God will hear!

February 28, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the LORD has heard my weeping.
(Psalms 6:8 (NIV))

David was in anguish when he wrote this psalm. Anguish so deep that he wept uncontrollably. Still, he found comfort in the Lord. He found solace in knowing that the Lord was with him when he faced the evils that the world sent his way.

What evils do you face today? Do you turn toward God in those times?

What if the evils that we face grow tremendously? Will you and I still turn toward God in those times?

Think about those questions and reflect on these paraphrased stories from the non-mainstream news media.

A man was beaten because his party costume offended a Muslim man. The victim was lectured and the man who beat him was released without punishment by the judge. The victim was told that in certain countries, his act would have rightfully resulted in his death.

A government plan that mandates churches go against their beliefs and follow what the government dictates.

I am certain that you recognize the second summarized story, but sadly enough, the first one is also from this country.

Do these stories cause anguish within your heart? Do they cause you to weep because of the evil that they foreshadow? Are we ready to turn to God the way that David did in his times of anguish?

I have another piece of information for you to ponder. I have been reading some information from some historians and the consensus is that no country that has reached the point that we have as a nation has ever regained their former status.

Does that cause weeping and anguish? I know that it causes me some very serious distress. I know that I stand firmly in wanting to regain our faith, our values and our moral determination.

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (NIV))

Turn to God in prayer. Follow David’s example and let the Lord know of your anguish and your weeping. Pray for His will to be done.

God will hear!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are we so stuck in our ways?

December 8, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
(Mark 7:33-35 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to realize that sometimes the things that actually get us to pay attention, to open our eyes and ears, are the very things that may seem absurd to us?

Think about that in relation to this passage.

How many of us would draw back if someone put their fingers in our ears and then spit and touched our tongue? Would we be willing to allow the actions to continue? If you are like me, then the actions would have been observed reluctantly and cautiously, or they would have been stopped.

Why? Simply because it goes against conventional wisdom and ettiqutte. We have “knowledge” of what is supposed to happen and how it is to happen. If something falls outside of this “knowledge,” then we are prone to not accept it.

Now, let’s put a spin on this concept. Let’s test our faith.

What if Jesus asked you to go to the ends of the earth to spread His Gospel? Does this fall within your “knowledge” of what is supposed to happen? Turn the tables on who is asking whom. Picture yourself in a situation in which you could be the recipient of a large amount of money. It is not too difficult to imagine yourself asking God for it to come to be true. You may find yourself making all types of promises to God simply because it is in your interest and your “knowledge” of how things should work.

Are our eyes and ears any more open than the man we are told of in Mark? Are we willing to step outside of our conventional “knowledge” when we are confronted with what God has in store for us? Are we willing to look at things that are absurd in our eyes with the eyes of Jesus? Are we willing to take that proverbial step outside of our comfort zone in order to meet Jesus upon the road that He leads us?

Think about that.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

Are we so stuck in our ways that we miss what God is willing to do, and is doing, in our lives?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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