Summer Sabbath Devotional 2013 – Linda Foster
Intro to this summer’s devotional: This year’s Summer Sabbath devotional, I want to take a very simple approach. We all have so much to read and look at during the day. I don’t want this to be one more thing that you only have a chance to glance at because it is just one more thing grabbing your time. To this end, I want to keep it short and simple, but my prayer is that it would still have an impact on your spirit and heart as you quiet your life to hear God.
We have focused on two main questions regarding scripture ‘what is this scripture saying to me?’ and ‘by the grace of God, how am I going to respond?’ So I will look at the scripture verses in light of these questions every week.
“You are my wonderful child whom I love. You make me very glad.” Mark 1:11
To be a true and serious follower of Jesus, I need to wrestle with two questions.
- 1. Who do I say God is?
- 2. And who do I say God says I am?
How I answer these two questions really form the foundation of my identity as I live and breathe it daily. So looking again at Mark 1:11, what is God saying here and what am I going to do about it?
This verse in Mark makes clear who God says I am.
When God looks at you and me, as His believing children, He sees us, not as our broken selves, but as we are in Jesus Christ. God looks at us and says, you are my dear, dear child, I love you, and you delight my heart. He sees us through the eyes of Jesus’ sacrifice. It is like seeing a child in rags and filth, but in your mind and heart all you can see it that child fully as they were meant to be: clean, innocent and happy.
So what God says here in this verse is pretty clear.
But is His the only True voice in my heart?
Do the things I say to myself about myself line up with that?
Do I agree with who God says I am?
For me, the answers are:
- No, not really.
God is saying He claims me as His child; he loves me with a deeper, purer love than I have for my own children. God is saying He adores me, that I bring joy to His heart. Hopefully, you are farther down this road than I am, but for me, this is hard to fully grasp, let alone live it out.
But too many things compete in my heart for me to fully believe this truth. I want the approval of others, not just God. Then there are the broken ways I see myself, seeing all the ways I constantly fall short of who God says I am. And possibly worst of all are the things I say to myself about myself that contradict God’s word.
So if this is what God is saying to me through His word, what by His grace am I going to do about it?
I want to agree with God. I want to line up my heart and mind with His. So I am going to pray daily, and more than daily, as often as it comes to mind and heart. I am going to pray that I would have His grace to see this ‘too good to be true, can’t comprehend, blows my mind, would change my life if I could grasp’ truth. I am going to pray it until I can believe it with more than just my mind. I am going to pray it until the truth of it begins to impact my life and the life of those I touch. I am going to pray it until the cows come home. Until the day that I can say and know without a doubt that I am His beloved child whom He loves completely and without reservation, and that seeing me God feels joy.