August 30, 2016

Psalm 36-38 - 
God’s love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, his purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic, yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; not a man, not a mouse slip through the cracks.... 

Don’t bother your head with braggarts or wish you could succeed like the wicked.  In no time they’ll shrivel like grass clipping and wilt like cut flowers in the sun.... 

Open up before God and keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done.  He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.  Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him.  Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top.  Bridle your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes-- it only makes things worse...Less is more and more is less.  

God    keeps track of the decent folk: what they do won’t soon be forgotten    in hard times, they’ll hold their heads high; when the shelves are bare, they’ll be full.  Wicked borrows and never returns; righteous give and gives.  Generous gets it all in the end; stingy is cut off at the pass...                                    

I once was young, now I’m a graybeard-- not once have I seen an abandoned believer, or his kids out roaming the streets. Every day he’s out giving and lending, his children making him proud.  Turn your back on evil, work for the good and don’t quit.  God loves this kind of thing, never turns away from his friends...

Wait passionately for God, don’t leave the path....  Keep your eye on the healthy soul, scrutinize the straight life.  There’s a future in strenuous wholeness.....

And now I’m flat on my face feeling sorry for myself morning and night...My heart’s about to break;  I’m a burned-out case...old friends avoid me like the plague...But I’m deaf and mute to it all, ears shut, mouth shut.  I don’t speak a word in response.  

What I do, God, is wait for you, wait for my Lord, my God--you will answer, I wait and pray so they won’t laugh me off, won’t smugly strut off when I stumble.  I’m on the edge of losing it...I’m ready to tell my story of failure.  I’m no longer smug in my sin.. 

Don’t dump me, God; my God, don’t stand me up.  Hurry and help me; I want some wide-open space in my life. 

I Thessalonians 4 - 
We ask you- urge is more like it--that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance...

God wants you to live a pure life.  Keep yourself from sexual promiscuity.  Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body... 

Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers & sisters...If you disregard this advice, you’re not offending your neighbors; your rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit.....

Regarding life together & getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do.  You are God-taught in these matters.  Just love one another!    

Stay calm; mind our own business; do your own job... We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.