Monday, August 8th - 1 Chronicles 19:10-13
Tuesday, August 9th - 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Wednesday, August 10th - Joshua 4:1-18
Thursday, August 11th - Luke 5:17-26
Friday, August 12th - 2 Timothy 1:3-14
Saturday, August 13th - Proverbs 16:1-9
O God, Your ears are open always to the prayers of Your servants. May our hearts and lives be always open to You, that we may pray in accordance with Your will and receive the gifts of Your Spirit; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
"We need to accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope" Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4) It seems a strange thing to say that those who suffer are blessed. Every instinct within our human selves rises in disbelief and confusion. It seems illogical and contradictory. How can anyone who has lost something or someone much loved be blessed? Is that not a misfortune or a curse? Yet, God declares that people who believe God are privileged in the midst of every sad and painful circumstance. How can that be?
Change Is not something most of us eagerly anticipate, especially if it is not our plan. Grief brings about abrupt change. What was comfortable and familiar yesterday becomes horrifying and different today. Life can be re-categorized—there is BC (before change) and AD (after death or loss).
When we grieve the loss of something dear to us our faith is often tested. We are told in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13) of four areas where seeds fell and subsequently grew. Three areas could not sustain the plants that sprung up—only one could. Going through grief can reveal our spiritual soil type. God made soil to be a natural medium for the growth of plants and we are the God-designed medium through which faith is cultivated.
We might not think that grieving would be an appropriate word to use for the Israelites after they left Egypt. They had been in the land for many years and it had been welcoming and a prosperous time. But under a new Pharaoh life changed drastically. The bible tells us that the Egyptian masters worked the Israelites “ruthlessly” (Exod. 1:13, 14) and made their lives “bitter” (Exod. 1:14) with “hard/cruel” (Exod. 1:14; 6:9) service. As a result, Israel languished in “misery” and “suffering” (Exod. 3:7).