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Daily Reading: 1 Kings 8:1-66 ESV, Acts 7:51-8:13 ESV, Psalm 129:1-8 ESV, Proverbs 17:1 ESV

Daily Verse: “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” (Acts 7:51 ESV)

SKLRETRACHE (4644): “Obstinate”[i]

Obstinate resistance.

Fifty-two percent of Americans don’t believe in Jesus’ divinity, thinking Him a “great teacher and nothing more.”[i]

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1:25 ESV)

People have plenty of excuses for not following Jesus.  Critical spirits find plenty to criticize.  God forbid a Christ-follower make a mistake; people quickly point fingers when a believer falters.  And Lord knows, forgiveness does not come easily from others.

Pride goes hand in hand with stiff necks.  For some reason, admitting failures doesn’t come easy.  Becoming vulnerable requires confessing our struggles, but we don’t want to talk about them.  Pointing fingers at others take the attention off ourselves.

Stay humble.

If we don’t stay humble, we’ll become stiff-necked.  Stubbornness affects our physical health. In a 2019 study, researchers found that 90 percent of heart failure people don’t make the necessary lifestyle changes.[ii] In other words, 9 out of 10 people refuse to make the minor changes essential to extend their life.

Softening your heart towards Jesus means extending grace to others. We must pray for the stubborn people in our lives.  Ask God to soften their hearts towards Him.  Pray for other believers to come into their lives and help them accept the truth of Jesus in their hearts, allowing His Spirit to take up residency within them.

People miss heaven because of the 18 inches between their heads and heart.  Pray for their stiff necks to become more flexible, allowing the reality of Jesus to change them forever.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 229) Thomas Nelson



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