Daily Devotions

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The Prophet

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THE PROPHET

 The prophet is a [person]* with a seeing eye.

In the Old Testament, the prophets were the men [individuals] who could see what was happening. They could see the way history was shaping. Others would be busy dashing about trying to arrange alliances and treaties with Egypt, with Syria, or with some other power. The prophet was the man [person] who saw deeper than superficial power relationships. He [she] saw the nation's destiny. Every country in the world needs its prophet.

 

The prophet is the man [person] with the listening ear.

The first thing Samuel had to say was, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth!" We are often so busy talking, discussing and arguing that we have no time for listening. Even when we pray we are so busy telling God what we want him [God] to do that we have no time to listen to what he [God] wants us to do. The prophet had the listening ear. We need that too.

 

The prophet has a courageous voice.

He [she] tells the truth whatever the cost. "We cannot speak the things we have seen and heard," said Peter and John to the Sanhedrin. The prophet never buys security with a cowardly silence.

 

The prophet has a dedicated life.

Said Isaiah to God when he learned there was work to be done, "Here am I, send me." He had to do not what he himself wanted to do, but what God needed him to do. God needs people of dedication, like the prophets.

 

The prophet is a man [person] with a dangerous occupation.

Jerusalem was the city that stoned the prophets (Mt. 23:37). Stephen told the Jews that they had consistently stoned the prophets (Acts 7:52). No one can be a prophet who is not prepared to take a risk for God.

 

*Since I am on vacation this week, the week's devotion are taken from Daily Celebration, by William Barclay. Dr. Barclay's devotional was written in 1971, before inclusive language was a normative.

 

Troubles and Calamities

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"You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again." (Psalm 71:20)

 

The morning of September 11, 2001, I got up early and took a long bike ride before work. It was an absolutely beautiful day. It was 70 degrees, without summer humidity. I was riding through George Wyth Park in Cedar Falls. I got to the top of a hill on the side of the lake. Uncharacteristically, I stopped, got off my bike, and just looked at the lake and sky. I literally commented to myself, that life was perfect. I remember it, because it was so unlike me to respond that way, especially when I am riding my bike.

 

When I got home, I turned on ESPN, but announcer Stuart Scott was acting melancholy. He kept encouraging people to turn to their sister network, ABC for further information. Confused, I turned the channel, just as the plane it the second tower. I just stood there, in stunned disbelief. I called Jill at work, and then called the church and told them to contact the media, because I was scheduling a worship service that evening.

 

We became a global society that day. Previously, we fooled ourselves in thinking that our geographic isolation saved us from the political violence that occurred in Africa, the Middle East and even Western Europe. Fourteen years ago today, we all witnessed "troubles and calamities" that changed our world view forever. The terrorists didn't destroy our society, as they hoped, but they did change it. Churches around the country, and world, prayed and God did "bring me (us) up again."

 

On this anniversary, there remain many "troubles and calamities" around our globe. Fourteen years ago, we had never heard of ISIS, for example. With calamities ever before us, we can trust that God will never stop bring us "up again." Pray today for those who lost loved ones on 9/11/01. Pray for peace around our globe. Then, offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the God who will continue to bring healing and peace.

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