The Sword of the Lord

Good morning. It is Monday, March 2, 2015. 35 days until Opening Day.

Today’s word of the day is macarize. I expected something to do with macaroni (and even cheese, perhaps), but no. It is a verb that means, “To account or call (a person, etc.) happy or blessed.” If I had some macaroni and cheese, you could macarize me.

Today is Dr. Seuss Day! That really makes me happy. So have yourself some Green Eggs & Ham today, Sam I Am!

I didn’t sleep well, last night, for some reason. I slept okay when I slept, but had trouble getting there. I even got up after trying for about an hour, and made myself a cup of Sleepytime tea. That helped some, but it was still fitful sleep. I’m not sure why, other than possible anxiety about weather related junk this week. I get really anxious when there is freezing potential during the work week, and there is some possibility of more winter weather on Wednesday. But the temperatures are supposed to get above freezing every day, so maybe it won’t be as bad as Friday and Saturday of last week.

In a very surreal twist, Christi’s mother and niece went to Cleburne together, yesterday, and had lunch at Cotton Patch. Don’t ask me, I don’t have a clue. Of course, this occurred after Christi pretty much told her mother off, yesterday morning. She did a good job, too. I heard most of the conversation. When her mother said, “I just want someone to be kind to me,” I laughed out loud and had to leave the room. To the casual observer, that would sound cruel, I realize. But you’d have to know the whole story.

Well, it’s back to work today, so I’d better get busy with the important stuff.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

. . . the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
Psalm 19:8

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Arm Yourself with Promises.”

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8

In Romans 8:13, Paul tells us to put to death the deeds of the body, “by the Spirit.” What does this mean, exactly? We take it to mean that we should use the only piece of the “armor of God” that can be used to kill, namely the Sword, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). Therefore, when there is some craving of the flesh that is about to lead us into sin, we should kill it with the “sword of the Spirit.” John Piper says, “In my experience, that means mainly severing the root of sin’s promise by the power of a superior promise.”

He gives an example of craving some “illicit sexual pleasure.” The “sword-swing” he finds most useful in that scenario is the promise from Matthew 5:8, quoted above. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” To consider this promise causes one to think of the pleasures tasted in “seeing God more clearly from an undefiled conscience.” Then, when we remember how brief and fleeting sin’s pleasures are, the conquering power of sin should be destroyed, at least for that moment.

“Having promises at hand that suit the temptation of the hour is one key to successful warfare against sin.”

Times will come, however, when we may not have a perfect verse of promise that suits the situation. We don’t have time to grab a Bible and desperately search through it for the perfect verse. “So we all need to have a small arsenal of general promises ready to use whenever fear or craving threaten to lead us astray.” This is one reason that Scripture memory is useful. We should always be adding to our “arsenal of promises,” while, at the same time, not neglecting to remember the ones that have been helpful in the past.

Father, I pray that your Spirit will remind me of the necessity to be constantly adding to my “arsenal of promises,” by way of Scripture memory. I have been lax in doing this, I confess. I pray for a more rigorous attitude toward reading and remembering the promises of your Word, and properly using the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”

I pray for this day. As we travel to work and home, keep us safe. I pray for our work day, both for Christi and me. May it be productive and anxiety-free as we work. Keep us focused on what needs to be done, while at the same time, looking for ways that we might share your kingdom with those around us. I pray for Stephanie, this morning. May you show your great love to her, teaching her to walk in your truth.

May we all be more faithful to keep the promises of God in our hearts.

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11

Grace and peace, friends.

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