Taste the Beauty

Good morning. It is Thursday, June 11, 2015.

Today’s word of the day, from the Old English Dictionary, is recrudescence. This is a noun with two definitions. 1. “The action or fact of breaking out afresh; a recurrence of a disease or medical condition, or of an undesirable state of things, bad feelings, etc., esp. after a period of quiescence or remission.” 2. “A revival or rediscovery of something good or valuable.” I prefer the second definition, and, T-bone, wouldn’t you say that we all experienced “recrudescence,” this past weekend? 😀

Today is Jerky Day, a day set up to celebrate that salty, dried, tasty, chewy treat we all know as beef jerky. Or turkey jerky, or chicken jerky, or kangaroo jerky (yes, that’s a thing). Anyway, you get the point. Don’t BE jerky, but enjoy some jerky!

It’s been a strange week, and I have yet to spend an evening with Christi. She was gone Monday, and Tuesday, on her bowling trip, and the plane was delayed getting back, so she was really late getting in Tuesday night. Last night, she had an outing with Rachel, and they had some really good conversation. Tonight is Christi’s Huddle night, and tomorrow, after work, she is bowling again (I’m getting a bit jealous over all of this bowling . . . I want to get some bowling in, myself), but hopefully, that won’t last too late. Saturday night, I have a PAT (Pastoral Assist Team) meeting right after church. Sunday, I think, might be plan-free, at least for the moment.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.
For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s sons.
For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach.
When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them.
I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me.
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.
Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me.
Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
Hide not your face from your servant; for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.
Draw near to my soul, redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies!
You know my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to you.
Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none.
They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.

Psalm 69:6-21

(From Solid Joys)

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him.
2 Corinthians 1:20

Today’s reading is “Faith for the Future.”

If the above verse is true, then when we trust Christ now, we “believe that his promises will come true.”

As was noted in a previous reading, trusting Jesus and believing that his promises will come true are not two separate manifestations of faith. “Believing in Jesus means believing that he keeps his word.” When we are satisfied in the crucified and risen Christ, we believe that “at every future moment, to all eternity, nothing will separate us from his love, or keep him from working all things together for good.”

The beauty of God will be there for us in the future, and we can know this by looking at the grace of the past. We can taste, in the present, all of the glorious achievements of God in the past, highlighted by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We can also taste the glorious beauty of God in his promises for the future. “Our confidence and trust must be in all that God himself will be for us in the next moment, and in the next month, and in the endless ages of eternity.” For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

No matter how dark our circumstances might be, we need to taste the beauty of the promises of God for our future, trusting in all that God has promised he will be for us, for ever and ever. God and God alone will satisfy my soul in the future. And only when we are certain of this future, can we “live the radical Christian lives that Christ calls us to live here and now.”

When we reflect on the need for this faith, perhaps we can “avoid superficial, oversimplified statements about believing the promises of God.” These promises are real, and can truly be the basis of a powerful Christian life.

Father, help me to taste the beauty of your promises today. Help me to know for certain, in my life, that all of your promises have their Yes in Christ Jesus, and that you are there for me just as much in the next moment, month, and year, as you are for me in the moment that just passed as I was typing this sentence. I pray for a life of radical submission to your grace and mercy, a life that will have an impact for your kingdom on this earth. Help me to read your Word and look at it as a mirror to my soul, rather than just words on a page that need to be read and critiqued. Grant me the faith that believes that your promises will come true, and that your hand will guide me through this life.

I pray for this day, that you will grant us safe passage to work and back again. I pray for a good work day for both of us. May Christi begin to feel less pain from her exertion over the past few days. I pray for your overwhelming love to surround Rachel, Justin, and Stephanie, and that you will continue to hold up my mother, as you have for the past two months. Oh, how marvelous is your love, my Lord!!

What wondrous love is this, O my soul?

My brothers and sisters, taste the beauty of the promises of God today. He will do what he says he will do, and he is there for us, yesterday, today, and forever.

Grace and peace, friends.

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