Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ordinary Time: Thursday, August 30, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

1 Kings 3:16-28

We see the wisdom of Solomon in this text. He was able to look beyond what was said to the truth of the matter and discern the truth. For a king, or for any leader, that would be the greatest gift they could have; to see the truth. To understand what is at the heart. To look beyond the surface. To see as God would have us to see.

That is ultimately what wisdom is. Seeing as God sees, seeing through His eyes. Solomon had wisdom only after asking for it from God. James tells us in his book in the New Testament that if any of us lack wisdom, ask God and He will give it. To discern, to know the truth, the see things as they are, these gifts come only through God, and only through His grace.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 27:27-44

One of the things that was required for the people to survive in this passage was faith. Some had faith in God. Others had faith in Paul. Now, we all know that our ultimate faith must be placed in God. We are not saved by the preach or by the church or by our parents, salvation comes from our God. But in life, aren't there people that we look up to, that we have faith in, that, even if we might not like what they want us to do, we do it, because we truth them?

That was what Paul was to this ship. Not everyone on the ship was Christan, but they all trusted Paul. Why? Because his faith and his trust in God shown through. We should never pretend like we are more than we really are, and we should always remember that salvation comes from our God. But, we should seek to live a life of grace and faith, not setting ourselves on a pedestal, but living in a way so other will say, I don't know about this, but I know you, and I trust you.

That is a life well lived, when others trust you.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 14:12-26

We see one of the last things Jesus did with His disciples was that He gave them the gift of the Lord's Supper. He wanted to leave something with them that would last, that would give them strength; that would help them on their journey. He gave them His body and His blood. Just as He offers it to us.

May we remember the sacrifices that our Lord gave to us and for us and may we have a thankful heart for all He has done.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It was two years ago today that Katrina came ashore. Let us say a special prayer today for our brothers and sisters in the Gulf South Region.

Old Testament Lesson

1 Kings 3:1-15

We see Solomon today ask God for wisdom. Notice how he approached God. He told God that He had shown favor to David and had made Solomon king of many people at a young age. And to do these things, he needed God's wisdom. He didn't puff up and say give me power or strength or might. He didn't tell God how great he was. He simply said for me to do the things you've assigned to me, I need your wisdom.

Friends, that's a good thought for each for us today, no matter who we are, or what we do. To do the things God has called us to do, we desperately need His wisdom.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 27:9-26

One of the most important things we can do in times of trouble is to keep our hope up. Today in this passage, there appeared to be no hope for those that had been shipwrecked. It looked like they were done for. Then Paul gets up to speak and starts off by saying basically, I told you so. but, then he says, don't worry, you will be alright. The Lord has a plan for me and for you, and we will make it through this time for His plan.

Even in the worst storm, God still has a plan for us. Just because the wind is blowing and the rain is coming doesn't mean that He has abandoned us. Paul reminded the people of that. Today, his words speak to us as well. God is with us, even now.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 14:1-11

We see in this passage Judas go to betray Jesus. There are lots of theories to why he did it, but in truth, we'll never know the full story. But, we do know that one of the 12, one of the closest ones to Jesus betrayed Him. Once again, this shows that Jesus went through and experienced everything that we do. We know the pain of severed friendship and betrayal. So does Jesus. Our God does not turn a blind eye to all that we bring before, but in fact has been in our shoes, walked where we walk, and lived as we live.

And, He comes that we may have life, and have it more full. Today, let us cast our cares to Him, for He cares for us. And let us live in His grace.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

1 Kings 1:38-2:4

One of the things we see in history is that within family leadership structures, be it monarchies, dictatorship, etc, a strong leader is quite often followed by a weak leader. David was the greatest king in Israels history. Solomon gets off to a good start and then it goes down hill. David offered him advice today on ruling. Follow God. Obey His commands. Do what is right. And Solomon does it for a while.

Then, he begins to think more of himself than he should, and he begins to get himself in trouble. He knows how smart he is, and he begins to follow his own wisdom instead of God. He forgets these basic instructions from his father. May we always keep our mind on those things that are most important, and may we hold to the wisdom of our parents and grandparents.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 26:24-27:8

We see that Paul's journey continues. He will be going to Rome, which was God's ultimate calling for him. Every step lead him to another step. Going to Jerusalem was the first step, then appearing before all these things. All of these things were leading to what God had for him in the end, to appear in Rome and preach the Gospel there.

What we are going through is part of God's plan for us. There is something great, something wonderful, something powerful that God wants to do with us. Don't lose sight of the prize at the end. Remember that today is not the last day. Know that God is not done with us yet. Each step in this was another part of the journey that God had for Paul. The same is true for us. Each step is another step in what God has for us.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 13:28-37

No one knows the hour or the date. Not me, not you, not Hal Lindsey, no one. Only God the Father. That is why we must stay awake. That is why we must be looking. Not just so that we can see His coming; but we must be awake so that each day we can see what He would have us to do. We must stay awake so that we can see where he would have us to go. We must stay awake so that we can see His mission for us.

Today, watch. Look. See where He is calling you. Then, follow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ordinary Time: Monday, August 27, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

1 Kings 1:5-31

One of the things we see in David's life so mirrors our lives is that life is not always lived on the mountain. We often think of David's life in saintly terms, but we've seen in the past few readings that David faced many, many folks coming after his throne, coming after what God has promised. We have seen David have to fight, we've seen him make mistakes, we seen him done many of the same things that we do, and many things none of us would never dream of doing.

Yet, he was a man after God's own heart. To me, this means that he was a close to God as anyone that ever lived. And, yet, even he, had trouble and problems and sin all such things. So, let us not grow discouraged in life, for even David struggled, and God saw him through. Will He not do the same for us?

New Testament Lesson

Acts 26:1-23

Paul was headed one way in life, and then the Lord spoke to him. And, then he literally did a 180 degree turn. After he had that encounter with God, he was forever changed. He went places he did not thing he would have gone to, he said things he did not think he would say, he lived in ways he did not think that he would live. All because the Lord spoke to him and called him. And, he never lost sight of what the Lord had called him to. He never forgot.

What has the Lord called you to? Does it shape your life? Does it shape how you life? How you speak? Who you are? Paul was forever changed by his encounter with God. Are you and I?

Gospel Lesson

Mark 13:14-27

Jesus said in those last days many false Messiahs would come and lead people astray. Why were folks lead astray? For the put more faith in what that false leader tells them than what they know to be true. Jesus tells them to remember what He said. And, in doing that, they will not be lead astray. That is why is it so important to spend time each day with God and listening to His voice, through prayer, though the Word, through our private devotional life. For, if we know and hear His voice, we will not be led astray.

May we take time each day to listen. May we take time each day to hear what God says.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ordinary Time: Thusday, August 23, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 19:1-23

One of the things that grief can cause to happen in our lives is that we can lose perspective. Today, David is so heartbroken over the loss of Absalom that he lost sight of everything and everyone else. It was so bad, Joab confronted him and told him that his troops felt like he would have been happier if they were dead and Absalom were alive. Sometimes when things happen, it is very easy to lose perspective and forget who really cares for us.

David had troops that were literally laying down their lives for his, but in his grief, he didn't even think about that. He was focused on his grief. That is why the old concept of counting your blessings is so true. In times of trouble and pain and grief, if we can stop for a moment and count our blessings, then we may be able to remember that not everything is as bad as we feel like it may be in our moment of pain. So, in pain, remember that even then, there are blessings, if we can, by God's grace stop and count them.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 24:1-23

We see the Lord at work in Paul's imprisonment that the judge hearing the case is familiar with Christianity and knows what Paul is talking about. Because of this, he allows Paul certain freedoms in jail that he might not ordinarily have. So, here is like David above, another case of perceptive. Paul could be discouraged because he is in prison, or he could focus on the fact that once again he gets to give his testimony and this time to a judge that knows the faith and that allows Paul to have his needs met.

Remember, try to see the positive in life. For even in the darkest moments, we can see God's grace.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 12:28-34

What is the greatest of the commandments? Love. Love of God and Love of Neighbor. To love God with abandon all that we have, and to love our neighbor just the same. The entire law is seen in this notion. Love. So, today, may we love God entirely, and may we love one another. And in this, God will be praised.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 18:18-33

We see in this passage the grief of a father. Even though Absalom had tried to take the throne from David, even though he had forced David to flee from Jerusalem, even though he had done all sorts of hateful stuff, David still was devastated over the death of his son. Even though he now no longer had to fight for his kingdom, it was of little worth to him at that moment; for his son was dead.

That is the great love of a father for son. That is what a parent's love is all about. Even when the child is wrong, the parent still loves. If earthly parents feel that way about their children, how much more does our Father in heaven feel that way towards us? Even though we are often wrong, even through we rebel against Him; still He loves us. And just like all David really wanted was for Absalom to return home; God wants us to come to Him and rest in Him. That is the love of a Father.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 23:23-35

One of the things that is happening to Paul in this time, is he is given many different opportunities to give his testimony of conversion. He could look at each move or trial as an inconvenience or a problem; but instead he sees them as another chance to tell people what God has done for him.

What a great attitude. Do we look at life like that? Do we see the multiple opportunities each day to tells someone what God has done for us? We can tell with our words, we can tell with our smiles, we can tell with our joy, we can tell with all that are. Each moment of life, we have the chance to tell someone how good God is.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 12:13-27

Today, the questions asked of Jesus we not really questions, they were tests. People were trying to trip Him. They didn't really want to know what Jesus thought about these things, they were just asking, hoping He would say something wrong where they could then put Him on trial. What a shame. They had Jesus there in their midst, and they didn't realize it. They didn't take the opportunity to go to Him for wisdom or for worship. They missed this great chance to be with Jesus.

Do we do the same? Do we miss chances each day to spend time with Him? Let us always been looking and listening, finding time, finding ways, finding opportunities to spend with our Lord. Let us never pass up a chance, no matter how brief, to spend with Jesus.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 18:9-18

David was the king, Absalom was trying to steal the kingdom, but even in this David did not want to see his son hurt. He simply wanted him defeated and the kingdom returned. Yet his men, our of loyalty killed Absalom, One of the reasons some folks think that David had all these problem with Absalom was that he never really disciplined him or any of his children. Believe it or not, sometimes its hard to grow up as a prince.

Maybe not hard, but it does provide a different set of challenges as you grow. The prince is used to having everything given to them, it doesn't work that way in life, does it? The prince is used to getting what they want. It doesn't always work that way in life. Life requires work and effort and sweat and tears. Life requires bowing your back at time and in life, yes, we don't always get what we want. Absalom was not really used to that, so if he wants to be king, he believes he should be king. And that belief he goes to war against his own father.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 23:12-24

We see God working to bring forth His plan of Paul testifying in Rome. When God is at work, even human plans cannot stop what He wants to do. He will make a way. If God has called you to something, no matter how high the wall, not matter how big the mountain, if He has called you; trust. Trust in Him. Trust in His way. Trust in what He will do. If He has called you, He will not fail you.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 11:27-12:12

We see in this parable that Jesus communicates to the people just how much God loves His people that He was willing to send His son, even though others had been killed before, to try to bring His people back home. But, they refused. And, they would kill the son, just as others before had been killed. God was willing to go to any length to see His people come home, and they refused. So, through the cross, He made the ultimate path back home.

Today, He has gone to every extreme to bring you and me back home. Back to his love, back to his grace, back to life. He has done all He can do for us. He loves us more than we'll ever know. He has given us His son as an act of redemption. Today, no matter where we are, God wants us to know that we are loved and we are being called back to Him. Today, as in every day, we can come back home.

Monday, August 20, 2007

St. Augustine and Methodists

I recently had a conversation with Galen Holley, the religion editor of the Tupelo Daily Journal about St. Augustine, particularly from a United Methodist perspective. This was part of an article he wrote about Augustine and his impact on Christianity and Western Civilization. You can click here to read the article and see my comments.

Ordinary Time: Monday, August 20, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 17:24-18:8

One of the things that it is good to do at times is to stop and listen to those around you. David was determined to go into battle today and his men said, no, you cannot. Stay here, you are worth more to us here than on the battle field. That went against David's instinct and against who he was. And, it goes contrary to what we think a leader should do; we picture the leader in front, leading the charge. And, that was where David wanted to be.

He stayed back, though, because that is what his people wanted. There is great wisdom that comes from listening to other people. God can speak to us many different ways. Make sure you are listening. Don't think that God can't speak to you through a certain person or in a certain place. He can speak many, many ways and through many, many people. Make sure you are listening.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 22:30-23:11

God begins to reveal His plan to Paul. It wasn't just about going to Jerusalem to give witness, but eventually to Rome. Rome was the seat of government, it was the seat of power and God had ultimately raised up Paul to testify there in Rome. He tells Paul to keep his courage up. Sometimes in the midst of a mission or in the middle of a task, it is easy to get worried or discouraged. Especially when things aren't going the way that we feel like they should be going. God tells Paul that everything is as it should be and there is more to go. So, hold fast, don't give up, there is more work to come.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 11:12-26

All that Jesus did in His life and ministry required faith. It took faith to curse the fig tree in this passage, it took faith to drive out the money changers. It took faith in God to preach and teach the way that it did. It took faith in people to call the disciples. It took faith to be nailed to a cross. Everything He did required faith.

If the very son of God knew that faith was essential to who He was and what He did, how much more should faith be at the very bedrock of who we are?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Article Up!

You can click here to read my newest article in the Southern Sentinel

Ordinary Time: Thursday, August 16, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 15:1-18

One thing we see about Absalom's plan to take over is that he had thought through everything. He had the big plan about what he would do and how he would do it, and we see it beginning to work. We even see David flee Jerusalem. Now, it was David that made Jerusalem Jerusalem. He was the one that really made it it the spiritual and political capital of Israel. And now he must flee.

It must be hard to leave the place where you've spend your whole life working and striving. But, David did. Remember, he is a man after God's own heart. And today we see this man after God's own heart have to leave his home. Just because we follow God, just because we seek God, just because we love God, that does not mean that trouble might not come knocking at our door sometime.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 21:27-36

When everyone told Paul not to go to Jerusalem, this is what they were worried about. And, Paul must have know that this was coming. He knew that he had the vision to go back to Jerusalem and preach, in spite of whatever might happen. He had a calling.

When you have a calling on your life, everything else fades away. You want to do that thing God has called you to. Today, Paul didn't focus on the dangers or the worries, he focused on the call. He knew that he did what he was called to do, God would take care of everything else.

What are you called to? Each of us has a calling, something that we alone can do for God, and each other. What is yours? Today, may we find it, and when we find it, may it be our guiding light in all of life.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 10:32-45

We see the reason in this passage why we shouldn't worry if we have to flee David We see the reason why we shouldn't worry if we face all kinds of troubles like Paul. We see why we can have hope, even in the darkest hour.

Jesus loved us enough to give his life as a ransom for ours. He loved us enough that He would go to any length to set us free. He loves us enough, that through the cross, we see an eternal sign of just how far He would go to bring us home. Remember that cross today. Even if you are fleeing Jerusalem. Even if you face troubles. Remember the cross, and remember just how much our God loves us.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 14:21-33

We see in this text today that Absalom is a little on the impulsive side. I guess one way to get someone to come see you when they don't want to is to set their field on fire. I personally would not recommend that way, though. One things we can see, though, is that he is one that will get his way, no matter what. We will see in the coming days that will be his destruction.

Be careful that your desires do not consume you. It happened to Absalom, and it will become his destruction. May we be on guard against all things, sin, greed, pride, etc, that in the end will destroy us.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 21:15-26

We see Paul go through these acts of purification, even though he didn't have to. He knew it would be a sign of good faith to the others if he would. We see Paul, in some way, humble himself for the good of everyone else. Humility is a great virtue. It is a very noble thing to do something that you normally would not, for the sake of the greater good.

And, I imagine many of us do not think of Paul as one that would do such a thing. He is seen a bold, and strong, as someone that is not will to compromise any time. But, in this instance, he knew it was in every one's best interest to do this. Especially because it was in the best interest of spreading the good news. So, even though he didn't have to, Paul went through these acts. May we be will do so such things ourselves for the greater good.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 10:17-31

This passage of the rich young ruler is one that we have read a million times and all know so well. So, I just want to point out one thing today. Notice, Jesus didn't chase after him. He choose to walk away, and Jesus let him. Jesus offered him true life, life more precious any materially possession, and he said no. So, Jesus let him make his choice.

When we say we have the freedom to choose, we have the freedom to choose. Even the freedom to say no. Jesus will not force us to do any ting. He wants children, not robots. Today, He gives us a choice. May we, through His grace, choose His way, and in that, may we find life.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 14:1-20

Discernment is one of the greatest spiritual gifts. It is true gift to be able to listen to God's Spirit and realize the truth. To be able to understand what is really happening, what is the real point behind something and understand what someone is trying to do. Discernment is seeing the truth, even when the truth is hard to see.

And, it is a spiritual gift to do so. It isn't something that we can do through human eyes. It isn't something that we can do out of shear will power. It takes listening. It takes learning. It take trusting in God and knowing that He will lift the scales from our eyes so that we can truly see. Today, may we long for that gift, so that we can truly see what is happening.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 21:1-14

Paul feels called by God to go to Jerusalem. But, in doing this, this could be his end. Paul was not going to a place where he was popular. He was going to a place where many regarded him as a traitor. He was going somewhere where it may end badly. Why? That's what they were trying to figure out in the text today. Why was he going there?

Because the Lord had called him to. The voice of the Lord called him to go to Jerusalem. And, even though he might not do it on his own, he was going to do what the Lord had called him to do. That is obedience. Doing the thing that we might not want to do, because the Lord has called us to.

Today, what has the Lord called us to? Is there a Jerusalem you are called to? Something you might not want to do, but you know that the Lord has called? May we have the grace to go where ever He calls.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 10:1-16

Jesus blessed the little children. They were easy to over look. They weren't powerful. They weren't rich. They weren't poplar. Yet, Jesus knew that it was their childlike faith that was to be the example of faith. So, he took them in His arms and blessed them.

Today, we do we have that childlike faith? Do we trust as children. They don't doubt, they don't worry, they don't fret. They simply believe. Today, may we do the same.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ordinary Time: Monday, August 13, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 13:23-39

We see here in this passage David's family begin to unravel. This beginning of this actually happened a few passages back when Amnon had violated Tamar and Absalom had swore revenge. Now, he has his revenge, and David's family is falling apart before his eyes. This passage doesn't discuss it, but when this terrible thing happened a few passages ago, David did nothing. He just swept it under the rug. Perhaps if he had addressed it then, this could have been avoided. d

We cannot pretend sin doesn't happen. We cannot pretend that we have not sinned. We cannot pretend that sin has not affected our walk with God and others. We must do what we can to make things right. To ask forgiveness. To seek restoration. To try to heal wounds. But, we cannot pretend that sin has not happened. If we do, the consequences will be worse than we can imagine.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 20:17-38

Here we see Paul share with someone of his people these passing words. He knows this will be the last time he is with them, and he wants to leave them with something important. He wants his last words to matter; to be of value; to take deep root in their heart.

What would you tell your children if you had to leave them? Your students? Your parents? Your church? What is most important to you? Have you passed it along to those in your life? Paul shared with his people the love of God and wanted them to desperately remember that. What would you want others to remember?

Gospel Lesson

Mark 9:42-50

We see here Jesus tell us that it would be better for us to throw ourselves in the lake than it would be to cause one of the little ones to sin. Little ones being children, or those new to the faith. But, remember, there are always eyes watching us. Eyes of children. Eyes of new converts. Looking to see how we live. Looking to see how a Christian lives.

They watch us at work. They watch us at ballgames. They watch us at Wal Mart. They even watch us a church meetings. What do they see? Let us always remember that they are watching. May we live lives that show them grace.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ordinary Time: Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Blogging for the next few days will be brief, probably just a quote, like today's. I've got to be out of town for the Pastoral Leadership School in Tupelo, MS. Blogging will resume in its normal length next Monday. Have a great day.

Today, just a quote, from the Christian Quotation for the Day

As sure as ever God puts his children in the furnace, he will be in the furnace with them.
... C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Today, if you live in Mississippi, please remember to go and vote. Paul instructs us to always be good citizens!

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 7:18-29

We see David praying today, thanking God for all that He is going to do for David and for Israel. And, the thing that He keeps stressing is that is it God that has done this. Israel is not great based off their own might, but based off the might of God. It is from Him all the blessings that they received came from.

That is a great lesson for us this morning. It is from God that all the good things in our life come from. He is the source of all that is good. Even the things that we feel like we have worked for and come from our own strength, it is God that has given us the grace that is good health and work ethic. So, in all that we have, it is God that is to be praised!

New Testament Lesson

Acts 18:12-28

One thing we see with these first Christians is that they placed the gospel above all else in their lives. Today, Apollos could have told the others that came to instruct him that he knew what he was doing, he didn't need their help. But, he didn't. He listened. He wanted to do what was right. Today Paul could have told them, I'll definitely be back to preach to you some more. But, he didn't. He said he would be back if the Lord willed.

They each wanted to do right by the good news and wanted to do what the good news demanded of them. May we do the same, may we keep the good news primary in our lives.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 8:22-33

Max Lucado says that this is his favorite miracle in all the Bible, for if Jesus can use spit to heal someone, he can use him to. I like that thought. There is nothing God cannot use, there is no one God cannot use. Today, Jesus healed this mans blindness not something great, but with something common. That is what He longs to do, use the common ordinary things in life (like each of us) and used them to do extraordinary things.

Today, there is nothing that God cannot do through you! He can, and will, used each of us for great things, if we will allow.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Ordinary Time: Monday, August 6, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 7:1-17

We read the Lord tell David that He will establish David's kingdom forever. For Christians, we see this fulfilled in Christ's kingdom for He is a "Son of David" a descendant of David, and His kingdom shall have no end.

So, we see even here in this moment that the Lord has bigger plans in mind for David than David could have ever imagined. Be careful that you do not think this moment is the end of God's story for you. He always has more in mind that we could ever imagine. Hold on for the ride! See what He is going to do.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 18:1-11

We see Paul once again be willing to go where the Spirit led Originally he planned on going to the synagogues and preaching there, but he was not received. So, he moved to plan B, going to where ever folks would receive the Word.

Sometimes we have to move to plan B. Sometimes things don't work as we may want them to, and in that, we have to be willing to listen. Listen to what the Lord says, and listen to where He leads. For, our plan B may be what He had in mind all along. Listen to Him, He will not lead you astray.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 8:11-21

Wherever we feel like we just won't ever get it, when we feel like we will never be what God wants us to be, when ever we feel discouraged or dismayed. Stop and look at the disciples. Bless their hearts. They just weren't getting it. They never full understood, they didn't fully listen, the always seemed to be a day late and dollar short.

And look what God did through them! If He can use them in amazing ways, can't He use us too? Just because we aren't perfect doesn't mean that God can't use us. It is through imperfect people like us that God can do His best work!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

My Newest Column

Once again, we are desperate for news in Ripley. You can click here to read my newest column in the Southern Sentinel

Ordinary Time: Thursday, August 2, 2007

Old Testament Lesson

2 Samuel 4:1-12

Once again we see in the life of David this notion of fairness and doing what is right. Even though his life was being sought, he still not to believe it was right have him killed. He saw that even while he was David's enemy and they weren't friends; he was still a person. And no one should be killed or treated like that.

What a powerful message in today's world where everything is personalized. Today when you watch TV or the news or read the paper, everything seems to be a personal attack. David shows us in this polarized world that we live in today that you don't have agree with everyone, but just because you disagree with someone, that does not make them (or you) a bad person.

New Testament Lesson

Acts 16:25-40

Why was this jailer converted? Was it because Paul preached a great sermon? What caused it to happen? It was because why Paul and Silas had the chance to escape, they stayed put. Why? Because it was the right thing to do, and in doing what was right, it was a witness to this man.

He wanted to know what would cause someone to stay in jail when they could have escaped. Thee is something different about that. So should there be about our faith. There should be something different about us that would cause others to question, why are they like that? That is what happened to Paul. May we life a life so full of grace that it happens to us as well.

Gospel Lesson

Mark 7:1-23

We see Jesus tell the teachers that they had become so focused on keeping the letter of the law they had missed the spirit of the Law. What matters in life is not keeping a bunch of rules; what matters is a heart close to God. If you have a heart close to God you will do what is right. Why did David do what was right? He had a heart close to God. What did Paul and Silas do what was right? They had a heart close to God.

Today, don't focus on following the rules. Focus on making sure you heart is close to God. If you do that, everything else will fall into place.