Tag Archives: Trust in God

Trust in God

Living in the Spirit
June 24, 2017

Scripture Reading: Matthew 10:24-39

‘A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

 ‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. –Matthew 10:24-31

I do accept this teaching intellectually, but my inner-most being sometimes has trouble living into it. I read the book of Amos and see the similarities between those ancient times and now and understand that little has changed in human nature. Our weapons are more dangerous than theirs. Information travels much faster now. Our world is a universe, not some tribal settlements scattered about with a few strangers wandering through at times. Our idols are more abstract than theirs but, no, they too worshiped at the feet of greed and power.

How do we align so closely with God that we have no fear of Beelzebul (the chief evil spirit) or any of his minions? From where does trust come–experience perhaps? Having the fortitude to step out in faith to live and love the way Jesus taught us will be met with a full measure of God’s love. God had already taken the first step when God created us and loved us. We are next-step people. God never forces God’s self on anyone, but when we take our first step in his service, God is fully engaged in leading us out of the dark into the light.

Prayer:
Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit Divine*! Amen

*First verse and chorus of Open My Eyes by Clara H. Scott see at https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/807

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.

God’s Eternal Message

ive-got-thisChristmas
January 1, 2017

Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:13-23

When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, ‘He will be called a Nazorean.’ –Matthew 2:19-23

One of the characteristics of the prophets who speak to us through the Bible I most appreciate is that they never lose sight of God’s eternal message, “I’ve got this.” When the world is falling apart around them, this message resonates. I call them pragmatic optimists. They see the fault lines. They fully realize the implications. They trust God.

Joseph demonstrates the same characteristic in our scripture today. In looking back on my life, I now can see clearly when doors I wanted to enter closed before me, new doors opened. At the time, I mourned the inability to cross the thresholds of those old doors. Later, I thanked God for the opportunities that resulted and in some instances the disasters I averted.

We make decisions that matter every day often on the fly. We as Christ-followers must keep our spirits as fine tuned as skilled athletes hone their bodies and practice their specific sport. It enables us to let our spirit memories, like an athlete’s muscle memory, take over as needed when our lives would otherwise be spinning out of control.

Prayer: O God,
Where can I go from your spirit?
   Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
   if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
   and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
   and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
   and the light around me become night’,
even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.  

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting*. Amen.

*Psalm 139:7-12, 23-24

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.

Cockeyed Optimist

making-all-things-newAdvent
November 24, 2016

Scripture Reading: Romans 13:11-14

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light
                                                  –Romans 13:11-12

I guess you might call me a cockeyed optimist*. This phrase in from the musical South Pacific which dealt with a time during World War II, in a place caught in the strife, and among a population dealing with racism. We too live in turbulent times. We fear fear itself in many ways. Our choice is to run and hide in our fear or accept this as our challenge to be a part of making all things new. I believe that with God’s help that is entirely within our grasp. I did not say it would be easy. It will require sacrifice; it will take all the best we have and then some.

A few more lines in the song further describe our dilemma:
I hear the human race Is fallin’ on its face
And hasn’t very far to go
But ev’ry whippoorwill
Is sellin’ me a bill,
And tellin’ me it just ain’t so*.

Advent is a wonderful time to take stock of our fears and any resulting negative thoughts or behaviors we might have. Do we love ourselves? If not, let God make us whole. Do we love all our neighbors as we love ourselves? If not, let God make us one. Do we see injustice in the world? If so, let God make us doers of justice. By Christmas Day, let God renew our hearts and minds readying us to assume our job in making all things new.

Prayer: Lord, walk with me each day during Advent as I examine myself. Help me see myself clearly and cleanse me where needed, preparing me for service to you. Amen.

*Line from the Song “A Cockeyed Optimist” from the Musical South Pacific composed by Richard Rodgers, with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein. See at https://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/southpacific/acockeyedoptimist.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.