The world seems often uninterested in things that are whole, families that are peaceful, societies that progress together. Dissension and fighting get a lot more attention.

God's desire for people of faith is that they not only get along, but that they seek to be whole.

God has that desire also for your spirit. Seek that wholeness now in these quiet moments.

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Then he went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.”

Mark 3:19b-22

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One of my greatest fears is to be accused of a crime I didn’t commit – as in the movie The Fugitive. I can’t imagine being so misunderstood by judge and jury. Would the testimony of my friends and family be enough to set me free? A jury wouldn’t know me, my heart, my goodness. With evidence against me, would the truth define me? No doubt I would be beside myself with worry, perhaps even a little out of my mind.

Jesus has the unique ability to be human and divine, literally, “beside himself,” seeing everyone reacting to him without being caught up in their worry and fear. At his center of gravity is God, not pleasing others, nor even protecting himself. Jesus is not defined by the words of his opponents nor his family. Ironically, the one who is most free is accused of being the prince of that which enslaves: our demons, our worries, our fears.

With God at the center of our attention, we are free to be our true selves.

Valerie Burton

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Free and faithful God, be the center of my thinking, praying, playing, living. May my life be defined by the potential you see in me, not by what others may say about me. Amen.

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Allow the Lord to teach you the way of faith and truth, producing a heart undivided in its commitment to God's name.

Give thanks to God with your whole heart. Glorify God's name always, knowing that God's love for you is great and unwavering.

Inspired by Psalm 86

Valerie Burton

Valerie Burton lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, Allan, their sons, Carter and Marshall, and dog, Byrd. She is the minister for Christian formation at Baptist Church of the Covenant. Life is good when there is coffee and a fire in the fireplace.

He Leadeth Me

Ken Medema

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