E-votional - For God
February 13, 2002

"But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

Matthew 6:6 (NRSV)


   The term is personal piety. It is an act or practice that is commonly referred to as practicing religion. Exercised at various times of the year, Ash Wednesday-Lent is one of those common times. Today is Ash Wednesday, across the world, people will give up types of food and bad habits, join covenant group and Bible Studies, doing all of this in hopes to refocus themselves towards God. It last 40 days, a long time, and reminds us each time we want that which we give up, to look to God.

   Hear the Good News, more than anything, giving things up, starting new habits, God wants a relationship with you, with me. I don't know that he "wants" us to give up chocolate, red meat, that extra donut or whatever, He wants you. And while I think it pleases Him for us to proactively undertake good habit, holy habits, still He wants you more. The beauty of giving ourselves to Him is that the piety thing, well, it happens. It happens more naturally than awkwardly. No real craving for what you gave up, maybe a little, but not too bad. Because the focus that once was on that thing, is now on God. Now if that isn't Good News to the dipper, the smoker, I don't know what is? As an ex-tobacco guy, I am thankful. Going fishing, hunting, working at the computer or just outside might bring back the memory, but not really for that long.  


   Gracious God, focus, that what you want from me, to focus on You. Let me live this way, with You first. Because You are first in my life, everything else fall right into place. Let me continue to grow in and through You all of my days. Thank You for all that You have done in my life and all You will continue to do, for ask this through Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.