Morning Musing: James 1:2-3

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

In college one time I went to hear a lecture given by an education specialist from England. I don’t remember his name or what he talked about, but I do remember one thing he said: humor often comes from the connection of two previously unrelated ideas. He told a joke about a guy accidentally eating a canary to make his point which I also don’t remember, but I do remember laughing until I cried. If what that guy said is true, then the opening of James’ letter here should be hilarious. 

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Digging in Deeper: Galatians 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

The fruit of the Spirit. Even if you’re not a Jesus person you may have seen the phrase before on a piece of kitschy artwork in a store that tries to market to Jesus people. Even if you would consider yourself thoroughly secular in every regard, you have to at least admit it’s a pretty good list of attitudes or mindsets or character traits or whatever else you want to call them. 

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Morning Musing: 1 Peter 1:3-9

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter

This is a whole lot bigger a chunk of text than I usually include in these notes, but I couldn’t take this one in piecemeal fashion without spending several days on the whole thing—something I will come back and do at some point in the future. I defy you to find a better, richer, fuller expression of the incredible hope and joy we have in our faith and the salvation that comes from it than what Peter writes here. These words are worth reading several times with some meditative prayer along the way. 

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Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 6:14

“And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in a moment that you forgot about yourself and were totally and purely enjoying it? Have you ever gotten so excited about something that you forget about all the masks and behavior filters you usually wear that you let yourself show all of the excitement you actually felt? It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it is unfailingly an interesting experience. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Psalm 4:7

“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound.”  (CSB – Read the chapter)

David was hurt. He had been deeply offended by someone and was bothered so much by it that he couldn’t sleep. Rather than just stewing about angrily, he took all of his angst and cried out to God. And as he cried out to God, He gradually began to gain some perspective on the whole situation. Perspective doesn’t often actually solve a problem, but it does give us peace in the midst of it. For David here near the end of his prayer, he realized that his joy in the Lord was deeper than anything his enemies knew. And when we realize that we have something good our enemies don’t, we usually start to feel better. Read the rest…