Our Thoughts

What do we do with those thoughts which come un-invited? Those oppressive or nagging thoughts which assail us?

As King David brings the song of Psalm 139 to a close, he demonstrates his own progression of self awareness and the contradictions, tensions and unresolved conflicts within his and our own hearts and minds. In the midst of that revelation, we are invited again to re-shift our gaze back onto the One who sees and knows us through the eyes of love. Let us keep turning and returning to God who has the power to transform our hearts, minds and actions, guiding us along the path of life.

Psalm 139:19-24 (NLT)
O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
    Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
    your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
    Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
    for your enemies are my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

For Reflection and Prayer:
What word, phrase, image, or feeling caught your attention as you listened? Bring it into your prayer. Journal your conversation.

Can you name an emotion which you felt as you heard these words? Where do you feel it in your body? Without judging it, can you bring it before God in prayer?

Reflect on your own experience of hatred. What affect has it had on you? How might you bring hateful thoughts into your prayer with Jesus? How does he meet you or speak to you about them?

Shining Light Into the World

The brilliant light of Christ through the Holy Spirit lights up our lives--it shines through us, it shows in our eyes, our face, our words, our actions. What is within shines through us into the outer world.  It is not meant to be hidden but shared. What can hide the light or dull the shine? 

Each of us may have hidden fears, thoughts, points of shame or pain that may hide the light. Our willingness to be more transparent with another or a group of trusted people begins to bring forth the light that we have been given. We can listen more clearly and attentively to the voice of God as we release our fears, share our stories, and embrace the healing light and love of Christ and others. Our light is meant to be a beacon of hope in the darkness of the world.

Mark 4:21-25 (NLT)

Parable of the Lamp
Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”

For Reflection and Prayer:
Was there a word or phrase which stood out to you as you listened to the text?

Reflect on your secrets. Are there any which you would like to share with Jesus? Does he feel like a safe person to tell them to?