LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Lord give the healthcare workers endurance and comfort. Be gracious and guide our public servants to act with humility and wisdom. Teach us to pray with our ears and eyes open. may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen
MEDITATION Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 MSG Right after college I worked as a substitute teacher. I taught in multiple school districts and across all grades. As a result, I did not get a chance to know the kids I worked with very well. Instead I fine-tuned my classroom management skills to allow me to have good days and instantly establish my expectations with the kids. I learned to quickly memorize nametags on desks so I could call kids by name (very effective with elementary students, “Hey how do you know who I am?! What else does she know?) I also learned to be patient and calm and to be firm but kind. One week, I worked with a third grade class for several days in a row. On day one I figured out that Kenny in row three was going to really test me. By day two he had worked really hard to figure out what the limits of my patience were. After dismissing the other kids for recess I turned to Kenny. “Sorry Kenny, that will mean no recess today for you. You will sit inside with me and complete the assignment.” His face turned red, he balled up his fists and stepped towards me seething with anger, he opened his mouth and shouted, “You Smell! (pause) you smell?…hey, you smell like pumpkin pie.” I smiled, “Why yes I do, don’t I? Why don’t you sit down now Kenny and let’s see if I can help you figure out what’s going on with this story prompt.” You see instead of wearing perfume I wore a mix of vanilla and cinnamon essential oils, I did smell like pumpkin pie. Which was a good thing for Kenny because in his childishness and immaturity he came very close to getting in very serious trouble. Immaturity can lead to all kinds of problems. Children are born still developing; they get teeth, grow hair, and form kneecaps. They learn to focus their eyes, crawl, and control their bowels. Even more incredible is the growth and transformation of the brain. The ability to talk, imagine, plan and connect are incredible and when these milestones never occur due to handicap, accident or disease it is devastating. Children with disabilities are wonderful and worthy of all our love and care but it is clear that their potential has been derailed. Imagine how God feels when we choose to embrace spiritual immaturity, when we simply decide it’s too much work to grow. Unlike children who have no control over the path their development will take, most of us have vast control over our spiritual development. Pray and ask God if there are challenges you have avoided that are leaving you unprepared and underdeveloped, and seek His guidance about what you can do differently.
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/jeremiah/ for an overview of Jeremiah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/1-thessalonians/ or an overview of Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/jeremiah/ for an overview of Jeremiah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/2-thessalonians/ or an overview of Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Jeremiah 27:1-29:23 Yesterday we talked about the nations drinking from the cup of God’s wrath. Today, we see that Babylon will be that cup. God will bring judgment upon the nations through Babylon. When that is complete, what will happen to Babylon? (v 7) Chapter 27 will end with a description of what the false prophets will do. And then as chapter 28 begins we see one of these false prophets. How do we distinguish between false and true prophets? (v 9) What will ultimately happen to Hananiah? (15-17) Chapter 29 is an exhortation to settle down in Babylon. Specifically, what does God encourage the exiles to do? (vv 4-7) How long will Judah remain in Babylon and what will God do when this time is fulfilled? (v 10) 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 This is Paul’s second letter to the church in Thessalonica. Paul is giving thanks for what? (vv 3-4) Paul will go on to speak about God’s judgment in verse 5. What hope does Paul place in God’s judgment? (5) How can judgment be good? Psalm 119:25-32 The psalmist speaks of growing weary. (v 28) What does he do to move beyond weariness?