September 17, 2023

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: The Real Thing

 (This is a reworked/updated devotional I wrote in 2017. If you would rather just see my school/art room/projects type posts...check back Mondays-Saturdays!  I know that these Sunday posts aren't everyone's cup of tea, and that's ok! Love y'all. Have a great week!)

 After twenty five years of teaching art, I'm very particular about the supplies I use in my classroom.  I know what works & what doesn't.  I know that if something says "WASHABLE" I  don't want it.  In theory it is a great idea because children & art supplies often equal a messy good time.  From the outside the products even look the same.  However, when you go to use them for their intended purpose, you realize they are a poor substitute for the real thing.  Washable glue is extremely thin & watery.  It warps paper & doesn't create as strong of a bond as regular glue.  Washable crayons are spotty when you color and do not have as nice of a coverage.  Washable tempera paint is transparent, and takes multiple coats to get the color to become close to opaque.  Though "real" supplies can be messy at times, I will accept no imitations.  The risk of the real thing far outweighs the results of the imitation.

These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
Isaiah 29:13

There are several places in scripture that talk about those who "appear" to be people of God, but their heart & actions do not match their appearance.  Lets just say it is never good for them if they continue on that path.  Scripture is very clear that this type of imitation is not pleasing to God.  The Lord has never wanted our "appearances".  He wants our heart.  He doesn't want us to fake it. He wants us to live it.  That can get messy.  That can get ugly at times.  We can make mistakes.  However, the results are so much more beautiful & pleasing to the Lord than those who just appear to do the right thing, and act as if they have it all together.  When we look at the "heroes of the faith" in scripture, we will see some really "messy" people.  None of them had it all together. They made mistakes, were selfish at times, doubted God, questioned God, disobeyed God, and so much more.  However, God chose to use them.  Why?  They were real with Him.  They came to Him humbly & broken hearted for their sins.  They knew that in & of themselves they could do nothing, but with God ALL THINGS WERE POSSIBLE!  The world will say FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT.  That is not what God wants from us.  He wants us to be real.  He wants us to come to Him as we are.  Bring Him your messy.  Bring Him your pain.  Bring Him your questions.  Bring Him Your doubt.  Bring Him your everything!  He is big enough to handle it. 

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