Sunday, May 29, 2011

Let No Sin Rule

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. (Ps 119:133)

Lord, I know I have often let sin rule over me. It rules me when I heed its lies and I stop my ears to your voice. Direct my steps to a walk of obedience. Your Word shows me the path of righteousness. Thank you for the conviction this verse brings. Thank you today for a glimpse of what my life would be like if I truly lived it for you. Lord, do not abandon me to my foolish ways. Discipline me when I stray and when I repent encourage me to stay the course. A life lived for self is a life utterly wasted. I surrender my life once again. You are my Lord and my God. Your Spirit lives in me and you have given me the power to live according to your Word. Lead and I will follow. Amen.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

God's Law

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. (Ps 119:18)

Isn’t it interesting how often in everyday life the idea of “the law” carries a negative connotation? We say, “that’s against the law,” or “you might get in trouble with the law.” By contrast, in Scripture the law is wonderful and good. It is our sin nature that fools us into thinking sin is good and the law is bad. Our sin nature wants to answer to no authority. It wants to ignore all consequences of sin. Therefore, the fool sees God’s laws as unwelcome restraint, but the wise man sees them as signposts on the road to righteousness. Lord, teach me your ways and show me wonderful things in your law. I delight in your word. Train me in righteousness. You have given me a new heart that yearns for you. Teach and mold me to be pleasing to you in every way. Amen.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fount of Wisdom

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. (Pro 1:5)

There is never a point at which we have learned all we need to learn from God and his Word. This verse from the introduction to the book of Proverbs reminds me why I read it every month. I suppose some would think it foolish to read something over and over again. And I would certainly be embarrassed to admit to you how many times I read Lord of the Rings when I was younger! But the Bible is different. It is God’s Book. Though written by human authors, every word was inspired by the Divine Author. It contains a depth of wisdom and understanding far beyond any other book. In a hundred readings we could not uncover it all. Every month a new verse leaps off the page and connects with some part of my present experience. Lord, thank you for the gift of your Word. Speak to me through its pages. May I never tire of reading it. Amen.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's Not Just a Job

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. (Pro 25:2)

God has glorified himself by creating a vast and intricate universe, one which contains many mysteries for us to uncover. Godly rulers glorify themselves by always seeking truth, knowledge and wisdom. From these flow justice, which God charges every ruler to uphold.

There is also a deeper principle here that extends beyond kings and rulers. God has glorified himself not only by creating this mysterious universe, but also by creating a unique species to inhabit it – man. He has given us the ability to plumb these mysteries by observation, experimentation and contemplation. Whenever we exercise this God-given ability we bring glory to God. As Christians, we can be proud to pursue any secular vocation, as long as we give all the glory to God. All of us - not just scientists, doctors and lawyers but also waiters, clerks and janitors - all of us bring glory to God when we exercise our gifts in humility and righteousness. We use our God-given ability to understand the task at hand and then apply our strength of mind and hand to accomplish it. Lord, help me to remember every day as I work at home and on the job to give you all the glory for the unique gifts you have given me. Amen.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Hammer of Grace

About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. (Acts 22:6)

When God decides it is time to get your attention, he will do whatever it takes to accomplish the job. Saul needed a hammer; some need only a feather. But all of us need God to take the first step. Saul seemed as unlikely a convert as one could imagine. Going from city to city persecuting the Christians, how many deaths must he have been responsible for? I wonder how many of them were praying for Saul’s salvation. God heard their prayers.

Forty years ago God got my attention, too. There were no bright lights or voices that day, but it took more than a feather to get my attention. I felt the powerful, tangible presence of God and knew in an instant that he is real and Jesus is Lord. Many people were praying for me that day, as well. Thank you, Lord, for your incredible mercy. I pray that you would have mercy on those who are precious to me who don't know you. Make your presence real to them. Touch their hearts so they know you love them and accept them by the blood of Jesus. Please do whatever it takes to get their attention, and soften their hearts to receive you. Amen.