God Speaks

That same day Jesus left the house and went out beside Lake Galilee, where he sat down to teach. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he had to sit in a boat, while the people stood on the shore.3 Then he taught them many things by using stories. He said:
A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field…

But God has blessed you, because your eyes can see and your ears can hear!17 Many prophets and good people were eager to see what you see and to hear what you hear. But I tell you that they did not see or hear.          Matthew 13:1-3, 16-17 (CEV)

It is extraordinary and amazing that God, Creator and the King of all kings, desires to talk to me. And He does it every day.

How does God talk to His children? That is a question for discussion tonight in our online Bible Study. I hope many who are reading this today will join us. The details of how you can join us is in the link provided.

Today I want to take time to encourage myself and others to take the time every day to listen to God’s voice. What a great opportunity to “be still and know” the voice of God. When we take the time to get quiet, God is faithful to come close to us and speak.

I remember the hectic years in my life when there was always a ball practice or gymnastics workout or homework to do or something every evening after a full day of school and work. I remember when I had to spend time with God after midnight, because that was the only time when the house got quiet and no one was asking me to do something for them! But I needed the discipline of meeting with God every day with the expectation that He would have something to say to me. Often what He wanted to say was simply, “I love you and I hear your cries. I am with you.”

That is one of the ways in which I know a voice is God’s. I have heard and know the character of His voice. I know that He will not tell me something that contradicts His Word.

He may also speak to me directly through His Word. It may occur when I am reading a passage and I hear a voice say, “Stop!” As I re-read verses, I can hear in my spirit God’s Holy Spirit bring His light to beam on a passage and speak that directly into my situation. And the peace comes! And that is another way to know it is God. God is not about chaos and confusion.

Let us invest in our relationship with God. No matter how busy we believe we are, may we receive the Light of God’s truth – that spending time with Him pays lifelong dividends.

“Rain and snow fall from the sky.
But they don’t return without watering the earth
that produces seeds to plant and grain to eat.
That’s how it is with my words.

They don’t return to me without doing everything I send them to do.” Isaiah 55:10-11 (CEV)

The song today is a simple song but that is a characteristic of talking with Jesus. It isn’t complicated.

Have a Little Talk with Jesus written by Jimmy Dean & sung by The Statler Brothers

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Who Will Rescue Me?

In fact, I don’t understand why I act the way I do. I don’t do what I know is right. I do the things I hate.16 Although I don’t do what I know is right, I agree that the Law is good.17 So I am not the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them…

What a miserable person I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is doomed to die?25 Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me.         Romans 7:15-17, 24-25 (CEV)

A holiday weekend is coming up and along the Gulf Coast the traffic and the people are too numerous to count! I saw a car with its hood open and hazard lights flashing, pulled over to the side of the road with the occupants a few feet away under a tree waiting for a tow truck or some other help. Who will battle all that traffic to rescue them? Not a happy beginning to their holiday fun!

Chapter 7 of Romans has been the passage in all of Paul’s epistles that gives me a chuckle every time I read it. Paul the prolific author surely wound his way around a maze to get to his point, didn’t he?

I do NOT know why I do what I do. I hope you are not like me. I truly hope you do not have a reoccurring sin that plagues you. If you have seen a picture of me, then you know my sin. I love to eat. I have the sin of gluttony.

I AM glad that God’s Laws point out my sin. What Commandment or Law of God speaks of gluttony? “You shall have NO other gods before Me!” (Exodus 20:3) Yes, #1 Commandment. Instead of turning to God when I feel sad, depressed, frustrated, lonely, or even happy, I turn to food. Instead taking in God’s comfort, I take in food for comfort. And that is putting something else in front of God. I am grateful that God’s Law points out my sin, because it also points out His great love for me. God wants me to be healthy and well-loved. The world isn’t always kind to people who are obese. Most doctors treat obese people like they do smokers. “Come back and see me when you have kicked your habit.”

I AM MISERABLE! Who can help me change? I am miserable. Who will help me? It has taken me 10 years to get it. I have spent a lot of time talking to God about this and I have heard His voice of honest encouragement and I can tell the difference when Satan starts in with his condemning, tearing-me-down chanting!

I don’t have to beg God to help me. He heard the cry of my heart and is right with me before I even finish my sentence. He has the plan and it totally involves Him with me every step of the way.

The victory over my sin is not dependent on my strength or my knowledge. All I have to do is ask for help. No sin is too awful or too big because Jesus has already made the perfect blood sacrifice to wipe out the power of sin in my life. His yoke, that links us together, to walk in unison each day, is easy and the burden – well it is light! (Matthew 11:30) So my weight is already lighter, isn’t it?!! God will bring me closer to Him with His unconditional, without-limit love. The sweetness of His love is so much more satisfying than a Whataburger or fudge brownie! Fill me up with Your Love, LORD!

Draw Me Close to You written by Kelly Carpenter & sung by Michael W Smith

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He is My Beloved

I hear the voice of the one I love,
as he comes leaping over mountains and hills like a deer or a gazelle.
Now he stands outside our wall,

looking through the window and speaking to me.

He Speaks:
My darling, I love you! Let’s go away together.
Winter is past, the rain has stopped;
flowers cover the earth, it’s time to sing.
The cooing of doves is heard in our land.
Fig trees are bearing fruit,

while blossoms on grapevines fill the air with perfume.
My darling, I love you!

Let’s go away together.          Song of Songs 2:8-13 (CEV)

Lectionary poetry for this week: Song of Songs 2:8-13, Psalm 45:10-17, Psalm 145:8-114

This is one of the options for the “poetry” selection in this week’s lectionary texts. It is probably the selection least likely to be chosen. Many pastors and teachers are not sure what to do with Song of Songs. It is a passionate piece of poetry and many are uncomfortable using passionate and God in the same sentence, much less speak about it in front of a mixed congregation. How can my Creator instill within me passionate love and say I am made in His image and likeness and not have passionate love for me? How could Jesus endure if He wasn’t passionately in love with those He died for?

Isaiah speaks about God’s love (Chapters 61 and 62) as the Bridegroom to us, His Bride. The metaphor brings to mind how we felt on our wedding day when love was pure and, we thought, without equal. But it also brings to mind the purity and simplicity of the love we felt when we stopped running away and instead we turned and ran into the arms of our Savior! It was in that Love where I found healing of heart and spirit. It was in bringing our love, as husband and wife, and entering into a covenant with God’s love, that Henry and I found a marriage that will withstand time and the erosion of this world, and instead become stronger in the Refiner’s fire (Malachi 3).

Take time today and read these three passages of poetry and listen to the song about God’s Holy Love. Consider how God has shown His love for you in the simple every day ways as well as the extraordinary miracles. And then speak to your Beloved, the LORD who loves you. When people speak to you carelessly, or in the darkest moments when no one seems to care, Jesus is there. Jesus is enough.

Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave.
Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth,
his offer would be utterly scorned.          Song of Songs 8:6-7 (NLT)

Holy Love written & sung by Andy Park

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Call to Be Steadfast – Jesus is Coming Back

Everyone in Jerusalem, celebrate and shout!
Your king has won a victory, and he is coming to you.
He is humble and rides on a donkey;
he comes on the colt of a donkey.
10 I, the Lord, will take away war chariots and horses from Israel and Jerusalem.
Bows that were made for battle will be broken.
I will bring peace to nations, and your king will rule from sea to sea.
His kingdom will reach from the Euphrates River across the earth.

11 When I made a sacred agreement with you, my people, we sealed it with blood.
Now some of you are captives in waterless pits,
but I will come to your rescue 12 and offer you hope.
Return to your fortress, because today I will reward you with twice what you had. Isaiah 9:9-12 (CEV)

It is easy to see, 2000 years later, the connection between this passage and Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on what we celebrate as Palm Sunday. But Jesus is also coming back another time, isn’t He?

Jesus has won the great victory already over death and evil (Revelation 1:18). I have heard and read many suppositions on the time and circumstances of Jesus’ return. But when He does come, He will bring the final unity and peace – eventually and forever.

Like the people Isaiah was speaking to, we are challenged to have faith that God will fulfill the promises He has proclaimed. We look at the wars, the suffering of children and others who are victimized by evil, and we lament the failure of governments to bring about justice.

During Jesus’ time here on earth, He did not address the Roman government nor did He get entangled in local governments. He did address, however, church leaders who used their power for their own gain (Matthew 23:23).

… I will come to your rescue and offer you hope.” When praying for people who are in painful seasons, I end my prayer time with a psalm that proclaims the goodness and integrity of the LORD. I leave my heart with the LORD who is my Hope and strength for another day. And keeping a prayer journal also reminds me how God keeps His promises and never leaves me – leaves us – but walks with us through all that each day brings.

I will trust the LORD and not rely on my own limited knowledge and understanding. And every day I will acknowledge Him and thank Him for His great love and faithfulness.

God is in Control written by Twila Paris & sung by Avalon

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Judge Not

37 Jesus said:
Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you.38 If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.     Luke 6:37-38 (CEV)

A mother goes to the local grocery store to purchase her weekly groceries. Her heart is heavy and aches for her son who has been recently incarcerated. As she pushes her cart down an aisle, she stops to select a box of cereal. Behind her, a woman and two man are speaking quietly, looking down the aisle at her, and then, shaking their heads, move off to the next aisle. Is the mother paranoid to think the three people are gossiping about her family? Joseph Heller, author of the novel Catch 22, said, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you!”

I believe the most destructive sins among Christians are not homosexuality and fornication, but gossip and self-righteousness judgment. These are sins that we do not “call out” from pulpits or refuse to allow such sinners to be leaders in the church. They are secret, insidious sins that strike at the core of our faith: Love our neighbors as ourselves.

Judging others and gossiping can be sins we may ignore or even lie to ourselves about. Here are some questions I have asked myself recently:

When someone asks me to pray for them or someone else, do I ask for details about their troubles because it helps me to “pray better”?

When I hear that a marriage is “on the rocks” or terminated, a young adult is arrested or battling addiction, or someone is diagnosed with cancer, do I consider how they might have “invited” their problems or made poor choices? Am I not judging?

When someone dies, how often is the state of their soul discussed at the funeral? Isn’t that a bit late?

I once heard a biblical professor share, “When I realized it was not my job to figure out who would and would not be in heaven, it was very liberating!” In all of the above instances, gossiping and judging people is nothing but sin. It is my task as Jesus’ disciple to witness to and serve God’s children, not judge them or gossip about them.

I have often shared what I feel to be God’s primary mandate to me: Love God with all that I am and Love my neighbor as myself. That is what God wants me to keep at the forefront of how I conduct myself. When I ask myself the questions I suggested above, I feel shame and remorse for even thinking in a judgmental way or repeating any speculation about someone’s life. I have ignored God’s mandate and busied myself in sin. I hang my head and repent. Repentance is about asking God to forgive me and turning away from the sin.

When someone is going through a difficult season, my first response is prayer. Asking God to bless as He knows their needs, is never wrong. Encouraging someone with a smile, a gentle hug, or even a simple note “I am asking God to bless you and your family” may bring a tremendous lift to a heavy burden.

God answers our prayers better than we pray them. – Henry Neufeld

It is not the accuracy of our prayers or the number of hours we pray. It is the abundant love of our Father God who hears the cries of our hearts even before we utter a word. (Isaiah 65:24)

When I Call on Jesus written & sung by Nicole C. Mullen

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Some years later God decided to test Abraham, so he spoke to him.
Abraham answered, “Here I am, Lord.”           Genesis 22:1 (CEV)

From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms. But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true.”               Jeremiah 28:8-9 (NIV)

Last week I shared a devotion Would God do That? and it was one that told of our loving Father who is also a disciplinarian. Here are some more Scriptures along that same theme. These are two of the lectionary texts for next week.

God decided to test Abraham. Now when I look back, Abram is first introduced at the end of Genesis 11. At the beginning of Genesis 12, God tells Abram to move to “a land that I will show you” and He will bless Abrahm. Throughout the next 10 chapters, I can see that while Abrahm (who becomes Abraham) isn’t perfect, he is highly favored by God. Why does God want to test one of His children who has already been found obedient? Why does God want to test me? Have you ever been tested by God?

The alternative Old Testament passage is the one from Jeremiah. Now prophets certainly were tested! They had to stand up in front of the king or/and the local population and often tell them to repent of their sins, and if they did not, God was going to rain down terrible disasters on them! That is not an enviable position! Most of us want prophets who will tell us about prosperity. Jeremiah warns that such a prophecy is only good if it occurs and is proven correct.

Neither of these passages will probably be the basis for a sermon this week. They tell us that there will be tests and natural disasters – and God knows about them and even sends them to His children. Can we believe that? Can we accept it?

When I think back to the “tests” I have had, what have I learned from these tests?

God is always there. God was not a distant and disinterested party when I was tested. He was there. His Spirit continued to give His wisdom and comfort to me. He carried me when I couldn’t walk. God also sent people into my life who held me up in prayer and encouraged me.

I grew in faith. I came out on the other side of the “test” with a few bruises. I got those bruises from wrestling just as Jacob did (Genesis 32). I do frequently have pain in my hip. Do you think I have a “Jacob injury”? If I do, it is a reminder that God did bless me just as He blessed Jacob. I realized that God won’t leave me – ever. I learned in the darkest moments, God sees it all like the sun is shining. He isn’t caught by surprise but is there before I even know there is a problem. Faith grew and even more importantly, I learned how important it is to stay close to God. I had new insight into what Jesus said about being the vine and I am a branch (John 15).

Paul was right when he said that all Scripture is useful for teaching and correcting (2 Timothy 3:16). Sometimes the teachings are not easy to hear. But God always – always loves me and wants me to grow up and grow closer to Him. Because at the end of any given day, He is the one I can always count on and always turn to.

Let’s take some time today and read Genesis 22. It’s a familiar passage of Abraham and his test of sacrificing the son he loves, his only son. It might be good to learn what God wants to teach me before He takes me up a mountain to test me.

Above All written by Lenny LeBlanc and Paul Baloche & sung by Michael W Smith

Posted in Genesis, Jeremiah | Comments Off on Test-imonies

Would God Do That?

Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. 3 Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.      Deuteronomy 8:2-3 (NLT)

When I started reading the Bible for myself, like many new students, I began in the gospels and worked through the rest of the New Testament. It didn’t take many chapters to realize that not everything I was reading was easy. Jesus said some pretty tough things, like “Take up your cross and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) Jesus warned me that being His disciple was about sacrifice (Matthew 8:20).

Now before I go any farther, let me repeat an important principle of Bible study I have learned: Be careful of taking a verse of Scripture out of context. Look at the passage and how it relates to the book it was in and in relationship to the whole Bible.

This passage in Deuteronomy is a teaching given the setting of Moses’ teachings. The Israelites, like me, not only need to learn the LORD’s principles and precepts but also need to be reminded of Who God is.

God’s commandments say that I shall have NO other god, nothing else to take my allegiance (including a spouse or child or money or career) before Him. God is my King and my LORD. And – He is my loving Father.

And there was the tough point for me to learn. God is my Father. And like an earthly father, He loves His children and He disciplines His children. But – and here is another important principle – God is a perfect father. His discipline always comes from love, not from out-of-control rage or manipulation. His discipline is about teaching me to turn to Him first for wisdom, love, and comfort and follow Him in obedience through the plan He has destined me to fulfill.

“Man does not live by bread alone.” Did you know that phrase is from the Bible? It is a well-known saying, but it isn’t the complete principle, is it? God said that what I can grow or work to achieve is not what makes me successful. I am successful when I: follow His teachings, believe His promises, count on His love, and give Him all my praise and thanksgiving.

Another tough part in this Scripture is the teaching that God used discipline that would humble the Israelites. It can be hard to accept that God would do things to humble me. He would leave me in “want” in order to get my attention and turn to Him.

Remember John 6 where Jesus taught in the synagogue “eat My flesh and drink My blood or you cannot abide in Me”? John said that many stopped following Jesus because this teaching was too hard. I have had a crisis of faith when I heard God’s teaching and it was just more than I was willing to “pay” as His disciple. I told God, “Look, I still believe You exist but I am not going to be Your disciple any more. You ask too much of me. How can You love me and allow this to happen in my life?

I remember my parents telling me that I could not watch TV until my homework was done. And another time, I could not go to a dance with a senior when I was a freshman. And one night when I did sneak out of the house and got caught coming back in, I was grounded for four weeks – and it was during the summer! I thought my parents were too harsh and too old! But – I did learn.

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.      Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)

Our human fathers correct us for a short time, and they do it as they think best. But God corrects us for our own good, because he wants us to be holy, as he is. It is never fun to be corrected. In fact, at the time it is always painful. But if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right and live at peace.     Hebrews 12:10-11 (CEV)

Would God really discipline me in a way that will cause me frustration, even pain? Yes, He would – because He loves me and wants me to be holy, just like Him.

Praise the LORD written by Brown Bannister & Mike Hudson & sung by The Imperials

Posted in Deuteronomy, Hebrews, Proverbs | 1 Comment

Proverbs 16

We humans make plans, but the Lord has the final word.
We may think we know what is right, but the Lord is the judge of our motives.
Share your plans with the Lord, and you will succeed.        Proverbs 16:1-3 (CEV)

I don’t know how many times I have read “a Proverb a day” and so read through that particular book in a month. There is so much there and, depending on what is going on in my life, every Proverb has some wisdom to give.

Here in these first three verses of Proverbs 16 is the bottom line for me every time I make a plan. I love a plan. I love a checklist. When Henry and I get ready to make a trip, I have a master list of everything that must be packed into the car and the designation of whether it is to be in the trunk, backseat or with me in my seat! And on the morning of departure, I am ready and marking off the list as things go out the door! And I can’t remember a trip that we have taken in which we have not left something behind!

Oh, yes I am not alone in wanting to make plans. We all do it and it isn’t a bad thing to plan. Going through life, living in the moment, and never giving a thought to what is needed to accomplish tasks is not wise any more than making long and detailed plans and being so inflexible as to not allow for change.

Many believe the Spirit of God is always and can only be spontaneous. I believe the most well-known move of the Holy Spirit – Pentecost – was very well planned. The disciples had been together in prayer in Jerusalem. Jesus had told them to do this (Acts 1). To make a plan with God is to make a plan that is covered in His wisdom. It will be a plan that will be full of prayer and so full of wisdom. And – it very well may be a plan much bigger than I thought it would be – because God is in it!

A plan with God may very well be a plan in which no one will know what I did. God does not share His glory on this side of heaven. The thing is – I have found that being a secret agent for God is really fun! When God gives me an opportunity to watch what He will do in someone’s life, it is like getting a glimpse into heaven.

Kind words are like honey – they cheer you up and make you feel strong.- verse 24 (CEV)

Here is a good word for today. It isn’t deep or complicated. But doing just this one simple thing today – speak with kindness – may open doors for extraordinary and wonderful blessings to be poured out. And I will get the opportunity to watch!

Gray hair is a glorious crown worn by those who have lived right. – verse 31 (CEV)

Now my day is complete! I really feel good now! Thank you, LORD, and with Your help, I will continue to live right and this crown will just keep getting more and more shiny!

It is a more than wonderful thing to take the time today to be still and know the presence of God in my life. I have a plan on my mind and I’m going to take it to my Father and see what He says. He has the final and best word!

Be Still My Soul sung by The Imperials (Russ Taff)

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God is Good

Do you believe in evil? Do you believe in Satan? Scriptures does mention Satan in the book of Job and, my personal favorite, in Revelation I am told Satan will meet his end in the lake of fire (Revelation 20). If you put “evil” into a word search on your Bible software, it will bring up many, many verses throughout the Bible. But however many references there are to Satan and his evil in Scriptures, there are a “ba-zillion” more about God and His goodness and power over evil and Satan. And that is where we should put our focus.

I was told once that personnel of the U.S. Treasury, the department which oversees our currency, spend the majority their time learning about and recognizing authentic bills and coins instead of the counterfeit. Now that makes sense to me. If I know what the real and the authentic are, then I will also know the counterfeit.

I believe I can apply that also to my beliefs and faith. If I study and spend time with the LORD, learning His characteristics and what He does, then I also have information about what isn’t God.

God is First and Last and Creator of all. God has always been. I can’t really understand what that means. My finite mind cannot fully grasp the infinite. What I do know is that there is no one greater than the LORD. I know Who made me and has known me since I was conceived. And I’ve read the final chapter – and I know Who wins.

God is Good. All that is God is good. Jesus shows the great love the Father has for us, His children. From the beginning God had the plan to provide the necessary, perfect sacrament which would atone for all the sins of His children. Jesus did that and more. He showed us how to live in this world. He began His ministry with showing us the enemy, Satan, and for the next three years He showed us how to make good choices and live attached to Him. Through His inspiration of Paul I am taught about “good fruit” (Galations 5) and good thoughts (Philippians 4). There is so much more as I dig into God’s other inspired teachings.

God loves His children. It doesn’t take long as I read the Bible from front to back to see how God doesn’t give up on His children. Over and over He brings His wayward children back from their self-centered, prideful, sinning ways. (Yes, I definitely include myself in that group!) Jesus’ story of the prodigal son could easily be the thematic story of the entire Bible. God gives to His children more than we could ask or imagine. And when we walk away to our own plan and our own devices, the Father watches for us to stumble back to Him where we are loved.

“I will go home to my father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.’

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”      Luke 15:18-20  (NLT)

My friends, there is great evil in this world. Whether it is in the every day annoyances that suddenly seem to blow out of proportion or an organized group of people who decides to slaughter another group, there is evil. Let us pay attention to our relationship to God. Let us not be side-tracked to focus on the evil and live in fear about where it will come or how it will come. We know how this war between good and evil ends. And we know we are on the winning “team.” For whatever comes our way, it is eternity with our Father and all His other children who have chosen His way that is our Hope and forever glory.

God is Good written by Don Moen & sung by Alvin Slaughter

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A Daily “REAL” Prayer

Good-by, my friends. Do better and pay attention to what I have said. Try to get along and live peacefully with each other.
Now I pray that God, who gives love and peace, will be with you.12 Give each other a warm greeting. All of God’s people send their greetings.
13 I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will bless you and be kind to you! May God bless you with his love, and may the Holy Spirit join all your hearts together.      2 Corinthians 13:11-13 (CEV)

Who are you praying for today? Did you pray for yourself today?

John 17 is devoted entirely to a prayer, uttered by Jesus just before He died. Jesus prayed for His disciples and He prayed for those who would hear their words, including me. But first, Jesus prayed for Himself. Personal note: Pray for myself every day – take a tip from Jesus and pray for myself first. I’ve been working on writing a book on John 17 but I just boiled 100+ pages down to two sentences.

I was reading 2 Corinthians today and I must admit that I began to “skim through” this conclusion part. And then I felt the Spirit put the brakes on my reading and take me back over the words – slowly. What a wonderful prayer Paul has offered!

Paul encourages the people to live in harmony. Stop bickering and complaining! But first he implores them to remember what he said. Remember! When I pray for someone who is ill or facing job or financial difficulties or relationship breakdown or any burdens, do I meditate first on God’s promises? Do I think about His faithfulness? Do I read of His great love?

Paul prays for God to be with the people he is praying for because he knows when God is present, so is His immense love and His peace that is beyond our human understanding. When God is with me, other “stuff” like doubt and fear and confusion must go! The two are opposites and not compatible. And God always wins the day.

And then Paul encourages those he is raising in prayer to reach out to each other, link arms, hold hands, hug, share a holy kiss. Reach out! Do not withdraw when you are hurting. Open yourself to the healing balm of God’s love that will come through His children. Have you seen the pictures of twins holding hands in the womb? We need each other. We need the love that is expressed with a hug, even a hand quietly held.

Let us open our eyes and be open to the Holy Spirit’s urging to pray for each other and hold each other just as God holds each of us in the palm of His Hand. God’s love is more than a feeling. Much more.

Reach Out and Touch written by Valerie Simpson & Nickolas Ashford & sung by Diana Ross

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