IDOK DEVOTION FOR THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2008
I am reading again. This time 3:16 by Max Lucado. Thus far in my reading today, Max writes about fear. He said this: Note: the presence of fear in the Hebrews didn’t bother God; their response to it did.
And as I read further Max explained that facing our fears without God will harden our hearts. The Hebrews erected a golden calf. (What were they afraid of? That Moses was gone and not coming back, among other things.) Max suggested that our therapies for our fears are much more sophisticated than golden calves; we have: belly-stretching food binges or budget-busting shopping sprees. The result is the same We still face fears without facing God.
Not smart, huh? I have determined that in the midst of our fears, we must guard our hearts; we must not allow our hearts to harden. We must not deny that we are afraid (when we are) or be carried away with it. Instead we must choose to cling steadily to Him and strangely (or not so strangely), this will release us from the grip of fear. I must tell you this is not with me an original concept.
Philippians 4: 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 4: 23 Above all else, guard your heart, For it is the wellspring of life.
Ephesians 4: 17-19 NLT describes hard-hearted folks this way:
… For they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
Sound like any body you know? A whole world of people, right? Max said a hard heart wrecks more than the life of the one having it – family members too. And he gave an illustration that I just have to share with you.
‘My executive assistant, Karen Hill, saw the result of such stubbornness in a pasture. A cow stuck her nose into a paint can and couldn’t shake it off. Can-nosed cows can’t breathe well and they can’t drink or eat at all. Both cow and her calf were in danger. A serious bovine bind.
Karen’s family set out to help. But when the cow saw the rescuers coming, she set out for the pasture. They pursued, but the cow escaped. They chased that cow for three days! Each time the posse drew near, the cow ran. Finally, using pickup trucks and ropes, they cornered and de-canned the cow.
Seen any can-nosed people lately? Malnourished souls? De-hydrated hearts? People who can’t take a deep-breath? All because they stuck their noses where they shouldn’t, and when God came to help, they ran away.’
This world is FULL of can-nosed folks but GOD still LOVES them all and gave Himself for them (and us)! Isn’t He AWESOME?
So what can you and I do to guard our hearts? According to Max we only need to do two things to keep this from happening to us.
One, Don’t forget what God has done for you. Short memories harden the heart. Make careful note of God’s blessings. Declare them daily! Meditate upon them daily!
Two, confess sin quickly. Sin-hoarding stiffens us. Confession soften us. … Is your heart hard? Take it to your Father. You’re only a prayer away from tenderness. You live in a hard world, but you don’t have to live with a hard heart.
Good stuff, huh?
One more thought before we pray. The cow with the can on her nose could barely breath and she could certainly take in no nourishment or water. A poor soul with a hardened heart is barely breathing and is without strength or desire to feed upon The Word of God or drink in the Water of Life. We all know some souls like this, don’t we? Lets make sure we never become one of them!
Lord God this is good reading. Thank You for Max. Thank You for the insights You have given him to share with us. Thank You that we are able to read and comprehend. Thank You that You give us comprehension. Thank You that You give us sight and understanding. Thank You that You give us strength and ability to praise You and feel our fears melting away. Thank You for Your Power to soften hearts. And Abba, I pray for a softer heart for me and I have folks on my mind that I want so much to see You soften their hearts. Please let me see You soften those hearts and renew those minds. And Holy Spirit please put me on a short, short leash; even a key chain as Beth says, don’t let me harden. Nourish our souls, Lord; help us breathe deeply into You.
I don’t know what You want to do with these words but I know You have promised that Your WORD will not return void so I am counting on You Holy Spirit to help somebody out there today and this somebody here too.
Please protect our IDOK Troops in mind, body and spirit today. Please bring Israel to the Peace You long to give Her. Please strive with America to continue to support Israel and to return to You. And move us Your sons and daughters to be faithful instruments for You to move through to help this Country repent. We confess we are concerned about the economy, the greed, the fraud and the sense of extortion that we sometimes feel when we go to purchase gas and other items. Help us keep our focus on You and Your Provision. Help us be positive in this negative world. Help us count Your Blessings today. And for these listed here thank You that You are there and here for them; thank You that they have a future and a hope in You. And yes we ask that You heal the sick, restore the afflicted and save the lost. No One else can do these things, ONLY YOU. Amen and amen. Malpas Family. Kevin M and Family. Darlene. Rachel. Allison. Kinard Family. Alla Mae. W C and family. Richard and Emma and family. Oprah. Chris B. Maggie and Family. Josh. Donnie S. Renee’. Cathy’s friend and son. Odessa H. Kathy S. Glen Beck. Tonya and family. Dall T. Dylan. Marsha’s grand-baby. Kathy N. Kyle A. Joseph Toomey and Family. DeLois. Terri. Kim T. Kevin and the children. Lisa’s Mother. Katelyn (B). Janie B. Pattie S. Vickie. Lisa W. J Lloyd and family. Janet and Steve. Cathy. Toy and family. Caleb and family. Bay and family. Jennifer B. John and Carolyn. Larry and Claudia and family. Taylor & family. Jeanette and Earl and family. Libby and family. Callie. Madie. Ruth. Cynthia. Martha F and Bob. Allyson and Glyn and family. Brittney and Kersten and family. Sharron and family. Sheila and Andy. Carrie and Rachel and Jacob and family. Billy and Gina and boys. Lance and family. Grace and family. Tressa. Brad, Lindsay, Karah and Haley. Chuck. Windy and Jared and families. Helen and Dan and family. Jen and Larry and family. Chad and Brittany and family. Mollie and family. Julia. Bobbie. Tj. Zack. Phillip. Jessica. Larry. Kayla. Trey. Jacob. Ashely. Lance. Candance and Baby. Laura and family. John and Sandy. Bill and Judy. Adam & Family. Andrew. Cindy, Sharron and Tonya’s houses to sell.
Unspoken Requests – situations so close you can only speak to Father about
Every IDOK and every IDOK son and daughter and grandchild.
Every IDOK Pastor and Family.
Every IDOK church.
The Peace of Israel
Revival in America.
IDOKs Military Families.
IDOKs Troops (foreign soil) – Ethan. Christopher. Raul. Robert. Billy. Josh. Buddy. Mark. Josh W. James. Bryan. Nick. Brant W. Christopher R. Joshua M. Brent. Drew. Justin G. Kyle N. Michael K. Sgt. Bozicevich. Bay N.
IDOK Troops leaving shortly for foreign soil: Albert R III.
Serving Stateside: Jonathan. Jasmine B. Tommy T. Shaun. Bay. Danny. Tim. Lee. George.
Injured and brought State side: Anthony. Hector
Hospitalized outside USA: Corpl. Light. Bradley T.
Military at home adjusting – Mack. The 226. Troy. Brad. Tommy. Desi. Edward J.Travis N. Hawk. Lyndon A.
Civilian in Country – Lee.
This is a link to an article written to honor the Soldier we spoke about on Monday. He served in a unit with our Hawk. David decided to stay on after Hawk came home.
As I post this it is 72°F and clear in Al Asad, IQ & the time there is 5:51 AM AST – on May 29, 2008
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