This morning I woke up and I felt like a blank sheet of paper, or an empty jump drive plugged into a computer. My head was blank. It is times like this that I just want to do nothing. I do not know what to pray or where to start my study. If my head was a computer It would be the dreaded blue screen unable to even sustain a reflection. But I have learned that regardless how dain bramaged I might feel I MUST pray and study, so I started.
The prayers began somewhat feeble in the beginning but did get better. I listened to some preachers I respect to fuel the few embers in my mind in hopes of restoking the fire and kind of mingled the prayers with the listening until the light in my eyes did begin to burn again, even if it was a bit faint. The prayers and the sermons lead to some devotionals and scriptures.
I read two devotionals this morning that led to the scriptures.
The first was a discussion of what we see when we examine our reflection in the water. If we smile our reflection smiles back if we snarl our reflection snarls back. If you take that thought just a bit further you can see that the way we treat others will result in them treating us the same way. The first referenced scripture was in Proverbs.
Proverbs 27:19 (ESV)
19 As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
I pondered that verse for quite a while. I thought about the face and heart I want to reflect and that is the example of Jesus.
But what happens if I come across someone else that does not share the same sentiment. He or she comes at me with the face of anger or resentment or some other negative attitude. How do I face that, and the second referenced scripture told me.
Luke 6:37-38 (ESV)
37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
It is pretty clear that my response is not to judge or condemn but forgive the anger or resentment. My response should be the same as to the person that approaches with a kind demeanor. I cannot know what has affected that person’s attitude. But there is no reason that I need to add to it. Christ even goes on in verses 39-42 to tell the parable of the brothers; one with the log in his eye and the other with a splinter.
The last passage had to do with sowing and reaping in general. It came from Galatians 6:7-10
Galatians 6:7-10 (ESV)
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
I read this passage and all I could think was that this is not a game. It is life and death. God knows our heart. We may act a part very convincingly and fool our friends, but God will not be mocked or fooled. He knows us better than we know ourselves.
Reflection of Jesus
The last devotional I read was an observation of the current times of how there seemed to be an absence of God in our midst. We push Him out of everything and steal His glory when miracles occur. He has been pushed from the public square and our schools and people protest when someone prays in Jesus name.
But as I thought about all these scriptures and the power we have to reflect the example of Jesus Christ I thought of a passage in John 13
John 13:34-35 (ESV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
What a wonderful example to reflect; love one another as Jesus loved us. When we do that, when we walk in the Spirit all the acts of the flesh disappear.
I think of all this teaching I gleaned this morning when I did not even want to pray and I am thankful. God’s Word never comes back empty. If we will push on, even when we do not want to he is faithful. The last scripture I thought of this morning is in Galatians.
Galatians 5:19-24 (ESV)
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
When we allow the world to drag us back into the works of the flesh it shows on our face and our heart. We must stay connected to the vine so that we may gain spiritual nourishment even when we do not feel hungry.
Father, forgive me for the times when I struggle to study or pray. Forgive me when my appetite for Your Word seems to not be very strong. Thank you for bearing with me and showing me always that I need the nourishment, and the effort is always worth it. Thank you, father and I pray all this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen!