Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Society’

Turn from Wicked Ways

If my people, who are called by my name, shall 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. ~~ II Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)

Time and again we see in scripture where the king followed God for a while and then turned to the idols of the country he just vanquished.

When that happens, the Lord sends a conquering invader to rebuke the wandering children of Israel. Then in captivity or distress, they begin to return to the Lord and ask Him to get them out of the straits they brought upon themselves.

Our country is in distress. In 2009, we heard our president say to an international audience that the United States does not consider itself a Christian nation. Anyone with a smattering of historical knowledge knows that the nation was founded by men who were primarily Christian. Some have argued that certain of the founding fathers were deists, not Christians, but that is sort of begging the question.

In fact, the favor of the Lord on the United States will be withdrawn if those of us who bear His name do not fall on our knees and turn our nation from its wicked ways.

If my people, who are called by my name,

shall 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.

This is our challenge, to fall to our knees, to turn this society from its wicked ways and to seek the face of God.

Father, God,

Grant us the special favor of hearts hungry for You. Keep us on our knees, seeking Your face for the sake of our country. Keep us on our feet, working to turn our society from its wicked ways.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

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Where God Is

It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there. ~~Ezekiel 48:35 (KJV)

This verse ends the passage where God has divided the land between the sons of Israel. If you read from verse 29 forward, you will see that He made provision for each of the twelve tribes. And He was very specific about it.

As we look at our society today, sometimes we wonder where God is and what He is doing. Doesn’t He know that as a nation we’re in terrible trouble? Can’t He see that we need leadership and direction?

In fact, He can and does see all that is going on in our lives and in our world. Read all of Psalm 139. It tells us that He is with us – each and every one of us individually – at all times and in all circumstances.

Verse 5 is particularly comforting.

Psalm 139:5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. (KJV)

Read it in The Voice translation.

Psalm 139:5  You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me,
    and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder. (The Voice)

It tells me that He goes before me like the point man in an army unit and follows me like a sheep dog herding the sheep. Nothing can get to me without His foreknowledge and permission. Nothing can happen to me that He will not bring me through.

Go to your bible and read the entire psalm. Let the words sink into your heart and mind. There is no place you can go where He is not there.  Wherever you are, there He is.

Listen to the words of this song.

Father, God,

Help us to see you at all times and in all circumstances. Let us feel your guiding, protecting hand on our lives. Grant that we may always be aware that where ever we are, You are there.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

What Banner Do You Carry?

Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner; [Exodus 17:15 Hebrew YHWH Nissi]

~~ Exodus 17:8-15  New King James Version (NKJV)

In today’s political climate, we see people carrying placards and banners and signs with the names of candidates or causes. And generally, they are not quiet about what or whom they support.

It makes me wonder why we aren’t as vocal and evident about our Lord and the things He has done for us. As I look back on my own life, I see places where He gave me huge benefits.

During the forties and fifties, our society was quite different from what it is now. Family meant that Dad had a job, and Mom stayed at home with the children. My parents had divorced, so my mother worked a job that kept her moving weekly or monthly, and my father lived in another state. But instead of being impoverished, God provided me with a home in my grandparents’ house, a godly physician as mentor, and a close knit church family. I grew up with a foundation of faith which was to serve me well in coming years.

When life brings problems, as it frequently does, my first impulse is to lean on the Lord. When you let Him fight your battles, victory is assured.

If you look at the scripture, Moses kept his hands raised. Raised hands are a symbol of praise. Sometimes it isn’t easy to praise the Lord. When finances are tight or relationships are fractured, praise comes hard. When we least feel like praising it is precisely the time to praise Him the most.

It isn’t easy, but if we are blessed, we have our own Aaron and Hur to help us keep our hands lifted.

Then when the battle has been won, we lift the banner in easy praise to the Lord!

Father, God,

Help us to remember that the battle is Yours, not ours. The victory is Yours, not ours. But in that victory, we win, too. Give us the grace and courage to proclaim Your victory in our lives.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.