Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

God speaks when we listen

“For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye. For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.”

Zechariah 2:8-10
 

Israel is and remains the apple of God's eye – not in a naïve and foolish manner, but always in truth and justice. When we are born again, in accordance with the Bible, this also applies to us (John 3:3). God also wants to dwell with us, and has done so through the Holy Spirit (John 14:23). When we, as God's children, commit sin (as the Israelis often did), it also has certain consequences. You reap what you sow. But, God will nevertheless remain faithful and just (because Jesus paid) and forgives us on this basis. There is thus always hope of restoration, because at the end God has to be highly exalted as His grace and faithfulness is His glory! Salvation is an act of God's grace! And that should and is able to comfort us when we sometimes have the impression that we are hopelessly lost and cannot or will not forgive ourselves – God can and wants to! Nevertheless: When God is ignored, God has full right to ignore us. That HE often still doesn't do it, is only due to His grace and mercy. But, it doesn't always have to continue in this manner. The book of Ezekiel proves, for example, that God will, at certain times and in accordance with His eternal counsels, draw a line and inflict punishment and at some point of time indeed remain silent. For what period certainly differs. According to the book of Malachi (the last book of the Old Testament) God remained silent for 400 years. And to some people God will never speak again – that is then eternal damnation – however it may appear. When God has nothing more to say to us, or maybe still speaks but we don't hear, it is a condition of great darkness and considerable misery – then everything becomes gloomy, dim and pointless.

Everything came into being through God's eternal Word – when HE remains silent, life ceases to exist! How exceedingly precious and valuable it is that we are able to hold the entire Bible in our hands today. We don't have to rely on prophets and apostles like the believers in early times had to. But, is the Word of God in the Bible also thoroughly and prayerfully read and researched? Research is frequently something different than merely reading. There is maybe a great shortage of it and unfortunately we don't always take the necessary time to do it. When Paul and Silas went to Berea, they saw believing Jews in the Synagogue who eagerly read the Word of God. It is then said in Acts 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” It is also, in present times, very important to keep one's faith healthy and just, knowing what your firm beliefs are (and what not) and where to find it in the Bible. The Bible is, in its power of expression, its spiritual substance and ability to speak directly to our lives, inexhaustible and ingenious. We should not underestimate it or think that everything has already been said and explained – far from it! We read in Luke 21:33 “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away.” God is intimately connected to His Word and reveals Himself in it. It has eternal value. Unfortunately, in its long history, Israel often did not listen, nor did they believe the prophets. Instead they often depended on their gut feeling and allowed false prophets to spin them a yarn – we should learn from it and not emulate their behaviour. Amen.

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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Zur deutschen Originalversion: Gott redet, wenn wir zuhören


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