• Shanley McConnell

Devotion: One Thing





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Good morning friends ♡

I'm thinking of you today, as we all hide away in self-isolation and try to remain calm & encouraged in these times of stress.

The title-verse for today is found in Ecclesiastes 12v13. But let's begin at the beginning of the section (sometimes paraprased).


"The Preacher gave his wisdom to the people, weighing, studying and arranging proverbs with great care. He sought to find words of delight, and uprightly wrote words of truth [...] The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments. For God will bring everything to the light, every secret thing, whether good or evil."


The Word of God is alive and true. His promise to listen and hear us is unchanging. As we continue through the day, let us share our thoughts, joys and fears with Jesus, as he does with us.


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I read a book this morning, and one line read: focusing on one thing can lead to untangling everything. Mark 10:17-20 tells the story of a wealthy man in pursuit of clarity & peace. It reads:


"As Jesus was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, asking: 'Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' And Jesus replied, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Do not defraud. Honour your mother and father.' The man said, 'Teacher, all these commandments have I kept.' Jesus loved the man and said: 'Focus on one thing. Go and sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Come, and follow me.'"


Jesus encouraged this man to focus on this one thing. He knew sacrifice would return to him in love.


Generosity opens a heart to receive and recognize hope, fulfillment and peace.

What a gorgeous testimony. Imagine the tenderness, compassion and understanding reflected in Jesus' eyes. Reaching out to this man, who was tangled up in more sin, pride and rebellion that he could've realized. He needed sacrifice more than he thought.


In this moment, Jesus was asking the man to focus on one thing. If he spent time untangling this area of hurt and disguise in his life, his eyes would become less clouded until other barriers in his life might be seen and addressed. When God's Spirit points out one thing that needs work in our life, let us focus on it with all our energy. This will inevitably free up some of the other tangled messes in our life.


It's difficult. I know. I often try to tackle every struggle at once. Like rewriting a New Years' Resolution List over again and again. But this message blessed me. It reminded me that Jesus' sacrifice gives me the clarity and ability to respond to the sin, mistakes, even the insecurities, that cloud my vision from experiencing the delight of Jesus-with-me. It's ok to focus on one thing at a time, and watch the way God multifies the fruit of this.


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♪ Moments: Colour, UPPERROOME, Elyssa Smith

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