Isaiah 55:6-11 (CEB)

6 Seek the LORD when he can still be found; call him while he is yet near. 7 Let the wicked abandon their ways and the sinful their schemes. Let them return to the LORD so that he may have mercy on them, to our God, because he is generous with forgiveness. 8 My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. 9 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my plans than your plans. 10 Just as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and don’t return there without watering the earth, making it conceive and yield plants and providing seed to the sower and food to the eater, 11 so is my word that comes from my mouth; it does not return to me empty. Instead, it does what I want, and accomplishes what I intend.

John 15:12 (CEB)

12 This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you.

DEVOTION – Kazumi Munehiro (Fukuoka, Japan)

Twice I dreamed that I was driving on a two-lane road and a car appeared in my lane, coming from the opposite direction.  I glanced at the other lane and saw another car moving in the same direction as I was driving in the wrong lane.

When I awoke, I thought about my dreams.  I recalled that when I drove in Jordon for the first time, even though I knew cars drive on the right side of the road, I failed to do so.  When I drove up a slope to a traffic light, I faced many cars in front of me waiting for the traffic light to change and heading in the opposite direction.  I was stunned, and I quickly turned around.

Finally, I understood my dreams.  Reading Isaiah 55:6-11, the day’s Bible reading in  The Upper Room, I thought about my recent struggles in faith.  God’s way is different from mine.  I wish to follow the commandment in John 15:12, but I easily slip back into old familiar ways.  Nevertheless, God helps me return to the right way.  The more I struggle to get closer to God, the more I focus on the words of scripture.  The word of God is holy promise:  “Love each other, just as I have loved you” (John 15:12) and “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Focusing on scripture draws us closer to God.

PRAYER: Loving God, thank you for your care and guidance. Keep us open to your promises and obedient to your commandments.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen