Unshakable Conviction

Good morning. It is Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Hump Day.

Today is Smart Is Cool Day. Wait. Hasn’t it always been? Anyway. Apparently, schools actually put on demonstrations for this day. Because everyone needs to see that smart is cool.

I had another pretty good day at work, yesterday. It seems like the team was clicking a lot better than usual, and we got most of the work done for the day. The only bad thing is that we have nothing to do when we arrive in the morning. But that’s a small price to pay for knowing we’ve met our metrics for the day.

It is certain that there will not be a sweep of the World Series, at least not for the Royals. The Giants took the wind out of their sails in the first inning, on a Hunter Pence home run. It was nothing but tail lights after that. Giants win game one, 7-1. I hope the Royals can come back tonight. There’s another reason I don’t want the Giants to win. At this point, the Red Sox are still the only team to have won three World Series championships in the 21st century.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From The Divine Hours)

Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!
Psalm 113:1
Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.
Psalm 26:2
All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power,

Psalm 145:10-11
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12
Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.
I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.
And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long, for they have been put to shame and disappointed who sought to do me hurt.

Psalm 71:19-24

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
Psalm 139:7
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.
Psalm 140:13
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
John 5:24

Today’s Gospel Reading

Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”
Matthew 11:20-24

I believe the message of this passage to be that it will be more bearable for someone who never heard the Gospel than for someone who heard the “good news,” saw the miracles of God, and yet rejected them. Jesus did might works in these cities, yet the people did not believe. Jesus states that the wicked city of Sodom would fare better in the judgment than these two cities!

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Invisible Conviction.”

Speaking of Charles de Foucauld, Brennan says that the “paternal love of the Father and the fraternal love of Jesus” were not just high rhetoric to him. “His trust in the Father was not merely theoretical or verbal. It was so operative that it banished fear, worry, and discouragement from his life and, at the same time, instilled boldness, daring, and boundless trust that God would provide for his daily needs.” Even in death, he was calm and courageous. “Faith that his risen Lord had conquered death and the invincible conviction that ‘in dying we no longer perish for the Resurrection will render our corruptible bodies incorruptible’ (Saint Athanasius) transformed the experience of death from end to beginning, a transition into the only experience worthy of the name life.”

Oh, that I could experience such faith!

But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Matthew 24:13

Father, give me that faith! I pray for the same kind of faith and trust that Charles de Foucauld had; faith that transforms death to life, sorrow to joy, anxiety to peace. May I know that “paternal love of the Father and the fraternal love of Jesus” to the point that there is no fear, worry, or discouragement in my life. May my life be marked by “boldness, daring, and boundless trust” in you, Lord! Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth!

I pray for this day, that we will have safe travel to and from work. I pray for a good work day, that any challenges would be met with complete faith and trust in your grace and mercy. I pray for Christi to continue to feel better. I pray that Stephanie will have wisdom and understanding, and that your overwhelming love would surround her with songs of deliverance.

I pray for Leslie, who returns to work tomorrow, still grieving the broken heart of a broken relationship. I pray that you would bring her peace and that she would cry out to Jesus for help.

Your grace is sufficient.

I can only imagine what kind of life one would have with the kind of faith described above. May we all seek that faith through the Father and the Son.

Grace and peace, friends.

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