The Secret of Abiding

“What force is more potent than love?”~~Igor Stravinsky
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is hie, which means “to go quickly: hasten.” “Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’s cell; / There stays a husband to make you a wife.” — William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 1597

Today is As Young As You Feel Day. This is not necessarily a good thing. I’m not feeling very young, these days. In my mind, I’m still somewhere around 20-30. My body does not concur.

Band practice was fun, last night. We got a bunch of new music, in preparation for the May concert at “Art on the Square.” Most of it is pop music, an arrangement of Beatles tunes, a couple of movie theme arrangements, and some Elton John music. Sadly, the Elton piece reminds me of bad marching band arrangements of pop songs. I guess they can’t all be winners. I mean . . . out of all of Elton John’s hits, “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fightin'” seems to be the least likely concert band piece.

Today is Tuesday, so Christi has bowling after work (how cool is it that they have a bowling league where she works?), so I’ll whip up something for dinner while she bowls.

I got asked by a fellow band member if I wanted to play trombone at FBC Grapevine on Easter Sunday. Sadly, I had to decline, as I have committed to playing keys at our church. It would have been fun, though. I have been praying for more opportunities to play. I guess that’s being answered.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright;
their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.
The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever;
they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance.
But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;
for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

Psalm 37:14-22

Hoarded treasure turns out to be useless, becoming “moldy stuff.” This is what the “wicked” wind up with as they tend to be turned inward. The righteous, in contrast, “expand outward.” They approach the world with open hands, not grasping things, but holding on loosely, always living in gratitude.

“Save me from the sin, Lord, that looks on your world as loot to be plundered. I want to be one of those who, by appreciation and praise, makes creation available and attractive to others, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
Luke 24:32

Chambers writes, in today’s reading, “The Burning Heart,” “We need to learn this secret of the burning heart.” When Christ appears to us, “the fires are kindled,” and he brings us great visions. But we need to learn how to keep our hearts burning. “It is the dull, bald, dreary day, with commonplace duties and people that kills the burning heart unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.” (Emphasis mine.)

In truth, there is more distress on the Christian from being ignorant of our own nature, than comes from sin. Chambers writes that, when we are tempted to allow any emotion to “have its way,” we should stop and “see what the outcome of the emotion will be.” How much discipline does that take?? How many of us are far enough along the path to be able to stop before expressing an emotion and see if the inevitable outcome of this emotion would be pleasing to God or if he would condemn it?

Note that he does not eschew the “commonplace duties and people” in our lives. No, he says that we must learn “the secret of abiding in Jesus,” so that these activities and people will not kill the burning in our hearts. This is my theme for this year, abiding. I’m still working on it.

Father, please continue trying to teach me this secret of abiding. I think I have a good grasp on the concept, but still am not doing a great job of actually doing it. Teach me to abide in Christ, that I might bear fruit in my life.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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