TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, February 12, 2019:
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.
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 people had become polytheistic and even the priests mixed pagan practices with their faith in God. God commands that He alone be worshipped. The prophet Zephaniah was directed by God to warn the people of Judah of God’s coming judgement and the consequential retribution for the people’s sin of worshipping false gods.
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 are living a worldly life. They do not spend time daily reading the Bible, praying and meditating on what the scripture has for them that day. Have you fallen into the snare of indifference toward God? The warning of Zephaniah is relevant for today. We live in an evil world and God is calling us back to a relationship with Him. It can begin with you and me. How do you respond?
Jesus regularly took time from His busy schedule to go to a quiet place to talk to His Father. In Mark 14: 32-41 we read about Jesus taking time from His busy schedule 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. Jesus was deeply distressed and troubled because He was going to have to take all the sins of the world upon Himself. While on the cross bearing our sins He would be separated from God. The thought of this caused Jesus to say, “My soul is overwhelmed to the point of death.”
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 agony and suffering.
Another example of indifference comes from the life of Jonah. When Jonah was running away from God and in the storm at sea, the crew was afraid and everyone was working hard to save the ship. Jonah was indifferent to their struggle and went down to the lowest part of the ship and went fast asleep (Jonah 1:4-9). Apparently, the storm didn’t bother Jonah’s conscience. He certainly showed indifference to his guilt.
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 admitted his guilt and finally told the crew to throw him overboard and they would be safe.
They threw him overboard and God calmed the storm and saved Jonah 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. These two men, as far as we know were not believers in Jesus. They were historians and are relating to us how God responds when civilizations do not care about their relation to God.
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. Our greatest concern is the Christians that profess to believe in Christ are showing by the way they live indifference to the things of Christ.
Our memory verse for this week is found in I Corinthians 13:4.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.
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 to serve You and You alone.
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
May we encourage you to send a DONATION to help:Deliver a box of food to feed a poor family for one week in the inner cities of America --- the poorest of the poor and/or to children and their families in a third world country. (we deliver food boxes to 20 third world countries.)
SPONSOR ONE BOX FOR ONLY $7.00
CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION.
(All gifts are income tax deductible)