Monday, October 18th - Isaiah 65:1, 2
Tuesday, October 19th - Ephesians 5:15-21
Wednesday, October 20th - Matthew 19:3-9
Thursday, October 21st - Jeremiah 30:12-17
Friday, October 22nd - Romans 11:25-32
Saturday, October 23rd - Matthew 5:38-48
Almighty God, our Father, Your generous goodness comes to us anew every day. By the work of Your Spirit lead us to acknowledge Your goodness, give thanks for Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors,
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
"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).