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Where are you?

[5 minutes]
Mindsetter Moment: This is a moment to focus on the Lord. Find a quiet place away from distractions. Grab a fresh cup of coffee and get settled in. Sometimes walking during your prayer time can help with focus. Have a journal ready to write your thoughts and prayers during this time.

[15 minutes]
Scripture reading:

2 Chronicles 30:1-30:21
Romans 15:1-22
Psalms 25:1-15
Proverbs 20:13-15

Devotional thought
Our reading today starts out with a wonderful, and potentially confusing story about Hezekiah and the Passover celebration. In the book of 2 Chronicles, we have been reading genealogies and stories about the kings.

The Israelite nation had been conquered by Babylon and the people had been once more enslaved. The books of 1 and 2 Chronicles were most likely written for the small group of Israelites returning to their homeland after the fall of the Babylonian empire. One of the questions the author(s) seeks to ask is, “what went wrong?” How did we get from there, being the people of God, led and protected by God, to here, straggling back to a broken homeland after years of oppression and slavery in a foreign nation?

A few chapters before today’s reading we found that King Ahaz was Hezekiah’s father. King Ahaz did not put God first, in fact, it seems that Ahaz put every other god first. He did some terrible things, hurting his family, children, and the nation of Israel in the process. In contrast, Hezekiah was different. Unlike his father, he chose to put God first. Our chapters today tell the story of the celebration that happens when the people of God are brought back home spiritually.

What applies to me?
As we begin this 30 for 30 challenge; where are you in relation to God? I think that this question can sound judgmental because we are all hard on ourselves when it comes to faith. We can feel like we aren’t ever quite where we should be. Try to set aside any self-judgment and remember that Hezekiah did not start where he wanted to be. He didn’t even get to choose where he started out. He did get to choose where he ended up.

You may have a challenging home life or struggle with distractions vying for your attention. You might not be quite where you want to be in your relationship with God. Here is the beautiful thing, when we turn to God, God turns toward us. Each day this August can be a step toward God, a step toward where and who you want to be.

[10 minutes]
Write it out: Is there something getting between you and God? A bad habit, poor decision or perhaps an unhealthy relationship? Write a prayer letter to God in your journal. Tell God where you are and tell God where you want to be.

Pray it out: “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8a
Find a quiet place to pray. Ask God to draw near to you as you take steps toward him.

Live it out:  Ask God to give you wisdom and courage like Hezekiah as you put God first.