Rest For Your Souls

“It is impossible to exaggerate the extravagance of the Father’s compassion and love.” ~~Brennan Manning

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Good morning. It is pre-Friday, October 23, 2014.

Today is iPod Day, commemorating the release of the first iPod on November 10, 2001. If you stop to consider it, the advances in the portability of music have been astounding since then.

I experienced the worst trip to work in the history of ever (at least for me), yesterday. I left home at the normal time, and made it from the 820 to the 183 just fine. But that’s when the trouble started. The 183 was backed up onto the ramp from the 820 and stayed backed up all the way to the 121, which was also backed up onto the ramp from the 183. The 121 didn’t clear up until I turned north at Grapevine, to go on into Lewisville. By that time, I had already texted my manager and lead to tell them that I would be late. Then I got to the spot where I turn from the 121 onto the access road for I-35. Since I take the non-toll portion of the 121, there are traffic lights at that point. I sat in the line for that traffic light for 15-20 minutes. Total time to get to work was an hour and a half; for a trip that normally takes me 45 to 50 minutes. There was never any visible explanation for the traffic. I have decided that, after that experience, I’m going back to my old route to get to work, cutting through the mid-cities on back roads. It takes about the same amount of time (maybe a few minutes longer), and it is fewer miles, because it’s a straighter route.

Kansas City held on to a lead last night to take game 2 of the World Series, 7-2. Series is tied 1-1 as they make their way to San Francisco today. In other news, the city of San Francisco has banned the playing of Lorde’s song, “Royals,” on their radio stations.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From The Divine Hours)

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
Psalm 51:16
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Psalm 43:3
O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you?
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

Psalm 89:8, 14
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalm 116:9
But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!
Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him!
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

Psalm 68:3-5

Today’s Gospel Reading

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 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 11:25-30

First, we note that God is sovereign in terms of to whom he reveals his truth. Worldly wisdom and philosophies do not gain truth; it is revealed to us by God. Very importantly, in verse 27, we see that Jesus Christ is the only way to know God. There are still many who think that there are many roads to God, but Jesus, himself, declares that this is not true. In like manner, he declares that the only way to know the Son (Jesus) is for the Father to reveal him to us. It is at this point that it becomes impossible to think that Jesus was nothing more than “a good teacher.” Either what he says here is truth, or he is a raving lunatic.

Finally, Jesus calls us to come to him and take on his “yoke.” He is not telling us to take it from him, but to share it with him. I’m told that, in days gone by, when a young ox was put in a team to pull something, he was paired with an older, stronger ox. The older one would pull the majority of the load, helping the younger one along. In the same way, we take on Jesus’s yoke, and he bears the burden for us, as we journey together. Come to Jesus and “find rest for your souls.”

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Our Understanding of God.”

“Jesus brought a revolution in the understanding of God. It is impossible to exaggerate the extravagance of the Father’s compassion and love.” I love that last sentence.

“It is impossible to exaggerate the extravagance of the Father’s compassion and love.”

Jesus shows us a picture of God as he truly is. “To pray to any god other than a Father who finds sheer delight in reconciliation is illusion, cowardice, and superstition.”

You shall have no other gods before me.
Exodus 20:3

Father, I pray that, first of all, I would take on the yoke of Christ, daily, allowing him to carry my burdens and bring rest to my soul. I praise you that you chose to reveal your truth to me, and that you drew me to Christ early in my life. I thank you that you will keep me in your grip for the rest of my days on this earth, and beyond. I pray, also, that I would never depend on any other “god” besides you. My trust is in you; may that remain truth forever.

I pray for this day, that we would have safe and smooth passage to work and back. May we have a good work day today, as we are now on the downward slope toward the restful weekend. I pray for Stephanie, that you would bring her peace and wisdom today, showering her with your blessings. Teach us your way, that we may walk in your truth.

I pray for Jeremy, as he prepares the message for this Saturday’s worship service.

I pray for Leslie, as she returns to work today. Bring her peace, and take away her anxiety.

Your grace is sufficient.

May we take on our Savior’s yoke and allow him to shoulder our burdens. May we trust only in the God of truth and put away all other “gods.”

Grace and peace, friends.

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