TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, January 08, 2018:
Feeling no interest or concern, apathetic; not caring.
Those who have turned back from following the Lord, and have not sought the Lord, nor inquired of Him. Zephaniah 1:6
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
This verse from Zephaniah (above) gives us an excellent definition of spiritual indifference. The people of Judah had become indifferent to God and turned back from worshipping Him and turned to idol worship. The prophet Zephaniah was warning the people of Judah of God’s coming judgement and the consequential retribution for the people’s sin.
They were indifferent to Zephaniah’s warning and refused to repent and return to following the Lord. They showed their contempt for God and ignored His commands. God is not indifferent to sin and does not ignore sin. Zephaniah’s warning was fulfilled. God brought judgement and a great slaughter occurred during the people’s lifetime when God allowed Babylon to invade Judah.
This warning to repent and seek the Lord is also for today. There are many professing believers in Christ that have turned away from the Lord and have been self-satisfied and unproductive in serving the Lord. They do not feel the need to read the Bible, pray and meditate on what the scripture has for them each day. Have you fallen into that trap?
Jesus, while here on earth took time to pray. Although He was Himself part of the Triune Godhead and one with the Father, He felt the need to be in close communication with the Father. In Mark 1:35 we find Jesus got up early in the morning and went to a solitary location to pray.
In Mark 14: 32-41 we read about Jesus going into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray the night before He was betrayed and arrested. He told the disciples that were with Him to “sit here while I pray.” Jesus was agonizing over the terrible suffering He knew was coming and needed to spend time with His Father in prayer.
When He returned to where He left His disciples to wait for Him they were sound asleep. The disciples in this situation showed indifference. Jesus asked His disciples “could you not watch for one hour?” You would think this would be a wakeup call for the disciples but it was not. Jesus went away two more times and each time when He returned the disciples were sound asleep. After the third time Jesus said to the disciples, “This is enough.” In Jesus darkest hour, His disciples were not there for Him. They were indifferent to His needs and the importance of prayer.
Another example of indifference comes from the life of Jonah. Jonah had become indifferent to obeying God and tried to run away from Him. He boarded a ship and when a violent storm came up and the crew was afraid the ship would sink. While everyone was working hard to save the ship, Jonah was down to the lowest part of the ship fast asleep (Jonah 1:4-9).
Jonah was a prophet of God and should have been praying for God’s protection. The crew had to wake him up and ask him to pray, knowing he was a prophet of God. Jonah admitted to the crew that he was the cause of the storm because he had disobeyed God. Jonah acknowledged his guilt and told the crew to throw him overboard and they would be safe.
They threw him overboard and God calmed the storm and saved Jonah from the sea by having him swallowed by a whale.
We are living in a day of indifference and it will be fatal to our existence if we do not ask God to forgive us and get back to the biblical principles God expects us to live by.
Historian Arnold Toynbee found in his studies that nineteen of twenty-one civilizations have died from within from indifference and not from outside conquest. Another historian, Dr. Lawrence Gould said that he was certain that our greatest threat was not bombs and missiles but people as a whole who are indifferent and do not care. When people are indifferent they will not act.
Edmund Burke said in 1795 that “nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.” If that was true in 1795 it is certainly truer today. Many today have an “I just do not care” attitude and that leads to inaction and indifference. The Christians that profess to be believers but who are indifferent to the things of Christ and do nothing to serve Him or honor Him are shutting God out of their life and missing out on God’s life changing presence and power.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Romans 8:14.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Help me today not to be indifferent to Your leading in my life. May my heart be open to what You are telling me to do. Help me to surrender fully and completely to You. Give me the leadership with my family and friends to instill a new interest in their hearts for You.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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