much further along the way.

I suspect it’s true for you too.

So, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have a perfect record of “wholehearted” devotion.

But do give yourself a chance to begin fresh and to keep at it.

And I believe you will prosper.  Not just materially – that may or may not happen – but spiritually.

And, when all is said and done, what greater prosperity can there be than that?

Prayer: Lord, I want to love and serve you with my whole heart.  May your Spirit strengthen me and lead me so that I can do just that.  AMEN.

 

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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