My Regular Custom.

Early in the morning he (Job) would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them (children), thinking, ‘Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts’. This was Job’s regular custom. Job 1:4-5 (NIV)

This week’s devotional is a revised version of one I posted a few years back and will be included in, What the Morning Brings, a compilation of 52 Mary’s Musings devotionals that I hope to make available to readers sometime this year!

Father of ten kids, it was Job’s regular custom to take them to be purified after they’d reveled in what was their regular custom -to hold feasts in their homes, eating and drinking together. Scripture doesn’t specify but I’m fairly certain they weren’t indulging in punch and cookies.

Job’s greatest concern in all of it? That they’d sinned against God in their hearts.

Hence, Job developed a regular custom, a holy habit. An admirable one. Something he did continually. And who can’t relate to having to develop new ways of doing life right now??

While Job amassed genuine concern for his kids, the deepest intent of his heart was to honor God.

What might be said of me?

~It’s Mary’s regular custom to attend Sunday worship. Uh, online.

~It’s Mary’s regular custom to keep hand sanitizer within reach.

~It’s Mary’s regular custom to study scripture, pray for her family and others.

~It’s Mary’s regular custom to prepare coffee the night before.

~It’s Mary’s regular custom to attend weekly Zoom meetings.

~It’s Mary’s regular custom to exercise and eat well.

~It’s Mary’s regular custom to wash the bedsheets every Friday.

~It’s Mary’s regular custom to complain.

~It’s Mary’s….

Wait. Back up. Complain?

Lord, do I?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances. I Thessalonians 5:16-17 (NIV)

Careful evaluation of my regular customs, rituals and routines might reveal habits and attitudes that, when examined by the Light, need to be broken and changed. Unlike Job, some might not honor God.

Imagine if…

It was Mary’s regular custom to rejoice, pray and give thanks in all things. Because, “this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Do I have the courage to ask the Lord to develop in me habitual and honorable customs and realign my thinking to place praise and gratitude at the top?

What are your regular customs? Are there some that don’t honor God? How could they be replaced for others that do?

Mary

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✏️ Two of my 2019 inspirational articles that were published in Refresh, Online Bible Study Magazine, are featured in this 40 short Bible studies compilation, The Power to Make a Difference Available on Amazon.

6 Comments

  1. Alice says:

    I like this idea of replacing old routines and rituals with praise and gratitude. This is one of the themes in my memoir (should it ever see the light of day). 🙂 Thanks, Mary, for your blog posts. Always inspiring.

    • Mary Felkins says:

      We’re always habitually doing something. It ought to make God smile! I’m forever working to keep gratitude as a default response. No better time to practice this, right? Thanks, Alice. Blessings on your memoir. It WILL see light of day!

  2. Tracy Peek says:

    Regular customs of mine that don’t reflect praise and thanks??? Why what on Earth are you talking about, Mary! (Tongue in cheek) I think I might need to look at this closely, in all sincerity. Thank you, Mary. It certainly applies to my life these days as well. I will make new customs…I know He will notice and forgive me. Blessings, Mary!

    • Mary Felkins says:

      Relatable! Rest assured, His grace and forgiveness is more than sufficient for all our shortcomings. Grateful for Job’s example, a man who suffered much.

  3. Martha Mullins says:

    Thanks, Mary, for another thing to ponder that I may not think about on my own! I have an uneasy feeling that there are some things I need to look at, too.

    • Mary Felkins says:

      Oh, yes, I get that! To some extent, I love routine and order, for things to stay the way they are. But when I’ve given heart allegiance to my regular customs and find they’re destructive, unproductive, displeasing to God, well, it’s time to switch things up. Our time of quarantine gives me pause to consider the value of my own regular customs.

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