Passage of the Day: Job 42 … Linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Really, today’s devotional topic from Job 42, primarily verses 10 – 17, seems, on the surface, to be a bit of topical stretch from my chosen devotional author, Chuck Swindoll. But long ago, I learned not to question the author of the devotional book which I had chosen to use because God always seemed to use these topics, written sometimes years ago, for my edification and His well-timed wisdom. So, today, apparently inspired by God’s restoration of Job, Swindoll has chosen to write about doing what we can to retain a youthful spirit. And he offers several suggestions to do that.
First, he posits that we keep our mind active by choosing to be around people who talk about great ideas and who are inspired by great people rather than to soak in ideas from TV or people who focus on doom and gloom and the past.
Secondly, Swindoll says we need to capture and be refreshed by the humor in life. And anyone who has heard Chuck Swindoll preach or teach knows how much he enjoys a funny story or how he laughs so heartily at his own funny stories. I know that I tend to be too serious about life; and it’s true that we sourpusses need to be around fun loving and joy-filled folks as much as we can. It helps to lighten the world, which can be a very dark place these days.
Thirdly, Swindoll says that we need to retain our strength by using it. And he’s right. If we’re Christians, we’ve been given at least one Spiritual gift; and if we don’t use it that gifting will not develop and become stronger in our lives. Any muscle atrophies if it’s not used; but it becomes stronger and more useful the more it’s utilized for what it was designed to be used. So, life gets more productive the more we use what God has given us to use for His glory.
Fourthly, Swindoll teaches that our opportunities haven’t vanished, we need to pursue them. All we have to do is be in life to realize that others need what we can do for them. So, if we just look around, we’re going to see others who need what we can offer in the way of our time, talents, or treasure. And when we reach out to them, God is glorified and the world is better off.
And finally, Pastor Chuck flat out says, “Your God is not dead; [so] keep seeking and serving Him.” And I’m sure that Job learned the lesson that no matter what our circumstances present or the challenges we face, we must continually engage our ageless/timeless God, pursuing His wisdom and seeking His will. I have maintained for years that the most productive discipline in my life is my daily time each morning where I dig into God’s mine of wisdom (just as Job wrote about in Chapter 28 [linked here] in his story). So, every day I dig into the mind of God for as many nuggets and jewels I can find; and quite often He rewards me with the wealth of His wisdom. But this wouldn’t happen if I were not pursuing Him with diligence, discipline, and determination. Job found that to be true in today’s chapter where God rewarded Job’s pursuit of relationship with God. When we seek God, He will be found.
So, we need to ask ourselves if we’re pursuing God and life with joy, vigor, and especially enthusiasm. Remember, the word “enthusiasm” actually refers to “God in us.” But our God cannot spark our lives if we turn to selfishness with a soured attitude. My Christian friend, God is truly in us; but He cannot and will not shine through us unless we activate the suggestions Chuck Swindoll has put forth today. I will pray that we use them.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help us to see the joy in life … to use what You’ve given us for Your glory, … and to pursue You with abandon so that we can mine all you have for us in the depths of Your being. Amen