James 1:19-25 (NIV)

19 My dear brothers,1 take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak2 and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger3 does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of4 all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you,5 which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.6 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,7 and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.8

Matthew 6:33(NIV)

33 But seek first his kingdom1 and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.2                            

DEVOTION – Kate Miller (Texas)

When I was a young child, I couldn’t dance gracefully during spinning moves because I was worried about how I looked.  My instructor reminded me repeatedly to look at the spot painted on the wall to aid balance.  Yet, I feared that if I took my eyes off the mirror for even a second, I would look foolish.  One day, I finally took my teacher’s advice.  I forced my eyes away from the mirror and back to the spot on the wall.  The change was instantaneous.  I focused on the pattern – turn, spot, turn, spot – and I could dance!

Sometimes as Christians, we focus more on how we look than on where God wants us to look.  But the scripture reminds us to look at God first.  Matthew 6:33 says that if we do, then “all these things will be given as well.”  If we keep turning our focus back to God and God’s advice in scripture about how we are supposed to act, than we won’t spin out of control.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Focusing on Jesus will help us keep a balanced life.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, guide our steps and help us to keep our eyes focused on you and the way you want us to live.  We pray as Jesus taught us, saying, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us day by day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil”  (Luke 11:2-4, KJV).  Amen.