Good morning to one and all. I pray you had a wonderful holiday weekend, that it was a safe one and that you were able to spend time with God and your family. I would like to wish you luck on keeping any and all resolutions you have made for the New Year.
Contrite,,,,,,,,,,,,, without a dictionary, could you give the meaning for this word? I have been looking at different translations of the Bible lately and trying to study this word. At the same time, I’m noticing an almost numb feeling being displayed by those of us that claim to be children of God. That has driven me to this weeks topic.
We read the Bible, if we read it at all, like it is just another book. It doesn't matter if there are words we don't really understand, after all we did God a favor by even picking it up. It doesn't really matter if we don't get the point, we read our 5 verses like we promised. We attend church, if at all, like it is some sort of a PTA meeting. It doesn't matter if our minds were wandering about lunch, the ride home, work later or what the so and so's were wearing, at least we were there. We drive down the road and see beggars on the side of the street and mutter something like, "why don't they just get a job". We drive another block or two and see a group of teenagers and think something like, "look at those gang members". We look around us at the things we have and want to pat ourselves on the back for all the rewards we have due to our hard work. We hear of car accidents and the first thing we want to know is "who's at fault", not if everyone is alright or not. We hear of someone's house burning down or a tornado blowing it down and the first thing that comes to mind for most is, "I'm glad that didn't happen to me".
All of this sounds so depressing, but it is so very real. If you are honest, I would say that each of us have felt some of the ways I mentioned and or said some of the things mentioned above within the last few days. We have become numb to the Word of God. When was the last time you read John 3:16, a passage most of the reading world knows, and cried over the sacrifice God made? We read things like this in the Bible and nothing happens to us. We are not moved. What has happened to us? Have we forgotten how important we are to God? Have we forgotten that the Bible is real, that the stories and accounts recorded really happened? Or is it that we don't believe or care?
You, along with every other person born from Adam, to the future second coming of Christ, are precious to God.
Luke 12: 6-7 says, 6"What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them.7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows."
So we know that we are important to God, but do we know that our attitude is important to God as well?
Micah 6:8 says, “No, O people, the LORD has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Did you see God's Word says, "requires"? God requires us to do right, love mercy and walk humbly with Him.
Isaiah 57:15 says, "The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts."
One definition for contrite is "Broken down with grief and penitence; deeply sorrowful for sin because it is displeasing to God; humbly and thoroughly penitent.
Psalms 34:18 says, "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit."
What does all of this mean? We need to remember how to be humble, broken and caring. We need to remember to live our lives knowing we deserve hell, but because of God's Son's death and resurrection we will get heaven, IF we are His. We need to lose the words, "I've got my pride" from our vocabulary and learn how to say I am sorry, or it was my fault. We need to do right and love mercy. We need to help others whenever and wherever we can. We need to weep for the lost and all the evil going on in this world and do our part to be part of the solution, (sharing the plan of salvation and encouraging brothers and sisters), instead of being part of the problem.
Remember, we are to be a light, in a world filled with darkness. If you are stumbling over others, it may be that they cannot see and you need to turn on the light with a contrite spirit. Read God's Word and seek understanding.
Until next time, pray for each other and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST,
Bethel Baptist Church