Tuesday, March 31, 2015

4/1/15- Cleaning and Pruning

12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’c ? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’d ”
18The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
19When evening came, Jesus and his disciplese went out of the city.
20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
22“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“Trulyf I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11) 

5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15)

Thoughts: Jesus came to accept us as we are but not to leave us there.  Jesus seeks to heal our sickness and our sin, not to gloss over it as if there is no such thing as right and wrong or some huge moral equivalence.  So when Jesus enters the Temple after being proclaimed a king, He throws the moneychangers out.  The Temple has been corrupted and polluted, and it needs to be swept to make it work.  The church needs to be cleaned and purified, not by human standards, but by God's.  The love of money corrupts even in the church. 
The second thing He does is curse the fig tree.  Perhaps the curse of Mark 11 should be interpreted by the threat of a curse if we do not bear fruit in John 15.  If we do not remain in Christ we will wither.  If we do not bear fruit for Him, but only seek to exist, then we will be pruned.  
Jesus wants us to know there are consequences to sin the sin of corruption and the sin of apathy towards Him or leaving Him.  

Prayer: Lord, cleanse me.  Help me to bear much fruit for your name.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

3-31-15 Refusing to Believe

37Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”h
39For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
40“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn—and I would heal them.”i
41Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
42Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved human praise more than praise from God. (John 12)

Thoughts: Some think that if they have enough evidence, they would believe.  Similarly, some Christians believe that if they could argue or debate better or present just a little more evidence those they hope would believe actually would.  This passage is a reminder that evidence is not the only thing that counts.  Some saw many miracles but would not believe, but would continually seek an explanation.  Just as there are some who still believe that man didn't go to the moon- but think the whole thing was a staged event in a Hollywood basement, some would rather make up other explanations.
    This passage says something else- God does not open everyone's eyes (vs. 40).  It is the Spirit who gives faith.
     Yet others believed, but squelched that belief out of a desire for the praise and riches of this world.  Both unbelief of the evidence and hiding the belief are evidence of human pride above love for God.  True belief comes with a deep love for God that is not hidden or silenced. 

Prayer: May my love for you overwhelm my eyes and my pride, O Lord.  Help me to see clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly day by day.  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

3-30-15 Call to Serve

23Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
27“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted upg from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (John 12)

Thoughts: Jesus knew that he had come to die- to this very hour (vs. 27).  Jesus was very human and did not love pain.  He was no masochist.  His suffering was real and the prospect of His suffering made it that much worse.  His ultimate service to us is to give His life for us.
       He knew that His death would give much fruit.  But He also wanted to encourage His disciples to die to themselves.  That is, He wanted His followers to swallow their pride and die to selfishness in order to help other people.  We are called to follow Him.  If we seek to preserve our lives by seeking comfort, we may have temporary comfort but in the end we will lose our meaning,hope, and purpose. But if we give ourselves fully to the Lord, we will find our meaning and true eternal life.
       Then He gives a promise to those who walk in His way: if you serve me, I will be with you.  God blesses those who do His will with His presence.
        The voice of the Father was heard at the baptism and at the transfiguration as means of encouragement to answer the call.  This voice is for our benefit.  For the voice of God calls us and draws us to do what He asks us to do in life, even if it means discomfort or a cross.  For with each cross is a purpose.  After each cross is a resurrection.  

Prayer: Lord, Help me to answer your call to serve. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

3-28-15 Lessons from the "King of Israel"

9Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
12The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.13They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!d ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”e “Blessed is the king of Israel!” (John 12)

Thoughts: The context of Palm Sunday and Jesus' crucifixion began with what happened in Bethany.  The secularists miss this.  Without the miracles of Christ, and especially the two miracles that bookcased passion week (the resurrection of Lazarus and the resurrection of Jesus), Jesus would have been just a good teacher who died and the "movement" would have been snuffed out like the movement of Judas the Galilean in 6 AD or the rebellious movements of 70 and 120 AD that died out.  The crowds gathered at the top of the Mount of Olives- at Bethany- because of Lazarus' resurrection.  This happened just a few days before the Passover.  The crowds at Jerusalem swelled to over a million (like the crowds at the beach in the summertime swell).  The Romans and the Jewish authorities were nervous about another rebellion, and word that a king was proclaimed riding into Jerusalem no doubt made them more nervous.  But Pilate rightly knew Jesus was changing the religion more than the government.  The crowds that followed Jesus were children and the poorer folk who did not have places to stay in the city.  They were not afraid that the soldiers would stop their parade.  Jesus did not come on a war horse but on a baby donkey. We do not need to be afraid to praise God.  Our purpose is not to change the government or to achieve or deny civil rights.  Our purpose is the changing of the soul.  Jesus always cared for the needy- the physically needy.  But He was less concerned about laws than He was about individual treatment and fairness, and going the extra mile.  The church should care about justice.  Certainly Jesus kept the condemning from stoning the woman caught in adultery.  But when the church gets involved in government too much on the left or the right we lose our purpose and our soul.  The resurrection power of Christ changes and corrects all injustices.  It is not all up to us.  

Prayer: Lord, help to always look to help the helpless. But Lord, help me to keep my eyes fixed on you and that your kingdom is not of this world.  

Friday, March 27, 2015

3/28/15- Path to Life

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Proverbs 16:11)

9Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)

Thoughts: The path of life is the path of God, the Creator of life.  The path of meaninglessness is the path of death.  The path of joy is also the path to the presence of God  Jesus came to show us the path of life.  He made a path to Jerusalem so that we might have a path to heaven.  His presence in Jerusalem elicited "Hosanna" from those who would believe.  But the thought of Jesus elicits "crucify him" from those who do not believe.  Those who are rebelling against the king do not want to see Him.  But those who love Him, who believe rejoice.  Jesus came to make known to us- not only that there is a path to life, but that HE is that path.

Prayer: Lord, let me take your path and stay in your will today.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

3-17-15 The Humble Way

1Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins. 3A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lorda make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 
4Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. (Isaiah 40)

14And it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” 15For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place,  but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isa. 57)

Thoughts: The way of the Lord is a comfort to His people.  This is a prophesy that says that God is coming to the world to make a way of comfort.  The glory of the Lord is coming to earth, Isaiah says.  Isaiah later says that the access to the high and holy place is given to the contrite.  Jesus left heaven out of concern and contrition for us.  The way is being prepared- built up where it is low and leveled where it is high.  The king's way is even and easy.  Jesus makes a way for the humble and repentant to come.  When people go their own way, they will refuse to go Jesus' way.  So the call of Jesus-- just by His coming down to earth-- is to be humble and listening for His way out to the high and holy place.  

Prayer: Your ways are higher than my ways, O Lord.  Your path of life leads to eternal life   Give me grace and mercy to be humble and go your way.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

3-26-15 The Way

1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9) 

Thoughts: This passage and Acts 22 refer to following Christ as "followers of the Way."  Perhaps some think the easiest way to interpret this is to say these are people who follow the way of life or teachings of Jesus.  But it is more than just that.  It is following the path of Jesus- the path of love and light.  It is not just the practical teaching of love of neighbor or enemy that Christians follow, but also the teachings about God.  Jesus emphasized God as Father, even calling him "abba."  Jesus also claimed that if we see Him we see the Father- and He emphasized He was God in the flesh.  This is part of the way too- that distinguished Saul from those he was persecuting.
   Ironically, Saul was told when he persecuted believers in Christ he was persecuting Christ himself.  Those who are in this way of Christ are just following behind Him, or even with Him, but they are one with Him as a part of His body.  We are in the way and on the way with Him.  When Saul was being converted, Jesus told Saul where to go.  The way is not just a philosophy, but there is practical and directional guidance from our Lord.  The way is not just a spiritual, unearthly existence, but it is concrete- from the One who made all elements that make things concrete.  Jesus not only teaches the way- He IS the way- and asks us to be One with Him in our every day living.  

Prayer: Lord, apart from you I am lost. Keep me from forgetting what you have done.  Keep me in your way- and help me to encourage others to walk with you in this blessed wa.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

3-25-15 The Way

21Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.  (Isaiah 30:21)

This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.' (Jeremiah 6:16)

13“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13,14)

I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father but by me.  (John 14:6) 

Thoughts: The Christian life is described as a road- a path- a way.  We can choose the fashionable, wide and popular way that leads to destruction.  Or we can ask for the ancient, holy, narrow way.  Today the term "Narrow-minded" is seen as wrong-headed.  It is the broad thinker that is seen as more human.  But the one who is able to find the path of life through the valley of the shadow is the waymaker- the Lord who leads us through.  The One who made the path came down to show us the only path out.  That is the message of the Bible.  There is a way out, and God has come to show us that ancient, true, holy path that He has made.  We must take a path.  We can choose the path of life or the path of death.  We can choose the holy way- the way and the person of Christ or we can stay on the path of death. 

Prayer: Lord, lead me along the level ground, the ancient path of life.  Lead me to yourself and to the kingdom of heaven- your abode. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

3-24-15 The Lord who Blesses

The Lord will establish you as His holy people, as He promised, if you keep His commands and walk in his ways. Then all he peoples of the earth will see you are called by my name. (Deut. 28)

Thoughts: We do not simply bless ourselves. So much we have is what we did not earn. God blesses us as we listen to Him.  He establishes us in our land as we obey.  Before the people of God entered the promised land, they were told that God will establish them if they obeyed Him.  Because of His blessing, people would honor the name of God. But the opposite is also true.  When we disobey our Lord, we bring great dishonor to His name.  We who claim God disown Him when we disobey Him.  To not expect that we will be punished when we do so is an illusion.

Prayer: help me listen and heed, Lord!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

3-23-15- Blessing for Obedience

1These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. (Deuteronomy 6:1-3)

Thoughts: The context of these verses- are the second (Deutero) sermon of Moses.  He has just listed the Ten Commandments and is about to list the great Shema ("Hear O Israel the Lord your God the Lord is One...").     So these are very important verses.  Basically,the message is also to hear.  God was bringing them an answer to their dream- a land of their own.  But He would do so, only if they kept His commands.  When the Israelites refused to keep the commands of the Sabbath and sole worship of the Lord- he brought judgment on them in the time of the judges; shrunk their territory in the time of the latter kings; took them into exile for 70 years to Babylon, and after rejecting the Messiah took them into exile for over 1870 years.  These are words of promise and hope- but also words of warning- to keep the commands of God, and not to eliminate them lightly.  Today, we rationalize, excuse, and eliminate the commands of God too lightly.  If we say God is our Lord, then we need to listen to His commands and ways.
    To obey God is better than disobeying Him and then trying to find forgiveness (to obey is better than sacrifice).  Grace helps us obey.  But we can abuse God's grace by purposefully disobeying God.  We can rationalize and excuse away our disobedience to what God has clearly said.  We can fool ourselves that God did not know better when He gave the Word of the Old and New Testaments. But Gods truth endures forever.  The grass withers the flowers fade but the Word of the Lord endures forever.   God favors and blesses those who listen to Him- but He also disfavors and shows displeasure to those who disobey.  

Prayer: Lord, give me listening ears that I might walk in accordance with your ways.  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

3-22-15- Obedience and Listening

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (2 John 1:6)

Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. (John 14:23)

Thoughts We listen to God out of love.  When we shut our ears to what He has to say, and go our own way, we are saying our own way is more important than His way.  When we love someone, we want to please them.  We show this desire to please them by listening to their requests.  The good thing about obedience is that it is not just done out of love for God- it is also for our best benefit.  The One who made all we see knows how it and we should work best.  

Prayer: Lord, help me to love you and to listen to you out of love.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

3/21/15 Blessing for Obedience

I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. (Jeremiah 7:22b-23)

But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Sam. 15:22)

Thoughts: The way to be blessed by God is to listen to Him, to obey Him, to heed Him.  We listen through the gift of His Word Worship or going to church alone does not please Him..  Some ask why the church in the West is shrinking while the church in other places (like Africa and South America) is exploding.  The difference is twofold- faith in God and obedience to what the Lord has said.  Too many in the West lack faith or trust in God or faith and trust in His Word.  To think (as some have said) that the church is not growing because it is not more worldly or culturally relevant is deceptive.  It is a bit like King Ahaz thinking that he needed to bring the gods of Assyria into Jerusalem's Temple because they were stronger and more popular (2 Kings 16; 2 Chronicles 28).  God promises blessing when we obey and exile, decay, and irrelevance when we disobey.  The Church in the West, especially the mainline Protestant church, has chosen relevance and conformity to the world over obedience to God's Word.  So the Sabbath has disappeared.  So adultery, fornication, and immorality of all kinds is becoming commonplace and we have lost a sense of shame.  To please God, we should seek Him, and to seek to do His will.  Worship of God without obedience is shallow and empty.  How can we praise God or say we love God without listening to Him?  But if we listen to Him, we shall bear fruit (John 15:5-7) and be blessed by the Great Blesser of all.  


Thursday, March 19, 2015

3-20-15 Seasons Change

He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. (Psalm 104:19)

Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7)

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." (Acts 14:17)

Thoughts: Today is the first day of Spring.  God is the God of time, and the changing and turning of the planets and stars.  God cares for His people by providing variety and the changing of seasons.  Great is His faithfulness- summer, winter, springtime and harvest!  All point- and leave testimony to God the Creator and Provider.  Jeremiah- points out that the birds know which way to go according to their time.  Yet we do not know it is time to turn to the Lord.  The time of repentance is now.  The time to come to God is not soon- or later- but when God is speaking to your heart.  The requirements of the Lord point to our need to seek Him and find Him.  The seasons in our lives change, but God is the same- waiting for us to come back to Him. His love is faithful through all of our season,  

Prayer: Lord, than you for the changing of the seasons, and your faithful love in every season.  Help me to seek you out in every season.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3/19/15- Love and love

1Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:1-3) 

Thoughts: There is "love" and there is "love."  In English one word describes love for a movie, love for a dog, love for a spouse, love for a friend, and love for God.  Verse 2 says walk in love (agape- unconditional love) as Christ loved (agape) us.  Christ's love is pure, unconditional, never-ending.  In contrast to that is unpure love- sexual immorality.  Some say all "love" is pure.  But would we say that about the love a rapist has to abuse a woman?  Would we say that for someone who has multiple partners that are clearly used to fulfill their own pleasure?  There is a kind of love that is lust- a greed for self-fulfillment at the cost of manipulation of another's soul and body (porneia in the Greek - from which we get our word "pornography"- usually translated fornication in KJV- or extra-marital sex).  Verse 3 says there should not even be a hint (or even mentioned/named) of sexual immorality or impurity or greed.  To be holy (different) as God's own people, we are called to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength (Physically).   This means we control our bodies in holy ways for Him, so that we do not bring a bad witness- as if we abuse other people.  Rather, we are called away from lust and called instead to love others as Christ loved us.  

Prayer: Lord, let my love be true, pure for others.  Keep me from impure motives and impure love.  Instead, filter out and away my impure thoughts in exchange for pure ones.     

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3-18-15- Against Enslavement

12“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. (Deuteronomy 5:12-15)

Thoughts: This day after St. Patrick's Day, we would do well to remember that Patrick fought against slavery- and that slavery is not a past problem but is alive and well today.  Patrick was himself kidnapped as a child by Irish Pirates and enslaved to keep livestock.  We know of Patrick by two documents- one of them is his letter to the soldiers of Coroticus who, in a raid, killed the men and enslaved the women and children.
    In our day, Boko Harem and ISIS brag on doing just that.
    But in the West there are other kinds of enslavement.  There is sex trafficking and enslavement.  There is a growing enslavement to drugs and alcohol.  To send a young adult off to an expensive college today means putting them almost in harms way the abuse of alcohol and drugs is so prevalent.  Those who entice our young with alcohol abuse and drugs and the problems that go with these should be ashamed as Coroticus soldiers were shamed by Patrick.
   The other kind of enslavement that is prevalent today is enslavement to work.  Deuteronomy 5 says to keep a Sabbath to remind ourselves that work will not enslave us- not because of the allure of things that we can get with hard work or because of the master's whip.  Work is enslaving if we cannot escape it.  In our day of cell phones, emails, texts, it is hard to escape work.  Jeremiah 17 warns the people of God that they will be kicked out of the land if they continue to not observe the Sabbath (they continued to rebel and were kicked out for 70 years).  Breaking the Sabbath is a serious offense- for it says that God and neighbor are not as important as our own work and our own use of time.  Enslavement to sex, to work, to drugs, to a warlord- they are all evil things.  God wants us to be set free- and to go not our own way- but His way of freedom and true love. 

Prayer: Lord, help me to go your way and not my own.  Keep me from enslaving myself to my own pride and sin.  Use me to be a key to set others free.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

3-17-15 St. Patrick's Day

3Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.9If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

Thoughts: St. Patrick was not a leprechaun or someone who drank green beer.  He was a real person who lived at the end of the fifth century.  He was kidnapped from his home in Great Britain and taken to Ireland to watch livestock.  He managed to escapte back to Scotland, but was called by God to go back as a missionary to those who enslaved him.  He went, knowing he would be persecuted and he was- by rulers, Druid priests, and commoners.  The prayer  below is a prayer of protection against those who were casting spells against him or trying to take his life.  In the end, Patrick brought hope.  It was said that when Patrick arrived there were no open Christians and when he left there were no open pagans.  He is credited with starting a minimum of 300 churches and baptising over 120,000 irish.  

So pray the prayer below today.