Thirst: Is There More? – Day 3

Welcome to the daily devotional we have. This is a learning process for me as I go along and I hope you can join me. I will pick a devotional on www.bible.com (feel free to go there and pick the same reading plan) and be posting the verse(s), devotional, and my own personal commentary. Feel free to leave your own commentary in the comments as I would love to read your guys thoughts. Also, I will have music that may or may not apply to the devotional.
This devotional is titled “Thirst: Is There More?”. It is 5 days long. I use the ESV bible but feel free to use the version of your choosing. Lari Buckhart will be assisting as well with guest commentary.

Verses

Psalm 63:1-8
“1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
6 when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.”
Romans 1:18-22
“18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,”

Devotional

Jesus is the truth. Let us hunger and thirst for the truth in our desert culture. One woman writes, “I find myself going up and down depending upon the circumstances. Life is difficult. I often have this ‘lost’ feeling. Lost equilibrium, lost identity, lost purpose, and no horizon line. When I do read the Bible I feel like I am just filling my head with knowledge, and that I am just a ‘hearer’ of the Word. I want to feel different. I want to be different. I want to find my purpose. But I don’t know how to live the truth in the midst of the culture. I get caught up in the pressures, in my feelings, and in the stressful circumstances.”
Without even knowing it, we suppress the truth with unrighteousness. We have wrong thinking and wrong motives. Read Romans 1:18-22. (If you have time, continue reading through Romans 1.)
How have you responded to the truth? How have you responded to the culture, the pressures, and your feelings? What importance have you placed upon God and His Word? If you have a journal, write a prayer-or take a moment to close your eyes and say a prayer silently-to ask God where you suppress His truth and walk in unrighteousness because you are listening to your feelings, giving into the culture, or doing things your way.
Like yesterday, choose one verse from today that the Lord can use to renew your mind and transform your heart. Take this truth to heart and bring it to life throughout your day.

Commentary

Wesley Wood
I believe a lot of us, myself included, have tried to quench our thirst for something bigger with worldly things. From video games, to Netflix, to girlfriend/boyfriend, to drinking, and etc etc. The only one who can quench our thirst is God. Seems simple, but we fight sin everyday. How we can have the knowledge of not having idols but turn around and skip church to play video games or just to be lazy is beyond me. I am guilty of this myself and had to take a hard look in the mirror to change things. Sometimes the hardest thing to believe is the truth, as Relient K so eloquently said.
Lari Burkhart
There were two verses that really struck me in the reading for today’s devotion.
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen.” Romans 1:25
This verse illustrates so clearly what many of us struggle with daily without even knowing it. We make time to watch a favorite TV show, but how often do we set aside time to pray without interruption? We strive for the elusive 100% completion of a game, but how many of us can honestly say that we’ve read the Bible in its entirety? Most of us wouldn’t actually claim these things as worship, but I have to ask myself if God would feel the same way.
“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” Romans 1:28
I can recite at least 20 Monty Python skits all the way through, I have extensive knowledge regarding Doctor Who trivia, and I would prefer not to admit how many times I’ve read and reread the Harry Potter series. However, when it comes to the knowledge of God, I am woefully ignorant. I know verses relating to topics that specifically interest me, but I couldn’t tell you what is on page 394 of my Bible. I know the names of the prophets, but the backstories are a little fuzzy. I’ll admit that this verse struck me pretty hard and made me wonder if I’ve really been giving God’s word the attention I thought I was.

 

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Wesley Wood

Wesley Wood is an aspiring film director. He would love to make GOOD films to help spread God's word and help Christians grow.

7 Comments

  1. Michael M. on January 5, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Great stuff from both of you, I really enjoyed reading this devo so far. I hope to see more devo’s, maybe even a geeky one if it’s available? Just an idea, I doubt that one exists…

    Anyways, Wesley, I actually caught myself debating if I should go to church or play video games because I hadn’t played in a few days…I went to church, but just that the thought even crossed my mind it shocked me for a min. I was like “I can’t believe I thought that”. But yeah, I have to watch myself and not let anything get between myself and God.

    Thanks Lari for the honesty. I sure know a lot about anime and video games but there are times I lack in reading my bible instead. Thanks to the bible app I can read it while I am standing in line or wherever I want without excuse “Oh, I forgot my bible…oh well”.

    God bless.

    • Wesley Wood on January 5, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      I sold my PS4 because it was becoming an idol and causing me to make poor decisions like skip church. A little extreme but problem solved.

  2. Rob M. on January 4, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Perhaps it is a result of my own insecurities, or even a simple misunderstanding of some of the discussion going on here, but I feel like some of the discussion could tend towards a “do more” mentality, which I feel–from personal experience–can be dangerous. Rather than try to be abstract, I’ll just use my own life, because that’s what I’m drawing from anyway.

    When I first got saved, my time with God started out just being a Bible chapter first thing in the morning and then a short prayer on the way to work (which was the same prayer said day after day, because at the time that’s how I thought prayer worked). Eventually I started praying before bed (a discipline that I am not as good at these days, admittedly), and I added a daily devotional to the middle of the day, or immediately after getting home from work. All of this probably amounted to about an hour of time total, at most, but what I reaped from it was greater, because that one chapter of Scripture would stick with me, or at least certain concepts would. My mind would be on Jesus, or Scripture, more often than not through the day. Somewhere along the way, I managed a two hour prayer session (not sure why, or how, but that’s unimportant), and I thought to myself that I had to pray that long from then on, or else I was telling God He wasn’t worth my time. While I don’t necessarily have myself bound to that rule anymore, I still find that I can’t make an adequate prayer time out of 30 minutes, even though I know it should be possible. I have also picked up additional devotionals, which has now made devotional time less about gleaning a little boost of knowledge about God and more about slogging through the daily grind, but I can’t bring myself to reduce the amount of devotionals I read because again I’m afraid that doing so would simply be to allow more time for other things than God.

    The TL;DR version is this: when I didn’t do a lot of “stuff”, I gleaned a lot from the little I did, and I found myself curious, wanting to read God’s Word to see what it said. As I began to add more “stuff”, it began to feel less delightful, and more obligatory, which is kind of where I’m stuck today.

    There was something Lari said that I wanted to comment on concerning biblical knowledge, as well. I don’t think that it’s necessarily vital or important to know what is on page X of the Bible (especially since that will change depending on the type, version, print size, etc. of the Bible you’re using) or even to know the back stories of all the prophets. That kind of stuff is basically Bible trivia. I think it would be far more useful to be able to direct people where to go for certain information. For example, a Christian geek comes to you for counsel because someone in their church said you can’t be a geek and a Christian. Being able to point them to Romans 14 would be good knowledge to have. Someone else is having a hard time with trials. Suggest they read Philippians (or at least chapter 4). So on and so forth. I don’t mean this as a criticism, just a different direction of the same thought.

    Overall, I would say that it’s at least equally important to make sure we use what we know as much as we try to know more. Our church has a group for 18-30 year olds, and our previous pastor for this group once held up her Bible and said something like, “You can know this book cover to cover, but it doesn’t make a difference if you’re not living it”. I think that’s the greatest threat to the “do more” mentality–we become so obsessed with doing enough that we relegate our relationship to a series of obligations we simply try to complete each day. It’s an easy mentality to fall into, as well, since we can always look around and see someone doing something we aren’t. Oh, that guy listens to a sermon a day! That girl reads six chapters a day! My pastor prays for two hours, worships for an hour, and reads several chapters a day! So on and so forth.

    I won’t say that this isn’t challenging for me–it is, but I find it harder to let myself be challenged to grow with God because, yet again, I’m stuck in this “do more” mentality, and instead of seeing new suggestions as ways I can grow closer to God, I just see them as new things people are asking me to add to the check list. I realize some of this is my own doing, because I’m sure it’s possible to cycle between things. Maybe one day you focus on praying more and reading less, while the next you reverse the two, and so on and so forth, while my mindset is that anything you add to your life has to be added on top of anything else. Anyway, enough of my rambling. At the end of the day, I may just be greatly confused or simply a bad Christian, or I may have a legitimate point. Perhaps even that will come down to the viewpoint of the reader.

    • Lari Burkhart on January 4, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      I just wanted to clarify a little what I was trying to say about myself. When I mentioned knowing what was on p. 394, it was a direct reference to “Always” in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I guess I just assume everyone loves the books the way I do. My point was that I KNOW those books. You can give me almost any passage, event, or conversation and I can tell you which book, which character, and the context. On the other hand, I usually have to do a keyword search to find a specific verse which may or may not be talking about what I thought it was. When I compare the knowledge I have of a single fictional series to my knowledge of God’s Word, I can’t help but feel that I’ve dropped the ball. This is a personal conviction for me and I apologize if I sounded judgy or preachy. It’s what I got out of that particular verse.The same goes regarding the prophet’s backstories. I can have an in-depth discussion about the origins of most Marvel characters, but ask me what Amos did and I’m at a loss.

      I do believe that this lack of knowledge is harmful. It hurts me because I am not spending the time I need to on my relationship with God. Even when I am taking the time, I don’t think I’m absorbing the information because I’m so distracted by other things in my life. I also think it hurts my credibility. There is nothing that annoys me like a pastor quoting a verse and when I look it up it’s not the right verse. I start to question everything he is saying because of one mistake. How can we expect people to listen to us when God comes up if we are just spouting opinions without knowledge and references to support our claims?

      I have no intention of trying to pray for 2 hours and read 12 chapters a day. I simply don’t have the time! I think what God was trying to teach me in this devotional is that I need to work on my focus. I need to pay attention and actually learn what I’m studying and listen when He’s talking. I know that these points don’t apply to everyone, but this is what I got out of this devotional. I don’t think “do more” is the point. I do think “do better” is.

      • Rob M. on January 4, 2015 at 11:47 pm

        I don’t want you to think that I was trying to attack your or anything, and it does clarify things to know why you made the statement you made. Please also understand that when I put things out there the way I did with all of those personal struggles, it is kind of my way of fishing for feedback and discussion. I know my thinking is messed up, but fixing it is another thing. I know you personally weren’t saying pray for 2 hours and read 12 chapters, but when I hear about people who do do that kind of stuff, it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong by having time for hobbies and stuff instead of doing more reading or more praying.

        Again, I don’t want you to feel like I was attacking you based on my comment, and I apologize if it seemed that way. If it helps, I believe Amos was a farmer, although I can’t tell you much more than that about him.

        • Lari Burkhart on January 5, 2015 at 12:24 am

          I didn’t feel attacked, but I was concerned that people were feeling like I was being critical or judging them. Personally, I struggle with slowing down and giving my full attention to God. Through this devotional series, God spoke to me pretty clearly about where I need to work on things and I was trying to keep things short in the discussion and I think I may have sacrificed clarity for that.

          I think we all quietly despise people who don’t struggle with time management in their relationship with God, but I keep telling myself that God made me the way I am for a reason and He is well aware of who I am. I know I mess it up a lot, but He sees my effort and I’m going to have to be satisfied with what I can do.

          Anyway, no attacks and no hard feelings! It’s virtually impossible to tell someone’s emotional state in the comments, but I’m really hard to offend so no worries! And thanks for the Amos info… sadly, that’s the most info I’ve got on him!

        • Michael M. on January 5, 2015 at 2:10 am

          Isn’t Amos the minor prophet book with like one page in the bible? I know there was a bible book that is SUPER short, like one page!

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