Links Daily Devotional

Two Months Later

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.” (Deuteronomy 6:6, NIV)

Golfers have a saying they share with many vacationers. When the weather is beautiful and everything is coming together quite nicely, someone in your foursome will say, “I sure wish every day could be like this.”

It’s an unrealistic desire, of course, and one we might even argue defeats appreciation—if every day were wonderful, we’d lose hold of our pleasure and start complaining about the least things.

In the Christian faith, however, you will often hear a similar sentiment surrounding our most significant celebrations. So at Christmas time, you will likely hear a brother or sister in Christ, say, “You know, we really should be focusing on Jesus like this year round. We need to keep him at the forefront of our minds.”

So here we are, exactly two months later, and perhaps we’re not wrong in asking the obvious question, “So, how ya doin’ with that whole Jesus-ever-in-mind thing?”

Forget all the modern studies about shrinking attention spans. They are probably all true. But truer is the fact that it has never been easy to focus on the ways of the Lord. Adam and Eve had only one instruction to remember. They couldn’t do it. But this doesn’t mean there’s no value in trying, no payoff in our effort to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

Clear back to the pastoral exhortations of Moses to the people in the wilderness, the patriarch initiated a plan of remembrance. He began with the principle: Make these words of God resident in your hearts. But he went on to tell them how, and his instructions were practical:

   – Impress the words of God on your children
   – Talk about the words of God at home and on the road, morning and night
   – Tie the words of God on your forehead and your hands
   – Write the words of God on the doorframes of your house

You may recognize some of these ideas as notable practices among Orthodox Jews even today. But the purpose of these practices is not religious piety. Their purpose is to make the words of God a matter of the heart.

Standing around during a time of spiritual emphasis like Christmas, it’s easy enough to say, “Let’s give God our attention.” Two months later, if we have enacted no plan of attack, we may look back and say, “Wow, I sure haven’t been able to do that.” But two months later, we can recognize the absence of a plan and put one in place. We can build a process to help us remember God for the great purpose of leading us to worship him.

Jeff Hopper
February 25, 2015
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