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First Pres Joliet

A Daily Devotional from our faith community @ firstpresjoliet.org

Month

September 2016

Keep the Faith

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2 Peter 2:1-10

How perfect this passage seems to fit with our current times. Just like in the ancient times of the Old Testament, and also in the times when Jesus and the apostles were doing there thing, there have always been false teachers and prophets among us.

Just like throughout all of the history of the human race, humans have been leading other humans astray from God. Here in 2016, with all of the morbid news stories we hear, and seemingly worse in Chicago with all of the gun violence, we seem to have lost all control of our “civilized” society. If we look at the “leaders” of our country, we see corruption, arrogance, and focus on self and getting re-elected. People use social media to knock each other down, rather than build each other up. The first three verses of this passage, though about 2,000 years old, are still relevant to our modern times.

In the same way, we find hope here in how God will deal with all of this sin. It is easy to get angry and frustrated with the world around us and how we see people treating other people. But God’s plan, in God’s own time, will ultimately prevail. Those of us who remain faithful and believe that He is in total control have not much to fear because He will remember us, and judge all according to the lives we live.

Here is September 2016, I find that I personally needed to read and hear this passage. I find myself getting so frustrated and stressed out by all that is going on in the world around me. And at times, I wonder why God lets things be this way. But it is reassuring for me to know that if I (and all of us) just trust in God’s plan and remain faithful, that he will remember me/us and “rescue the godly from the trials,” all the while He will “hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.” There is no need to worry about the actions of those who have been led astray. Instead, as John Wooden said, as long as I am “true to myself” and remain faithful to God’s plan.

I wonder …

Sometimes my mind wonders…

I wonder about the weather

I wonder about the person I just passed in the mall, I wonder about what makes them smile or what makes them look sad

I wonder about what drives people

I wonder what makes people unique

I wonder why dogs are friendly and cats are mean

I wonder why we are fascinated by certain people and we despise others

 

I wonder why God made us curious

I wonder why some questions are impossible to answer or even ask

And the list could go on and on for a long time. There is something about wondering, about curiosity and God. There is something that seems to happen when people get curious about God. The shepherds found the new born King of Israel, Moses found God in a burning bush, curiosity had Phillip run along side a chariot and star a conversation with a man who was trying to understand God’s word.

Curiosity is part of that process where our soul searches for God. Curiosity opens the door for God’s spirit to work, it opens the door for creativity for new ideas.

I wonder what could happen if we would step out of the day to day and discover faith anew? I wonder what could happen if each one of us would open themselves to a new way of thinking, of seeing the world or the person next to us? What could happen?

Who knows?

I pray that today you will let your should wonder, thinking about God, the world around you, about your life, about doing things differently… I pray that you will find God somewhere in those wondering thoughts and your life will be change just like Moses’s life, or the shepherds.

Be blessed,

Bo M.

Why do we blog?

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We started this blog about 3 years ago now with the primary purpose being the ability to provide a daily devotional perspective using Scripture as a foundation in a format that is user friendly and convenient.  It is also a form of worship – both by the writer and those who read.

In the 3 years, there have been many who have read and commented on the blog…there are also a great many also who have simply read, studied, and, in my opinion, have walked away with growth in some form.  Why?  Scripture is made real because of God’s work in us…his Holy Spirit working in the lives of those who seek God’s presence through his Word as part of their lives.

For those who take time from their busy schedules to provide devotional insight into the Scripture they read, first, thank you.  There are many who look to this blog as part of their day – it may not be 10,000 but on any given day can  be 20-30…so it is important for us to maintain a schedule.  For those who read…if you feel inspired to comment, you are encouraged to do so…let those who write know how God may be working in your life – we all grow this way.

As we go forward, here is a passage of Scripture (Psalm 95, CEB) that can guide our way and why I think the blog is important…not only why I write but also for those of you who read this blog:

Come, let’s sing out loud to the Lord!  Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation!
Let’s come before him with thanks!  Let’s shout songs of joy to him!
The Lord is a great God, the great king over all other gods.
The earth’s depths are in his hands; the mountain heights belong to him;
the sea, which he made, is his along with the dry ground,
which his own hands formed.
Come, let’s worship and bow down! Let’s kneel before the Lord, our maker!
He is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep in his hands.

Lastly…here is a listing of the upcoming schedule of authors.  The common lectionary is one way for authors to prepare their blog and that is what is provided – Bo will be providing the detailed schedule (with one suggestion for blogging material) for all the authors…in the meantime, lets all look forward to how God might work in our lives through this blog:

Thursday, September 8, 2016 Bo
Psalm 51:1-10
Genesis 6:1-6
1 Timothy 1:1-11
Friday, September 9, 2016 Matt
Psalm 51:1-10
Genesis 7:6-10; 8:1-5
2 Peter 2:1-10a
Saturday, September 10, 2016 Karl
Psalm 51:1-10
Genesis 8:20-9:7
John 10:11-21
Monday, September 12, 2016 Anna
Psalm 73
Amos 7:1-6
1 Timothy 1:18-20
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Craig R.
Psalm 73
Jonah 3:1-10
2 Peter 3:8-13
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 – Kristina
Psalm 73
Job 40:6-14; 42:1-6
Luke 22:31-33, 54-62
Thursday, September 15, 2016 Craig H.
Psalm 113
Exodus 23:1-9
Romans 3:1-8

Look UP

Colossians 3.1-3

II Timothy 1.7

Having spent 45 years in construction, most of it out of doors, in industrial, commercial high rise, or residential project settings where there were little or no,  shall we say, more civilized amenities. No bath rooms with sinks and mirrors, just porta-johns, no lunch rooms or cafeterias, just the tail gate of a pick-uptruck, no air conditioning, no heat, no microwaves, electricity comes from a generator,  you get the picture. As a result the normal guy on the job, without civil restrictions, talked about the base things of his life. Usually women, alcohol, wranglings of some sort, legal troubles, hatreds of some type, prejudices, prurient desires and such. I usually didn’t fit into the conversations.  I often found myself removed from their desires and imaginations.  What they found amusing, I somehow didn’t. When they were troubled about some matter, and were seeking sound advise, they would often seek me out, in private, of course, for help.

Colossians 3.1-3 “If you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Verses of scripture like this have become my mindset, I guess, and this is the way I see life.  I am not a mouse like person hiding in a corner, afraid of the world, scared of people, unable to fit in, which is a common view of the Christian, by the unsaved. But rather I have my mind absolutely set on the things of God, and the ribald things of this earth are so simplistic, useless, and foolish I just don’t get it.  I see eternal values, not the temporal values that are going to disappear with time.

Most of you reading this blog probably agree with me as you also have your mind set on the things above. II Tim. 1.7 ” For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  Just for the record, for encouragement, many of the guys who sought my advice, did come to salvation at a future time and made sure to seek me out to tell me.  This is the power of God who actually does seek the lost sheep, and finds, and restores them to His fold.  We serve a risen savior who is worthy to follow whole heartedly. He alone is worthy to obey in our daily lives.

Karl

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