5-27-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 23, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

I kind of like Mona in this picture

Wednesday, May 27

Acts 2:1-21

Acts 2 was our scripture reading in worship just a few days ago. This text is much like the Luke 2 text  that brings me home to Christmas. On the one hand, it is the  Acts 2 reading that reminds me how little control we actually have in this world. On the other hand, we find out that God is truly in control of when and how and where the Spirit shows up.

In our concise and rather calculated planning, we so desperately try to have things move about according to our timing. When we schedule things so tightly, we may miss the opportunity for the Spirit to flow thru us. We like things to line up and we like to say when there will be celebrations and when things should succinctly happen in life. How early on in life do we find that things don’t line up the way we think?

Think about our desire for control. In my time spent with families who are going thru loss, I often hear these words, “Why is this happening to me now?” Would anyone ever say, “Oh this is the perfect time for this to happen in my life?” Would any of us sign up to experience deep loss? We are truly people who are so very ready to sign up for the good stuff; the predictable stuff.

I have to say that life has surely instructed me about the gift of the Spirit. The presence of the Spirit signals to me that God is so very close and at work. It is in those times when the Spirit’s presence is palpable. The more and more I experience the Spirit’s presence, the more I am drawn toward leaving space for the Spirit to show up when and where the Spirit chooses. To seek the Spirit’s presence in our midst means that we have to relax our tight hold on control and be open to the Spirit’s leading. Look at how Christ’s church began as the God’s Spirit came blazing thru and set us on fire. Awesome!

2:1 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. 3 Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, 4 and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them. 

5 There were many Jews staying in Jerusalem just then, devout pilgrims from all over the world. 6 When they heard the sound, they came on the run. Then when they heard, one after another, their own mother tongues being spoken, they were thunderstruck. 7 They couldn’t for the life of them figure out what was going on, and kept saying, “Aren’t these all Galileans?  8 How come we’re hearing them talk in our various mother tongues?

9 Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 

10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene; Immigrants from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes; Even Cretans and Arabs!

 “They’re speaking our languages, describing God’s mighty works!” 

12 Their heads were spinning; they couldn’t make head or tail of any of it. They talked back and forth, confused: “What’s going on here?” 

13 Others joked, “They’re drunk on cheap wine.” 

14 That’s when Peter stood up and, backed by the other eleven, spoke out with bold urgency: “Fellow Jews, all of you who are visiting Jerusalem, listen carefully and get this story straight. 15 These people aren’t drunk as some of you suspect. They haven’t had time to get drunk—it’s only nine o’clock in the morning.  16 This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen:

17 “In the Last Days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. 

18 When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy. 19 I’ll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billowing smoke, 20 the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, before the Day of the Lord arrives, the Day tremendous and marvelous; 

21 And whoever calls out for help to me, God, will be saved.” 

The Spirit came, not because the believers prayed but because the day of Pentecost had come, the day that would be remembered as the birthday of the church. If you look back at chapter 2 of Luke, you will read a description of the birth of Jesus. If you read chapter 2 of Acts, you will read a description of the birth of Christ’s church. Even though the people were from everywhere in the world, and people were speaking in every language, they understood the message completely.

Where would you most like to travel? Where would you most like to travel in the world? Would that place have language that was different from your own? Would you rather just visit a place and not understand the language? Have you ever been to a place where others did not understand what you were saying? Where would you most hope that your words would be understood?   Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you if they know how to say something in Spanish

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer:  Kelly, Sawyer, Wanda, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Kay, Will, Elise & family, Sue, Katie, Susie, Beth, Marvin, Landon, Ellie, Pattie, Marnie, Dot’s family, Missy, Jeremy, Nan, Dave, Chris,  Ginnie, Nick, Grant & family, Ginger, Paige, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    O God, it is good to be in these moments with you. We ask that you walk close by us today. Guide our steps and keep our focus on you. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

5-26-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 23, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

1965_Ford_Mustang_V8_ConvertibleTuesday, May 26

Acts 1:15-26

Back in the late 60’s, when my uncle invited me down to Florida for the summer, I was really excited. On top of that, he said that his bookkeeper would be on vacation and I could fill in for her while I was there. That would mean I would have money in my pocket. I felt like it was quite fortunate that I had just taken a bookkeeping class in high school. In that class we were required to purchase a bookkeeping kit that had practice vouchers and invoices. We had a little filing system and we learned how to enter the transactions as debits or credits. I was all set.

When I arrived for the summer, my uncle was patient with me as he showed me his company books and instructed me on how things were entered and what things I needed to do to keep things going while the bookkeeper was away. I was set. Maybe I should say I was set until the rubber hit road.

For years, my uncle ran a Goodyear Tire store in Naples, FL and he was known for his good business practices. His shop was known for it’s quick and accurate work. Everybody helped when and where they were needed. Thankfully, I was never asked to assist in installing the tires.

Apparently, the bookkeeper would also be asked to return a car to a customer when the tires had been installed. On day one of the bookkeeper job, my uncle asked me to return a car to a customer who worked downtown Naples. As my uncle handed me the keys, he said, “you know how to drive a stick shift, right?” I did not know how to drive a stick shift, but he was in a rush and wasn’t expecting a response so he quickly instructed me and sent me on my way. The beautiful Mustang only stalled out three times on the way downtown. One of those “stalled out” times I was in the middle of the busiest intersection in town. I can’t tell you how glad I was to hand the keys to the owner of car and he drove me back to the shop. I guess my uncle could see that I was traumatized by the experience so that was my only stick shift episode.

All I can say about my involvement in my uncles’ company books was that it took the bookkeeper several months after left, to sort out what I had done.

1:15 During this time, Peter stood up in the company—there were about one hundred twenty of them in the room at the time—16 and said, “Friends, long ago the Holy Spirit spoke through David regarding Judas, who became the guide to those who arrested Jesus. That Scripture had to be fulfilled, and now has been. 17 Judas was one of us and had his assigned place in this ministry. 

18 “As you know, he took the evil bribe money and bought a small farm. There he came to a bad end, rupturing his belly and spilling his guts.  19 Everybody in Jerusalem knows this by now; they call the place Murder Meadow.  20 It’s exactly what we find written in the Psalms: Let his farm become haunted so no one can ever live there. “And also what was written later: Let someone else take over his post. 

21 “Judas must now be replaced. The replacement must come from the company of men who stayed together with us 22 from the time Jesus was baptized by John up to the day of his ascension, designated along with us as a witness to his resurrection.” 

23 They nominated two: Joseph Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, and Matthias.  24 Then they prayed, “You, O God, know every one of us inside and out. Make plain which of these two men you choose 25 to take the place in this ministry and leadership that Judas threw away in order to go his own way.”  26 They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles. 

God shares power with us as we pray and ask God for help. Throughout Acts, you might note how many times Luke’s emphasis is on prayer. The first church was a praying church. God guides people when they are willing to follow.

If you knew that you would be moving on to another place and needed someone to replace you, who would be a person you would choose to replace you? In what ways would that person carry on your same principals and morals?  Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you what they enjoy about summer vacation

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer:  Kelly, Sawyer, Wanda, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Kay, Will, Elise & family, Sue, Katie, Susie, Beth, Marvin, Landon, Ellie, Pattie, Marnie, Dot’s family, Missy, Jeremy, Nan, Dave, Chris,  Ginnie, Nick, Grant & family, Ginger, Paige, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    We love you, O God, and we thank you that you have a plan. Thank you for providing us with family and leadership that helps us to carry on. Be with us in this day. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

5-25-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 23, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

chapter-one-typewriterMonday, May 25

Happy Birthday, Jake!!

Acts 1:1-14

There are writers who can capture a segment of life, an event, or a person, and write about it/them and give their total story in one book. I am thankful for that because there are times when I really appreciate things being nice and tidy and a done deal. In those novels there is a beginning and a neat ending and, at the conclusion of the book, I can put the book down and be thankful. Those are stories where it seems like it just ends right and that’s that.

But, have you ever read a book and it left you wanting to know what the characters would do after the book ended? These are the books that keep me from easily moving back into my life. If I have given a few nights to reading the novel, I find a bit of a void after the book ends. The characters connect with me, or I connect with the characters, and I find myself wondering about them after the book has ended. Some of those stories become sequels and that keeps me, as a reader, even more connected and waiting for the next novel to surface.

I have always loved the writer, Elizabeth Berg, because she hooks me so early on in each of her books. She connects with things in my life and I love to crawl inside of her characters to find out what makes them choose certain things over other things. In my mind I know that the character is a character, but in my heart I sometimes wonder if the writer has somehow been inside my head and has been writing about my life. I am so thankful for gifted writers and for the way they connect with their readers.

1:1 Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he said good-bye to the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. 3 After his death, he presented himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In face-to-face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God.  4 As they met and ate meals together, he told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but “must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me.  5 John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon.” 

6 When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?” 

7 He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business.  8 What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” 

9 These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud.  10 They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes!  11 They said, “You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left.” 

12 So they left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. 13 They went to the upper room they had been using as a meeting place:

 Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas, son of James. 

14 They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his brothers. 

In this text Luke tells us that Christ is the head of the church and that he supplies life to his body, as he gives direction to his people. What he began to do and teach, the church continues as he guides and empowers thru his spirit.

If a person was to write about your sixteenth year of life, who would have known most about you at that time? Why would you choose them? What do you think the disciples were most expecting would happen when the Holy Spirit showed up? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you about a person who knows them the best

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer:  Kelly, Sawyer, Wanda, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Kay, Will, Elise & family, Sue, Katie, Susie, Beth, Marvin, Landon, Ellie, Pattie, Marnie, Dot’s family, Missy, Jeremy, Nan, Dave, Chris,  Ginnie, Nick, Grant & family, Ginger, Paige, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    We love you, O God, and we thank you for knowing us so well. Thank you for knowing our story before the very beginning and after our earthly life is finished. May we be all that you need us to be today. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

 

5-24-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 23, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

f-Calaveras_Big_Trees_State_Park_CA_0362-093Sunday, May 24

Pentecost

Acts 2:1-21

There are some places I’ve been where I have experienced great peace. A great forest usually feels like an awesome place where the sounds are sounds that come from within versus from without. In the midst of those forest areas, there is usually a heavy pine or foresty smell that is quite pleasing. There are also some lakes I’ve fished or visited that feel so remote and under visited that it feels like God and I have the whole place to ourselves. In these places of peace, I don’t feel the worries from the outside world. I feel a calmness and secure-ness that shelters me from outside concerns.

In our secular world that is so full of news that instills fear, a safe and peaceful place is much appreciated. Those are the places that heal our overtaxed hearts. After spending time being in the midst of beauty and safety, I don’t want to return to a schedule and complaints and news of everything that is bad in this world.

Today I am thankful for the time I have spent at peaceful places like Lone lake, Geneva Center, forests in the great northwest, Alaska’s Juneau & Kake, and Walloon Lake. All of these places, have been deeply life-giving, filled with the spirit, and where I have most felt God’s presence.

11:1 A green Shoot will sprout from Jesse’s stump, from his roots a budding Branch. 2 The life-giving Spirit of GOD will hover over him, the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding, the Spirit that gives direction and builds strength, the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-GOD.

3 Fear-of-GOD will be all his joy and delight. He won’t judge by appearances, won’t decide on the basis of hearsay.

4 He’ll judge the needy by what is right, render decisions on earth’s poor with justice. His words will bring everyone to awed attention. A mere breath from his lips will topple the wicked.

5 Each morning he’ll pull on sturdy work clothes and boots, and build righteousness and faithfulness in the land.

6 The wolf will romp with the lamb, the leopard sleep with the kid. Calf and lion will eat from the same trough, and a little child will tend them. 7 Cow and bear will graze the same pasture, their calves and cubs grow up together, and the lion eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child will crawl over rattlesnake dens, the toddler stick his hand down the hole of a serpent. 9 Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill on my holy mountain. The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive, a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide.

10 On that day, Jesse’s Root will be raised high, posted as a rallying banner for the peoples. The nations will all come to him. His headquarters will be glorious.

11  Also on that day, the Master for the second time will reach out to bring back what’s left of his scattered people. He’ll bring them back from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Ethiopia, Elam, Sinar, Hamath, and the ocean islands.

Here Isaiah turns his eyes to the far future and gives us one of the most beautiful and peaceful pictures of the world to come in all of scripture. It will be a world without war, ruled by a righteous and benevolent King of Davidic descent, consisting of the redeemed of all nations together with the restored remnant of Judah.

Where do you go to find healing for your heart? What is it that gives you hope in people? What is it that instills confidence that there is a better way of walking about on the earth? What places in nature are your favorite places to visit?  Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you what God’s house looks like

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer:  Kelly, Sawyer, Wanda, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Kay, Will, Elise & family, Sue, Katie, Susie, Beth, Marvin, Landon, Ellie, Pattie, Marnie, Dot’s family, Missy, Jeremy, Nan, Dave, Chris,  Ginnie, Nick, Grant & family, Ginger, Paige, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    We begin this day surrounded by your peace, O God. We know that your intent is for a world filled with peace and love. Bring your spirit upon us, O God. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia 

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

5-23-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 22, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

250px-Cannon_ball_803Saturday, May 23

Hebrews 9:1-14

When we went to the pool in the summer, we had to enter the pool thru the locker room. The locker room always scared me. My dad would often take us to the pool and my brothers and my father entered thru the men’s locker room and I was the only one in the family to go thru the women’s locker room. There was no way into the pool unless you went into the locker room and showered first. There are reasons they have rules like that, but that’s not the rule I had in my mind on a hot summer day. My rule simply said that the coolest thing to do when you go to the pool on a very hot day is to rapidly approach the water and jump in. Inching your way toward and into the pool was just not an option in my mind. You were all in or nothing, plain and simple. But the pool rules did not match my rule. There was no running, no pushing, no huge splashing, no …… well, you get the idea.

If there were enough people, I could kind of get lost in a crowd and make my grand leap into the pool without notice. If I exited the women’s locker room or approached the pool all alone, I was pretty much guaranteed a guard would be calling me over to their chair before that first leap into the pool. They’d ask if I had showered before leaving the locker room and I’d say that I thought I had. Then they would say that they wanted me to go back and take another shower so they could see that my hair was wet. That would make me so mad. I’m not sure that standing in front of the shower really accomplishes anything before you go swimming. Does it?

9:1   That first plan contained directions for worship, and a specially designed place of worship.  2 A large outer tent was set up. The lampstand, the table, and “the bread of presence” were placed in it. This was called “the Holy Place.”  3 Then a curtain was stretched, and behind it a smaller, inside tent set up. This was called “the Holy of Holies.”  4 In it were placed the gold incense altar and the gold-covered ark of the covenant containing the gold urn of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, the covenant tablets,  5 and the angel-wing-shadowed mercy seat. But we don’t have time to comment on these now. 

6   After this was set up, the priests went about their duties in the large tent.  7 Only the high priest entered the smaller, inside tent, and then only once a year, offering a blood sacrifice for his own sins and the people’s accumulated sins.  8 This was the Holy Spirit’s way of showing with a visible parable that as long as the large tent stands, people can’t just walk in on God.  9 Under this system, the gifts and sacrifices can’t really get to the heart of the matter, can’t assuage the conscience of the people,  10 but are limited to matters of ritual and behavior. It’s essentially a temporary arrangement until a complete overhaul could be made. 

11   But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven’s “tent”—the true Holy Place—once and for all.  12 He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all.  13 If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior,  14 think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out.  

The tabernacle was a sanctuary of this world; the true tabernacle, not made with hands, is the dwelling place of God. The high priest entered the tabernacle once a year; Christ entered the heavenly tabernacle and reigns on the throne once for all. The high priest’s sacrifices made mankind outwardly clean; Christ’s sacrifice makes mankind spiritually clean and presentable before God.

What are some things that you’ve had to pass thru to get to the place you really wanted to go? Why do stores place the milk and bread selections in the very back of the store? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child why people have to be 16 years of age to drive

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer:  Sawyer, Wanda, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Kay, Will, Elise & family, Sue, Katie, Susie, Beth, Marvin, Landon, Ellie, Pattie, Marnie, Dot’s family, Missy, Jeremy, Nan, Dave, Chris,  Ginnie, Nick, Grant & family, Ginger, Paige, Kelly, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    O God, we thank you for this day. Thank you for the better way of being in relationship with you that is all about your action and not about ours. May we live in joy and thankfulness today.  Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

5-22-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 21, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

3548925807_6350f73d33Friday, May 22

Hebrews 8:1-13

I’ve attended maybe a dozen memorial services held in a Catholic church. I’ve always been kind of drawn to the rituals in Catholic church. It probably isn’t right of me to say this, but it seems like it is the priests, the deacons, the nuns, and various others who make the rituals seem like the rituals.

At a few of the masses, there have been priests presiding over the service who seemed to be pretty new at the whole thing. I only sensed that because the seasoned priests have been communicating with the newer priest up in the worship area. Both over his the live microphone. After whispering back over his live microphone, the newer priest would dutifully go and do what the seasoned priest must have asked him to do. I might mention that in my most recent mass attended the priests were whispering in Spanish so I didn’t know what the exact instructions involved. I was totally dependent upon the non-verbals. When it was time for the Eucharist, the seasoned priest knelt one or two times and the new priest was to kneel as well. The new priest just did a semi-kneel/bow kind of thing. He kept glancing over at the seasoned priest and tried to put a little more depth into his bow without having to totally kneel. He did this kneel bow thing by bending one knee slightly and the other leg he extended back a bit. It totally looked like a exercise lunge to me. I couldn’t help but think of the priest in the movie, “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”

I had to bring myself back into the moment because I was starting to get tickled and I didn’t want to be disrespectful. Maybe the new priest had a bionic knee and he wasn’t allowed to kneel anymore. Maybe the awkwardness was due to the new Catholic missal that came out in the Fall and everybody is still coming on board with what to do. Because of the new missal, the priests have to learn new words and cadences. Maybe that’s what I was witnessing. I don’t know, but it became less of a ritual and more of a time to watch a newbie learn the ins and outs. I think that’s what was going on.

8:1 In essence, we have just such a high priest: authoritative right alongside God,  2 conducting worship in the one true sanctuary built by God. 

3 The assigned task of a high priest is to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and it’s no different with the priesthood of Jesus. 4 If he were limited to earth, he wouldn’t even be a priest. We wouldn’t need him since there are plenty of priests who offer the gifts designated in the law. 5 These priests provide only a hint of what goes on in the true sanctuary of heaven, which Moses caught a glimpse of as he was about to set up the tent-shrine. It was then that God said, “Be careful to do it exactly as you saw it on the Mountain.” 

6 But Jesus’ priestly work far surpasses what these other priests do, since he’s working from a far better plan. 7 If the first plan—the old covenant—had worked out, a second wouldn’t have been needed. 8 But we know the first was found wanting, because God said, Heads up! The days are coming when I’ll set up a new plan for dealing with Israel and Judah. 

9 I’ll throw out the old plan I set up with their ancestors when I led them by the hand out of Egypt. They didn’t keep their part of the bargain, so I looked away and let it go. 

10 This new plan I’m making with Israel isn’t going to be written on paper, isn’t going to be chiseled in stone; this time I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts. I’ll be their God, they’ll be my people. 

11 They won’t go to school to learn about me, or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons. They’ll all get to know me firsthand, the little and the big, the small and the great. 

12 They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean. 

13 By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and his people, God put the old plan on the shelf. And there it stays, gathering dust. 

The law of Moses was given to the children of Israel as a tutor to help them grow up and be prepared for their Messiah’s coming. They were like children; God had to take them by the hand and lead them. But the new covenant, with its heavenly priesthood, leads to spiritual maturity: God’s word is placed in our hearts and transforms our character.

If a car has chronic problems, are you the type to keep fixing it up, or to buy a new car? How do you decide when it’s got to go? What does it mean to you that the new covenant is based on God’s actions in Christ, and not on your efforts? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you who God loves

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer:  Sawyer, Wanda, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Kay, Will, Elise & family, Sue, Katie, Susie, Beth, Marvin, Landon, Ellie, Pattie, Marnie, Dot’s family, Missy, Jeremy, Nan, Dave, Chris,  Ginnie, Nick, Grant & family, Ginger, Paige, Kelly, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    We come before you, O God, in great thanks for this new day. We thank you for loving us. Guide us in all that we do and say today. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!

5-21-15 Daily E-Votional

Posted May 20, 2015 by luciaoerter
Categories: God Stuff

IMG_0426Thursday, May 21

Hebrews 7:18-28

I was trying to think of the oldest thing I still own, that belonged to me for most of my life. I think it has to be my baby blanket. I don’t have a story behind the blanket. I don’t know who made the blanket for me. I can see that it is hand stitched. It is pink satin on one side and blue satin on the other; definitely made in the days before ultrasounds could detect the gender of the baby. I’ve also had the thought that it wasn’t totally my blanket at all. It may have been the baby blanket for my brothers and myself for all I know. I don’t have any pictures from my babyhood to show it was in existence in those early years before or after me.

If the baby blanket was functional when I was a baby, then that is a good thing. I do know that it does not work now. Even if I curl up in a tight ball, the baby blanket does not begin to cover me. I’m pretty sure that whoever made the blanket had a baby in mind when they made it. It was not made for an adult.

I began wondering if there is anything we actually receive as babies that continues to be of use to us when we are adults.

7:18 The former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside; 19 the law brought nothing to maturity. Another way—Jesus!—a way that does work, that brings us right into the presence of God, is put in its place. 

20 The old priesthood of Aaron perpetuated itself automatically, father to son, without explicit confirmation by God. 21 But then God intervened and called this new, permanent priesthood into being with an added promise:

 God gave his word; he won’t take it back: “You’re the permanent priest.” 

22 This makes Jesus the guarantee of a far better way between us and God—one that really works! A new covenant. 

23 Earlier there were a lot of priests, for they died and had to be replaced. 24 But Jesus’ priesthood is permanent. He’s there from now to eternity 25 to save everyone who comes to God through him, always on the job to speak up for them. 

26 So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he doesn’t have to offer sacrifices for his own sins every day before he can get around to us and our sins. He’s done it, once and for all: offered up himself as the sacrifice. 28 The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect. 

The first covenant was sealed with the blood of animals. Christ’s covenant was sealed with his own blood. It was a better covenant, with better promises, based on the unchangeableness of God’s word.

When have you witnessed a law that has failed in its purpose? If we have been ticketed for speeding, how does paying money for a ticket help us to be better drivers in the future? Have a Day!

In Conversation with a child:    Ask a child to tell you what things they can do that babies cannot do

Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson

Remember in Prayer:  Sawyer, Wanda, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Kay, Will, Elise & family, Sue, Katie, Susie, Beth, Marvin, Landon, Ellie, Pattie, Marnie, Dot’s family, Missy, Jeremy, Nan, Dave, Chris,  Ginnie, Nick, Grant & family, Ginger, Paige, Kelly, Christina, Mark, Judy, Jay, Bonnie, Earl, Nilkanti, Katie, Vivian, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.

And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David

Prayer:    Loving God, we thank you for the gift of this day and the new things we might learn. Help us to be looking for the new things you want to do with us. Amen

Your E-Votional Servant

Lucia

© 2015 Lucia Oerter

All rights reserved

Email Lucia

The Message Bible – contemporary translation

A ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida providing for your daily walk with Christ!


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