If you’ve spent any time at all on any of the social media sites, you’ve come across something called “best hacks” or “unbelievable hacks.” These are usually discoveries people have made to make life easier. Whether it’s simply a description or a full-fledged video, each discovery uses a tagline to get your attention. My favorite is “this shouldn’t work, but it does.”
Here’s my own “best hack” for having a meaningful, God-glorifying, devotional moment. And yes, “this shouldn’t work, but it does.”
Take almost any Scripture, short or long, random or favorite, and read it through once. Then, go back and emphasize each word, using that word’s meaning to draw your attention to the Lord.
Here’s an example from Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
God–Of course, this is an easy one. Focus on your Creator, the maker of all things.
Is–Focus on God’s state of being; the essence of being the “I Am.”
Our–Focus on belonging to Him
Refuge–Focus on God as a shelter
And–Focus on God being more than
Strength–Focus on the availability of His strength for you
By the time you’ve completed this simple exercise, you will have glorified God and, most assuredly, you will have been blessed yourself.
I’m not a big fan of basketball—nor do I plan to become one. As it stands right now, I’m barely able to keep up with the game of football, which is the one sport I do love. However, I do know the basics of basketball and most of the terms used in the game.
In basketball, to rebound is to gain possession of the ball after it bounces off the backboard or after an unsuccessful shot. The player grabs the ball for himself and either takes a shot or passes it off to another player.
I thought of the word rebound the other day as I was reading Psalm 103:8: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
I’m aware the word “rebound” and “abound” don’t mean the same thing. In fact, they’re nearly opposite in meaning, and that’s why I thought of rebound when I read abound.
To abound is to have something in great abundance, to be richly supplied. So, to be “abounding in steadfast love” is to possess plenty of never-failing love. That’s how the Psalmist describes God’s love for us—there’s plenty of it, in fact, there’s a never-ending supply of it.
God’s love is always abounding and never rebounding. He never takes back His love, never takes it away from us to give it to someone else. That’ why His love is labeled a “steadfast love.”
There’s also a purpose in God’s abounding love and grace toward us. Paul explains it in 2 Corinthians 9:8: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
God expects our love to be abounding toward others even as His love is abounding toward us And, like God’s love, it should always be abounding and never rebounding.
I was reading through the book of Job, where three of Job’s “friends” had just finished telling him the reason he’d lost his family, his belongings, and his health was because he’d sinned against God. Their speeches had been lofty, couched in flowery, poetic language and, evidently, Job had been patiently listening to them for hours, even though he knew he was innocent of any wrongdoing.
He said this to them in Job 12:2: “No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you.”
After thinking about Job’s use of sarcasm, I wrote down some of the Bible’s funnier lines.
Proverbs 27:14— I can relate to this one.
“If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.”
2 Kings 9:20—King David hears this about one of his chariot drivers.
“The lookout reported, “He has reached them, but he isn’t coming back either. The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi–he drives like a madman.”
2 Kings 2:23—We can assume the prophet Elisha didn’t have a full head of hair.
“He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”
Numbers 22:28-30—Here’s the story about a talking donkey and the man who talked back to him!
“Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”
And one last one from Proverbs.
Proverbs 21:9—No comment necessary.
“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.”