By Alice Northcutt
Devotional Scripture: Proverbs 13:4
Central Thought: We will enjoy the true riches of God as we diligently guard our souls.
I grew up in a family that took pride in doing any task well. Many times I heard the quote, "If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well." I heard it at home. I heard it at school. And I heard a variation of it at church: "Do it as unto the Lord." My grandfather's favorite saying was, "Make your good better, and your better best."
As astounding as it may seem, God does not want our best. He wants our all, our soul. God does not desire a physical surrender; He desires a soul surrender. He doesn't want us to sit down on the inside while we are still standing up on the outside. He wants us to enjoy soul riches through diligence.
Sometimes we relate famine and starvation in the physical world to a lack of diligence. If this could be true in the physical sense, how much more in the spiritual. Proverbs 13:4 states, "The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied." I find it quite easy to get so caught up in "doing" the right thing that I fail to give attention to "being" as diligent about my soul as I should.
Many people find it easy to point an accusing finger at Peter—he denied Jesus! This denial followed a time when Peter had been with Jesus almost constantly. Peter had been very busy doing all the right things, but he was overcome by physical fatigue after Jesus admonished him in the Garden of Gethsemane to "watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation" Mark 14: 38.
A lot happened to Peter in the next few hours, but I look to Jesus' words to Peter: "Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail" (Luke 22:31–32). Jesus prayed for Peter; He gave His very life for all of us that our souls may be richly blessed. May we always be diligent to guard our souls that they may be "richly supplied," that we will not fail under pressure.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, I pray for soul riches and Your help that I may always be diligent in this pursuit of eternal riches.
Today's Bible Reading: Joshua 9:3–10:43; Luke 16:19–17:10; Psalm 83:1–18; Proverbs 13:4