Luther Seminary God Pause
Tuesday, 7/15/2014 Reading: Psalm 86:11-17
No matter how many studies I read about the hazards of drinking soda, no matter how many videos I watch showing the corrosive effects of Coca-Cola on rusty nails, I continue, like many others, to enjoy Coca-Cola products. My heart is divided between the gratification that a cool sparkling Coke brings and the awareness that it isn't all that good for me. The psalmist asks God for an undivided heart, the aim of which is to revere God's name. Internal strife and the external threats of ruffians and the insolent also push the psalmist toward God.
Our hearts, too, are often divided between what we want and an awareness of what it seems God wants for us. Threats surround us and threaten to undo us. But Christ has bound his heart to ours; our hearts are united: as he captures, soothes and assures us. The whole of life can be thought of as a disciplining of the heart. God's instruction and unconditional love invite our hearts to cling to Christ who seals the promise of God's steadfast love and faithfulness.
O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling & scatter there Thy cheerful beams. Amen. (A Prayer of Saint Augustine)
Jason W. Talsness Pastor, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Lawrenceville, Ga. Master of Divinity, 1997
Psalm 86:11-17 (NRSV)
11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. 12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. 14 O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. 15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl. 17 Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame, because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
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