January 10, 2007

 

Encouragement for Today

 

“The Hope Diamond”

Van Walton, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member, Director of Hispanic Ministries

 

Key Verse:

Revelation 21:11, “It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal” (NLT).

 

Devotion:

Recently I visited the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. I remembered that the Hope Diamond – a deep blue, 45.52 carat diamond and the world’s largest diamond - could be seen somewhere within the walls of this famous museum.  Getting a glimpse of the notorious diamond became my goal for the day.  I knew I was getting close to the priceless treasure when I encountered the long line of people flowing into and out of a small alcove.

 

Being in that line frustrated me.  The line moved steadily through the room, keeping me from lingering as long as I would have liked. As I approached the display case, I felt irritated and disturbed. You see, I wanted to stop and stare for as long as I desired. I did not want anyone to push me away until I’d gotten my fill. I was also bothered that I could only look – not touch, not feel.  Too quickly, the line moved as throngs of people pressed past the grandiose jewel.

 

As I walked away from the display I overheard others’ reactions: “That was disappointing. I waited in line all that time to see a huge diamond. So what?    What purpose does it serve if it just sits there, lifeless, useless, cold, and hard?”   I thought to myself. “What is all the hype about this rock?  Where is the hope in the diamond?

 

For the rest of the day I contemplated my encounter with the big rock.   I’d left empty. I gained nothing from the encounter. The experience of standing in its presence did not impress me.

 

The Hope Diamond may be a precious treasure, but I know a more valuable Rock. I know the “stone that was rejected” (1 Peter 2:7), the One who is Hope. I don’t have to line-up behind others to gain access to God on His throne. I don’t have to wait to see Him. When I do stop to peer at His face, I can linger as long as I desire and I am blessed. I can reach out to Him and find everlasting life, purpose, warmth, and compassion. I never leave His presence with a feeling of emptiness.

 

Next time you get in line to be wowed by some person or thing that claims to be the biggest, best, most valuable, longest-winning, or the most unique, remind yourself to keep it in its place. Don’t expect what it cannot give. It will only disappoint. Instead, step-up to God’s throne and then expect wonderful and marvelous things.

 

My Prayer for Today:                                                                              

Dear Lord, You are beautiful. You shine! Forgive me for allowing myself to be wooed by something You have created. You are the Creator, high and lifted up, worthy of my worship. Remind me that only You can meet my expectations. There is no other. May I learn to turn to You for my fulfilling, in Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

Additional Resources:     

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst

 

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

 

A New Year, A Better You, ETC Corner

 

Application Steps:

Begin to practice contentment. Long for a desire to be filled by godly living – regular prayer, daily Bible study, continual worship, and fellowship with believers.

 

Reflection Points:   

Have you recently been disappointed by a worldly object, activity, person, or group? Were you surprised to find yourself disenchanted?  

 

What steps can you take to keep from being dissatisfied by the life in which you find yourself?

 

Do you find yourself seeking satisfaction in the world? Realize that it takes spiritual discipline to turn from the world and to seek after God.

Power Verses:                                                                                                  Exodus 34:6-7, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy!  … filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin” (NLT).

Isaiah 6:1, “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple” (ESV).

Psalms 24:3-5, “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (NASB).