"Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty" (2 Corinthians 6:17,18, KJV).
Near the Church of St. Mark's in Venice are three 17th century churches often admired for their highly ornate sculpture. On closer inspection, Ruskin points out, they are found to be "entirely destitute of every religious symbol, sculpture or inscription."
They are really monuments to the glory of three Venetian families who provided the funds for their construction. "Impious buildings, manifestations of insolent atheism," they were called by John Ruskin, English writer, art critic and sociologist.
Many Christians are like these buildings. Their association with God is more of a facade, formal and ritualistic. They do not know God as a caring Father with whom they experience a delightful, loving relationship.
As we meet God's conditions, he becomes our Father, and we become His sons and daughters. His gift of Himself is illustrated in the life of a successful young attorney.
"The greatest gift I ever received," he said, "was a Christmas gift from my dad. Inside a small box was a note saying, 'Son, I will give you an hour every day after dinner - 365 days. It's all yours. We'll talk about what you want to talk about, we'll go where you want to go, we'll play what you want to play. It will be your hour.
"He not only kept his promise, but every year he renewed it - and it was the greatest gift I ever had in my life. I had so much of his time."
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: I will count myself richly blessed for having so much of my Father's time and will seek diligently to be worthy of His love and availability to me.
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