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Red Mist (2 August)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

You know that our ancestors were told, “Do not murder” and “A murderer must be brought to trial.” But I promise you that if you are angry with someone, you will have to stand trial. If you call someone a fool, you will be taken to court. And if you say that someone is worthless, you will be in danger of the fires of hell.  

(Matthew 5.21-22)

Reflect: 

Jesus wastes no time as he dives straight into the issues of anger and contempt towards others. Quoting the Old Testament commandment about murder, Jesus goes further. He understands the human heart. We might not actually murder someone, but anger and hatred can boil over into all sorts of behaviours. Jesus is interested in our inner life and suggests that we can live without anger when we trust that he is with us. Because he is with us, I don’t need to try and control every situation or manipulate others to get what I need.

Respond: 

One of the reasons we get angry is because we don’t rest and sleep enough. We are so busy, we have so many things to accomplish each day and we get irritable and frustrated when we can’t get it all done. Take time to rest today, let go off things that don’t quite work out, trust them to God and get to bed earlier tonight. Rest.

Midday Meditation:

‘Many Christians expend so much energy and worry trying not to sin. The goal is not to try to sin less. In all your efforts to keep from sinning, what are you focusing on? Sin. God wants you to focus on him. To be with him. “Abide in me.” Just relax and learn to enjoy his presence. Every day is a collection of moments, 86,400 seconds in a day. How many of them can you live with God? Start where you are and grow from there. God wants to be with you every moment.’

 (John Ortberg Soul Keeping: Caring For The Most Important Part Of You)

Evening Reflection:

You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water, you refresh my life. You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths. I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe. You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch. You honour me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows. Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life, and I will live forever in your house, Lord.

(Psalm 23)

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