Deuteronomy 11:19 – “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (HCSB)
My husband is an avid sports fan. Me not so much. My favorite sports were whatever my husband and son were playing at the time, and as hard as I tried to care, my interest was limited to their personal time on the field. Occasionally, my husband will share some sports trivia – news, I meant news — with me. I listen because what he is saying is important to him. One day at a church function we were divided into groups to play a game matching sports teams to their team names. I was flying through the answers, and our group finished in record time. One of our group members thought my speed was the result of invented names and quit over Nittany Lions (Penn State by the way). Another of my teammates was amazed and wondered how I knew them all. My answer was “My husband talks about sports all the time.” In Deuteronomy 11:19 God says to talk to your children about Him all the time. Talk to them with focused Bible and prayer time, with casual conversation, with bedtime prayers, with daytime conversations, with the way you live. God wants us to be interested in Him, to know His Word, to call on Him, to live a life that shows Him to others. If you do these things, your children will listen. They will listen because they know it is important to you. They will listen because you live what you say. They will listen because they will see God at work. Webster’s Dictionary defines sports fan as “an enthusiastic devotee of sports”. I wonder what would happen if Christians became defined as “enthusiastic devotees of God.”
Psalm 22:1-2: My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Why are You so far from my deliverance
and from my words of groaning?[b]
2 My God, I cry by day, but You do not answer,
by night, yet I have no rest. (HCSB)
2 Timothy 4:16-17: At my first defense, no one stood by me, but everyone deserted me. May it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the proclamation might be fully made through me and all the Gentiles might hear. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. (HCSB)
I am sitting here in the quiet of the morning, drinking my coffee, and pondering on a story I recently read. Two girls had memorized the last words of Jesus and had taken some of Jesus’ final words to describe their lives. One had chosen Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they’re doing” (HCSB). She lived her life that way, never carrying anger or bitterness and always being quick to forgive. The other girl chose Matthew 27:46 “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (HCSB). She had led a difficult life. She had a father who was physically abusive to her mother and verbally and emotionally abusive to her. She lived in poverty in an area where poverty was considered a character flaw. She was bi-racial, and her grandparents considered that a sin and refused to acknowledge her existence. I look at her life and think that I can understand how she would feel that God had abandoned her. She did carry anger, had lots of bitterness, and refused to forgive. She began to live her life by the oft quoted “scripture” that isn’t even scripture at all — God helps those that help themselves. In the end, she realized that You had always been there. You had protected her from certain situations. You had sent people into her life at certain times. Her new scripture became Matthew 28:20 “I am always with you.” Lord, my life has been nothing like that girl’s life. I’ve never been abused, or lived in poverty or been considered a walking sin. But, there have been many times when I too asked “why have You forsaken me?” Lord, I sit here with my empty coffee cup and a humble heart. You have been so good to me. I need to be like David and say “Even if my mother and father abandon me, the Lord cares for me (Psalm 27:10, HCSB), but often I am more like David in Psalm 22:1-2 asking why. 2Timothy 4:16-17 says that even when I feel abandoned by other people, You are always there. 1 Peter 5:7 tells me to give You all my worries because You care for me. Father God, please help me to abandon Matthew 27:46 as my mind set and replace it with Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” (HCSB)
Deuteronomy 6:5 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (HCSB)
I am drinking my coffee this morning from my flip-flop mug my friend gave me. I love flip-flops and wear them from the first hint of warmth in Spring until my toes are getting frosty in the Fall. I think blue toes add just the right hint of color to an outfit, don’t you? People who know me know of my love of flip-flops and are always giving me things to do with flip-flops. I have been given this flip-flop mug, a flip-flop tumbler for cold drinks, flip-flop jewelry, a flip- flop towel, a decorative flip-flop, and even flip-flops to wear. I used to have flip-flop cookies until my grandkids ate them! All of these were gifts; some even from people that don’t know me well but know that I love flip-flops. They see my love for flip-flops, but do they see my love for You, Lord? People know that I have my flip-flops all the time. Do they know that I am with You all the time? When people see flip-flops they think of me. Do they think of You when then they see me? Deuteronomy 6:5 tells me to love You with all my mind and all my heart, with my entire being and with all my might. That says to me that everything I do, everything I say, and just the way I live day-to-day shows people how much I love you. Romans 13:10 says to me that love doesn’t hurt anyone on purpose, and I interpret that to mean that I need to watch my thoughts which so often turn into words — or worse the words that come out without thought! Lord, people can see from the way I dress that I love flip-flops. I want them to see from the way I live that I love You.