9/20/11

Close, but so far away


Wiley E. Coyote.  I enjoy watching him because of his creativity and determination.  Think of all the ideas he has had to catch the road runner!  Whenever I open a phone book to the first page and see the word "Acme", I think of him.  Yet, for all his abilities, he continually fails...why?  Perhaps this passage from Romans will help us understand...

Romans 1:13-21 (WEB)
13) Now I don’t desire to have you unaware, brothers, that I often planned to come to you, and was hindered so far, that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.
14) I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to the wise and to the foolish.
15) So, as much as is in me, I am eager to preach the Good News to you also who are in Rome.
16) For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.
17) For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”
18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19) because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them.
20) For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.
21) Because, knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.

Thinking, the answer is in his thinking.  He just doesn't get it.  The road runner is beyond his reach and he will never, ever, get him.  But, he keeps trying and trying and trying and trying; all in vain!  Why?  Look at verse 21.  Stubbornness clouds reasoning and eventually blocks all understanding.  We, as human beings, can try to know everything, try to control everything, but eventually (if we are smart enough) we realize there is someone smarter and more powerful than any human being.  Wiley E. Coyote is both smart and stupid at the same time; perhaps we can learn from his mistakes and realize all the futility around us and turn from the path that excludes God.  Until we do, we will be just like him and go nowhere, even though we may rev our motor all the way up, we will still stay right where we are.  And God is laughing!

OT Bible Reading

Sept. 20
Psalms 86-88

Psa 86:1 Hear, Yahweh, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Psa 86:2 Preserve my soul, for I am godly. You, my God, save your servant who trusts in you.
Psa 86:3 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Psa 86:4 Bring joy to the soul of your servant, for to you, Lord, do I lift up my soul.
Psa 86:5 For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; abundant in loving kindness to all those who call on you.
Psa 86:6 Hear, Yahweh, my prayer. Listen to the voice of my petitions.
Psa 86:7 In the day of my trouble I will call on you, for you will answer me.
Psa 86:8 There is no one like you among the gods, Lord, nor any deeds like your deeds.
Psa 86:9 All nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord. They shall glorify your name.
Psa 86:10 For you are great, and do wondrous things. You are God alone.
Psa 86:11 Teach me your way, Yahweh. I will walk in your truth. Make my heart undivided to fear your name.
Psa 86:12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with my whole heart. I will glorify your name forevermore.
Psa 86:13 For your loving kindness is great toward me. You have delivered my soul from the lowest Sheol.
Psa 86:14 God, the proud have risen up against me. A company of violent men have sought after my soul, and they don't hold regard for you before them.
Psa 86:15 But you, Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth.
Psa 86:16 Turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give your strength to your servant. Save the son of your handmaid.
Psa 86:17 Show me a sign of your goodness, that those who hate me may see it, and be shamed, because you, Yahweh, have helped me, and comforted me.
Psa 87:1 His foundation is in the holy mountains.
Psa 87:2 Yahweh loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Psa 87:3 Glorious things are spoken about you, city of God. Selah.
Psa 87:4 I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me. Behold, Philistia, Tyre, and also Ethiopia: "This one was born there."
Psa 87:5 Yes, of Zion it will be said, "This one and that one was born in her;" the Most High himself will establish her.
Psa 87:6 Yahweh will count, when he writes up the peoples, "This one was born there." Selah.
Psa 87:7 Those who sing as well as those who dance say, "All my springs are in you."

Psa 88:1 Yahweh, the God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before you.
Psa 88:2 Let my prayer enter into your presence. Turn your ear to my cry.
Psa 88:3 For my soul is full of troubles. My life draws near to Sheol.
Psa 88:4 I am counted among those who go down into the pit. I am like a man who has no help,
Psa 88:5 set apart among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more. They are cut off from your hand.
Psa 88:6 You have laid me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths.
Psa 88:7 Your wrath lies heavily on me. You have afflicted me with all your waves. Selah.
Psa 88:8 You have taken my friends from me. You have made me an abomination to them. I am confined, and I can't escape.
Psa 88:9 My eyes are dim from grief. I have called on you daily, Yahweh. I have spread out my hands to you.
Psa 88:10 Do you show wonders to the dead? Do the dead rise up and praise you? Selah.
Psa 88:11 Is your loving kindness declared in the grave? Or your faithfulness in Destruction?
Psa 88:12 Are your wonders made known in the dark? Or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
Psa 88:13 But to you, Yahweh, I have cried. In the morning, my prayer comes before you.
Psa 88:14 Yahweh, why do you reject my soul? Why do you hide your face from me?
Psa 88:15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up. While I suffer your terrors, I am distracted.
Psa 88:16 Your fierce wrath has gone over me. Your terrors have cut me off.
Psa 88:17 They came around me like water all day long. They completely engulfed me.
Psa 88:18 You have put lover and friend far from me, and my friends into darkness.

NT Bible Reading 9/20

Sept. 20
1 Corinthians 16

1Co 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I commanded the assemblies of Galatia, you do likewise.
1Co 16:2 On the first day of the week, let each one of you save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.
1Co 16:3 When I arrive, I will send whoever you approve with letters to carry your gracious gift to Jerusalem.
1Co 16:4 If it is appropriate for me to go also, they will go with me.
1Co 16:5 But I will come to you when I have passed through Macedonia, for I am passing through Macedonia.
1Co 16:6 But with you it may be that I will stay, or even winter, that you may send me on my journey wherever I go.
1Co 16:7 For I do not wish to see you now in passing, but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.
1Co 16:8 But I will stay at Ephesus until Pentecost,
1Co 16:9 for a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
1Co 16:10 Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without fear, for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.
1Co 16:11 Therefore let no one despise him. But set him forward on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brothers.
1Co 16:12 Now concerning Apollos, the brother, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brothers; and it was not at all his desire to come now; but he will come when he has an opportunity.
1Co 16:13 Watch! Stand firm in the faith! Be courageous! Be strong!
1Co 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.
1Co 16:15 Now I beg you, brothers (you know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have set themselves to serve the saints),
1Co 16:16 that you also be in subjection to such, and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.
1Co 16:17 I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus; for that which was lacking on your part, they supplied.
1Co 16:18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge those who are like that.
1Co 16:19 The assemblies of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you much in the Lord, together with the assembly that is in their house.
1Co 16:20 All the brothers greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
1Co 16:21 This greeting is by me, Paul, with my own hand.
1Co 16:22 If any man doesn't love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. Come, Lord!
1Co 16:23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
1Co 16:24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.