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The heart of worship!

So they made an idol shaped like a calf and they sacrificed to it and celebrated over this thing they had made. Then God turned away from them and abandoned them to serve the stars of heaven as their gods! Acts 7:41-42

You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That`s what your ancestors did, and so do you! Acts 7:51

You deliberately disobeyed God`s law, even though you received it from the hands of angles. Acts 7:53

Observation:

Joseph and Moses where both people who were chosen by God but rejected by there own people. Stephan seems to take Joseph and Moses as examples of how the people of God have rejected the one God has chosen: Jesus

I got reminded again today how little our “religious affiliation” (like “I am a Christian”) really has to do with our deepest hearts motivation. The religious leaders were diligently not only studying but also applying the word of God in every detail to their daily lives. And they were quick to correct anybody who did not do so. They were the “good and proper people” of their day. They were conservative, and they lived a “correct” and “righteous” life. Still Stephan has to tell them: “You stubborn people, You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth…, you deliberately disobeyed God`s law…”

Now, these days many people are proud of being “not religious”. But as Acts 7:42 shows we all are living for something and serving somebody. In the case of the Israelites it was to “serve the stars of heaven as their god”! Also, the “none religious” person can be as much a “rule freak” (Example: “political correctness” in the West or all the many rules one has to follow in “secular” Japan) as the religious person. Therefore, even if people call themselves “none religious” (in a sense that they are not a member of an official religion) it doesn`t mean that they don`t live and serve and therefore worship something or somebody. In fact, we all do!

Application:

Today`s devotion challenged me again to live out of God`s grace. My heart has this tendency to “stubbornness” too. I don`t want to trust God but want to have it my own way and want to live a life based on my own “self-righteousness”.

Prayer:

Lord, touch my stubborn heart. Help me to live today out of your grace and love.

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