Today is Thursday, January 21, 2021.
Peace be with you!
The work week has gone pretty smoothly, this week. I don’t know if it is because it hasn’t been quite as busy or if my mindset has been better. I do believe it is a bit of both, as I have been trying to approach each day with a better frame of mind.
Yesterday, especially, as I began thinking about this concept of the “footstool.” (You will have to read yesterday’s post to get that.) Truthfully, yesterday was one of those rare days when I actually succeeded in thinking about my morning devotional frequently throughout the day. That concept and its ramifications continue to have my spiritual head spinning. In a good way, mind you, as I am thoroughly enjoying this.
Nothing really special going on around here, this week. For a moment, yesterday, I thought that I had a therapy session this evening, but it is next Thursday. I will probably get in a walk on the treadmill, this evening.
And for some reason, my coffee is extra good, this morning. I’m drinking Twisted Pine Hawaiian Blend, purchased from Coffee Icon.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Giver of all good things, we thank you: for health and vigour, for the air that gives the breath of life, the sun that warms us, and the good food that makes us strong; for happy homes and for the friends we love, for all that makes it good to live. Make us thankful and eager to repay, by cheerfulness and kindliness, and by a readiness to help others. Freely we have received; let us freely give, in the name of him who gave his life for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. (Giver of All Good Things, Thomas Ken (1637-1711)
Today, I am grateful:
- For Colossians 3:1-2: “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”
- That You have done great things for us, which fills me with joy
- That the heavens declare Your glory; how I love to look up!
- The reminder, this morning, that I am in Your presence
- That my life is a miracle; I will cease taking it for granted
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
EPIPHANY – DAY 16
The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
(Psalms 126:3 NIV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.
(Psalms 19:1-6 NIV)
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.
The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married.
As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
(Isaiah 62:1-5 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I read and ponder these passages, this morning, I am initially struck by the contrast. The psalm speaks of the heavens declaring the glory of God, while the Isaiah passage speaks of the “land,” part of the earth.
The heavens reveal knowledge; without words or speech, the proclaim His glory. I know this to be true. I have stood out on the balcony of a cabin in Glen Rose, and looked up. With no light pollution, the stars are magnificent! I love to look up!
There are probably a number of ways that people interpret this passage in Isaiah, and most of them, I dare say, are probably wrong. He is speaking, in this passage, to Israel. I believe, however, that it can also apply to the Church.
If we perceive of the Church as the Bride of Christ, it certainly can apply. Our “Builder,” who is Christ, will marry us. Our God will rejoice over us! Verse 2 carries some excitement for me, for some reason. “You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.”
No longer will we be called “Desolate” or “Deserted.” Instead, we will be called “Hephzibah?” Wait, what? According to one reference, that name is only seen twice in the Old Testament. Once in this passage, and once in II Kings 21:1. Apparently, she was the wife of Hezekiah.
However, the name literally means, “My delight is in her.” Hence, the last part of verse 4, “for the Lord will take delight in you.” The other name in that verse, “Beulah,” translates, according to one reference, as “espoused,” or “married.”
So, all of this relates to the final scenes of the book of Revelation, I think, as we see the Church, the Bride of Christ, finally being married to our Savior, our Bridegroom.
Looking at these things in light of yesterday’s reading about the footstool, brings even more meaning to that idea for me. These are eternal ideas, things that will take place after this “footstool,” along with its “footstool issues,” is gone.
Father, I praise You for the picture that is given in this passage in Isaiah, a joyful, positive, encouraging picture of our future with our Savior! May I rejoice in this truth, especially when confronted with the footstool problems that I will encounter in this brief, twenty-four-hour period. This problems hold no weight in eternity. These problem have no bearing on my eternal life. Help me to remember that as I walk through this day.
"Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life: you have called me to love you with all that I am - heart, soul, mind, and strength - and then to love my neighbor as myself. How can I fulfill this call but to be filled with your delight in me and humbled by your sacrifice for me? In that gospel joy I live today. Amen." (Heidelberg Catechism 4)
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
(Ephesians 5:8 NIV)
Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
(Exodus 15:11 NIV)
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
(Matthew 17:20 NIV)
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.
(John 3:16-17 MSG)
Today, Jonathan Cahn would have us consider the rock. Not the Rock, just a simple rock, picked up from the ground. It has no heartbeat, no life. It just is.
As we contrast that with ourselves, we see a vast difference. I have a heartbeat. If my heart ceases to beat, I, at least physically, cease to exist. My soul/spirit goes on, of course, but that is a different discussion.
“Rocks just exist. But life never just exists. It must strive to exist, fight to exist. Your heart must keep beating, every moment of your life. Even if you do nothing, your heart beats. Even when you sleep, it keeps beating every moment so that you can remain alive. If you waste your moments on earth, still it beats that you can waste your time. When you sin, when you gossip, when you covet and hate, still it beats while you do so. When you weep, when you give up hope, still it beats so that even in your tears and despair, it still fights for you to live and to be able to cry.”
“Your life is a miracle. Your every moment is a miracle. Your joys are a miracle. Even your tears are a miracle. Your life is a gift from God. Every moment is sustained by Him. Every moment is a miracle.”
“You cease taking your life for granted. You stop wasting it, mistreating it, treating it as something less than the miracle it is. You cease to allow your life to be given to sin and what is less than God’s will. You treasure the existence with which you were entrusted. You stop throwing away your moments. You treat your life and your time on earth as a treasure. You treat your every moment as if there was a heart beating behind it, striving for that moment to exist. In short . . . you live a life worthy . . . of every heartbeat.”
“The Mission: Live this day in the miracle of your existence. Take account of every heartbeat and make your moments worthy of each one.”
(From The Book of Mysteries, by Jonathan Cahn)
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
(Psalms 139:14-17 NLT)
Father, this book continues to throw my for spiritual loops. Today, may I not take this miracle of life from You for granted. May I look at every event as some kind of opportunity to shine in Your grace and mercy, and to glorify You in some way.
Lord, I also pray today, that You would give me, as well as the rest of Your Church, eyes to see Your work in our world around us. Help us to look for Your hand in all things around us, rather than looking for things to complain about and be unhappy about. There is too much good in this world, Father, too much YOU, to spend our time in negativity! I pray for Your care and comfort in this world that is physically decaying. Your creation groans, as it awaits the coming of Your Son.
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.