Reflections Week of 9/18/16

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read Genesis 49-50 (Monday 9/19)

As Jacob was on his deathbed he spoke specifically to each son, telling them their weaknesses and strengths, triumphs and failures. What stood out to me is that some of the things said were frightening. Look at Simeon and Levi. Jacob cursed their anger and said he would scatter and disperse them for it. Can you imagine those words being one of the last things your father says to you? The way Jacob took intentional time to tell these things to each son is how our Father takes time to speak to us. But our Father in Heaven, who knows us so deeply since he created us, will always have a plan with what he tells us. His conviction in your life of a weakness, sin or failure is not said with a dying breath. It’s said as He comes alongside you and teaches you. The brothers reacted to their fathers death with fear. Joseph had every right to have them killed for their actions against his life. Instead of killing his brothers, Joseph reminded them that God takes sinful actions and uses them for his good plan.

For Reflection: In prayer, ask God to reveal your weaknesses and strengths and sin in your life. Reflect on your recent actions and thoughts. Take time to listen to his response. How is your Father describing your life to you right now?

Read Mark 2:23-3:6 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
This passage, like some would believe, is NOT about how to keep the Sabbath. The Pharisees however, would have wished it were so. This passage is a conversation between the Pharisees and Jesus. Jesus and his disciples were in a field together and the Pharisees were watching them. After seeing actions they believed broke the law, they confronted Jesus pointing out the “unlawful” actions they saw (or rather, were waiting to see). Jesus’ response uses scripture to prove his actions were innocent and just and in fact, did not break the law. This is the first thing that stood out to me. When I’m confronted about something I’ve done, like Jesus, I need to respond with a biblical knowledge of why I’m doing it. Jesus was focused on doing the good work of his Father.
The Pharisees were focused on watching to see if other people were doing good works, or more so, if others were following the “commands of good works” or breaking them. They were like teachers hovering over a 3rd graders desk, just waiting for them to pull out the candy bar that wasn’t suppose to be eaten until lunch. What convicted me most about this story was realizing I can slide into a automatic mindset of, “If I follow the rules of Christianity (attend church, get involved, read the Bible regularly, be vulnerable once in a while), then I’ll be doing good. But this is the lie Satan wants me to believe; following the rules is more important than glorifying God and caring for others. This mindset keeps my heart hardened. I do not want to simply strive to follow the commands of God. I want to have the laws overflow because I’m focused on the lives of other people being saved. I’ve asked myself, “If I were a Pharisee, watching Jesus’ miraculous healing, would I first think he was breaking the law or rather, that he loved the least of these?”
For Reflection: Reflect on your life at work, with friends, at home and in the church community. Are you focused on what others are doing or not doing more than looking inwardly at your own life?
Written by Lauren Floyd

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