Scripture Reading — Philippians 4:8-9
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. —"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you." Psalm 73:25 "Spiritual disposition and godly taste teach and guide [us in our] behavior in this world," wrote Jonathan Edwards. In the epic story The Odyssey, sailors who traveled near the island of the Sirens were attracted by alluring, beautiful singing. They couldn't resist its spell, and all were doomed to shipwreck on the island's rocky shores. To spare his men from this fate, Odysseus put soft wax in their ears so that they couldn't hear the music, and to protect himself from the tempting Sirens, he had his men tie him to the mast so that he couldn't go ashore. Many people live by similar methods: tying themselves down with rules or pretending that they "see no evil, hear no evil," and therefore will "do no evil." But that is hardly the Christian way to live. It would have been far better for Odysseus to have ordered music played for him and his men that was even more beautiful than the music of the Sirens. Then they wouldn't have been allured by the deadly music. That's the way of grace. Edwards explained, "If an unworthy or unholy action is suggested to the spiritually discerning, a sanctified eye sees no beauty in it nor is pleased by it. Sanctified taste will only be nauseated by it" because of the taste for Someone more beautiful and superior and satisfying.
"Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love the way you love, and do what you would do." I pray in the name above all names-Jesus. Amen. Today for the month of July is written by Rev. Charles Geschiere of Grand Rapids Michigan.