Devoted to God

“Your hearts therefore shall be wholly devoted to the Lord our God,” I Kings 8:61

     Our goal for the year, as a church family, is to grow more devoted to God. Devotion to God requires a few things. First, you have to know God if you are going to be devoted to Him. When you know who God, you need to choose Him. To choose God, you have to continually draw near to Him. We have had four lessons covering these topics throughout the year, but let us take a minute to review the main points.

     Paul said “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,” in Philippians 3:8. Knowing God is possible for you. To know God is to be found in Him. The only way to be found “in Christ” is to be “baptized into Christ,” (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3). He is your Lord, and it is by knowing Him you may attain to the resurrection! That makes knowing God worth every sacrifice you have to make. Knowing God changes everything about your life! How do you come to know God? By reading His word, (John 8:31-32) and keeping His word, (I John 2:3-6).

     Devotion requires you to choose God. Choosing God means you reject selfishness and accept a disposition of selflessness, (Luke 9:23-26). You live selflessly because we are following Jesus’ example of selflessness, (Philippians 2:3-7). Choosing God means rejecting the temporary pleasures of sin in exchange for eternal glory, (Hebrews 11:24-26; II Corinthians 4:17-18). Those who choose God reject the popularity that comes from the majority, and accept a far greater fellowship with God’s family, (Matthew 7:13-14;) Hebrews 11:13-16). Life on the narrow road is worth it when you are traveling with fellow children of God (I John 3:1). Finally, choosing God requires you to reject the comfort of this world in exchange for the greater comfort found in salvation, (II Timothy 3:12; II Corinthians 1:3-7).

     Those who choose to be in a relationship with God will draw near to Him, (James 4:7-8). Contrary to popular belief, drawing near to God is not based on your feelings. Emotions may be a result of your relationship with God, but they are not the cause of your relationship or the means of your relationship. Drawing near to God requires humble submission to Him, (James 4:6). You need to develop spiritual vision and be aware of Satan’s influence in this life, (James 4:7; I Peter 5:8-9). You must be aware of the temptations you face and be willing to resist Satan, (James 4:1-7). Furthermore, maintaining a relationship with God requires a heart of repentance, (James 4:8-9). True repentance means you change your mind about sin, you change your behavior and stop sinning, and you change your emotional response to sin. When you draw near to God in this way, “He will lift you up,” (James 4:10). Those who draw near to God live with more joy and comfort than those without God could possibly know.

     It is truly amazing that God wants you, not only to know Him, but also to be in a relationship with Him! God sent His Son Jesus to come down to Earth and live as one of us. He got to know us so we can come to know Him. As children of His, He has promised us blessings beyond our wildest imaginations, (I Peter 1:3-5)! As God has done so much for us out of His love, it is only fitting we should devote our lives to Him.