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It Doesn't Just Happen

Daily Reading: Leviticus 23

Scripture Focus: You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 23.42-43)

Devotional Thought: My friend Allen has recently returned from a two week 'camping' trip through the north-west / north-central United States. What he saw of God's creation was life-changing! But, in order to experience that life change, Allen had to very specifically plan and sacrifice for that trip. He and his wife Jane had to adjust their schedules, prepare their motor home, set up their house, buy their groceries, fill their tank(s), and map their journey. It didn't just happen. But, as he shared with me, it was worth it!

God gave the Israelites the opportunity for a life-changing 'camping' trip every year. It was called the Feast of Booths. God instructed them to gather in Jerusalem and live in temporary shelters made from branches of trees. They did so in order that their "generations may know that ... I brought them out of the land of Egypt." This pilgrimage was a national reenactment of their deliverance from Egyptian slavery. It was a time of great worship and praise and celebration. It was life changing!

But, it didn't just happen. Just like my friend Allen, those ancient Israelites had to plan and prepare to be gone for two weeks. Someone had to care for their flocks and farms. They had to pack food and water and even the sacrifices they wished to offer God. Did they think, "Is it worth it? We can worship God right here." I'm sure they did - at least some of them - but then they went and found that it was life-changing!

How about you? Do you plan and prepare to experience God? Do you sacrifice in order to attend worship or to gather for prayer? It doesn't just happen, but it's worth it!

Prayer: Father, forgive me when I complain about the effort required to worship and to pray. Help me to remember that Jesus left heaven to come to me where I am. Give me strength and zeal to live for you, O Lord. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 5 The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. 6 He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. 7 He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head. (Psalms 110:5-7)

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