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Saul, David and the American Political Season

God, who am I?

Devotional Thought of the Day:

3  At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave! 4  “Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the LORD is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’” So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe. 5  But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 6  “The LORD knows I shouldn’t have done that to my lord the king,” he said to his men. “The LORD forbid that I should do this to my lord the king and attack the LORD’s anointed one, for the LORD himself has chosen him.” 7  So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul. After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way, 1 Samuel 24:3-7 (NLT2)

You became a bit frightened when you saw so much light, so bright that you thought it would be difficult to look, or even to see. Disregard your obvious weaknesses, and open the eyes of your soul to faith, to hope and to love. Carry on, allowing yourself to be guided by God through whoever directs your soul.

I have to admit that I am more than a little hesitant writing this blog this morning. Yet I have seen to many people who believe in God who struggle to live in the peace God has given them.

Fear, anxiety, anger, even hatred have done this damage to people’s souls. And as I see those emotions pouted out on social media, my heard aches. People look for scapegoats to blame for hurt they even struggle to identify. We look for that one person, or that one group that causes our pain.

David knew that pain. Heck, it wasn’t just projecting his problems on King Saul, Saul was out to kill him. He was hunting him down, and David had to live off the land, and dwell in caves. People who helped him were punished, and rewards were out for his life, and those who served beside him.

And yet, as he tweaks the king, (when he could have assassinated him) he feels guilt. He knows the pain, the betrayal, and et, part of him knows he should not have even tweaked the king….

As I read this, I wondered what it would be like, if we had that much respect for our leaders, that we bathed them in prayer rather than mocked them, or critiqued them and spewed hatred at them behind their back? What would happen if we treated them as we wanted them to treat us? If we didn’t use their actions to justify our own.

What would happen if we loved them as Christ loves us?

This is the kind of light we struggle with entering , this glorious love of God that takes away sin… This is the glory that realizes God’s at work, somehow, in all of this. This is the kind of trust, that comes from knowing God. Not just knowing about Him, knowing Him.

That will change us, even a it impacts the country.

For if we enter into a time of revival, it will not matter who wins the election.

Lord, reveal the work of the Holy Spirit in this world, Help us to trust you more than we fear, more than we are hurting, more than we have learned to hate…and heal us . AMEN!

Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Why I want to Quit Social Media, and Cannot.

Photo by Wouter de Jong on Pexels.com

Devotional Thought for the Day:

1 Timothy, my child, Christ Jesus is kind, and you must let him make you strong. 2 You have often heard me teach. Now I want you to tell these same things to followers who can be trusted to tell others.
As a good soldier of Christ Jesus you must endure your share of suffering. 4 Soldiers on duty don’t work at outside jobs. They try only to please their commanding officer
. 2 Tim 2:3-4 CEV

Keep your mind on Jesus Christ! He was from the family of David and was raised from death, just as my good news says. 9 And because of this message, I am locked up in jail and treated like a criminal. But God’s good news isn’t locked in jail, 10 and so I am willing to put up with anything. Then God’s special people will be saved. They will be given eternal glory because they belong to Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:8-10 CEV

That hand which multiplied the loaves, which saved sinking Peter, which upholds afflicted saints, which crowns believers, that same hand will touch every seeking sinner, and in a moment make him clean. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, he looks, he touches us, WE LIVE.

As I look on Facebook and Twitter this morning, I see nothing but wars. People bad mouthing each other and the candidates they support. People cashing people because of their stand on masks and viruses. People talking about how children should be educated, or that it is just a short time, their lives will adjust. People talking about conspiracies, on the right and on the left, demanding that others recognize who they believe the anti-christ is, actually is. People who claim their beliefs are being violated, that their rights are being taken away.

There are times I want to speak up… and there are times I do.

But what I want most to do, is to quit social media, to give up, to stop feeling like both sides doesn’t care about my views, they just want me to bow to theirs.

(By the way, the same thing happens within church politics as happens secular life)

When I am at that point, I need to look back at Paul’s words to Timothy. That there is going to be suffering in this life, and the church will endure a lot of it. (We actually do not, here in America compared to other places, btw!) But notice in each paragraph the same answer is given. Let Christ make you strong, let your mind stay focused on Him and His work, redeeming the world. Keep looking to to the one who created you, drew you into this new life, who is redeeming you and everything you’ve done.

It is then that we can go out into the broken world, filled, protected and guided by the Holy Spirit and tell people about the Love of God, a love so strong, so powerful that it can save me… and you. A love so strong that it can not just stand the sight and stench of us when we are broken, but also painstakingly cleanse us, heals us, and makes us His people.

Looking to Jesus we can engage social media, and deal with its brutality, with the hope that some might be saved, because we were here. And we are, the Lord is with us.

C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896).

The Sacrament of Confession & Absolution/Reconciliation: Finding the Freedom from Masks the Suffocate Us…

Discussion thought of the day:

In our Bible Study last night – we talked of a description of some religious leaders in Israel’s history who “whitewashed” that which was being built, before it was completed.  They made it look pretty and nice and completed.  The problem, they whitewashed everything without checking to make sure the job was done write.  In our Bible Study this morning, ( a different group) we were in Hebrews 6, where it talks about the difference between believers and others, one produced a crop that was a blessing, the other produced thistles and thorns (my paraphrase – roses) that might have nice flowers and an incredible smell, but were not just inedible, but would actually injure a person.

At the end of devotions today, I came across this quote:   You asked me to suggest a way for winning through in your daily struggles, and I replied: When you lay your soul open, say first of all what you wouldn’t like to be known. In this way the devil will always end up defeated. Lay your soul wide open, clearly and simply, so that the rays of God’s Love may reach and illuminate the last corner of it! (1)

It is one of the mysteries of life why we hide that which needs healing, and why that which is broken we cover.  Having a five year old – it seems that this isn’t something we learn, but something that is part of our DNA. We don’t like going to doctors or dentists or auto-repair shops or having our houses or workplaces inspected, never mind having a review done.  And in hiding the the broken in us that needs healing,, we must hide our hearts, our souls, we must cover them, and put on a mask that has a bright smile.  That mask can, and does suffocate us, the false front we have to put up will slowly cause us to fade out, to expire.

The answer is simple – in Ezekiel – God will tear down the walls, or as St. Josemarie describes it – “laying open your soul”.  St Peter talks of this as the Holy Spirit cutting their hearts open.  For surely the strength to be honest and to deal with sin comes not from our internal instinct.  We would continue to hide, to continue to pretend we are okay, covering up our brokenness with false smiles and quick, “I’m fine”.

The answer seems painful, it may cause anxiety the first dozen plus times, yet.. the freedom of letting those things be dealt with by God is amazing, it is wondrous, it breaks bondage and washes away anxiety and drives away the darkness, leaves us knowing God’s peace. To hear the words, yes, God forgives you your sin, you are cleansed, you are healed – to know that what was broken – God has put back together.  If it seems to good to be true – remember this is God’s desire, as St Peter tells us:

3:9 The Lord is not being slow in carrying out his promises, as some people think he is; rather is he being patient with you, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NJB)

and as St John tells us, it is His promise

” If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves, and truth has no place in us; 9 if we acknowledge our sins, he is trustworthy and upright, so that he will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil.”  1 John 1:8-9 (NJB)

and one more promise for good measure, from St. James:

5:16 So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect. James 5:16 (TEV)

So open your lives, find a pastor ( I know where one is waiting in Cerritos) or a priest- and hear for yourself – regarding those sins you don’t even want to admit to your self – that they are forgiven.

Lord have mercy, and show us that we can open up out hearts – that the mercy will cause us great joy!

 

(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 644-647). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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