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By Olivia Martin
August 3, 2020

Passages of the day: Click HERE ​to read today’s passages.

2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33
Romans 16:10-27
Psalm 26:1-12
Proverbs 20:19

Close your eyes and take one minute to center yourself to be ready to receive whatever God wants to give you through this devotion. 

Breathe deeply. Invite God in and imagine letting your thoughts go as if on a river passing through.

After reading 2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33 I was reminded of the truth that straying away from the goodness, the mercy, the justice, and the love of God never produces the closeness with God and inner peace that I think it will. 

In the passage in Chronicles, the pattern I observed was the Israelites tendency to continually live their lives in ways that were destructive and harmful for themselves and their own community, going against God’s ways. The young King Josiah, seemed to have a deep understanding of the importance of restoring the people of God to the ways of God. I think we can all relate to that constant pull in our lives toward the unhealthy temptations that can cause destructive behaviors and patterns. 

An everyday example that most of us have experienced can be found in Proverbs 20:19, which states: 

“A gossip betrays a confidence: so avoid anyone who talks too much.” 

Can you think of a time where either you betrayed someones trust by sharing personal information (gossiping), or someone did that to you? Why is it so difficult for us to avoid that temptation even when most of us know the pain caused from gossiping? 

Close your eyes and take a moment to invite God to heal any wounds that you have caused or that someone has caused you. 

In our world today, it is easy to be blind to the cultural influences that take us away from God. We have been taught to ignore the injustices that are occurring daily because of greed and selfishness. 

Romans 16:17 reminds us to resist the societal influences that cause divisions and that lead us away and from Gods truth in the teachings of Jesus. The teachings of Jesus always move us toward a state of unity with one another and oppose separation and oppression. 

Davids life is a beautiful example of the restoration of a person who once gave into the pull of temptations and destructive behavior but was transformed by the grace of God.  In Psalm 26 he encourages us to lead a blameless life, full of faithfulness and trust in the Lord. 

We are all tempted by worldly aspects, however Jesus invites each and every one of us to restore our hearts and minds and love another as He so graciously loves us. 

Take a moment to ask God for restoration in your life and in your relationships with others.  I invite you to end this devotion by setting a timer for 5 minutes and quietly listening to God. Try not to focus on any distracting thoughts. Be still and let God speak to you.

To memorize:

Lord, I love the house where you live,
the place where your glory dwells.

— Psalm 26:8

Prayer to start with: God, I invite you in right now in this moment. Please restore my heart and forgive me of any destructive and harmful temptations I have fallen into. Show me any ways I might be blind to the hurtful influences of our culture that lead to oppression and distance from you. Help me to cultivate the love of Jesus into all aspects of my life.