Arise From the Dead

“Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.”~~Michelangelo
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is castellated. It sounds bad, but it means “having many castles,” or, also, “built like a castle, especially with turrets and battlements.”

Today is Do A Grouch A Favor Day. There are a lot of days that I’m that grouch, so perhaps I should take advantage of this day, and find a grouch to do a favor for.

Band practice went well, last night. I feel like I played pretty well, but there is still a lot of work to do. I really need to start getting in some extra practice. Tonight may be an excellent opportunity, as Christi will be beginning another bowling league where she works, and will be a little later getting home.

My mother had a followup visit with the surgeon, yesterday. The initial pathology report was correct in evaluating the lump as cancerous. But the surgeon believes that she got it all, and that some radiation therapy will prevent it from returning. Also, she said that the lymph node was fine. Good news. It could have been better, if the lump had not been cancer, but, still good news.

I didn’t watch any of the Grammy Awards, last night, as I was at band practice. However, Christi and I are both quite happy that Ed Sheeran won song of the year for “Thinking Out Loud.” We consider that to be “our song.” And here it is.

Taylor Swift became the first woman to win Album of the Year twice, and “Uptown Funk” won record of the year. I’m also okay with that (as if it matters). I like that song, too.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

Psalm 27:1-6

How does fear respond to danger? It buries us under “thick layers of self-defense, where we can only cower in shadows.” But faith . . . faith responds by trusting our Father, living life with head held high and “‘shouts of joy’ (v. 6).”

“I refuse, O God, to live fearfully or cautiously. I name my fears one by one and turn them over to you, and find them simply trivial when set alongside your majesty. With lifted head I will live in your light and salvation, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Inspiration of Spiritual Initiative.”

. . . arise from the dead . . .
Ephesians 5:14

“All initiative is not inspired.” This is a true statement. If we are struggling, and someone comes to us and says, “Suck it up and get going,” there is no power in that “initiative.” It is “ordinary human initiative.” But when the Spirit of God comes in, he brings power with him.

“We all have any number of visions and ideals when we are young, but sooner or later, we find that we have no power to make them real.” I can attest to the truth of that statement, from personal experience. The problem is that, when we discover the truth of it, we tend to settle down to the norm and, in a sense, die to those dreams and visions. But God comes in and tell us, “Arise from the dead!” When his inspiration comes, “it comes with such miraculous power that we are able to arise from the dead and do the impossible thing.”

Now comes a dangerous idea. The idea is that, once God tells us to arise, “we have to get up.” In other words, God will not do it for us. When Jesus told the man with the withered hand to stretch forth his hand, once the man did so, he was healed. The man had to do something. Chambers says “he had to take the initiative.” I disagree with Chambers on this point. Jesus took the initiative; the man simply responded to Jesus’s command. We must be careful to never believe that we are taking any initiative with the Lord! We must perform the action; we must do the overcoming. But it is God who takes the initiative to make us overcomers and provide the initiative and inspiration to “arise from the dead.”

Father, I pray that your Spirit would bring me inspiration and initiative. I feel that I have been “dead” for a long time. My dreams and visions seem to have faded. I pray for resurrection in my spirit. Give me that inspiration, that I might truly “arise from the dead” and do “the impossible thing.”

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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