Tuesday, March 7, 2017

all I know is all I know

I am amazed sometimes at how the reading I do each morning seems to be coordinated to reflect upon &/or speak to what is going on in my life, or the people I know, or the world in general.

Psalm 73 & James 2 were just where I was supposed to read this morning in the sequential reading I do.

All I know, folks, is all I know.

I share it because it's what came up today – draw whatever conclusions the Holy Spirit leads you to.

Psalm 73

1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure.

2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing.

  My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.

4 They seem to live such painless lives;

  their bodies are so healthy and strong.
5 They don't have troubles like other people;
  they're not plagued with problems like everyone else.
6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty.

7 These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for!

8 They scoff and speak only evil;

  in their pride they seek to crush others.
9 They boast against the very heavens,
  and their words strut throughout the earth.
10 And so the people are dismayed and confused,
  drinking in all their words.
11 "What does God know?" they ask.
  "Does the Most High even know what's happening?"
12 Look at these wicked people - enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.

13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?

  Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
14 I get nothing but trouble all day long;
  every morning brings me pain.

15 If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people.

16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.

  But what a difficult task it is!
17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
19 In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors.
20 When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.

21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.

22 I was so foolish and ignorant;

  I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.

23 Yet I still belong to you;
  you hold my right hand.
24 You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
  he is mine forever.

27 Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you.

28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!

  I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

James 2

1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

  2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry,

and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes.

3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person,

but you say to the poor one, "You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor"...

well,4 doesn't this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

  5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters.

Hasn't God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith?

Aren't they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?

6 But you dishonor the poor!

Isn't it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court?

7 Aren't they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?

  8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures:

"Love your neighbor as yourself."

9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin.

You are guilty of breaking the law.

  10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws.

11 For the same God who said, "You must not commit adultery," also said, "You must not murder."

So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.

  12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.

13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others.

But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

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