Daily Bible Reading

The sound of silence

Silence can be one of the most difficult things to endure. For many, a great deal of discomfort is found when all noise ceases. Most of us will feel a need to fill the void of sound with babble, the radio, a YouTube video, or just about anything that will permeate the air with something other than silence.

There are times, though, when God desires our silence. Remember on the mountain, Elijah did not hear God in the wind, the quake, or the fire, but in the whispering, small voice in the stillness that followed the cacophony. With his ears ringing from the violence that had just passed, Elijah would have had to be still and listen closely to hear anything at all let alone a quiet whisper.

Be silent, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honoured throughout the world.

Psalm 46:10 (NLT)

It is in the silence that God speaks to us. If we constantly fill our days with noise, how will we ever learn to hear His voice? If we never hear His voice, we will be more easily swayed by all of the other voices around us.

The Lord Almighty is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.
                                                      Interlude

Psalm 46:11 (NLT)

God is always around us. How often do we take notice of that fact? How often do we acknowledge Him? The Psalms are filled with interludes. In many translations, you’ll find selah following a phrase. It is an intentional pause, a time for purposeful reflection. The Lord Almighty is here among us. Here. Among us. Those are certainly words that could use some additional thought.

We should take time every day not to merely endure silence, but to actively seek it out. If it requires removing yourself to a quiet place, so be it. Leave behind the noise and distractions. See what you can learn. Often the sound of silence is far more revealing than the noise.

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 44-46, Acts 25

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Daily Bible Reading

Speak without a sound

Inside, the people were all shouting, some one thing and some another. Everything was in confusion. In fact, most of them didn’t even know why they were there.

Acts 19:32 (NLT)

There are a lot of people in a lot of places making a lot of noise. Like this crowd in Ephesus, they found a cause and joined the fray without even knowing why they were there. It all sounds too familiar. How much noise are we surrounded by? How many people are shouting to make their voice heard over the rest? How much of it really matters?

The heavens tell of the glory of God.
The skies display his marvellous craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or a word;
their voice is silent in the skies;
yet their message has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to all the world.

Psalm 19:1-4a (NLT)

Isn’t in incredible that the crowd at Ephesus had to shout to be heard and most of them didn’t even know why they were shouting! Yet the heavens are silent in their declaration and their message can be heard across the entire world.

Think about your message today. Consider the volume of your words and actions. Are you adding to the noise or are you making a silent declaration?

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 19-21, Acts 19:21-41

Daily Bible Reading

Whisper and shout

We live in a noisy world. You can’t even leave your house with noise of all sorts being thrust at you. It would seem that the loudest voices always win. Being heard is more important than being right.

When you strive to be heard, what are you shouting? Are you shouting simply to be heard? Or are you shouting truth?

What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ears, shout from the housetops for all to hear!

Matthew 10:27 (NLT)

We are to shout what God whispers. But I think we often get caught whispering what He shouts.

Here’s something to think about: if we’re always shouting, how can we ever hear God’s whisper? Perhaps it’s time to be quiet for a while and figure out what we should be shouting before we add to the noise.

Daily Bible reading: Genesis 31-32, Matthew 10:24-42

Daily Bible Reading

A little less conversation

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power.

1 Corinthians 4:20 (ESV)

You are being watched. The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day.

If you are a fan of the TV show Person of Interest, you’d have heard the voice of Harold Finch recite the above quote many times.

We are being watched. Maybe the government has a machine, but more than that the world around us is the machine. We are being watched nearly every hour of every day.

As time goes by, it become more and more evident that words are no longer enough. They mean nothing. They are empty. No one is listening. It is our actions that speak so much louder.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:1 (ESV)

If your words are only adding to the noise, perhaps it is time to be silent and let your actions speak for you. Is love something we merely talk about or is it something we do?

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 119:49-104, 1 Corinthians 4