Pamela Myers Palmer
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33
It was only one week after we brought home baby number two, and much to my surprise we made it out the door in time for our Sunday morning church service. All four of us were showered, dressed and fed. With our first baby, it took my husband and I a month to find the courage and energy to make it to church. Perhaps you can relate! But we also figured since we just had a baby, surely, we had an excuse not to go to church.
But with baby number two, there I was, tired and not feeling quite like myself, standing in church. The service started and I began to sing the worship music. As I sang and praised, the Spirit nudged me. It dawned on me how little I had made time for God in the past week. I just brought home a new baby, surely, I had an excuse to not read the Bible, or pray, and could have stayed home from church, but in that moment I realized the toll it had taken to put time with God on the back burner. I felt refreshed as I worshiped and communicated with God about something other than surviving and adjusting to our new reality as a family of four. I felt renewed as I sang praises to God and shared what was on my heart. I was so grateful to have not made an excuse that morning to skip church.
God spoke gently and kindly to my heart that morning, reminding me how good and faithful He is, and that time with Him will always fill me up. I invite you to consider if you are making excuses to avoid church, or prayer, or reading God's Word. Are you making excuses to not love others, to not serve, or to not live and act how God instructs us to do so? I have been there myself thinking I had good reasons (or excuses) to put everything and everyone else above God. I have struggled at times to get my priorities straight. I'm sure to be in good company.
We like to make excuses to miss church, or pass on going to small group, or to put off prayer for tomorrow. We rationalize in our minds that we don't need to share the Gospel, or show God's love, or worship Him in all circumstances. Maybe you're like me and you've made plenty of excuses to not keep faith at the center of your life. Have you gone through seasons where you got lazy about talking to God, or being a light, or bearing fruit? I've been there, and whatever the reason, I have learned that those seasons wear me out and what I replace God with never satisfies me.
I needed that Sunday morning service more than I realized, even if I had to sacrifice a little more sleep, a cup of coffee, and a lazy morning. Instead, I felt much joy and relief that we had made it to church. I was filled up with hope, joy and strength after a week of feeling depleted and stretched emotionally and physically. Is the Spirit nudging you? Is God drawing you closer? Consider how you can make more time for Him, even if it requires some sacrifice. I encourage you to respond with a willingness to give Him your time. Put Him first and things will work out in your life better than when you try to juggle it all on your own. He loves you and is always calling to you with open arms.
This Week’s Reading Plan
As you read the following passages this week, ask yourself these questions:
1) What verse comforts me that I can commit to memory?
2) What word or phrase stands out?
3) What am I learning about God from this?
4) How can I apply this to my life today?
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