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Today's Daily Devotional
Let God's Word shine light on your step today
as you grow in your relationship with Christ.
This is what the Scripture says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
(Heb. 3:15)
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Devotional: A Heart for God
Apr. 5th

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(Col 1:3-8 NIV)

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
when we pray for you,  because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus
and of the love you have for all the saints-- the faith and love that spring from the hope
that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard
about in the word of truth, the gospel  that has come to you.
All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing,
just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood
God's grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras,
our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf,
and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

You cannot have a true heart and a love of God's people until you first have a heart for God. And God will not be mocked. He sees the heart of a man and knows the difference between lip service and a heart truly for Him.

Throughout the Bible God has longed for His people to KNOW HIM and not just know about Him. He revealed Himself in amazing ways and invited His people to have a personal relationship with Him. However, so often God's people (us included) have settled for a second-hand (or superficial) relationship with Him. In Jeremiah 2, we read that the Lord had taken a step back from His people-- and they never noticed. They never realized that the very presence of God was missing. They got in front of Him and then away from Him. When things started going bad for them they didn't stop to even ask, "Where is God in all of this?" The leaders, the very ones who should have been the first to realize something was wrong-- didn't. They had studied Scripture, they knew enough about Him to take off running, but they never cultivated a personal relationship with Him. If they had, they would have noticed instantly that God was not walking alongside them anymore.

“I brought you into the fruitful land to eat its fruit and its good things.
But you came and defiled My land, and My inheritance you made an abomination.
“The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ and those who handle the law
did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me,
and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that did not profit."
(Jeremiah 2:7-8 NASB)

So many people in the New Testament were no better. They had read Scripture because they thought it would make them smarter, and it gave them words to preach, but when it came down to it, they never studied it or took it to heart. Do you know why I say that? Because they didn't recognize Jesus. In the Old Testament, it clearly spoke of Jesus, but when He came, the leaders didn't recognize Him or accept Him. They never really knew Him. And sadly because they didn't know Jesus, they truly didn't know God.

I am one who testifies for myself;
my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”
“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied.
“If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the
place where the offerings were put.
Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.
(John 8:18-20 NIV)

The sad thing is sometimes even those closest to Jesus had a hard time accepting who He was. They walked with Him (and ate with Him) but still didn't get it. A verse that always pulls at my heart is this: Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works (John 14:8-10 ESV).

Going back to our core verse in His Word today from Colossians 1, Paul was joyful and was commending the people in Colossae because they had heard the truth of Jesus and accepted Him. They found a love for Him in their hearts, and that love poured over onto others. They had a love for God's people because they had a love for God. To continue with our core verses of Colosians 1:3-8, I would like to look at the following: For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:9-14 NIV).

My friend, Paul's prayers were not only for the people in Colossae, they are for us as well. As we grow in our relationship with God, as we accept Jesus into our hearts and love Him first, we will find that it opens our eyes and our hearts to others. We will begin to see others as Jesus sees them. My question for you today is what kind of relationship do YOU want? Are you happy with just knowing about the Lord, or do you really want (as Moses did in Exodus 3) to KNOW GOD?

   Father God, may we go out today with eyes opened and a heart for Your people. Lord, may our love for You shine through to others as we glorify You. Lord, we praise You for being faithful. Lord, we praise You for Your word that You have given us today. Lord, may Your Word be firmly planted in us so that we may truly come to know You. Lord, help us to walk closely with You and not miss when You slow down to show us things about You. Lord, may we never lose sight of You.
   Father, I pray for this reader. Lord, I pray that this person will fully come to know what You want. Lord, may You bless them with great spiritual wisdom and understanding so that they will live the kind of life that You want for them that will honor and glorify You. Lord, I pray that they will bear fruit in every good work and grow in knowledge of You. Lord, may they never forget to stop and give You praise and thanksgiving for all that You do for them.
In Jesus'  Mighty Name,

~ My friend, have a wonderful day.
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