May 2018

God is calling us to a faith that is pure and faultless. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27). The service aspect of this scripture is not surprising to most of us. God has a work of the kingdom for all of us. We are each called to serve and to especially serve those who cannot do it for themselves. Yet, many times we neglect the latter part of this verse that speaks of keeping “oneself from being polluted by the world” as religion that God accepts as pure and faultless too. God has called us each to a faith that is unpolluted by the world. We are told that we are to KEEP ourselves from the world’s pollution. This takes a deliberate act on our part. We have to set a higher standard that keeps the pollution of the world’s ways out.

Daniel is a great example of this principle in action. During Israel’s time of captivity in Babylon, the king took notice of Daniel’s exemplary quantities, training, and breeding. He selected Daniel for royal service in his court. Daniel was like us in that he lived in a land that was not his own. Yet, he chose not to defile himself with their indulgent excess. He asked for permission not to partake of the rich things of the new kingdom. Daniel then prospered more than any of the others. He was deliberate in his devotion. He faithfully prayed three times a day to God. When he did, he would turn his face toward the holy city and focus his attention. Daniel’s heavenly nourishment did more for him than all the other’s earthly food.

Taken from The Happiest Place on Earth as it is in Heaven, chapter 6.

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When we wake to the things of God, to a kingdom not of this world, we begin to recognize the worship all around us. We hear it in the breeze on a hot day, the smell after the rain, the sound of children’s laughter, the touch of a loved one, the smile of a stranger, the blood pumping through our veins. They all testify that there is a God. His kingdom becomes our reality. With each step closer to Jesus, we see more clearly. Our lives become a process of constant revelation. God longs to be found by us. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Great treasure is available to those that seek.

Many of us are constantly searching for the ever-elusive treasure map to happiness and success. We hold off on living, true and completely living in the here and now, because we are consumed with a false hope sold to us by this fallen world. We set our sails in pursuit of health, financial prosperity, and comfort. All the while, God is offering so much more, and the world is really just stealing our joy, our peace, and our days. I am so guilty. I have a Post-it note on my computer that says, “Be here.” I must daily remind myself to be here, today; to live in this moment. On the days I get it, I find more riches than any pirate’s map has ever led to.

Taken from The Happiest Place on Earth as it is in Heaven, chapter 6.

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