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Weekly Inspiration

Weekly Inspiration

Luke 1_68-75

Thanksgiving for God’s Greatest Gift

Luke 1:68-75 By Eva Stimson Zechariah has at least two good reasons to be thankful: (1) After years of childlessness, his wife, Elizabeth, has just given birth to their first son. (2) After being mute throughout Elizabeth’s pregnancy, his speech has been restored. Imagine yourself in Zechariah’s situation. What would your first words be after nine months of enforced silence? Zechariah’s first words are ones of praise. In loosening Zechariah’s tongue, God also has opened Zechariah’s eyes, giving him an…
2 Thessalonian 3-13

Are We There Yet?

2 Thessalonian 3:6-13  By J. Stephen Lang When the twentieth century began, most people optimistically believed that human life was improving, that humankind was progressing in the right direction. The wonders related in the Bible were in doubt, but the wonders of science and technology were not. So the Bible’s words about a dramatic return of Jesus to judge the earth struck many people as crude and quaint. Belief in heaven lost some of its appeal, since science seemed to…
StormDamaged

God’s Faithfulness

Haggai 1:15b-2:9 By Carmichael D. Crutchfieldt May 3, was a devastating day for the people of Jackson, Tennessee. A tornado completely destroyed several church edifices along with other property. As I write more than two years later, three downtown churches have not yet been completely restored. I cannot imagine the feelings of people sixty years after the destruction of the Temple. It’s not surprising to hear cynicism and disappointment even though the work has begun on the rebuilding project. We…
BeStrong

The Tensions of Faith

Psalm 119:137- 144 By Bruce A. Mitchell The Bible is packed with stories of individuals tested by God – tested so severely, in fact, that you wonder why they don’t turn their backs on God. What keeps them from asking, “What’s the use? God doesn’t hear my prayers, and maybe even doesn’t care about me anymore.” One of the media world’s heroes was Superman. In my early high-school years I looked forward to every Superman comic book that came along.…
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In God’s Own Time

Psalm 65 By James C. Van Der Walt Psalm 65 expresses thanks for rain, which in the dry climate of the Middle East is seen as a blessing from God. People pray for rain so they can irrigate their crops, so that the harvest will be abundant, so that the community can be fed, so that neighbors can enjoy a comfortable existence side-by-side with one another. It is easier to live peacefully when the community experiences abundance rather than scarcity.…
GodsLaw

Hearts, Minds, Love

Psalm 119:97-104 By Sudarshana Devadhar Much earlier than Jeremiah’s prophecy, the psalmist’s words attest to his love for the law, the law called by many names. According to the translation in the New International Version, the laws are also called “commands,” “statutes,” “precepts,” and “word.” The psalmist clearly loves all of them. The psalmist offers several reasons for loving the law of God. One is because laws are sweet and powerful. In expressing the nature of its sweetness, the psalmist…
weAreOne

Abject Weakness and Unquenchable Power

Luke 17:11-19 By Brian W. Grant Jesus has set off on his journey to Jerusalem and Golgotha and stumbled upon the most stigmatized people of his time. In this borderland, where Jews and Samaritans live across invisible boundaries on the same streets, he meets ten lepers. Any of today’s healers would find it challenging to redeem the lives of a handful of undocumented HIV-positive immigrants with the wrong religion. It’s a daily dilemma to parcel out our finite healing power…
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Generations of the Faithful

Luke 17:1-10 By James S. Helme Sometimes we need the “whole story” in order to understand what’s happening. The first four verses of Luke 17 shed some additional light on the disciples and us as generations of the faithful. Jesus has just given the disciples some “hard” teachings: (1) you better not cause another to stumble in his or her faith journey; (2) you will need to rebuke other disciples if they sin; and (3) you must forgive those who…
ImetJesus

Presence and Protection

1 Timothy 6:11-19 By Isaac Matshidisho Moloabi With God’s people, the Lord will make “poverty history.” Paul who has written to Timothy about being content with life and not setting his mind on worldly riches, now says to him: “But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness take hold of the eternal life.” He then leaves a “commandment” for Timothy and therefore to our world that includes the following: “to do…
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A Passion for God

Psalm 79:1-9 By Harry C. Kiely The heartache of tragic loss is an experience common to most of us. A severe family crisis related to job loss, the sudden death of a loved one, the revelation of infidelity, a devastating flood­ these kinds of trials push us to the wall and make us cry out. In those circumstances, how shall we pray? Dare we come to God and bare our true feelings, even feelings that God has in some way…
Hope

Surpassingly, Overabounding!

Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28 By Rebekah Miles and Len Delony This week’s reading from Jeremiah describes the people of Judah as they await imminent destruction by an invading army. The prophet’s vision of the near future is grim. The coming destruction seems to undo the very act of creation itself – making the earth “waste and void” and robbing the heavens of their light. “The whole land shall be a desolation.” “The earth mourns.” The coming destruction signals God’s judgment on…
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Being a Disciple

Psalm 139:1-6 By R. Charles Perry Most people are familiar with examinations. They take various forms: physical, mental-even spiritual. Many churches offer worshipers an opportunity during the Holy Communion service to examine themselves inwardly and spiritually. The psalmist reminds us of God’s examination of us: “Lord, you have examined me and you know me” (REB). The Lord knows where we go and what we say. The psalmist is aware of the omniscience of God, the infinite knowledge that God has…