The End of Myself

“Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.”~~E.B. White
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is kvell, “to be extraordinarily pleased; especially, to be bursting with pride, as over one’s family.”

Today is Whipped Cream Day. Sounds like a good reason to have a cup of hot chocolate, later tonight!

As expected, we got in a huge amount of freight to receive yesterday. 360 boxes, from UPS, alone, and a bunch more from other sources. I left at 6:00 PM, to go straight to band practice. I’m trying to whip through this blog, this morning, to get there early, today, to try and help get as many receipts done before the time expires on them. After they pass 24 hours, they are considered “late,” and affect our metric. You would think that the client would give us a pass, since they are the ones that told us we couldn’t receive anything for five days.

I’m excited about the next concert we will be playing, in the Southlake Community Band. We are playing what I consider to be “real” band music, including the infamously treacherous “Lincolnshire Posy,” by Percy Grainger. This should prove to be great fun, along with some agonizing rehearsals. But that’s the way band goes.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray.
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.
Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.
For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.
Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.

Psalm 5

“Morning prayer anticipates the day in hope. It is a preview of possibilities: God’s actions, personal acts of devotion, the world’s ways, the benefits of belief. As the hours of the day unfold, these will provide the scenario.” This is the brief commentary provided by Eugene Peterson on Psalm 5:3. I believe it to be true. To begin the day with prayer indicates that we have hope in what God will do, throughout the day. It helps provide us with direction for the day.

“‘Come, my soul, thou must be waking; now is breaking o’er the earth another day: come to Him who made this splendor; see thou render all thy feeble powers can pay’ (Friedrich R.L. von Canitz, ‘Come, My Soul,’ translated by Henry J. Buckoll). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Afterwards of the Life of Power.”

“Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”
John 13:36

In John 21:19, it says, And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” Jesus is speaking to Simon Peter. Just a few years earlier, he had said those same words to Peter, “Follow me.” At that point, Peter followed easily, “the fascination of Jesus was upon him.” But then, that fateful night, Peter came to the place where he denied Christ, and his heart was broken.

But in John 20, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into his disciples. This changed everything. “The first ‘Follow me’ had nothing mystical in it, it was an external following.” Now, it becomes internal, powered by the Holy Spirit.

“Between these times Peter had denied Jesus with oaths and curses, he had come to the end of himself and all his self-sufficiency, thee was not one strand of himself he would ever rely upon again, and in his destitution he was in a fit condition to receive an impartation from the risen Lord.”

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22)

God has brought about changes in all of us, over time. We must never rely on those. We must build only on Jesus Christ, the firm foundation, and the Holy Spirit he gives us.

“All our vows and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to carry them out. when we have come to the end of ourselves, not in imagination but really, we are able to receive the Holy Spirit.” Ponder the idea that this is a sort of “invasion.”

This is why I no longer make “New Year’s Resolutions.” I have no power to carry them out. Yes, I have some goals for the year. But there are no “resolutions,” no “promises,” either to God or to myself. When I come to the end of myself, I am ready to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Father, bring me more often to the end of myself. Help me to rely on the power of the Spirit. Help me to build my life on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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