“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”~~James Thurber
Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is a capella, which means “without instrumental music,” or, “without instrumental accompaniment.”
Today is Horse Protection Day. I chose this option because of our friend, Summer Guilliams, who loves horses.
Welcome to March. Today is March 1. My birthday fell in this month, in 1958.
Band practice went well, last night. It was a challenging one, as we played through all of our music for the upcoming concert. It was the first time we had played all of the music straight through. Well, almost straight through. Those of you who have been, or are currently in, band know what I’m talking about. When I was in college, we never played all the way through a piece without stopping until the actual performance!
Not much else going on, over here, so on to the devotional.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.
When we are in trouble, we feel like a “besieged city.” We feel trapped by the very defenses that we set up to keep trouble out. “Our own defenses, however useful they are for a time, finally become part of our problem.” We don’t need better defense against evil; we need “a great deliverer from it.”
“‘Open now the crystal fountain, whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar lead me all my journey through;
strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer, be Thou still my strength and shield,
be Thou still my strength and shield’
(William Williams, “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,’ translated by Peter Williams). Amen.”
“Do you love me?” John 21:17
In today’s reading from My Utmost For His Highest, entitled “The Undeviating Question,” Oswald Chambers addresses this great question that Jesus asked Peter. In this verse, it was the third time Jesus asked the question. Peter had nothing left to declare. “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” “Peter loved Jesus in the way in which any natural man loves a good man.” But after this, Peter began to confess his love, “not merely by his words, but by everything he does.”
God’s word can hurt us like no sin can hurt , “because sin blunts feeling.” But when Jesus comes to us and asks, “Do you love me?” it intensifies our feelings. We can’t get sentimental with our answer, either. We can’t just say “nice things” when Jesus speaks to us. All we can do is, like Peter, look at him and say, “Lord, you know . . .”
Father, I have struggled with the answer to this question many times. Do I love you? I say that I do. I proclaim it. But sometimes, what I do does not match up with what I say. I pray for your Spirit to empower my actions to speak louder than my words. Yes, words are necessary. But actions must accompany them. Teach me your way that I may walk in your truth. Not talk your truth.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.