August 31, 2016

Psalm 39-40 - 
I am determined to watch steps and tongue so they won’t land me in trouble... 

Mum’s the word, I said, and kept quiet.  But the longer I kept silence--the worse it got--my insides got hotter and hotter, my thoughts boiled over;  I spilled my guts, I’ll say no more.  I’ll shut my mouth, since you Lord, are behind the fire to purge us from our sin, our dearest idols go up in smoke: are we also nothing but smoke?
                        
Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God, turn your back on the world’s ”sure thing,” ignore what the world worships...        

Doing something for you, bringing something to you--that’s not what you’re asking for.  You’ve opened my ears so I can listen.  So I answered, “I’m coming, I read in your letter what you wrote about me, and I’m coming to the party you’re throwing for me.”  That’s when God’s Word entered my life,became a part of my very being....

I didn’t keep the news of your ways a secret, didn’t keep it to myself.  I told it all, how dependable    you are how thorough.  I didn’t hold back pieces of love & truth. For myself alone, I told it all, let the congregation know the whole story.    
                                        
Now God, don’t hold out on me, don’t hold back your passion.  Your love and truth are all that keep me together.  When trouble ganged up on me, I was so swamped by guilt I couldn’t see my way clear.  More guilt in my heart than hair on my head, so heavy the guilt that my heart gave out....

But all who are hurting for you--oh, let them sing and be happy.  Let those who know what you’re all about tell the world you’re great and not quitting.  

And me, I’m a mess.  I’m nothing and have nothing; make something of me    God, give grace, get me up on my feet..I’ll show them a thing or two... 

Blessed is God, Israel’s God, always, always, always.  Yes, yes, yes.                       

I Thessalonians 5 - 
About the time everybody’s walking around complacently congratulating each other--”We’ve got it made! Now we can take it easy!”-- suddenly everything will fall apart.  It is going to come suddenly & inescapably as pangs to a pregnant woman... 

So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others.  Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart...walk out into the daylight sober, dress up in faith, love and the hope of salvation

So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind.  I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

And now friends, we ask that you honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience.  Overwhelm them with appreciation and love.  

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part....  Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out to the exhausted, pulling them to their feet.  Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs.  And be careful that when you get on each others nerves you don’t snap at each other.  Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.  Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. 

This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.  Don’t suppress the Spirit, & don’t stifle those who have a word from Christ. 

On the other hand, don’t be gullible... The amazing grace of Christ be with you.