December 19-23 2022

7 Let the wicked forsake their ways

and the unrighteous their thoughts.

Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,

and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:7

Thoughts on Today’s Verse

By reading my Bible in English, I was struck in the way in which the end of the day was returned: “He is Quick to Forgive.” God is quick – fast – to forgive. And I would add that he is also “slow to anger.” (Exodus 34.6)

“Ask forgiveness and forgive quickly! The offense is like a cigarette megot. You have to crush it with its foot before it ignites and ignites a forest.”

In 1 Samuel 25, we see a rich breeder who refuses to help David and his army. This one, outraged, is about to combat; But Abigaïl, the wife of this breeder, hastens to implore the forgiveness of David, bringing him all kinds of food. It thus ends a gear that could have led to a massacre.

We are all naturally tempted to “charge” the other for the other for which we were the object. Another way is to fall back into silence, but the passing time does not necessarily adjust the situation. This can even worsen: bitterness, thoughts of rejection, revenge can infiltrate our emotions. Then, this is the explosion: we start to dig up the ancient axes of war. We remember all the confusion of the past. Finding peace and harmony then becomes a difficult process.

The apostle Paul urges us as follows: “get angry, but do not commit sin; your anger calms down before sunset.” (Ephesians 4.26, Sower version)

Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath

10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Luke 13:10-13

Thoughts on Today’s Verse

For eighteen years, this woman was bent in two. What could she see? Nothing but her feet and the earth on which she was walking. Impossible to look up to look towards the sky! This story, like all those of the Gospel, has a spiritual significance. Perhaps you are also, dear friend, morally bent towards the ground, looking at only things from the earth?

What are your thoughts busy? Your personal problems, your family concerns? From experience, we know that some burdens can weigh very heavy. And it is normal for an individual wearing a large bag on his back be leaning forward to keep the balance. But that’s not what God desires for us. He wants Christians who keep his head high.

This woman has been bent for eighteen years, but Jesus saw her and called her. Notice that it was not said that she straightened up, because she couldn’t, but she was straightened. It was then that she discovered another horizon of life: she saw Jesus, she saw her entourage, she saw heaven … which led her to glorify God.

New International Version

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,

to build up the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,

in burnt offerings offered whole;

then bulls will be offered on your altar. Psalm 51:18-19

Thoughts on Today’s Verse

What does David the psalmist mean there? Surely God is not first interested in external aspects. This does not necessarily mean that God does not want our sacrifices and our offerings, but he does not want them to be the first thing we offer him.

If external practices represent everything we have to offer him from our life, God does not take pleasure in it. He looks under the surface, he looks at the heart, he looks at motivation, he looks at our attitude. And it is said that the sacrifice pleasant to God is a broken spirit.

“O God, you do not disdain a broken heart and contrite.” : This sounds strangely to our ears today.

What does God mean a broken and contrite heart? Does he want to crush us? Does he want to sink? humiliates us? No, I’m sure, on the contrary. What is a broken spirit? I think it’s a spirit that has completely reached the end of itself.

Any spirit of independence, any spirit of personal will and its own justice have been purged. We arrive at a time when we have lost all hope, except in God. We arrived at the end of our resources. We no longer claim anything to God: we simply turn to Him, imploring his grace and his fidelity. We no longer believe in our own merits, but we cling to God alone.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Ephesians 4:25

Thoughts on Today’s Verse

Few people have loved ones who love them enough to tell them the truth. It is because it is easier to say nothing when the others are wrong, but it is not to act with love!

The Bible says:

“A response given with franchise is a real proof of friendship.” (Proverbs 24.26).

Most of the time, we know what to say, but fear prevents us. But if we know that the brakes of a car are defective, are we going to lend it to a loved one? Of course not !

In the same vein, Paul writes: “If a man comes to be surprised in some fault, you who are spiritual, straighten him with a spirit of sweetness.” (Galatians 6.1)

This is what spiritual people do! Most often, when a problem arises that could cause tensions, it is hidden to preserve peace. We don’t want to take anyone backfire, and nothing is ever resolved.

Paul talks about it: “Reject the lie and each of you speak to you with truth; because we are members of each other.” (Ephesians 4.25)

Now let’s be clear: the franchise does not allow anyone to be rude and to say everything that goes through his head. Talking without thinking can be hurtful.

The Bible says:

“Do not reprimand the old man roughly, but exhort-led as a father, young men as brothers, elderly women like mothers, young people and sisters, in all purity.” (1 Timothy 5.1-2)

when a difficult problem occurs, taking care means getting involved with sincerity and affection.

11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:11

Thoughts on Today’s Verse

Paul did a lot of extraordinary things. He preached multitudes, healed by patients, accomplished miracles and founded churches. Despite everything, he was not immune to discouragement and doubt. He too had to go through painful situations. He endured the affliction. In verse 8 of this chapter, he admits that his companions and had been excessively overwhelmed, beyond their own forces, so that they even desperate to keep his life.

He came out victorious from these trials. He wanted the Corinthians to know that they had helped him win the victory. How ? Using their prayers. He was aware that many people had prayed for him. He wanted to remember that it had made all the difference.

It is so easily considered that prayer is a banal thing. Faced with the state of the world today, one wonders if it really is important. We can think of people who are in need, in suffering or distress, and not feel pushed to pray.

Paul’s testimony proves, however, that prayer is powerful and that it makes the difference. Paul lived it: she can really help open doors. Thanks to prayer, you can see miracles and lives changed. Thanks to her, we can share the burdens of those who are in need and be an instrument that allows you to respond.

Today, become aware of the power of prayer in your life. Do not let doubt fill your heart. Do not hesitate and do not put this back. Pray with intensity and conviction. Rest assured that our prayers make a difference in the lives of others and in the world. Always remember: God responds to prayer!