Thursday, February 24, 2011


The people of Israel were dismayed when they heard the reconnaissance report: they were sadly dwarfed and outnumbered by their enemies, a multitude who were taller and stronger than they. Joshua and Caleb tried to bolster their brothers' sagging self-confidence with encouraging words:

If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land
and give it to us . . . Only do not rebel against the LORD.
And do not fear the people of the land . . . the LORD
is with us . . . "
- from Numbers 14:8-9

It is not when we're surrounded by giants and far away from home that we're in a bad place, but when we retreat or refuse to march forward. Do we trust our perceived security, or will we trust the Lord? I pray we will trust Him, and walk according to His marching orders in spite of feelings of fear and unease. There are brave examples in today's reading.

There was Aaron. Do I love anyone enough to run into the path of destruction in order to save them? Yet the priest, Aaron, did not hesitate to do as he was instructed, and his intervention was effective. He "stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped" (see Numbers 16:47-48).

Then there was Jesus. He knew everything, so when he felt critical eyes watching, He might have said to Himself, "Uh-oh! I want to heal this man, but Wait! It's a trap, I'd better hold back." In retrospect that would have been ridiculous! We know Him better than that. His response was this:

Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus,
so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him
on the Sabbath.
Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand,
“Stand up in front of everyone.” - Mark 3:2-3

Very rarely does the Lord call us to walk into a trap -- or into any danger whatever -- in order to do the good He has called us to do. Nor does he often ask us to walk the thin line between the living and the dead like Aaron did. So what's our excuse to hold back the good news? Lord help us move out of our comfort zone with a prayer, a word, or a deed to promote the good news of grace.

Friday, February 4, 2011

YouVersion Reading - Time Well-Spent

Today's reading took me 21 minutes and 55 seconds. I know, because I timed it. With all the cold stillness of my city during these past few days, I really have no excuse NOT to spare the time, even if this year's YouVersion plan is five or ten minutes more than I would normally spend in daily reading.

I pray that those the Lord has called to follow this plan will find themselves mysteriously unhindered to do so! I pray that He will bless and multiply the REMAINDER of the day to accomplish even more than we had hoped, and that in short, the fruits of this labor of obedience will be imminent and obvious.

. . . The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD
are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD
are radiant, giving light
to the eyes.
- from Psalm 19:7-8

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Part of the calendar reading for today was Psalm 16:6, where David exclaims, ". . . indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance." It reminded me of Sunday's sermon at church.

The message was about Jesus' blessing for the meek from the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:5), " . . . for they will inherit the earth." My pastor pointed out this was a reference to the doormats and the dirt of society, people much "less fortunate," and to those who choose to humble ourselves.

I was thankful for the reminder that YES, I want to be included in that group called the meek, and that YES, this inheritance is the gift of grace, and not something I could ever earn or merit. I have a beautiful inheritance, indeed! It will take a lifetime to discover the depth of it.