Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Podcast is up

My sermon from Sunday is posted on our church website. You can click here to listen to it.

All Hallow's Eve, 1517

It was on this day in the year 1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 thesis upon the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. You can read more about this world changing moment in history by clicking here. Why am I blogging about this instead of my usual posts on the Daily Lectionary? It was on this day that the Protestant Reformation began, and those of us that are Protestant (i.e., Methodist, Baptist, any other non Roman Catholic denomination) trace our beginnings to this. Luther felt like the Church had drifted too far and needed to be reformed. He had the courage to begin this process, and through it, the Protestant movement was born, and the Catholic church was reformed.

But, for this to happen, he had to have the courage of his convictions, and do what he felt was right. Quite often, we feel called by God to something, but the challenge seems to be too great for us, so we beg off. Much like Moses with God, I can't speak, send someone else. But, if God is calling you, He will give you what you need.

In spite of great opposition, Luther stood for what he believed. In spite of great opposition, he would not back down. In spite of great opposition, he stood with the power of his convictions. Today, he is an inspiration for each that knows we have seen wrong and can abide by it no more. And, we must stand.

And, one of the 95 thesis (or statements) that he posted was the notion that each of us can go to God, and each of us can interpret the scriptures. I always here folks talk about how tragic it is that on election day, so few folks vote, after all that has been given to give folks the right to vote, all the blood that was shed. I feel the same way about the Word. Do you realize how many folks died and were persecuted to ensure that you and I can read the word each day? Do we take for granted what has been given us in this holy gift?

Luther suffered so that we can stand on the truth of God's Word and go to Him. He stood for what was right, despite the jeers from the crowd. Today, will we do the same?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sermon Podcast

You can click here to listen last week's sermon, yesterday's should be up in the next day or so.

Ordinary Time: Monday, October 30, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Esther 4:1-17

Sometimes this faith calls for great, great courage, more courage than we may think is possible. We see Esther have to summon that courage today. She knows that if she were to go to the king without being called, she could be put to death. But, Mordecai has one of the greatest statements in all the Word, perhaps you are queen for a time such as this.

God has a better notion of time than we do. We think we have it all figured out at times, be we can't see beyond our next footstep. God has a view of time that is far beyond ours. And, perhaps, He has you where He has you for a time such as this. Maybe you are at your job for a time such as this. Maybe your family is where it is for a time such as this. Maybe the changes in your life are for a time such as this.

Today, seize the day. Seize the moment. Whatever God has for you today, claim it, and do it! Maybe it for a time such as this.

New Testament Lesson

Revelation 11:1-14

One of the things we see repeatedly in the book of Revelation is that time after time, God gives people the chance to repent. After every great judgement, we see statements such as this, the people gloated over the deaths, for they were a torment to them. The Word says that God desires that all be saved, and He is patient and merciful, but there is a time of judgment.

Today, God may be giving you mercy. Today, God may be giving you a chance to repent, a chance to turn, a chance to come back to Him. Today, do not let this chance pass.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 11:14-26

When we empty ourselves, we must allow God to fill us. It does no good to strive against sin, if we are not allowing God to fill us. It does no good to desire to improve as a person, if we are not allowing God to do the work. This passages tells us that if evil is driven out from our lives, but the space remains empty, evil will come back, but only worse.

Today, I do not know what you desire to be, but if you not allowing God to shape that vision, you are setting yourself up for a fall. If the Lord fills you, you will be full. If you do not allow God to fill you, the devil and his forces will see that and you do not want him to fill you.

Today, are you allowing God to fill you?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I wanted to let you no there will be no blogging for a couple of days. My wife is going to be admitted to the hospital and have labor induced. This time tomorrow our new son Thomas should be here. Please keep us in your prayers

Ordinary Time: October 24, 2006

Please remember my wife Holly. Still no baby! We have a doctor's appointment in Meridian today and hopefully will know more then.

Old Testament Lesson

Song of Songs 8:5-14

I have read that certain groups of Orthodox Jews would not allow their children to read Song of Songs until they were a certain age because they felt like it was too "mature' for them to read and understand. And, there are times when I think that might not be a such a bad idea! But, in reality, this book paints for us an image of what the love should be like between husband and wife. The love that we should feel for each other should be that great and overwhelming.

But, the reason why it is not for so many is because they go into marriage the wrong way. Instead of thinking, what can I for my spouse, how can I help and love my spouse, they think, what can I get out of it. Marriage, and every relationship in life, is most fulfilling when we aer seeking to serve. When you are seeking the best interest of your spouse, you will find your own needs met. There is no I enjoy in life more than seeing my wife happy, and she feels the same way towards me. And, in that, we find that joy.

Today, are you at peace in your life with relationships? If not, look and see if you are more concerned with getting what you want out of it, or if you are more concerned with serving the other person. Until you learn to serve, you will never find that peace and joy God longs for you to have.

New Testament Lesson

Revelation 8:1-13

One thing we see in Revelation is that as God's judgement comes against those who have stood against Him and against His church is that there are moments they are given to repent. Within this passage, we see two such moments. At the beginning, when there is that great silence in heaven, and again as the eagle soars and gives warning. God longs to see people repent and turn to Him.

Today, He longs to see us return. He longs to see us turn back to Him. Leave behind the sinful ways of the past, and come home to Him. Not matter what has been done in the past, we can come home. We can return to the Father. Today, if you are far away, won't you come home?

Gospel Lesson

Luke 10:17-24

They came back to Jesus rejoicing at what they had done, and He said, be happy most of all that your name is in the book of life. Today, take the most joy out of that. Be happy over victories, be happy over abilities, be happy over gifts. But, be most thankful that your name is in the book of life, for that is the greatest thing that we can all attain. Be most thankful that you are God's child.

That is the greatest blessing, greatest gift, greatest name, greatest anything we have in life. Not what we accomplish but whose child we are. Today, if you know and follow Him, you are His. Rejoice over that!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ordinary Time: Friday, October 20, 2006

Just a Gospel reading today. My wife is clsoe to going into labor. Bags are packed and we are just waiting. Please keep Holly and the baby (Thomas) in your prayers, as well as me and our daughter Sarah.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 9:28-36

We see in this scene who Jesus really is. One of the great things about our Lord is that He desires to know us in a deeply personal way. He longs to have each of us walk with him in a deeply individual and personal way.

But, He is also Lord of the universe. He is the creator all that is, both seen and unseen. He is the supreme force in all the world. Don't forget that. Don't forget who you pray to. Don't forget who you serve. Don't forget who you worship. Don't forget who He is. He is Jesus Christ, Lord. Head of the church, head of our lives, head of the world.

Today, do not forget who you pray to and who you serve.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ordinary Time: Thursday, October 19, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Jonah 3:1-4:11

A couple of things here. This is what hatred does to you. Jonah so hated this people that he was actually angry when they repented and turned to the Lord. He was angry when the Lord forgave, he said that's why he didn't want to go there, he knew the Lord would forgive. That's what hatred can do; it can make you angry when good things happen to others. You can have your heart so turned against someone, you want to see them he hurt. That's where Jonah was at that point, he did not want to see them forgiven, he wanted to see them destroyed.

And we see God's mercy. Not just towards Jonah's enemies, but towards Jonah. Jonah was imperfect, he still had this great hate in his heart; yet God still used him. God doesn't only use the perfect, He will use each of us. His use of us is not dependent upon our perfection, but upon His grace. Today, He was even able to use Jonah to help save the people he hated.

If He can use Jonah, don't you know that He can use you too?

New Testament Lesson

Acts 27:27-44

One thing we learn from Paul's life is that God's plan isn't always easy. We see that it was God's plan for Paul to testify for Him in Rome; but he keeps having troubles, different kings, ship wrecks, etc. Sometimes this road can be challenging.

But, in each hardship, God is glorified. In each trouble, God is glorified. In each tough walk, God is glorified. Today, know that even in your troubles, you can glorify God today. In all that you do, you can give glory to God. Today, His light can shine through you.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 9:18-27

What good does it do us to chase after the riches of the world, if we loose our soul? What good does it do us to have all the worldly possessions, if we loose that walk with God. CS Lewis liked to speak about those things that are eternal being the priorities in our lives. So often, we let things that are passing be the priorities. We let earthy things shape our actions, we let earthly things determine our emotions, we let earthly things determine who we are.

What good does it to have all the riches of the world, if we lose our soul. Today, is you hope, is your identity found in Jesus Christ, or in the world. If it is int eh world, friends, you will be in trouble in this end, for this this world is passing away. Only God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, this God that is three yet one, only this is eternal.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Gospel Lesson

Luke 9:1-17

We see that part of the mission that the Apostles has was simply that of doing good. Wherever they went, they did good. There is something to that. Part of the Christian life is simply the notion of doing good. Wesley put it like this, that we should do all the good we can, where ever we can, as long as we can.

Today, do we do good? In our lives, in our work, in our family, in our actions, in our words, in all that we are, do we do good? Do we try to help? Do we love? Do we forgive? Do we encourage? Do we shine forth the light of Jesus Christ?

If we are not doing these things, then, what are we doing? If we are not making a difference for Jesus, then what is our purpose? We were not put here to just breathe God's air. We were put here for something? Today, are you doing all the good you can?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Jonah 1:1-17

I love what the online bible I use for these devotionals titled this section "Jonah tries to run away from God." How true is that? God sends Jonah to do something he did not want to do. God sends Jonah to minister to people he hated, and that he wished the Lord would destroy. So, God tries to run away from God.

How many of us have done that? God may have wanted us to do something, and we didn't want to; so we ran. I know a lot of folks that God called to the ministry in their teens, but they didn't' surrender until their forties, because they ran. I know folks that stayed away from church for years because God wanted them to do something and they ran. We see in Jonah, a guy that God wants to do something, and he didn't want to do it, so he ran.

But, God caught him. God always catches us. You can't out run God. Today, if He wants you to do something, do it! If He has called you to something, do it! For, He has a purpose and a plan for your life. It's better to be in His plan, even if its in Nineveh, than be out of it, no matter where it is.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 26:24-27:8

Paul today says that he doesn't care if the king is converted quickly or not; as long as he is saved. Some folks come to salvation very quickly. Some folks here one sermon, are witnessed to once, are prayed for once, and then are saved.

Others are not. Others it takes time. Others it takes many sermons, many prayers, many visits. To those of us that are sharing the faith; don't give us. Whether it comes quickly, or slowly, all that matters is that conversion. Whether it comes in a flash or over a long period of time, all that matters is that we do our part. Today, if there is someone in your life, in your family, in your work that you've prayed for for years and seen no change, don't give up. It is not the speed of the conversion that matters; it is the conversion itself. Don't give up.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 8:40-56

We see in both of these healings, things looked hopeless. The woman that was healed had been sick for years and had just about given up that hope; and Jesus healed her. Jairus' daughter had died, and the crowd said, don't bring Jesus, she is already dead. But, death couldn't stop Jesus plan, He raised her from the dead. Both situations looked hopeless. And in both of them, Jesus brought healing and hope.

I don't know what you are going through today. Maybe life is great, maybe it is terrible. But, whatever it is, Jesus can bring hope. Jesus can bring healing. No matter how bad it looks, He can. Today, in Christ, there is hope. Today, do you have that hope?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sermons up!

I was able to post the podcasts of my sermons from yesterday a few minutes ago. You can click here to listen to them.

Podcasting Delayed

The network for our church website seems to be down, and I can't post the sermons from yesterday yet. I'll have them up as soon as I can log on!

Ordinary Time: Monday, October 16, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Micah 7:1-7

We see a couple things of interest here. First, we see in this passage that all the people have turned from God. You may remember form last week that Micah is hardest upon the leaders (political folks, religious leaders). Now, we see why. The people have turned, and now no one is righteous. Now, the people must take responsibility for their actions, but their actions have been partly formed by the terrible leadership from the leaders. Today, if you are a leader (and, you are), your actions affect more than yourself. They affect your children and grandchildren, you entire family, they affect all that look to you in any way. Yesterday, by your church attendance or absence, what did that say to those that look to you? Your actions matter.

And, we see at the end of this passage Micah saying that everyone is rotten. But, he will serve the Lord. Today, it doesn't matter what everyone else does. What will you do? Today, you can be faithful, in spite of everyone else. Today, you can serve God, in spite of others. Today, regardless of how bad you may feel like the world has become, you can be faithful.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 26:1-23

We see here in this passage the beginning of God's plan for Paul to testify for Him in many grand places. In Paul, God had a willing servant. And, because Paul was willing to testify, God used Him. Today, it is not always about how great we are; how well spoken we are; how smart we are. It is about how willing we are. Today, are you willing to be used by God. If so, God will use you.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 8:26-39

This passage is one of the more amazing in all scripture. Not because of Jesus casting out the demons, but rather for the response of the people in this town. They ask Jesus to leave. How strange is that. They ask Jesus to leave. Normally folks asked Jesus to come, or to stay. They ask Him to leave? Why? They are seized with fear. Jesus comes, and He brings change, He brings new life, but He asks us to be changed and transformed And, some folks, instead of changing for new life, would rather remain the same and die.

Today, do you ask Jesus to stay? Or, do you ask Him to leave? They were afraid of this new life, so they asked Him to leave, and they remained dead. Today, do you want life? Today, do you ask Him to stay, or do you ask Him to leave?

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Dark Night

Today's Gospel Lesson is from Luke 8:1-15, and that got me to thinking about the frustration that some folks may have felt when Jesus spoke in parables. Today, He quotes from Isiah, saying that He did this so that some might not understand. That doesn't jive with what we expect Jesus to say and do.

Sometimes with God, it really isn't easy to understand. Sometimes, we are confused. Sometimes we don't know what to do or go. Sometimes it feel like God is not listening, like our prayers are bouncing off the floor of heaven. St. John of the Cross called this the dark night of the soul. Sometimes, we feel like we are all alone in the midst of the night. And all we can have to hold onto is our faith.

It is at that point that we need our faith, for that is what the dark night teaches us; our faith is all that we have to hold onto. In the end, all else falls, breaks, or is destroyed. But, our faith, our faith is eternal. Our faith is everlasting, and our faith will grow only in that darkness.

Today, Jesus tells the disciples that He speaks in parables so that all will not understand. That seems different than what we expect Jesus to say and do. We don't expect Him to speak like that. But, he knows that the road of faith will be hard, and only those that are willing and determined to walk that hard road will find the life that is at the end. To those that overcome, goeth the crown.

Today, don't give up! Maybe the Lord is speaking to you in parables. Maybe you are in that dark nigh of the soul. Maybe your road of faith is hard and rocky. Maye you don't understand. Maybe you are at a loss. If so, hold on. Hold onto you faith, for it will see you through. Hold on through the dark night, for the sun will rise in the morning.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ordinary Time: Thursday, October 12, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Micah 3:1-8

This is one of the weird quirks in the devotional guide I use, according to the list of scriptures I used each morning (which you can find by clicking here), we once again read Micah 3. This time, only verses 1-8. And this is the passage that warns the prophets that had better not lead the people astray; they had better preach what the Lord has commanded them to preach and do as the Lord had commanded them to do.

And, we see at the end of the passage, Micah condemn the false prophets, and then say that he himself knows the Lord is with him and he feels free, he feels confident, he knows that he can do what what the Lord has for him to do. If you are walking with the Lord, if you are in the middle of His will; you too can have that same confidence. Now, notice, Micah did not say the road would be easy, but he knew he was called to this, and he knew the Lord would give him strength for the days to come. Friends, the Lord has called each of us to something, and if He has called, He will give the strength to complete the task Today, do not cast you eyes to the height of the mountain, rather lift up your eyes to one from whence your help comes (Psalm 121).

New Testament Lesson

Acts 24:1-23

We see that Paul is before Felix at this point and the Word says that Felix is familiar with "the way," which is the faith. And, he decides to wait until later to decide this case. This continues the situation where God is working all things out to give glory to Himself. In everything that happens in life; good or bad, we can find a way to give glory to God. We can even give thanks to God during times of trial and suffering, for if we all; these things can draw us closer to God. Today, God is trying to pull you closer to Himself. Will you let Him?

Gospel Lesson

Luke 7:36-50

If we have been forgiven much, we have much to be thankful for. One of the things that we should always remember is that we were not always Christian. There was a time in our lives when we were apart from God. It was at that time we needed God that most. And it was at that time He came to us with love, mercy, and forgiveness. Today, you do not deserve to be saved. I do not deserve to be saved. None of us deserve the goodness and mercy of God. That is why it is grace, that is why it is mercy. It is poured out freely, for you and for me. Today, are we more like the Pharisee wondering why Jesus would let all these dirty sinners in, or are we more like the woman, falling thankful at His feet that he allows us, a dirty sinner, in.

Today, we are nothing more than sinners saved by grace. Do we realize that?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Micah 3:1-13

We see that judgement comes harshest against the leaders; against the political leaders ad the religious leaders, for they have lead the people astray. One of the most dangerous things in life is to know truth, but not obey truth, to know truth, but not teach truth. Those of us that know truth must, must, must, must live it out. It does no go to go do church every Sunday, to know every verse in the Bible, to know all these things, if you don't live it.

And the Word tells us that judgement will be worse for those that know, and do not obey. Today, do you know truth? Do you know how God wants you to live? Do you live like it?

New Testament Lesson

Acts 23:23-35

We see Paul's journey continue towards Rome. We know from reading his letter to the Romans, Paul was anxious to go to Rome and preach. It must have seemed like it was taking forever for this to happen, and Paul may have been growing impatient. But, he kept that patience, kept waiting. Sometimes, the things we want, and the things that God wants for us take time. Sometimes, the hardest answer to prayer is not yet, not no, but wait.

Today, is the Lord teaching you to wait? Are you having to learn the hard lesson on patience? If so, if is for you benefit. It may not be fun, but it is needful. Today, wait upon the Lord, trust in His name. Know that He is at work in all things.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 7:18-35

We see John's disciples coming, saying, are you the one? And how does Jesus respond? Look around, do you see good being done? Do you see the sick being healing, the truth being taught, the poor being helped. Look around, it is obvious, He is the Messiah.

If someone comes to you today and says, are you a Christian, could you be like Jesus and say, look around. Look around my life. Look at my language. Look at my actions. Look at my prayer life. Look at my life, and you will see I am a Christian. Today, I pray that is something that we can all say.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Micah 1:1-9

Micah begins God's judgement against Israel. This was the northern kingdom that began not long after the death of Solomon. Judgement will come against Israel and Samaria will be destroyed. Most of us know the town of Samaria because that is where the Samaritans lived in the New Testament. At this point in the Old Testament, Samaria was just the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel.

And, this city would be destroyed because of the sins of the people. They thought they had build a strong kingdom, but in reality, it was weak and dieing because they had turned from the Lord. When they turned from God, regardless of what the outside appearances were, they doom was sealed.

So is it for us. Regardless of how things look on the outside, if inwardly we have turned from God, we aer setting our lives up to fail. God brought judgement against His chosen people. Why do we not believe that He would bring judgement against us. The old hymn reminds us to "turn your eyes upon Jesus." Today, may we turn towards Him, and in that, find our salvation.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 23:12-24

We see the journey of Paul continue in this passage. God was working all of this out to get him to Rome, where he would preach in the most powerful town, most important city of Paul's day. The Lord was bringing him to that point to be where He needed Paul to be.

Sometimes in our lives, we may be unsure why things are happening as they are; what God's great plan in all of this may be. In those times, hold on. Remember, all things work to the good of those that love Jesus and are called according to His name (Romans 8: 28). Know that God is working in your life, bringing you to the point you need to be for His glory and His plan.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 7:1-17

We see that for many, they did not believe until after they had seen the miracles that Jesus performed. But, Jesus told Thomas after the Resurrection, blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe (John 20: 29). Today, we often want to see things before we believe. Sometimes, that happens. But, other times, we have to believe first, and then we see. The Word reminds us that we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Today, spend more time believing, and you will see. If you must see first, you might not see what you want. But, if you first have faith, first believe, first know in you heart, you will see miracles every day. Today, blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Sermon Podcasts

I've just posted the sermons for yesterday to our church website. You can click here to listen to yesterday's sermons at Coy UMC.

Ordinary Time: Monday, October 9, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Hosea 14:1-9

Here in this passage, the Lord is pleading with the people to repent of their sins; and promising that if they do, they will be forgiven. The Lord wants to forgive us. In fact, sometimes it is harder for us to forgive ourselves for than it is for God forgive us. He willingly gave us His son so that we can be forgiven. The only thing stopping us from being forgiven is us. If we will repent, if we will turn from ourselves, we will be forgiven.

In spite of our many sins, His grace is great. In spite of our rebellion, His grace is greater. God longs to forgive. Will you accept?

New Testament Lesson

Acts 22:30-23:11

Paul was able to stand boldly before all of these religious leaders and give testimony to God. But, he did not stand alone; God stood with him. There will be times in our lives when the mountain ahead of us looks bigger than our ability to climb. The task may seem great than out ability to to do. But, God is with us. He has promised us that when we do not know the words to speak, He will speak for us. When we are unable to climb, He will climb for us. When we are unable to stand, He will stand for us. Today, God had a great task for you. Today, will you allow Him to work through you in a powerful way?

Gospel Lesson

Luke 6:39-49

I was in a Sunday School class one day, and the teacher said something that has stuck with me to this day. You cannot say "No, Lord." For, if you say no, then He is not your Lord. You do not disobey you Lord, or if you do, He had no real authority over you.

Today, the Lord says "Why do you call me “Lord, Lord”, and do not do what I tell you?" Friends, that is the test of our faith. It is easy for us to stand in church on Sunday and say that He is our Lord. It s easy for us to speak with our lips that He is Lord. Do we obey? That is the true test of faith. Do we obey. Why do we call Him Lord, and not obey. If we do that, if we call Him Lord and disobey, He is not our our Lord. IF we do this, then who is our Lord? We are. And, we cannot serve two masters. WE must either serve God, orserve ourselves.

Today, who will you serve?

Friday, October 6, 2006

Ordinary Time: Friday, October 6, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Hosea 10:1-15

Chapter 10 and 11 paint one of the great pictures in all the Bible. Its hard to view one without the other. Without 11, Chapter 10 is pure 100% judgement. Israel has departed from God. They have left Him and have done their own ways; and they deserve every ounce of punishment the Lord gives them.

So do we; we have left His will, we have done it our way, not His. Even the most faithful among us has fallen into sin in their life. And, just like Israel, we deserve God's judgement and God's punishment. That is Chapter 10.

In Chapter 11, God relents. He says, yes, I should and could destroy them, but I love them. I taught them to walk, I have been their faithful God through ages. In 11, He shows us that while their will come a time when His wrath is unfurled; at this moment, He gives mercy. And He longs to give mercy.

Today, no matter where you are in your faith and in your life; won't you take His mercy?

New Testament Lesson

Acts 21:37-22:16

One thing Paul always did was that He used every circumstance in His life as a way to give testimony to Jesus Christ. Everything he did, every way He could, he glorified the One that had saved him. Today, he is brought before all this people, and he knew he had a captive audience. So, he gives his testimony! He knew that every moment of his life could be a moment to point people to Jesus Christ.

So is it for us. Every moment of our lives can be one that can point others to Jesus. Every moment. May we take advantage of each of those moments, may we point others to Jesus with all that we do.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 6:12-26

We see that for God has a different understanding of what it means to be blessed than the world. The world says it is the famous, the rich, the power, these are blessed. Jesus says, no, the poor in spirit, the righteous, the needful. The world says that those that can get anything they want are blessed. Jesus says, no, it isthose that understand that they are dependent upon God that are blessed.

Today, do you understand your need for God? Do you understand that you can do nothing without Him? If so, then you are blessed.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Ordinary Time: Thursday, October 5, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Hosea 5:8-6:6

We see that God is giving the people a warning about what He will do if they do not return to Him. He will bring destruction. He will bring judgement. That is a notion that we must all remember this morning. As much as God is a god of love and mercy, He is also a God, that if we believe the bible, we will stand before in one day and He will judge us. We will give an account to Him for our lives and the way that that we have served Him. He will demand an account of how we have used the gifts He has given us; of how we have been faithful to Him and His church.

And we see in the end what He wants. Not burn offerings, not going through the motions. He wants from us steadfast love. He wants from us the knowledge of God. Today, don't go through the motions and think that is enough. Today, offer God your steadfast, totally committed love.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 21:27-36

We see here once again that Paul's preaching of the gospel is not well received, and he is nearly beaten to death. Quite often, the gospel is not well received. To those of us that are Christians, it is the good news of our salvation. To others, it is something they do not want to hear. That is all the more reason for us to preach it, for they need it. Last night in Bible Study, I shared the words of St. Francis of Assisi, "Preach the Gospel at all times, use words if necessary." Today, in a world that doesn't want to hear, may we preach in all that we do.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 6:1-11

I mentioned earlier that our faith is more than going through the motions; this passage is an example of that. Jesus is healing, doing good, helping others. But, the Religious Leaders say that is not what they are supposed to be doing on the Sabbath. Jesus says, I am the Lord of Sabbath, and He shows us that bringing life is what He is about. Jesus comes to bring life, bring hope, bring healing. He call us to do the same, life for Him, love and serve, not just go through motions. Today, may be live an obedient life, a "life giving" life, a life of service and grace, and may in all that we do, Jesus Christ be glorified.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Hosea 4:11-19

We see here God condemning Israel for its idolatry, and notice how the Lord frames it for them. He compares their idolatry to adultery in marriage. Just like in marriage you make vows to each other, you make promises to each other, so in our walk with God, we make vows and we make covenant.

And just as it is adultery when one breaks those vows to their spouse, so it is it "adultery" when we break that relationship with God. He wants to be inmate with us; He wants to walk with us daily. But, we turn away. We seek wisdom from other places. We seek joy from other places. We seek pleasure from other places. And, we always wind up empty. Only in God, will we find these things. Today, don't search for meaning in the arms of sin; find in the loving arms of your savior.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 21:15-26

We see Paul going into the temple today, not because he had to, but for the unity of the church. Sometimes in our lives, we need to do things we don't really want to do. Not for ourselves, but for others. Paul knew he was saved by Jesus Christ; there was no reason for anything else. But, for the sake of others, he went to the temple. Why? He did not want to be a stumbling block for others.

Today, you can have your way. You can do it the way you want. But, if you are stumbling block, is it worth it? And, if we believe the Bible, then if we are stumbling block to others, God will hold us accountable.

Gospel Lesson

Luke 5:27-39

It is the sick that need a doctor. We are all in need of Jesus' healing. We are all in need of Jesus' mercy. While only the sick need Jesus, we are all sick. Today, do you think you are more righteous than you really are? It is better to understand how sinful you are and find mercy in the arms of Jesus than it is to think you are righteous and in the end find out that you are not.

Only the sick need a doctor. Today, friends, we are all in need of a doctor.