Psalm 19:7-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is pure,
the ordinances of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.
This is a remarkable passage. It tells us what we will be like if we please God. If we follow God’s law our soul will be revived. We will be filled with joy when we please God. Following his commandments lights us up. Fearing God is being like glass…transparent with nothing to make us cloudy.
We can be beautiful inside and out. We only have to please God. It is possible….just look carefully at the life of Jesus Christ and try to follow Him each day.
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
so I shall be saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
5 the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
7 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9 He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
I should have printed the whole Psalm as it goes on like this. This Psalm is not for the weak at heart. This is no namby-pamby God but a God of power. Just imagine….God was called by one of his people and he not only answered but came fast as lightening with scary special effects better than any movie. This is SOME GOD!
He will come just as fast to help us… all we have to do is call.
When times are frustrating for me and things throw me off my path this is the quote that immediately comes to mind. It is something that I can say over and over again as a mantra. It will move me into a place of calm. If you have a favorite scripture verse or other piece that you can use in this way try it. Just the repetition will take you to a different place.
Have you noticed that Jesus rarely answered questions. Most of the time he told stories. We call them parables. He was one of the best storytellers of all time. His stories always had a moral and always left us thinking about the meaning. Stories stick with people better than anything else. It is hard to forget about the Prodigal Son or the Good Samaritan. If we grew up Christian just the mention of these stories brings up images. Go to the New Testament. Pick out and read the stories.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.1 John 2:2
A quiet day. Jesus is in the tomb. It is all over. His body was taken down and wrapped for burial. On this day he is gone. Take time on Holy Saturday to pause and think about what sort of day it was for the disciples.
Prayer: “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” Taize
Going to church no more makes you a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car. Garrison Keillor
I love this quote. It reminds me that just attending church each Sunday doesn’t make me a Christian. Neither does attending Sunday School and church events. It is so easy to fall into complacency. I have to do more than that. Being a Christian is deeper, more taxing, more uncomfortable. Becoming a car might be easier.
Prayer: God of wisdom, I need to understand that I must “Go forth in the name of Christ” and do your work. Amen
“To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs.” Anon
Have you met Christians ready to pummel you with their God? Or the one for whom anything to do with God is a totally serious business. They never laugh when they are talking about him To them, God is a wrathful, angry God. One from only the Old Testament. Jesus taught us about another God. The God who wants us to have a cheerful face. The New Testament God is the one I follow. Christ didn’t have a grumpy face. He went to parties. He drank wine. His face was full of love.
Prayer: Intimate God, let us show a cheerful face to others that we might draw them to you. Help us to teach them about Jesus. Amen
Prayer: Thank you loving God for continuing to give us a chance. We just don’t seem to learn. Forgive us our sins. Amen
Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand. Mark Twain
“Love your neighbor as yourself, turn the other cheek, follow me.” These are passages from the bible that I do understand. There are many more. The trouble is that they call me to be a better person. Who they ask me to be seems impossible. How can I learn to be the Christian you want me to be.?
Prayer: Lord help me! I do understand these words you have given me but I don’t seem to be able to follow through. Help! Amen
““To fear the Lord is the beginning of freedom.” ~ Ecclesiastes 1:14a
It is a very strange fact that in giving ourselves freely to God we become free. It is in “fearing” God that we gain our very souls. To “fear” him is acknowledge that he is God and he is in control. Yet his way of control is to give us freedom of choice. We can choose him or not. We can love him or not. We can “fear” him or not. It is up to each of us.
Prayer: Intriguing God, your way to control is to turn loose. Help us to use our freedom for your kingdom. Amen
It is in the ordinary duties and labors of life that the Christian can and should develop his spiritual union with God.”
There is a wonderful little book called Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence did ordinary, everyday tasks such as washing dishes and planting vegetables. Yet everything he did was dedicated to God. Each task was done for the glory of God. He made each task holy. How different life would be if we could all do this.
Prayer: Glorious God, help us to understand that the simplest task is done for you. Remind us that everything we do each day is holy. Amen