The Pay Off

They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread and prayed together.

Everyone was amazed by the many miracles and wonders that the apostles worked. All the Lord’s followers often met together, and they shared everything they had. They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it. Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely, while praising God. Everyone liked them, and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.      Acts 2:42-47 (CEV)

Signs and wonders. Sharing food happily and freely. Praising God. Adding to the saved numbers. I want that! I want to be a part of that! I want to – spend time learning, break bread, and pray.

I could blame it on my humanity that I want all the benefits without fulfilling the responsibilities and it would be true. But if I know it’s true, it seems like it would make sense to make a change!

Any athlete or student will tell me that to succeed it takes daily study and time with the “subject”. If I want to receive the benefits of a miraculous, wonderful (full of wonder) relationship with God, then I need to spend time with Him every day.

There are many classes in which I spent hours sitting, taking notes, and even passing tests, and yet, I can tell you now, I learned nothing. I was not engaged in the class. I did not care to retain information about the subject because I did not see the sense or what the “pay off” was to retain information about the subject. In some cases, I was correct. I learned that “pi r squared” will tell me the area of a circle, but I’ve never used that formula in the last 40 years. I learned how to diagram a sentence and I’ve used the grammar principles in that lesson to write two books and proofread many others.

Spending time with God is a sure bet to bring payoff. I did a study one week in these devotions where I tried to find Scripture that I knew did not apply to me! I had no problem identifying Scriptures but when I went to write the devotions – I had no problem writing a devotion because there was “stuff” for me to think about! Go figure!

Doing this devotional every day has kept me faithful to the “habit” of coming together with God every day. However, there is always something more. God does not want a “token” check-in every day. He wants my heart to desire to spend more time with Him so that our relationship grows. He doesn’t want to settle and He doesn’t want me to settle either.

The next three months (through the summer) is when many of us attempt to find some vacation time. We want to do summer activities and plan a vacation whether it is a week or a long weekend. But we don’t consider that God would take a vacation. He doesn’t. But if we let our time with Him slide, He doesn’t not beat down any doors to get our attention. Do we stop eating during the summer? Of course not. Just as I keep a balanced nutrition daily to stay physically healthy, so I must pay attention to my spiritual health no matter what the month.

So rid yourselves of all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the unadulterated spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it in [your] salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good.       1 Peter 2:1-3 (HCSB)


This entry was posted in 1 Peter, Acts. Bookmark the permalink.