Tired of Waiting?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” [Exodus 32:1]

How long are you willing to wait for some one? If you are to meet someone, do you give them five minutes or ten or more?  The Israelites had been waiting for Moses not for just minutes, but for days that turned into weeks.  The biblical text tells us that Moses was on the Mountain for forty days and forty nights and the people got tired of waiting.   Continue reading Tired of Waiting?

A New and Right Spirit

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me… and sustain in me a willing spirit.” [Psalm 51:10, 12b]

What would a new and right spirit look like in you?  Would a cloud of gloom be lifted?  Would a vortex of anxiety loosen its grip?  Would the fear of not being enough or having enough vanish? Would there be a new pep in your step? These words, “Put a new and right spirit within me,” follow King David’s plea for mercy. He passionately cries out to God for forgiveness Continue reading A New and Right Spirit

Abundantly Deep Mercy

Monday, April 1, 2019

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions… For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” [Psalm 51:1, 3]

Have you ever cried out to God as King David did?  An anguished cry, “Have mercy on me, O God? David abused his power and took what was not his. And then to cover up his abuse of power he sanctioned a murder.  These sins of David were ever before him, Continue reading Abundantly Deep Mercy

Carrot or Stick?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

“Moses said, ‘Do not be afraid.; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of God upon you so that you do not sin.'”[Exodus 20:20]

Do you respond better to the carrot or the stick? Are you drawn to do what is right for a reward or do you do what you are supposed to do to avoid punishment? I must admit the “do not be afraid” isn’t very reassuring in this passage.  If God has come to test the Israelites and to put fear in them, then it sounds like God is using a stick. Continue reading Carrot or Stick?

Life Giving Relationships

Saturday, March 30, 2019

“Honor your father and mother… You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.” [Exodus 20:12-17]

This litany of commandments begins with “honor” and then a series of “thou shall nots.”  You might notice that all of them are relational.  The “honor” command has to do with our families of origin. Love your parents. Love those who gave you birth and provided for your needs. This seems reasonable, if one is born into a loving family. But, for those who are not this commandment is struggle. Continue reading Life Giving Relationships

Exploring Sabbath

Friday, March 29, 2019

“Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall do no work.” [Exodus 20:8-9]

In Genesis we read, “And on the seventh day God finished the work that God had done.” So did God have a few last minute details to finish up, before God finally rested on the seventh day? Or was God done before the sunset on Friday night? Was day seven, from sundown to sundown a complete or partial day of rest? I know I am splitting hairs, but that is what folks often do when it comes to obeying this commandment. Continue reading Exploring Sabbath

Tendency Toward Idolatry

Thursday, March 28, 2019

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above or that is on the earth beneath.”

As Christians of the reformed tradition, we recognize our tendency toward idolatry. That is, we have a tendency towards placing something else first in our lives other than God. Immersed in the American culture, it is easy to understand how we are lured by the golden calves of wealth, success, and power.   Continue reading Tendency Toward Idolatry

Deliverance

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.” [Exodus 20:2-3]

What has God brought you out of or what has God brought your through? As I flip through the scenes of my life, my first recollection of God’s deliverance was God’s faithfulness in bringing me through my year abroad as a foreign exchange student. It was not an easy year, but one that forged a deep bond between God and me.  Continue reading Deliverance

Set Free

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those the Lord redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.” [Psalm 107:2-3]

What have you been redeemed from?  The meaning of redeemed is to buy back, to free from captivity, or to release from blame or debt. Theologically, the word redeemed is used to describe being freed from the consequences of our sin. Through Jesus Christ we have been redeemed and reconciled with God.  Notice that this redemption is for all, not just for some Continue reading Set Free

Giving Thanks

Monday, March 25, 2019

‘O give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good; for God’s steadfast love endures forever.” [Psalm 107:1]

Every morning I wake up I give thanks to the Lord for another day, even as I pray that the way I will use the day will bear witness to God’s steadfast love in my life. Do you sense that God is good?  Have you experienced God’s steadfast love? As children those who have authority over us influence our image of God.  Continue reading Giving Thanks