Tag Archives: Spiritual Fitness

Ready to Play

Living in the Spirit
November 12, 2017

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:1-13

The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
–Matthew 25:8-13

First, I would like to point out that the foolish bridesmaid reportedly had the resources necessary to buy more oil. They either did not choose to use it for purchasing the oil, or they were procrastinators. They sound a lot like most of us. Funny how I can ignore something which seriously needs my attention like the slow leak in my shower head. When my hard drive crashed recently, I took it to the Geek Squad, like taking someone who is ill to the emergency room.

Whether we like it or not, God expects us to be purpose driven and intentional in our work related to the coming of the Kingdom of God and everything we do relates to the coming of the Kingdom of God. Being a follower of Christ is not a spectator sport. Players in a basketball game who are taking a rest on the bench during the game never disengage from the game itself. They have to remain diligent to the process for when reinserted they must blend in seamlessly with the rest of the team. The same is true of our service to Christ.

Called as partners in Christ’s service,
    Called to ministries of grace,
    We respond with deep commitment
    Fresh new lines of faith to trace.
    May we learn the art of sharing,
    Side by side and friend with friend,
    Equal partners in our caring
    To fulfill God’s chosen end.*

Prayer:  God, give us the courage to prepare for whatever we face in our service to you, help us stay in good spiritual, physical, and mental health, so our entrance I flawless when sent to do your work. Amen.

*First verse of Called as Partners in Christ’s service, by Jane Parker Huber see at http://worship-organizer.awtrey.com/hymnal/?number=343

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 America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.

Exercising our Love

April 15, 2017

Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:1-10

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. –Matthew 28:1-6

Matthew 27:54 reports an earthquake occurring while Jesus hung on the cross. Perhaps the resurrection quake was an aftershock. To say the least, the world order was turned upside-down by the events of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, or was it turned right-side up?  As I write this I have an ice pack on my thigh nursing a sore muscle recently challenged in a physical therapy session. There are right ways and wrong ways to use muscles and if we do not use them, they weaken. The world is like that too. There is a right way, a just way to interact with one another and there are destructive ways. If we do not routinely practice the right ways, justice weakens.

Amos talks about this very issue. In chapters one and two, he castigates the neighboring nations of Israel for some horrible behavior assuring Israel that God would hold those nations accountable. When he gets to Judah, he takes a totally different approach saying (emphasis added)
Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Judah,
   and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have rejected the law of the Lord,
   and have not kept his statutes,
but they have been led astray by the same lies
   after which their ancestors walked.
So I will send a fire on Judah,
   and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem. (Amos 2:4-5)

Amos calls them to task for failure to live the way God called them to live. Evil is evil in any circumstance, but evil practiced by God’s people is an affront to God. There has been a lot of that going on lately.

We serve a risen Savior who gave his life to turn the world right-side up an enlisted our help in making it stay that way. If we truly love him, we must invest our whole beings in answering that call.

Prayer: Lord strengthen our love making us conduits of your love bringing  justice to our world today. Amen.

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 America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.