January 28 | Daily Devotion

If you plan to read every verse of Scripture this year, use the Lectio Continua (continuous reading) passages. The Lectio Semi-continua (shorter reading) is an abbreviated selection of verses from the day’s passages. Lectio Divina (divine reading) is Pastor Lionel Young’s commentary on the daily readings. See the Resources page on the Lectio Divina website for additional study helps.

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina (meditation on the text)

“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’” ~Exodus 16:12

God saved His people with glorious wonders, but now they are endlessly grumbling! It’s one thing right after the other: the food, the drink, the accommodations, the guy in charge. Grumble, grumble, grumble! God is patient, however; He continues to rescue this stiff-necked people, even delivering them from a cowardly attack by sworn enemies (Ex. 17:8-15). However, the people prove themselves unready for the challenges ahead (Ex. 16:4, 20) and, worse, unwilling to address their heart issues, a lack of faith, bitterness, anxiety, etc. The Israelites’ constant complaining becomes a besetting sin that eventually does tick God off.

Have you ever been around people who have a knack for finding the negative in everything? Complainers and curmudgeons irritate everyone around them. They also irritate God (see 1 Corinthians 10:10). Don’t misunderstand. God’s ears are open to our complaints when we bring them to Him in prayer; however, we would be wrong to waste every day carping on the ills of the world in general and in our lives in particular. What’s hidden beneath that moaning and groaning is a heart issue that needs to be rooted out. Sometimes it’s pride (“I deserve better than this”), sometimes doubt (“God can’t be trusted with my circumstances”), envy (“I want what he has”), or selfishness (“I just want more”).

Sin must be dealt with at the heart level and cut off from our lives (Mark 7:21-23). But as we turn away from the wrong attitudes that spur our complaints, we need new practices to help keep our hearts in the right place. For example, begin the day with praise, giving thanks for at least one thing. If you can’t think of anything else, praise God for another day to be alive! Or pause before every meal and give thanks, and I mean really give thanks, not just for the food but also for everything that you have enjoyed since your last meal. When you are waiting (in line, at the doctor’s office, at a stop light), that’s an opportunity to give thanks for coffee, books, pets, clothes, and 10, 000 other things. Make praise a priority, and it will change your life! God hates complaining; it bothers Him. Turn whining into worship with His help!

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.