Monday, September 18, 2006

Ordinary Time: Monday, September 18, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Job 40:1-24

Job has the courage to question God, he has the courage to voice his compliant to God; which in the Old Testament is a rare thing. In this passage, we see God's response. Which is basically, who are you to question me? Were you there when I brought creation into being? Were you there when I did all that is seen and unseen? Do you not know that I am God?

As much as we know about God, as much as Christ revealed to us; as much as the Bible points out and instructs, there is still much to God that we don't know. We don't know all mysteries; we don't know all reasons; we don't know all the answers. That is part of what Job teaches us. There are some things we don't know and will never know. However, we do know this. God is good, and He loves us. So, while we don't know everything, we know that God has our best interest at heart.

So, even when you don't know the answer, don't know why, don't understand, Job teaches us this. Trust. Faith is when we don't know and still trust. Faith is when we don't feel like praying and still pray. Faith is when we have no reason for hope, but we still hope. Today, may you have faith.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 15:36-16:5

Today, we see Paul and Barnabas part ways. One thing I like so much about Barnabas is that he believes in giving folks second chances. John Mark deserted them in a time of need; in a time when they were spreading the word. Paul did not want him to come with them again. He must have felt like you could not count on him. In times of ministry, you need folks you can count on, you need folks you can trust. Paul did not feel like he could trust John Mark after he deserted them that time.

But, Barnabas believed in second chances. That is why he went to Paul and befriended him. Barnabas knew that John Mark needed another chance. And so, he and John Mark went there own way to spread the Gospel. Who was right in this situation? Paul or Barnabas? I believe that for their own reasons, they both were.

Paul was motivated by spreading the gospel, and in mission work, you need people you can count on; people you can trust. Paul did not trust John Mark. Barnabas was motivated by the notion of the second chance; he was an encourager. Yes, John Mark let them down before, but who hasn't made a mistake. They both had noble goals, and honestly, God needed them both. If Paul was not who he was, those of us that are not Jews would not be Christian. And, if Barnabas was not who he was, we would not have the Gospel of Mark, for that is who John Mark was, the man that God used to write that Gospel.

Gospel Lesson

John 11:55-12:8

We see today Judas want to look righteous with his concern for the poor. Sometimes we want to appear righteous before other people instead of actually being righteous by worshiping Jesus Christ. We should be more concerned with our hearts than with putting up an image of holiness. If our heart is right with God, we will really be holy, we will live a holy life. However, if we are just trying to fool people, we will be found out, and if our heart is not right with God; we will stand before Him and have to explain why we appeared Christian instead of becoming Christian. And, standing before a Holy God and trying to explain why we just played church is not something we should want to do.

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