At Church Requel, we have a group of 19 people who have pledged to read through their Bible in 2010. We have formed an online group within our Church Community Builder. Within this group we write one another every week to encourage each other to remain faithful to the Bible reading commitment. Here is my post to the group this week. Perhaps you can benefit as well.
Good Friday morning!
My prayer for you faithful Bible readers this morning is that you continue to make time to read God’s Word every day! I know everyone is busy these days. It’s enough to read the Bible, let alone to write messages in this Read Through Bible group. But when and if you have a chance to post, know that you are encouraging others in the group to remain faithful to read their Bible every day too.
This week’s message thread asked us to write one thing that we’ve learned or been reminded of that has been helpful. For me, I can’t help but see the themes in Joseph’s life and in John the Baptist’s life that the world we live in is unfair and hostile. We are not always treated the way we should be. Joseph didn’t deserve to be sold into slavery. John didn’t deserve to be beheaded. When we are treated so wrongly, it’s easy to feel abandoned, like God really doesn’t care one way or the other about our faithfulness, integrity or purity.
But then we read Psalm 18:16-17: "He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies from those who hated me and were too strong for me." God does care. And while we cannot always see it in every present moment, God is still reaching down from heaven!
Why should we remain faithful? Psalm 18:25-26: "To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the wicked you show yourself hostile." All words of promise and in three cases out of four, we receive positive and encouraging pledges from God. I want God to be faithful to me. I want Him to demonstrate integrity and pureness to me.
But equally fearsome, "to the wicked" God shows Himself "hostile." The world and those around us may treat us with hostility, regardless of our faithfulness, integrity or pureness. However, in the final, eternal scope of events such hostility is nothing compared to the hostility of God to the wicked.
Be faithful despite the difficulties. Demonstrate integrity despite the shortcuts available. Keep yourself pure despite the short-term pleasure Temptation brings. Know that God loves you and will reward you.
Can’t wait to see you all Sunday night! Pastor Mark