Friday, June 8, 2007

Daily Bread

"Give us today our daily bread." (Matthew 6:11)

"Bread is a necessity for us. We are beings who continually draw our energy from outside, for as we receive it we use it up in effort. There is a transcendent energy whose source is heaven, and this flows into us as soon as we wish for it. We should ask for this daily food." (Simone Weil)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

God in Creation

How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all;
The earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
Teeming with creatures beyond number -
Living things both large and small.
(Psalm 104:24-25)

We are created in God’s image. Though we are tainted by sin, it is still possible, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to detect a glimpse of God in us. Said better, God has not fully abandoned His creatures. We can see the power of God when we look at each other.

Sir Francis Bacon once wrote -

"There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power."

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Christian Duty

Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13b-14)

God’s expectation of us is to do what is right, to keep his commandments with a profound fear, or respect for the LORD’s awesome power. God does not expect us to achieve a certain measure of success or fame. We are simply to focus on doing what God calls us to do.

John Quincy Adams once said -

"Duty is ours, results are God's"
We can focus on the challenges of the present, doing what we’re called to do, confident that God will take care of the future outcome.

Monday, June 4, 2007


And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:13)

Jesus teaches us to pray for protection from temptation and evil. It seems here that God actually can (and sometimes does) lead us into temptation. But this is only part of the picture. This does not convey our responsibility in the process.

Simone Weil, reflecting on this part of the Lord’s Prayer writes -

"The only temptation for man is to be abandoned to his own resources in the presence of evil."

God does not push us into temptation, but sometimes lets us go there to experience it for ourselves. Then, when we call on the name of the LORD, we are delivered from the consequences of our sin by the grace of Christ.

You might say God does not so much lead us into temptation, as through it.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Fear and Trembling

"Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling." (Psalm 2:11)

Sometimes in an effort to make God more accessible to a broader audience, we can trivialize Him. God is not a warm fuzzy teddy bear. God is the Maker and Ruler of the Universe. He is not to be trifled with.

Psalm 2 warns the nations that, though they enslave and persecute God's people now, God's justice will one day prevail. God will raise up a King, God's Son, who will inherit the nations and possess the earth. God's Son will rule over all "with an iron scepter." Those who resist will be dashed to "pieces like pottery."

This may not seem like an attractive image of God, but it's real. As we share the good news of God's love in Jesus Christ, we do so with a sense of urgency, with fear and trembling, that one day God will return and set things straight. Those who oppose God's will and God's ways will be deposed. Yet, all who find refuge in the LORD will be blessed.