My Brother’s Keeper

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”~~Jimmy Dean
(Eduro)

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is uniterable, which means, ” Unable to be repeated; occurring only once.”

Today is Gumdrop Day. I love a good gumdrop, but they are getting increasingly harder to find.

We had a good morning at church, yesterday. The worship was really great, and Jacob’s message, while a difficult topic, was presented brilliantly. I wonder how many of our members realize how fortunate we are to have such a good preacher at our little church. He is preaching on discipleship according to Jesus, and yesterday’s message was based in Luke 14, with the crux of it being from verse 26, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” We believe, of course, that Jesus was using hyperbole to make a point, that point being that he has to come first in our lives.

After church, we went to Best Buy and bought a router. As of this coming Saturday, we are switching our internet/TV service to Charter. We will be getting three times the internet speed, as well as more TV channels, for about $40 less per month. And Charter will pay the early disconnect fee from DirecTV. It’s along story, but we finally got fed up with the runaround we were getting from AT&T and DirecTV. Prices kept going up, and they wouldn’t work with us to find more promotional prices. It’s a sad world for the consumer, these days. The companies don’t reward loyalty. They only reward people who switch to new providers. Anyway . . . we bought a router because it would be cheaper than renting one from Charter, in the long run.

After that we did our weekly grocery shopping, then watched some TV. Then Christi cleaned Stephanie’s room. That could have been a horror movie.

It’s Monday, again. My mother has her follow-up visit with the surgeon today, but I’m not sure that the pathology reports will be back in from the surgery. We will see. I also have band practice tonight, and we have less than a month until our Spring-ish concert.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.
I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites.
I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O LORD,
proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds.
O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.
Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes.
But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the LORD.

Psalm 26

In this Psalm, David speaks of the kind of people he hangs out with; how he chooses his friends, if you will. “Choosing friends is a moral act.” David finds his friends in “the great assembly.” He walks with people who seek “to be influenced by the acts of God.”

“I know, Lord, that I neither can nor should avoid being with unbelievers–after all, your Son spent considerable time with them. All the same, I need people who will share the deep desires and rich blessings of worship. Thank you for surrounding me with such people in the church, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”

For none of us lives to himself . . .
Romans 14:7

This is another difficult reading, tackling a topic that most of us would probably just as soon not tackle. “Has it ever dawned on you that you are responsible for other souls spiritually before God?”

I need to reflect on that question for a bit. In doing so, I do not believe, for a nano-second, that I am responsible for anyone else’s salvation! God, and God alone, is responsible for that. However, “if I allow any private deflection from God in my life, everyone about me suffers.” I can see the truth in this. Whenever one member of the body suffers, all members suffer. “When once you allow physical selfishness, mental slovenliness, moral obtuseness, spiritual density, everyone belonging to your crowd will suffer.” Feeling the pressure in this? As always, this is a point at which we must declare our insufficiency and proclaim that our sufficiency is in Christ alone.

We are to be witnesses to Christ. That requires us to expend every ounce of our energy on his behalf. I have yet to grasp this, fully. God did not simply save me and sanctify me to just leave me on the Earth, doing nothing. I am “to be at it for Him.” I need to be willing to be “broken bread and poured-out wine for Him.”

Again, this is difficult. The most important thing being that my attitudes, moods, words, and actions DO affect the body around me! This is something that we all need to remember and pray through.

Father, I confess that I fail in this, frequently. Too often, I think that I am just my own person. Help me to be convicted and remember that I am part of a larger body, and that when I am not functioning properly, the entire body suffers for it.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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