Thursday, May 26, 2011

Recovery Devotional 356 Wall of Anguish

JMD Devotional 356 Exodus 6:5-9 Wall of Anguish

I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites whom the Egyptians have enslaved; and I have [earnestly] remembered My covenant [with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob]. Accordingly, say to the Israelites, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will free you from their bondage, and I will rescue you with an outstretched arm [with special and vigorous action] and by mighty acts of judgment. And I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and you shall know that it is I, the Lord your God, Who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land concerning which I lifted up My hand and swore that I would give it to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you for a heritage. I am the Lord [you have the pledge of My changeless omnipotence and faithfulness].
Moses told this to the Israelites, but they refused to listen to Moses because of their impatience and anguish of spirit and because of their cruel bondage.

Disillusioned people are slow to believe: life’s disappointments have conditioned them to reign in their expectations. The last thing they want to do is to add to their pain, to be set up for another devastating let down by hoping in something false or insufficient. Many would-be deliverers with all kinds of twisted motives have come before you, offering much and delivering little. It takes a lot of faith to keep sharing a message of hope to unresponsive and hardened hearts, but persistence is necessary. Persistence shows you value them, that they matter, and that their lives are important. Continuing to share demonstrates that your message of hope does not depend upon people being responsive to it; that it is true in its own merit even if nobody accepts it. To be faithful in witnessing is to continue to proclaim Christ and leave the results to God.

Dear God,
I have often let the unresponsiveness, indifference and hostility of lost people discourage my witnessing. I based too much on them, on their response, and not enough upon You, on being faithful to my commission. Transform my understanding of just how I am to present the Gospel to a lost world. How far do I go when they wont listen? In faith, I will keep planting the seeds of Your Word, knowing that You must prepare the soil, and provide water, and make it grow. May I not give up on people who can be saved.

All (but*) quotes are from The Amplified Bible, published by
the Lockman Foundation. (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
*New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
**Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. (Eugene Peterson's easy-to-read, contemporary Scripture translation)

I originally produced these blogs between 2006 and 2007, which were then published in my book, JMD Recovery Devotionals. In 2010, I am sending these out to a few people as I review them and see if my point of view has changed.

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