A young man had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.” After about a month the young man came back and again asked his father if they could discuss the use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut!” The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair…” To which his father replied… “Yes, and they WALKED everywhere they went!”
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 Belize, North Korea, Romania, Liberia, and Vanuatu. Lord, nourish your church in these countries and help them seek the lost. We ask for grace for all the healthcare workers dealing with the pandemic We ask for courage for their families and for the families of those Who are suffering from this virus. 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. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NIV) “Reconciliation literally means, ‘bring together again’. When we talk about reconciliation, we are talking about taking broken relationships and mending them.” If you hang around the church long enough you will hear about the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”. In fact, lots of people who have never darkened the door of the church are familiar with the story. There’s just one problem; it’s a story about a man with TWO sons and both of them are struggling. We all know about how the younger son insults his father by asking for his inheritance - subtext “Dad, I wish you were dead.” He takes the money, squanders it, ends up eating pig slop to survive then comes to his senses and goes home to beg for a job working as a servant for his dad. The father welcomes him home with open arms, running to him, catching him up in his arms and declaring a celebration, “My son who was dead is alive again, he was lost and now he is found!” The End. Roll credits. Except it’s not the end. The elder son is enraged when he comes home to a party for his scapegrace brother, “Are you kidding me!? That loser came home and dad gave him a party!!!?” He is jealous and refuses to join the party so his dad comes out to beg him to join the festivities, and explains, “Everything I have is yours and you are always with me.” So does he? Does the older brother join the party? Well, it depends. You see Jesus knows us so well and He told us a story that would echo down through the centuries. It is a true story. It’s Mike’s story. He was once lost and he was found, dead and now alive in Christ. But what about that angry, jealous older brother who spent his life doing “everything right”, just trying to make the Father happy, never being fully appreciated… Jesus knew that the church would end up chock full of “elder brothers” with no love in their hearts for the lost and foolish people of this world. These church-goers will spend their lives toeing the line and “slaving” to try to make God happy. And in doing so will forget who God really is; a loving, present father. They will also disown the lost as siblings and think of them as unworthy. Jesus knows us so well. But we “elder brothers” must never forget what it means to be children of God. He is always with us and everything He has is ours. We are co-heirs with Christ and as ambassadors of reconciliation our hearts will always be open to welcome the lost home. So, will the “elder brother” join the party? I don’t know, you tell me…
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 26:20-27:34 Once again we see a record of who was responsible for what. What would be the value of having this record? 1 Corinthians 4:1-21 Paul is wrapping up his argument against elevating one “apostle/disciple/teacher” above another. In Paul’s words, they are all what? (4:1) You know, instead of pride, Paul will go on to describe a more appropriate attitude. What is that? (8-12) Do we resemble the one we claim to follow? Do we resemble Christ? Consider the life Christ lived. How would you describe it? Proverbs 19:13-22 Verse 17 jumped out at me this morning. “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord…” It reminds me of Matthew 25:31-46. I find it interesting, that how we treat our neighbor, is a reflection of our love of God. Are we able to love God, and yet not love our neighbor?