Devotion for July 16, 2023

“You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.” (Revelation 2:3)

One of Paul’s letters was to the church at Ephesus. They were spiritual, doctrinally sound, and exemplary in their love for Christ. Then Jesus says to that same church years later, “You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first” (vv. 4-5).

Has your love for God grown cold? Then you must go back to where you first met Him and seek Him again like you did before you had heard so much and seen so much; before the pressures of life had worn you down. “But I’m busy doing the Lord’s work,” you say. Beware; busyness and barrenness go hand in hand! Three times Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love Me?” Finally, Peter said, “Lord, You know all things; You know [the extent to which] I love You” (John 21:17).

Oswald Chambers said, “Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him.” When Peter decided to go fishing that night, he may have been making a decision to get away from everything and go back to where he first met the Lord. That’s a good move if you also seek the Lord there! When you get discouraged, you will either go back to the One who can save, keep, and satisfy, or you will go back to whatever was going on in your life before you met Him. That’s not a good move! Why? Because the Bible says Peter fished all night and caught nothing.

The place we find solace, enjoyment, and life-living principles is in the Word, in worship, when we pray, praise and give thanks.

Prayer

Lord, grant me Your forgiveness for the things I have done and not done. Increase my faith as I go back to Your Word to find strength and purpose in living my life for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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