Spend time with God

the-more-you-know-god-21 Corinthians 2:14 The Message 

14 The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion.

Do we really take the time to get to know God? We get to know people by spending time with them. We can’t know those that we stay away from. There are so many ways to spend time with God. We can meet in prayer, in silence, in church, and any other place that we choose. God is waiting for us. God is always ready. It is up to us.

Prayer: God, our companion on the way, help us to seek you in everything that we do. You are always there. We are the ones who back away. Remind us to spend time with you.

Judgement is the Lord’s

For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Hebrews 10:30-31 NRSV

revenge-bible-verses.800w.tn

We all know people that we would love to have suffer for the wrongs that they have done. We would love to see evil befall them. However, God tells us that no matter how much we want to see them suffer it is not our place to take vengeance.

So many evils in this world come abut because of someone’s selfish, uncaring ways. People are hurt or seriously damaged and we can’t understand how they can get away with continuing to live that way and nothing happens. It seems that the good suffer and the evil thrive. How can God let this happen. That is one of the most difficult questions but part of the hope we see is here in these verses. It is definitely fearful to fall into the hands of the living God and have to answer for how we lived. Trust the Lord.

Prayer: Loving God, help us to trust you to render judgement. Remind us that is not our place but yours. We are called to forgive instead of seeking vengeance. Help us to follow in the ways of our Lord, Jesus Christ. AMEN

 

Spending time

Psalm 84:10

For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than live in the tents of wickedness.

spending time together

I have discovered an interesting thing. The more time that I spend with God….praying..listening…the better I feel. Maybe that’s what the psalmist is talking about. Someone I knew said the person we know best is the one we spend the most time with. Maybe we need to spend more time with God and less time with psychics and horoscopes. Living with God is a much better deal.

Prayer: Lord of Wisdom, turn us from false prophets who lead us along wrong paths. Show us the way to you through your Son Jesus Christ out Lord. AMEN

Do we really see them?

Psalm 41:1

Happy are those who consider the poor;[a]
    the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.

We don’t want to see the poor and needy. It disturbs us. Probably because we feel guilty about not doing something. We see homeless people on the streets and they are dirty, wear layers of clothing (have everything they own on their backs) and often smell bad. They are not pleasant to be around. They often beg for money and we generally assume that they will use the money for liquor or drugs. Hoe much we assume! I wonder if we would fee the same way if we knew their story.

see the poor

Christ calls us to give out of our abundance. Maybe we think we don’t have much to give but by comparison we are very rich. The psalmist tells us that we will be happy if we help…that help will come to us in our time of need if we do. It reminds me of the saying “what goes around, comes around!” If we do nothing that could be a scary thought.

Prayer. God of the homeless and needy . Help us to not pass by when we encounter the poor. Le us see the incredible plenty that we have and inspire us to share. Remind us that we, also could be one of those in need but for your grace. AMEN

NO fear

The 23rd Psalm has so much wisdom. We seldom stop to think about it. We just recite it because we have done it so often. Tonight I have been thinking about this part of it.

fear-is-forgetting

Psalm 23: 4 NRSV

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[d]
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

or from The Message

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

I have always wondered about the rod and staff. In our time that image didn’t mean much. Now I see it as someone strong and caring walking with me….someone who will keep me safe no matter what. Walking with God I have no fear.

Rest

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
come-and-take-the-rest001
I have always found this verse from the so loved psalm intriguing. Why does it say “he makes me?” There is an easy answer to that. We are so busy…so prone to never stropping that we don’t slow down. God wants us to stop. He wants to us to just rest in the beauty of nature and listen for his voice. He wants us to hear the babble of the brook and dip our hands into the still waters.
Take the time to take your rest.

He heals

Psalm 103: 1-5

Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live[a]
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

I always cling to this Psalm when things are rough. It is so perfect when I am stressed. What could be better than verses 3-4. I need my sins forgiven and my illnesses healed. David was right on target. This is a God of goodness and mercy. Thank him every day.

Words hurt

Proverbs 21:23 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

23 To watch over mouth and tongue
    is to keep out of trouble.

Recently I was with someone who has been struggling with illness. It has caused some problems with mental abilities and the result can be disturbing. Memories are skewed and sometimes things are said that really hurt. It is hard to remember that the memories are not accurate and the words spoken come from a disoriented place.

words hurt

Words can hurt. We have to be careful about using our mouths to upset someone else. My father used to say “put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion.”….something we all need to keep in mind.

In the case of those who can’t monitor their words forgiveness and understanding are important. The rest of us have no excuse.

Be careful using words.

Teach me

Psalm 119:65-66

65 You have dealt well with your servant,
    Lord, according to your word.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
    for I believe in your commandments.

We all need to be taught. We slip so easily into doing the wrong thing. We have to be reminded that we stray from God’s path. There is so much to tempt us. We are bombarded with TV programs that make love of others and kindness seem outdated. Violence is present in computer and video games. The exposure make it seem “normal.” God calls us to turn away from hatred and turn back to love and compassion. We need to be taught God’s ways not those of the world.

Never presume

Romans 15:1-2 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor.

dont-judge-my-path

How often do we look down on others for something they can’t help. So many who suffer from mental illness are thought of as “less than.” They may be functioning members of society fighting their demons every day but that is something we can’t see. It is so easy to be judgmental. Never presume weakness. It may actually be enormous strength that we can’t see.