October 9 They Got ‘The Look’

Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Jeremiah 12:1-14:10;  1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:9;  Psalm 79:1-13;  Proverbs 24:30-34

“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.  For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.  For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”  1 Thessalonians 1:6-10

Watching “The Voice” earlier this week I became hopeful that maybe if I took the advertising advice to check out Kohls and get “The Look”–the very same clothes bedecking one of the Voice contestants–then maybe, just maybe….I would be able to sing better. (Hope springs eternal!)

Pretty silly, I know.

Yet, from today’s verses in 1 Thessalonians, I am encouraged and assured that when I follow the example of Paul and of other devout Christians like the Thessalonians, my imitation will bear fruit, just as their imitation of Christ in whom they believed and confessed, bore fruit.

Lord God, grant that your example in Jesus Christ be my sole image for imitation today.  May the fruit of the Spirit be evident in my life that others may see a different way of living–a life of faith in You–in me.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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September 5 Goads

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Photo by Balazs Toth

Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14;  2 Corinthians 8:1-15;  Psalm 49:1-20;  Proverbs 22:20-21

“The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings;  they are given by one Shepherd.  My son, beware of anything beyond these.  Of making many books there is no end, and much study is weariness of the flesh.

 

The end of the matter has been heard.  Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”  Ecclesiastes 12:11-13

 

Hey dad?

  Yes, son?

What’s a goad?

  It’s a sharp stick used to prod oxen along.  You know…a way to keep them moving         along the right path.

Dad?

   Yes?

We’re kinda like oxen, aren’t we?

  If you mean that we need help to stay on the path that is pleasing to God, yes.

And God uses a stick to keep us moving?

  Right.

What kind of stick does He use on us?

  Well…He uses the sharp point of His Word.

Ouch!

  Sometimes it hurts, but it stops us from going down the wrong path.

Hmmm…Dad?

  Yes, son?

God must love us an awful lot to keep poking us.

  Yes.  Yes, He does, Son!  Yes He does.

Heavenly Father, we give you thanks and praise for giving us your Word.  For giving us THE WORD–your Son Jesus Christ.  We praise you for keeping us in the true Word by faith, for goading us along in life.  Grant that we may always fear and trust You above all.  Thank you for being our faithful Shepherd.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

“The Lord is my Shepherd;  I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”  Psalm 24:1-3