Pastor's Paragraph for February 10, 2019
FEBRUARY 10, 2019
Who doesn’t like to hear words of appreciation, praise, and encouragement from others, like “Well done,” “Good job,” “Great work”? How do you feel when you put a lot of time and effort into something, thought you did a good job, maybe put forth special effort trying to please someone, but didn’t hear any words of appreciation? When we can, we ought to encourage one other (1 Thess 5:11), provoking one another to love and good deeds (Heb 10:24).
I often ask our homebound if they have a favorite scripture, which sometimes leads to a conversation of why it’s special. Several passages are repeated favorites: John 3:16, Romans 8:31ff, Isaiah 40:28ff, Philippians 4:4-9, 12-13, and many Psalms including 23, 121, and 46. They’re some of my favorites too, along with Romans 12:1-2, John 1, 1 John and Psalm 63. And I frequently use Psalm 19:14 as a prayer before I preach, editing it slightly for corporate worship: “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable to you, our Rock and our Only Redeemer.” What you don’t know is that I’ve been praying that all week as I’ve read, studied, reflected and written the message: “May my words be acceptable to You, O God.”
While we all like to hear words of gratitude, especially for something we’ve given our all to, it is more important that what we do and say is pleasing to God. How many times do I fall short of that? Thanks be to God for his grace and forgiveness (Rom 8:14-25).
In the recent sermon series “God Never Said That!” we were challenged to watch what we say, especially when we attribute it to God, to watch how we seek to comfort others, and how our beliefs affect who we are and how we live. May we all seek to live lives that are first and foremost acceptable and pleasing to God. And when we fail, may we open our hearts to God’s grace and forgiveness—receiving and giving—and open our lives to the Holy Spirit who empowers and transforms us to be and live more like Jesus, our Rock and our Only Redeemer! Thanks be to God!
Pastor Sharon K. Miller
Pastor of the Homebound