Devotional for February 3, 2021

Greetings in Christ,

  Have you ever felt our world has become so complex it is hard to grasp all of the things taking place in the world?  We are bombarded by so many things on a daily basis it is hard to take everything and decipher what is happening.  We hear so many different things coming from so many angles with so many facts and supporting data it hard to discern what is fact or fiction.  We have become so accustomed to being bombarded with all of the noise we just do not take the time to comprehend what is fact or fiction and we have become numb to it.

  We have become so used to all of the bombarding noise we forget to really listen.  We have trained our brains to only receive the information we want to hear rather than what we need to hear.  We have trained our minds to filter out certain things letting only the things we want to hear trigger our minds so we listen and receive.  We have even gone even farther and set expectations once we have processed the information we have received.  We gauge what we want to hear, and we gauge the outcome by our standards.  By setting the standards to our expectations we have dumbed down the results we expect to see or experience. 

  Jesus had experienced the very same thing in His time on earth.  The Jews refused to believe He was the Christ.  “So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they?  However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.  Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, you both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.  I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.”  John 7:25-29

  The Jews had created so much complexity by adding more laws upon laws to the ten commandments they bombarded their thinking with too much noise for them to recognize fact from fiction.  Their standards had been guided by their own filter system they did not hear what they needed to hear, and the result was they felt Jesus did not meet their expectations.  They had dumbed down their results because they did not consider accepting what they should be hearing on faith.  They dumbed down their faith because they were not as smart as they thought they were.

  There is something to be said about accepting what God has to offer by faith alone.  The problem we have is we need to bypass the filtering system we have in place, or better yet eliminate it all together.  We get bombarded by so much noise we forget to listen.  We have turned off the best part of acting on faith by not listening to God.  The first part of faith is to listen, and the second part is to obey.

  Abraham has been credited as being a faithful man.  Abraham’s secret is he listened and obeyed.  “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.  By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

  Faith is listening and obeying, and when we do this we establish God as our architect and builder.

  “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty!  You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas.”  Psalm 8:3-8

  “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.  For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.   Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?  And who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.  This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face—even Jacob.  Selah.”  Psalms 24:1-6

  ”O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah.  Behold our shield, O God,
and look upon the face of Your anointed.  For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.   O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You!”  Psalm 84:8-12

  Lord may we live by faith by listening and obeying You.  Be our architect and builder and establish our foundation.  Amen


  Mark Johnson
  Psalm 8,24,29,84;Isaiah 51:9-16; Hebrews 11:8-16; John 7:14-31



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