Set the Lord Before You

Good morning. It is Wednesday, February 11, 2015. Hump Day. Only 9 days until pitchers and catchers report; 54 days until Opening Day!

Today’s word of the day is kiasu. As a noun, kiaus means, “A person governed by self-interest, typically manifesting as a selfish, grasping attitude arising from a fear of missing out on something. Also: such an attitude.” It can also be used an an adjective, meaning, “Chiefly of a person: characterized by a grasping or selfish attitude arising from a fear of missing out on something.” So, I guess it is possible to be a “kiasu kiasu?”

Today is Get Out Your Guitar Day. That was number one of seven. I didn’t even look at the other six.

We had a good Huddle meeting last night. One of our members was out, but everyone else was there (7 people). We had some interesting discussion, launched from the “identity” triangle that was introduced last night. covenant-triangle-2
From this triangle, we get the idea that we get our identity from the Father, which, in turn, fuels our obedience. If our obedience is lacking (or even the desire to do so), then there is a disconnect in the first part. This occurs frequently, when we tend (as we often do) to obtain identity from anything else, such as what we do for a living, who our friends are, what our hobbies are, or, even, the things we do that we shouldn’t do.

Christi and I finally finished watching Sunday’s PBA Masters’ Tournament. We watched the four matches over the course of a couple of days. Pete Weber started out strong, but lost to Jason Belmonte when he got irritated because Belmo kept dropping his towel on the ball return rack. We decided that Pete Weber is a bit of an ass. Belmo won the final match against an amateur who kind of lost his nerve. We felt really bad for the guy. I think I bowled better than he did, last time I bowled. The win for Jason Belmonte makes it his third Masters’ victory in a row, the first time in PBA history that has ever been done. Next week, it’s the Tournament of Champions. Oh, and Christi’s big boss, Chad, was on hand to present the trophy at the end!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.

Psalm 16:8-9

(From Heart Aflame)

Using the two verses quoted above, Calvin says, “To set God before us is nothing else than to keep all our senses bound and captive, that they may not run out and go astray after any other object.” In order to do this, we must “elevate our minds above the world,” and look at the Lord with the eyes of our spirit. David’s mind was so fixed on God, that, no matter what happened to him, he firmly believed that God would always be there to assist him.

“We ought so to depend upon God as to continue to be fully persuaded of his being near to us, even when he seems to be removed to the greatest distance from us.” When we focus our eyes on him in this way, the trickeries of the world will no longer deceive us.

The result of this kind of thinking and attitude is that our hearts will be glad; we will be able to live “in the enjoyment of mental tranquillity.” We will be able to be “joyful and cheerful.” When we are not tossed about by the winds of care and fear, we can experience complete joy. We can only do this when we have learned to place our complete confidence in the Lord, and commit our life and safety to his care. “True believers not only have this spiritual joy in the secret affection of their heart, but also manifest it by the tongue, insasmuch as they glory in God as he who protects them and secures their salvation.”

Father, I believe this to go hand in hand with what we discussed in last night’s Huddle. When I keep my eyes focused on you, when I set you before me, “I shall not be shaken.” This will hold me fast, that I may not “run out and go astray after any other object.” I pray you make it so in my life, Father! I am tired of going astray and running after other things. I know full well, at least in my mind, that my identity comes from you and my relationship with Jesus Christ. But I keep getting sidetracked by other things. My identity is not in my work; my identity is not in baseball; my identity is not in any habits or hobbies that I might have; my identity is not in how well I can play the trombone by June 6 for the band reunion. My identity is in you and you only. Lift up that identity, Father! Lift it up that I might be firmly standing on the foundations of the faith of Jesus Christ, that I might not be shaken by anything.

I pray for this day, that we might have safe and smooth travel to work and back. May Christi’s work day go smoothly today, that she might get her work accomplished without stress or anxiety. I pray that my work day will also go smoothly, and that I can stay caught up. Lift Stephanie up today, that she might know your great love for her, and have wisdom and understanding for her life.

Your grace is sufficient.

May we all faithfully set the Lord before us, keeping our eyes firmly fixed on him, that we will not be shaken. Let our hearts be glad!!

Grace and peace, friends.

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