Even One Thing

Good morning. It is Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Oh, no, it’s Wednesday the thirteenth!!

Today’s word of the day from the OED is unobtainium. Haha!! I love this one. “A hypothetical substance that would be highly desirable but is unrealized or unobtainable; a notional substance with exceptional or ideal properties.”

Today is Leprechaun Day. I believe that calls for some Lucky Charms!!

Last night’s Huddle was pretty good. It started out boring and tedious (at least to me, but that probably says much about me), but then, during the last 45 minutes or so, got much better, as we finally all joined some conversation diving deeper into Scripture, meditation, and so on.

Work was okay, rather slow. Christi’s day went better. There was still some stress, but it wasn’t as bad as Monday. In June, Christi gets to go to El Paso with some other people from work, and actually bowl in a tournament! How fun is that?? I’ll be going to my band reunion on the first weekend in June, and Christi will be going to El Paso on that following Monday. I promise to be at the height of mediocrity when it comes to trombone playing on that weekend!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem;
then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Psalm 51:16-19

“David now declares that he needed to bring nothing whatever to God but a contrite and humbled heart. The man of broken spirit is one who has been emptied of all vain-glorious confidence, and brought to acknowledge that he is nothing.” (John Calvin, Heart Aflame)

(From Solid Joys)

He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.
Ephesians 1:5

Today’s reading is “At the Bottom of It All.”

This reading is largely comprised of some testimony of the great Gospel preacher, Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon was pastor of Metropolitan Tabernacle in London for over thirty years in the 19th century. “His preaching was so powerful that people were converted to Christ every week. His sermons are still in print today and he is held up by many as a model soul–winner.” Here is a piece of his testimony.

When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this.

I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths [the doctrine of election] in my own soul — when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron, and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown on a sudden from a babe into a man — that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, that clue to the truth of God.

One week–night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it.

The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment — I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so?

Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, “I ascribe my change wholly to God.”

Indeed, how else do we come to read the Scriptures or to know God? We cannot and do not come to this knowledge on our own volition. All too often, errant evangelists will used the analogy of a person drowning in the sea, and compare Jesus to a life preserver, thrown out by a well-meaning rescuer. They will say that all the sinner needs to do is grab hold of Jesus, his life preserver, and he will be saved.

The problem with this, you see, is that, according to Ephesians 2, we were dead in trespasses and sins (v. 1). When is the last time you observed a dead man grabbing onto anything?? When we were dead in our sins, we were powerless to do anything to save ourselves. It is all the work of God, in Christ Jesus, by grace through faith, and even that faith is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (vv. 8-9)

As C.H. Spurgeon has said, I must “ascribe my change wholly to God.”

Father, I praise you that you considered me among your elect, that you drew me to the blood of the cross of Christ Jesus, that I might be saved. I thank you for the life that you breathed into me when I was dead in trespasses and sins. I pray that I might live a life worthy of this calling, that I might work out [my] own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12) I pray for just enough grace and mercy for this day alone, and that I might not be overly concerned with what may happen tomorrow.

May you give us safe passage to and from work today. May you continue to bring your grace and mercy to my family, Christi and Stephanie, Rachel and Justin, and my mother. We thank you for the rain that has filled our lakes back up. I pray that there will now not be damaging floods in the area as the rains continue. I pray for your protection, provision, and direction for your Church, especially the body of believers at The Exchange.

Your grace is sufficient.

We would do well to remember these words of John, the Baptizer: A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. (John 3:27)

Grace and peace, friends.

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