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
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.
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.