Spiritual Director · August 15, 2016

Affirm #2

I’m one of those people that some might call ignorant when it comes to world news. I haven’t watched the news or listened to the news in many, many years. It just got too depressing. Every day the bad news just kept mounting up; shootings, drugs, racial hatred, injustice.

I remember getting agitated because everyone wanted to tell me they bad news, but nobody wanted to offer a solution. I know it sounds too simple, but Jesus is the answer for the world today. I then began asking myself what, if anything, I could do to bring change to this desperate situation?

In the Old Testament of the Bible, there was a king by the name of Josiah. And even though Josiah was a godly king, he couldn’t change the history of Judah and he couldn’t change the punishment that would be inflicted on Judah for their disobedience. But, because of his faithfulness, he would see peace and prosperity in his lifetime.

This is what God told him through a prophet when he decided to just do the right thing,

“Because you took seriously the doom of judgment I spoke against this place and people, and because you responded in humble repentance, tearing your robe in dismay and weeping before me, I’m taking you seriously…” —2 Chronicles 33:27

As I read that this morning, I started thinking that maybe I/we need to take the posture of Josiah.

What if we atoned for our own sins and stopped concentrating on our history or our future? What God has ordained for our country and the world is already put in place. There’s nothing we can do to do stop His divine plan, but we can bring peace and prosperity to our own lives by restoring the covenant God made with us, by worshipping God alone rather than the gods of this world.

Once we tear down the idols in our lives, we can live lives as God intended them to be. We can be complete in Him in a world that is increasingly falling apart.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

Start with yourself. Look within. Pray like King David prayed,

“Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for Yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong, then guide me on the road to eternal life.” — Psalm 139:23-24

Start with me. Cross-examine me. See for Yourself who I am, what I’ve done, and grant me mercy. Forgive me and by Your Holy Spirit lead me to You. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. M.M. Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.