26 Aug Matthew 23:27 (Whitewashed Tombs)
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Matthew 23:27 (full readings)
Living Faith snippets: “Jesus’ message here is direct, blunt and not couched in a parable…We all get fed up from time to time…Certainly we can’t run around shouting at people everytime we reach our limit. We have to restrain ourselves for civility’s sake, peace in the family, calm in the workplace. But in the face of raging hypocrisy, terrible injustice, the strong preying on the weak, a fair dose of righteous anger is understandable. It may be exactly what Jesus expects.” by Paul Pennick
Steve’s Thoughts: I was recently in the Black Hills and was enjoying a beautiful ride through the Hills and I began to contemplate my “Sacred Space” – that place that is meant to be filled by God alone. I had never quite thought of my soul in those terms before. It struck me as I heard the words to a beautiful praise song, “You are the lovesong we’ll sing forever. Bowing before you praising your name….” It is in that sacred space that God desires to be and only we can surrender. Dear Lord, fill the whitewashed tomb of our hearts, our sacred space, with that which only you can provide. Amen.
Faith Challenge: Let’s invite others to join our LIFE Group (>215 Christians).
* NEW: Introspection is hard – take some time today to reflect on what is filling your sacred space.
Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, American Family Association, Priests for Life
* Let’s never forget the horrific reality of abortion (images)…#1 cause of death in America. Let’s courageously share ProLife Truth (John 14:6) to create social tension for exposing abortion’s unjust peace…rebuilding a Culture of Life (Matt 5:16) and setting the unborn free!
Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together. Fasting ideas in footnote below.
* Prayer to end abortion, abused children, chastity, peace, our enemies, our troops, depression/ despair, prisoners, ProLife politicians, illnesses/injuries, jobs, natural disasters, refugees, addictions, persecuted believers, Rich Reich (friend Carolyn battling cancer), Peters family (JP in hospital), Stephanie Spader (healthy pregnancy), Steve/Tina Castle (sell their home).
Feast Day: St. Teresa of Jesus Jornet Ibars (1897)
* Prayer: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. ‘If you pray that God will move a mountain and He doesn’t, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead.’
* Fasting: Let’s fast from things that take our eyes off Jesus (selfishness, bitterness, being so critical, impatience, gossip, excessive video games, etc) and take on things that fix our eyes on Jesus (selflessness, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, patience, understanding, caring, helping, listening).
* Defend the unborn: ‘Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die’ (Prov 24:11). ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’ (Jer 1:5). ‘It is a great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish’ (Blessed Mother Teresa).
* Evangelization: Let’s make room for unbelievers (be a friend, make a friend, lead friend to Christ) and perpetual re-evangelization of self and those near us, by way of daily prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of selfless love, mercy, and service.