September 23

Psalms 146, 147; Nehemiah 7:73-9:37

Are we so different from the ancient Jews? Isn’t it true that when things are going well for us, our families are well, our jobs are good, when we are healthy and able to pay the bills, we tend to drift away from God? But at the first sign of trouble we hit our knees and go to him for help. It’s not that we don’t love him. It’s that we must think we need him less in good times.

Did you read Nehemiah 9:27&28 today and feel a twinge of guilt as you recognized yourself in Israel’s experience? Remembering the disobedience of their forefathers they prayed:

So you handed them over to their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies. But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time.

Time after time.

And that’s been my experience. No matter how many times I return to the Lord after drifting away or after blatantly disobeying him, he delivers me. When I confess my sin, he is faithful and just to forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness… time after time.

Oh that I would learn to choose obedience every day, no matter how comfortable my life becomes. Oh that I would love him like he deserves to be loved every day, in good times and in bad.

Father, I thank you for grace. I thank you for your faithfulness, your forgiveness, your great love. Forgive me when I drift, when I disobey, when I become so comfortable I neglect my relationship with you. May I cherish my relationship with you and nourish it every day by reading your Word and praying. May you find me faithfully serving you today regardless of life’s circumstances. And once again I want to thank you for forgiving me when I ask you to… time after time.

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