Transformation

One of the themes which is sounded in just about any political campaign is the need for change. Very rarely will a candidate run for office with the promise that he or she will keep things just as they are. No, the politicians promise that if we will just elect them, they will make things better; they will solve our problems; their agenda will bring peace and prosperity.

Giving Thanks

In 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, verse 12, Paul writes about people who are perishing. They aren’t headed for destruction because of a chance or random event. They aren’t headed for destruction because of the actions of someone else. Paul writes that they are condemned because of a deliberate choice they made. What was the choice? They delighted, or took pleasure, in wickedness. Involved in this choice was not believing the truth. It’s not that they didn’t have the opportunity to know the truth; it wasn’t that the truth was beyond their capability to understand.

Christ, Our Peace

Even a casual glance at the news is enough to make you realize that there are a lot of conflicts and wars going on in the world. Depending on how you count them, there are somewhere between 10 and 30 wars going on right now. This is not unusual. A brief look at a history book tells you that war and conflict are one of the constants of human existence.

Perseverance

In writing to the Christians at Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul makes an interesting statement. He says, “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5 NIV) It’s not like these people didn’t already know or hadn’t already experienced God’s love. They had already accepted Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf. They had already experienced salvation. I think what Paul is saying is that they needed to develop the same kind of love that God has. They needed to demonstrate God’s love in how they lived their lives and interacted with one another.

Psalms

(This meditation was prepared for a participatory assembly where people from the congregation shared their insights from the Psalms.)

This morning we’ve talked about several of the themes which are found in the Psalms. There’s the theme of God’s glory. There’s the theme of God’s care and protection. We’ve shared some of the lessons we’ve learned. But there’s another aspect to the Psalms as well. They point to the coming of Christ. For example Psalm 2 looks forward to Jesus as the Son, as conquering King and Judge. Psalm 23, pictures Jesus as our Shepherd.

God’s Word

When we talk about God’s Word, our minds go to the Bible. And that is appropriate, for the Bible is God’s Word. But the term ‘God’s Word’ is used in another sense as well. John’s Gospel opens this way: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:1-5 NIV)

Truth

Each Sunday, if not every day of our lives, we’re confronted with a question. It’s the same question a judge asked almost 2,000 years ago. An accused man stood before him and declared, “... I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37 NIV) The judge responded, “What is truth?...” (John 18:38 NIV)

Unfortunately, the record we have does not preserve the tone of voice with which the judge asked that question.

Thinking

In computer circles there is a saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” What it refers to is that even if you have a perfect program – one without any glitches or bugs in it – you will still get bogus results out of it if you feed it the wrong data. The same thing is true of our thinking. If we have the wrong information, we will arrive at the wrong conclusion no matter how clearly we think.

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