Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Hebrews 13:18-21

Hebrews 13:18-21

  I desire to eat copious amounts of ice cream.  As a result, when there is ice cream in the house, my actions follow my desires.  Also, when I grocery shop.  I have yet to make one trip to the grocery store that didn't involve me at least walking halfway down the frozen food aisle to check out the ice cream sales.  I know my weakness, and I embrace it.  I can't even eat most ice creams any more because of how I feel afterwards and I still crave it.
  As Christians, I doubt we think about our desires much.  They control so much of what we do -- and yet we often don't think about crafting the discipline to resist or control them.  We allow them to control us.  We've seen how weakness to desires at the wrong moment can wreck marriages and careers.  In many smaller ways, our desires shape our days, which become our weeks, which turn into months and years and our lives.  So here, the writer is asking for people to pray that they have the desire to act honorably.  When the opportunity presents itself, that desire will turn into honorable action, and that glorifies God.
  So friends, spend some time thinking about your desires.  Pray for good desires, for honorable desires, for desires that elevate your friends and neighbors and community members.  Pray for desires to serve and to love.  Pray for desires to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed.  Pray for these desires, for if we do this consistently, those honorable desires will lead us into honorable lives.  
  

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Hebrews 13:5-8

Hebrews 13:5-8 
English Standard Version (ESV) 

  Scripture does a fantastic job of consistently trying to open our eyes to how dangerous money can be.  Scripture doesn't tell us that we can't have it -- just warning us of its power, so whether we have a little or a lot, we know of its potential.  Here, the writer is encouraging us to let God alone be our ultimate source of strength and comfort.  God alone will never leave nor forsake us, from now through eternity.  Jesus Christ doesn't change, and the good news is that Christ is for you -- remember, he is the 'yes' to all of God's promises.  Because God has declared his love and devotion to us, we can be bold in the face of life's challenges.  
  Knowing that God will never leave you, knowing that your eternity is safe in God's hands, how will you act today?  Will you stand tall in the face of all the world's challenges, the violence and injustice and racism and hatred and division, and speak a word of truth and peace?  Will you boldly pray for unity and wisdom, for reconciliation and love and grace to win the day?  Will you pray for revival, that the church might proclaim a way forward for all people?  You need not fear.  So without fear, what will you do?

Monday, June 1, 2020

Hebrews 12:28-13:2

Hebrews 12:28-13:2
English Standard Version (ESV) 

  With so much going on in the world right now, we can rejoice that God's Kingdom is not shaken.  It exists unchanging and stable, unbuffeted by the winds that are rocking so much of what we do know.  There is turbulence caused by disease and racism and countless other reminders of the sin that will one day be destroyed.  Confidant in God's ability to ultimately triumph, we can worship with hope.  
  And then, because we don't have to be afraid, we can go forward in love, showing hospitality to all, even the stranger.  As the writer says, we may just be entertaining angels.  How much richer would the world be if we treated every person we met as though they were an angel....