Friday, June 16, 2017

June 16

1 Kings 15:25-17:24; Acts 10:24-48; Psalm 134:1-3; Proverbs 17:9-11

I know Sarah mentioned in this post that up until a few years ago, she wasn’t a huge fan of the book of Acts. I have to say, I’m the opposite. I’ve always loved Acts. I love Acts because of passages like today’s. Whereas Jesus can be vague and confusing (“I have food to eat that do not know about” [Jn. 4:32] – he knows the disciples don’t know what he’s talking about! Why does he say that?), Acts is straightforward and clear. And after five months of nothing but the Gospels, I was ready for straightforward and clear.

Just look at these verses: “They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses…to him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:39b-41a, 43). It doesn’t get clearer than that. Those who believe in him receive the forgiveness of sins through his name. Amen!

Don’t get me wrong. Of course the Gospels are important, and Jesus' words are wonderful and beautiful and worth meditating on. But are you, like me, just a little frustrated with Jesus when Pilate asks him if he’s the King and he answers, “You say that I am a king” (Jn. 18:37)? I sometimes wish Jesus would just say, “Yes. I’m the King and the Savior and I’m about to die on the cross for your sins, so believe in me to be saved.” Wouldn’t that be nice?

Well, that’s what we get in Acts. All the clarity and confirmation we need that Jesus is the Son of God, come to save the world from our sins. I love how many times Acts recounts the history of Israel, leading right up to the point at which they crucified Jesus on the cross – Peter tells the story, Stephen tells the story, and Paul tells the story. And each time they declare with such boldness that Jesus is the Christ. I love it. These are the verses I cling to when other parts of Scripture seem unclear.

And what about our Proverbs reading? This one cuts right to the heart of the matter: “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends” (Pr. 17:9). Talk about not beating around the bush. How convicting these words are! Do I do that? Do I pursue love over being right? Or do I tell everyone and anyone the ways I’ve been wronged, spreading the matter among my family or friends until everyone is worked up and in a tizzy?

Thank you, Lord, for these words of truth. May my life be formed by both of them - the truth that I am saved by your death on a tree and the truth of the power of my words and what I do with them.

- Esther McCurry

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1 comment:

  1. A few years ago I took the "Strength Finders" assessment and my #1 strength, by far, is HARMONY! So you can imagine how I resonate with Proverbs 17:9 today! I rejoiced "big time" yesterday when I read Psalm 133:1-3!!!! YES! How wonderful & pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony. I read this Psalm loudly to my husband yesterday from my chair during my quiet time because we often talk about how this strength of mine can sometimes cause me anxiety. There is nothing I love more than when I know all my family are getting along with no tension, however I can become very sad & even blame myself or take on the responsibility of solving it myself when occasional tension happens, instead of trusting God with it. I can't live healthy allowing my emotions to be controlled by what I cannot control, but as this verse in Proverbs says, I can certainly promote forgiveness & not dwelling on one's faults or stirring the pot by gossip! But hey, I'm declaring Psalm 133:1-3 as mine!!!