Today's Scripture Reflection
Gary Wieder, Family Pastor
“Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me. I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!”
Psalm 66: 16-20

A few years back, during my regular nighttime routine, I was about to read a story to my then 6-year-old son before bedtime. Halfway through the first sentence I say - because the print is tiny, the room dim, and my glasses are in the other room - "I can't read this..." to which my son replies, "that’s ok… just sound it out dad!"

Basically, he wanted me to slow down, remember the basics and know that he believed I could handle “The Little Engine that Could.” In his mind, I just needed a little encouragement. At least I hope he believed in me and didn’t just think I was a dumb dad...

So much of scripture – especially the Old Testament – is God reminding us to remember Him and His promises. Don’t forget what I’ve done for you, God says. Trust me – I got you through it before, and I’ll do it again!

Many times, peace comes to me when I stop, remember and focus on the basics. Like “sounding it out.” I recall all the blessings I have and the fact that God has promised to be with me always.

Imagine that Little Engine that Could. There is an engine, box cars and a caboose (stay with me here). The engine does the work, with the cars and caboose really just along for the ride.

It’s the same with our relationship with God. We have Faith, we have Facts and we have Feelings. All are important. But which one should be out front? It should be Facts. Fact: He Loves you. Fact: He knows you. Fact: He died for your sins. Fact: He will never leave you. Fact: He is ready to forgive and redeem you.

If the train is “pulled” by our Feelings – let’s be honest – those go up and down. We all have good days and bad days. There are days when we feel close to God and days when we feel far away. Our Faith will go up and down too. So here's the point: the best way to have a strong Faith is to be tied to God’s Word and its promises and Facts.
If your train is led by Facts from God’s Word (supported by your experience and relationship with God), then Faith with follow, and Feelings will be close behind. Note that Feelings are the caboose, not the engine!

God is all-loving, all-knowing and all-present. He doesn’t wait for you – He pursues you because He loves you so much. This Fact can bolster your faith and bring you peace and joy (feelings) each day. It’s as simple as getting back to the basics. Slow down... and sound it out =)

God bless you!
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"Let Us Pray"
Written by Gary Wieder
Lord, You always keep your Word and your Word is true. My faith relies on believing in your Son Jesus Christ and your Word. Not on what I see or feel. Give me the strength to have faith and pray even when I do not feel to do so. Amen.
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