Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reverence, Not Ritual

Good morning, Dear Friends and Prayer Partners! This is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it! When I stepped outside this morning, a little fat gray frog was hopping in the grass and a large bug that I think is a cicada was on the mailbox. I did not touch it, because I'm not sure what it is. Anyway, it is supposed to be unbearably hot today, so I think indoors is the place to be, except for a grocery run.

Yesterday, we had a picnic in the Park, after going to Arby's for sandwiches. It was quite warm, but we watched mamas and little ones enjoying a day outdoors. One Mom, pushing a stroller with the cooler in it, and carrying the baby, had two little boys following, holding hands. They were cute! Well, the aquarium is gone and only the platform left for the static displays, but the park is still peaceful and the boardwalk is still there and God is good!

From the book Quiet Moments with God:

He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?" Luke 24:38

Have you ever met [people who, when something good comes their way, start wondering when God is toing to take it back?

Long ago, pagans in Germany and Holland believed this way. If Johann met Hans in the forest and said, "Hey Hans! I got that horse I wanted-good price, too!" in a second both men would gasp. Johann would turn to the nearest tree and start pounding on it.

The pagans believed that the gods lived in trees, and if they heard about any human happiness, they would cause mischief. Johann, realizing his mistake in the listening forest, would rap on trees to drive the gods away. Even when it was no longer a custom to literally "knock on wood", the phrase sufficed to fill the same purpose. "May my good fortune suffer no reversal."

In our lives, it's either "Thy will be done" or "knock on wood," Either God is working for our good, or we must be working for our good....

When the city of Hamburg was stricken with the plague and large numbers were dying, the healthy-in mortal dread of becoming ill-flocked to the city's churches. It was not a reverence for God that drew them to church, but the fear of cholera. As soon as the plague abated, their zeal for the worship of God also abated.

The Lord desires and intimate, honest relationship with you-not a relationship rooted in your fear of loss or failure. The"fear of God" does not mean you're afraid of God, it means you have respect for Him. This reverence is born out of trust in His love. Turn to Him this evening to experience life, not merely to avoid disaster. When you do, you'll meet a Heavenly Father who loves you completely and unconditionally.

Don't come to the cross
out of fear of hell.
Come to the cross out
of love for Christ.

I always give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers with thanksgiving, joy and love!

Love and hugs,