pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


Leave a comment

A Living Expression

Ezra and the Levites not only read the Word of God to the people, but they also explain the meaning.  In doing so, the people can do more than simply hear the Word read; they can gain an understanding of them and apply them to their lives.  In today’s passage, they were reading from the law.  Through the priests’ explanations, the people came to see that they were falling short and they mourned.

At times we too read the Bible or hear a sermon or read a devotional book and we experience conviction or motivation.  Maybe the passage is about loving our neighbor and we realize we have been less than loving to a coworker.  Maybe the message is about forgiveness and it leads us to reconcile with a friend.  Maybe the devotional for the day speaks of an act of generosity and we are inspired to clean out the closets so that we can donate some warm clothing to the local mission.  God’s Word is active and living.  When we spend time in the Word, reading or hearing it, it has to affect how we live our life as it builds our love for God.  Through the Word, we also come to know God’s love for us.

Ezra does not leave the people mourning though.  Instead he reminds them of the holiness of their gathering and of their ability to live out the Word.  He helps them to see that when they are together, it is a time of blessing.  The blessing is both from the time spent with God and from the time spent with each other as both build up their strength.  As he sends them out to the feast to celebrate, he reminds them to continue to care for one another and to be in community.  If a brother or sister is lacking, he reminds the people to provide for them so that they too can celebrate God’s presence and strength in their lives and in the community.

We too are called to hear and then doers of the Word.  May our lives each day be a living expression of all that God places upon our hearts and then calls us to do as we continue on our journey of faith.

Scripture reference: Nehemiah 8: 8-10

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Hearers and Doers

We communicate in many ways, often without words.  People can easily pick up on our mood just by watching our facial expressions.  The things that matter most in our lives are revealed by the priorities we use to allocate what we do with the free time we have.  We can express ourselves with words as well, but James makes the case that our actions speak louder than our words.

As an individual and as a community of faith, we should have an active faith that shows our beliefs by how we live out our lives.  Simply by observing how we treat others, how we offer ourselves to those in need, and how we handle the adversity that life brings should reveal our faith.  It is often through these observations that we gain the social capital necessary to share the good news of Jesus Christ with another.

Many will gather today in worship.  If a person were to observe your worship today without being able to hear any of the words or the music, would they see joy and praise in you?  Would they see one who is happy to be in the presence of God and one who is lifted by the experience?

As we gather together today for worship, we have much to offer each other.  Today we will have the opportunity to hear the words of life.  It is a choice to listen to and to engage these words so that one can grow in their faith and holiness.  It is a choice to allow the word of God to take root and to continue to ponder how it affects our life as we go through the week ahead.  May we receive what God has to offer today so that we become doers of the word defined by the Word and led by the Holy Spirit.

Scripture reference: James 1: 17-27