Devotion - June 22

Psalms 106-110, Proverbs 22, Mark 4:1-20

When your words came, I ate them;
they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear your name,
Lord God Almighty.

(Jeremiah 15:16)

Yesterday in worship we considered some of Jesus’ parables about seeds, including the parable of the sower from Mark 4. It is repeated in our reading today. Our devotions this week tarry on this idea of the different soils – the receiving ground for the good news of the kingdom.

Reflecting today on that hard soil, it struck me that at times it seems as if God’s word can skip right along the surface of my heart or mind and find no purchase – it is easily snatched away. I remembered a story told by Corrie Ten Boom, the Dutch Christian whose family hid Jews in their home in Haarlem (the Netherlands). Eventually arrested and sent to a concentration camp along with her sister Betsy, who died there, Ten Boom was released at the end of December in 1944 as the result of a clerical error. (She was told later that soon afterward all the women in her age group were executed in the gas chambers).

After the war, Corrie would travel and speak extensively. At one point she was sharing her testimony and teaching from the Bible to a group entirely unreceptive to what they perceived as her simplistic understanding of the Scriptures. The next day she shared Dutch chocolates with them – a huge treat in the years immediately after the war. After they had all enjoyed the chocolates, she said to them, “No one has said anything to me about the chocolate.”

“Oh yes we did,” they replied quickly. “We thanked you.”

“Yes, of course, but no one questioned me about the chocolate. No one asked whether it had been manufactured in Holland or what quantities it contained of cocoa, sugar, milk, or vitamins. You have done exactly what I intended you to do; you have eaten and enjoyed it.” She explained her ‘parable’ – a warning against so much sophisticated study and analysis of the words of the Bible that we do not receive as God intended, eating and enjoying the words.

Sometimes you and I need to eat the word of God like chocolate – savor and enjoy the message of the Scriptures. Today I encourage you to read through the Psalms out loud. Let the words melt in your mouth! And listen with spirit and heart for one phrase that especially delights. Write it down. Carry it with you. Memorize and repeat it.

Let’s delight together in the joy of the good news of the kingdom today – that God hears, rescues, and redeems.
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