I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Devotion Return To The Lord—Change Our World

Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has smitten, and he will bind us up. Hosea 6:1

Listen to the words of the Lord. Yes, read them out loud and listen. Really listen for God’s voice. How often do we take time out of our busy schedules to read a verse or two, much less meditate on God’s Word and really listen to what God is seeking to convey to our hearts and minds? How often do we do more than a quick, shallow overview of Bible study?

On Sunday mornings, do we ask God to show us what He wants us to learn from the service and Bible Study or do we spend our time whispering to those close to us, doodling on the bulletin or thinking about Sunday dinner? As we listen, do we consider how to put into practice what God is sharing to our hearts–then do it? God asks us to not only listen, but to obey.

Would we recognize God’s voice if He did speak to us?

In Hosea’s time, the Israelites had stopped listening. They and the spiritual leaders had not only stopped listening, but also stopped following God in obedience. As I read down the list of the things God condemned his people for I stopped and read through the list more slowly: swearing, lying, killing, stealing, adultery, senseless violence… The passage could well have been written for our time, our nation, our culture, our people–me?

Scripture made clear the Israelites were destroyed for lack of knowledge, lack of obedience. We, like the Israelites, like to think we’re God’s people and pride ourselves on God’s blessing of America. We forget the Israelites ARE His beloved and chosen people. Yet in their degradation and sin, and after years of warning. He turned away, though always ready to forgive when they repented.

Looking at current events, we might well ask if God has started removing His hand of protection from this nation. And why not? We are in full rebellion against Him and for everything for which He stands. Worse are half-hearted Christians who claim His name but find their entertainment of more importance than communicating with Him, studying His Word or in growing in knowledge of His will and way.

Help me, Lord, be whole-hearted for You, knowing Your Word and living for You even when it is scary or may cost me ridicule, work, friends or worse. Help me live for You and witness your grace to others through my words, life and service. Amen.

Monday: Jeremiah 4:20-22
Tuesday: Romans 1:16-32
Wednesday: Romans 2:1-13
Thursday: Ephesians 4:17-32
Friday: Ephesians 5:1-20
Saturday: Romans 16:17-20

By Carolyn R Scheidies
From Listen! Who Me?

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