Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 27, 2010 (Isaiah 30: 15)

For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” (RSV)

Reaching. Straining. Grasping. We are a yearning generation, yet we know not for which we truly yearn. We are on a mad dash through life grabbing everything we can to distract us from our pain and from our sin. We snatch games, sports, books, websites, television, movies, relationships, food, clothes, drink, cars, houses, pets, jobs, stuff, more stuff, and even more stuff. Sometimes it is the objects we seek that we hope will satisfy us. Other times it is the frenzied activity of snatching that we hope will dull the pain of life.

Now replace the word “we” with the word “I.” Each one of us gives in to this frantic lifestyle, some more than others. Yet the answer to being saved from the sin and suffering of life, the way to restore our strength is so much simpler. It is to return to the Lord. Another term for this is repentance. We return and rest in Him. We shut off the blooming, buzzing confusion and trust in Him. Jesus Himself confirmed this promise when He said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, RSV)

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Gracious and loving Father, I surrender my thoughts, my desires, and all my plans and activity to You. I long to sit at Your feet, knowing deeply in my soul Your love for me. Forgive me for when I have sought a cheap counterfeit in the things of this world. Restore to me the joy of my salvation in Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven R. Perkins

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 20, 2010 (Mark 8:36)

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (NIV)

Most of us seem willing to forfeit our souls for much less. We neglect to tend our souls while in pursuit of academic or athletic trophies that sit on a shelf and gather dust. We compromise the integrity of our souls to sell more widgets in business or to gain the attention of an attractive person whose name we do not even know. Why do we do it?

There is not a lot of talk about souls these days. We focus exclusively on what can be seen, even in church sometimes. Yet there used to be a way of talking about people that referred to them as souls. A ship captain would say that he had two hundred souls on board under his care. Such a figure of speech kept the focus on the fact that we are a duality, neither pure spirit nor pure flesh, but a combination of the two. As surely as we tend the one, we must tend the other.

Father, Who sent Your Son, the eternal Word, into the world to take on human flesh, help me to remember that I am both a spiritual and physical person, created in Your image. May I not neglect to care for one part of Your creation in the pursuit of another. In the name of Christ, my Lord, amen.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven R. Perkins