“Come my children, listen o me; I will each you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm34:11–14)
Our words beloved indicate our goals. If we want to bring peace and good to the world, we must not speak evil or lie about other people . Such restraint demonstrates our reverence for and dedication to God.
Biblical ethics begins with two basic principles: 1) negative, evil life-styles should be be rejected; and 2) peace or wholeness is the goal of life. One must proceed from rejecting evil to choosing and acting upon virtues which are positive. Peace (Hebrew – shalom) is the all-encompassing value. Peace is more than the absence of conflict. Peace does not come by passive waiting, it must be pursued.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Jesus revealed to His disciples then and in the stories of the Bible we have read that He had peace in all aspects of His life. He revealed it to us by His words, by the way He dealt with every single encounter with people and it was like a magnet that people sought for their own lives. Even as He prayed in the garden the night before He was crucified, He revealed that He didn’t want to die, and yet He made the statement, “Not my will, but Thy will.” Afterwards, He came back to His disciples, entering the room with them, offering peace to them, as He often did. Abba, we seek this peace for our own lives, that peace that passes all understanding and it come from You. The peace that enabled our Lord and Savior to do Your will in the harshest moments of His life on this earth, is what we seek in our own lives. Jesus promised us Your Spirit and those who accept it and use it in our daily lives, have found Your peace. Today, we pray that Your peace will prevail upon all peoples in our land, to give a calming, that will enable us to come together to talk about those things that separates us, and allow us to come back together as one nation, in peace and with a sustaining will to work our problems as never before and to a point of bringing us, Your people, back into relationship with You. It is in Jesus’ precious name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“To put your fears to rest, put your faith in Jesus.”
“Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth, has perished; it has vanished from their lips.’” (Jeremiah7:28)
Funny that chapter 7 of Jeremiah is primarily about false religions being worthless! However, its timing in today’s society is appropriate. Beloved, obedient actions to help the needy and thus reestablish justice form the basis of confidence for God’s people. Religious tradition and holy places are insecure root for confidence for an unjust society. One cannot compartmentalize worship into one phase of life while carrying on a life-style of overt hypocrisy and detestable actions. All of life is under God’s judgment. All of life should be offered to God.
A preacher cannot pray for God’s people when they worshiped other gods blatantly. Sin eventually will boomerang on us. We may think sinful action will bring security, popularity, political freedom. In the end sin harms the sinner. God’s people need to understand all of God’s history, not just the parts they may life. Israel chose to remember the call for glorious ritual but conveniently forgot the call to moral obedience. Judgment resulted. The initiative in prayer is with God. He allows people to communicate with Him in His grace. God will not hear prayer for a faithless people who have brought forth His wrath and judgment. Israel had remembered the call for glorious ritual but conveniently forgot the call to moral obedience. A whole society or nation will find itself in a state of moral erosion when true and honest communication has been lost.
“They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. And cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.” (Revelation16:9, 11)
Reading these verses tells me that someone thought they were in charge and not God! So, they think being mule-headed, stubborn, outright refusing to repent of their sins is going to “help” them?! I call this sad, very sad. Eschatological (meaning end times) tribulations will lead many to blasphemy rather than repentance. Christ’s last direct word tot he churches contains His personal promise to return. His return holds a promise of reward to those who are faithful. It will also mean rescue from the hour of eschatological trial, either by removing the faithful from the earth before it comes or by supplying sufficient strength for us to endure while undergoing tribulation. Beloved, Christ’s promise to return is also a call to repent and obey the gospel. This will take place, are you really going to hold out for the tribulation, instead of the reward??
Second Thought of the Day:
Jesus endorsed the prophets summary of true religion and service of God. Justice not legalism forms the center. Justice must be carried out in mercy for the oppressed. It must be faithfully and constantly act out.
“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater; the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred!? Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.” (Matthew 23:16-22)
Hypocritical human rules and traditions cannot justify or protect us from lying. Truth is valued. Intricate interpretation of legal rules avoid the truth is not. Jesus endorsed the prophets summary of true religion and service of God. Justice not legalism forms the center. Justice must be carried out in mercy for the oppressed. It must be faithfully and constantly act out.