What Is God’s Will?

Good morning. It is pre-Friday, September 18, 2014.

Today is Cheeseburger Day. I was torn between “Respect Day” and “Cheeseburger Day.” I guess you can respect the cheeseburger.

I didn’t make it to work quite as early as I had planned, yesterday, but that was largely because I forgot that I had planned to do that. How embarrassing. It was an okay day, though, even though I stayed a little more than an hour over, as we got 191 packages from UPS yesterday morning.

Not much else going on, other than Christi still having vertigo when she tilts her head to the right. Also, the Rangers have won five games in a row. Too little, too late, but they have a chance to seriously damage Oakland’s wild card possibilities. That’s always fun. Unless you’re the Athletics.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Psalm 95:6-7
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock,
in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:2
I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.

Psalm 101:6
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

Psalm 103:15-18

Today’s Gospel Reading

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Matthew 7:1-5

This passage is, of course, abused a lot. “Don’t judge!” say the people who are guilty of sin. But that’s all of us, isn’t it? The problem is that we tend to do exactly what Jesus warns against, here. We judge people without checking our own baggage first. One of my favorite phrases that has been thrown around Facebook is, “Don’t judge people because they sin differently than you.” Do you go to the office and participate in destructive office gossip, tearing down individuals, and then proceed to throw bricks at homosexuals? That’s our favorite “sin” right now, isn’t it? That and abortion. We are quick to thrust the harshest penalties on anyone who violates one of our “pet sins.” But then we take our ichthus adorned cars out on the road and drive like maniacs, cutting people off and giving them one-finger salutes. Then we wonder why the world won’t listen to our “good news.”

Yes, we are all sinners, and we are all hypocrites at one time or another. But if we act high and might and self-righteous in our hypocrisy, we cannot expect to have any success in bringing God’s kingdom to earth. In order to display the Gospel to people, we must stop the judging and begin to have compassion for everyone. EVERYONE.

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Discerning the Father’s Will.”

Our Father knows each of us by name. That boggles the mind, doesn’t it? But he cares. he really cares. Somehow, he manages to be “deeply involved in the little drama of our personal existence.” Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. (Luke 12:7) “Within this climate of trust the Christian confidently searches to discern the Father’s will.” This is the environment from which our decisions become clear and our actions grow. It can be much more clear than we think. “The sounds of inner peace, harmony, and consonance resonate in the heart attuned to the Father’s will, while agitation, conflict, dissonance, and contretemps resonate in the untuned heart singing its own song.”

‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance,
and how you cannot bear with those who are evil,
but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not,
and found them to be false.”

Revelation 2:2

Father, I have let too much time go by. I pray that you continue to move me away from judgment and toward compassion. You have done miracles in me over the last decade, and I praise you for this. The “log” in my eye is much smaller than it used to be, and I am not quite so quick to point out the speck in the eyes of others. However, I still have my moments, and I pray that these moments will become fewer and fewer. Make me a person that is driven by the compassion that have for all men. May I display the life and attitudes of Jesus Christ in all that I do every day.

I pray that this day will go smoothly. I pray that Christi’s vertigo will go away, and that we will have safe passage to and from work today. May our work day go smoothly, and may we accomplish whatever needs to be done, while, at the same time displaying your Kingdom to those around us. Teach us your way, that we may walk in your truth. I pray for Stephanie, as always, that you would show your love to her and give her wisdom and understanding.

I still cringe when I read some of the stuff I see on Facebook that is posted by Christians. I long for the day when we will stop the name-calling, stop idolizing political stands and moral issues, and begin to follow Christ and share his Kingdom instead of throwing bricks. If we are called by Christ to do anything, it is to make disciples.

Grace and peace, friends.

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