Monday, June 14th- Proverbs 9:1-10
Tuesday, June 15th - James 2:1-13
Wednesday, June 16th - John 7:40-53
Thursday, June 17th - Daniel 1:1-21
Friday, June 18th - Revelation 3:14-22
Saturday, June 19th - Luke 14:15-24
Creator Lord, from Eden to the end of the ages You watch over the people of Your promise. Forgive our disobedience, that we may drink the new wine with all who trust in Your grace; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
4 Fathers,[a] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”[a]
“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).