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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Aug
17

Do I Care Enough To Listen?

Jon Burgess

Scripture

“Have any of these prophets been in the Lord’s presence to hear what he is really saying? Has even one of them cared enough to listen?” Jeremiah 23:18

Observation

The Prophet Jeremiah is heart broken over the current state of his fellow ministers. They are representing the will of God to the people but are making it up as they go. They are telling the people what they want to hear and not what they need to hear. They are making fans of earth and enemies of heaven. Here's thing about God. He's calling them on their sin and still inviting them in. He is calling them away from popularity with people and back into His presence. This is so gracious and forgiving! God still wanted to talk to them! If someone was walking around saying "Jon said this about you" and it was patently untrue I would not invite them to hang out and talk story with me. Yet, this is the heart of our God. He wants to talk to us and through us. The heart wrenching reality is that more often then not we don't care enough to listen.

Application

Whenever I read in scripture of God inviting us into His presence I'm filled with a longing to go there and memories of being changed there. It's like those precious private moments in life that matter more then any of the public ones. Date nights alone with my wife dreaming together about our future. Conversations with my boys while sitting on the beach and hearing them excitedly sharing about the wave they just caught or are about to catch. Times with friends around a plate of hot wings as we work through challenges life is throwing at us. In each of these moments I cared enough to listen to them and they cared enough to listen to me and we enjoyed each being in each other's presence. Not just spouting platitudes or biding our time until it was over. In fact each and every time all we wanted was more time together. The God of the Universe wants the same for us in His presence. Do we care enough to listen to Him? Because He is making it very clear that He cares enough to listen to us! That's the vertical application between us and God. The horizontal application to the question is whether we care enough to listen to God on behalf of those in our lives. I have a number of meetings today. Will I just walk into each one and spout whatever is on the top of my head? Or will I care enough for them and their time and Gods plan for their lives to at least ask the Lord, "Is there anything You would want me to speak into their lives?" When I care enough to ask, God always cares enough to answer! In raising my boys I can show how much I care for them by asking God how is should respond when discipline is needed rather then just reacting in anger or frustration. In loving my wife I can show how much I care for her by asking the Lord for a word to share instead of letting the busyness of life dictate my conversations. I guess that's the thing isn't it? If I'm too busy for the presence of the Lord then it's clear that the cares of this world have crowded out my care for my Lord and for others.

Prayer

Thank You Lord for graciously and firmly calling me back to what matters most. Thank You for caring for me enough to not let me fill my days with empty words and vain pursuits. It's in the beauty of Your presence this morning that I have been given words to follow for my day. Forgive me for being too busy to stop and ask You for direction and words in the various challenges I face every day. Even as I write this prayer You care enough to listen. Even as I write this prayer let me care enough to do the same.


Devotions for August 17

Jeremiah 23,24,25
John 19

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