Embracing Christ

Good morning. Friday has finally arrived. It is Friday, April 17, 2015.

Today’s Word of the Day is papabile. “A prelate likely or worthy to be elected as pope.” Also, ” In extended use: a person worthy of, or likely to be elected to, high (esp. political) office.”

Today is Blah Blah Blah Day. To be perfectly honest, that fits my mood to the tee, this morning.

Yesterday was a bit scary for a few moments. At one point during the day, I left my workstation (with my phone sitting on it) for less than a minute. When I got back, there was a missed call and message from the Medical Center of Arlington phone number. I listed to the message (my mother), and it sounded scary, so I called her back immediately, in spite of regulations that we are not supposed to be on our cell phones at the work station. The procedure of putting the feeding tube in my dad’s stomach went fine, but when they took him to recovery, his oxygen level plummeted. He was too tired or too weak to breathe. They put him on a breathing machine, and got him stabilized, though, and eventually got him back on the oxygen through the standard tubes in the nose. They were just bringing him back to the room when my mother called me. This was almost 3PM. She believes that we almost lost him.

I went straight up there after work. Christi wasn’t going to go, anyway, as she is still suffering from a sore throat and nasty cough, as well as occasional temperature. When I got there, he looked pretty good, and my mother was okay. We believe that was just a temporary scare, hopefully, just one time. They plan to start feeding him through the tube today, and are still talking of releasing him, maybe tomorrow, to go back to Mineral Wells and enter rehab for a bit.

My mother and I had a nice meal at the hospital cafeteria, last night, as well, and we had some good, serious conversation about the possible future. I won’t go into any of those details, right now, because, for one thing, we have no clue what the future holds, and for another, we aren’t going to worry about the future. We are both hanging on to what my daily devotional was about yesterday, that being that we get enough mercy for this day alone, and we don’t need to spend time and energy worrying about tomorrow.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man;
from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Psalm 33:4-22

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Embracing Jesus.”

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1 John 5:3-4

When Jonathan Edwards struggled over this text, he came to this conclusion: “Saving faith implies . . . love. . . . Our love to God enables us to overcome the difficulties that attend keeping God’s commands — which shows that love is the main thing in saving faith, the life and power of it, by which it produces great effects.”

This could be put in another way to say that “faith in Christ is not just assenting to what God is for us, but also embracing all that he is for us in Christ.” We used to say that it wasn’t enough to have “head knowledge” about Christ, but that we had to have “heart acceptance” of Christ. I think Piper has said it better. “True faith embraces Christ in whatever ways the Scriptures hold him out to poor sinners,” says Edwards. This kind of love, this “embracing,” treasures Christ above all things.

“Believing that Jesus is the Son of God means ’embracing’ the significance of that truth — that is, being satisfied with Christ as the Son of God and all God is for us in him.”

Father, I pray for your Spirit to help me, to enable me to treasure Christ above all other things. I pray that I would embrace him above all else, and all that you are for me in him. May my love for you in Christ be lived out in the faith that you have given me, that faith which can overcome the world.

I continue to pray for healing and recovery for my dad. I thank you that we got through yesterday, and still have him around. I thank you that, no matter how small, there is hope that he might return to a life similar to that which he left last Wednesday. But even if he is not able to do that, we praise you for your might hand in all of this. You have been present and “visible” through our trial in this past week. My mother’s strength is amazing. Even her moments of weakness have been few and brief, as she reminds herself that all is in your hands and that you are in control. It appears that she has worked through all possibilities, and she is strong and firm in her faith. I praise you for this, Lord.

I pray for this day, that we would have safe passage to and from work, as well as a good, productive work day, with no anxiety. I also pray that we would not be anxious about what tomorrow may bring, for you will provide enough mercy when tomorrow gets here. May we never forget that your mercies are new every morning! I pray for Stephanie, that you would draw her closer to you today. I pray for Rachel and Justin, as well, that you would draw them closer, and provide for them what they need most for this day. (Yes, I know these prayers seem repetitive, but it is my daily prayer for my loved ones.)

Your grace is sufficient, Lord.

May we who call ourselves by his name fully embrace him for all that he is.

Grace and peace, friends.

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