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“Do You Want the Blessing or the Curse?”

1 Corinthians 14:21

In the Law it is written: "Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me," says the Lord.

Thoughts for Today:

Paul appears to be quoting Isaiah 28:11-12: "Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, to whom he said, 'This is the resting place, let the weary rest,' and, 'This is the place of repose' -- but they would not listen."

We know in Isaiah's day that God's people had grown indifferent to Him. As a result, the Assyrians had been allowed to invade and occupy their country. What happened to them is exactly what Moses had warned of in Deuteronomy 28:1-45. If the Israelites followed and obeyed the Lord they would enjoy multiple "blessings" (verses 1-14); however, if they turned away, the blessings would turn to curses (verses 15-45). In the time of Isaiah, the Israelites were experiencing the "curses".

Yesterday evening I was talking with my son Ryan about these same verses. He said, "I understand the history, but what are we to take away from their example?" I said, "For me, it's pretty straight forward. When I'm walking with the Lord, He is guiding my steps. Things might not always be perfect on the outside, but inside of me, I have peace, love and all the other gifts of His Spirit. Therefore, I have the 'blessing'. When I'm not in fellowship with Him, I start making all sorts of self-centered decisions. Although things might go well for a while, invariably, by being disconnected from Him, I become unhappy, discontented, and generally end up miserable. That's the 'curse'."

Questions to Ponder:

The Lord has made it very clear: "If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands" you will be blessed. In what ways? Open your Bible and read Deuteronomy 28:1-14. And conversely, bad stuff happens when we ignore God's instruction. Which will you choose today -- the blessing or the curse?

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Start now!There's nothing like God's Word to create purpose in your life that lasts the entire day and beyond. We encourage you to Read, Carry and Share the Word of God. Pocket Devotions are sent by E-mail every weekday (Monday to Friday). On weekends we encourage you to be creative and study on your own in any area of Scripture where God leads you.

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About the author

Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.

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