The Cost of Obedience

“The inner reality of love can be recognized only by love.”~~Hans Urs von Balthasar
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is mugwump, “a person who is independent (as in politics) or who remains undecided or neutral.”

Today is Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day. You know for that sure to come day when you will need to know that. ._ _ _ . .._. .._. There’s mine.

I woke up, this morning, to the stunning news that David Bowie has died. I’m still working on processing that. You see, I’ve been fearing, for some time, now (and perhaps “fearing” is not a good word, as I’m not really “afraid”), that the onslaught of deaths of my childhood musical “heroes” would soon begin. We’re all getting older, and the people I listened to on the radio are even older. Many of them are still touring, and seem to be fine. I didn’t know that Bowie had been fighting cancer. At some point during the night, David Bowie lost that fight. The year is not even two weeks old, and we have lost three (that I know of) musical greats: Natalie Cole, Pierre Boulez, and David Bowie.

On a more positive note, Christi and I went to see Star Wars with Rachel and Justin, yesterday afternoon. We went to the Moviehouse and Eatery in Keller. I’ve been there once before, so I knew what to expect. The rest of the group was thrilled and amazed at the setting. I won’t say how much we spent, because we did get dinner there. It’s not a cheap experience. If you just went to see the movie and get traditional popcorn and sodas, you would spend about $25 a person. But the popcorn and sodas are “bottomless,” so that helps. Enough about the theater. Now, about that movie . . . I have to say that I was totally unprepared for the emotional onslaught that hit me, multiple times, in this movie. From the moment that I realized what ship Rey and Finn had just stolen, to the inevitable appearances of Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker . . . I was a blubbering fool quite a few times. At one point, Rachel reached over and gave me a “there, there” pat on the shoulder. 🙂 I will definitely see this again, either in the theater or when the DVD comes out. We had a great time seeing this together!

But now, it’s Monday, and we must go back to work. The upside of that is that I get to have band practice tonight, with the Southlake Community Band. So, without further ado, I will move on to the important stuff.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds!
For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
Be gracious to me, O LORD! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
that I may recount all your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in your salvation.
The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught.
The LORD has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.
Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you!
Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah.

Psalm 9:11-20

Sometimes, the conditions that we experience in life seem to be merely a “cruel prelude to death.” The poor, sick, and afflicted all seem to huddle at the gates of death, seeing only one message: “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” But there is another message: “Sing praises to the Lord . . . who does not forget the cry of the afflicted.”

“Regardless, O God, of the desperate straits in which we find ourselves, you have shown yourself willing and able to come to our rescue. For this I praise you–for your mercy, your compassion, your strength. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “What My Obedience to God Costs Other People.”

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.
Luke 23:26

We don’t often think of obedience in terms of what it will cost others. In fact, I daresay we never do. “If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in.” There are many times, in fact, that our obedience to God will seem to cost us nothing, we love him so much. But many of those times, our obedience will upset the plans of others, and they will not be happy about that. “You call this Christianity?” they will shout at us. “We can prevent the suffering; but if we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be paid.”

We must obey God and let him worry about the consequences. “Beware of the inclination to dictate to God as to what you will allow to happen if you obey Him.”

Father, I pray that you would show me places where I need to be obedient. While we must always consider others more important than ourselves, we must also consider obedience to you more important than any inconvenience it might cost others. This is a tricky area, but give us faith and confidence to let the consequences be in your hands.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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