Penetrating the Darkness

“If we have never had the experience of taking our commonplace religious shoes off our commonplace religious feet, and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach God, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence.”~~Oswald Chambers

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“After all is said and done, more is said than done.”~~Aesop
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is eucatastrophe, ” Esp. in a fictional narrative: a (sudden or unexpected) favourable turn of events; esp. a resolution of this type; a happy ending.”

Today is Chocolate Covered Cherry Day. That sounds delightful. Two of my favorite flavors, mixed together!

Not much happened yesterday. Christi thoroughly enjoyed her massage Christmas gift. So much so, in fact, that she has already scheduled another on for February. I went out later and picked up drinks and some stuff for dinner, and that was about it. We either watched TV or played games the rest of the day.

This morning, we have our worship gathering at The Exchange Church. Today’s gathering will be a bit different, as we will be spending our first gathering of the year in worship and prayer. We will be alternating between prayer and singing, throughout our time together, this morning. If you are in the area, we would be glad to have you join us, this morning. We meet at 10:15 at the Northpark YMCA on N. Beach Street in Fort Worth.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah.
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah.
I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah.

Psalm 3

“We do not acquire security by eliminating enemies.” What a profound statement. The reality is that we will always have opposition in this world, and it will be, at times, quite intense. We gain security by placing our trust in God. In truth, our foes are really God’s foes, and he will battle them. “Salvation [or deliverance] belongs to the LORD!” (v. 8)

“O God, I feel the rising menace of sin: degeneracy in society, disorder in lives around me, sickness, death. None of the precautions I take seems adequate. Deliver me from my fears and lift up my head! Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Clouds and Darkness.”

Clouds and thick darkness are all around him.
Psalm 97:2

We err if we believe that the teachings of Jesus are simple. While there does appear to be a kind of simplicity about them, when we are baptized by the Spirit, we find that there are truly “clouds and thick darkness . . . around him.” I have said many times, and still believe it with all my heart, that the only way to understand Scripture and the teachings of Jesus is by “the light of the Spirit of God on the inside.”

“If we have never had the experience of taking our commonplace religious shoes off our commonplace religious feet, and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach God, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence.”

“After the amazing delight and liberty of realizing what Jesus Christ does, comes the impenetrable darkness of realizing Who He is.”

When we are willing to lay down the familiarity we think we have with God and Jesus, only then can Jesus “respeak” his words to us, providing the light that will create spirit and life in us.

Father, I know that opposition will always be in my life, especially as a believer. Sometimes it comes in the form of temptation; other times it comes in the form of rejection or mockery by people. I pray for the faith to find my security in you. I also pray for the light of the Spirit to penetrate the darkness that surrounds you, that I might comprehend the truth of the teachings of Christ and how they relate to my life each day.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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