August 4, 2022
Read Revelation 14:6-13
6 Then I saw another angel flying high overhead with eternal good news to proclaim to those who live on earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” 8 Another angel, a second one, followed and said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She made all the nations drink the wine of her lustful passion.” 9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them and said in a loud voice, “If any worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or their hands, 10 they themselves will also drink the wine of God’s passionate anger, poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will suffer the pain of fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their painful suffering goes up forever and always. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, and those who receive the mark of its name.” 12 This calls for the endurance of the saints, who keep God’s commandments and keep faith with Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Favored are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so they can rest from their labors, because their deeds follow them.”
Good morning! Rejoice in the Lord Always!
When we are young, we eagerly anticipate the day when we will be able to make our own choices. We dream of the great things that will come from those choices. On the opposite end of the spectrum, as adults we sometimes wish that we could go back to simpler times when we weren’t faced with so many decisions. This is partly because most of us have made some poor decisions that leave a mark that might take years to fade away.
God gives us free will for which we are grateful. We can choose to follow Christ or we can choose to not. Along our journey, most of us slip, fall, and make some poor decisions or choices. God, through Christ and the Holy Spirit working within us, is always by our side waiting to help us when we ask. For the proud, this is hard because they believe that they can do it on their own. They wrestle and struggle with the consequences and boast to any who will listen when they “overcome” their problem.
Sadly, some of these “I can do it myself” children create this persona that won’t allow them to admit when they need help. Additionally, they seem to be unaware how many others are stepped on or marginalized in their process of solving their own problems. Think of the slum lords who rule the housing market in many cities. Maybe they started out as good, caring landlords. Then circumstances arose that changed their focus from providing a good place to live to trying to make money or even trying to survive.
When we get too busy to spend time with God daily, it is easy to drift away and fail to notice God’s signs around us. When we put your “nose to the grindstone” and only look at how you can improve things for yourself, serving God and being the light of hope to others is pushed behind the walls of success that you are building.
The Good News is that no matter how far we stray from the path, God is waiting for us to call upon his Holy name. Father, I have sinned! Help me! As children of faith, we are called to humble ourselves and make choices that lift others up towards the light.
Loving and Caring God, Thank You for loving us. We are sinners and sometimes wish for what others have. Help us focus on what is good as we work to serve You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen
Thought for the day: All my choices are opportunities to be faithful to God.
God is Good! All the Time! Pastor Liz