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

The Wrath of God Satisfied

Day 341

Hosea 6:1-9:17; 3 John 1-15; Psalm 126:1-6; Proverbs 29:12-14

The Wrath of God Satisfied

Despite first glance at the text today, the major theme of Hosea is not that God would delight in harming His people but that He delights in the redemption of those who follow or who come back to Him through repentance.

The writing today shows that God can become angry… Why? He becomes angry because His heart breaks when His children sin against Him. It is not an anger that waits for us to make a mistake so that He can throw a lightning bolt at us. No, His is a righteous anger that desires so deeply for His chosen ones to come back to Him and follow Him with all their heart, mind, and soul. Anyone who has children has experienced this heart pain when one of your children disobeys you, especially when the disobedience causes harm in their lives. It is painful to watch and can even cause us to experience anger because we can see the wrong they are doing but cannot make them choose the path of righteousness.

It is the anger and wrath of God that Jesus satisfied as He died on the cross. God’s anger and wrath has been satisfied by the only one who could satisfy—His only begotten Son.  God no longer looks at me the same because of the work of Jesus Christ that has been applied to me. We have been made perfect through His blood even though we still choose our own way over God’s way at times. God no longer sees us without the lens of Jesus in front of Him. The righteous anger of God is transformed into loving redemption by the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. When God looks at us, He sees His Son.

Take a moment and give praise to God today for the grace and love that has been given to us through His Son Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Wes Sharp
Holy Cross Episcopal Church
Trussville, AL