Good morning. It is Tuesday, June 2, 2015.
Today’s word of the day, from the OED, is scintillate. This is a verb, meaning, “To emit sparks or small flashes of light; to sparkle,” “Of a star: to exhibit a rapidly varying brightness, to twinkle; (of other celestial objects) to exhibit scintillation,” “Nuclear Physics. Esp. of a phosphor: to emit light momentarily when struck by a charged particle or a high-energy photon,” “Of a signal, or an image on a screen generated by it: to vary rapidly in a random way; spec. (of a signal on a radar screen) to fluctuate rapidly in appearance, esp. as a result of variations in an intervening medium (rather than changes in the target),” “To emit as a spark or sparks; to flash forth,” “To cause to sparkle or twinkle,” or, “Of a person, or his or her writing, speech, etc.: to be brilliant; to shine, to sparkle.” Here’s hoping I can scintillate this morning. Kind of reminds me of Firefly, and how they were always saying, “Shiny!”
Today is Leave the Office Earlier Day. I’m all over that one!
I wound up working an extra hour yesterday afternoon, as we got in a higher number of boxes than usual. I don’t know if this is our “summer spike” in business, or if it is vendors/carriers playing catch-up after the monsoon season. But the result of that is that I didn’t have time to practice the trombone last night. I won’t have time tonight, either, as it is Huddle night, tonight. The big rehearsal is Saturday, with at least four hours of playing time. Oh, well . . . it is, as they say, what it is. I will play what I can and hope there are enough other trombone players there who can play the parts. I’ll just hide behind them.
Christi is heading to El Paso next Monday, along with about ten of her work cohorts, to bowl in the National Open Championships! Yes, they are sending two teams over there, not to win, which I suppose is always possible, but as a “teambuilding exercise.” I really need to get a job at that place.
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts!
“We are near him, not as having anticipated his grace, and come to him of ourselves, but because, in his condescension, he has stretched out his hand as far as hell itself to reach us. To speak more properly, he first elects us, and then testifies his love by calling us.” (John Calvin, Heart Aflame)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
(From Solid Joys)
I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Today’s reading is “Who Are the Children of Abraham?”
“You who hope in Christ and follow him in the obedience of faith are Abraham’s descendants and heirs of his covenant promises.”
God told Abraham, in Genesis 17:4, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.” It’s pretty obvious that this did not happen during the time of Abraham’s life, so there must have been a deeper meaning to that covenant.
When the Lord said what he said in Genesis 12:3, quoted above, we believe that he was looking ahead to the blessing of Jesus Christ. “From the very beginning, God had in view that Jesus Christ would be the descendant of Abraham and that everyone who trusts in Christ would become an heir of Abraham’s promise.”
This is why, in Galatians 3:29, Paul says, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” So when God made that covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17:4), “he opened the way for anyone of us, no matter what nation we belong to, to become a child of Abraham and an heir of God’s promises.” All that is needed is that we share the faith of Abraham, faith that looked forward to a blessing and promise that he would never see, himself.
Again, it is stressed that we don’t accomplish this by working. Rather, it is by faith and confidence that God works for us. Romans 4:20-21 tells us, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Abraham trusted God to be able to do what appeared, in human eyes, to be impossible.
Faith is the confirmation of the promise. Obedience is the evidence of the faith. This is why, in John 8:39, Jesus tells the religious leaders, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did.”
“Children of Abraham are people of all nations who put their hope in Christ and, like Abraham on Mount Moriah, therefore don’t let their most precious earthly possession stop their obedience.”
We who have placed our hope and faith in Jesus Christ are children of Abraham, “and heirs of his covenant promises.”
Father, we don’t often, or at least I don’t, consider the blessings of God’s promises to Abraham, and how they transfer down to us as modern Christians. I pray that you would cause us to ponder these things more often. We tend to forget about Abraham in our reflections on Christ. Of course, we all need to think about and look at Christ more often, but it wouldn’t hurt us to look more closely at the life and faith of Abraham, since we are told that we are his children and heirs. I do praise you for choosing us to be a part of this wonderful legacy.
I pray for this day, as always, asking for grace for travel to and from work. I pray for a good day at work for Christi. May you intervene in the typical drama caused by certain people, Father. I also pray for grace and mercy for each day for the rest of our family. May you bring provision to Stephanie, Rachel, Justin, and my mother, just as you have done so faithfully.
I pray for our Huddle group that will meet tonight. Speak to each of these guys in a way that they need most desperately.
Your grace is sufficient.
Father Abraham had many sons. I am one of them, and if you believe in Jesus Christ, so are you. So let’s just praise the Lord!
Grace and peace, friends.