February 21, Friday

Devotional Thought for this Morning

“Adjustments Are Needed”

Acts 10:27-38

While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?” 30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

When I was little, we had a television with an antenna on the roof, but when there was horrible reception, my dad would climb onto the roof and adjust the antenna—only until then did we get a good reception.

In this passage, Peter gets a vision from the Lord: God lowers a blanket filled with “non-kosher” animals to eat. However, when Peter—being a devout Jew—refuses to eat it, God says, “What God has made clean, do not call common” (v.15). This happened three times before the vision ended. But in verse 34, we see the purpose of the vision: God does not just want to save Jews but also wants to save the Gentiles. God had to adjust Peter’s antenna for him to truly understand the new thing that God was doing.

Like Peter, many of us need to have our antennas adjusted from time to time. We go through all the necessary motions of Christianity such as worship, reading the Bible, missions, and serving. While these things are extremely important, we miss out on what God is trying to say to us. Our relationship with God is a dynamic relationship, which is like two friends talking—meaning, we talk to Him, but we also hear from Him because He is trying to talk to us. We may have one way of understanding faith, but maybe He is trying to tell us something different. We will truly hear when we are willing to adjust our antenna to catch His frequency. 

One way that we can do this is to practice the spiritual discipline of silence. We are a culture that hates silence because it makes us uncomfortable. I remember watching a video that was explaining this spiritual discipline and the first minute of the video was a black screen. When we, after 45 seconds, stood up to check the DVD to see if there was anything wrong with it, the words, “We hate silence” appeared on the screen. 

Yet, silence and being quiet is our portal into hearing God. We have so much noise around us trying to fight for our attention, including God. Silence helps us put down those unnecessary voices so that we can adjust our antenna to Him and hear His voice.

This morning, take however long you need to pray, but spend the last five minutes in silence. If necessary, you can time yourself, but try to hear from the Lord. Don’t play music, close your phone screen and just wait upon the Lord.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You desire to talk to us and You desire to share Your heart with us. You are a personal God and You desire a dynamic relationship. If there is anything that is hindering me from hearing from You, please help me make that adjustment. With these next five minutes of silence, help me to fix my eyes on You. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 20


Lunch Break Study

Read Psalms 46:1-10: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.[c] 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields[d] with fire.10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Questions

  1. What does the author remind the reader of (vv. 1-2)?
  2. Why do you think God tells the author to be still and know that He is God?
  3. Cease from what you are doing right now (read this QT)—take a moment to be still and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart (Rom. 8:16, 26-27; Mt. 10:20).

Notes

  1. The author reminds the reader that God is an ever-present help in times of trouble. For me, the emphasis is on the word “ever-present”—meaning, that He is always with us in space and time. Even when situations look bleak, we do not have to fear because of this promise!
  2. God tells the author to be still and know that He is God as a reminder to trust in Him. Being in East Asia and witnessing the Coronavirus Epidemic, this Psalm has become more real for me. When witnessing devastation, the human condition—particularly mine—is to panic, so we try to take control of the situation. Yet this Psalm reminds us to be still because God is in control. Even when the earth is giving way, He will watch over His children!
  3. Personal response.

Evening Reflection 

Before going to sleep, set aside your phone and laptop and pray to the Lord. When you have concluded your prayer, wait 3-5 minutes in silence to see what the Lord wants to say to you.

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