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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, August 31, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
God wants to forgive sinners. Forgiveness has always been part os his loving nature. He announced this to Moses; he revealed it to David; and he dramatically showed it to the world through Jesus Christ. These verses convey several aspects of God’s forgiveness: He forgives rebellion, puts sin out of sight, clears our record of sin.
What is confession? To confess our sin is to agree with God, acknowledging that he is right to declare what we have done as sinful and that we are wrong to desire or to do it. It is to affirm out intention of forsaking that sin in order to follow him more faithfully.
God describes some people as being like horses or mules that have to be controlled by bits and bridles. Rather than letting God guide them step by step, they stubbornly leave God only one option. If God wants to keep them useful for him, he must use discipline and punishment. God longs to guide us with love and wisdom rather than punishment. He offers to teach us the best way to go. Accept the advice written in God’s Word, and don’t let your stubbornness keep you from obeying God. (NLT)
Psalm 32:1-11 – Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Therefore, let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule. That needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth. — Psalm 46:10 (NRSV)
Jennifer Aaron (Washington) titled her story “STOPPING TO LISTEN;” here is a portion of Jennifer’s story:
“I have a friend who speaks slowly, pausing before she answers a question, or even in the middle of a sentence. She stops to chuckle when she’s retelling a funny story. Sometimes when listening to her I have felt impatient, wanting to jump in and finish a sentence for her. But I dislike it when people do that to me, which reminds me not to treat her that way either. I just have to remember when we’re talking to relax and let her say things in her own way.
“I have realized that slowing down to listen is a good habit for me in my prayer time, too. I tend to tell God my concerns and requests at high speed before running off to the rest of my day. I know God want to hear all these things from me, and I can’t think faster than God can listen. But I don’t hear very well while I’m thinking; so unless I quiet my brain during some of my time with God, I probably won’t hear all the things God wants to tell me. Since I have the assurance that God wants to teach and counsel me, the least I can do is take time to listen.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Do I listen to God the way God listens to me?
Prayer: Forgive us, Lord, for letting our speaking and listening be out of balance during our time with you. Thank you for your patience and your love that never ends. Amen.
Prayer Focus: IMPATIENT LISTENERS
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
GUILT, GUILTY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/guilt-guilty/
GOOD, GOODNESS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/good-goodness/
RESPOND, RESPONSE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/respond-response/
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