Words of Wisdom
You will become a saint
by complying exactly with your daily duties.
Mary Joseph Rossello
Christ must have first place in our lives.
We need to give him the key to every secret closet in our hearts,
and help him to clean out all the junk
we have allowed to accumulate there.
God does not ask about our ability or our inability,
but our availability.
How many of us go through life as peasants
when we could be walking as royalty in Christ?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “worship” in this way: reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also, an act of expressing such reverence; also, extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem.
For Christians, however, there is only one that is worthy of such devotion and esteem.
St. Augustine is credited with saying that idolatry is when we worship something that should be used, or use something that should be worshiped.
The Shema says: Hear, O Israel. The Lord is God. Only the Lord.
Author James Packer says: “Football, the firm, and family are also gods for some. Indeed the list of other gods is endless, for anything that anyone allows to run his life becomes his god and the claimants for this prerogative are legion. In the matter of life’s basic loyalty, temptation is a many-headed monster.”
Our Jack Russell terrier, James, loved nothing more than to go outside — but he often misbehaved when he did so. He would find a small depression in the ground at the fence line and then dig to the point of exhaustion so that he could escape. Eventually he would squeeze his way under the fence, get out of the yard, and take off for a romp around the neighborhood.
We would look for him, and after finding him and bringing him back to the yard he would be tied to a small tree for the remainder of the day while I fixed the hole under the fence.
He soon discovered that relationship between freedom and responsibility is as certain as night and day. If he wanted to be free within the confines of our yard, he would have to behave responsibly and stop digging under the fence. Freedom was to be found inside the fence, not outside of it.
Whenever tragedy strikes our nation, people turn to the scriptures for comfort and assurance. In the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, President Donald Trump quoted Psalm 34:18 in trying to reassure the nation. Referencing the psalm, Trump said: “Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” He then went on to say: “We seek comfort in those words, for we know God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.” Bible Gateway did a study of 18 other major tragedies in our country, and found four Bible verses that people most often turn to for comfort, assurance, and understanding. They are: John 16:33; Psalm 34:18; Romans 12:19; and Psalm 11:5.
In the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, the Washington Post published an article concluding that even though religion is declining in America, presidents still turn to the Bible in moments of tragedy. In these times of tragedy, the president is known as the “comforter-in-chief.” The Post offered statistics on the decline of religion, but then shared how past presidents quoted the Bible. After Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot, President Obama said: “Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, ‘When I looked for light, then came darkness.’ Bad things happen, and we have to guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.”