Good morning. It is Sunday, May 24, 2015.
Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is erudite. This is an adjective, meaning, “having or showing knowledge that is gained by studying : possessing or displaying extensive knowledge acquired chiefly from books.”
Today is the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. I hope the weather is better there than it is here.
I had a rough night last night. After church, Christi and I stopped by Lee’s Grilled Cheese to pick up a sandwich for Stephanie. I decided to get a bowl of their mac ‘n’ cheese to take home, and put some tuna in it. About halfway through that bowl, I started feeling weird. After eating, I seriously though I was going to barf. It settled down a bit, though, and I finally went to bed around midnight. Around 1:00 AM, I woke up, feeling barfy again. (My spell-checker doesn’t like “barfy.”) Once again, I got it settled down, but stayed up for an hour or so, just to be sure. I finally got back to sleep, but didn’t sleep well for the rest of the night. We got up around 9:00, and I’m having a cup of coffee, which seems to be settling okay. I’m not hungry, though.
It rained really hard for a good thirty minutes while I was up last night, and there’s 80-90% chance of more today. According to one weather app, we’ve accumulated 1.62 inch, already, today. We’ve been in flash flood warnings for days. There is currently more rain down around Stephenville, and it looks like it is headed this way. We have anywhere from 40-80% chance of more tomorrow, depending on which app you look at.
We are still planning to go to Mineral Wells tomorrow, and I can literally say, “Good Lord willing, and the creek don’t rise!” 😀
On this date in 2004, North Korea banned mobile phones. In 2001, Sherpa Temba Tsheri became the youngest person to climb Mt. Everest, at the age of 15. In 1956, the first Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland. And, in 1935, the first night baseball game was played in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1.
Today’s birthdays include Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, H.B. Reese (Peanut Butter Cups), William F. Albright (archaeologist and Biblical scholar), Roger Peterson (pilot who flew the plane on “The Day the Music Died”), Tommy Chong (actor/comedian), Bob Dylan (songwriter), Gary Burghoff (actor, Radar), Patti Labelle (singer), Priscilla Presley (actress), Rosanne Cash (singer, Johnny’s daughter), Kristin Scott Thomas (actress), John C. Reilly (actor), Barolo Colon (pitcher), and Brad Penny (pitcher).
Bob Dylan . . . who doesn’t know who he is? Born on this date in 1941, Dylan is one of the most famous songwriters in the world. He turns 74 today. Here is a clip him singing “Mr. Tambourine Man” at the Newport Folk Festival of 1964.
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah.
For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations!
May he be enthroned forever before God; appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!
So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day.
(From Solid Joys)
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:13
Today’s reading is “The Bedrock of Your Assurance.”
There are many Biblical passages that speak of our salvation as being “conditional upon a changed heart and life.” This brings to mind a questions, primarily because there are many times when my life and heart do not appear to be changed at all! “How can I have the assurance I will persevere in faith and in the holiness necessary for inheriting eternal life?”
The answer to this question “is rooted in our election.” Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. (2 Peter 1:10) When God elected us, he guaranteed that he would complete “by sanctifying grace what his electing grace has begun.”
In this New Covenant, God does not simply command obedience; he gives it! And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deuteronomy 30:6) And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:27) And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20)
By our election, we are assured that we who have been justified will be glorified (Romans 8:30). “Election is the final ground of assurance because, since it is God’s commitment to save, it is also God’s commitment to enable all that is necessary for salvation.”
Father, help me to know my election is certain; help me to recognize and acknowledge the work that you have done in my heart, that enables me to be obedient and do the works that you have prepared in advance for me to do. I want to see a difference in my life, in my heart. I spend too much time trying to justify myself by the way I think about others. Give me a servant’s heart, a servant’s attitude, just like that of my Savior, that I might truly display your Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
I pray for this day, that we all might feel better. Christi’s throat is hurting, and I had a bit of an ordeal last night. I pray for healing and strength, that we might be good for tomorrow. I pray for a good time at the church activity we have this afternoon, and that you would guide us through our discussion, by your Spirit. May you give clarity to the topic being discussed today.
Give us hope, Father. We all need hope and assurance that we are secure in you. Let us not keep our eyes on ourselves, but be focused on you, that we might be “other-centric.”
Your grace is sufficient.
The thing that gives us solid assurance is our election in Christ. Whenever we have doubts, we should always fall back on that.
Grace and peace, friends.