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ACAD – Rejection: Psalm 66

Praise for God’s Goodness to Israel

To the leader. A Song. A Psalm.

Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
    sing the glory of his name;
    give to him glorious praise.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth worships you;
    they sing praises to you,
    sing praises to your name.”Selah

Come and see what God has done:
    he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
He turned the sea into dry land;
    they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
     who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
    let the rebellious not exalt themselves.Selah

Bless our God, O peoples,
    let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept us among the living,
    and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
    you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
    you laid burdens on our backs;
 you let people ride over our heads;
    we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.[a]

 I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
    I will pay you my vows,
 those that my lips uttered
    and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
I will offer to you burnt offerings of fatlings,
    with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats.Selah

Come and hear, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell what he has done for me.
I cried aloud to him,
    and he was extolled with my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
    he has given heed to the words of my prayer.

Blessed be God,
    because he has not rejected my prayer
    or removed his steadfast love from me.


Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 66:12 Cn Compare Gk Syr Jerome Tg: Heb to a saturation

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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ACAD – Giving Thanks: Colossians 1

Greetings from Paul

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.

We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters[a] in Christ.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer

We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf.[b] He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,[c] always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom[d] and forgave our sins.

Christ Is Supreme

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
    He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,[e]
for through him God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see —
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
    and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church,
    which is his body.
He is the beginning,
    supreme over all who rise from the dead.[f]
    So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness
    was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
    everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
    by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

Paul’s Work for the Church

I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect[g] in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:2 Greek faithful brothers.
  2. 1:7 Or he is ministering on your behalf; some manuscripts read he is ministering on our behalf.
  3. 1:11 Or all the patience and endurance you need with joy.
  4. 1:14 Some manuscripts add with his blood.
  5. 1:15 Or He is the firstborn of all creation.
  6. 1:18 Or the firstborn from the dead.
  7. 1:28 Or mature.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission ofTyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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When people refuse to celebrate you…

I am a person who rejoices almost daily at the smallest things. I’m gleeful in my acknowledgement of others in their moments of joy and gratitude as well. But I would have to be blind to my life to not see how quiet folks are when I truly have a “world-acknowledged” reason to celebrate: spiritual enlightenment, new publication, birthday, promotion, new home, etc. Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to realize that when people refuse to celebrate me, it’s more a reflection of their inability to truly celebrate themselves than a reflection of who I am as a person. When joy is present in a person, that joy expresses itself in daily celebrations of the lives around them.

I’m learning not to take it personally when people have no joy to share with me either for their own accomplishments or for mine. I admit to sitting firmly in my humanity in this area. I am finding it harder and harder to share my joy with people who choose not to share theirs with me. Let me note here that this is different from people who haven’t experienced joy or have none to give. Those people are in need of what I can offer and I continue to offer what I can. I am writing about the people who willfully withhold their joy while draining me of mine. Those are the people I have been stepping back from…

…Only to realize, I’ve had to step back from many, many people…. And I’m okay with that. There’s no worst feeling than running on empty because people have thrown out all you’ve had to give.

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.  ~ Matthew 7:6