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Noonday Devotion By Keith
7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
This verse should act as a real wake up call to all of us as believers.. if this verse doesn't spur you into action.. then there is something truly wrong with your life believer!. God doesn't want us to say..' isn't the situation awful'.. but to do something about it.. by prayer and reaching out in love..AMEN
God wants us to examine our own hearts and HE asks us
Is our country desolate?
Are our cities burned with fire?
Are strangers devouring our land before our very eyes?
What are we individually and corporately doing to alter this situation?
As we read further on in this chapter, we see in verse 10 that we are to hear the word of the Lord. We have the truth my brothers and sisters. But do we read it.. muslims can and do spend hours reading and memorising the koran.. do we spend as much time in the HOLY SCRIPTURES?.. the LIVING WORD OF GOD. Cult members spend hours knocking on doors with their false doctrines.. do I/you have the same passion to reach out with the truth of the gospel?
In verse 11, God says what is the purpose of all the offerings the children of Israel are giving Him. Like wise God says today to his people, what is the purpose of all your offerings that you bring me?
We need to obey God, we need to be prepared to change and to pay the price.. which is total obedience and being a living sacrifice unto the Lord.. amen?
Maybe that cost will be in material terms, maybe it will be in terms of losing our own reputations.. that would be terrible wouldn't it.. maybe it would mean moving out of our little comfort zone?
God is asking these questions about your country?. And HE is asking these questions to each individual Christian.. amen?
If any of the answers to the questions at the start of this devotion were yes, then you need to follow the instructions in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Before God can move in a country, HE has to move in his church.
Are we obeying the word of God?
Are we in the place of place of repentant prayer?
IF NOT.. WHY NOT?
God bless you
1 Samuel 15
22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Saul was sent to totally destroy Agag and his armies. But he partially obeyed God and in God's eyes.. partial obedience is disobedience.
Saul was removed as king of Israel, because of this disobedience. For any Christian who thinks partial obedience is enough, be warned, the Lord sees it differently.
Look at what Saul says in verse 15, his excuse was that he spared the good things to sacrifice to the Lord. Putting this in context the Lord is saying, I don't want your sacrifices, I want your total obedience.. period!. The Children of Israel had so many sacrifices for so many different things. Saul probably thought that God would be satisfied with a ritual sacrifice.. but HE wasn't, and likewise with us.. God hates our ritual.
God looks on our hearts and if obedience to His word and His commands are not paramount in your heart and mind, then you are in sin believer.
Disobedience is rebellion, surely a soldier in the army who disobeyed orders would have to be disciplined for this.
Disobeying God is SIN.. plain and simple.
Church.. God wants your obedience
God bless you
Morning and evening by CH Spurgeon
"The iniquity of the holy things." – Exodus 28:38
What a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, "My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the melioration of both, proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which overspread my garden, and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that I may walk out and say to myself, 'In what fine order is my garden kept!' This is pride. Or, it may be that my neighbours may look over the wall and say, 'How finely your garden flourishes!' This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds, because I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolence." So that even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide themselves; we need not look long to discover them. How cheering is the thought, that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his brow the words, "HOLINESS TO THE LORD" and even so while Jesus bears our sin, he presents before his Father's face not our unholiness, but his own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith!
"All the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted." – Ezekiel 3:7
Are there no exceptions? No, not one. Even the favoured race are thus described. Are the best so bad?-then what must the worst be? Come, my heart, consider how far thou hast a share in this universal accusation, and while considering, be ready to take shame unto thyself wherein thou mayst have been guilty. The first charge is impudence, or hardness of forehead, a want of holy shame, an unhallowed boldness in evil. Before my conversion, I could sin and feel no compunction, hear of my guilt and yet remain unhumbled, and even confess my iniquity and manifest no inward humiliation on account of it. For a sinner to go to God's house and pretend to pray to him and praise him argues a brazen-facedness of the worst kind! Alas! since the day of my new birth I have doubted my Lord to his face, murmured unblushingly in his presence, worshipped before him in a slovenly manner, and sinned without bewailing myself concerning it. If my forehead were not as an adamant, harder than flint, I should have far more holy fear, and a far deeper contrition of spirit. Woe is me, I am one of the impudent house of Israel. The second charge is hardheartedness, and I must not venture to plead innocent here. Once I had nothing but a heart of stone, and although through grace I now have a new and fleshy heart, much of my former obduracy remains. I am not affected by the death of Jesus as I ought to be; neither am I moved by the ruin of my fellow men, the wickedness of the times, the chastisement of my heavenly Father, and my own failures, as I should be. O that my heart would melt at the recital of my Saviour's sufferings and death. Would to God I were rid of this nether millstone within me, this hateful body of death. Blessed be the name of the Lord, the disease is not incurable, the Saviour's precious blood is the universal solvent, and me, even me, it will effectually soften, till my heart melts as wax before the fire.
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