Thursday, November 26, 2009
Could I do any less?
Most of our mothers taught us to be thankful - or at least to say "thank you" when someone did something for us or gave us something. Being thankful is just plain good manners - being polite.
This is a thankfulness that can be given without surrendering self-sufficiency and arrogance.
Then there's thankfulness that comes from humility - a thankfulness that recognizes that you have been given things that you do not deserve, that you have not earned, that in reality, you are not capable of providing for yourself.
This is thankfulness that acknowledges the inadequacy and emptiness that can only be filled by a kind Creator who is in and of Himself, all sufficient, generous and loving.
This is thankfulness that, when offered to God, is true worship - a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Now consider this
(you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces and there be none to deliver)
consider this: He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me.
And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.
In the gospels Jesus often gave thanks to the father - an expression of appreciation, and an acknowledgement that, in His humanity, He was totally dependent upon the Father.
Could I do any less?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Who can live with a consuming fire?
Incredible verses. He begins with what appears to be rhetorical questions, the answer to which you would think to be "no one."
"No one" seems to be the right answer to: who among us can live with a consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning? After all, our God is a consuming fire! Hebrews 12:29.
Yet there is a positive response. There are men who can live with these!
Walks righteously, speaks with sincerity, rejects unjust gain, takes no bribe, stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking at evil.
What will happen to such men?
1. They will dwell on the heights.
2. They will have the impregnable rock as a refuge.
3. They will have their bread given to them
4. They will find their water to be pure.
Lord, help me be such a man. Help me be careful of how I walk, of how I conduct my business, of what I listen to and what I watch.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Who forgot to bring the bread?
Jesus said to them "having eyes do you not see, and ears do you not hear, and do you not remember ... do you not yet understand?" So - Jesus makes 2 points here: one about the religious and political leaven. One about His ability to provide. Not only to provide, but to provide above & beyond.
How does He make His point? By starting the discussion with what they forgot. Does God even control what we forget and what we remember? Did He intentionally cause them to forget the bread so He could make a point? Had they already been discussing the bread issue and saying "It wasn't my responsibility, you were supposed to get the food ..."
So the next time I forget something important, like the bread, I want to remember this much: to ask Jesus what it is He wants to teach or to do differently because I forgot. I think I may learn something. He said "do you not yet understand?" Obviously they didn't or He wouldn't have said that. The next time I forget something important I want to see if there's a lesson God wants me to learn.
Then after that I want to learn what is the political leaven in Mk 8.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Mercy or Judgment?
Mercy triumphs over judgment
Lord, help me to smile more and frown less.
Help me encourage others to follow their dreams, rather than tell them what won't work.
Help me see the good in others, not the bad.
Help me to have mercy rather than judgment.
I know that's what I need from You.
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