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Helping people help others in the name of Jesus Christ

Isam Itson | Practically Holy | A necessary intermission

by, Isam Itson III

Psalm 105:12-15 – When they were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it, 13 wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, 14 he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, 15 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, 

do my prophets no harm!”

While retelling the story of the Hebrew people in Canaan before they resettled in Egypt under Joseph, the author of this psalm reminds the congregation of the fact that God kept them safe from more powerful nations during the time of their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob . If we look at the history recorded in the book of Genesis we realize that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his children were far from perfect. They were as bigoted, lustful, dishonest, and prideful as anybody else. The only thing that really set them apart for God’s favor was God choosing them as his special people. They were not protected and provided for by God because of their integrity. God looked out for them because he chose them. 

This tells me that we don’t measure people’s value based on their accomplishments or performance. We measure their value based on their value to God. God is doing a work in their lives to draw them closer to himself. God wants to work through their lives to draw others closer to him. And God wants to use us to help them in that process. In their weakness God is more and more becoming their strength. God wants us to join him in blessing them. He told Abraham in Genesis 12:3 that he would bless those who blessed Abraham and he would curse those who curse Abraham. How much more should we refrain from cursing, harming or speaking ill of those for whom Christ died?  

We need to side with God when we are frustrated by our fellow followers of Jesus Christ. Especially those in positions of religious and civil authority over us. We so freely exercise our right to free speech as a value that we often fail to honor the revelation that there is no authority except that which has been established by God. We use our civil freedom and access to social media to demonize men and women for whom Christ died. And like the enemies of the children of Israel during the bible days, we miss the opportunity to join with God as he reveals himself and glorifies himself in spite of the weakness and foolishness of his people. 

My own prayer in light of this tendency to pass judgment, take offense, and fight in fear for my own interests: Father, forgive me for my foolishness, fear, and selfishness. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. I commit to praying for and helping those around me in their areas of weakness. Especially those you have placed in authority over me. Help me be a more courageous agent of your almighty loyal love, and faithfulness. I commit to being used by you in my congregation and community, with diligence and thanksgiving. I will pay the price to help others and I will trust your faithfulness for my own life. If I perish or suffer loss, I perish or suffer loss. To live is Christ and to die is gain. Glorify yourself through me. Amen.

In response 

Pray your own prayer in this regard and begin thinking, speaking, and acting accordingly.

Isam

Isam Itson

Practically Holy is a mentoring community dedicated to empowering people to help each other as a practical and sustainable expression of their faith in Jesus Christ. That’s what Practically Holy is all about. Pursuing our common humanity in Jesus Christ by honoring our God-given purpose and boundaries, as we follow Jesus Christ together, and help others do the same, as dedicated members of our communities, from generation to generation.

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Isam Itson | Practically Holy | A necessary intermission

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