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God is Faithful: Is God Foolish for Saving Us by Faith

But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God [revealing His plan of salvation], and righteousness [making us acceptable to God], and sanctification [making us holy and setting us apart for God], and redemption [providing our ransom from the penalty for sin], so then as it is written [in Scripture] “He who boasts and glories, let him boast and glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) The Amplified Bible

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from
yourselves, it is a gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. ( Ephesians 2:8-10) NIV [Emphasis added.]

I am curious about what the reception of Paul’s letter may have been by the quarreling, competitive groups in the Corinthian church.

I can imagine how well they received the gracious beginning and the reminder of all that had been given to them by God in Christ Jesus. And the reminder that God is faithful in his calling of the Corinthians into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

But when Paul addresses the first of the failings of the community, I can imagine tension rising in the hearers as each faction heard about their attitude toward God, toward what and who God considers of importance and of value – how they claimed rights based on which apostle they were following. And, I can imagine that the leaders of the factions were looking around to see who from Chloe’s household had sent the report to Paul.

What would the Roman contingent think about the cross? For them, the word power meant “aggression and conquest” – that what they thought foolish, actually was “the power of God to [those] who [were] being saved”. Or the Greeks, who thought that their intelligence was supreme proof of their acceptance by God? Or the Jews, who were still bolstering the idea that the coming Messiah must not be crucified, or that gentiles should be excluded from the community?

For our communities in Christ, let’s pray Psalm 139 like this:

“Investigate [our lives], O God, find out everything about [us];
Cross-examine and test [us], get a clear picture of what [we’re] about;
See for yourself whether [we’ve] done anything wrong—then guide [us] on the road to eternal life.”
(Psalm 139:23-24) The Message Bible

God is Faithful: Is God Foolish for Saving Us by Faith2022-09-16T12:33:48-06:00

Called to Follow-Who and How

But I urge you, believers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in full agreement in what you say that there be no divisions or factions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your thinking and in your opinions and judgment [about matters of faith].

For I have been informed about you, my brothers and sisters, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are quarrels and factions among you. Now I mean this, that one of you says, “I am [a disciple] of Paul,” or “I am a [disciple] of Apollos,” or I am a [disciple] of Cephas (Peter),” or “I am a [disciple] of Christ.” Has Christ been divided [into different parts]?
( 1 Corinthians 1:10-13a) The Amplified Bible

For some historical and cultural context, I narrowed my research to: “Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians” by Kenneth E. Bailey, a professor of theology in the Middle East for 40 years.

I learned that Corinth had been a Greek City that had been destroyed by the Romans in 146 B.C. and then rebuilt by the Romans to become a trade city in 44 B.C. In Corinth, a thriving commercial town in the first century, there were various ethnic communities, three of which would have the dominated the young Christian community. In order of importance: Romans were the top, Greeks were next, then the Jews, (who were considered powerless foreigners).

As Paul was a Roman citizen, Apollos was Greek, and Cephas was a Jew from Galilee, it is not surprising that each of the ethnic groups would have leaned toward a leader that was of their group, but it was causing serious strife and division in the whole community.

It also was evident that there were leaders in the church community who were inciting the conflict. Partly to protect Chloe’s household from reprisal, Paul used his, Apollos’ and Cephas’ names to identify the problem without pointing fingers at the most likely trouble makers.

Then there was the group who “claimed” to be real “Disciples of Christ” as pointing to the rest as not really “true believers”. Their attitude of superiority would have caused a great deal of division in the community, too.

The question Paul asked of them, “Has Christ been divided?” [into different parts?], can still be asked of his church today. Comparison, competition and one-up-man-ship still exists in church communities around the world.

To remind myself of the community I’m in as well as the whole church of Christ, I have paraphrased 1 Corinthians 1:2 from the Amplified Bible.

To the church of God at South Fellowship in Littleton, to those who are sanctified (set apart, made holy) in Christ Jesus, who are selected and called as saints (God’s people), together with all those who in every place call on and honor the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.

This week, think about our community called “South Fellowship”. Look at what is in bold white letters on the fellowship area wall and think about what it means that Jesus is undivided both in heart and in the way he calls us to live in community with each other.

Called to Follow-Who and How2022-09-09T19:36:59-06:00

Singing – A God Designated Pathway to Joy

For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. (Psalm 5:11)

For the director of music. To the tune of ‘The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. (Psalm 9:1-2)

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. (Psalm 63:2-5)

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. (Psalm 51:10-15.)

Because singing is the focus of this week’s devotional writing, the four psalms above mention singing and the joy, praise and rejoicing that can result from singing. These are a small sampling of the different reasons for a psalm (facing a situation, or recognizing sin), to whom the psalm was directed (for the director of music) and sometimes particular tunes, (The Death of a Son) or (in some other places in the Psalms) the instruments or voices by which to perform them. What it indicates to me is, that though these psalms can be used for private worship and encouragement, they are intended to be used in corporate worship, also.

I grew up singing hymns and choruses which often came from one or more verses in the Psalms. As I read through the Psalms, I hear in my mind, “Thy Loving Kindness is Better Than Life”, “Create in Me A Clean Heart, O God”, “O God You Are My God”.

I have found that I can memorize verses in scripture easier if they are set to music. Melody and rhythm are aids for instructing me. Perhaps this works for you, too. If you have a hymnal, refresh your mind with some of the hymns you have enjoyed. Or check out some of your favorites on YouTube. One I particularly enjoyed was “Create in Me A Clean Heart, O God”  or country version  by Maranatha Singers.

Singing – A God Designated Pathway to Joy2022-08-13T12:58:59-06:00

Invitation to Rest With Jesus

Are you listening to me? Really listening? “How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents, ‘We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.’ John came fasting and they called him crazy. I came feasting and they called me a boozer, a friend of the misfits. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” (Matthew 11:16-19) MSG

Next Jesus unleashed on the cities where he had worked the hardest, but whose people had responded the least, shrugging their shoulders and going their own way. “Doom to you, Chorazin! Doom Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had seen half the powerful miracles you have seen, they would have been on their knees in a minute. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you. And Capernaum! With all your peacock strutting, you are going to end up in the abyss. If the people of Sodom had had your chances, the city would still be around. At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you.” (Matthew 11:20-24) MSG

Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work. (Matthew 11:25-26) MSG

I have also learned from Matthew, chapters 4-10, the context for what Jesus was talking about in Matthew, chapter 11, that led to his invitation in 11:28-30. All that Jesus did and taught, and the increasing resentment of the religious leaders, helps me understand and welcome Jesus’s invitation to be, “yoked” together WITH him, learning the, “unforced rhythms of grace” in my everyday life.

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. The is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of the Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen. (Matthew 11:27) MSG

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30) MSG

In April 2005, I had the privilege of being the main speaker for our South Fellowship Women’s retreat, and I spoke on Matthew 11:28-30, using the more familiar “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)

As the term “yoke” is unfamiliar to most of us, I researched and learned:

  1. Yokes are intended to hold a pair of animals side by side in order to make it easier to pull something than it is possible for one animal to do.
  2. As each side of the yoke is custom made for the animal that wears it, the yoke cannot be worn by any other animal without causing pain to that animal.
  3. Young calves are paired and trained to work together as they grow. By the time they are full grown, they will have had up to 15 custom made yokes created for them.

I am still learning, sometimes through the consequences of trying to overload my days, or by making decisions without waiting to hear Jesus say to me, ‘Yes’ ‘no’ or ‘not yet’ before he and I move together. Sometimes he simply tells me to “stop, sit and listen” to him conversing with his Father in Matthew 11:25-26, and John 17, and to what the Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:1-17. These are some of the scriptures that I take rest in.

Take some time to read for yourself Matthew 25-30. Sit and listen as Jesus tells you tenderly that he longs to live “the unforced rhythms of grace” in your everyday life WITH him.

Invitation to Rest With Jesus2022-08-02T13:09:24-06:00

Lost and Found – Celebration

By this time a lot of men and women of questionable reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story. (Luke 15:1-3) MSG

Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it on your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Come celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue. (Luke 15: 4-7) MSG

In my research into the cultural aspects of this parable, I found that most likely a good shepherd, responsible for the care of another’s sheep, would be the one who searched for the one that had gotten lost. Such a shepherd would indeed celebrate with other shepherds who would understand how important it would be to find it.

Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it ? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.
(Luke 15: 8-10) MSG

In this parable, the ten coins, equivalent to ten day’s wages, were probably the household money for part of the month. Of special interest was a description of the house: excavations show that the less affluent lived in houses smaller than a single car garage which were built of slabs of black basalt. Windows were cracks in the walls about 7 feet above ground and the roof was also a slab of basalt. The floor was basalt stones with large cracks between them where dirt and other things could fall in. The woman would need a light and would have a hard time searching to find the coin. Certainly she would rejoice, and her friends and neighbors would indeed celebrate with her when she found it.

The celebrations in these parables were about things of value to people, but Jesus is about valuing and finding people. In Luke 19:10 he says, ”For the Son of Man has come to find and restore the lost.” And he tells them, and us, how much joy there is in heaven and how the angels rejoice over each person who repents and comes to the Lord.

It seems to me that celebrations come in many sizes. Sometimes they are large events: weddings, birthday parties, the celebration of a person’s life at a memorial service, family reunions and various holidays where families and friends gather.

They can also be small events: an unexpected visit or phone call from a longtime friend, FaceTime with someone who lives far away, gathering in the driveway with a neighbor family to hear from the children how their swim meet went, rejoicing with someone via text for an answer to prayer.

In large celebrations and small ones, we can still honor God and each other with grateful hearts and attitudes. This week be alert to possibilities for celebrating daily events as they come up in your life. Offer thanks and praise to God for showing you how to rejoice in each one.

Lost and Found – Celebration2022-08-04T12:41:41-06:00

He Feeds and Restores My Soul

The Lord is my Shepherd {to feed, guide and shield me}, I shall not lack.
He lets me lie down in {fresh, tender} green pastures. He Leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life).
(Psalm 23:1-3a) Amplified

And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
(Deuteronomy 8:3) Amplified.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. (Psalm 37:3) NKJV

I wait {patiently} for the Lord, my soul {expectantly} waits,
And in His word do I hope. (Psalm 130:6) Amplified

Certain words in the above scriptures bring, in some cases, new perspectives, and in others, vivid memories. This is why I like to use different versions of the bible. In the the verses from Psalm 23, “He lets me lie down,” has a different feel to me than “He makes me lie down,” and the addition of “fresh, tender,” to “green pastures” calls up a memory of walking barefoot in dew wet grass in the early morning.

The Deuteronomy passage reminds me of times in my childhood when money was scarce and food was simple and repetitive. We lived for a time on a dry land farm where we didn’t have much in the way of vegetables or fruit. Because we had chickens and cows, we had eggs and milk, cream and butter. Most breakfasts included oatmeal, and our bread was often biscuits. Sandwiches would be cold biscuits with whatever was available to put between them.

Psalm 37 encourages me to trust and be nourished by memories of how God has been faithful in providing for my physical needs, and especially needs that I’ve had when grieving loss.

Psalm 130:6 points out that growing in the Lord takes time, and that scripture is rich with his words of hope and restoration for my soul.

How about you? Do you have favorite scriptures that are “green pastures” and “still, restful waters for your soul”? There are so many scriptures that can draw us closer to our Father in Heaven, our Good Shepherd, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit living inside us – to bring to our memory help in times of need. Listen to the song, You Restore My Soul.

He Feeds and Restores My Soul2022-07-20T15:30:17-06:00

A Foreigner in the Family

Dear Friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles , to abstain from sinful desires , which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:11-12)

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you; Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work and walking-around life and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2) MSG

I wish I had known as a child that scripture verses like the above would become a comfort and strength to me.

I often felt like a foreigner, an exile, even an alien among the various relatives I lived with during my early childhood. Because of the specialized care both my parents needed for health issues, I was relocated multiple times to live with a variety of relatives – sometimes in different towns or even states – sometimes for a few months – occasionally a few years. Always, there were new rules to learn – houses, neighborhoods and towns/cities to navigate. My sister and I were together part of the time, but mostly I was alone. When I asked why, I was told, “You’ve just got to understand!”

When I was eleven, I was sent to live with an aunt and uncle in Denver and I have lived in the Denver metro area ever since. Although my aunt and uncle didn’t go to church, God blessed me with neighbors who took me with them. It was at church that I found family in the Lord.

Recently, after a lifetime, I’ve come to realize that those experiences were a gift from God. The scriptures above are about how we as followers of Jesus are to live in the world among people who do not know or often do not want to know God. How we live and our attitudes and actions, may draw some to want to know God. As I reflect on my past: those experiences of not fitting into my environment have become a help in “living in the now”.

How about you? As you follow Jesus in the world around you, what areas of your life can you look back on as having been a preparation for living in and walking with God “in the now”. Read 1 Peter and Romans. Ask God to show you the way he desires to use the gift of your life today.

A Foreigner in the Family2022-07-16T15:52:43-06:00

Everyday Walking

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2) NKJV

Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. ( Psalm 119:24) NKJV

And I will walk in liberty for I seek Your precepts.(Psalm 119:45)
And I will delight myself in Your commandments which I love.
(Psalm 119:47) NKJV

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105) NKJV

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. (Proverbs 3:5-6) MSG

Most of my walking this week will be close to home as I spend time asking questions and listening for answers from a variety of people about some projects I’m working on. I get in a lot of walking while I wait “in line” on the phone for the next available customer service person. I appreciate my Apple watch, because it records my steps, activity, stairs climbed, oxygen level and heartbeat among other things.

This week, since some of my family are out of town, I am using alone time to practice solitude, silence, scripture meditation and prayer, as I care for some extra details of maintaining the house and yard. All of them include lots of walking, stair climbing and lifting. As I work, I practice listening to God say “Yes, no, and not yet,” especially as it is easy for me to get distracted from the task I’m on by something else I see that needs doing. The above scriptures are ones that encourage my focus on the Lord as I go about my day.

Take some time this week to ask God how you can draw closer to him in the ordinary activities of your life. Meditate on the above scriptures and ask the Lord to show you other verses that encourage you.

Everyday Walking2022-07-09T16:33:37-06:00

Participating By Entering In

First this: God created the Heavens and the Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, and inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.(Genesis 1:1-2) MSG

Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, but stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful dignity, so as to assume the guise of a servant, in that He became like men and was born a human being. (Philippians 2: 5-7) AMP

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when He came up out of the water, at once he saw the heavens torn open and the Holy Spirit like a dove coming down [to enter] into Him; And there came a voice out from within heaven, You are My Beloved Son; in You I am well pleased. Immediately the Holy Spirit [from within] drove Him out into the wilderness (desert). And He stayed in the wilderness (desert) forty days, being tempted [the while] by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered to Him. (Mark 1:9-13) AMP

I enjoy study and the tools I have to make it possible: Along with multiple versions of scripture, I enjoy dictionaries, concordances, commentaries, maps of bible lands, and cultural study bibles. Yes, even Google, and the websites available to my cell phone. A problem for me, though, is how chaotic my study area looks with books piled on books, notes everywhere and, especially, my frustration with websites that intersperse information I want with multiple advertisements between paragraphs of what I need.

As the word study this week is “chaos”, my 1946 dictionary definition: a condition of utter disorder and confusion, as the primordial state of the universe describes (Genesis 1:1-2) And: extreme confusion and disorder, describes my study area and my frustration.

What steadies and encourages me is that God brought order out of the chaos in the beginning, and then, Jesus was willing to enter into participation with us to experience the same confusion and disorder we do. (Philippians 2:5-7) He, too, was tempted like us in the small, daily things. (Hebrews 4:15) Even after Jesus comes up out of the water, and the Holy Spirit, like a dove, (perhaps a reference to Genesis 1:2), comes down and enters him, Jesus is still sent to the wilderness to experience extreme temptation by Satan in the large things that also tempt us.

I love John 13-17 where Jesus shows the disciples how to serve each other, gives them a new commandment to love one another, describes his obedient relationship with his Father, and promises the Holy Spirit who will live inside us to remind us of all Jesus said and more, and to give us the inner power to obey Jesus’s commands, Then Jesus prays for not only the disciples who are present, but for us who come after them. Jesus also tells them honestly that they and we will have trouble in this world. He never promised easy; he only promised “with” (to be with us).

Jesus calls us to participate with him by entering into each other’s lives in the chaos that we all deal with sometimes. We can do it by service, time spent listening and especially faithfully praying for those whom we know are going through a wearying time of any sort of disorder and confusion.

Participating By Entering In2022-07-02T19:56:07-06:00

Practice to Obey

Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)

The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. (1 Samuel 3:1)

Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, ”Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call you; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. (1 Samuel 3:4-5)

Again the Lord called, “Samuel!”… Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel a third time and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me,” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
(1 Samuel 3:6a and 7-9)

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak for your servant is listening.” And the Lord said to Samuel: “See I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.”
(1 Samuel 3:10-11)

He (Samuel) was afraid to tell Eli the vision, but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son,” Samuel answered, “Here I am.” What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Don’t hide it from me.”… So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. (1 Samuel 3:15b-17a and 18)

While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do.
(Hebrews 5:7-8) The Message Bible

Obeying was hard for me as a child, particularly as some of the people were doing the exact opposite of what they told me to do. I often heard, “Don’t do as I do; do as I say,” and, “Are you listening to me?” It seemed to me that grown-up people could do whatever they wanted, but I couldn’t. What I didn’t know then is that it takes practice to learn to listen well and obey rightly.

I read 1 Samuel 1-4 to remind me of Samuel’s birth and early history as a boy ministering at Shiloh under Eli the priest. Samuel learned to listen for Eli’s voice and respond to his call. When Eli realized that the Lord was calling Samuel and told him how to respond to the Lord, Samuel was ready to do so, because he had practice in listening to and obeying Eli.

I have learned much about listening, obeying and practicing over a lot of years, but each season of my life from childhood until the age I am now reminds me that I will always have to practice. Sometimes it’s people I have to listen to and do what they tell me; but always it is listening to God and how he desires me to learn and grow in loving him and loving people.

By the Holy Spirit enabling me, my heart’s desire is to say with Paul:

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:12-14) MSG

How about you? Psalm 139 reminds us how completely God knows us in our uniqueness. Where do you need to listen to God and what might you need to practice doing in obedience to him? Take some time to read Psalm 139. Ask him to show you what he desires for you. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to obey.

Practice to Obey2022-06-26T17:13:50-06:00
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