Tag Archives: Choices

Finding Faith

faith-and-justiceLiving in the Spirit
October 16, 2016

Scripture Reading: Luke 18:1-8

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.”’ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’

When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’ Strong’s concordance indicates that faith is always a gift from God*. It is a gift given to all. I doubt if many perceive of faith as a gift from God to accept or not. I wonder if faith in God appears on most of our wish lists. If it were possible to post the gift of faith on a resale site, would we see if we can sell it for something better? Is that rather like what we do as we search for gods of our own making?

Faith includes the attribute of confidence necessary for our successful journeying through life. I am a basketball fan. It is not unusual to hear a commentator talking about a rookie player having to gain the confidence of his playing before he fully develops as a seasoned professional. How much of our flailing through life results from our failure to engage God’s gift of confidence included in the package of faith?

Faith is the source of God’s divine persuasion* that channels us through rough waters as well as seemingly harmless stagnant pools. God brings together our desires with God’s insights to strengthen our growth and development as we strive to attain God’s purpose and our own which somehow become the same.

On Jesus’ return if justice is not the rule of the land, he surely might wonder what happened to all the faith he gave us.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your gift of faith that enables us to be sources of justice in our world now. Amen.

*http://biblehub.com/greek/4102.htm

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights 
reserved.

Daily Salvation

Mary Anointing Jesus' feetLent Holy Week April 1, 2015

Scripture Reading: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 I thank you that you have answered me    and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected    has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing;    it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made;    let us rejoice and be glad in it. — Psalm 118:21-24 

Salvation is a big word packed with meaning and meaningfulness but it may be the moment by moment points of salvation in each of our lives when we are truly saved. I don’t know about you but my world generally moves from busy to busy. I keep thinking once I get “that” done, whatever “that” is, I can rest and then something else pops up and I retarget my time for rest until I get the next “that” done. It is the moments of God’s grace sprinkled through my days that sustain and nourish me.

Wednesday of Holy Week has no real designation for emphasis. It is a day to prepare, a day for Jesus to be nourished. Tradition indicates that it is the day a Mary, we do not know which Mary, anointed Jesus’ feet with oil. (John 12:2) Some identify this as an act of preparation for his burial. I think it was the act of someone who saw his anguish and wished in some small way to relieve it.

Wednesday of Holy Week is also by tradition the day Judas betrayed Jesus. We will probably always question how one of Jesus’ disciples could sell him out. How many times have we each reneged on our commitment to God for a lesser god like money or power? It just takes a second, a spur of the moment to take that step. Indeed, each day is a day that God has given us to love or not. Our scripture today invites us to take the higher road and rejoice in the opportunity to serve God through our love.

 Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.*

 Prayer: O Lord, guard my moments and my days let them flow in ceaseless praise. Amen.

*First verse of Take My Life and Let It Be by Frances R. Havergal see hymn at http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/t/a/k/takemyli.htm All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Cleansing Demons

Cleansing DemonsEpiphany
Celebration of God
Manifested in the World
February 7, 2015

 Scripture Reading: Mark 1:29-39

That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.  — 1:23-34

Being demon possessed means one has come under the control of a fallen angel.* When one is demon possessed he or she is settling for something less than God. I fear we are all guilty of fooling ourselves at times by worshiping something less than God. Making such a choice fractures our relationship with God. Like Fred Sandford who oft said, “The Devil made me do it”, we don’t take responsibility for our own choices of following the easy, perhaps more mesmerizing, path instead of the road less travelled that provides far greater substance and sustenance for our souls.

In our times of digital communications when we can say instantly what we feel and think, we sometimes do not consider how our comments might be received. I do not know how many times I have written something that truly reflected what I was feeling at that moment. On rereading it, I noticed how petty it sounded. My tiredness, my frustration with my computer or whatever else is distracting me, or perhaps with the issue shines through with all its lack of glory. I have communicated the demon within me rather than the message God wishes my correspondent(s) to receive. I now try to proofread everything with this in mind. In my busyness, however, I sometimes miss something. I have found the process to be rather cathartic. It is my way of inviting God to cleanse me of the demons I am allowing into my everyday life. My hope is that someday I will be freed from those demons so I will not have to do so much rewriting being God focused will just come naturally to me.

Prayer: Lord, cleanse our hearts and our minds of the demons that rob us of energy that could be used more productively in your service. Amen.

*http://biblehub.com/greek/1139.htm
**See Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken at http://www.bartleby.com/119/1.html

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.