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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, April 10, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
God let the Israelites go on blindly, stubbornly, and selfishly, when they should have been obeying and following God’s desires. God sometimes lets us continue in our stubbornness to bring us to our senses. He does not keep us from rebelling because he wants us to learn the consequences of sin. He uses these experiences to turn people away from greater sin to faith in him.
God had provided in his covenant that he would restore his people if they would listen to him and return to him. (NLT)
Psalm 81:8-16 – “Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen! You must never have a foreign god; you must not bow down before a false god. For it was I, the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.
“But no, my people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around. So I let them follow their blind and stubborn way, living according to their own desires. But oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths! How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes! Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him; their desolation would last forever. But I would feed you with the best of foods. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.”
Tracy Hsu Jensen (California) titled her story “LISTENING;” here is a portion of Tracy’s story:
“One day, during an argument with my husband, he said, ‘Sweetheart, you are always right, but you don’t listen to me.’ That was a wake-up call for me. All the seminars or marriage workshops emphasize communication skills – especially the importance of listening.
“As I reflected on this, I discovered that the reason I did not listen was because I was focused on myself. My pride wanted to prove that I was right and that my husband was wrong. I needed to learn to put myself in my husband’s shoes and listen to his point of view. After all, the Bible teaches us to ‘be quick to listen [and] slow to speak’ (Jas. 1:19).
“Listening is also important in our prayer lives. If prayer is conversation with God, then we will listen to what God is saying to us. It may well be that when we listen to and obey God, God will do for us as he promised Israel – to subdue any forces that are hindering us.
“So the next time we pray, we can focus on God, not on ourselves and our circumstances. Our prayers may not always produce the answers we seek, but our lives can be transformed by listening to God and then obeying God.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Listening is an expression of love for God.
Prayer: Almighty God, help us to listen to your voice with our hearts, our minds, and our spirits. Amen.
Prayer Focus: MARRIED COUPLES
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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