Archive

Archive for June, 2009

God’s Attention

June 30th, 2009

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds…

He is not impressed by the strength of a horse; He does not value the power of a man. The LORD values those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His faithful love.

Psalm 147:3,10-11

 

Were we able to read the headlines of heaven’s newspapers (if they have such things there) we would find a significant dissimilarity to earth. Here we emphasize the powerful, the handsome, the rich, the strong, the popular, or the very evil. Celebrities, criminals, and politicians seem to be the real newsmakers here, and even the random human interest story is there because it appealed to some whimsical emotion from the editor. The opinions in the editorial pages are given without perfect knowledge or even complete agreement. The best newspapers on earth are merely the collections of stories and articles that seemed to appear important to a few editors whose very lives are also limited and passing away.

 

In heaven, however, God’s will, His knowledge, His compassion, His holiness, and His power decide what the headlines will be. The brokenhearted are on God’s heart. Those whose hopes and dreams have been shattered, whose best ambitions and plans have been destroyed, who have endured loss, who have known betrayal or failure or both, who experience sleepless nights or lethargic days, whose futures seem uncertain, whose eyes are worn out from crying, or who have internalized the pain to the point that their faces have changed their expression, their backs have bent over, and deep bitterness knocks on the door of their hearts daily begging them to give in to it – these are the ones the Lord looks to.

 

He knows that we are but dust, formed from the earth and given just a few years to live here. He knows we are fallen and prone to despair and sadness. He knows how quickly life can seem to turn upon someone, how we are frequently caught unawares by circumstances. He leans with interest toward the brokenhearted not out of some perverse curiosity but in compassion, not to condemn but to redeem. The needy stir God’s heart so they also stir all of heaven.

 

He values not the successful but the faithful, not the powerful but the humble, not the rich but the poor in spirit, not the celebrity but the worshiper, not the “mover and shaker” among men, but the one whose prayers of faith move heaven to act, hell to fear, and shake the earth with the very power of God. The newspaper of heaven would have stories of the redemption of the fallen, the healing of the brokenhearted, and the spiritual victories of those who fear Him and have placed their trust in Him.

 

Prayer.

 

Lord, it is easy for us to be drawn into the values of this world. Teach us to believe in You more than in the world. When we are sad past feeling, lead us to believe still in You, and in the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus. Amen.

 

 

Evening Devotionals

The People Perish

June 29th, 2009

Without revelation people run wild, but the one who keeps the law will be happy.

Proverbs 29:18

 

The King James translates this verse, Where there is no vision the people perish. The word translated “perish” means to be deprived of moral constraints, and it envisions a society slowly wasting away from inward corruption as the knowledge of God and of His righteousness either fades from their memory or was never known to begin with.

 

Some people in the world are on the path toward righteousness, and some places you can see a newly converted man excited about the life in Christ lay aside his vices, embrace the teachings of righteousness, begin to be more moral in his habits and his thoughts. He throws away superstition, at least to a large degree, and learns about prayer and the Bible and Christian fellowship. His son follows in his foot steps and even goes beyond. His grandson goes still further and several generations have turned from darkness to light through the power of the gospel. All of this is by grace and human cooperation with the grace of God through faith and obedience.

 

But we see all too often the opposite play out, that a man’s ancestors have pointed him to God but he has let weaknesses seep into his thinking and his living. There is moral and spiritual slippage, and the daily reading of the Word of God is ignored, the revelation is cast aside and soon the sense of moral constraints begins to weaken in his life. Selfishness begins to take root and grow. His son continues this downward spiral, and his grandson slips even further.

 

The first man on the upward trek is represented today by the East and the second man in the downward spiral is represented by the West, but in any place on earth the matter is left in human hands. Wherever the word of God is and is read by people, they have opened up their lives to the potential of God, to know Christ personally, to experience the grace of God, to understand and embrace God’s moral standards. As Solomon wrote, “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday” (Proverbs 4:18).

 

Prayer:

 

Lord, forgive us for the times we put aside Your revelation of Yourself, when we ignored Your precious word and shut our ears to Your Spirit’s voice. Let us this day walk in Your wisdom and with Your Presence. Guide us in the paths of life and set us free. Amen.

Evening Devotionals