Archive for February, 2021

Romans 4:13-25 “Keeping Promises”

For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation. For this reason, it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore, his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification. [NRSA: Romans 4:13-25]

God’s covenant with Abraham and the family of God to follow, was the God would multiply the family’s numbers to be a numerous as the stars.

With “B”illion stars in the Milky Way, and 1022 to 1024 in the viewable universe would be billions of billions [100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000] of stars. God works with exceptionally large numbers. God’s perspective is greater than our lifetime and even greater than our time on earth. God is about the business of making and keeping promises.

The fulfillment of a promise is not designed to be fulfilled at our demand, and yet, God desires to be present with us through the Holy Spirit, as close as the breath in our lungs and the wind in our face.

A promise is experiment in faith. God is not a contractual god who operates on fairness,

  • God’s core-denominator is love.
  • God so loves the world that God is revealed in the context of the human family, as our brother.
  • The relation of Jesus is our brother, offering equal access to the father as a joint heir,
  • reveals God does not show up to boss us around.
  • God shows up with us, to show us how to love, how to love requires sacrifice, love is a promise, tested in a relationship.

Abraham receives from God, a promise that will be fulfilled beyond Abraham’s lifetime. Does that mean that God has not kept God’s promise? No, it means that God is concerned about us individually and collectively, in God’s perspective.

Paul is sharing this lesson about promises to people he would meet to weave together the promise of through Abraham and the promises revealed in Jesus and promise that extends to the church, which all three are the same promise of God.

The old hymn, standing on the promises of Christ my

Standing On The Promises by Russell Kelso Carter

Standing on the promises of Christ my king, through eternal ages let his praises ring; Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, standing on the promises of God. Refrain: Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior; standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God. 2 Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living Word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] 3 Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, bound to him eternally by love’s strong cord, overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain] 4 Standing on the promises I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit’s call, resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God. [Refrain]

Russell Kelso Carter (1849-1928) https://healingandrevival.com/BioRKCarter.htm

Russell grew up in the church and moved from his parent’s church when he was inspired by a Methodist youth camp, and from this point, he became focused on Divine Healing. As a young adult began writing hymns including his most famous, “Standing on the Promises” shortly after he had two bad health events that were not cured through prayer. Like Job’s friends, they told him he must have some unforgiven sin or shortcoming. He moved to the west coast, divorce his wife who was declared insane, and became a ‘quack’ healer, and basically renounces his faith. Some years later he remarried, and his second wife encouraged him to write about his struggle. In the process, he was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and was given a revolutionary new medicine that cured him in months in what was expected to a death sentence. In his reflections of God’s work in his own life, he realized that God was to be trusted in “prayer AND medicine”, saying both are necessary and God-filled healing.

Carter’s story is a witness to the struggle of having faith that God is willing to work through all things to redeem God’s people. His faith was restored and lived for many years as a trained physician and writer.

“Standing on the Promises” was composed in 1886 while Carter taught at the military academy. He was a member of the first graduating class in 1867 and had a powerful affection for the school. Author Phil Kerr makes a correlation between the music and the military academy in his book, Music in Evangelism, saying that Carter’s military experience was reflected in the martial musical style of the hymn.

Promise and Fulfillment: Believing the Promises of God, Victor Knowles, of Pepperdine University, writes:  

https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1769&context=leaven#:~:text=reading%20of%20the%20Bible%2C,made%20by%20God%20to%20humankind).

“Herbert Lockyer, in his volume All the Promises of the Bible,’ tells the story of Everett R. Storms, a schoolteacher in Canada, who made a detailed study of promises. According to Time,’ Storms, of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, reckoned the figure of 30,000 to be too high (since it is roughly the number of verses making up the Bible31,173). During his twenty-seventh reading of the Bible, a task which took him a year and a half, Storms came up with a grand total of 8,810 promises (7,487 of them being promises made by God to humankind).

Of the 31,173 verses in the Bible, 7,487 about promises God makes to humanity. The 24%, one quarter of the bible is about promises.

The Dad who would not give up.

 (1989), an 8.2 earthquake almost flattened Armenia, killing over 30,000 people in less than four minutes. During chaos and destruction, a father rushed to his son’s school, whom he had promised to pick up from school. But instead of a school, he found a heap of rubble. He ran to the back corner of the building where his son’s classroom used to be and began to dig.

As he began to dig, well-meaning parents tried to pull him out of the rubble saying: “It’s too late!” “They’re dead!” “You can’t help!” “Go home!” “There’s nothing you can do!” The fire chief tried to pull him off the rubble by saying, “Fires and explosions are happening everywhere. You’re in danger. Go home!” Finally, the police came and said, “You’re angry, distraught, but it’s over. Go home.” But this father had made a promise, and he was going to keep it!

This father had in his heart that he would search for his son no matter how he found his son, He kept digging for 8, 12, 24, 36 hours. Then, in the 38th hour, he pulled back a boulder and heard his sons’ voice crying for help. Immediately, he screamed, “ARMAND!” Back came the words, “Dad!? I told them! I told the other kids that if you were still alive, you’d save me.

This is the love of a father who rolls away the stone, to save us.

So what is it that God has promised each of us?

  • God promises to give us life, eternal life, to be nurtured, blessed, and lived, now and forever.
  • God promises to prepare a place for us in heaven.
  • God promises to love us even though we are not worthy, because of our sin, doubts, fears, failures.
  • God promises to guide us through the Holy Spirit. He will not forsake us.
  • God promises to present in us, as Christ’s body for the world to experience.
  • God promises to forgive us if we will trust his way for our lives.
  • God promises to return to fulfill our lives IN God’s purposes.
  • And there are others that are individual and personal to each of our lives…

So why do we question? Doubt? Fear? Sin?

We are surrounded by those who have based every part of their lives on themselves, on the world, on society, on wealth, earthly power, all that is temporary and founded in all that is not God’s will, not in relationship to God.

This spiritual journey is our wake-up call to review where we place our trust? Whose promises are we seeking to fulfill?

So, understand and experience God’s promises being kept, requires us to seek God’s perspective. The heart of the Abraham experiment, that Paul is highlighting, reveals God is willing to trust when we do not have the perspective to trust. God is, therefore, as the author of love, able to extend love, trust, grace, to those who “have faith” in God’s time, love, and perspective.

We are living in a season of human history, and a culture that uses faith, trust, and love to serve social and political ends. This is not loving, this is not trustworthy; this is not the truth, and it is not God’s perspective.

Let us step back and look at what a promise from God is:

  • God is promising Abraham to trust God to provide what Abram cannot fulfill.
  • God is promising what Abram cannot prove.
  • God is promising What Abram cannot fully explain, and yet.
  • Abraham knows ‘by faith’ God is able, based on who God is.

The modern views of God as a made-up creation of a human’s need for meaning and a way to explain what has not yet been otherwise explained. The implied nature of that God is that we can shape God to answer anything or nothing. In that vacuum, others will say they have the greater promise of freedom FROM God, freedom to be our FULL SELF, freedom to be SELF DETERMINED. Each of these goes against the very nature of our being and the nature of God’s vision for us.

God, having created us in love, already knows how we struggle, fear, fail, as well as explore, expand, and experience our current reality.

  • Abraham has seen God of the universe desire a personal relationship and extends a covenant relationship between them.
  • A Covenant is a promise from God, that God promises to keep even when we do not.

Covenant: A God Promise.

A Covenant is a bad business model. Businesses, power, finance, and control operate on contracts, fairness, and a twisting of what is good, and therefore, Godly.

The Covenant with Abram is not only to become numerous people but to inherit the earth. God is entrusting the future of the earth into the hands of those who have faith, but that also means if the faithful become unfaithful, God is willing to risk the sacrifice. This is the proof of love, this is the meaning of the crucifixion, this is the hope of the Resurrection, this is the Good News of a God that operates on love and faith.

Abraham meets God one-on-one and is stepping out as one person, standing face-to-face with God and offers his faith. God is not looking for contacts satisfied, God is looking for those who will trust God’s plan and perspective.

So for us, at this point in the journey: We are ourselves and one another,

  • who do I trust with my life? My past, my present, and future?  
  • Who can save me?
  • Who loves me?
  • Who has claimed me?
  • Who will forgive me? God.
  • This is the story we retell, sing, shout, teach, and give witness to each other to the world.
  • So let us not be quiet until God has fulfilled God’s purposes in our lives.

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Lent: 2nd Sun. Sabbath Rest – A Jubilee

Read: Leviticus 25.8 (NRSV)  

pink and red balloons during daytime
‘Balloons Released’, Photo Pexels.com

The year of Jubilee is the year after seven sets of seven years. It is a celebration of grace and forgiveness.

Today we lift this aspect of Sabbath as we prepare for a time of Jubilee at Easter. Think of the books, tools, and serving dishes you have been meaning to return and take them back to their owner.  Even more weighted is the opportunity to forgive debts, grudges, and hurts that you have carried for years and years. 

The 50-year anniversary is golden because it is a time of grace and forgiveness. Couples who celebrate Jubilee anniversary highlight the occasion with a renewal of their wedding vows. Most this it is a celebration of insurance or persistence, instead it is a time of letting go of what is best forgotten for the sake of the relationship and reclaiming the union in Christ that keeps them strong.  

What items might you return, forget, forgive, or let go to heal a broken relationship? What grudges could you forgive that will make way for reconciliation? Try to see the opportunity that each Sabbath as a mini time of Jubilee. Do all in your power to make right the relationships that make up the community faith.  

Prayer: God, give me the courage to forgive to the degree I desire to be forgiven.  

Active Rest: Rest. Just rest with God. And ask God to heal our spirit and set us free to live in faith.  

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Day 7 Time in the Mountains

 

sunset sky over mountainous valley covered with lush vegetation
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Read: Exodus 24 (NRSV) 

My friends in the advertising world plan everything with Monday as the first day of every week. Many other businesses start the work week on Monday. There is an unspoken message at the starting point. It is a small decision that shapes our perspective for each week. In making plans we say, “I will have that ready at the first of the week.” Do we mean, Sunday, Monday, or sometimes before a week from now? We are then justified by saying, “I didn’t promise to have it Sunday, you said first of the week would be fine.” And we try to squeak by our words. 

More than calendar details, the Sabbath, literally Saturday, is a day of resting from our labors and relying on God’s labors. Sunday is our day of worship and celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Our modern weekend was first used in 18 79. The two-day break from the workweek was a combination of recognizing religious traditions and intended to forgive workers a rest. In 2021 we live in a twenty-four-hour, seven-day a week, and digitally available at all times. Finding Sabbath Rest is as difficult even when have legal days off; we just do not choose to rest. Keep in mind that the commandment is to “keep the Sabbath” which is resting from ‘our’ labor and not a request to do nothing or just sleep. 

We are called to be resting in the arms and heart of God. When we sing, study, serve, forgive, and celebrate the God-with-us in the Spirit we are usually more active; it is not a day for sleeping. It is a day for God.  Moses had many troubles and had many reasons not to go up to the mountaintop away from people’s demands. He travels up the mountain to be with God and not just away from his responsibilities in the valley.

Like Moses, if we do not spent time with God and time apart from the rest of our responsibilities we would not find the strength to lead the lives we are called to lead. 

Action Plan: Take the calendar you use and schedule the time you will give to God in the weeks ahead. 

Prayer: Give me the strength to entrust others with my work for a time, that I might give myself to you most fully.  Amen.

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Day 10 Spies Like Us

Read: Numbers 13:25 (NRSV)

Moses sends a reconnaissance party to spy on those who are living in the Promised Land. Most likely the Hebrews assumed that the land flowing with milk and honey would be uninhabited and ready for them to walk into without effort. This is not the case. We see the fruit of this struggle in the region today.

It is notable that it takes forty days for them to check out the situation and return with a report concerning the land of promise. Our spiritual health requires more effort than we give to it.

Imagine someone trailing you for these forty days, watching the things you said and did, and making notes of the places you go, and recording your every choice, what would be their report at the end of the forty days? The tech giant’s algorithms do a great job of this and we don’t seem to mind. But what is in our record?

If our faithfulness were to be measured by one twenty-four hour day? Is there one day in the past month and a half that we would rest our salvation? We have work to do. It is persist work.

In the spirit-focused season we are our own spies. This journey is for our benefit. Take seriously the opportunity to review the status of your spiritual health and see the areas that are tired, empty, or lifeless. This Lenten journey is that kind of reflection and report on your life, if you will allow it to be.

Action Plan: Try journal writing as an instrument in accountability for your thoughts and actions throughout the day. Use it to look back and hold your self accountable.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank you for knowing my thoughts, fears, sins, and rekindling my salvation and assurance. Help me remember and trust your loving me that I might grow, share, and live in you most fully. Amen.

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Day 9 How Fast is Fasting?

hamburger and fries photo
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Read: Exodus 34.28 (NRSV) 

Fasting is doing without one important thing in order to give more time, attention, and intention to another important one.

Moses chooses to not eat as an opportunity to trust God’s providing presence. In only a matter of hours after breaking our routine of eating our body’s system begins to make noises and share its discomfort.

Part of becoming more spiritually active is sometimes seen through our physical experiences. Jesus fasted in the wilderness and after his time of retreat, he was hungry.

When we fast for a day, we can easily begin to feel a lack of energy and fatigue. Try to make note of the feeling, attitudes, and perceptions when we are not eating spiritual food regularly.

Spiritual fasting becomes a spiritual discipline, not just from depriving the body but when we also shift our attention to the time and energy needed to grow in God.

As a contrast, imaging the reverse of spiritual fasting for a moment, what if you spent forty days growing in spirit, could you tell the difference in your life? Why not give it a try?

Would you feel closer to God for having done so? When we lay aside our physical necessities do, we feel closer to God’s work and witness in our daily living? Moses gives a radical act of spending forty days with God.

Imagine going on a spiritual retreat from your family, work, duties, and responsibility and entrusting someone else with all those demands, and giving your full attention to God.

Action Plan: Pick a set time to be with God. Set a timer for an hour or two.  No watches, no Weather Channel, and no Facebook. No texts, posts, No coffee, no soda. No news channels, no distractions. One you, or you and your household, and God. Take the time to be complete with God. Some moments in silence, some singing, some reading scripture, always listening for God. When Moses fasts he comes down the mountain with the Ten Commandments. 

Prayer: Jesus, take my life and let it be consecrated Lord, to thee. Amen.

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Day 8 Many Footprints Make Our Foundations

photo of footprints on beach
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Read: Exodus 26.14-26 (NRSV) 

One of the amazing features of the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness is that their place of worship was a mobile tent of meeting. It had tall walls made of multiple frames and panels stretched over poles of cedar. Silver bowls were located at the lower ends of the poles. In our current experiences of digital worship, we get a sense that this mobile format needs some special work to separate it from the ordinary work on our devices and our spiritual work through the same devices. The instruction was to separate the tentpoles from the ground in silver bases. The people were called to make forty bowls as the foundation of the holy mobile sanctuary. The bowls reminded the people that God’s presence was feeding their spirits. 

How can we define what is ordinary and what is specially set aside for God? What do we place at the foundation of our daily choices? Start and end the day in prayer. In spending more time at home or alone, where is our worship space? Could we pick a place to keep our bible, our worship music, or bible study materials together? Sometimes times the church has gone overboard with defining holy spaces and sacred things, but the intent is helpful. Finding the place of worship and fellowship with God was right with them wherever they traveled and that’s good advice for us. 

Take a bowl that you use for breakfast or soup and set it aside with verses of scripture to read and re-read. Place prayers and review them to see when the prayers are answered or need more attention. We can make these weeks a time of worship and fellowship wherever we go. Keep your bible and hymnal handy or move your apps to the home screen. Make going to the mountain easy, accessible, and be fed often. 

Action Plan: Gather songs that you enjoy singing or hearing and play them often – while you work, travel, clean, or play. Build the foundation in words and songs of faith. 

Prayer: O God, keep your words in my heart, in my hands, on my mind and at your feet. Amen.

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Day 6 Manna for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Read: Exodus 16:35 (NRSV)

As slaves, the Hebrews ate from the “fleshpots” in Egypt. Yes, they were slaves, but the food bar was as dependable and easy to find as Golden Corral. On the journey out of Egypt and toward the Promised Land, God provided daily bread called ‘manna.’ Every day manna appeared on the ground. The Hebrew travelers were to gather exactly what they needed for the day; any extra manna would spoil if they tried to gather more than what they needed for that day. The manna was God’s form of MRE and an ongoing lesson about trusting God in daily life. Part of the “promise” of the Promised Land was that it would be a land filled with milk and honey. They were being taught faithfulness, trust, and patience. If the people could find a shortcut, there would be no need for the journey or God. 

Central to our spiritual journey is turning to God at the start of each day to find what we need for that day. The day we wake and not need God is a day that will be empty, lifeless, and without hope.  [KJV: Hebrews 13: 8] “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” God promises to be revealed in our daily reading and studying the Word just as the manna. We know where to find the word. It is in books on our shelf, apps on our devices, and parts are even loaded in our memory.

Action Plan: Look up and write down a verse of scripture that helps you remember to trust God throughout the day. Place it at your seat at the table, on your lunch bag, on the dash of your car, as a screensaver, or where you will see it regularly as a call to faith and prayer.  Prayer: God you are with us every day, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year.  Help us trust your leading as often as you are present with us. Amen.

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Day 5 Preparing the Body, Preparing the Spirit

Read: Genesis 50:2-3 (NRSV)

The ancient Egyptians developed a detail process of embalming a body far beyond practicality as an art form and a hope that it would prepare a person for their spiritual after-life. After thousands of years archaeologist who uncover these remains find the dried-up version of what was left unused in the afterlife. Which affirms that old saying, “you can’t take it with you.”

In life, hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in gym membership, health equipment, rows of books and hours coaching to prepare our bodies for daily life. Imagine investing the same resources we devote to preparing our body, to developing our spiritual relationships.

By comparison, jot down the amount of time you will spend this week in prayer, Bible study, fasting, service, and worship. Of the one-hundred and sixty-eight hours available this week, how many hours will you devote to working on your spiritual growth? A tenth of that time is sixteen hours. Maybe you save it all up for the Sabbath rest. I spent eight hours on a spiritual name will not fuel the struggles we face each day.

For those who see the season of Lent as a time to give up a particular food, like chocolate or alcohol; or time online, or watching television, or something that we like for the sake of practicing self-denial, I suggest we let all that go. Instead, see this at our intentional time of focusing on growing our spirit. That will likely mean we have to make time or give up somethings to make it a priority, but that helps us see the priority and not the denial. Typically, we are already rather proficient in denying that our spirit needs attention.

If we spend 10 mins in prayer each day, how much closer to Christ would you be if you doubled the time? If we read a two-minute devotion and pray for the day, how much deeper would our faith be if we wrote a devotion to share with someone else. The usual recommendation in increasing ‘reps’ and adding ‘weights’ that helps our bodies become stronger and have greater endurance will hold true for our spiritual work-out plan. Six days God gives us to work, how much farther can you make progress when eating a good spiritual breakfast? What does it look like when we go without Christ in your day routine? Make the goal to increase your training list and stick to it.

Action Plan: Make two realistic lists: one of things you would like to do to strengthen your spirit and one of what you would be willing to lay aside this week to make growth possible.

Prayer: Jesus give me strength to let go of the things that I have laid aside that you might be more present and real in my daily life. Amen.

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Lenten Journey: 1st Sunday

Sabbath Rest – A Day Planned for God (Day 5 will be tomorrow, Take time for the Sunday interruption)


Genesis 1 (NRSV)
Are you a Day-Planner person? To what degree do you plan: Hour-at-glance, Day-at-a-glance, or a Month-at-a-glance? Maybe you are happy keeping up with what month or season with your own system. The change in routines from this pandemic year has made us all question what day of the week it is a few times. But our task now to finding ways to be more intentional with God is essential to our spiritual journey, now and all life long. God creates with purpose as seen in
the first chapter of Genesis. Let this become our practice.


Look back over the past four calls to action. Have you acted upon these? If so, Praise the Lord! If not, take this holy day and review the calls to action: What will be your holy place for prayer and study during these days of the Lenten season? Name it and claim it and tell others your plan. What has so stained your heart and mind or spirit and attitude that it speaks of the hurt rather than of Christ in you?


Wash a load of clothes or the car, or take a bath as an exercise, not in work, but as repentance and cleansing. Think hard about the daily witness you share. Is your lack of joy the message to share with the world? Are your grumpy thoughts and words and non-verbal glares speaking of the power the Holy Spirit has to heal, forgive and love?


Rest: This is a day to rest from our labor and make certain we are working on the things God calls us to be and become. Put down the book and get to it. Be ready, this week will have new challenges.
Prayer: Dear God, I give you myself today. Thank you for giving us this time together. Help me not be distracted. Show me the way you would have me go. Let my rest be in your strength. Amen.

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Psalm 25:1-10 “Trusting God’s Ways”

Poetic Hymns of Faith, Instruction, Confession, and Correction – A Book to

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you, I wait all day long. Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O LORD! Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. [NRSA: Psalm 25:1-10]

Psalm 25 has the remarkable perspective of showing us the heart of God and fruit of Jesus Christ yet it was written and used hundreds of years prior to the life of Jesus. That conveys that the message of Jesus at times revealed in the prophets signs to anticipate and here we find the presence of Christ shared in ordinary words for personal and collective worship.

FIRST: One of the important things to share with someone on a spiritual journey is this: The closer we get to God, we will also experience a closer connection with one another.

SECOND: Our second lesson that follows the first is that the closer we get to God and one another, the more we need to anticipate that those who seek evil and avoid God will challenge us all the more.

Let us step back and hear the joy and peace this psalm sings to us:

A Journey of Devotion begins with giving ourselves to God’s Work, Ways, and Will

  • I offer you, my soul, O my God!
  • in you I trust;
  • ….because when I do: I expect some to tease, question, reject, and “put [me] to shame’
  • …because my enemies and your enemies will hold your words over me.
  • ….I ask you to put them to shame, those who will question my faithfulness and trust.

When we place ourselves in God, we soon see, learn, experience that we don’t know all about life, others, or ourselves. That is a vulnerable place. This is the place the many will believe with their words but not with their hearts and actions. (We follow Jesus but can check out when we want to.)

The Psalm writer reveals he goes a big farther with God:

  • Make me to know your ways,
  • teach me your paths.
  • Lead me in your truth, and
  • teach me,
  • …. Images of the being the clay in the potter’s hands
  • …..Begs the question “Do I have more to learn from God, from others, for others, for self?

Here is a beautiful affirmation that you and I take for granted in light of the cross and resurrection. The Psalmist has seen God’s strength and heart and knows salvation, hope, and life are not possible outside of God.

  • you are the God of my salvation;
  • for you, I wait all day long.

Retracing our steps, We can sing of salvation in God because we know God is faithful, God’s ways are true, and God alone, holds our salvation.

If these were the only words it would be remarkable to hear the people of God singing and reading these words in worship, not knowing the details of the witness, death and empty tomb of Jesus Christ. But God’s nature is revealed even more.

  • Remember your mercy
  • Remember your steadfast love
  • Remember how you have shown us grace for generations.
  • ….Don’t hold my youth against me
  • ….Don’t hold my past over my head to keep me inline
  • ….Don’t use my failures to leverage my faith.
  • ….Learn and pray the sinner’s prayer each day: “Lord have mercy on me a sinner.”

Some think of God we see and hear in the Old Testament as distant, mean, and harsh. This is not what Psalm 25 remembers.

  • Remember your goodness
  • Remember we need instruction
  • Remember we need a guide to show us the way

In reminding God, we are also reminding ourselves that God is to be trusted with all that we are, even our past.

The way forward toward God is through Humility.

  • Live a humble life
  • Live a life following what is right
  • Follow His Way.

It seems clear, why when Jesus says that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life that he confirms himself to be the living presence of Psalm 25. The Word made Flesh and living with us.

Here is is the times instruction for us to find and share Christ

  • The paths to God’s heart are paved with covenants and decrees.
  • Those Words are The Word, Jesus Christ, that we walk in our daily lives,
  • is the presence of our Word, living with us.

To finish stitching this together:

We are confident in faith, when we are living in God’s Word and God’s Word is living in us.

Q1: When other people are around me, do they hear and see God Word? Not just scripture verse, but God shining hope, life, joy, and faith in the face of evil, enemies, or is that only the case when we gather for worship.

Q2: In this spiritual journey toward Easter, we make the journey already knowing what we will find. (Second visit to Disney World) Therefore, the JOURNEY is what’s different, the WORD we share, with the PEOPLE we meet, with GRACE God gives, will enable us to sing Psalm 25 as our own praise to God, and witness to the world.

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