May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14, NIV).
These words are very familiar to me. I remember hearing them before every Sunday sermon that my Dad preached. I do not remember wondering about their origin while I was growing up. I heard them as a prayer both for the congregation and for the preacher. While I don’t preach on a regular basis in my current role, I believe that this prayer from the Psalms while be part of the regular ritual when I am in a role of preaching every week.
“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land — not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Amos 8:11, NIV.
What a powerful illustration! The previous chapters of Amos outlined many possibilities for physical difficulties for the people, however this is perhaps the most threatening. God’s Word is integral to our life in right relationship with God and others.
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:10-11, NIV).
I don’t have much of a question about these verses.
They are a beautiful picture of the love that God has for us.
We are able to love others because God first loved us.
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. … The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name” (Luke 10:1, 17).
The seventy-two returned to Jesus with joy. Their task was one that led to joy. I appreciate this perspective, as there are times that the work of ministry does not feel like joy. Maybe it is a change in perspective, change in task or change in remembering who is responsible and in charge. Whatever the shift may be, these followers of Jesus encourage me to approach God‘s work with joy.
“After he left there, he came upon Jehonadab son of Rekab, who was on his way to meet him. Jehu greeted him and said, “Are you in accord with me, as I am with you?” “I am,” Jehonadab answered. “If so,” said Jehu, “give me your hand.” So he did, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot.”