Arrow Prayers

Today is Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Eighteen days until Christmas!

Quote of the Day

“Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein

Word of the Day

Asomatous – having no material body; incorporeal.

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It was 75 years ago that Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japanese air forces. “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Besides being Pearl Harbor Day, today is also the thirty-second anniversary of our first date! Yes, on December 7, 1984, after C and I finished our night at the TGIF bowling league, we went to a midnight laser light show at the Noble Planetarium. The rest, as they say, is history.

So it appears that the Red Sox have signed Chris Sale as a starting pitcher, trading some prospects to the Other Sox. I think I’m okay with that, but I seem to remember him being a bit of a hot-head. In another shocking deal, the Red Sox also signed Mitch Moreland! I’m somewhat shocked that the Rangers let him go. I, along with several others, feel that he has always been under-appreciated by the Rangers organization.

80 days until the first Spring Training game.
117 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Wednesday of the second week of Advent

Psa 97:12  Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Psa 86:1-2  Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.

Psa 28:6  Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

Mat 5:6  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Psa 42:1-2  As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Psa 141:1-2 A Psalm of David. O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

What Eugene Peterson refers to as “arrow prayers” are prayers that are spontaneous, on the spur of the moment. They are short, precise petitions, sent up in the heat of the moment. Certainly, planned times of prayer are legitimate, appropriate, and even necessary, “but prayer cannot be confined to such established forms and set times. Empty hands and unstudied words are always welcome before God.”

“Lord, take the half-formed sentences I address to you and the half-conscious movements I make toward you–my interjections and my gestures–and make prayers of petition and praise out of them, in the name of and for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Father, I have long been a “fan” of spontaneous “arrow prayers,” even to the point of sometimes praying for people that I see in the course of my daily movements. Help me to never forget to do this each day.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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You Gotta Move

Today is Tuesday, December 6, 2016. Nineteen more days until Christmas!

Quote of the Day

“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” – Frederick Wilcox

Word of the Day

Mansuetude – mildness; gentleness. Another word that might not mean what you think from looking at it.

Today is Mitten Tree Day. That’s right, I said Mitten Tree Day. I picked it just because of how strange that sounds.

I did not go to band practice last night. For whatever reason, I just didn’t want to. I felt tired, and I just wanted to be home. Unfortunately, C had already made plans to have dinner with one of the ladies from church, and talk about work stuff. So I brought Taco Bell home for S and me (not the whole store, just a few items), watched an episode of The Walking Dead, and played Fallout 4 until C got home, around 9.

81 days until the first Spring Training game.
118 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Tuesday of the second week of Advent

Psa 68:26  “Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!”

Psa 74:20  Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.

Psa 17:13-14 Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life.

Psa 30:1-6  A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple. I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. 
  O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. 
  O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. 
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. 
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. 
As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Psa 140:9-13  As for the head of those who surround me, let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them! 
Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry pits, no more to rise! 
Let not the slanderer be established in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man speedily! 
  I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. 
  Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.

There is a visible difference between the way people and God use power. They are contrasted here. Power easily corrupts people; “when we have the means to assert our lusts and desires over others, we very frequently do it.” But for God, power is part of his expression; “he has the means to lift up the fallen and restore the ruined, and this he continuously does.”

“I welcome every manifestation of your power, Almighty God.
Reestablish in my life the old orders of justice and peace, righteousness and love.
Free me from the power of sin and release in me the power of your salvation. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Gen 9:13  I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

We have to step into the covenant relationship with God. Yes, he has saved me, but there are things he will not do until I move. “All the great blessings of God are finished and complete, but they are not mine until I enter into relationship with Him on the basis of His covenant.”

We have to get out of ourselves in our covenant with God, just as God did in his covenant with us. If I sit and wait for God to do something, that is not faith. If I will not believe until God places something in my hand, that is not faith. Faith is believing before I have it. I have to, by faith, step into the “easy yoke” of Jesus. Then God will work in my life; then the blessings will flow; then I will see my faith grow.

I have to let go of myself and present myself, wholly, to God in covenant relationship.

Father, draw me fully into this relationship. Help me to let go of me and all of the baggage that comes with me. After all this time, there are still parts of me that I cling to. I have not yet fully stepped into that covenant, into that easy yoke, and I so desire to. Draw me in, Father; pull me in.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4

Grace and peace, friends.

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Strength For Overcoming

Today is Monday, December 5, 2016. Twenty days until Christmas!

Quote of the Day

“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin

Word of the Day

Campanology – the principles or art of making bells, bell ringing, etc. (I was surprised. I totally expected something about camping.)

Today is Sachertorte Day. What is “sachertorte,” you ask? It would be easier to show you.

Sachertorte

Sachertorte


I mean, just look at all of that chocolaty goodness! Mmmm . . .

We had a nice day, yesterday. The morning was hard, as is always the morning after the Night of Worship. I playfully suggested to the leader that we move Night of Worship to 4:00 PM because the morning after Night of Worship is always hard. We sang a really pretty song called “Noel,” but it’s one of those that I feel is not a good “congregational” song.

Tonight is band practice, possibly the last one for this year. They are having a Christmas party next Monday night, but we probably are not going to attend. We already have a lot going on during the season. C’s company Christmas party is this coming Saturday night, and we will be attending that. It’s always fun. Then the following Friday evening, we are scheduled to have a worship team meeting, followed by Yuleslide in Grapevine on Saturday, the 17th. Then, of course, the next weekend is Christmas Eve on Saturday and Christmas on Sunday.

82 days until the first Spring Training game.
119 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Monday of the second week of Advent

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. Psalm 51:15

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. Psalm 119:18

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. Psalm 86:12

For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? Psalm 18:31

Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. Psalm 111:2

(From Praying With the Psalms)

I say to the LORD, You are my God; give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O LORD! 
O LORD, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle. 
  Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah.
Psalm 140:6-8

There is no need that we have, individually or collectively, that will exhaust the resources of our God’s ability to help us. Grace has no limitations. There is always “strength for overcoming.” In the words of Martin Luther, “The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.” (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God)

“‘No more we doubt Thee, Glorious Prince of life!
Life is nought without Thee;
aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through Thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above.
Thine is the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory Thou o’er death hast won’
(Edmond Budry, ‘Thine Is the Glory,’ translated by Richard Birch Hoyle). Amen.”

Father, may my confidence, this day, be in the infinite nature of your resources to help me, and your grace to strengthen me. I know that there are things that I must do in order to increase my knowledge of you and my faith in you, so I pray for the motivation to do them. I want to keep learning about you and about Jesus and the things that he said and taught. Drive that desire in me, Father.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

Grace and peace, friends.

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Persecution Strengthens Faith

Today is Sunday, December 4, 2016. Twenty-one days until Christmas!

Quote of the Day

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.” – Alfred Adler

Word of the Day

Andragogy – The method and practice of teaching adult learners; adult education.

Today is Wear Brown Shoes Day. Apparently, brown shoes are not as numerous as other colors. But I’m a guy, and we typically have only two or three colors of shoes. Black, brown, and white (tennis shoes). I guess we might have other colors of tennis shoes, but mine are usually white or grey. I do have some brown shoes. Perhaps I’ll wear them today.

Last night’s Night of Worship was tremendous!! It may have been the best one ever. I really believe that God “showed up” (he is always there). I know I felt his presence, both in the songs, and in some of the prayers that were prayed. It was a great night.

We are getting ready for our worship gathering, this morning. And I’m behind. Oh, well. C and I have been talking about stuff, mostly last night. We worship with The Exchange, which meets at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach Street, Fort Worth. Worship begins at 10:15.

83 days until the first Spring Training game.
120 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Sunday in the second week of Advent

I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. Psalm 101:1

But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. Psalm 88:13

Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore. Psalm 93:5

This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:23

“Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
Grant us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.”
(The Divine Hours)

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, 
who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. 
  They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah. 
  Guard me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet. 
  The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net; beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah.
Psalm 140:1-5

When a true believer is persecuted, it does not destroy faith; it strengthens faith. “Hostile attempts against the faith are as futile as trying to get rid of a nail by hitting it with a hammer–blows only embed it more firmly in reality.”

“Powerful and merciful Savior, keep me from evil today. When I am weak, give me strength; when I am tempted, grant me courage; when I am disheartened, provide me with hope. In the name of Jesus who ‘himself was tested by what he suffered’ (Hebrews 2:18). Amen.”

Father, I have never been truly “persecuted.” I hear people speak against the faith, at times, but rarely has someone singled me out for being a Christian. But I pray that, should that day ever come, you would make me strong in your Spirit, that any persecution would strengthen my resolve to stand firm in the faith, and that my confidence would be in you and Christ, not in any words I might say or things I might do. Your grace is sufficient.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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Faith in Experience v. Faith in the Gospel

Today is Saturday, December 3, 2016. Twenty-two days until Christmas.

Quote of the Day

“They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything.” – Bil Keane

Word of the Day

Jackelope – A mythical animal depicted as a hare or rabbit with horns and said to exist in parts of North America. (I confess I am surprised to see that word in the Oxford English Dictionary!)

Today is Disability Day, also known as International Day of People with Disability. “The aim of Disability Day is to encourage a better understanding of people affected by a disability, together with helping to make people more aware of the rights, dignity and welfare of disabled people, as well as raise awareness about the benefits of integrating disabled persons into every aspect of life, from economic, to political, to social and cultural.” It is important that we recognize, as well, that not all disabilities are visible. In fact, many are not. The scope of this day ranges from Autism to Down Syndrome to Multiple Sclerosis and more. If someone is not acting the way you think they should be, there may be more to the story than you know. In fact, it is likely that there is always more to the story than we know.

The main thing going on today is the Night of Worship that is happening tonight. We have this event at the house of some of our church members. He and his wife came up with this idea a few months ago, and we have been doing it pretty much monthly every since. The potential for blessing is tremendous, and we pray for God to meet us there, and anoint those who are involved in the musical side of things, the hosting side of things, and the technological side of things. What we desire is for God to “show up” and do whatever he wants to do. I’ll be going to the house at 2:00 PM for practice, a little earlier than usual, because we have a guest playing and singing with us tonight. We’ve never played with her, so the leader wants to have a little extra time so we can practice together leisurely.

Our worship gathering is, of course, tomorrow morning, and our pastor will continue in our Christmas series. And we are actually singing three Christmas songs tomorrow morning! They are all contemporary, though. None of the traditional Christmas songs.

C’s step-dad seems to be doing well. He is now breathing on his own, with no help from the ventilator. He was scheduled for a dialysis session this morning, as he still had a lot of fluid. But things seem to be looking good.

84 days until the first Spring Training game.
121 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Saturday of the first week of Advent

Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. Psalm 46:8

O LORD . . . answer us when we call. Psalm 20:9

O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress. Psalm 59:9

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” Matthew 1:22-23

A Psalm of David. O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? 
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; 
  who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 
  in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; 
  who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
Psalm 15

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 
  They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. 
  Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 
  I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. 
  Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 139:19-24

The fact that God sees all and knows all does not strike me as intrusion, making me want to hide from him. Rather, it causes me to look at him as a companion. I welcome his knowledge of me and find it comforting. “God’s knowledge of me and his presence with me bring understanding and freedom.” For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. (Psalm 36:9)

“Lord, I see through a glass darkly; I am full of obscurities and shadows. You are the light of the world. Show me what I am in the light of your love so that I may find myself in your way and in your salvation. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

And my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. 1 Corinthians 2:4

“If in preaching the Gospel you substitute your clear knowledge of the way of salvation for confidence in the power of the Gospel, you hinder people getting to Reality.” We must be rooted and grounded in our faith in God when we proclaim any knowledge. Our faith must not be in our knowledge.

Once we are rooted in this “Reality,” we cannot be shaken. “If your faith is in experience, anything that happens is likely to upset that faith; but nothing can ever upset God or the almighty Reality of Redemption; base your faith on that, and you are as eternally secure as God.”

I can speak from experience to the truth of that statement. I have been in both situations. When my faith is in my “experience,” the least little thing that happens can shake it. But when my faith is in God, in the “Reality of Redemption,” I am unshakable. Unfortunately, I seem to vacillate between the two.

Father, help me to stay in the place where my faith is in you and your Reality, rather than the experiences that I have gained from you. Let my faith be in the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, rather than in any knowledge that I might have. My knowledge is faulty. You are not. I must not have faith in anything that is faulty.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Grace and peace, friends.

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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Today is Friday, November 2, 2016. Twenty-three days until Christmas!

Quote of the Day

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

Word of the Day

Faustian – sacrificing spiritual values for power, knowledge, or material gain.

Today is Bartender Appreciation Day. Hey, bartenders need a day, too, right?

C’s step-dad’s surgery went well, yesterday. It took a long time, around six and a half hours. All reports said it went well, but they are keeping him highly medicated for a day or two to keep him resting. So his condition is delicate, and he will remain in ICU for a time.

I’ll be taking my music gear to the Night of Worship location, tonight, so it can be set up in advance. We are practicing earlier than usual tomorrow, because a young lady that is friends with the leader will be singing with us.

85 days until the first Spring Training game.
122 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. Psalm 66:5

Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. 
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
Psalm 17:7-8

Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success! 
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
Psalm 118:25-26

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

(From Praying With the Psalms)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 
  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 
  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 
  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 
  If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.
Psalm 139:13-18

The miracle of creation necessarily stirs up awe in our spirits. What a mystery it is, even as much as science has figured out. We are each “intricately woven” in our mother’s womb. And God saw our entire lives before we were even born! “‘Every man carries in his own body reasons enough for reverent gratitude’ (Alexander Maclaren, The Psalms, 2:388).”

“Father, I have complained about my body when I ought to thank you for it. I have grumbled at is pains and been dissatisfied with its shape. Bring me to a state of shocked wonder at its intricacies, in awe of its marvels. Into a body not dissimilar to mine, and into flesh constituted like mine, you entered, O God, for my salvation. I praise you for it because of and through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Father, I pray, as Eugene Peterson, that you would cause me to marvel at the wonders of my body, instead of complaining about it. Let me see your handiwork, not only in my body, but in all the world around me. Let this be a cause of constant praise today.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

Grace and peace, friends.

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One Way

Today is Thursday, December 1, 2016. Welcome to December. Twenty-four days until Christmas!

Quote of the Day

“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.” – Blaise Pascal

Word of the Day

Thaumaturgy the performance of miracles; specifically : magic

Today is Eat A Red Apple Day. I probably won’t be doing that, as we currently do not have any apples. I might eat a banana, though. Which isn’t close at all.

C is already on her way up to the hospital, this morning, hoping to get a visit with her step-dad before he goes into surgery. The surgery is scheduled for 7:00 AM. It’s going to be risky, due to his already frail health, but they have to try to fix his elbows and knee. Those of you who are pray-ers, please lift him up.

I neglected to mention, earlier, that we are getting free lunch at work, today. Somewhere around three weeks ago, our site passed the 1000 day mark of safety, having no lost-time accidents. So management is rewarding us. We are having BBQ brought in.

86 days until the first Spring Training game.
123 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5

Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore. Psalm 93:5

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. Luke 2:26-31

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
  even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 
  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 
even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
Psalm 139:7-12

“God cannot be avoided.” We cannot run away from him; staying away from church does not keep us out of the sight of God. Ignoring him will not make him go away. “Always and everywhere, he is the one with whom we have to do.”

“God, when I am lonely, I want you to be close to me but feel you are far away; when I am guilty, I want you to be far away but can’t escape the sense of your presence. My feelings, I know, have little to do with the reality of your presence. Thank you for being with me to bless and not condemn, to comfort and not accuse, even in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. James 2:10

This is a very important concept for us. “The moral law does not consider us as weak human beings at all, it takes no account of our heredity and infirmities, it demands that we be absolutely moral.” This is a truth that many fail to understand. For those who are not believers in Christ, yet somehow manage to believe in God, there is a prevailing notion that they can possible be “good enough” to get to heaven. The idea is that if their “good works” outweigh their “bad works,” they will make it. The law of God does not allow for this.

As James so aptly points out, here, if there is one failure, just one, all is lost, there is no hope. “I, a guilty sinner, can never get right with God, it is impossible.” As Paul says, in Romans 7:24, Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

“There is only one way in which I can get right with God, and that is by the Death of Jesus Christ.” We cannot obey our way to perfection. The thing is, though, Jesus, himself claims his yoke to be “easy.” Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Step into the easy yoke of Jesus Christ. It is the only way to “get right with God.”

Father, I praise you that you have drawn me into this life. I know that I still experience daily failures, sometimes hourly. But I also believe that I am covered by the blood of Jesus, and that, through his life and death, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I have been set right with you and are kept right with you. It is not a license to do as I please, and I pray your forgiveness for when I slip into that way of thinking. Draw me further in, teach me the disciplines that are required to live this life, and enable me to do so.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4)

Grace and peace, friends.

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