Daily Archives: July 6, 2021

Evening Prayer: July 6th

O God, as the golden light of dusk settles over the earth, it reminds me of your constant love that enfolds me. I thank you for blessing me with another day of life. Your love is truly amazing. I confess I have faltered and ask that you would forgive me of my sins. Renew in me clean heart and a pure mind that I may find rest and joy. If I do not wake, please let me hear the words: “well done, good and faithful servant.” In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.

Daily Scripture Passage: Matthew 24:32-35

Matthew 24:32-35 (ESV)

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Thoughts to Ponder from Amos 5:14-15, 21-24 and Matthew 8:28-34

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24 (ESV)

14 Seek good, and not evil,
    that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
    as you have said.
15 Hate evil, and love good,
    and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
    will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

21 “I hate, I despise your feasts,
    and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
    I will not look upon them.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
    to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Matthew 8:28-34 (ESV)

Jesus Heals Two Men with Demons

28 And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31 And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.”32 And he said to them, “Go.”So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.33 The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.

“Let justice surge like water” (Amos 5:24).

Today’s Scripture portray powerful forces, both natural and supernatural. Amos urges his hearers to unleash a waterfall of righteousness instead of thinking  that adherence to rituals is all one needs to be righteous. And in the Gospel, the demons who challenge Jesus impel a large herd of pigs over a cliff rather than face their divine Judge. Terrified, the townspeople beg Jesus to leave so that they can return to their predictable lives. It seems that like the people in Amos’ time, these people also preferred the “pretense of religion” to its power (2 Timothy 3:5).

What is “surging” in your life right now? Perhaps it’s conflict within your family, at your workplace, or in your congregation. Perhaps you’re having an emotional response that surprises you: overwhelming grief, exuberant joy, raging fury. Perhaps a global issue like sex trafficking, child slavery, or the potential of war has you frustrated because there seems to be very little that you can do about it.

In all of these situations, you have two choices. You can try to evade or tramp down those surges, or you can beg God to help you find a productive way to channel their energies. Avoidance may seem safer, but it risks distancing you from the Lord. After all, he may be urging you to do something to help.

Of course, it’s easier to pretend everyone in the family is getting along just fine, but it might be the right time to say, “Hey, I know you love each other way down deep. What’s causing the chill?” or “Have I done something to offend you? That certainly wasn’t my intention!”

Don’t settle for feeling overwhelmed or frustrated! Instead, settle down in a quiet place with the Lord and pour it out freely. Then, wait for his words or intuitions to well up in your heart.

Begin right where you find yourself, then wait until you realize that God is with you. That will shed light on your next step. He will always show you the wise course of action if you can just place yourself in a more tranquil setting.

Thank you, Father, for the reality of your love right here and now. Show me how to channel that love in a way that glorifies you and helps build your kingdom. Amen.