Romans 7:15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Oh, how I wish repentance was like a toggle switch. I would learn a lesson once, like turning on a light that would never burn out nor grow dim, and never again turn away from God’s guiding light.
But I lament with Paul that sin dwells within me. Instead of repentance being a like toggle switch, it is like a dimmer switch. Worse, some dials are difficult for me to turn, as if a zealous workman had over tightened the knob lest a passing vibration cause it to drift from where it had been set. Worst of all, an unseen hand constantly turns these dials the wrong way whenever my attention is drawn aside, or if I relax to bask in my accomplishments.
None-the-less the Good News is that in Christ there is no condemnation. Furthermore, a community of believers nurtures one another, helping to turn dials that are difficult to turn and to alert one another when inattention might cause one to drift from the light of Christ.
Psalm 147:1 Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
Nearly every who walked out to this observation point had one word to say: “Wow!” But one woman, after catching her breath, looked around and said, “Nice job God.”
While majestic scenery helps us remember the earth is the handiwork of God, let us also remember God places his nice work all around us to enjoy. When a bee gathers pollen to make honey and in the process fertilizes flowers, “Nice job God.” When we enjoy a tasty meal from the fruit of the earth, “Nice job, God.” When friends and family or coworkers brighten our day, “Nice job, God.” When a passing stranger offers a word of wisdom, “Nice job, God.”
When you experience God working in your life this day, give thanks.
Psalm 89:1I will sing of your steadfast love, O LORD, forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
Faithfulness produces flowers in dry sand among hard rocks. Where will the seeds that these flowers produce grow? Will there be future generations?
Each day we hear dire news from the Gulf Coast; birds covered with oil, marshes invaded with oil, oil plumes affecting fish, tar balls on the beaches, businesses closing, … We ask what will be left for future generations?
In faith we push out flowers of songs and create seeds of hope, trusting the steadfast faithfulness of God.
1 O sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
This rock formation sings to God. Its upward stretching columns raising a choir of voices. The sun directs a harmony of colors, reds against the blue sky. The wind plays among these magnificent pipes carving out praises to God.
As beautiful and inspiring are these rocks and all of God’s creation, even more so is the story of God’s love for us, redemption from our transgressions so we may face each day with renewed life and sing to God our praises.
Ecclesiastes 3:9 What gain have the workers from their toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. 11 He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
700 years ago a many people lived in Arizona and New Mexico. These petroglyphs, pictures hammered into the dark coating on these rocks, and a few stone foundations are all that remain of these people. We can only guess why they disappeared. We can only guess the meaning of the frequent spirals. Did they function as a solar calendar, plotting the position of a first rays of the sun, allowing villages to know when they should plant seeds? Were they religious or cultural icons, letting visitors know who lived in a particular area, like tags spray painted by gangs on city walls?
700 years from now, what will remain of your work. What will future archeologists guess about the artifacts you leave behind? Were you merely keeping busy with the business of life? Or were you building faith so future generations will thrive when faced with future challenges.