Grace That Will Not Fail

Good morning. It is Monday, June 22, 2015.

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is roustabout. If you’re like me, and you are, sometimes, you might be thinking of a particular song by Yes. But that’s “Roundabout.” A roustabout could mean one of several things: a “deckhand,” “a person who loads and unloads ships at a seaport,” “an unskilled or semiskilled laborer especially in an oil field or refinery,” “a circus worker who erects and dismantles tents, cares for the grounds, and handles animals and equipment,” or, “a person with no permanent home or regular occupation; also : one who stirs up trouble.” I think my favorite is the circus definition.

Today is Chocolate Eclair Day. It was a tough decision, because the other selection was Onion Ring Day. But chocolate will usually win out over onions. Especially at 6:00 AM.

We had such a wonderful day, yesterday. We had a very nice lunch at El Paseo, in Mineral Wells, and then went back to my mother’s house, where we just sat and visited for a few hours, talking about whatever came to mind. My mother read from a journal that my dad had begun, describing his life, growing up. It was a very sweet time, remembering, and even hearing some things that I never knew about his younger days. The tears were very brief, but the memories so sweet. It was a great day.

This evening, I plan to go straight from work to Southlake/Grapevine, where I will sit in on a rehearsal for the Southlake Community Band. They have two more rehearsals, then a July 3 concert, after which they will take the month of July off. This should give me a chance to get a good feel of the group and whether I will enjoy playing with them. At this point, I have no idea what to expect.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song. In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel.
His abode has been established in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah.
Glorious are you, more majestic than the mountains full of prey.
The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil; they sank into sleep; all the men of war were unable to use their hands.
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both rider and horse lay stunned.
But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?
From the heavens you uttered judgment; the earth feared and was still,
when God arose to establish judgment, to save all the humble of the earth. Selah.
Surely the wrath of man shall praise you; the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt.
Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared,
who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.

Psalm 76

(From Solid Joys)

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14

Today’s reading is “How You Must Fight for Holiness.”

“There is a practical holiness without which we will not see the Lord. Many live as if this were not so.”

If we are not careful to understand what is being said, here, we might see a doctrine of salvation by works. But I can guarantee you that this is not what John Piper has in mind. There are people out there who profess to be Christians, but their lives are so unholy that they are in danger of hearing the most fearful words from Jesus, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:23) Paul even tells us, in Romans 8:13, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die.

So there is a holiness that is required to see God. And we fight for this by “faith in future grace.” We must not fight for it in our own strength. 1 Peter 4:11 says, whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. Romans 15:18, For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me. . .

2 Corinthians 9:8 also tells us, And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. “Moment by moment, grace arrives to enable us to do ‘every good work’ that God appoints for us.”

“The fight for good works is a fight to believe in this future grace.”

Father, help me to fight for this holiness in my life, but make sure that I only fight for it in the strength that you give me, through your Spirit. Let me not struggle in my own flesh, in my own power, for I will surely fail. My flesh is weak, so very weak. But your Spirit is infinitely strong, and the grace that you provide for me is endless and limitless. Therefore, I will fight, but i will only fight in you power. Glorify yourself through me; glorify yourself through your Church.

I pray for this day, as we head back into another work week. May our travel be safe and smooth. May our work be productive and efficient. I pray for the drama situation at Christi’s job to be resolved. May you intervene and do whatever it takes to resolve this situation. I pray that Christi and I will both represent your Kingdom at our jobs, with the goal being for people to see Jesus in us.

Thank you, Lord, for a most wonderful Fathers Day visit, yesterday! Thank you for the strength that my mother exhibits, but this strength is also from you, and we are all very aware of this. If we resorted to seeking strength in our flesh, we would be without hope and joyless. But we are full of both hope and joy in the promises that you have given us, and the provision and protection that you give. May your surround Stephanie, Christi, Mama, Rachel, and Justin with your overwhelming love today.

Your grace is sufficient.

We fight for holiness, but we do not fight in our own flesh. We fight by faith in future grace, the grace that will never fail us.

Grace and peace, friends.

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