Good morning. It is Monday, January 5, 2015. 91 days until Opening Day.
Today’s Word of the Day is “rathe: 1. Of a person or his or her actions: quick, prompt; eager, vehement. 2. a. Early; done or occurring before the usual or natural time. b. Of a flower, fruit, etc.: growing, blooming, or ripening early in the year. 3. Belonging to or forming the first part of a period of time; esp. early in the day, belonging to the dawn or morning.”
Today is Whipped Cream day. I wonder if Cool Whip can be included in that. Either way . . . whipped cream/cool whip makes just about any dessert better.
Yesterday was a strange day. It took Christi much longer to get the grocery shopping done, because, once again, she spent a while on the phone with AT&T, this time to get her niece on our phone plan. That’s a long story, and hopefully, it won’t be permanent. We did manage to make to the gym, finally, at around 6:00 PM, right after the Cowboys somehow managed to squeak by the Lions in the dismal second half of that playoff game. They have to play that Packers next, though. The Ravens play the Patriots next.
Today begins the first full week of work that I have had since right after Thanksgiving. And it’s about 25 degrees outside, this morning.
Today, I’m going to begin doing things a little differently. Instead of including a segment from all of my devotional books, I’m going to shorten things a bit and select the one that speaks most to me each morning.
Today, it will be the reading from Solid Joys, called “Our Toothless Enemy.”
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
One of the greatest effects of our union with Christ is that he “achieved a decisive triumph over the devil at Calvary.” Although Satan has not been removed from our world (yet), he has been, effectively, disarmed; “the weapon of damnation was stripped from his hand.”
The devil has nothing with which to accuse us. God has “forgiven us all our trespasses.” I believe that word, “all,” to be of utmost importance in that verse. The devil cannot ruin us. Oh, sure, he can hurt us, emotionally, even physically, and, yes, he might even be able to kill us. He is able to tempt us and turn others against us. But he cannot destroy us.
The only thing that the devil had to use against us was that “record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.” But, thanks be to God, that has been cancelled! So Satan has “no accusation that holds. He is helpless to do the one thing he wants most to do–damn us. He can’t. Christ bore our damnation. The devil is disarmed.”
The writer of Hebrews put it another way: Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14-15)
Yes, death is still an enemy. “But it defanged. The sting is gone. The sting of death was sin.” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:56-57)
Father, I praise you for the disarming of our enemy! This reminds me of the lengthy passage of Romans 8, which tells me that nothing can separate me from your love in Christ Jesus. This is something that I need constant reminding of, because, even though the devil has been “defanged,” he still tries to come at me with accusations that, if I am consciously remembering my affiliation with Christ and that my debt has been cancelled, holds no more water than a sieve! May I remember these things the next time Satan comes at me to make me feel like a failure. I am, because of the work of Jesus Christ (and that work alone) perfect and complete in your sight. I celebrate that truth, Father. I know I still sin, and that this will be an issue for me until the resurrection and the redemption (or replacement) of this physical body. In that aspect, I am not perfect. But you see the blood of Christ, which has obliterated the debt of sin against me. Thanks be to you for your indescribable gift!!
I pray for this day, that we will have safe and smooth travel to work and back. Keep us warm against the cold, this morning. Especially while I am working in the warehouse. I pray that you will show your great love to Stephanie, and help us, during this year, make some progress toward preparing for her future.
Your love is amazing.
Next time the enemy brings some old sin back in your face, remind him that your debt has been cancelled by the work of Christ. Better yet, remind yourself! The enemy is defanged.
Grace and peace, friends.