There Are No Healthy Quarrels

Day 302 Lamentations 1:1-2:19; Philemon 1-25; Psalm 101:1-8; Proverbs 26:20

There Are No Healthy Quarrels

“Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” - Proverbs 26:20
I remember the situation like it was yesterday. My brother and I were having an all-out argument in the back of the car on the way to a Detroit Pistons basketball game. “Isaiah Thomas is the best!” I said. No way,” my brother countered. “He’s no where near as good as Magic Johnson.” After a few more assertions from each of us, my Dad had finally had enough. He told us to “zip it” for the rest of the car ride, or there would be no basketball game. My brother and I retreated to our own separate sides of the back seat, sulking. It’s amazing how childish arguments can be, especially the kind you are likely to find in the “grown-up” church. These arguments are usually started by one person or another being unable to understand the viewpoint of another person. Even worse, the arguments can be ignited or re-ignited by lies and gossip. When they are, they grow like an inferno. The important thing for believers to remember is to work diligently to cease the spread of a rumor. If someone wants to argue with you, just ignore them. This is like throwing water on a fire. Remember, it’s impossible to have an disagreement with only one person. Pastor Phil Ayers Lifepoint Church Longwood, FL

Make a Joyful Noise

Day 301

Jeremiah 51:54-52:34; Titus 3:1-15; Psalm 100:1-5; Proverbs 26:18-19 

Make a Joyful Noise

Psalm 100 is one of the shorter Psalms, but it contains marvelous reminders of the goodness of the Lord. It begins with a call to praise, to "make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!" We are to be people who enjoy the Lord, who have His praise always on our lips (Ps 34:1). We are to serve Him not as reluctant servants, but as joyful children, glad to do the will of our Father.

The Psalmist tells us why these things should be: "Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." He is the creator of all. We worship and enjoy the one who made us and has called us to be His people. We are His sheep. His pasture is rich and nourishing, providing comfort and safety and the delightful presence of the Good Shepherd.

We are to "enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!" How often are we sour and dour when we gather to praise God? We must use even our emotions to the glory of God, approaching Him with joy and gladness. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and praise! Thank the Lord and bless Him!

Remember that "the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." He will never leave you nor forsake you. His love is steadfast and unending. He will be faithful to all generations of those who are His children. You people of God, make a joyful noise to the Lord!

- Anonymous

Christians Under Attack

Day 300 Jeremiah 51:1-53; Titus 2:1-15; Psalm 99:1-9; Proverbs 26:17

Christians Under Attack

The Spectator, a British publication, noted that "According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet."1 A few years ago at a conference on discipleship, the speaker challenged the audience with this question: “If you were to live in a country where Christians were persecuted for their faith would your life betray you as follower of Christ?” The question was not about whether or not we were seen attending church, or whether or not we wore a cross, but whether or not our very lives bore witness to our faith in Christ. This is the point that Paul is making here in his letter to Titus: "Make sure you present yourself as a pattern of good works. Your teaching must be consistent and serious, in healthy speech that is beyond reproach. That way, our opponents will be ashamed, since they won’t have anything bad to say about us." Do our relationships within our families bear a resemblance to the sacrificial love that Christ demonstrated on the cross? Heavenly Father, help us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for Himself a people of His own who are zealous for good deeds. Amen. The Rev’d Sarah Bronos Church of the Good Shepherd Maitland, FL
  1. https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-war-on-christians

A Just God

Day 299 Jeremiah 49:23-50:46; Titus 1:1-16; Psalm 97:1-98:9; Proverbs 26:13-16

A Just God

In Psalms 97 and 98, we read of justice and righteousness. This makes me want to pause. God is a just God, and we, who are His people, are often neither just nor righteous. The justice that is spoken of in these Psalms is more than honesty or fairness. This justice is an active intervention on behalf of the poor and the helpless. Our own judicial system appears to fall far short of the biblical definition of justice. Biblical justice speaks of restoration and vindication, seeking to restore balance to a situation that has become imbalanced through the excesses of one party or another. Vindication does happen for some. It appears that restoration is more difficult to come by. Once a serious wrong is done, our lives are forever changed. To restore, in this case, may mean to make the situation better with God’s help and wisdom. This blessed restoration can cause us to be wiser and more patient.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” - Matthew 5:6
The Rev. Patricia Acker Grace Church Port Orange, FL