Strive for the best.

8  I have set The Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. 9  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices. My flesh also will rest in hope (Psalm 16).

When we are passionate about doing something meaningful, we become disciplined and motivated to keep at it . We will consistently do what inspires us each day. Our devotion to a particular person, relationships, or goals will impact our daily routine. We will commit our time and effort with minimal disruptions. We find our existential purpose in what we devote our lives to.

“Love compels us to give the best of ourselves.”

25 “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor (John 12).”

When we have the right perspective of life, we will not waste our valuable time and energy on mediocrity. We make great sacrifices to attain enduring rewards. Those who want to serve The Lord Jesus, must be willing to live for Him at all costs. Our devotion to Christ should be the motivation for all that we do. If we serve Him, we will use our talents, resources and time wisely. As servants of The Lord, we have to make Him a priority and do what He requires of us. We should be willing to be useful, where He needs us to meet a need. As His followers, we should be able to give up the demands of this life, when called upon, to serve Him. God will honor those, who at the drop of a hat, are ready to serve Him. Those who are willing to give their valuable time or resources to God will gain eternal rewards. Our devotion to Christ is a commitment to serve Him with all we have. Eternal life is guaranteed to those who are willing to lose their privileges here to whole heatedly do God’s Will.

“Determine what to avoid, and what you must do consistently.”

25  Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. 26  Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. 27  Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil (Proverbs 4).

Those who desire righteousness must strive for it. We should not allow ourselves to be tripped up by others or sinful desires. Set practical goals and stick to them. Determine what to avoid, and what you must do consistently. Just as one who wants to be healthy or lose weight, envisions a weight goal: how much they want to lose, the right diet, a work out routine, and what food to avoid. Be one-track minded and stick to the plan you have outlined. Keep a rapt attention on what you have set out to accomplish. Do not be embroiled in matters that don’t advance your goals as a fruitful Christian. Mind your business, if that is what you have to do; steer clear of what will not benefit you. Righteousness is a lifestyle that must be maintained, like a healthy lifestyle. 

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me. I will not know wickedness (Psalm 101).

We are responsible for what we say we will do. As children of The Holy God, we are to be more like our Father. Wickedness should not be entertaining or amusing. It should not bring us any form of pleasure. We are what we do routinely. Our frequent thoughts will evoke our desires. We should not be overcome by wicked desires or thoughts; instead we must strive for purity. Sin should be abhorrent and repulsive to all children of God. We should not keep close associations with those who consistently engage in sin. We cannot afford to be complacent with works of darkness, because our Father is Holy. 

“Our devotion to godliness will yield us imperishable rewards.”

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Timothy 6).

We were created for an eternal purpose. God made us for eternity, not for the ephemeral substance of this world. Be devoted to building the character that pleases God. The love of money leads many to sin and greed. Money is good for sustaining a living, but an obsession with it can lead to an endless pursuit of riches, driven by deception, greed, corruption and anxiety. Riches are like a mist that is here today and gone tomorrow. The child of God has every good and perfect thing that God continuously supplies. We must learn to be content and grateful. Instead of pursuing fleeting riches, we can invest in eternal life. Our devotion to godliness will yield us imperishable rewards. Our pursuit of righteousness, faith, love, patience, compassion and self control, will require us to use God’s blessings to bless others. If we love God, we will not be enamored of possessions; we will receive and manage God’s blessings for His Glory. 

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21.”

If we are vigilant and pray as often as we can, we will not be party to wrong activities. Those who speak to God frequently, for the most part, are found in His Presence. His Spirit lives in them, and they are in constant touch with Him. They will be able to escape the day of Judgement, because they have chosen to be closely associated with Him. They will stand before the Son of Man, because they have always stood with Him. 

The Lord Jesus warns us to take heed to ourselves, and keep from being carried away by worldly pleasures of revelry, drunkenness, and materialism. Christ admonishes us that the life we have been given is of much greater import. He exhorts us to watch and pray at all times. When we are attuned to what He is doing in our lives and preparing ourselves for His return, we will not be distracted by other things. He will come, and all will have to stand before Him to give account of how they lived the lives He gave each one. The One Who gives life requires that we are good stewards of it. 

“We find our existential purpose in what we devote our lives to.”

13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (Luke 16.”

Money can become an obsession, when we are not content with what we have. We should make a living and learn how to manage our money well, so that we are meeting our basic needs, and still enjoying the fruit of our labor. Money should not be what we serve. We should serve God with our skills, talents and resources. When making money becomes the main purpose of our existence, God will become secondary, even our loved ones will get less attention over time. We can not be devoted to God and money; we will desire one over the other. Either you will hate one and love the other, by giving most of your time and energy to the one you love. The amount of quality time we put into something shows our devotion to it. 

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, there are few who find it (Matthew 7).”

What’s all the rage in today’s culture, or is celebrated by most will not pass muster with God. The wide gate and broad way leads to destruction, because it is acceptable to most; and most don’t want to do what is difficult. Obedience, sanctification, love, purity, faith, righteousness, and submission to God are not easily achieved. Godliness and righteousness are for those who are willing to separate themselves from what is popular, to please God. Few will find the path that leads to life, because few are willing to be committed to submission, obedience and godliness. 

The narrow gate is accessible to those who have surrendered to the Spirit-led life. They have put off the fleshly nature for the spiritual new life found in Christ alone. They don’t need to appeal to others. They will enter the narrow gate having counted the cost of a surrendered life. The narrow way keeps them focused on their calling to attain eternal life. It is easy to do what everyone else is doing, it’s difficult to keep in lockstep with The Holy Spirit.

“We must devote ourselves to the teachings of Christ.”

27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. 28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is Righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him (1 John 2).

We are taught how to live the new life by The Spirit of Christ. His anointing opens our understanding to living in The Spirit and not in our sinful flesh. He abides in us and we abide in Him. We have no need for the world to teach us how to live anymore; we have The Spirit of Truth to transform us. We must devote ourselves to the teachings of Christ. Our life in Him must be lived according to His Doctrine. If we abide in Him, His Word abides in us, as the seed that regenerates us; and daily gives us wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Who He is and what is required of us. Since He is Righteous, we must practice righteousness as those who are born of Him. Our confidence is that when He comes, we will be found in an unbroken fellowship with Him. When He comes we will be confident to stand before Him.

“Devotion is a component of love.”

11  Teach me Your Way, Lord, that I may rely on Your Faithfulness. Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your Name. 12  I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your Name forever. 13  For great is Your Love toward me; You have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead (Psalm 86).

When we are determined to achieve a goal, we will steep ourselves in all the information we can find. We will be willing to take the time to study and understand, so that we can apply that knowledge appropriately. We can hunker down and set everything else aside to keep our focus on what we are doing. If we want to be delivered from the path to hell, we will choose the path that leads to God. We will learn God’s Ways and fear Him to do what is right. A heart that is enamored of God will give Him undivided attention. A receptive and teachable person will be eager to learn God’s Ways. Fear God and He will make your way perfect. 

Devotion is a component of love. Love compels us to give the best of ourselves. When we love God, we will give Him the best of our resources, time, praise, attention and lives. God’s Love demonstrated by His deliverance of our souls from eternity in Hell, should cause us to fall prostrate with fear and adoration. Great is His Love, and those who understand this will devote their lives to glorify and serve Him. We rely on Him for everything we need, because we belong to Him forever. Depend on His Faithfulness, by being faithful. 

Set your sights, daily, to be who God has called you to be. Do not be suckered into frittering your life away on worthless things. You are the child of The Great King, you will not lack any good thing. Determine to stay the course you have outlined, and invest on eternal rewards. Devote your life to God, serve Him, learn from Him, and you will live the best life.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them (Colossians 3).

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