Daily Archives: November 8, 2022

A Listening Ear, an Obeying Heart

I will give you a new heart and a new mind. I will take away your stubborn  heart of stone and give you an obedient hear… | Get closer to god, NewThe Ache of an Obedient Heart
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A Listening Ear, an Obeying Heart

mother having a serious talk with her young son

 

Being the mother of two children, I can attest to the fact that when my kids were younger, they would often ignore my request to “not” do this or that. That can really become irritating after a while. One of my most-used catchphrases was “how many times have you been told?”

This was more common with my son than my daughter. No matter how many times he got in trouble and how well he knew better, he simply didn’t want to listen. Both of my children complained (although I think that happens with most kids) when it was time to do household chores. If they didn’t complete a chore correctly the first time, they had to do it again. Despite my best efforts, my son still seemed to have trouble finishing chores without having to do them repeatedly, which was frustrating for both of us—especially for him, because he couldn’t play outside until his work was finished.

He once took off one of his flip-flops and held them out the car window while I was driving. He wanted to see it flap around in the wind. I warned him that he would lose it if he kept holding it out there. But he disregarded my advice and sure enough, it blew away, teaching him a valuable lesson that day. Though he has grown into an amazing young man now, on occasion he still likes to push my buttons!

During these and other challenging parenting situations, I often reflect on my own obedience to God. My heavenly Father patiently allows me to try my own way of doing things even I’m well old enough to know better. Why do I still disregard His instruction?

There is much more we would like to say about this; but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. (Hebrews 5:11 NLT)

The lessons I take away from this verse are (1) I don’t always pay attention to what the Lord is teaching me, (2) I am sometimes disobedient even though I know better, and (3) I only make things more challenging for myself in the long run.

So, I continue to ask for God’s patience and forgiveness. He alone gives us the ability to listen and understand—and the wisdom to obey.

Today’s Devotions

Morning

November 8

Proverbs 8:34-36 34Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. 35For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. 36But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.”

Jesus is wisdom. To find Him is to find life. To hate Him is to love death. The one who listens to Him is blessed. What could be wiser than to listen to your Creator? He is the One who knows your every need and every choice you should make for your eternal good.

This is a passage that points directly to communion with Christ. Every day we have a choice. We can run into our day as if we knew what we are doing, or we can seek wisdom. To seek wisdom is to wait upon the LORD, to watch at His door. It takes time to still our soul, and He does not come out to speak with us until we do.

You could think of the cover of your Bible as the doorway. Open up the door and let wisdom speak to you. The Word of God made flesh longs to speak wisdom into your spirit. Will you watch and wait until He appears? How much does it mean to you to receive His instruction? It may be only a few words, but those words will shape your day and direct your steps. Those words bring the favor of the LORD, for you have met with Life Himself.

The alternative is to avoid life, avoid wisdom, and walk without the favor of God. None of us would intentionally choose that, but we do make that choice when we refuse to wait upon God. It is more than worth the time to wait until you are still enough to hear His voice. Don’t be satisfied with just leaving a message for Him. Refuse to leave without a meeting in which you hear His words of life.

Consider: Wait on the LORD today. Watch at His door daily.

Streams in the Desert – November 8

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He took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray, and as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering… they saw his glory (Luke 9:29-32).

If I have found grace in thy sight, show me thy glory (Exodus 33:13).

When Jesus took these three disciples up into that high mountain apart, He brought them into close communion with Himself. They saw no man but Jesus only; and it was good to be there. Heaven is not far from those who tarry on the mount with their Lord.

Who has not in moments of meditation and prayer caught a glimpse of opening gates? Who has not in the secret place of holy communion felt the rush of some white surging wave of emotion–a foretaste of the joy of the blessed?

The Master had times and places for quiet converse with His disciples, once on the peak of Hermon, but oftener on the sacred slopes of Olivet. Every Christian should have his Olivet. Most of us, especially in the cities and towns, live at high pressure. From early morning until bedtime we are exposed to the whirl. Amid all this maelstrom how little chance for quiet thought, for God’s Word, for prayer and heart fellowship!

Daniel needed to have an Olivet in his chamber amid Babylon’s roar and idolatries. Peter found his on a housetop in Joppa; and Martin Luther found his in the “upper room” at Wittenberg, which is still held sacred.

Dr. Joseph Parker once said: “If we do not get back to visions, peeps into heaven, consciousness of the higher glory and the larger life, we shall lose our religion; our altar will become a bare stone, unblessed by visitant from Heaven.” Here is the world’s need today–men who have seen their Lord.
–The Lost Art of Meditation

Come close to Him! He may take you today up into the mountain top, for where He took Peter with his blundering, and James and John, those sons of thunder who again and again so utterly misunderstood their Master and His mission, there is no reason why He should not take you. So don’t shut yourself out of it and say, “Ah, these wonderful visions and revelations of the Lord are for choice spirits!” They may be for you!-John

The first and great commandment

By: Charles Spurgeon

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30

Suggested Further Reading: 2 John 1-6

We are bound to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Thus, we deduce that we are to love God supremely. Thou art to love thy wife, O husband. Thou canst not love her too much except in one case, if thou shouldst love her before God, and prefer her pleasure to the pleasure of the Most High. Then wouldst thou be an idolater. Child! Thou art to love thy parents; thou canst not love him too much who begat thee, nor her too much who brought thee forth; but remember, there is one law that doth over-ride that. Thou art to love thy God more than thy father or thy mother. He demands thy first and thy highest affection: thou art to love him “with all thy heart.” We are allowed to love our relatives: we are taught to do so. He that does not love his own family is worse than a heathen man and a publican. But we are not to love the dearest object of our hearts so much as we love God. You may erect little thrones for those whom you rightly love; but God’s throne must be a glorious high throne; you may set them upon the steps, but God must sit on the very seat itself. He is to be enthroned, the royal One within your heart, the king of your affections. Have you kept this commandment? I know I have not; I must plead guilty before God; I must cast myself before him, and acknowledge my transgression. But nevertheless, there standeth the commandment—“Thou shalt love God with all thy heart” that is, thou shalt love him supremely.

For meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ preached what he practised (Matthew 10:37,38). His Heavenly Father’s house came first, but he was obedient in his earthly parents’ house (Luke 2:48-51); his Heavenly Father’s will came first (Matthew 26:39), but even while he was carrying it out, his earthly mother’s wellbeing was upon his heart (John 19:26-27). We love our families, our fellow-believers and the lost ones best, when we love and obey God first.