“Love must be sincere.” Romans 12:9 NIV
Last week, we studied the how of drawing closer to God. One point was knowing His word and actually applying it.
Here’s a simple example of how God has been teaching me sincerity.
I have a family consisting of a husband, and three daughters, ages 15,11, and 6. For years I have absolutely refused to own a pet requiring free range of my home. Guinea pigs in boxes, birds in cages, and fish in tanks are all tolerable. Because, in reality, who oversees their care? Yep, the mom!
Oh yes, prior to their acquisition there were all kinds of promises. Promises which proved short-lived for two daughters once the pet was part of the family. (The third daughter adores all living creatures and simply is forgetful. So mom needs to provide gentle reminders.)
To care for our birds, there is one task I perform almost daily. And I do not like it. Although a mom and a nurse, performing it turns my stomach.
Back when the first bird, Clover, arrived I established a care routine for her. Daily, I would dutifully change her water from her tiny water dish. The problem? It needed cleansed with soap every day because the dear bird was a bit confused and used her water dish as a toilet.
To talk myself through this yucky task I would gaze out my kitchen window over the sink and recite to myself, “Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.” (Reference Matthew: 25:40-45) All the while squeezing the soap into the dish and scrubbing the scum with one finger.
God has used these blessed birds to draw me nearer to Him. As I recall my verse to get me through that cleaning task and as I pause to ponder what He has done for me and the manner in which He did it, I humbly recognize how much further I need to go. But, I will learn, as I slowly turn toward obedience.
Monday: Read Romans 12:9. How do you define “sincere.”
Tuesday: How do you gauge the sincerity of others, of God?
Wednesday: How do you gauge your own sincerity toward others and God?
Thursday: What task must you regularly perform, which is an act of obedience?
Friday: Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You so much for your promise that You will draw closer to me as I draw closer to You. Please show me how I can take ‘small’ steps of obedience for growing deeper in relationship with You. Amen.
Thank you for reading! Please return by Monday, May 4 for the next post.