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'Every Day Light' with Selwyn Hughes
Devotional: September 14th
For Reading and Meditation:
In this chapter, we catch Solomon in one of those rare moments when he breaks free of his cynical frame of mind - so let's make the most of it! He begins with a strong and positive declaration: "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen ..." The Living Bible paraphrases it thus: "As you enter the Temple, keep your ears open and your mouth shut!" God's people, Solomon is saying, are far too casual in their approach to worship. Familiarity may not breed contempt, but it certainly can breed insensitivity. The way we approach God's house will determine what we receive at God's house. When we make our way to God's house we ought to be spiritually alert, intent on hearing what God has to say to us, and spiritually expectant. "Bad preaching," said one famous Bible expositor, "is God's curse on an unexpectant congregation." Generally speaking, there is far too much talking and not enough listening in church services. We come into God's presence with our minds bent on getting God to see things from our perspective instead of desiring to see things from His. We fill every silence with words. The words "Draw near to listen" ought, I think, to be emblazoned on the front of every church. If you are not hearing God when you go to church, the problem is not that God is not speaking; it is more likely that you have stopped listening. The next time you go to the house of God, say to your restless talkative spirit: "Shh! Listen!"
Gracious God, forgive me that so often both in church and in my daily devotions I am more interested in letting You know what I want to say than in listening to what You have to say. "Speak, Lord, Thy servant heareth." Amen.
'Every Day Light' Copyright 2005 © Selwyn Hughes. Taken from 'Every Day Light' devotional, by Selwyn Hughes. © 1999. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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