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6.29.20

Updated: Jul 5


Getting older, is just one body part after another saying, "Ha Ha, You think that's bad? Watch this." thanks, Linda

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. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; You, Lord are the Way, help us to follow. You are the Truth, teach us to listen. You are the source of life, there is no other. Today, Lord, be with those who are in need 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 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)  and find out what pleases the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10 NIV) “What is truth?” Pilate asks Jesus. The question of truth is a famous question, the focus of philosophers and scholars around the world and across time. This past Sunday, Jeremy challenged us to consider “how” we speak truth. In light of the “fruit of the Spirit” from Galatians 5 and what we have been pondering for some weeks now, Jeremy pointed out that boldness and truth do not make an appearance in Paul's list. I wanted to continue in that vein to consider how “truth” does appear in the Bible, since there are over 225 references (depending on your translation). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He identified himself as truth, and made his life, teachings, and ultimately his death inseparable from truth. The dictionary states that truth is, “that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.” In today’s world people will say, “That’s true for you.” The problem with this perspective is that the nature of truth is founded on the solid ground of actual fact regardless of what you or I think or feel. Now, the church has a credibility problem, because Jesus also said He is love and love is mentioned over 600 times in the Bible. If I choose to pronounce truth in a love-less or un-kind way then I am undermining my witness, and the church has not always chosen to love the people it pronounces truth to. Paul, in our meditation verse, calls us to be “children of the light.” We are to live to please the Lord by showing evidence of the “light”; all goodness, righteousness and truth. Of course, Paul lists further evidence that the Spirit is at work in us in Galatians; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control. Paul is using different images to get at the same idea: fruit = evidence of God’s work in our lives. All these characteristics are fundamentally about relationship; relationship with God, your neighbor, or yourself.  How do we live as children of the light, overflowing with the fruit of God’s Spirit, loving the Lord and our neighbors as ourselves? This is the question that we as the church wrestle with everyday, let’s wrestle with this together.

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/1-2-kings/ for an overview of the book of 1st and 2nd Kings and https://bibleproject.com/explore/acts/ for an overview of the book of Acts. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. 1 Kings 22:1-53 It seems that the prophets of the Lord, in Israel, are against Ahab. Whether that be Elijah or Micaiah. (There aren't many) Which might be why Ahab has surrounded himself with “prophets” not of the Lord to tell him what he wants to hear. Do we do the same? Do we surround ourselves with voices that agree with us? Voices that tell us what we want to hear? Or are we willing to be challenged? 2 Kings 1:1-2:25 The description of Elijah is interesting. What was he wearing? (2 Kings 1:8) This must have been somewhat unique, because of Ahaziah’s response. He seemed to know who they were talking about from the description of Elijah's clothing. I want you to turn to Mark 1:6, and read the description of John the Baptist. Why do you think Mark describes him in this way? Elijah’s response to the soldiers that come to him, is fairly extreme. Passages like this are difficult to understand and make the Old Testament a little challenging for modern readers. But if we pull back, what’s being communicated is the authority that Elijah carries. If we think about it, he carries God’s full authority.  If you thought Elijah was extreme, what do you think about Elisha? Acts 19:13-41 There is a danger is using Jesus as a talisman. That is what we are seeing with the seven sons of Sceva. Instead of a “magic” name, what does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name? What are we pointing to when we do this?  What do we learn about idolatry with regards to the incident with Demetrius and his fellow craftsman? When Jesus spoke against “wealth” throughout the gospels, this is the kind of thing he was talking about. Acts 20:1-38 Verses 26-27 are interesting in that they describe Paul’s motivation to his preaching. What do you read in these two verses? I am amazed at how seriously Paul takes his calling. Do we do the same? Psalm 78:40-55 Asaph really wants the people to remember what God had done for them. When we consider the work of God’s hands, everything he has done, what is our response? How do you respond to the majesty and holiness of God? 

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