pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Reading: Psalm 147: 1-11 & 20

Verse Eleven: “The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love”.

The theme of a mighty and powerful and compassionate creator is continued from our reading in Isaiah 40 into today’s reading from Psalm 147. The psalmist’s initial response is to sing praises to God. The themes of caring for His people and healing and caring for the broken continue to resound in our passage today. In power and might God again counts and names the stars. The psalmist connects this action to God’s great understanding that has no limits. It is out of this understanding that the power and might of God remains a good thing, sustaining the humble and casting the wicked to the ground.

The idea of caring for the broken and sustaining the humble runs against the cultural norms of the day. In today’s secular world you must be bright and shiny and polished to be seen as successful or as having worth. Broken? In today’s secular culture being humble gets you nowhere. At least that’s what we’re told. Success and power in the world only comes from dominating those around you, doing whatever is necessary to ascend the ladder, and being proud of your success. Humble?

Yet we see in today’s Psalm that power and might can be present as we respond to our call as a child of God. It begins with our own experiences. From those times when God has come alongside or carried us we learn that true power and might is shown in caring for the broken and the weak. This also brings humility as we learn to do for others what God has done for us. It is a compassionate love brought in the name of our mighty and powerful God.

“The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love”. Through the ups and downs of our life we experience God’s faithfulness. Learning that God is the only one in control brings us a reverent fear of God. In humility we bow down and worship our God – so powerful yet attentive to each of His children. It is so because God desires wholeness in each of us. May we trust into God’s power and might to bring us a wholeness that rests upon hope. In response may our lives be living praise to the Lord our God.


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Love, Obey, Truth

Reading: John 14: 15-17

Verses 15 and 16: If you love me… over my commands… ask the Father… give you another Counselor.

Today’s three little verses pack a whallop.  Jesus is very direct and to the point.  We begin with, “If you love me” and there is almost an assumption that the disciples do love Jesus.  Perhaps we too like to make this same assumption about ourselves and others in our church or small group.  Jesus then goes on with the ‘then’ of His if-then statement: “… then you will obey what I command”.  There is an implication here.  It is implied that we will follow all of His commands.  It is not a smorgasbord that we can pick and choose from.  This is what makes loving and obeying so hard.  Jesus does not say over six out of ten or most.  He says that if we love Him we will obey His commands.  It is hard to do ‘all’.  One would say it is even impossible for us to do this on our own.

God knows this.  God had a few years experience with mankind before sending Jesus.  The people had always listened for a while.  No matter if it was Moses or David or Elijah or Zephaniah or Amos or John the Baptist – on our own we can only one for so long.  Sad to say, but even when we love God and Jesus, we are still tempted and we sometimes even sin.  So God’s plan came to include help. Jesus told the disciples that He would “ask the Father” and that God would “give you another Counselor”.  We know this Counselor by many names, but the most common is Holy Spirit.  Jesus refers to it as the “Spirit of truth” in our passage today.

The Holy Spirit brings truth in many ways.  First, the Holy Spirit reminds us of the truth we find in the Bible.  Second, the Holy Spirit leads and guides us in the truth, helping us to over the commands that Jesus gave.  The Holy Spirit nudges and whispers to help us be obedient.  Third, the Holy Spirit corrects and convicts us when we go astray.  It reminds us of the true path and helps us to seek forgiveness and to repent so we can return to walking in the truth.

Today, may our love of Jesus lead us to obedience to His commands.  May the Holy Spirit ever be present to us and may we ever be attentive to this presence in our lives.  All to bring honor and glory to God.