Good morning. It is Friday, February 6, 2015. 59 days until Opening Day! 14 days until pitchers and catchers report!!
Today’s Word of the Day is papaloi. ” Chiefly in Haiti: a male voodoo priest.” Mmkay.
Today is Working Naked Day. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist. And don’t worry, I won’t be. This is a “holiday” to be celebrated ONLY if you work from home. You know . . . like Dilbert used to do.
(Just watch. Facebook will decide to post that as my title picture, no matter how hard I try to stop it.)
I’m continuing to feel better, and Christi feels fine, so, apparently, I did not pass along my affliction to her. One of my other coworkers was out yesterday, though, about two days behind me in his version. I chipped away at the overflow on my receiving queue, and actually left it at 13 yesterday afternoon! I’m only anticipating needing to stay late if we still have someone out and I need to help with receiving new stuff.
Christi will be at someone else’s home this evening, as the ladies of The Exchange gather to participate in the Women’s “IF” Conference, via webcast. She has not yet decided if she will spend the night there, but I’m doubtful that she will. If not, she will return by 10:00 AM tomorrow for the Saturday piece.
I started reading a book on prayer, by Timothy Keller. I’m very fond of his sermons, but have never read one of his books before. This one is called Prayer. Imagine that. Oh, but it has a subtitle. Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. Here’s a great quote from the second chapter. “Giving priority to the inner life doesn’t mean an individualistic life. Knowing the God of the Bible better can’t be achieved all by yourself. It entails the community of the church, participation in corporate worship as well as private devotion, and instruction in the Bible as well as silent meditation. At the heart of all the various ways of knowing God is both public and private prayer.” I think this is going to be a great book!
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.
Today’s reading from Solid Joys is “Reviled Here, Rewarded There.”
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Does this promise in Psalm 1:3, “In all that he does, he prospers,” point to Christ? Is it naive or profoundly true?”
We know that the wicked frequently prosper in this life. Psalm 37:7 says, fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices, and Malachi 3:15 says, Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.
We also know that the righteous frequently suffer in this life. If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart. Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. (Psalm 44:20-22)
So, when the Psalmist says, “In all that he does, he prospers,” “he is pointing through the ambiguities of this life to life after death where the prosperity of all that we have done will appear.”
Paul seems to have thought this way, as well.
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 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 15:55-57
And then, after celebrating the defeat of death, he continues by saying this, in verse 58: Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (Emphasis mine) If something is not in vain, then it prospers.
Jesus died in our place to guarantee that every good deed we do will prosper, if not in this life, then most certainly in the next. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “Reviled here. Rewarded there.”
“What seems naive in the Old Testament (‘he prospers in all that he does’) points profoundly to the work of Christ and the reality of resurrection.”
Father, I confess that I tend to forget the truth represented here. I forget that the things I do on earth (dare I call it “righteousness??”) will definitely be rewarded in heaven. Great is my reward in heaven . . . this was just brought to my attention in the past week or so, and I forget so quickly. I focus my attention too much on the now and the lack of reward or attention that I get for deeds done in this life. I forget that my motive for doing those deeds should NOT be attention or reward in this life! Help me to remember that I am looking for a great reward in another life; “future grace.”
I pray for this day, that our trip to work will be safe and smooth. I pray that Christi’s day will go well, and that the conference she is attending will be worth the time she will be spending there. At least, I pray that there will be good fellowship with the other ladies as they spend time together. I pray for my work day, that I might get completely caught up today. Keep my mind focused properly during the day. I pray that your great love will appear to Stephanie, and that she will know you better. Teach us your ways, that we may walk in your truth.
Your grace is sufficient.
May we not forget where I reward is. Let us not focus on what happens here, but remember what awaits us.
Grace and peace, friends.