Today’s Readings: Psalm 87; 1st Kings 19; Haggai 2; and James 2:1-13
I am sad this morning because I have lost a dear friend. I am reassured however, as I relfect upon the hope that he has as a child of God. The 87th Psalm reminds me, “…the Lord loves the gates of Zion … Glorious things of you are spoken, o city of God.” As the song (“Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” words by John Newton, 1779) that is based upon this psalm reminds me, “See, the streams of living waters, springing from eternal love, well supply thy sons and daughters, and all fear of want remove. Who can faint while such a river ever flows their thirst t’assuage(to satisfy)? Grace, which like the Lord the Giver, never fails from age to age.” I look with hope to the day that I stand in that city of God with my dear broher Larry Vaughn!
The second reading, of Elijah’s fleeing and cowering in fear from Jezebel’s threat after so valiantly standing against the false prophets of Baal, reminds me how difficult it can be to continually stand firm in the faith without wavering. I can certainly expect to encounter priods when it will be more difficult than at other times. But the key is to continue to listen to the voice of God and to respond appropriately when he asks, “What are you doing here, Randy?”
Haggai has a probing question for me to consider, “Is the seed still in the barn?” His obvious conclusion was that in his day the vine, fig tree, pomegranate and olive tree yielded nothing, because of where the seed was. The seed was still in the barn. By his previous analogy, God had explained that mere ritual and service will not please Him. Their hearts had to be right before he will bless them. Now that they understand this principle he promises, “…from this day on I will bless you.” As I start my day today, where is my seed?
And finally, James reminds me how easy it is to fall into sin by judging others by their outward appearance. I have been guilty of this and need to pray for help see others through God’s eyes . God’s expectation is that I will love everyone (even my enemies) and share withthem what I have. The most important thing that I can share with everyone is the message of the hope of the gospel and to share it with a spirit of meekness. Have a blessed day dear friend.–Randy Sexon