Upon entering a little country store, a stranger noticed a sign, “Danger! Beware of dog!” posted on the glass door. Inside he noticed a harmless old hound dog asleep on the floor beside the cash register. “Is that the dog folks are supposed to beware of?” he asked the owner. “Yep, that’s him,” came the reply. The stranger couldn’t help but be amused. “That certainly doesn’t look like a dangerous dog to me. Why in the world would you post that sign?” “Because,” the owner explained, “Before I posted that sign, people kept tripping over him.”
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. Today, Lord we lift up the people of Mali, Armenia, Canada, Turkmenistan, and Qatar. Lord, protect the church in these countries and guide them to the lost. Lord You are holy, reveal what it means to be holy. Help those who suffer, protect those who serve. Humble and guide our leaders. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; 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 “…(God) has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NIV) Last night at Worship-Pa-Looza, someone asked me a question. “If all people, no matter what, are worthy of God’s Love and made in His image, does that mean I have to pray for__________?” It was a slightly tongue in cheek question but it was also rooted in the challenging truth of the gospel. We don’t get to pick and choose who is worthy of love. To be clear, the Bible does not say that we need to remain in unsafe or abusive situations. That is not loving our neighbor or ourselves. Rather, loving someone who hurts us includes creating space for healing through separation, which is often necessary for that to happen. Loving someone does not mean we approve of their choices or behavior, think about how God loves us sinners and died for us, yet He clearly saw sin as a BIG problem. The "__________" mentioned above is any polarizing political figure. It is easy to demonize and dehumanize people in the limelight. We pretend they aren’t really people at all. But as tempting as it may be, we as believers need to choose a different posture. We can disagree with their views, disavow their agendas, and disapprove of their behavior but we must never stop seeing them as made in the image of God. In today’s angry culture of pontification, vilification and trolling, the church needs to lead a quiet revolution of love and reconciliation. We need to stop re-tweeting angry words, posting rants, and watching talking heads that affirm our ideas about “the other side”. Instead we need to read about and watch the world with hearts full of compassion and sorrow, firmly anchored in the truth that “those people” are God’s children, and we need to pray that God’s will be done. We need to stop “armchair coaching” the world and pay attention to what we are actually able to do faithfully; feed the hungry, care for the widow, orphan and the immigrant, commit to our local church, and seek the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind. When we feel that rising tide of anger and disgust toward someone else, that is the RED FLAG! Stop and remind yourself, “God died for them too.” And then pray and ask for forgiveness, ask for guidance, and ask for God’s own love for them and the situation. We work for God as citizens of heaven, it’s our first and greatest commitment, and as His ambassadors we are charged with this message of love and reconciliation no matter what “the other guy” does.
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-chronicles/ for an overview of Chronicles and https://bibleproject.com/explore/1-corinthians/ for an overview of the letter that Paul sent to the church in Corinth. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. 1 Chronicles 24:1-26:19 Do you remember what happened to Nadab and Abihu? If not look at Leviticus 10. Unlike the book of Kings, Chronicles is more of a record of who’s who. There are stories and notes added as asides, but really, the book is about the people we encounter throughout the Old Testament. Yesterday we looked at how David was making preparations for Solomon to build the temple. Today we see that David is organizing those who will serve and maintain the temple. One of the asides we see today is found in 26:5, “For God had blessed Obed-Edom.” Do you remember who Obed-Edom was? Re-read 2 Samuel 6 to understand why Obed-Edom was blessed. 1 Corinthians 3:1-23 Paul continues to distinguish this morning between “worldly” and “spiritual.” The goal is to take our eyes off the “world” and look to Jesus. Why does Paul believe this has not happened in Corinth? (v 3) What is our foundation? (v 11) Christ really is our Goal! To know Christ, and through Christ, to know God! Psalm 92:1-15 Psalm 92 is a beautiful psalm of praise. Not because of our circumstances, but in spite of them. “Though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish” is the acknowledgement that our circumstances are not always good, at least by worldly standards. But that our God is, and in the end that is what will matter. In the end, the "righteous will flourish." Those who live in right relationship with God and with one another.