Drop the rock…

holding stone

holding stone (Photo credit: tamaki)

Then the Lord said to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, select some towns to be your cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone accidentally may flee. They will be places of refuge from the avenger, so that anyone accused of murder may not die before they stand trial before the assembly. These six towns you give will be your cities of refuge. Give three on this side of the Jordan and three in Canaan as cities of refuge. These six towns will be a place of refuge for Israelites and for foreigners residing among them, so that anyone who has killed another accidentally can flee there. – Numbers 35:9-15

My friend had been hurt. Someone she trusted betrayed her. She was tricked into thinking that this person was unable to go to an event with her because of sickness. She later found out that the one she trusted went with somebody else.

Many of us have been hurt by similar situations. We want to pick up a big stone and throw it at them meaning to do harm. But remember Jesus with the woman caught in adultery in John 8.  All the Pharisees had the stones in their hands ready to kill the woman. As Jesus wrote in the dirt, perhaps words that reminded each of them of their own wrongdoings, the stones dropped one by one onto the ground … a testimony of their own guilt.

We are ready to avenge someone who has done wrong … especially against us. God knows all about what happened, so we don’t need to make a case. We can let him handle it, because he knows exactly what to do. Can we trust him in this?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for taking care of times I have been wronged and have wronged others.  I pray that I can let go and let you handle it. Amen

Faith Tip: Is there a situation that you are holding on to and still feeling the barbs of resentment. It’s time to let go and be free. Trust God in that he will handle it in a perfect manner.

Cleaning the cup

Some people say I am obsessed with my lawn

Image by Jez Page via Flickr

Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. – Luke 11:39-41

Mr. McNara’s lawn was immaculate. Daily he would go out and work on a segment of the large lawn to make sure it looked its best. Nothing pleased him more than being in the sunshine and working with his hands to create beauty in his yard.

There were some new neighbors that moved in next door to Mr. McNara. He thought they seemed nice enough, but they didn’t take care of their yard very well. There was some trash, weeds, uneven bushes along with some bare spots in the lawn. He noticed that people would stop by there often and leave with food or clothes. Did they sell things from their home?

One morning, he saw his neighbor filling his van with a few small pieces of furniture. Mr. McNara thought he would go over and see what they do.

“Good morning!” called Mr. McNara.

“Good morning. Looks like another beautiful day.”

“Yes. Looks like you’re busy this morning.”

The neighbor smiled, “Just taking a few pieces of furniture over to woman who just moved into an apartment.”

Mr. McNara questioned, “Oh, so you sell things from your house.”

“Oh no, we just help others out as we can. My wife is a wonderful cook and has such a heart for people. God has blessed us so much, we feel it is a privilege to help others.”

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the many ways you bless me. I pray that I can be a blessing to others with all that you give. Amen

Faith Tip: Consider how you could use one way you have been blessed to bless others.

Keep practicing

Knitted Socks

Image by richiesoft via Flickr

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-20).

I’m learning to knit socks. For those of you who don’t know, there are four double-pointed needles used in the process. I first had to practice the knit and purl stitches and then attempt to go on to making the socks. This was quite the process as the stitches were first very loose, and then I would sometimes make them too tight. Repeatedly, I would need to undo the stitches for I would see a mistake I made, and then start again. It didn’t help when Charlie, my yellow lab, “captured” the yarn ball and took off running with it getting tangled in the yarn. I could give up and go out to buy socks and completely forget about knitting. Yet, as I recast the stitches on and begin again, I can see that my stitches are looking much better. I feel good about that.

The Law of God was made for us to know how to live our lives. It was in the Old Testament a requirement to be fulfilled, and if it wasn’t, then a sacrifice needed to be made. Try as they might, the people of God could not live by the Law totally without sinning. This fact hasn’t changed even today. Jesus was the sacrifice made for our sins. Because of Jesus, the Law of God was fulfilled. Does that mean we don’t need the Law, that we should turn our back on it and forget it? We need to continue practicing living the way the Law has shown us for God has a purpose for it—to grow us into the image of Christ. We can feel good about the growing we have done and will do knowing God wants us to be the best we can be.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being the ultimate sacrifice needed to fulfill the Law and save me. In response, I want to be the best I can be for you. I pray that I can practice living your Law daily and see new growth as I am being transformed by your Spirit. Amen

Faith Tip: Ask God to reveal to you an area of the Law that he wants you to practice today.