Today I learned a new meaning of being devoted! Yes, the main definition is well known:
To devote oneself to something or someone, you basically have to set them apart or give them to some specific purpose or activity in your life. To be devoted means to be very loving, loyal and/or faithful to the person, place or thing. To be a devotee is to be strongly devoted to that entity. Also, to be so dedicated to one purpose is to have a zeal for that purpose that goes beyond any normal limits. So, to be dedicated to one person means that you devote yourself to them, and you actually address yourself, apply yourself and/or buckle down to be loyal to that one person.
And, the new definition I learned from my pastor this morning comes from the Greek meaning of the word devoted: Strong, Earnest and Steadfast. Have you ever heard that God's love for us is that type of devotion??? His Word is strong. It is earnest. It is steadfast. And, that strength, earnestness and steadfastness is His devotion for YOUR benefit and mine!!! God states that intent many times in His Word, The Bible. Over and over, God lays out in scripture His devotion for us.....WOW! Have you ever really let that sink in??? That is truly amazing in my mind!!! We have the God of the Universe who has OUR best interest at heart and tells us so....every day, if we will read and just pay attention.
Are you devoted to someone or something in this life? Do you have that "nth" degree of strength, earnest desire or steadfast spirit that treats another human being with such devotion??? Have you ever felt it from our Father in Heaven? Have you ever studied His word to find this treasure for yourself? It is there for the asking. There for the seeking. There for the taking. All we have to do is read His Word.
Since I have joined Crossroads Christian Church in Shawnee, KS, my faith has grown exponentially in the past four years!!! Each year, our head Pastor, Brad challenges the congregation to read the Bible through in one year. At first, I thought I might try it! I read the Bible every day anyway, but never have read it cover to cover. My beloved grandfather, "Gramps" read it through many times!
I don't even know how many times he read it in his lifetime. I am sorry to say that I still have never done it. Sure, I tried it the first and second year I was at Crossroads, but I let my travel schedule and other devotions take the place of reading the best book in the world !!! So, I am beginning again this summer.
We have a blueprint for every ailment known to man in the Bible! Every one. Not just some. Not just part. Not just most. ALL! We can improve our parenting, our relationships, our finances, our perspective on life and come to know the purpose for which we were born in this book! We can find a solid foundation for which we can lay our faith, we can learn to forgive and avoid temptation and we can learn to discern what God is trying to teach us IF we just sit down and read His Word. Wow!!! Amazing.............
Our faith will grow, our lives will change, our hearts will soften, our mistakes will lessen and we can learn to be more effective in the world, if we will just take the time to listen to what God is trying to tell us.
Some people say the Bible is old, outdated, or just plain "stories" made up for some weird religious purpose or maybe to brainwash us into believing old fashioned rules and regulations. Some people say you cannot believe what you read it the pages of these sacred scriptures. For example, do you really believe Jonah was in the belly of a fish for 3 days??? Well, I used to wonder how in the world that could be true, but now after studying the pages of the Bible and taking several Bible Studies through our Small Group ministries, absolutely, I believe it! Think about the possibility during the latest Tsunami in Japan....could a survivor have made it because he was swallowed by a very large fish? It is definitely possible in today's day and age with all the weird environmental issues we have on the globe!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says:
"All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
If you haven't taken the time to test the waters, try it! Open your Bible and read it!
Each time we as believers read God's Holy Word, the Holy Spirit will show us what a specific chapter or passage means, if we ASK. Each time I read one of my favorite scriptures, I find peace and reassurance that His Word stands firm. His Word is Holy. His Word is Sacred. And, it is REAL. Yes, the Bible was written by humans and has been translated into a million different translations and languages across the globe, but God used specific people that HE chose to write these scriptures. Each time a new translation is brought out or published, it is poured over to make sure each word, each phrase, each sentence is correct. Checks and balances happen in the publishing world, too. The people who do this job take it very, very seriously because it is God's Holy Word to us. It is not to be taken lightly. It is not to be tossed aside. It is to equip us for each day for each relationship, each challenge, each set back, and even each miracle. Yes, I said miracles. They happen every day if we will just open our eyes to the wonder of it all.
God loves us with a love that is beyond description. And, actually, God doesn't just love us. He adores us!!! That's why He has given us this treasure, this gift, this incredible, infallible Word from Heaven above. It is just as relevant today in 2015 as it was over 2000 years ago. Read it. You will be amazed!!!