When I retired, I made a list of all the things which I could do that would make me still feel useful. Looking back, I have accomplished many of them. The studies that I have been leading and the devotionals that I have been writing are two of them. I get many of my ideas from listening to others. For example, I have been working a little job three hours a day as a school crossing guard. Between shifts, it is too far to go home to make it worth my while, so it's off to Canada's favourite coffee shop. There, great discussions evolve over world events and the human situation.
Events in the Middle East and the Ukraine, disease in western Africa, and shootings in our Parliament buildings have many folks upset and bewildered. "What can we do?" is a common question. I suggest to folks that we look at the Bible for similar situations and for what men of God did in those times. When Solomon was building the temple, he felt the same sense of helplessness in his day. He pleaded with God for the lives of the people, and this was God's answer:
2 Chronicles 7:14 – If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (NKJV)
I explained my view that the Bible is the story of a loving God seeking and finding a relationship with His creation: humankind and the world. It is His story. While God kept His side of the deal, we humans have frequently messed up.
We have failed in our relationship with God's creation. Instead of caring for the earth, we have sorely abused it. Instead of tending the earth, we have plundered and pillaged it. We have created pollutions that run rampant and have exhausted natural resources at a rate at which they cannot be replenished.
We have failed in our relationships with our fellow human beings — selfishness and greed are the norm. Nation strives against nation, brother pits himself against brother, sister against sister, parent against child, and spouses against each other. Power and might, riches and materialism are the gods of a majority of folks.
Above all, we have failed in our relationship with God. We have continually broken His commandments, gone our own way, and ignored God's voice asking us to return to a relationship with Him. Instead of honouring His Word and seeking His will, we follow the desires of our own hearts and do what feels good. We make gods of status, power, and wealth in place of the triune God.
We who call ourselves God's people shared a feast on October 5th called "World Wide Communion Sunday", a day set aside annually for a holy gathering around the world to share the common loaf and cup of the Lord's Supper. Yes, we have different backgrounds and traditions, but we share a common God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We also share the common fact that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23 NKJV) Maybe what we need to get us back on track is a "Worldwide Day of Repentance"! How wonderful it is that God promises us, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 NKJV)
Prayer: Holy God, Creator, Redeemer, and Lord, forgive us our foolish ways and selfish sin. Cleanse us from all unrighteousness and create a clean heart within us. May we learn, above all, to love. Restore us to a right relationship with You, Your world, and each other. In the name of Your precious Son Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Crown Him With Many Crowns" (Lyrics)