The Bible passage for mediation, prayer, and reflection for the week of August 27-September 2, 2017, is Proverbs 20:11. Proverbs, of which most of the book is attributed to King Solomon who was renowned for his wisdom, encourages individuals to know right from wrong, moral for immoral. It is filled with warnings against being dishonest and unwise. In this week’s verse, children are also warned to be aware of their actions.
Even a child is known by his acts, whether [or not] what he does is pure and right. (Proverbs 20:11, AMP)
“Kids these days,” says a white-haired man sitting on a park bench shaking his head. “Am I right?” he asks with a small grin, remembering back to the days of his youth, knowing he never behaved the way he now observed children behaving. As adults, we all know that our actions are often being judged by someone, somewhere. Children and their actions are also being judged. It is a parents’ responsibility to set a good example for their children. And if you don't have children? It is still your responsibility to set a good example! You never know when you are being observed, who is watching, and who is learning from your actions. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider the example you set. What can you do to set a good example? Is there someone with whom you can share this verse?
The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of August 20-26, 2017, is Psalm 100:1-5. The author of this psalm is unknown, but it is easy to understand the emotion and joy the writer of this psalm felt.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5, ESV)
What do you focus on in your life? The good or the bad? Do you beat yourself up for the small mistakes? Do you remember the things that went wrong? Are you constantly praying for solutions to your problems? Good! Keep praying! But do you also remember to give God the credit for the good things in your life? As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s passage, take some time everyday to celebrate God for the good in you life! What can you praise Him for today?
The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of August 13-19, 2017, is John 5:19-24. These are Jesus’ own words; denying His detractors and claiming equality with His Father! Oh! What comfort we can take in this passage!
So Jesus answered them by saying, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the Son is able to do nothing of Himself (of His own accord); but He is able to do only what He sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does is what the Son does in the same way [in His turn]. The Father dearly loves the Son and discloses to (shows) Him everything that He Himself does. And He will disclose to Him (let Him see) greater things yet than these, so that you may marvel and be full of wonder and astonishment. Just as the Father raises up the dead and gives them life [makes them live on], even so the Son also gives life to whomever He wills and is pleased to give it. Even the Father judges no one, for He has given all judgment (the last judgment and the whole business of judging) entirely into the hands of the Son, so that all men may give honor (reverence, homage) to the Son just as they give honor to the Father. [In fact] whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, Who has sent Him. I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life. (John 5:19-24, AMP)
At times, it can almost seem as if Jesus is being vague with His true identity. Here He is not. In this passage He fully admits who He is - the Son of God, equal to His Father! Of course, one must be willing to hear the message to understand it! Finally, Jesus speaks of salvation and how to obtain it. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, let it fill you with warmth and joy! What does this passage mean to you? How does it affect you?
The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection, for the week of August 6-12, 2017, is Daniel 6:6-18. This week’s reading is, no doubt, a familiar story. Daniel and the Lion’s Den! Perhaps it was one of your favorites in Sunday school, or perhaps your children enjoyed it as you read it to them. Even as an adult, valuable lessons can still be gleaned from this childhood story.
Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”
Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.”
Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. (Daniel 6:6-18, ESV)
Often the emphasis of this story is placed on Daniel - his unwavering faith in the Lord, his refusal to cease his public worshipping of the Lord, his reward for faithful worship - but this week, look at Darius, the king. Every Christian wants to have a faith like Daniel, but all too often we behave like Darius. Darius allowed himself to be manipulated, though flattery, ego boosting, and pride, into attempting to kill a man he respected and considered a friend because others were jealous. Have you ever been manipulated into doing something you know is wrong? Mediate on, pray over, and reflect carefully upon this week’s verse and how it applies to your life.
The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of July 30-August 5, 2017, is Leviticus 24:10-16. It is the story of an event that occurred several years after the Israelites had left Egypt, but not too long, as there were still Egyptians living among the Israelites. This story is inserted amongst many of the Laws given to Moses by the Lord, which can make it seem out of place. However, this story highlights how the Laws were to be obeyed.
Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the Israelites, and he and a man of Israel quarreled and strove together in the camp. The Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name [of the Lord] and cursed. They brought him to Moses—his mother was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan. And they put him in custody until the will of the Lord might be declared to them. And the Lord said to Moses, bring him who has cursed out of the camp, and let all who heard him lay their hands upon his head; then let all the congregation stone him. And you shall say to the Israelites, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. And he who blasphemes the Name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him; the stranger as well as he who was born in the land shall be put to death when he blasphemes the Name [of the Lord]. (Leviticus 24:10-16, AMP)
The first lesson is this story is obvious: blaspheming the Name of the Lord was, and still is, wrong! The second lessons requires a deeper study. During their time in Egypt, many Israelites married Egyptians. When the Israelites were freed, some Egyptian spouses chose to go with Israel, instead of remaining in Egypt. By joining the Israelites, these individuals were also held accountable to the Law, as were any children. This mixed-faith relationship shows the damage such parenting can have on a child. No doubt the child, while growing up, had heard his father curse the gods for ill fortune, a common practice. When the grown son entered into an argument with an Israelite, he followed his father’s example: the son cursed the God of Israel, as an insult to the other individual. For such a crime, he paid with his life.
Paul also addresses this issue in 2 Corinthians 6:14, calling believers to “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” (ESV). We are to be careful, not only who we marry, but also who we surround ourselves with and whose opinions we seek out. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider those in your life. Who do you interact with everyday? Whose opinion do you value? Do these people hold you to God’s standard?