Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Turning towards God or away from Him

Inspired by my Verse-A-Day App from yesterday, April 17, 2012 - I am writing this post. 

The verses are from Acts 17:26-28:

From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ (NIV)

The devotional talks about Noah being the one man all the nations were made from since he found favor with God.  It talks about how God wants us to seek Him.  

Last night, as I was reading my Bible (NIV),  I turned to Acts and landed on Chapter 7 (you can read for yourself here) which is Stephen's speech to the Sanhedrin.  Stephen speaks about God's promise to Abraham "Then God brought him here to the land where you know live" (v4) , Although Abraham never lived there his descendants would after they are "...oppressed as slaves for 400 years."(v6)   Stephen goes on to speak of Isaac and Jacob and Jacob becoming the father of the twelve patriarchs of the Israelite nation.  He speaks of Joseph and how the Israelite s ended up in Egypt,multiplied, were enslaved and how Moses lead them to freedom.  Just as GOD promised Abraham.

But then they refused to listen to Moses and wanted to return to Egypt.  They told Aaron to make them a God to lead them, they lost faith in God.  "Then God turned away from them and abandoned them to serve the stars of heaven as their gods!" (v42) 

Stephen goes on to speak of the Tabernacle, Joshua, David and Solomon's temple.  He tells them in verses 48-53:

However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As the prophet (Isaiah) says,
49 ‘Heaven is my throne,
    and the earth is my footstool.
Could you build me a temple as good as that?’
    asks the Lord.
‘Could you build me such a resting place?
50     Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth?’
51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen[l] at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! 52 Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. 53 You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”

Well guess what??? That made the Jewish leaders furious!!  Furious enough to attack him and drag him out to the city and stone him!  
Even to the end Stephen looked to heaven and saw God with Jesus at His right hand waiting for him.  He even asked God to forgive their sins.....
So all of this got me I search for God as He searches for me?  When I feel like He has abandoned me do I turn to something else to fill that space or do I start walking toward Him?  
Than I started thinking on a larger scale....our country was founded on "In God we Trust" but do we really trust Him anymore?  Are we worshipping a golden lamb like the Israelites did instead of keeping faith that God will lead us out of the wilderness.  
Verse 51 really speaks to me "You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit?"  
I feel our country is deaf to the truth and heathen at heart.  God gave our founding fathers this opportunity and now we are just the the Israelites in Egypt, moaning and groaning but not really doing anything about it.  
It's time all Christians, speak the truth and not be afraid, because the worse that will happen is we end up leaving this world....but that is also the best thing to happen because then we can see our Father and His Son at His right side reaching out and greeting us.