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The scripture for today, January 16, is Ruth 1:16ff as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”
Although Ruth was talking to her mother-in-law after the death of her husband (Naomi’s son), this can be and sometimes is quoted by the bride and groom at their wedding. If only it were quoted more often. Not only at weddings, but at anniversaries. At birthdays of children and parents. During arguments, and low times and hard times and discouraging times.
These are the words of love ~ deep genuine, unselfish love. Let us so love one another that deeply.
#Love, #Marriage, #Family, #Friends, #Ruth, #Naomi, #Wedding, #Anniversary
The scripture for today, July 27, is Luke 7:27 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ “
“The way” could also be considered “the path” or “the road”. To prepare “the way” would be to straighten out the curves temporarily leading in the wrong direction, or clear out the stumbling rocks, or fill in the jarring ruts made when it rains.
We can prepare “the way” ahead of crises for our loved ones by example, by being a true friend, by prayer, by sharing the Word of God. Life is hard. Are we always preparing “the way” for people we know?
Today think of someone for whom you can begin to prepare “the way”.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: TELL ABOUT A TIME WHEN SOMEONE PREPARED THE WAY FOR YOU TO GO THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME.
The scripture for today, May 28, is Luke 5:28 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
This Levi was a tax collector, who, in those days, was allowed to set his own tax rates so he could pocket some of it for himself. Why would such a man follow Jesus, a man who apparently didn’t have much money of his own? He had to trust Jesus and believe that he was truly a friend.
And why would Jesus ask him? Jesus was certainly taking a chance, since the uppity leaders of society and their religion openly declared Jesus a bad person for associating with “sinners and tax collectors”. Jesus, in turn, had to trust and believe in Levi.
A lot of Christians brag that their only friends are those who worship with them. They don’t really trust anyone else, so don’t really want to be anyone else’s friend. Well, how are you supposed to bring anyone to Jesus? Jesus went out to “seek and save the lost.”
And sometimes there is a visitor at worship who isn’t dressed right ~ perhaps with uncombed hair, or smell from no shower, or makeup put on too heavy, or clothes not in style, or maybe even dressed too richly. Are we ashamed to be seen with them? Jesus wouldn’t have been. He was color blind, style blind, class blind.
Today, reach out and make friends with someone you have been staying away from. Jesus did. And thereby, you will be like him.
The scripture for today, June 11, is Job 6:11 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects that I should be patient?”
Many people use the expression, “patience of Job.” But he had on-and-off patience, for he was very sick. By descriptions he gave of himself ~ sores, rancid breath, low voice, partial blindness, skin turned hard and black, bloating, nightmares, extreme pain, unrecognized by his closest friends, some believe he had a grotesque form of elephantitis leprosy.
What did he need from his friends? He surely didn’t get it, for they spent their time trying to prove that he had sinned and God was right to be punishing him. His reply? “I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all! Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing?” (Job 16:2f).
So how do we comfort someone who feels utterly hopeless? We certainly don’t put the blame on them, nor do we tell them it’s “all in your head’ or to “snap out of it”. We can share times when we felt hopeless. We can weep with them. We can hold their hand. We can sit with them in silence. We can pray aloud for them. (Some people have never heard their name mentioned in a prayer.)
And we need to let them talk. Sometimes they will say things they don’t mean in the long run, but at that brief moment they do. Or sometimes they need to talk through things they are unsure about. They may even say contradictory things.
At one time Job said, “Surely, O God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household… .God assails me and tears me in his anger and gnashes his teeth at me” (16:7f). But another time he said, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth….I myself will see him with my own eyes ~ I and not another. How my heart yearns within me” (19:25f)
If you have a very sick friend, let your heart yearn with them.