Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have opened; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, "Here I am, I have come--it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD.” (Psalm 40:5-9)
We cannot possibly tell others all the great things God has done throughout the world and throughout history. We can, however, pay attention to what God does in our lives and proclaim His goodness wherever we go. Scripture tells us that God has opened (literally, pierced) our ears so that we can grasp the perfection of His will and the great gift of our salvation through faith in Jesus. In response, we cannot possibly pay God back, but can become more passionate about His goodness and work in the world—passionate enough to open up our mouths so others can know His goodness.
“Heavenly Father, continue to speak Your Word into our hearts, so that we cannot help but proclaim Your salvation and perfect will, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
THAT HIT THE SPOT
A group of church friends got together on a regular basis for dinner and games. When it came time for Stan and Jean to be the hosts at their small farm, Jean wanted to outdo all the others. They had recently butchered a cow and she decided to have mushroom-smothered steaks. Jean told Stan her plan but commented that she was afraid the mushrooms might make the meal too expensive.
Stan asked, "Why don't you go down in the pasture and pick some of those mushrooms? There are plenty in the creek bed." Jean said, "No, some wild mushrooms are poison." He replied, "Well, I see varmints eating them and they're ok."
So, Jean decided give it a try. She picked a bunch, washed, sliced, and diced them for her smothered steak. Then she went out on the back porch and gave Ol' Spot, their yard dog, a double handful. Ol' Spot ate every bite. All morning long, Jean watched Ol' Spot and the wild mushrooms didn't seem to affect him, so she decided to use them.
The meal was a great success. After everyone had finished, they relaxed, socialized, and began to play dominoes. Just then a neighbor rang the doorbell. When Jean opened the door, the neighbor informed her, “I’m sorry, Jean, but Ol’ Spot is dead.”
Jean went into hysterics. Stan quickly called poison control and explained what had happened. Poison control called several ambulances, which quickly arrived to transport the entire dinner party to the hospital. There, every member of their group was given an enema and had their stomach pumped.
After the last one was finished, a doctor came out and assured them, "I think everything will be fine now." They arranged for transportation back to Stan and Jean’s to retrieve their cars. When they arrived, the neighbor was waiting for them on their front porch, curious about all the ambulances.
As they weakly climbed the porch steps, the neighbor told them, “I’m sorry I gave you such a shock, but you know, whoever ran over Ol' Spot never even stopped!"
The Lord give you wisdom and boldness this week!
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:7-9)
I have to admit that as a coffee-drinking, type-A, 21st century American, being still is not my strong suit. In fact, I hate waiting, and patience can really require a lot of will power. Fortunately, we are called to “be still before the Lord” and “wait patiently for Him.” The kind of stillness the psalmist urges is not necessarily a lack of physical activity, but a sense of confident peace, a trust that God is aware of and cares about all aspects of our lives. We are able to wait patiently for God to fulfill His promises because He has always faithfully done so. Not only is our fretting futile and our anger counter-productive, they display a lack of faith that the God who provided redemption in Christ will certainly bring about our vindication on the day of resurrection.
“Heavenly Father, give us the strength to wait for You, trusting confidently in Your promises and empowered by Your Spirit. Enable us to be free of worry and anger, knowing that You are our hope, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
The large sedan was moving extremely slowly, backing up cars on a two-lane highway.
A state trooper noticed the hazard being caused by the slow driver and pulled her over.
The car was full of fearful looking senior citizens, with a very elderly woman at the wheel.
“Ma’am,” said the trooper, “I’m afraid you are creating a hazard by driving so slowly.
The speed limit is 55 mph; if you can’t drive at least 45 mph I’ll have to give you a ticket.”
“Oh, my,” replied the driver, “I am so sorry officer! The last speed limit sign I saw said 25!”
“Ma’am,” the officer responded, “that was not the speed limit. This is highway 25.”
“Oh dear,” said the woman, “that explains all the cars honking and passing us.
Thank you for telling me, officer—I will definitely speed up to 55 then!”
The officer said, “Please do. I’ll let you go with a warning this time, but I have to ask:
Your passengers are all pale and covered with perspiration. Are they sick?”
“Oh, they’ll be fine,” the woman said, “but I think we just got off Highway 120.”
God give you confident peace this week!
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.