“Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:37)
Picking and choosing is not an alternative for God’s people as we make moral choices. We must obey all God’s commands and remain within all the limits He sets for us. The criterion is not what we like or agree with, but what He says..
Such a system is not tyrannical legalism for two reasons: 1) God has shown Himself to be good and trustworthy, and 2) we choose to enter the covenant relationship with God and pledge ourselves to obey His commands.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, we each have committed ourselves to You now and forevermore. We are not forced, and we are not coerced in any way. We have made this commitment willingly and because we recognize You as the Creator of the Universe and all that it within it. We claim Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ as our Lord, and believe in Your Inspired Scripture, to help us live good, decent, and moral lives, as best as we can and when we falter, we willingly come before Your throne of grace with penitent hearts, seeking forgiveness of any sins, we have committed. It is in Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Don’t ever try to use God; instead, ask God to use you!”
“Perhaps the reason he was separated from you might have a little while was that you might have him back for good—-no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord. So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.” (Philemon 1:15-17)
Business relationships often categorize and separate people. Christian love joins all people in the Christian family. Paul did not comment on the rightness or wrongness of the institution of slavery. Instead he provided a basis for overcoming the social barriers of business relationships and ultimately of doing away with slavery. To treat another person as a brother makes owning a person as a slave impossible.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1st Peter 4:8-10)
Christian purity comes through the truth of faith in Christ. It expresses itself in love for all others. To show Christ’s love is to show Christ Himself to those you come into contact with. To reach out to all with Christ’s love, reveals the truth of your love for Jesus and also the strength of your faith in Him.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brothers is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.” (1st John 2:9-11)
I grew up in the 1950’s and still remember the separate water fountains, bathrooms, restaurants, etc., and how seemingly good, God-fearing Christians did not nor seemed to want to read the Bible. I can remember when a minister preached love for all, how all of a sudden, there were several men having coughing sessions, to remind the preacher he was close to going too far. I also remember hearing people of color being called by terrible names, and others laughing about it all.
I had a black man whose job was custodial in nature, and he became my best friend. It began, when he saw me running around in the church with some boys my mother would not approve of. He told me, it would break her heart to see me doing me with them and to straighten up. He became my mentor. I called him Mr. Ollie, and he called me Mr. Jerry. We were the best of friends and he taught me many life lessons. He took a serious risk by befriending me and though I didn’t understand that in the beginning, I certainly did as I grew older. We shared a Coke everyone once in awhile, while he was asking me how my studies were going in school. He always remembered my birthday and I remembered his as well. He died a few years ago, and I was at his funeral. When I hear someone making a comment about people of color, I close my eyes and remember my friend, and told them what my friend would say in response.
I used to mentor students in high school, and always thought of Mr. Ollie and his daring way of telling the youth I worked with, the same life lessons that he taught me. Beloved, we have so much unrest in our country and around the world, but Jesus taught us and still teaches us today, to love one another, as He loves us. I have tried my best in my lifetime, to live up to the example that my friend set for me. I pray for this every day, and wake up in the mornings hoping to see the change that Jesus taught on this earth 2,000 years ago. Wouldn’t it be nice to see? Won’t you join me and others in praying for love to cover the world and for racism to become something out of our past, that is no longer practiced?