Do nothing out of selfish ambition (Philippians 2:3)
The joy of the LORD is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
Our verses today remind us of some important things when it comes to devotional times with God. First of all, not even quiet times should be done just to get and not to give. Too often we determine their value based on what they do for us, when the most important question is what do our devotional times do for God!
Of course we receive all kinds of vital benefits from consistently practicing the spiritual disciplines, but the most important reason for doing them needs to be love for God, not ourselves. God is a Person, and just like any other person, He spells love T. I. M. E. He loves it when we sacrifice time to praise Him, listen to Him, and talk to Him. And He is particularly thrilled with our devotionals when we do them not so much because we feel like it, but simply because we want to love and encourage Him by doing it.
Do we realize how much God appreciates our humble efforts to simply spend time with Him? When you think about all the garbage the Creator puts up with all over the world all the time, how refreshing it must be to see someone who appreciates Him enough to stop in their busy day and simply take the time to talk and listen to Him. Be one of those very few people today and everyday. Whether or not your devotional time today blesses you, be assured that it blessed Him. And let the fact that you increased God’s joy today be an encouragement to you all day long no matter what else happens. As Nehemiah said, its not so much our joy, but His joy that really matters.