Did You Know?

Twenty-three men and no women have

been executed in the United States in 2017.

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of October 8-14, 2017, is Micah 6:6-8.  Micah, like many prophets, foretold of Israel’s destruction because she had abandoned the way of the Lord, choosing instead to worship false gods and follow the demands of godless leaders.  In this week’s reading, Micah answers a question that many were asking, that many are still asking: What does God want?

 

With what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?  (Micah 6:6-8, AMP)

 

What does God want?  Is it a question you have ever asked?  Everyone struggles with this question at some point in their life.  What does God want from me?  Micah’s answer then is still a valid answer today.  As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider if you are asking the wrong question.  You know what God wants.  How are you going to give it to Him?

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of October 1-7, 2017, is Hebrews 5:11-14.  The author of this letter is unknown, as are the intended recipients.  Those who were receiving this letter were Christians who had formally been Jews.  They were struggling in their faith and considering returning to their Jewish roots.  This letter is one of encouragement and instruction to these Christians.

 

Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even slothful in achieving spiritual insight]. For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food. For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.  (Hebrews 5:11-14, AMP)

  

Have you ever felt like you have hit a plateau in your spiritual growth?  The Christians addressed in this letter had not only stopped growing in Christ, but were starting to fall away.  They were allowing their daily struggles to overwhelm them, forgetting all that the Lord had done.  A relationship with the Lord and living a life pleasing to Him was never promised to be an easy life.  But it is a life that requires dedication and commitment in order to grow.  Meditate on, pray over and reflect upon these verses.  Do you show daily dedication and commitment to the Lord?

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of September 24-30, 2017, is Proverbs 27:1-3.  Most of the book of Proverbs is attributed to King Solomon who was extensively known for his wisdom, which was a gift from the Lord.  Important to remember, however, is that Solomon lacked a solid relationship with Christ, often failing to follow the instructions given by the Lord, which led to Israel’s downfall.

 

Do not boast of [yourself and] tomorrow, for you know not what a day may bring forth. Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. Stone is heavy and sand weighty, but a fool’s [unreasoning] wrath is heavier and more intolerable than both of them.  (Proverbs 27:1-3, AMP)

 

Are you a bragger?  Do you let others boast about your accomplishments or do you personally boast?  We are to acknowledge the work we have done, the accomplishments we have made and then move on to our next project.  It can be difficult to discern between acknowledging our work and bragging about our work.  Carefully examine your actions and words this week and seek change if necessary.  Are you a bragger?

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of September 17-23, 2017, is John 21:20-22.  Jesus has risen and once again revealed Himself to His disciples.  During this time, Jesus and Peter have a discussion regarding Peter’s death.  But Peter is not satisfied simply knowing his fate.

 

But Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved, following—the one who also had leaned back on His breast at the supper and had said, Lord, who is it that is going to betray You? When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, Lord, what about this man? Jesus said to him, If I want him to stay (survive, live) until I come, what is that to you? [What concern is it of yours?] You follow Me!  (John 21:20-22, AMP)

  

For many, Peter is a very relatable disciple.  He does not always think before he speaks or acts, he speaks when he sometimes shouldn’t, he makes mistakes and learns from them, and he is extremely curious.  In his heart, he truly loves the Lord, even when he makes mistakes, he still loves the Lord.  In this week’s passage, Peter’s curiosity shows once again.  Jesus reminds Peter, reminds us all, that we serve Him in the way that we have been called to serve Him.  We do not need to be overly concerned about the lives and works of others, but show our support for them.  This week, as you mediate on, pray over, and reflect upon the above passage, focus on your service to the Lord.  What are you doing to serve him everyday?  What is your role in serving Christ?

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of September 10-16, 2017, is Titus 2:1-10.  The book of Titus was a letter sent by Paul to the church of Crete, through Titus.  The church in Crete was composed of mostly Gentiles and Paul’s letter addresses many issues, including how those within the church are to act.  Paul’s instructions can continued to be applied today.

 

But [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians]. Urge the older men to be temperate, venerable (serious), sensible, self-controlled, and sound in the faith, in the love, and in the steadfastness and patience [of Christ]. Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble, so that they will wisely train the young women to be sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited). In a similar way, urge the younger men to be self-restrained and to behave prudently [taking life seriously]. And show your own self in all respects to be a pattern and a model of good deeds and works, teaching what is unadulterated, showing gravity [having the strictest regard for truth and purity of motive], with dignity and seriousness. And let your instruction be sound and fit and wise and wholesome, vigorous and irrefutable and above censure, so that the opponent may be put to shame, finding nothing discrediting or evil to say about us. [Tell] bond servants to be submissive to their masters, to be pleasing and give satisfaction in every way. [Warn them] not to talk back or contradict, nor to steal by taking things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior.  (Titus 2:1-10, AMP)

 

There are many who would take issue with this passage, claiming that it is demeaning to women and gives all power to men only.  But is that really what this passage is saying?  This passage assigns responsibility to both men and women.  The instructions laid out by Paul are different for men and women, yet the different teachings also compliment each other, just as men and women should complement each other.  Paul’s instructions also acknowledge that men and women learn in different ways and have different issues that need to be addressed.  What is the ultimate goals of the teachings advocated by Paul?  To live a life, and raise up children, in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord.  As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, determine which group described by Paul with which you most closely identify.  Then carefully read and re-read Paul’s instructions for that group.  How do you measure up?  Where can you begin the changes to your life today?

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