What do you expect from God? For some, this is the question.
But then there is this one: What does God expect from you?
There may be answers to both in the moments just ahead. Listen carefully for the whisper of answers.next >
"You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool,' you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift."
Matthew 5:21-24next >
I remember the summer I saw Jesus’ words about anger and reconciliation come to life. It was at camp, in a week that involved a lot of drama. The youth in our group would get mad at each other, blame each other, call each other names, and every once in awhile, there would be an actual fight.
One way our leaders helped alleviate some of the tension was by offering time each night for youth to get together and settle their differences. If they couldn’t work it out by themselves, they were encouraged to ask an adult to help.
At first the youth were hesitant, but their attitudes changed once they began to release their anger and experience the feeling of forgiveness. The entire atmosphere around our group improved as young people and adults gained a new perspective on what it means to be a brother or sister in Christ.
Who are you angry with today? What’s keeping you from reconciliation?
Patrick Jonesnext >
Help me, O Lord, to keep my anger in check. Give me the courage to seek forgiveness with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.next >
Go now expectantly into your day,
And walk with your eyes to the horizon.
Believe with confidence;
Anticipate the new;
Assume the unknown;
Be ready for change.
Trust that the Creator is at work;
Await the prompting of Spirit.
Look forward to challenge,
And make it your intention to respond.
Count on God.
Patrick Jones is the minister to students at First Baptist Church Conway, South Carolina. He enjoys playing golf, going to the beach, and spending time with his wife, Katie, and their three girls.
Lord, I Want to Be a Christian