Friday, January 17, 2014

We are called and chosen

"We too must be like all the nations, with a king to rule us, lead us in warfare, and fight our battles”  (1 Samuel 8: 20)

The Lord God chose and established Israel as a unique and exceptional nation.  But this choice and calling came with a set of responsibilities.  Israel, unique and exceptional must have integrity and morality.  The people found this very burdensome.  They looked at other nations and compared their fortune with theirs.  They admired their easy lifestyle and they wanted to be like them.  They wanted to be like their neighbors and they rejected the kingship of God.

Father, grant us the grace to know who we are, your children called to a unique and exceptional destiny.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Put on the full armor

"Why has the Lord permitted us to be defeated today by the Philistines?"  (1 Samuel 4: 3)

All warfare prefigures spiritual warfare.  The Israelites did not ask for the blessings of God before they engaged the Philistines in battle.  If they done this, they would have learned that there was sin in the camp which they needed to deal with in the first place.

The Lord permitted them to be defeated because they  did not put on the full armor.

Before you go into Battle against Evil:

"Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.
Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.
Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.
So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,
and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.
In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one.
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.."  (Ephesians 6: 10 - 18)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My sheep hears my voice

"Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."  (1 Samuel 3: 9)

How much do I listen to the Lord?  I know that listening to the Lord is good because the Lord speaks of peace.
"I will listen for what God, the LORD, has to say;
surely he will speak of peace
To his people and to his faithful.
May they not turn to foolishness!"  (Psalm 85: 9)

The word of the Lord is not just perfect, but for simple souls like myself, it gives wisdom.
"The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye."  Psalm 19: 8 - 9)

Why then do I not listen to the Lord more often through His word and through prayer?  The silly reason is "I don't have enough time."  Yet if I truly believe what the Bible claims for the word of God, I must find time to read it more.  Suppose I know that if I go to a certain place, I pick up $1000 without hassle, the only thing that would prevent me from going is severe incapacity.  I want to face the truth in order to shame the devil.  I don't completely believe the claim of the Bible as I pretend to do.

What must I do to believe more?  First, I must ask the Lord to give me more faith.  Then I must start acting as if the faith is there.  When I keep doing the action, faith follows.  The action is a daily commitment to listen to the Lord for a specific amount of time.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Anxious thoughts

"None of the thoughts that render us anxious and agitated in spirit in any way  comes from God, who is the Prince of Peace. These are the temptations of the enemy and consequently one must reject them and not take them into account."  (St Francis de Sales)

Repent and believe in the Gospel

"After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1: 14 - 15)

"There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every affair under the heavens."  (Ecclesiastes 3: 1)

There is a time for prophecy and a time for fulfillment.  There is a time for waiting and a time for rejoicing in answered prayers.