Good morning. It is Friday, November 14. 11/14/14.
Today is Spicy Guacamole Day. Man, I’m all over that. Guacamole is one of my favorite foods! In fact, I usually judge the quality of a Mexican restaurant solely on their guacamole.
There really isn’t a whole lot to write about, personally, this morning. Christi’s Huddle group went well, last night, as they continued sharing their “stories” with each other. Apparently, one benefit of having a men’s group and a women’s group is that the stories get a lot more open and honest. That is something I’m going to have to get used to, when it comes to the guys I’m “huddling” with. But it will draw us closer together as we pursue Christ together.
This evening, we are thinking we might venture out to get a birthday present for my Dad. I can’t tell you what, because he reads this. 😀 *waves* Tomorrow, we will travel to Mineral Wells to have lunch with them. I think Rachel and Justin are coming down, as well. Good times! I must remember to take the two books I have to bring to Dad, one that I borrowed from him, and one that I finished that I’m giving to him.
(From The Divine Hours)
Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O LORD, in the light of your face,
who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted.
For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted.
For our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.
Today’s Gospel Reading
Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Here, Jesus explains the parable, but only to his disciples. The explanation is clear; he explains it thoroughly. The ramifications are chilling. There are those among us who are not part of us, even coming to “worship” with us. In the parable, it is implied that it is even impossible, in some cases, to tell the difference between the “wheat” and the “weeds!” This is why it is not our job to determine which is which! Jesus explicitly states that this will be the job of the angels who are assigned to the harvest at the end of the age! When we shift our focus to trying to determine who is really saved and who isn’t, Satan wins. Our focus is to make disciples; to share the Kingdom. We have three commands to follow: Love the Lord your God with all your being, love your neighbor as yourself, and love each other (brothers and sisters in Christ) as Christ loved us. That’s it. When we try to do anything else, we are off the path. Note the end result of the parable. “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Amen!
Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Moralism and Legalism.”
“The habit of moralizing spoils religion. Personal responsibility to an inviolable moral code replaces personal response to God’s loving call.” Brennan calls legalism the “step-child” of moralism. He says, “they reduce the love story of God for his people to the observance of burdensome duties and oppressive laws.” I used to be in that trap. I used to believe that Christianity was all about a set of “don’ts.” But this is a system that is “concerned with shadows not substance.” Brennan relates the description told of a man at his funeral: “John was a wonderful Catholic. He never missed Sunday mass, was married only once, and of course he never told a dirty joke.” This makes the “criterion for holiness and the ultimate sign of religious surrender” to be “observance of the law.” The Pharisees of Jesus’s day were just like this.
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.
Father, lead us away from the trap of moralism and legalism. Teach us grace and obedience through faith. Teach us mercy. Teach us to follow your three greatest commands without alienating people and pushing them away. Teach us your ways that we may walk in your truth.
I pray for this day. Thank you for giving me wisdom in a decision. Thank you for our jobs that we have, and I pray that you give us safe travel to those jobs today, and back home. I pray that our work would be smooth today. I pray that Stephanie would know your steadfast love in her life today. Give her a purpose in following you.
Your grace is sufficient.
Grace and peace, friends.