Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Silence’

Hallelujah!

And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.  ~~  Luke 24:51-53  (KJV)

After the agony of Good Friday…

After the silence and sorrow of Saturday…

After the amazement and confusion of the empty tomb…

We have the joy and gratitude and wonder of complete and eternal victory!

Father, God,

Help us to be continually in the temple, praising You.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

God’s Legal System

Focus verses: Exodus 23:1,2

God is particular about His people. He knows they need a framework within which to live and operate. So He sets out a system of laws and redresses.

Today, however, lets look at the one that says “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.”

We are swayed, today, too much by vocal minorities and silent majorities. We have crowds of people pushing God’s standards aside to do “what feels good.” And many of us who know the truth stand silently in the wings, watching the players making bad laws and perverting God’s truth.

God loves each sinner. But God still hates the sin that separates that individual from Him. Constant sin, unrepented, can eventually erect an eternal barrier between the sinner and the Lord.

And we stand silent yet in the name of tolerance and diversity. We must be accountable for our silence just as we would be for any other sin.

If My people who are called by My name will turn from their wicked ways and pray and seek My face, then will I hear from heaven and will heal their land. Our land needs healing. We are called to pray and turn from our wicked silence.

Father, God,
Give us the boldness to speak Your truth in all situations. Help us to speak with love to those who are defying Your laws. Grant us favor with those who most need to hear Your truth.
In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

The First Stone

Focus verses: John 8:2-11

This is the familiar story of the woman caught in adultery. The law says she is to be stoned to death. The teachers and Pharisees brought her to Jesus as a snare to trap Him into saying something they could use to accuse Him.

When I was in school, there was a classic “impossible” question. “Have you quit beating your wife?”

How do you answer that? “Yes” implies that you once beat her but have stopped. “No” says you are still beating her. When you try to get into the explanations and clarifications, you wind up looking the fool.

One of my grandmother’s favorite expressions was “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Silence is frequently an effective answer. Jesus answered them not a word. He merely bent down and traced something in the dust.

We have no idea what he wrote. He might have been writing “judge not that ye be not judged” or perhaps the names of sins that were secret in the crowd. Greed, hypocrisy, lust, prevarication, fornication, idolatry, witchcraft, jealousy, and the list goes on.

Perhaps he was writing a list of the sins committed against this woman that had led her into this predicament. (Oh, and by the way, doesn’t adultery take two people. Where is the man?)

The point here is that only God is fit to judge. We humans have little capacity to see into the human heart. God knows intimately what is tucked into each hidden corner thereof. When we judge from our human standards, we rely upon the law.

The law is only there to remind us how imperfect we are, each and every one of us. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. There is no one who can fit that description. Let us leave the judging to the Ultimate Judge.

Father, God,

Save us from jumping to conclusions about the guilt or innocence of any other person. Help us to see from Your perspective that even the vilest sinner is simply a child You have loved who has strayed from the right path and is someone You long to bring back into the fold.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Friends In Grief

Focus verses: Job 2:11-13

This life is full of grief and grieving. We lose family and friends. We lose jobs. We lose health. We lose possessions. And these losses take a toll on our spirits and our minds.

Grieving is a natural and cathartic process. We go through the grieving to come out on the other side stronger and healthier than before.

And if we ourselves are not the grief-stricken, we probably have a friend who is. Here we have the perfect example of how to console a friend.

Job’s three friends joined him in his grief. They sat in silence with him for a full week.

Sometimes just being there is the biggest help you can give. You can be ready to listen and empathize. You can help clarify by reflecting the conversation of the griever back to him. You can refrain from judging by word or deed or attitude. You can stifle the urge to put forth simple answers to deep questions. You can avoid setting forth your own prejudices and hypotheses.

Just be there. Love them. Be ready to serve however you can. And remember, Job’s three friends only blew it when they opened their mouths.

Father, God,

Help us to be friends to those who grieve. Let us be Your arms of comfort and Your hands of service. Give us the grace to seek their ease more than our self-importance.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.