Daily Devotional for Monday February 15, 2010
I was Richly Blessed in School to have Wonderful Teachers who Really Cared About Me
I was richly blessed in my elementary school years to have wonderful teachers who really cared about me. They were a big part of my life and like family. I have always thanked God for such wonderful, loving, caring people who gave of themselves to instill the basics into my life. It was a firm foundation that the rest of my academic life was built upon. In the third grade, I had a history teacher, Mrs. Wilson. You had to stay on your toes with Mrs. Wilson because she was famous for her pop quizzes. You never knew when, and usually when you least expected it. Often she would stop in the middle of a lesson, tell us to take out a piece of paper, and proceed to give us a pop quiz.
God does that to us also. Rarely a day goes by that at some point, He doesn't tell us to take out a piece of paper and proceed to give us a pop quiz. The purpose and use of a pop quiz is to give us a measuring stick to see how we are progressing. Like Mrs. Wilson, God's pop quizzes come at the most unexpected times, when we least expect it. We may wake up one morning and to our horror see that our alarm clock did not work and we are an hour late. Do we panic start running around frustrated? Or do we take a second, pray, and ask the Lord to help us be where we need to be, do all we need to do even though we are an hour late?
Often the pop quiz occurs in traffic. The thoughts of the day racing in our mind, in a hurry to get to our destination, and of course, someone not driving the way we think they should. Do we get angry, yell at them, shake our fist at them, call them names? Or do we rest in the fact God is guiding us to our destination in His time, not ours? The pop quiz may happen at school or work. We deal with people in our lives daily, classmates, coworkers. How do we handle the problems that always arise from these inter-personal relationships?
Of course, all through the day there are opportunities for the Lord to give us a pop quiz. With our finances, our spouse, our family members, decisions about romance, where to live, where to fellowship, how to serve Him, and on, and on, and on.
I often take a few minutes at night before going to bed, and replay the events of the day. What I did, what happened throughout the day. I try to reflect back and see how I did in relationship to actually living my faith. How did I handle the pop quizzes the Lord threw at me that day. This has proved to be a valuable tool for me in regard to my spiritual growth, as well as identifying areas of my life that I need to really work on. By doing this, I can see those areas that need attention. It also keeps me very close to the Lord, because you CANNOT pass the pop quizzes God gives us each day, and not be walking close with the Lord. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.
It would be like someone who had virtually no knowledge of chemistry, walking into an advanced chemistry class and taking a test. This daily review also makes it very difficult for us to be living with sin in our life. We become aware of our sins, we repent of them, ask the Lord's forgiveness, and work on keeping that sin out of our life in the future.
The 20-30 minutes you should spend at the start of every day in prayer and the Word, the 10-15 minutes you should spend with the Lord before you go to bed reflecting on that day, are the most productive minutes of the day. They will ultimately be the difference between living a victorious or defeated life. They are the difference between walking with Christ each day, or running from Him.
I love you and care about you very much. I want to see you getting an A+ on all of your pop quizzes the Lord throws you way each day. To do that however, requires work on your part. The only way I could do well on the pop quizzes Mrs. Wilson would give our class, was to study the material, and be prepared. That is what God is asking you to do as well. Study the material in His Word, and be prepared to put what you read into action in your daily life. The fact is, the pop quizzes God gives us are real life, with real consequences. Failing them in some cases can dramatically alter your life.
This is not a game, but very serious. Men and women in the armed services train diligently, because they know that the training they undertake one day can save their life as well as the lives of many others. As soldiers in God's army, we need to take our training just as serious, because the eternal souls of many are at stake.
My prayer today is that you will start to really pay attention to those tests God gives you each and every day. They are a way for you to stay focused each day on Him, stay aware of the weak areas of your life, and keep you prepared for the real life spiritual battles we face each and every day. I have to admit, I was very challenged by the pop quizzes Mrs. Wilson gave our class. I made it a point to study hard, always be prepared so that I could do well on them. I try to do that today in my spiritual life, and challenge you to do the same. Never forget, our life is a series of tests, tests that help us in our spiritual growth, tests that help us to stay prepared for the work God has for us to do. Make sure you are ready for that next pop quiz God has for you
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,