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Calloused Feet, Calloused Hearts

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Read Ezekiel 36:24-28

View the July-August, 2014 Issue

The Sovereign Lord says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

- Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV)

Growing up in Hawaii, I didn’t have to wear shoes to school until the fifth grade. This meant that for all those years, I never wore shoes at all. And I didn’t need them, because the soles of my feet were as tough as any shoe leather. Whether I was walking on the rough asphalt of the street or the coarse sand of the beach, my feet were so calloused that I never felt any discomfort. But I also missed out on the joy of the springy softness of a lush lawn under my toes. Hardened soles lose all feeling, for good or ill. The same can be true of our hearts. As feet can be toughened by years of contact with rough surfaces, our hearts can be hardened through years of contact with the rocky road of life’s experiences. We can become so tough and cynical that we have trouble experiencing the joy of God’s love and acceptance. Our souls can become so hardened by turning away from pain — our own and that of others — that there is no longer any room in our hearts for the joy we can find in Christ. When we see areas of our lives where we have become insensitive, we can pray and read God’s word to better feel God’s love and to share that love with others.

The Author

David Ladd (Virginia, USA)

Thought for the Day

God can soften even the toughest heart.

Prayer

Dear Father, soften our hearts so we can accept you and your joy in our lives. Amen.

Prayer focusTo acknowledge my insensitivity

Link to This Devotional

39 Comments

Comment by Sarah of Berwyn, IL

Good morning, everyone! Thank you, David, for your devotional this morning. I know that hearts can become hardened because of life’s experiences. From growing up in an abusive and dysfunctional family, and then an abusive marriage, my heart had become very distrustful of people and cynical of love. I am praying that the Lord will make my heart more like His.
CHERIE of Inverness, FL - I pray that all went well yesterday for Ron’s kidney stone and enlarged prostate surgery. I pray that he is recovering well, and that the Lord will bring him complete healing. * EDD of Ocala, FL - I am praising the Lord that your grandson, Zeke, was born safe and healthy, and that his mother, Bianca, is also fine following the c-section. I pray she has a quick recovery, and that Zeke continues to be a happy and healthy baby. I pray that the Lord will bless this family with His love and peace.
MARSHA of Brownwood, TX - I am praying for you as you complete your training as a rural postal mail deliverer. I pray that you will do well tomorrow as you will deliver the mail on your own for the first time. I pray that the Lord will be with you, helping you to do all that you need to, that He keep you safe, give you peace, and your car is fine. I’m also praying that whatever the problem is with the vehicle insurance, that it will get worked out, and not cost you more money. * HEIDI of Woodstock, IL. - I am continuing in prayer for your daughter, who will be starting her new job soon. I pray that she does well, and that the Lord will bring her blessings. I am praising the Lord with you that she was able to sell her camper in one day, and has some money now till she gets her first paycheck.
ANITA of Plymouth, MI - I am praying for your father as he has surgery today to restore his ability to walk. I pray that the Lord will guide his doctors during the surgery, and that He will bring your father healing, and the surgery is a success. I pray that he has a quick and complete recovery. I am also praying for your cousin, Serena, who has received a diagnosis of lung cancer after having been in remission from breast cancer for two years. I pray that the Lord will touch her and that the treatments she will be having will be effective in destroying this cancer, too. * FRANCIS of Hideaway, TX - I am praising the Lord with you that your grandson is recovering from having whooping cough. I pray that he will make a complete recovery. Even though his case was mild, it didn’t sound pleasant!
JK - Sorry, I don’t have a blog of my own. I think what Heidi was meaning yesterday when she said that, was my comments in my posting. I don’t have a blog. I’m praying for your friend, John, who has lung cancer, and will be undergoing radiation, and they are reducing his steroids for this. I pray that the Lord brings him healing, and the radiation will destroy all the cancer. I pray for a complete recovery, and also continued recovery from his recent brain surgery. I am praising the Lord with you that your daughter did well on her recent exam for the class she is taking this summer. I pray that she will continue to do well, and that the Lord will guide and bless her with her future studies and work. I pray, also, that He will keep you safe on this vacation and that you have a wonderful time.
AVIS - I am praying for you, that the Lord will uphold you with whatever you are going through, meet all of your needs, and give you His peace and joy. * JUDY of Yalaha, FL - I am continuing in prayer for your son, that if the position he interviewed at on Tuesday is the best position, the Lord will open all the doors and he will be picked. I am also praying for your sister-in-law, who is starting chemo treatments for the pancreatic cancer. I pray that these treatments are successful, and that all the cancer is destroyed in her body. I pray, also, that she will not suffer with alot of the negative side effects from the chemo. I’m also praying for your upcoming vacation, that the Lord will give you travel mercies, good weather, and a blessed time.
JAYNE of Maury City, TN - I am praying for your grandson, Heath, who is in counseling for drug addiction. I pray that the Lord will work in Heath’s life, that he realize his need for help and that he will accept and work with others to get deliverance from his addictions. I pray that the Lord will guide the words of the counselor, that what he says will reach Heath. And I pray that if your grandson has not accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, that he will make that decision. * DONNA of San Marcos, TX - I am praising the Lord with you that your uncle has come home from the hospital following his heart attack last week, and that he doesn’t need any invasive procedures, but can be treated with medication. I pray the Lord will continue His healing, and that your uncle will be restored to perfect health.
DON - As Sheila mentioned yesterday, I, too, have noticed that your comments are shorter than they used to be. I join her in prayer that all is well with you. * SHIRLEY - I am lifting in prayer your friend, Debbie, who found out she has liver cancer. I pray that the Lord will bring her healing, and that all her treatments are effective in destroying every cell of cancer in her body. I am also praying for your son, Andy, that the Lord will bless his business, and that he will have success, and He will bring him many new clients.
ANGIE of Huntsville - I am praying for your friends, Angie and Walt, who are battling cancer. I pray that the Lord brings them complete healing, and that all their treatments are effective in beating the cancer. * JOHN - I am praying for your daughter as she starts college this next semester. I pray that all the preparations will go well, financial aid, courses and all, and that the Lord will guide and direct each step.
Have a blessed day, everyone!

Posted July 24, 2014 at 12:19AM CDT
Comment by Lydia of Cumming, GA

Thanks, David, for your devotional. A penetrating illustration that reminds of our need to stay close to the Lord, to enjoy his forgiveness and his love, and to extend that amazing love to others who desperately need it.
Praises for answered prayers. The joy of a new life! May that baby be always loved. Prayers for the needs of our cyber fellowship of believers. Have a blessed day in the Lord. Let's worship the Lord with all heart. He is worthy!
********
Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are, to worship.
Come, just as you are, before your God.
Come.
*******
One day every tongue will confess
You are God.
One day every knee will bow.
Still the greatest treasure remains for those
Who gladly choose you now.
******
by Brian Doerksen. © Copyright 1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/EIRE)(PRS)(admin. in North America by Music Services, Inc.).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPWq8eM4lu8

Posted July 24, 2014 at 04:21AM CDT
Comment by Kathy of Reading, PA

Good Morning UR family, Thank you David for your devotional this morning. I, too, have been through some really rough and emotional times. I always try to see the best in people. Unfortunately, I have a trust issue. I have been hurt and taken advantage of to many times. I need to stick real close to the Lord and not let anyone influence me in a negative way. It is a lonely way to live sometimes. I was up most of the night and am really tired this morning due to another bad choice. I do have a prayer request. Please pray for my coworker Liz. She had a rough day at work yesterday. We are all on edge due to cutbacks. My prayers today are for all spoken and unspoken needs this morning. Have a blessed day to all.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 04:59AM CDT
Comment by Raynard of newark, DE

Good Morning U. R Family. Thank you David for your devotional." Like a old yellow pages phone book and encyclopedia , I can " go thru the pages that someone wronged or hurt , taken advantage and just plain hurt me. Kathy from Reading, We now have "out in the open cliques" on my job'.. I have remember that "Jesus didn't wow over crowds "with magic tricks and illusions like Davis Copperfield" I digress. Last day of work this week. Family and I will" be East Bound & Down Cannonball Run.. A few daytrips and just relaxing till next Tuesday.. Prayers going out to each and every spoken and unspoken request. Be blessed and encouraged and have a great day..

Posted July 24, 2014 at 05:12AM CDT
Comment by Francis of Hideaway, TX

David. Good advice for us. I also believe that many of the hearts who do not yet know Jesus are not yet softened to see the needs of others. I know that my rebirth in Christ made me so much more aware of the needs of others in this fallen world.

Sarah and Kathy. Your needs are already placed before our Lord.

May all of our Christisn brothers and sisters receive a full measure of God's blessings this day. Especially those who are persecuted for their faith.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 05:12AM CDT
Comment by Francis of Hideaway, TX

Miriam Ibrahim has finally been released from her death sentence in Sudan and is in Italy. PTL!

Posted July 24, 2014 at 05:16AM CDT
Comment by JK

Good morning all. Thank you David for reminding us that we can easily become "rough and calloused" to our surrounding environment in an effort to protect ourselves, but it robs us of the joy we are meant to experience. Sarah thank you for the clarification!! and the prayers and praises. Kathy I am praying for you and your trust issues as well as for your co-worker Liz and your place of employment. My husband's workplace is very stressful due to cutbacks that seem neverending. My prayer is that we all experience some joy today. I hear the birds chirping outside and that is a source of joy~hallelujah.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 05:16AM CDT
Comment by JK

Francis thank you for sharing that good news! Raynard safest of travels and may you be blessed on your "Cannonball Run"....I keep saying my long driving "bouts" are better than NASCAR~ I cannot go 400mph and I don't go in circles, but I go a long way and have better scenery. Lydia thank you for one of my favorite (now old) contemporary Christian songs.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 05:19AM CDT
Comment by Judy of Columbia, SC

So very true....I pray for a new heart/spirit for my sister who suffered the loss of her only grandson 3 years ago....she is very bitter and her heart has turned to stone regarding her belief/existence of God...very sad. May all of you have hearts full of joy, compassion and reach out to those hurting. AMEN.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 05:29AM CDT
Comment by julie of Delray Beach, FL

Good Morning Ur family and Thank you David for the devotional. Today is the last day for elementary summer school. Teaching summer school this summer has opened my eyes to how early some kids start to become rough and calloused. I pray that as these students move into the new school year that they will open their hearts to the needs of others. There are times I find myself not as accepting of others as I should be . I pray that the Lord will open my heart as well.
Asking for prayers of healing for my son Jon. He has bronchitis. Pray he gets well soon. Also thank you for your continued prayers for a good report for my mammography/sonogram tomorrow.
JK Thank you for the reminder that in the mist of this mornings rush. I need to stop and listen. I hear the birds outside my window also. Also praying for your husband's job and all the cutbacks. Praying for relief from all the cutbacks.
Raynard-Praying for travel mercies for you on your Cannonball Run.
Sarah-Praying that the SNAP program is expedited for you.
Praying for all on the list spoken or not. Have a great day UR family.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 06:11AM CDT
Comment by julie of Delray Beach, FL

Good Morning Ur family and Thank you David for the devotional. Today is the last day for elementary summer school. Teaching summer school this summer has opened my eyes to how early some kids start to become rough and calloused. I pray that as these students move into the new school year that they will open their hearts to the needs of others. There are times I find myself not as accepting of others as I should be . I pray that the Lord will open my heart as well.
Asking for prayers of healing for my son Jon. He has bronchitis. Pray he gets well soon. Also thank you for your continued prayers for a good report for my mammography/sonogram tomorrow.
JK Thank you for the reminder that in the mist of this mornings rush. I need to stop and listen. I hear the birds outside my window also. Also praying for your husband's job and all the cutbacks. Praying for relief from all the cutbacks.
Raynard-Praying for travel mercies for you on your Cannonball Run.
Sarah-Praying that the SNAP program is expedited for you.
Praying for all on the list spoken or not. Have a great day UR family.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 06:11AM CDT
Comment by julie of Delray Beach, FL

Good Morning Ur family and Thank you David for the devotional. Today is the last day for elementary summer school. Teaching summer school this summer has opened my eyes to how early some kids start to become rough and calloused. I pray that as these students move into the new school year that they will open their hearts to the needs of others. There are times I find myself not as accepting of others as I should be . I pray that the Lord will open my heart as well.
Asking for prayers of healing for my son Jon. He has bronchitis. Pray he gets well soon. Also thank you for your continued prayers for a good report for my mammography/sonogram tomorrow.
JK Thank you for the reminder that in the mist of this mornings rush. I need to stop and listen. I hear the birds outside my window also. Also praying for your husband's job and all the cutbacks. Praying for relief from all the cutbacks.
Raynard-Praying for travel mercies for you on your Cannonball Run.
Sarah-Praying that the SNAP program is expedited for you.
Praying for all on the list spoken or not. Have a great day UR family.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 06:11AM CDT
Comment by George of Virginia Beach, VA

David, thank you for the reading, I find it easy to forgive and not hold on to things, but I have had an easy and blessed life. Praises for all those doing well with cancer, so far my SIL Annette is still doing well. Praying for all those struggling, so many needs on this site. Praises for all needs met, and prayers for all needs spoken or unspoken. Have a blessed day!

Posted July 24, 2014 at 06:23AM CDT
Comment by avis

Good morning all,

Thanks for the prayers and uplifting comments, today is a new day! I stand with you all and on the word of God for all needs. Yesterday was awful for me, I have a coworker on the job that is wicked and find ways to place stumbling blocks in my path to keep me down. I am not a confrontational person but I keep prayers that God finds a way to remove this individual and leave me alone. I pray today just for peace, wisdom and guidance on how to overcome working in such a bad environment.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 06:28AM CDT
Comment by Don of Ozark, MO

Good morning my friends. David welcome to the UR and thank you for your devotional contribution. It is so sad that we become so calloused that we have trouble feeling our own pain or that of others. That is the reason that we have so much more pain today. Sarah, I will explain why my comments have been so short as of late. I took a pretty good fall last Friday at the senior center which inflicted a pretty good bruise to my left chest. It as quite painful for awhile so I limited my physical activity, including typing. It is getting much better now but it still hurts a little, when I laugh. I praise the Lord for His healing touch and pray that He will apply that touch to all others who are sick or injured. I ask for prayers for my friend, Lynn Payne, who awoke last Sunday with a lump on one of his legs. I also continue to pray for you, Sarah, that your situation will soon improve. Edd, tell Zeke that we love him and continue to pray for his mom, Bianca, as she recovers from the c-section.. Mavis, continued prayers for you and your family as well. May we all be blessed today. Praise the Lord!!

Posted July 24, 2014 at 06:32AM CDT
Comment by Sheila of Bryantsville, KY

Lydia, thank you for the song choice, as always it is a good one.... I hope you don't mind if I add another one that seems to go with today's theme also.
Change My Heart, O God
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwudqCO7mSQ
Hillsong
*
David, thank you for your analogy of calloused soles, calloused hearts/souls. It is so true, we can let the heartaches of life develop a hardened heart and mind as a 'protector' against the pain of suffering. But in protecting against pain, we numb the other 'feeling' factors, of love, joy, compassion, empathy, sympathy, etc. It may be difficult to 'feel' sometimes... but it is more difficult going through life not feeling at all. I know from experience. We live in a society that wants to medicate us so we don't feel our emotions instead of dealing with what makes us 'feel bad'. Instead, we need to go to God, asking Him to "Search me, O God and know my heart; Try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV That doesn't mean we don't periodically need a medication to help us over the humps... but we should become more dependent on God, and we will become more dependent on God as we deal with the cause of the negative emotions. It's not an easy process, in fact sometimes it's the most difficult thing you will ever do, but the end result is your heart really does become cleansed of the angers and bitterness that may have built up over a lifetime of abuse and hardships. Speaking from experience. And the more 'garbage' that is cleaned out of the heart, the more room there is for the good of joy, love, peace, compassion, empathy, and sympathy. God never takes things away, cleanses us, without replacing what He has removed with something better. He loves us so well.
*
We are so very blessed to know The Cleanser of our hearts, being washed in The Blood and The Water of The Sacrificial Lamb and clothed in the garments of The Holy Spirit.
We are so very blessed to be in a relationship with our Creator that allows us to be open and honest with Him and allows Him to be open and speak His Truth into our hearts, replacing the lies of the evil one as he removes each lie.
We are so very blessed to have fellow companions to walk along life's rough path with.
*
Cyber hugs to each and every one who enters this cyber chapel. Thank you, UR STAFF for providing such a wonderful venue to learn, grow, share in. Know that you each are loved.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 06:39AM CDT
Comment by Willis of Jackson, TN

Good Morning UR Family: What a blessing it is to wake up and one of the first things I am able to do is come to this loving site. DAVID--Thanks for the devotional, it is so true that when you accept JESUS as your LORD and SAVIOR your heart is healed and made flesh. I have experienced that healing and am so glad, grateful and humble for having received it. I pray that all requests are answered and that we continue to give praise to the CREATOR. GOD IS LOVE!!!

Posted July 24, 2014 at 06:48AM CDT
Comment by cherie of inverness, FL

Thank you David for this reminder to soften our hearts. I have found my heart hardened after many set-backs and trials. I go to God in prayer and try to trust again. I pray for all the people who come into the chapel and feel joy everyday after I read the devotional. Don, I will keep you in my prayers for healing. I, too, missed your thoughts while you were hurt. Sarah, I pray your situation will brighten and a good job will come your way. Ron's surgery went well, but he is very tired now. Keep us in your prayers and know that all who come here is loved. GOD IS GREAT!!! Have a beautiful day everyone.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 07:09AM CDT
Comment by Dick - NB, Canada

Thank you David for the morning devotional. Keeping our heart near Jesus and living with God cannot help but make us useful to God and others. There are so many hurting people out there that God wants us to be sensitive to and to encourage and assist. Those that hurt others are not pure and just but yet they often steal the joy God wants for all. I pray their hearts get turned around.
  It is raining here today but still a beautiful day with all the same opportunities to experience God out there today.
  Blessings to all. I lift up the UR requests listed today. Thank you to everyone for the sharing. I especially pray for those who have lost loved ones and are still mourning. Hopefully God brings them through it to His light again. We should all be thankful to God for hearts of prayer.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 07:21AM CDT
Comment by Laura

David - thank you for this delightful devotional! So wonderful!
Blessings!!!

Posted July 24, 2014 at 07:23AM CDT
Comment by Linda of West Point, VA

UR Family, good morning and God's blessings for a great day. David, thank you for today's devotion. When we carry grudges and harden hearts we only isolate ourselves, but when we give it to God, blessings upon blessings we will receive. Raynard, blessings for safe travels on your much needed vacation. Don, prayers for your complete recovery from you fall. Being a part of the UR Family of God we can sense when something is going astray with one of our faithful members. Prayers for all needs spoken and unspoken. "ASK"

Posted July 24, 2014 at 07:26AM CDT
Comment by Linda of West Point, VA

UR Family, good morning and God's blessings for a great day. David, thank you for today's devotion. When we carry grudges and harden hearts we only isolate ourselves, but when we give it to God, blessings upon blessings we will receive. Raynard, blessings for safe travels on your much needed vacation. Don, prayers for your complete recovery from you fall. Being a part of the UR Family of God we can sense when something is going astray with one of our faithful members. Prayers for all needs spoken and unspoken. "ASK"

Posted July 24, 2014 at 07:26AM CDT
Comment by Linda of West Point, VA

Oops, sorry for the double post!!

Posted July 24, 2014 at 07:26AM CDT
Comment by kim of locust grove, OK

Father God thank You for softening our hearts. When the things of this life get to us, help us to remember to give it to You. Give us hearts worthy of You. Be with each need lifted here. Make us Your servants. Fill us with Your grace. IJN. Amen.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 07:30AM CDT
Comment by Marsha of Brownwood, TX

Good morning URF!
Thank you David for your devotional today! I was lost and my heart was so hardened from abuse and pain that I could not know joy or happiness. I could not see. Jesus standing next to me, guided and helping me along the way. I only knew I had a hole in my heart, where God should have been.
Jesus created a new heart of love for others in me, and I was able to be happy at last! Praise God!
I am so glad to be home with my precious cats! I got home in time last nite to go to my Wednesday nite church service. It was good to see my DIL and my grandson.
Thank you for your prayers!
I am praying for each of you.
Have a blessed day!

Posted July 24, 2014 at 07:31AM CDT
Comment by Joe

David, very insightful truthful devotional. You touch on something most of us don't really think. We can't control so many things that do harden our hearts. And then through the years we believe our feelings are honest but they are honed by life's experience. Then we need the Lord's unconditional love he has for all to return us the sensitive, caring folks he would have us be.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 07:32AM CDT
Comment by Jerry of Phoenix, AZ

Thank you, David, for the analogy of the toughness and lack of feeling that callousness can bring to the human skin, including the human heart. I can relate, not so much from my feet, but from my fingers after years of guitar playing. The tips of my fingers have no feeling as a result so I totally understand that picture. I want to praise God for answered prayer in regard to my property manager and the missing rent money. God provided healing and restoration to the situation. And I want to lift up our sister, Sarah, who is so faithful to daily lift the needs of our cyber-family. She is truly a blessing and I pray for her daily that God will bless her with her needs for financial support and employment. God bless everyone in our UR family.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 07:53AM CDT
Comment by Michele of Grove City, PA

David, as I read this, I happened to be listening to Hawaiian music on Spotify. :) I am looking forward to making a trip over there in a week. Thank you for this message. What an apt comparison! Once a person has developed callouses, it is a difficult and time-consuming process to try to get rid of them, lessen them, or change them when we have to go out there into the world and keep walking on the same feet. (I can testify to this firsthand...!) Sometimes we think they are gone, but then they are back again. Or, we develop them in different spots. We really have to make an effort to recognize the problem(s) and use different methods to make it better, and as you said, that is what we also need to do with a calloused spirit. We may find that we have an experience or learn a lesson from His word that changes us only to relapse in another circumstance. With patience and perseverance, however, we can do anything with His guidance.

God bless!

Posted July 24, 2014 at 08:08AM CDT
Comment by Shirley

Thank you David, I try to put myself in the other person's shoes but often fall short, being sensitive to others needs and situations is my prayer. As the song says, "soften my heart Lord". May you all have a blessed day and praise God that Miriaam has been freed from Sudan. Let's not forget our Christian brothers and sisters who are being persecuted throughout the world, so very sad.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 09:05AM CDT
Comment by Peter of Anaheim, CA

How perfect. I protected my heart so it was stone. My matriarchal guardian mentally abused me to the point where I became bipolar. My heart is in my mind. Now my heart is in my heart. Praise God and let things be in their righteous place.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 09:10AM CDT
Comment by Edd of Ocala, FL

Good morning all slept a little late I think the excitement of the week finally caught up to me. Praise the Lord. David, thanks for the scripture and your wonderful devotional that reminds us that God can do anything even soften a totally harden heart. Did anyone else notice the cleansing using water? That was the first time I noticed that in the scripture. It is amazing how God can open our eyes to something new no matter how many times we read something. I truly, from the deepest parts of my heart thank all of you for your prayers for my family, prayers are so powerful and they worked this time so very well. Praying all the UR Family have a great day filled with Love and healing by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is Love!!! Edd of Ocala, FL.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 09:22AM CDT
Comment by Elias of La Palma, CA

David Ladd: Thank you for your devotional today. I like your analogy. I believe that the best way for us to 'feel' God's Love is when someone has given to us just as God gives to the whole world, Without requiring in return! When we, in turn, do the same for those around us, then we begin to Understand the Essence of God's LOVE.
***
Bob of Elgin: Thanks for your feedback. We both agree on the Defense side of the argument, but when Jesus was under attack, did He seek revenge? And, when Jesus prayed, the night before He was crucified, was there another option that He asked for? My point is this, there are other options. Fighting is Not the ONLY solution. Governments are made up of people just like you and me, who have the same dreams, and want the same things for their loved ones just as we do.
No one, except God, knows what's in the future, but for TODAY, having patience and seeking a peaceful solution to these problems is wiser than killing innocent men women and children.
***
Ed of Ocala: Thank you for your comment. I wish more people would remember the mistakes we've made as a Country so as Not to be doomed to making the same mistakes. God is indeed LOVE!
***
Kim of Locust Grove: Thank you! And God bless you, Sister.
***
Yulia: Here's a thought that I hope you will consider. God is the SAME, yesterday, today and tomorrow. His Love is Consistent Forever. Why would God send Jesus to show us how He really is, and then turn around and say, "Die, Suckers!"? Okay, perhaps that's a bit dramatic, but my point is Love does not seek to destroy. God has a redemptive plan for the whole world.
On a personal level, would you strive with one of your loved ones to accept Salvation, and after a period of time say to them, " You don't want to believe, so now I'm going to destroy you!"? Why would Love do that? Apply 1 Corinthians 13 to all of this, and you may see God's Plan a little more clearly.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 09:27AM CDT
Comment by Terry of Dublin, OH

Thanks David for your message and lesson that we all need to look at the sensitivity of our spiritual being to be sure it does not get too crusted with the problems of this world. I know it is hard not to want to protect ourselves from the evils we all experience at times. It is a delicate balance on how to provide some insulation from the continual evils/problems we encounter while making our selves open to God’s love and joy. The one sure way to bridge this dilemma is to allow God to be the insulating factor in our lives. I know the more we make God a priority and center of our lives, trusting or having faith in him the less we need to act on our own. The more we think we have to do it for ourselves, the less we have faith in God. God will be there at all times, no matter what we face in this life. It may not seem too pleasant at the time, but we just have to let go of the branch (see previous story of the guy hanging over a cliff) and trust God is there to catch us.
I pray for added faith and strength for all who are in a position where they feel they have to create a callous to protect themselves as opposed to allowing God. I pray for all the women/people who are in abused relationship (seems like we have many who join this site) for added faith that God will first protect them and then deliver them to a better life……if they just have faith to LET GO. I know it is easy to say from the outside. I pray for all in need from cancer, addictions, anxiety and other pressures of this world……please reach out to God and try to avoid the temptation to do it yourself…..you are NOT A LONE

Posted July 24, 2014 at 09:43AM CDT
Comment by Donna of Seguin, TX

Thank you David for this devotional. It is so true that our life experiences & situations can definitley harden our hearts & souls. Not only can destructive situations do this, but they can also cause us to CLOSE our hearts to others & CLOSE our souls to the Lord. I am divorced & it is not something I would wish on anyone. After that divorce my heart & soul were hardened & I closed bothmy heart to everyone & my soul to the Lord. It has taken me a long time to open both my heart & soul again, but with God's help & His gentle urging, I have begun to let others back in but most of all let the Lord back into my heart, soul & life. He is now my EVERYTHING. I can honestly say that the process has not been an easy one and it has been a long one. But it has been well worth the pains I have endured & the amount of time it has taken. It has taken alot of praying on my part & alot of scriptural reading & studying. But, God has been so good to me. He has helped me to get to a place in my life where I am happy & content with myself. I love the Lord & want to spend the rest of my life honoring Him & doing what I can do for others to help them through similar situations. God is our refuge & strength, a very present help in trouble.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:02AM CDT
Comment by Henry of Alexandria, VA

Thanks to David and others for the devotional, scripture and comments emphasizing the need to remain kind loving and sensitive even in a world that puts pressure on us in so many ways that tend to make us insensitive intolerant and hard. Oh how this devotional and message hits home for me since one of my ongoing failings as a human is just the focus of the devotional -- I tend to let people and things that happen in the world get me angry resentful insensitive unkind unloving and all the things those words mean and more. And I know I am probably not the only one here in the UR that struggles with these issues. Like our loving Jesus on the cross remaining the loving and forgiving person and God He wants us to be, let us pray daily that we can be more like Him and not let Satan pull us into his snares and pits. Help us all to "take a breath, take a moment" when we feel those wrong feelings coming on and remember the persons that God wants us to be. Not that we need to accept others actions when they are wrong, but that we can try to do what Jesus would do! Joining all in prayers today for David, Kathy Corey Liz and your families (hang in there Kathy thanks for sharing with us so we can pray with and for you -- you in your heart know the right things to do and God will be with you and help you!), Francis and Miriam, Judy and sister, Don and Lynn, Julie Jon and your students, C'herie and Ron PTL!, Marsha and family PTL!, Peter PTL!, Terry (your words to us today are so beautiful and meaningful, thank you!), me Sarah Mathew and others still seeking employment or better employment (Lord order our steps with your anointing and inspire energize and embolden us to walk those steps!), Josie, those in life's storms of all types Israel Palestine Ukraine the many plane crashes fires storms and more, those serving God and country ordained and lay, a dear friend and pastor Bart and his family in Washington State getting ready to retire tomorrow from his terrific career as an Army Chaplain,Julia Matt and Jeff, Cindy Lee Jer and families, and for all other spoken and unspoken praises and requests. God is able and is indeed love. Grace, peace and blessings.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 10:51AM CDT
Comment by Jimmie of Chester, VA

Hello, everyone. Happy Thursday! I have experienced several differents moods today, but I am still happy. Why? Because this is the day that the Lord has made. Thanks for your devotional, David. I know what it's like to not wear shoes for a time also, but thank God, I've always had a soft heart. Now I have a pure heart for God. That's what He has done if my life, and, of course, He can do the same for others too, as you so well demonstrated in your devotional. Thanks again.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 02:07PM CDT
Comment by Jimmie of Chester, VA

Forgive my typos please.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 02:11PM CDT
Comment by Jimmie of Chester, VA

Forgive my typos please.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 02:11PM CDT
Comment by cherie of inverness, FL

I would like prayer for my new found cousin who lost her husband yesterday from heart failure. I had just found them on an historical website. The family home is on the historical register in Poyen Arkansas. Ron and I were going to visit them when both our husbands became ill. Please send them comfort at this time. They are the Byrd family. Her name is Betty and her husband was Hobart Byrd.

Posted July 24, 2014 at 03:24PM CDT
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