16 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: 17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord. Zechariah 8:16-17 KJV
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.
First Friday of Lent
Today I wanted to look at Zechariah because as I mentioned in my last post, there is definitely important to be aware of ourselves as sinners and seeking the Lord to have mercy on us. Yet doing so we must work to suppress the desires of our will and walk in the path of Christ. Zechariah was a prophet who called the Israelites to speak truth to his neighbor and seek peace at our gates. Gates are interesting choice of words because it is a mark of separation. Gates enclose something from something else. For example, a gate around your front yard separates your home and yard from your neighborhood. Gates are often controlled by whoever is inside making choices of who to let in and who to keep out. We are called to execute judgement of truth and peace which correlates to Jesus’s words regarding the greatest commandment. We are called to God with all our heart and soul and with our strength and the second is like unto it love thy neighbor as thyself. In order to love our neighbor we must allow them to enter into our gates and not have perverse thoughts against thy neighbor or lie to them because when we do this we have not truly opened the our gates but have instead closed them off to our neighbors.
Since we have fallen from grace, we naturally have the gates closed to our hearts but we must learn and continue to pray for them to be open. For when our gates are not open we are not open to accept Christ and provide him with clothing, shelter, food or address his needs. Often we are asked should I feed everyone and neglect ourselves. The answer is no we should not. Not one person can solve the problem but instead many people serving others helps more than just the one. Yet it takes more than just one person opening up the gate to their heart but many people opening up the gates to their heart to serve.
For example, I have been working to collect money for the Food For Hungry People. I take my box with me everywhere, to work, CPE classes, and even to my home. Ben and I donate every time we eat a meal together. I do not have an amount required but we make sure to donate for every meal. I have to admit I love shaking the box and looking at people hoping they will be called to donate something. It reminds me when I used to build similar boxes and collected money to donate to unfortunate families to buy animals for them to use like heifers. This little box provides me so much joy because it reminds me of my childhood. This joy provides an opportunity for another child who is suffering and will provide them a sense of joy as well.
So this month anything donated via my PayPal account will be going to my little donation house to provide food to those less fortunate than ourselves. If you have been called to support others there are a great deal of opportunities in your area. Your church is a great place to start and if not there you can look here.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. May God bless us and forgive us this Lent. Praying daily and continuously during good times and bad. For the Lord is always with us forever and ever. Amen.