Jesus, Our North Star

Good morning. It is Friday, June 19, 2015.

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is porteur. If it looks French, that’s because it is. It’s a ballet term, meaning, “A male dancer whose role is to lift or support a ballerina when she performs leaping or jumping movements.”

Today is Garfield the Cat Day, celebrating Garfield’s first appearance in the comics on June 19, 1978. To help celebrate, I will share something that I find to be very entertaining, Garfield Minus Garfield.

Christi’s Huddle went pretty well last night. While she was gone, I started scanning old photos of my parents (and a very young me) into my computer. It’s going to take longer than I expected, as I need to scan both backs and fronts, in order to preserve the descriptions of each photo. I plan to put a bunch of them on Facebook (if my mother doesn’t mind), but here is a preview photo.
5
That’s my parents on their wedding day, May 25, 1957, with his best man on the right, and the minister on the left. They got married in her parents’ home, several miles outside of Henderson, Texas.

Anyway, I’ve still got a lot of work to do. I was hoping to finish before Sunday, when we go back to Mineral Wells, but I should have started sooner. 😦 Oh, well.

The Texas Rangers lost a game in the bottom of the ninth inning, last night, with two outs. Apparently, the relief pitcher balked in the winning run. Sigh.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

Psalm 73:25-28

(From Knowing Jesus)

But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
Galatians 2:17-21
for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
Philippians 1:19-26

Today’s reading is “‘For to Me, to Live Is Christ.'”

How would we complete the sentence, “For to me, to live is . . .?” Even for the most devoted followers of Jesus, this is a difficult question, and the answer would differ, based on where we are in our journey. Answers would also reflect “age, health, family, career, wealth, and so on. But regardless of where we stand, somehow we must orient ourselves toward Jesus. He is the North Star on our life compass.”

Where we started is not so important. What matters is where we are today. Many of us would like to draw a graph of our walk with Christ, hoping that, even though there would be dips and valleys, the trend would be upward.

But sometimes, “for me to live” means something other than Jesus. When Jesus gave his Revelation to John, there were churches that fell into that category. Paul the apostle wrote about people who had drifted away from following Christ. These kinds of warnings encourage us to check ourselves regularly and “ask ourselves often whether we are living primarily for Jesus.”

We need to take steps to ensure that our walk with Christ is “sound, wholesome, and healthy.” The writer of Hebrews admonishes us repeatedly, Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. (Hebrews 3:7-8, 15; 4:7) “Jesus becomes our North Star when we hear him through our prayer, Bible reading, worship, and fellowship.”

Father, I pray for your Spirit to remind me of this throughout this day, and forever more. Remind me, frequently, to examine my walk with Christ and see if I can truly say, “For me, to live is Christ.” I confess that there are too many other things competing for my allegiance. “The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance I owe only to the giver of all good things!” It is true. So I ask for your help, Lord, in walking with Jesus, and that he would, indeed, be my “North Star.”

I pray for this day, as always asking for safe passage to and from work. I thank you for reducing the drama at Christi’s job, and pray that this will continue. Your sovereign hand is over all things. May we acknowledge this more and more. I pray for your sweet love to surround Stephanie, today, and that your grace and mercy would rain down on Rachel, Justin, and Mama.

I pray for comfort for Joan Mitchell and her family, in the loss of her sister. May your grace and mercy cover them, Father.

Your grace is sufficient.

This post is not intended to bring guilt, but, rather, to inspire life. May we examine our walks with Jesus on a regular basis. What a joy it would be to repeat with Paul, “For to me, to live is Christ.”

Grace and peace, friends.

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