David, even with a limited understanding of astronomy, knew how infinite the heavens were. In Psalm 36:5 David uses the infiniteness of the heavens to describe God’s love for us, Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the sky. It is this unfailing and endless love God has for each of us if we simply choose to believe and accept it. God cares for us more than we can ever imagine.
In today’s reading we listen as Jesus condemns the religious leaders for their hypocrisy. Of all the things Jesus mentions, the passage that stood out to me most was Matthew 23:23, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill, cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” While we may feel good about giving our stuff (money, possessions, etc.) to the church and those in need, what we really need to concentrate on is reflecting Christ’s example from when He was here on earth. When we fail to do what is right by taking care of people and loving them, we fail at being who God calls each of us to be.
Today we begin Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church. In this first chapter, 2 Corinthians 1:20 caught my attention, For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “yes” in Christ. What Paul is trying to say is all of God’s promises were, and are, fulfilled through Jesus Christ. Christ’s faithfulness in ministry, sinless nature, death on the cross, and now His intercession for us shows how much God loves us. It is through this perfect example of love and faithfulness to us that we are to be back towards God and reflect to others.
God never promised us that our lives as believers would be easy or without hardship and suffering. And the reality is the more we serve God faithfully, the more we open ourselves up for more persecution and potential ridicule for our views and beliefs. The apostles counted it a blessing to be flogged for their faith in Acts 5:41, The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. May we all strive to be counted worthy for our faith and obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Today we begin the book of Ezra. The purpose of the book was to show God’s faithfulness in restoring His people back to their land. This book was written after the exile to Babylon. While the Israelites were still under Babylonian rule, they were ultimately allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. God may allow bad things to happen, but He never forgets about us or leaves us to deal with our consequences on our own.