LORD God All-Powerful, make us strong again! Smile on us and save us. Â Â Psalm 80:19 (CEV)
God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Â Â Â Â 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NLT)
Lectionary Texts: Isaiah 64:1-9, Psalm 80, 1 Corinthians 1:3-9, Mark 13:24-37
The lectionary texts seem to follow what God was saying to me all last week. He is faithful.
Too often I run into Christians who paste on their â€œfaith faceâ€ and blissfully quote like Paul that they have learned to be content in all their circumstances (Philippians 4:11). Contentment does not come easily and certainly not through any of my own strength or knowledge. Prior to putting his contentment pronouncement out there, Paul says (Philippians 3) that he has no confidence in his flesh and that he if he desires to suffer along with Jesus then he must forget his failures and press on toward the ultimate goal to also share in Jesus’ resurrection.
God is faithful, my friends. He will walk right along with me through the trials and terrible difficulties, never missing a step. Cling to Him! Grab on to His hand and do not let go! Speak to Jesus constantly throughout the day! It isn’t about being inside a church or on your knees. It is about the direction of my focus and the desire of my heart.
I was reminded yesterday about when Paul and Peter were beaten and imprisoned, they did not get up the next day and step back up on a boulder and preach. They did have to heal and recover. We forget the importance of allowing God to heal our minds, bodies, and spirits. There is an important time to be quiet and listen, allowing God’s words to flow over me healing, refreshing, encouraging, and feeding my starved spirit and bruised heart. In the physical, how often have people kept working through a â€œsimple coldâ€ and ended up with pneumonia because they did not take the time to rest? What is manifested in the physical will also reveal itself in my spiritual life. God is faithful.
I encourage you to take every day and spend time with Jesus. If you pray in the morning, before meals, and before you go to bed at night, then take another bit of time and read the lectionary passages and allow them to soak in. First thing in the morning or before you go to sleep â€“ see if you do not feel Him closer. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and ears to more of God’s presence so that you see and hear His voice more clearly. And then thank Him.
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. Â Â Â Isaiah 64:4 (NIV)