August 2 2009
Message today: Reflect again on James 1:22 →After hearing all of this about God's work in our own church, from VBS to World Changers, are you going to hear or do?
James 2:2 →Do we come to church dressed to show off our wealth?
Proverbs 2:4 →Getting wisdom will not be easy, and must be a priority.
Proverbs 2:5-6 →Not just wisdom, but knowledge and understanding also, come from the Lord God. So, how can you educate without them? Is it possible?
Proverbs 2:9 →Ah, without the Lord you have knowledge that lacks righteousness, justice, and integrity.
Proverbs 2:21-22 →The upright sometimes become so few in number that the land is overrun anyway. In those times, God provides comfort. Sometimes, though, the land is overrun because we who claim to be upright refuse to speak up for righteousness.
Revelation 19:1-6 →Salvation and glory and power belong to our God. Not just one of those, not a separate God for each, but they all belong to Him. His judgments, his wrath, his love, his vengeance, his mercy, all are a part of who He is. Let us not neglect one to the detriment of another.
1 Peter 3:18 →If you are righteous, and suffering, remember that Christ died for unjust people. That He is righteousness personified, yet the world tortured and killed Him. While this does not alleviate the suffering, it does allow for better understanding: sometimes God wills the righteous to suffer, that the unrighteous might know Him.
1 Peter 3:18 →Then there's that line about put to death the flesh, be made alive in the spirit. Are our spirits alive? Do we act that way? Have we put to death the flesh in our lives? We're all born sinners, and I think we're all born with a propensity towards a particular group of sins. But, even though we've got a natural tendency towards sin, we must put it to death. And we may neither particularly loathe or excuse our own tendencies, nor anyone else's. Sin is sin, as James 2 shows us. At its heart is rebellion against God.
Closing prayer for this past week has been from St. Patrick. If you don't know St. Patrick's story, you should learn it. If you don't go in for biographies or want a short synopsis, check out the Story of St. Patrick on the VeggieTales DVD Sumo of the Opera . You'll probably also like the send-ups of the 3 Stooges and Rocky, but it's a great short intro to the life of St. Patrick. And told with a flannelgraph, at that. Or, Voice of the Martyrs has a book on him, but I don't have it yet. If it's as good as their book on St. Valentine, it will give a great intro to the man. Anyway, I was struck by the tone of this prayer, that it's not demanding, but more permissive to the will of God. Note the use of “May” where we we would put something more restrictive:
May the power of God preserve us. May the wisdom of God instruct us and the way of God direct us. May the hand of God protect us and the host of God guard us against the snares of evil and temptations of the world. [in good Baptist tradition, let's add Amen. ]
May it be so today. May God preserve, instruct, direct, protect and guard us. And may we follow Him.