Daily Devotions

It Just Doesn't Matter

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“Isaac had possessions of flocks and herds, and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him.” “And King Abimelech said to Isaac, ‘Go away from us; you have become too powerful for us.’” (Genesis 26:14 & 16)

 

Envy is a subtly devastating sin. Envy caused Isaac to flee for his life. But envy is even worse for the one being envious. Isaac was able to move on and continue to flourish. I am willing to bet those who were envious of Isaac spent the rest of their lives living in the pit of their own anger and self-loathing. Envy is not something as titillating sexual sins, but can be every bit as destructive. Envy rots one’s self-worth and personal dignity. It is an invisible crippler. But there is a cure.

 

The cure for the dreaded disease of envy is faith in a kingdom beyond this world. If I believed that I must “go for the gusto” because when I die, I become nothing more than dust, then I want as much as I can get from this world. Any pain or inconvenience will provide pangs of envy. With no way to relieve them, they will continue to fester and grow, until they totally take over the person’s mind and heart.

 

The Good News of the Gospel is that we have the kingdom of God that continues for all eternity. Even better, we hold an invitation to the kingdom of God. We haven’t earned it, but is freely given by our Triune God. In eternal time, this world is but a fraction of a second. In the greater realm of eternity, who cares about who has more than someone else? IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!

 

So, when you see a family member rubbing it in a little bit, that they are going on a vacation you can only dream of taking? Remember, “I just doesn’t matter.” When you were made to feel somehow less than, because you don’t drive a luxury car, “It just doesn’t matter.” When you look back and wish you had made decisions that allowed you to own homes up north in the summer, down south in the winter and two others just because you can, say, “It just doesn’t matter.”

 

Today, think about the things and people you envy. How has envy manipulated your life? What desires have been left unfulfilled? We are so much more than these earthly things. We are eternal beings and the people to be envied are those who live for the God who brings the kingdom of God. Wipe envy out of your heart and soul, because envy “just doesn’t matter!”

Courageous Trust

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The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; settle in the land that I shall show you. Reside in this land as an alien, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will fulfill the oath that I swore to your father Abraham.’” (Genesis 26:2-3)

 

God relates to Isaac the same way God related to his father, Abraham. God didn’t ask for a vow of commitment. Neither did God ask for an appropriate theological treaties. The way God sought Isaac’s faith commitment was to expect Isaac not flee to safety, but to take residence as an alien in an unsafe area, and trust God for protection.

 

I have so much respect for missionaries who are willing to immerse themselves in a far away nation, share the faith, and become one with those from a different culture. I’ve read stories of missionaries who were willing to sacrifice their lives building trust and helping people they learned to respect and love. The courage to accept this great responsibility came through the Holy Spirit’s guidance and comfort. Time-and-again, the missionaries told similar stories of how they felt God called them to their ministry, and that God would provide for their needs.

 

Today, think about whether you are willing to ask God to call you. This doesn’t mean God is going to send you to the Congo. It may mean, like a friend of mine, who plucked up the courage to join the Teammates mentoring program, and spend time with an elementary school child each week at the boy’s school. He overcame the anxiety about whether he could relate to the young boy. He put aside his concern about whether or not the boy would like him. God gives us courage, wisdom, and opportunities when we move out of our comfort zone and do something in God’s name. Whether you are hanging out with Philistines like Isaac, or an elementary school child, when you do something in God’s name, God will provide. Take a leap of faith, step out and trust God to use you in divine ways.

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