440. Better Now Than Before?

“I was reading in the Book of Revelation this morning,” Stan began, “and I saw something that I want God to say to me as He looks at where I was and where I am in my relationship with Him.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Jesus appeared to the apostle John on the island of Patmos and gave him instructions to write to some of the early churches.  Jesus’ instructions to John about the church in Thyatira is what caught my attention.”

Continuing, Stan said, “What Jesus told John to write was that Jesus knew all about the church and its love, faith, service, and perseverance.  And He commended the church that what they were doing in the present was better than what they had been doing in the past.”

“So they were making progress?” I replied.

“Exactly,” Stan responded.  “And that is what I want God to see in me as I move down the road to being transformed.  That He will see and commend me for doing better now than I was in the past.”

“After all,” he continued, “I think that is what the whole rest of my life on this side of eternity is to be all about.  Making progress in the process of being transformed.”

“If,” Stan concluded, “when the Holy Spirit examines my life as a Christian, He says, in effect, that He can’t see any difference from what or where I was before, there is something very wrong with where I am in my relationship with God.”

“It may be that I am stuck and something really needs attention.”

“Isn’t that what confession and repentance is all about?” I asked.

“You’ve got that right, my friend,” Stan replied.  “Confession, repentance, and full surrender to all the Holy Spirit wants to do in and through me as He leads me in the process of transformation.”

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I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are better than at first.  Revelation 2:19.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you examine my life and that you give me your assessment of where I am in my relationship with you.  I long to be able to hear you say that you see that I am making progress.  I know that any such progress in our relationship can only come from my total surrender to the leading of your Holy Spirit.  I confess that too often I try to do it on my own without that surrender.  Please forgive me and lead me exactly as you want into an ever-deepening relationship with you.  Lead and help me to follow.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Things to think (and journal) about:

  1. What strikes you as the biggest take-away from this devotional?

2.    What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?

3.    What is God saying to you to do personally?

4.    Who can you share this with to make a difference?

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Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

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