Pray Before You Speak

Day 344 

Amos 1:1-3:15; Revelation 2:1-17; Psalm 129:1-8; Proverbs 29:19-20

Pray Before You Speak

For those of us who have been parents of teenagers, we can relate to the words of the Proverbs. After all, how many of us have felt, when trying to correct our children, that we are talking to a brick wall? “I know you can hear me,” we shout but all we get in return is a blank stare. They understand, but don’t respond.

And how many of us, in our frustration with either our children, families, or friends, have said something in anger that we wish we could take back? If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have, and we usually feel awful afterward. That’s why God says there is more hope for a fool than for us when we become frustrated and lash out at someone. When we speak in haste the damage is not done just to the one with whom we quarrel, but to our very own souls.

So the next time you feel like no one is listening, and you want to shake them verbally, don’t count to ten before you speak. Pray before you speak instead and say nothing.

The Rev. Danielle Morris
The Cathedral Church of St. Luke
Orlando, FL

Acting On The Vision

Day 343 

Joel 1:1-3:21; Revelation 1:1-20; Psalm 128:1-6; Proverbs 29:18

Acting On The Vision

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) “Where there is no vision the people perish…”

There is so much power in having a vision for where you are going or what you are doing. For example, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has been driven by a vision of innovation. He is now working on electric drones that will deliver packages directly to homes and businesses from distribution centers within 30 minutes of the order being placed. There are countless obstacles involving technology, government rules, insurance liability, and the tens of millions of dollars it will take to implement this vision. Will he succeed? Time will tell. Would he even be trying without the power of this vision burning in his soul? Absolutely not!

God has a powerful vision compelling His decisions to be merciful to us and treat us with grace. It is a vision of reconciling the world to Himself through His gift to us of Jesus (see John 3:16). And, God has called us into a partnership arrangement by giving us the Ministry of Reconciliation (see 2 Corinthians 5:18 & 19). Do we have the same vision burning in our souls that God has burning in His? Proverbs 29:18, from The Message Bible says: “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.”

We have this season of Advent to invite many to come and join with us in preparing ourselves more fully to receive God’s Christmas gift of the birth of Jesus Christ into our lives. The prophet Joel said it plainly: “And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved…” (Joel 2:32).

Richard Bordin
Holy Cross
Winter Haven, FL

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Standing for the Faith

Day 342

Hosea 10:1-14:9; Jude 1-25; Psalm 127:1-5; Proverbs 29:15-17

Standing for the Faith

Throughout history there have been all kinds of false doctrines, alternative teachings, and strange forms of spiritualities that have led Christians astray. In the early Church, heresies came and went that forced the Church to define or sharpen what they believed. In fact, our creeds are a result of faithful men forming summaries of faith to dispute the various heresies concerning the divinity and humanity of Christ.

For example, Arianism, from the early 300’s, argued that Christ was fully human but could not be fully God. Conversely, Docetism argued that Jesus was fully God but not fully human. Both of these teachings were rejected by the Church in large part because there were faithful men who stood for the faith of the Apostles.

In our readings for today, Jude is calling believers to contend for the one true faith and persevere against any false teachings. In today’s times, the doctrines and teachings of the faith are still being challenged. People want to hear what agrees with their opinions and beliefs instead of the Gospel truth (2 Timothy 3). Who will stand and “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the Saints” (Jude 1:3)? Are we, as the body of Christ, immersing ourselves in the truth and standing for the faith? Are you immersing yourself daily in the Scriptures? Then are we taking that faith and reaching out to those who are lost and confused in the marketplace of false or corrupt teachings?

Rev. Deke Miller
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
New Smyrna Beach, FL