Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Attitude’

Confusion

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

~~ Genesis 11:1-9 (KJV).

Why was the building of the Tower of Babel so displeasing to God?

The people’s stated aim was to build a tower that reached heaven so they could make a name for themselves. The tower was built to further man’s designs and feed his ego — not to get closer to God. In effect man decided to put himself above God.

We still have this problem today. Secular humanism seeks to make man the measure of all things — and a relative measure at that.

Without acknowledging God’s sovereignty, man has no absolute standard for morals, ethics or behavior. We live in a society that accommodates an “it’s okay for you, but it’s not right for me” attitude. This effectively lets each man decide right and wrong for himself without any other basis.

I believe it was this arrogant attitude that sparked God’s displeasure.

We seem to be prideful when we have no reason to be proud. After all, everything is the Lord’s. That includes us when we choose to follow Him.

Father, God,

Help us to be ever mindful that our relationship with You is the most important thing in our lives. Keep us, we pray, from arrogant pride.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen

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Kindness Fruit

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5: 19-23 – NIV)

You have probably guessed by now that I am particular when it comes to definition of words.  In conversation with a clergyman a few weeks ago, I asked him to define “apostasy” as he was using it. Not that I wasn’t aware of the definition of apostasy, but I wanted to know his understanding of the word so that we were talking about the same thing in our conversation.

I always thought I knew what “kindness” was. But I would have been hard pressed to define it cogently.  Going to the dictionary was less help here, because the definition of kindness is “the quality or state of being kind.”  That is defined as:

1   chiefly dialect :  affectionate, loving
2   a :  of a sympathetic or helpful nature
     b :  of a forbearing nature :  gentle
     c :  arising from or characterized by sympathy or forbearance <a kind act>
3   :  of a kind to give pleasure or relief

The first definition of “kind” is to be affectionate or loving.  It is also sympathetic or helpful, gentle, forbearing. All of these are expressions of relationship between people.  This relationship is a reflection of God’s relationship to us.

He is the original lover of people. He is patient with us. It is his mercy that gives us time to come to him on our own as we realize this facet of his love for us.  The more we recognize this quality of his love, the better we can emulate it towards the people we meet.  Imagine a world filled with kindness rather than competition, malice, and anger.

Father, God,

Help us to recognize kindness as a facet of your character, an attitude that we should be cultivating in order to share it with the world around us.  Grant that we may always see others in the light of your love for them, that we may show them the same empathy and forbearance you have exhibited towards us.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

 

 

 

And The Winner Is…

Focus verses: 1 Samuel 17:25-31

Today’s reading tells the legendary story of David and Goliath. David, the small shepherd boy, and Goliath, the nine-foot-tall giant, meet on the field of battle. They were not well matched. David had his sling and five smooth stones. Goliath wore heavy armor, had a shield bearer going before him and wielded a bronze javelin.

David’s stone, however, killed the giant before he could hurl the javelin. He died. David slew Goliath with five smooth stones.

There is more here than meets the eye. There was no magic in David’s smooth stones. David’s motives and attitude made the difference. He is incensed that this Philistine should defy the army of the Living God.

He speaks forth boldly that the battle is the Lord’s. He gives the Lord credit for the victory before the battle begins. And the Lord gives him the victory.

When we come up against our own giants, we need to remember just who is really in charge. Nothing happens without God’s permission. That’s not to say that every thing man does is God’s will, but God allows man free choice. And God has made provision for the consequences of those choices.

There is no action so vile, so heinous, that God cannot redeem the circumstance to the benefit of the body of Christ. We need to remember God is the victor in all our battles, especially if we do His will, not ours.

Father, God,

Help us to face the battles of this life with a strength of purpose that shows our confidence in You. Keep us from presumption upon your blessings and favor. Give us the grace to recognize the battle in terms of eternity. Grant us the power to follow through with Your plans.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Relative or Absolute

Focus verses: Genesis 11:1-9.

Why was the building of the Tower of Babel so displeasing to God?

The people’s stated aim was to build a tower that reached heaven so they could make a name for themselves. The tower was built to further man’s designs and feed his ego — not to get closer to God. In effect man decided to put himself above God.

We still have this problem today. Secular humanism seeks to make man the measure of all things — and a relative measure at that.

Without acknowledging God’s sovereignty, man has no absolute standard for morals, ethics or behavior. We live in a society that accommodates an “it’s okay for you, but it’s not right for me” attitude. This effectively lets each man decide right and wrong for himself without any other basis.

I believe it was this arrogant attitude that sparked God’s displeasure.

We seem to be prideful when we have no reason to be proud. After all, everything is the Lord’s. That includes us when we choose to follow Him.

Father, God,

Help us to be ever mindful that our relationship with You is the most important thing in our lives. Keep us, we pray, from arrogant pride.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen