Relinquish

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”~~William James
(BrainyQuote)

That is a wonderful quote. I could almost close out the entry right there.

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is muliebrity. There are a number of things that this word appears to possibly mean. I’m guessing the true meaning is not even remotely close to those. It means “The characteristics or qualities of a woman; womanhood, womanliness (opposed to virility). Also: softness, effeminacy.”

Today is International Women’s Day. I’m supposed to wear purple. I don’t think I have any, though. I’ll check. Seriously, though, it’s a good day to recognize the accomplishments and value of women in our society, and be aware of women’s rights (or, in some cases, the lack, thereof).

The band rehearsal went pretty well, over all, last night. The director seemed pleased. Personally, I played like I was looking at the music for the first time. I don’t know where my head was, but I hope I can find it before showtime tonight. The player next to me said, “It’s the weather. That’s your excuse.” So, yeah, I’ll go with that. My head was foggy from the weather. 😛

As stated previously, the concert is tonight, 7:00 PM at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake. The program will consist of Fugue A La Gigue, by J.S. Bach, Original Suite, by Gordon Jacob, Old Home Days, by Charles Ives, Lincolnshire Posy (Movements 1, 2, 4, and 6), by Percy Grainger, Sea Songs, by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and The Thunderer, by John Phillip Sousa. It’s a challenging program for a bunch of people who typically play once a week.

I have forgotten to mention this in the blog, but Sunday was a day of bad news. Nancy Reagan passed away, Randy Meisner’s (Eagles) wife was killed in an apparent gun accident in their home, and Jerry Bridges, author of The Pursuit of Holiness, also passed away.

Four more days to Glen Rose.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man;
from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

Psalm 33:13-19

In verses 6-9, the Psalmist recollects God’s creation of the world. And here, we see that the Lord did not just create and walk away. “He watches over it, wisely and lovingly. We are his creatures; we are also his children, for whom he provides faithfully.”

“Your creative work, Almighty God, fills me with awe: such power and such magnificence! Your providence envelops me with hope: such care and such attention! Thank you for being everything to me in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Today’s reading is “The Relinquished Life.” Buckle up.

What do we have to relinquish in our lives before we can be fully united with Jesus Christ? We mistakenly believe that all we have to relinquish is our sin. That’s only the beginning, and if we stop there, our lives will be unfulfilled. We must also relinquish our “way of looking at things.” Yes, this must change, also.

We must relinquish all pretense. “What Our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, not honesty, nor endeavor, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us.” But what we get in return is priceless: “Real solid righteousness. But we must relinquish all pretense of being anything, all claim of being worthy of God’s consideration.” There is a mistaken idea in some parts of Christianity that Christ died for us because we were worth it. Sadly, these people have it backwards. We are made worthy because of Christ’s sacrifice.

We must also relinquish all claim to our rights to ourselves. This is a big one for most of us. “Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?” When we see ourselves as the Lord sees us, it is not so much the “abominable sins of the flesh” that shock us, as the “awful nature of the pride” of our hearts up against Jesus.

Father, help me to fully relinquish these things. After all these years, I still struggle with my rights to myself, which I should consider as nothing. I have no rights to myself if I am your child, your servant. I have no goodness, no honesty, no endeavor that I can give to you, because I did not possess these things before you saved me. So any “good” qualities that I “possess” are those of Jesus Christ, not my own. Help me to relinquish my hold on anything that is not Christ. Change my heart, O God; change the way I look at things.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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