A friend on Facebook was asking for recommendations on a devotional recently. I was interested in the responses because I was hoping to kick start my own devotional time after slacking off this spring. (I always assume I need new material when I slack, rather than putting the blame squarely on my own shoulders.)
One suggestion she got was SOLO: An Uncommon Devotional by Eugene Peterson/The Message. So I picked up the New Testament version to supplement my NIV/Message Bible reading.
Day one focused on Matthew 5:27-29, 33-37. The last section, especially, spoke about how we can say things and not follow through, or say things with no intention of following through, or throw religious-sounding sentiments on our words to sound awesome and spiritual - but instead, we make our words a lie.
As part of the devotional, the reader is supposed to read and think and pray - listening as well as talking. And as I listened, I felt like Jesus was saying, "You need me. If you want true holiness - in your thoughts as well as your words, you need me. Holiness is hard."
I know this to be true. I know the things that are in my mind and heart, and they don't always honor God like they should. I feel as though if I were to focus on this idea alone - consistency and holiness in thoughts as well as words - for the rest of my devotional and prayer life, I would still be working, still be needing Jesus' help, until the end.