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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, January 22, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
To covet is to wish to have the possessions of others. It goes beyond simply admiring someone else’s possessions or thinking, “I’d like to have one of those.” Coveting includes envy—resenting the fact that others have what you don’t. God knows, however, that possessions never make anyone happy for long. Since only God can supply all our needs, true contentment is found only in him. When you begin to covet, try to determine if a more basic need is leading you to envy. For example, you may covet someone’s success, not because you want to take it away from him, but because you would like to feel as appreciated by others as he is. If this is the case, pray that God will help you deal with your resentment and meet your basic needs. (NLT)
Exodus 20:1-17 – Then God instructed the people as follows:
“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.
“Do not worship any other gods besides me.
“Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations. But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations.
“Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God will give you.
“Do not murder.
“Do not commit adultery.
“Do not steal.
“Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.
“Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns.”
Susan Bradley Pospisil (Arkansas) titled his story “MY DAILY BREAD;” here is a portion of Susan’s story:
“One day I stopped to feed some ducks huddled near the canal that runs by my neighborhood. Before long, a couple of ducks began fighting over a single piece of bread. One duck had pinned the other against the side of a bridge and was aggressively trying to peck his beak open to get the bread from him. I threw more bread in their direction, even landing some directly on their backs, but they were so focused on their fight over one piece that they didn’t even notice the bread raining down upon them. . .
“. . . It is difficult not to envy someone who has an exciting job, a beautiful house, or a seemingly perfect family. But when we focus our attention on resenting or wanting what someone else has, we may fail to notice the ways God blesses us and provides for us daily. Jesus taught us to pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread,’ a statement of faith and expectation that God will provide us with what we need every day. Rather than comparing our lives to our neighbors’, we can trust in God and open our hearts to eternal blessings.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today, I will give thanks for the blessings God has given me.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to open our hearts and minds to receive your gift of daily bread. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE STRUGGLING WITH ENVY
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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