FORGETTING GOD

October 19, 2013

It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily activities and forget God. O sure, we might say a quick prayer, read a verse or a short devotional in the morning. We might even have our radio tuned to a Christian station at home or in the car. But maybe – just maybe – all that has become so normal that it’s simply a routine and we don’t really incorporate God into our lives 24/7. We forget God.

Forgetting God was a problem as far back as the time of Moses. Several times in Deuteronomy, Moses warned God’s people to “beware that you do not forget the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 6:12; 8:11 NKJV) Unfortunately, they too often forgot God, who freed them from slavery, led them, protected them, delivered them and provided for every one of their needs. God repeatedly proved Himself to be powerful, sovereign, forgiving and faithful; yet “they soon forgot His works.” (Psalm 106:13 NKJV)

In Psalm 106 we can read that they forgot God’s mercies, they forgot His miraculous works, and they forgot God Himself. From examples in the Bible, we see that forgetting God has very serious consequences.

Forgetting God leads to sin. (Psalm 106:24-39)
Forgetting God leads to fear (Isaiah 51:13)
Forgetting God leads to fruitlessness (2nd Peter 2:1-9)
Forgetting God leads to doubt (Mark 8:18)

If you struggle in any of these areas, it just might be that you’ve forgotten God!

Let’s incorporate God into our lives in a greater measure, delighting ourselves in His Word. Let’s read it, meditate on it, study it, obey it and share it. When we remember often what He’s done in our lives and who He really is, He changes us. Do you want your faith to be strengthened? Would you like to have your hope to be renewed, to trust Him more and to be fruitful for Him? Don’t forget God!

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LISTEN…REALLY LISTEN!

October 15, 2013

Earlier this year, one of our dear nieces and her husband visited us from Argentina. We had a lot of catching up to do, and enjoyed great conversations. At one point, when she and I were alone, she asked me, “Tía, (That means “Aunt” in Spanish) when you talk, does Tío Jorge really listen to you?”

Many wives can definitely relate to that question! We talk to our spouse, explain, complain, ramble, babble and vent…until we see that familiar expressionless look on his face. His glazed-over eyes, even though they are looking at us, are evidence that his mind is absent. Fishing? His job? The car? What’s next on his to-do list? His ears hear us, but he’s not listening. That’s the reality. Eventually we learn how to get him to listen to the most important of our monologues, and respond to them. (Not to discourage anyone who reads this, but it may take years. Be patient!)

When asked by one of the Scribes which commandment is most important, Jesus replied: “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.” Mark 12:29,30 NKJV) These verses are known as the “Shema”, which comes from a Hebrew word that means “to hear”. The Shema was part of God’s message to His people before they entered the Promised Land. He knew that we – male and female alike – tend to let things go in one ear and out the other. The first word of the most important commandment is “Hear”. God wanted them – and us – to hear that commandment and all of His words with our ears, so we can willingly respond with our hearts and lives.

Without glazed over eyes and wandering thoughts, let’s listen, really listen to the Shema and the totality of God’s Word. When we really listen, we’ll be in a good position to obey Him. Listen…really listen!


JESUS AND THE BOOMERANG EFFECT

October 7, 2013

The definition of the “Boomerang Effect” on www.psychologydictionary.com reads that it “refers to a persuasive form of communication sent to a receiver, yet returned back with the opposite reaction. Thus, the consequential result is not the original, intended message. This effect is often generated when the counter-argument is stronger than the original statement. Ideally, the Boomerang Effect generates a favorable outcome when the positive message sent also comes back as a positive feedback received.”

Centuries before the Boomerang Effect was defined as such, Jesus applied it very skillfully. In chapter 9 of the gospel of Mark we empathize with the dad whose son was possessed by an evil spirit, and we feel his disappointment after the disciples’ unsuccessful attempt to cast the spirit out of the young boy. The dad’s voice was heard above the chaotic crowd as he cried out to Jesus in his desperation. At Christ’s request, the boy was brought to Him, and the dad explained the horrors this young man suffered, adding, “…If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (9:22)

That’s where Jesus applied the Boomerang Effect. He directed three words right back to the desperate dad: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (v. 23) With tearful eyes and deep pain in his heart, the dad cried out “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”. The son was healed because Jesus intervened.

If you can do…”

If you can believe…”

In our seemingly impossible situations, we also cry out to God, “Lord, if You can…” (Finish the sentence with your own plea), when that’s not the issue at all. Of course He can do…!! He is Almighty God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He CAN do what we ask of Him because His power is limitless! At the point of our desperation, when we hurl out “If You can…” Jesus sends the boomerang right back and we hear “…if you can believe…believe in My power; believe in My perfect plans and purposes for you; believe in My goodness, believe in My patience and my love for you…believe that you are not alone; believe that I’ll never leave you, believe that no matter what, I’ve got you in the palm of My powerful, everlasting hand. Believe that every word I’ve ever said is true…if you can believe.”

The Boomerang Effect isn’t a theory of modern psychology. Jesus used it thousands of years ago, and still uses it now. When the “if you can believe” boomerang flies towards us, let’s believe!…and God will intervene!


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