Devotional Thought of the Day:
“Why do you still trust God? Why don’t you curse him and die?”
10 Job replied, “Don’t talk like a fool! If we accept blessings from God, we must accept trouble as well.” In all that happened, Job never once said anything against God. Job 2:9-10 CEV.
Give your whole self to God and to His images, your brothers and sisters. Risk. Be crazy. Hold nothing back. Don’t be reasonable. Don’t be an investor. Be a lover.
Tell God right now that this is the one thing you want above all: the gift of loving Him completely. Tell Him you will never let Him go until He blesses you thus. Tell Him that even in eternity you will not let Him go until you are 100 percent love. And then you will never want to let Him go.
“when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator. He evidently felt his own weakness, or he would not have cried for help;”
This week I one of the lectionary readings to preach on what has become, if not a favorite passage, at least a life theme. No, it’s not the Job reading above.
It might be worse,
Here it is.
7 You tricked me, LORD, and I was really fooled. You are stronger than I am, and you have defeated me. People never stop sneering and insulting me….9 Sometimes I tell myself not to think about you, LORD, or even mention your name. But your message burns in my heart and bones, and I cannot keep silent. Jeremiah 20:7,9 (CEV)
I have to admit there have been times where I have felt this way, seriously felt this way. Not enough to assent to Job’s wife’s demand, but where situations cause despair and distress that is overwhelming and makes you want to yell at God.
just like Jeremiah did.
Sort of like I wanted Job to do…
Jeremiah did… Job didn’t.
What made Job able to do it? What made him able to accept the curses as well as the blessings? What is the difference between these readings that always seem to coincide in my life.
And why can’t I be more like Job? Why can’t I help others to be more like Job?
Maybe Job was more like Jacob, displaying the attitude Peter Kreeft describes at the end of his best book. (One of the top 5 books in my life, I think – just finishing it, I need to read it again!) May Job understood what Spurgeon described, the need to cry for help… that was so great you couldn’t hold it in… and God listened.
Jeremiah was young… maybe Job had experienced it before.. and knew. he could cry.. and God would be there.
In times like this, I need to hold on, to demand that God can only be free of me when he helps me love Him, and those who bear His image, completely. Nothing else need matter except that, and truly, that is what I need to hold on to, to the fact that God can change us, and will complete that work.
I just need to hold on, to trust, to demand the blessing of being transformed into the image of the One who loved that purely. (That probably means I need to pray for the strength to do that as well. That I can do it year-round, not just in my annual encounter with Job and Jeremiah…)
I am pretty sure you need this as well, so let’s pray for each other, let’s beg God on each other’s behalf…
Lord, help us hold on.
Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 225.
C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896).
Devotional after a long Day:
15 Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow. 16 Give the same consideration to all others alike. Pay no regard to social standing, but meet humble people on their own terms. . Romans 12:15-16 (NJB)
442 Diamonds are polished with diamonds…, and souls with souls. (1)
On Sunday, the people of my church will promise to a little baby, to be there when she is full of joy, to cry with her when her heart aches. In all things, to pray for her, and to remind her that the Lord is with her, for He has claimed her and united her to Himself. And as a baptized belever, she will grow in this as well, and as we struggle, she will be there for us, and as we know Christ’s peace, she will as well.
That’s the way Paul says we are supposed to be, as Jesus church, the people called together as His own, whom He calls His friends (yeah He does – look it up) But since you are His sibling and son or daughter of God, as am I, we are siiblings, we are united together in Christ. As Paul says
25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. .1 Corinthians 12:25-27 (NLT)
But this is where we in the western world, seem to short circuit. We don’t like people to know our “business”. We don’t mind them knowing our successes, our joys, but dare we let them see us when we are crushed, bruised, hurting, anxious and scared? When our health is failing, when someone is breaking our heart, when we are lost in sin, when we can’t escape its trap on our own, the causes of our pain and brokenness,
But will we dare to reveal ourselves, so that others can cry with us? So that others can be there, and remind us Jesus is there.. Will we let them see us, let them minister to us, cr with us? Will we we let their presence remind us of His presence, their love remind us of His love.
For the sake of the body… will we let it do what bodies are supposed to do?
I know it’s uncomfortable, I know its awkward, and we fear the embarassment….
O well, we are a family, let’s get used to being one…
For as that family, we have Christ, we have the Faher, and we have the Holy Spirit, the one who’s title is, the Comforter.
Will we cry out together, Lord have Mercy! and Maranatha! and Hallelujah?
If you want to see a church that does this… come join us at Concordia…
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1964-1965). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.