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Daniel’s Prayer for His Nation

With gratitude to real-life friend Jeannette Davis Davis (not kidding, that’s really her name) (she’s a riot, you’d love her) —

From Daniel’s beautiful prayer for his nation —

“We do not present our pleas before you

because of our righteousness,

but because of your great mercy.

O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive.

O Lord, pay attention and act.

Delay not, for your own sake, O my God,

because your city and your people

are called by your name.”

Daniel 9:18-19

Putting The World Right Again

God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son

merely to point an accusing finger,

telling the world how bad it was.

He came to help,

to put the world right again.

(John 3:17, The Message version)

Two things:

Shalom is a Hebrew word that doesn’t completely translate directly into English. My favorite among all the ways we’ve tried to render it understandable is the image of a jigsaw puzzle when all the pieces fit together and the picture is complete.

Restoration is a concept found in the writings of many Christians, notably our old friends John Wesley and his brother Charles. Connected with both salvation and sanctification, it’s about getting things back the way God intended. Including us.

Okay then, a third thing:

With the twin lights of Shalom and Restoration shining on us, what’s one thing you and I could do today to help put the world right again?

And you know me, there’s always that one thing:

Time to take action.

Help

God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son

merely to point an accusing finger,

telling the world how bad it was.

He came to help,

to put the world right again.

(John 3:17, The Message version)

He came to help, and as his followers that’s our call to action as well.

Pretty obvious.

So then why aren’t we?

After all, we are God’s masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus,to do good things as our way of life. (Ephesians 2:10)

So maybe the better question is, what is one thing you and I can do today to help the world Christ Jesus died for?

I’d love to hear from you, and let’s meet back here tomorrow.

Meanwhile, He came to help. May the same be said of us.

The World at The End

God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son

merely to point an accusing finger,

telling the world how bad it was.

He came to help,

to put the world right again.

(John 3:17, The Message version)

Oops.

I’ve done at least my share of that pointing an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was.

You, too?

Not exactly God’s idea.

Join me today in this prayer from a song by Casting Crowns: “Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers.”

See you back here tomorrow; we’ll pick up right there.

Feel Like You’re Here?

“Don’t you ever just wanna feel like you’re…here?!”

So said a character on a tv show I sampled recently. (You know, try out Season 1, Episode 1 and yeah well time to go back and see what else is in this category.)

But that’s a great question: “Don’t you ever just wanna feel like you’re…here?!”

Nobody needs to tell us how over-everything’ed we are and how thin we’re stretched by it all.

We don’t need to be reminded that we’re running a little late, that there was one more thing to do before we left, and we just gotta stop in on the way so we can take care of that other thing.

And we’re still forgetting something…somebody asked for something, what was it?

And there goes your phone again.

“Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)

“Don’t you ever just wanna feel like you’re…here?!”

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest,” says the One who knows us better than we know ourselves.

What’s one way you can do that today?

 

It Is. And It Isn’t.

Looking for more than a card and whatever? Check this out —

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (1st Corinthians 13)

Several Such Someones

Make a difference today,” says former Buffalo Bills Quarterback Jim Kelly, “for someone who’s fighting for their tomorrow.

Whoa.

Kinda reframes the start of a new work week.

We are God’s own handiwork, wrote St. Paul, created in Christ Jesus for good works. (Ephesians 2:10)

That kinda reframes the start of a new work week, too.

Make a difference today for someone who’s fighting for their tomorrow.”

You and I know someone like that.

But we might not know that’s what they’re doing. It’s not always obvious.

As son Joseph and I have been known to tell each other, “Let’s pay attention today.”

Make a difference today for someone who’s fighting for their tomorrow.

We just may encounter several such someones today.