As I went looking for our next devotional about dads, I found this one named “Love Slows Down” by Joël and Jonathan Malm. In a world where we see so much of a desire or need for instant gratification the topic of slowing down is interesting. In a world where everyone is busy and always on the go the topic of slowing down is intriguing. Today’s devotional draws us in with the statement “We were made from love, made for love, and are called to live in God’s love.” Today’s devotional is based on the book “Love Slows Down” by author Joël Malm. Looking to learn more about the book, it speaks to how packed it is with truth, guidance, and spiritual wisdom. This devotional will carry us through a week as it is a 7-day devotional. Its introduction shares how it will help us slow down and trade in anger, anxiety, and hurry for life with God’s love! I’m excited to get to see where we go.
Let’s check out our scriptures for today’s devotional:
‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’Ephesians 4:31-32
Ever felt stuck and weren’t sure why? Ever felt down and wondered if there was anything you could do about it? Ever felt like you were stuck on a downward spiral and wondered what to do? God’s Word is filled with wisdom and direction for us. God’s Word points us to the things that cause us to feel stuck. God’s Word points us to things that drag us down. God’s Word calls us to stop and look up to Him and cry out to God rather than continuing to fall on a downward spiral. So let’s be the dads who turn to God quickly when we feel stuck. Let’s be the dads who turn to God quickly when we feel down. Let’s be the dads who look up and cry out to God when we are spiraling out of control. Let’s be the dads who receive His instruction, direction, and plan in obedience rather than turning our back on Him and getting stuck, feeling down, or spiraling out of control! I remember challenging God about forgiveness when some people hurt me and it wasn’t till years later that I discovered others were hurt too and that had I been thinking about others more than myself I wouldn’t have started my own pity party. At the moment God has prompted me to forgive and I had more excuses and reasons why I shouldn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t. That was the beginning of getting stuck and allowing a bitter root to take hold in my heart. That was the beginning of allowing rage and anger to take hold of my heart and mind. That was the beginning of the downward spiral and it took nearly hitting rock bottom for me to look up and cry out to God and obey. Let’s hear God and obey Him! Let’s do it His way rather than suffering through it in our own way. Let’s go through what we have to go through with Him rather than on our own! I have had the opportunity to share my story with the people who were around me at the time as God kept bringing people who needed to forgive across my doorway and I had to tell them they needed to forgive first. I’ve even gotten to share the story with a group of coworkers as part of a Story Slam event that was put on to help people get to know each other as the company was growing. (Sharing as a link rather than embedded so that only those who want to spend the extra 10 minutes have to have the space on the screen taken up.) The key is that God’s Word is full of wisdom and direction! The Holy Spirit in His still quiet voice will instruct you and guide you! Now the decision is in our hands to obey or not!
We see how the scripture for today’s devotional comes from Ephesians and God’s Word commands us to rid ourselves of some very specific things! Let’s be the dads who get rid of bitterness! Let’s be the dads who get rid of rage and anger! Let’s be the dads who get rid of brawling and slander! Let’s be the dads who get rid of every form of malice! God’s word helps us realize the things we have to clear out of the way and then how to proceed! Let’s be the dads who are obedient and not getting stuck, down, or spiraling down! Let’s be the dads who by choosing to be obedient to God’s command and instruction are able to be kind and compassionate to one another! Let’s be the dads who are being kind and compassionate to our wives, kids, and the world! Let’s be the dads who are forgiving each other! Let’s be the dads who are forgiving our wives, our kids, and the people from this world that God has brought in! Let’s be the dads who realize that we aren’t forgiving first as Jesus who forgave us! So let’s be the dads who emulate Jesus and forgive and walk in obedience to God’s Word and Spirit!
Today’s devotional has been provided by Joël and Jonathan Malm (http://joelmalm.com).
Reading through today’s devotional, here are some takeaways for me:
(check out the devotional on your own too to see if you pick up other nuggets, and please share your findings in the comments)
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Takeaways from Today’s Devotional:
“The Love That Drives Out Anger “
- Let’s be the dads who allow Jesus to fill our hearts with love and drive out anything and everything that shouldn’t be there.
- Let’s be the dads who allow Jesus to fill our hearts with love and sanitize it so that from the overflow of the heart we speak love into the world around us!
- Let’s be the dads who are so connected to Jesus who is the fountain of life that we are filled to overflowing with love for God is love!
- Let’s be the dads whose hearts are filled with love, casting out fear as able to respond to situations in alignment with God’s Word and not get tripped up in the snares of the devil and become bitter, angry, and start acting out by brawling, slander, or even malice!
- Today’s devotional speaks to this in this way:
- “When we don’t deal with our fear it can easily turn into anger. Fear tends to find comfort in anger. Anger promises to help us defend ourselves against whatever is threatening something we value or need.”
- “Anger is always a secondary emotion. Anger comes from feeling a threat (or hurt) to our security, connection, or control. We feel the threat, then we get angry. Anger isn’t a sin. Anger is a sign.”
- Let’s make sure to not mistake or confuse the difference between the anger spoken above and when the righteous anger of God (anger driven by love, not anger, not fear, not bitterness, not rage) was because people were getting abused and He took a stand. It exists but it is rare that we see it in how people respond today.
‘Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ ” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’ ?” And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night. ‘Matthew 21:12-17
- Today’s devotional points us to Matthew 21:12 when it speaks to just this reality:
- “Jesus got angry about how the religious leaders were abusing people. He overturned tables in the temple. (Matt. 21:12) That was righteous anger. Righteous anger is real, but it’s rare. “
- “I’ve manhandled a few tables in my time, but I can’t say it was because I was standing up for the weak. Hardly. It was because I had unmet expectations or felt a threat to my security, connection, or control. “
- Today’s devotional asks us a question to consider:
- Let’s be the dads who take a pause when we are getting angry to look for the source inside of us that is causing us to get this way!
- Let’s be the dads who are as diligent with our lives as we are with our cars and when that warning light turns on in the dash, we stop and try to figure it out or take it to the shop to be looked at, and so similarly when the light on the dash of our lives called anger turns on, let’s stop and try to figure out what is going on inside our hearts!
- Today’s scriptures were words from the Apostle Paul and a warning because He knew that “when we get angry at situations that threaten our security, connection, or control it tends to lead to unrighteous anger and bitterness, and all the other things”
- Paul’s words from Ephesians 4:31-32 tell us: ‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’
- Let’s be the dads who rather than overreacting, use the light on the dashboard of our lives for good by reflecting on what is the source that is causing this and working to address that underlying issue!
- Let’s reflect on and grab hold of how today’s devotional closes:
- “We use anger for good when we control the anger and realize that it’s pointing to an area of our life that we need to surrender to God. Anger can remind us that only God’s love can give perfect security, connection, and control. Anger can point to areas of our lives where we’re seeking those things from somewhere besides Him. When you get angry, slow down, take a deep breath, step away from the situation, then say a prayer and ask God to bring you peace and show you what area you need to surrender to Him. He will give you peace and insight. And you’ll have a much better chance of resolving the situation in a healthy way. Love slows down. Anger speeds up. So slow down and lean into God’s love today.“