Be Transformed By Love

Lent: Day 27 – How many times have we found our selves alone and “sitting by a well,” not realizing that in the well there is life-giving water? Even in his fear, God provided for Moses. We mistake a lot of things for love and we mistake love for a lot of things. Christ was despised, rejected, suffered death and was buried. In spite of all he endured, he simply loved them more. No matter our circumstance, we must be transformed by his love, not by what we think it is but rather by what we know and believe it to be according to God’s word. Then his resurrection will be our resurrection.

Exodus 2:1-22 Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘Surely the thing is known.’ When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses.

Mark 9:2-13  …for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’

1 Corinthians 12:27-13:3 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way…if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Psalm 102

But you, O Lord, are enthroned for ever;
your name endures to all generations.
You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to favor it;
the appointed time has come.

Faith For The Benefit Of Others

Lent: Day 11 – Because of his faith in God alone who interprets dreams, Joseph is placed in a position to make a difference. He does so because he himself now has a family of his own. Thus, saving Egypt means saving his own family. Joseph’s wilderness was a good ten plus years, plenty of time to discern his relationship not only with God, but also with the family he as been separated from. He has time to discern the responsibility that his own attitude, arrogance and naïveté played in his endured and present circumstance. My guess is that initially, Joseph was angry. Perhaps he even thought about vengeance until his situation seemed to get worse, being falsely imprisoned, in spite of God’s favor. Yet ironically, being in prison saves his life. Joseph’s faith in God allows him to truly recognize and experience God’s wisdom in his life! Yes, Joseph suffered, but it was not his suffering that saved the life of his family but rather his faith in God. In this journey, we fight a lot of battles and suffer a lot of things for our selves and the people we love. To put our hope in those battles and suffering I believe is a disservice to God. I believe our hope should be in our faith and belief that God’s wisdom in the midst of our circumstance is greater than our own. Victory is only a matter of time.

Genesis 41:46-57 Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.’ … all the world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine became severe throughout the world.

1 Corinthians 4:8-21 We are fools for the sake of Christ, …To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed and beaten and homeless, and we grow weary from the work of our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we speak kindly.

Beginning Again

God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. Sound familiar (Genesis 1:28)? Let’s face it. Sometimes having to start over sucks! However, through Noah, God gives humankind another chance. Noah and his sons are once again given authority over all the earth and God goes one step further and promises never to flood the whole earth again and the sign of his promise is a rainbow. I am certainly appreciative that the whole earth won’t be flooded, but what about the floods in the basement of my home? What about the numerous other small disasters in my life? No one can argue that the rains will come, sometime tremendously washing away everything in its way. That’s a part of life. We also can’t argue that the rains help the fruit to multiply even if we must begin again tilling the soil and nurturing the earth to do so. The good news is that we can begin again. The rainbow was a sign for the earth but God in his understanding of human suffering knew that wouldn’t be enough. The sign he sends for us today is his son Jesus Christ and this time it’s different. What else could be left to give this world but the perfect example of God’s understanding of the suffering humankind must endure by giving the one thing to which anyone could relate; the life of a son, his death and resurrection; the promise of a life for a life being the gift itself. All we have to do is make the decision to receive this gift within our own being. So what if we have to drink milk again to gain the promise. Unlike so many other things we’ve depended on in this physical life, in this new reconciliation of our spiritual life, God is ever faithful. The gift is always there ready to be received. We can begin again and the fruit we then multiply will be the fruit of humankind in the Kingdom of God.

Another Chance; The Perfect Gift; Spiritual Growth

God’s Grace In Suffering

The suffering we face today began with disobedience. Thus, taking responsibility is after the fact. Therefore, what is more important for us today is first discerning the will of God. Because if we can discern the will of God and through baptism, make the decision to follow God, it stands to reason that we will make decisions that glorify God. Yet even today we don’t always make the right decision and furthermore make excuses for the wrong decisions that we make. Discernment is more involved than just understanding difference. It involves actively using our senses in relationship with how we experience God. It is important that we understand not only our relationship with God but also, God’s relationship with us. Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews reminds us of this relationship, for a little while made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor. Because of this we have an obligation to pay greater attention to who we are as God created us. Although it was a decision of disobedience by the first human beings that brought the suffering we face to this day, God in history has continued to deliver his people through obedience. If we suffer for choosing to do the right thing and go the way of the Lord, that being obedience to God’s will, then let it be so. For not only is history on our side, through Christ we know that our salvation is perfect through suffering. Who then can be against us? Who then will dare to ask who we are? Our discernment and decisions we choose will make it clear.

Disobedience and Excuses; God’s Relationship With UsWho are you?