Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017

STANDING FIRM


2 Maccabees 6:24-28

“For to pretend such things,” he said, “is not worthy of our time of life, lest many of the young should suppose that Eleazar in his ninetieth year has gone over to a foreign religion, and because of my pretense for the sake of living a brief moment longer, they should be led astray through me, while I earn only pollution and defilement in my old age. For even if for the present I should avoid the punishment of men, yet whether I live or die, I shall not escape the hands of the Almighty. Therefore by manfully giving up my life now, I will show myself worthy of my old age, and leave to the young a noble example of how to die a good death willingly and bravely for the venerable and holy laws.”

Personal Challenge

Eleazar was a 90-year-old Jewish leader. He was well known and well respected in his community by both Jews and Gentiles. In this part of Maccabees, the king that has conquered the Jews is forcing people like Eleazar to do things that are clearly against their beliefs and their practices. Just prior to this passage, the Gentile leaders that know and respect Eleazar are telling him to just to pretend to do what the king is demanding of him and then he will survive. He makes it clear that doing the right thing for God, before the people around him, is more important than life itself. As a follower of Christ, a leader of the youth in my parish, and most importantly a husband, a father, and a grandfather, would I be this strong in a time of persecution? Only my God knows. Lord, have Mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 18, 2017

TAKING UP OUR CROSSES


Luke 9:23-24


Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it."

Personal Challenge

If the cost of following Christ is denying myself and taking up my cross daily, then what does that really mean that I need to be doing? This is not an easy question to answer. God has created each one of us to be in His image and yet unique. As unique individuals, this means that we each have our own unique cross that we must bear. For some, the cross may be dealing with a lifelong or terminal illness. For some, it may be a passion or desire that we must struggle with on an ongoing basis. In all cases, what we need to take up this cross, willingly and with God's help and pursue Him as our only source of power to follow Him and become more like Him. Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

June 17, 2017

Saint of the Week
St. Mark the Ascetic

June 16, 2017

COVERED


Psalm 84 (85 LXX)

O Lord, You were pleased with Your land; You turned back the captivity of Jacob;
You forgave the transgressions of Your people;
You covered all their sins. (Pause)
You ended all Your wrath;
You turned from the wrath of Your anger.
Turn us, O God of our salvation,
And turn away Your anger from us.
Will You be angry with us forever,
Or will You prolong Your anger from generation to generation?
O God, You will turn and give us life,
And Your people will be glad in You.
Show us Your mercy, O Lord,
And grant us Your salvation.
I will hear what the Lord God will speak in me,
For He will speak peace
To His people and to His holy ones,
And to those who turn their heart to Him.
His salvation is very close at hand to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth met together;
Righteousness and peace kissed each other;
Truth arose from the earth,
And righteousness looked down from heaven.
For the Lord will give goodness,
And our land shall yield its fruit.
Righteousness shall go before Him
And establish His footsteps as our pathway.

Encouraging Words


Glory be to God, for He is good to His children. His 1.he is unfathomable, His Mercy is all encompassing. His grace is fully sufficient. Glory be to God!

Friday, June 16, 2017

June 15, 2017

GOING TO WAR


1 Maccabees 3:59-60

For it is better for us to die in war than to look upon the evils the Gentiles would bring to us and the sanctuary. But as God's will is in heaven, so He will do.

Personal Challenge


Am I willing to die for my Lord? To give my life for Him, whether it be physically dying for Him or giving up of my personal wants and needs on a day to day basis? Am I willing to go to war, to battle for my Lord? As a living member of the body of Christ, I am considered a part of the Church Militant. This does not mean that we are out to battle the world and those who believe differently than us. It means that our battle is against those spiritual forces that are counter to our Lord. The battle is also an internal one against these desires and passions within me that well up against that which my Lord desires of me. This is truly the war that my Lord wants me to die in. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 14, 2017

NEVER HIDDEN


Luke 8:16-18

“No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”

Personal Challenge

As a follower of my Lord Jesus Christ, I have received so much. He has shown me so much love and has really asked for nothing in return. That is how much He loves me, So, why would I not shout of His love and mercy from the rooftops? Why would I ever consider hiding my relationship with under a bushel? I will not! I never want to hide from those around me the love that God has for me or the love that I have for Him. I also know that the more love that He pours out on me, the more love that I have to pour out on those around me. I cannot hold onto this treasure as if it is my own, I can only share it and gave it away. What I know is that I can never out give my Lord and all that he pours out on me, so I know that the more that I am given the more responsibility I have to give it away. Glory be to God!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

June 6, 2017

MERCY AND TRUTH


Psalms 84:11-12 (83:12-13 LXX)

For the Lord God loves mercy and truth;
He will give grace and glory;
The Lord's hand will not remove good things from those who walk in innocence.
O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who hopes in You.

Encouraging Words

God is truth. God is mercy. So doesn't it make sense that He loves Mercy and truth? If I love God, then shouldn't I also love mercy and truth? So, isn't this what He wants from me, to walk in innocence, mercy, and grace? Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 5, 2017

GOD'S VICTORY


1 Maccabees 3:18-19 LXX

Then Judas said, "It is easy to hem in many at the hands of a few, and it makes no difference before heaven to save with many or with few. For victory in battle does not come from the size of the army, but from the might of heaven."

Encouraging Words

It is futile to keep trying to do God's work or live a godly life in our own power. And even if we solicit the help of positive mental attitudes, or worldly training and empowerment, or whatever, we are still trying to live God's ways, our way. The victory in any and all spiritual battles comes from the might of our Lord, not us. Glory be to God!

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 4, 2017

CHRISTIANITY, MY WAY...NOT!


Luke 7:31-35

And the Lord said, “To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying:

‘We played the flute for you,
And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
And you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by all her children.”

Personal Challenge

What is it with today's modern generation? It has become the norm to redefine God the Father and His Incarnate Son in ways that fit the individual. This is much like the days of the Gnostics when the teachings and traditions of the church were abandoned for the teachings and ramblings of men who believed that they had the right to interpret the scriptures on their own. This was heresy in the early church and it is heresy today 2,000 years later. Lord, have Mercy! Lord, have Mercy! Lord, have Mercy!

Sunday, June 4, 2017