A little late but here is yesterday's REAL Devotion. Is it time to blow the dust off your bible?
Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. (New Living Translation)
Have you ever seen in a movie or a television show, someone going into the deep, dark recesses of a library to find some ancient tome? The shelves are covered in cobwebs, and retrieving a book causes so much dust you think they'll never stop coughing. Do you ever feel the same way about the Bible? As in, "What possible relevance could there be in a book written thousands of years ago?" Yep, me too - I struggle as well. The reason? I let life cause me to forget just how amazing this love letter from God is.
I have days when I'm busy, I'm tired, I feel bogged down, I'm distracted - you name it. We all experience seasons of feeling disconnected, or even far away, from God. If you haven't, you probably will, and if you have, you probably will again. In those times it's even more important to remember who you are - a child of God - a God who loves you and wants you to know how much. That's why He gave us the Bible. After Jesus, the Bible was the greatest gift God could have given us. Though it was written so long ago, it is still relevant and alive, full of encouragement and hope to face whatever life has to throw at us.
There is hope and encouragement all through the Bible, both Old and New Testament....
Psalm 39:7 says, "And so oh Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you."
Psalm 119:114 declares, "You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope."
Psalm 129 gives examples of how much God intimately knows us, how much He loves us despite intimately knowing us, and how we can never escape from that love. How encouraging it is to know Almighty God, the creator of the world, the King of kings and Lord of lords opens His arms to us so we can know His love.
Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for our life - a good plan, which includes hope for a good future. This was originally spoken to the Israelites after they'd been taken captive by the Babylonians. God allowed this to happen to them because not only were they ignoring Him, worshipping lumps of metal or bits of wood, using temple prostitutes and occasionally sacrificing their own children. And yet God let them know He would not desert them - even after all they had done. Instead, He encouraged them, telling of His desire to still be a part of their lives, and His plan for a future filled with hope.That hope was fulfilled by Jesus, and his death on the cross, making a way for us to have a relationship with God.
My relationship with God grows when I spend time with Him; praying, reading the Bible and letting the knowledge of His love wash over me. When the Bible was being written, God had us in mind as well. We can know the same encouragement God gave to Abraham, Jacob and David. Because of Jesus we can have the same hope that stirred up Peter, Paul and the Apostles to spread God's word throughout the entire Roman Empire.
Spend some time reading passages that encourage you. Print them out and put them where you can see them regularly. God desires us to know just how much He loves us.