September 4, 2015

Psalms 48-50 
I set plain spoken wisdom before you, my heart-seasoned understanding of life.  I fine tuned my ear to the sayings of the wise, I solved life’s riddle with the help of a harp.  So why should I fear the bad times, hemmed in by enemy malice, shoved around by bullies, demeaned by arrogant mobs?  Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.  The cost of rescue is beyond our means ...

Anyone can see that the brightest and the best die, wiped out right along with fools & dunces.  We aren’t immortal.  We don’t last long.  Like our dogs, we age and weaken.  And die.  This is what happens to those who live for the moment, who only look out for themselves:  death herds them like sheep straight to hell....

But me?  God snatches me from the clutch of death, he reaches down and grabs me.  So don’t be impressed with those who get rich and pile up fame & fortune.  They can’t take it with them; fame and fortune all get left behind. We aren’t immortal.  We don’t last long.  Like our dogs, we age and weaken.  And die.                    

Are you listening dear people?  I’m getting ready to speak;...This is God, your God, speaking to you.  I don’t find fault with your acts of worship, the frequent burnt sacrifices you offer.  But why should I want your blue-ribbon bull, or more & more goats from your herds?  Every creature in the forest is mine...    

Spread for me a banquet of praise, serve High God a feast of kept promises, and call for help when you’re in trouble-- I’ll help and you’ll honor me.   

Next, God calls up the wicked:  What are you up to, quoting my laws, talking like we are good friends?  You never answer the door when I call;  you treat my words like garbage... I kept a quiet patience while you did these things;  you thought I went along with your game.  I’m calling you out on the carpet, now, laying your wickedness out in plain sight

2 Thessalonians 3
One more things, friends: Pray for us.  Pray that the Master’s Word will simply take off & race through the country to a groundswell of response, just as it did among you.  And pray that we’ll be rescued from the scoundrels who are trying to do us in.  

I’m finding that not all “believers” are believers.  But the Master never lets us down.  He’ll stick by you and protect you from evil.  Because of the Master, we have great confidence in you.  We know you are doing everything we told you and will continue doing it.

May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God’s love and Christ’s endurance.

Our orders- backed up by the Master Jesus- are to refuse to have anything to do with those among you who are lazy & refuse to work the way we taught you.  We didn’t sit around on our hands expecting others to take care of us...we worked our fingers to the bone, up half the night moonlighting so you wouldn’t be burdened with taking care of us...If you don’t work, you don’t eat... 

If anyone refuses to obey our clear command written in this letter, don’t let him get away with it... But don’t treat him as an enemy.  Sit him down and talk about the problem as someone who cares...

The incredible grace of our Master, Jesus Christ, be with all of you!