Saturday, November 10, 2007

Following the paths of the righteous

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Romans 7, 8; Proverbs 4

Romans 8:1-4 (NIV)

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin an death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Proverbs 4:18 (NIV)

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

Good morning!

While sitting in the church sanctuary yesterday, I couldn’t help but think about the man I came to remember with gratitude and love. Many people gathered together to thank God for the gift of Pastor Jim. He was someone who truly understood what it meant to live, not according to the flesh, but according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Now he knows in full what I can only see in part. Carried home in the arms of perfect love, his soul will now spend an eternity praising the Lord Jesus Christ. I think I have a small understanding of why it takes an eternity to adore the perfect, sinless, Lamb of God. There could never possibly be enough time to worship Him, and so our praise and thanksgiving will go on and on, forever and ever. Someday, I will join in the eternal chorus and sing the everlasting song of the redeemed.

Pastor Jim was an awesome writer. He wrote from his heart, with a whit and whim that captured his unique and creative soul. Even though Pastor Jim is no longer with us in the flesh, his written thoughts and words will continue on. Many people who suffer from cancer will be blessed by the insights of one who knew full well what it was like to fight a terminal illness. Jim’s words will not only comfort his family, but also those who may never have known him. His written words remind us of the prize he has acquired in full through Christ Jesus. His writing will live on the hearts of future generations. It was one of his greatest gifts, and we treasure it, especially today.

As I worshipped the Lord, I also thanked the Lord for another dear sister used to send a daily scripture message out by e-mail each morning. I met Rita many years ago when my husband Jeff was pastor at the United Methodist Church in Salem, Missouri. She was a kind, loving soul, who suffered terribly from the ravages of emphysema. There were days when it took everything she had just to get out bed and move to the computer sitting on the desk by the picture window. She wore an oxygen mask, and there were days when she struggled for every breath. Even when she was too weak to open her mouth and speak, this precious child of the living God spread the Gospel message of Jesus Christ all over the worldwide web. She sent scripture passages faithfully, every day. Because of the leading of the Holy Spirit in her life, God’s Word was sent out into the worldwide web of cyberspace. When Rita went home to be with the Lord, I knew she was finally breathing free in the arms of her Savior. She no longer needed that oxygen mask, because He had become her breath of life for all eternity. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t miss hearing from Rita online. She prayed me through some really difficult moments, and in her quiet, compassionate love, made a lasting imprint in my daily walk with the Lord.

These people exemplified faith-filled living. They were not perfect – no, not even close. They made lots of mistakes, just like you and me, and even confessed it occasionally! Yet, when they gave themselves full over to the pursuit of a personal and intimate fellowship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit filled them up with His presence. They made a choice to walk in obedience to His Word and share His love with everyone. Their recorded thoughts became living legacies. as they experienced abundant life through Christ. What a gift it is to share God’s uncompromised, authoritative, holy Word! It was written for you and for me, for our children, and their children, and for all generations to come. It has been passed down through the years as a divine help and life cycle guide. We have His instruction manual right in front of us! And when we make a commitment to read His Word, allowing it to sink deeper into our hearts each day, the Holy Spirit begins to lead us in the journey. We are no longer condemned under the law, because our lives are given over completely to the Lord Jesus Christ. As we pick up the pace and pass the torch from one to another, the Word becomes our life’s breath, our only assurance and everlasting hope.

God sends His ultimate love letter to you today. It is yours for the keeping. Will you open His Word today and read it? What a wonderful gift it is to read the words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Have you read The Book? Do you know Him?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: the Word to totally permeate every part of your life. What Word would you share with the people God has placed in your path? Oh, how I pray you will give them the opportunity to know Jesus through His Holy Word.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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