Spiritual Concentration

“Nothing is a light matter with a child of God. How much longer are some of us going to keep God trying to teach us one thing?” – Oswald Chambers

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“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” ― Corrie ten Boom
(Goodreads)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is wafflestompers, “ankle boots with ridged soles, used especially for hiking.”

Today is Microvolunteering Day. What in the world is “microvolunteering?” It is defined as taking “convenient, bite-sized actions, often from home, in support of a good cause.” So, if you’re unable to volunteer somewhere for a full day, you can make do something positive like writing a letter to an elderly hospital or home bound person, or something like that. Small bites, small steps . . . every little bit helps.

Again, there’s not a lot going on around here. It’s Friday, so that’s good. Christi’s knee is not getting better. It doesn’t hurt as bad if she avoids stairs, but it still hurts. I’m sure she is going to have to eventually give in and go see the doctor.

The Red Sox had a day off yesterday, so they remain at 4-4, an even .500 record. Tonight, they begin a series with the Blue Jays. The Rangers continued what the Red Sox started on Wednesday, and handed the Orioles their second loss of the season, beating them 6-3 in Arlington last night.

I don’t know what, other than our Sunday worship gathering, is in store for the weekend. At one point we had talked about going to Scarborough Renaissance Festival on Saturday, but with Christi’s knee hurting the way it is, that seems unlikely.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips?
For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you.
If you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you keep company with adulterers.
“You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit.
You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son.
These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
“Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”

Psalm 50:16-23

There are those who see “God’s patience as indifference, and suppose that they can repeat their sins with impunity.” But it truly is patience (I like the old KJV word “longsuffering”) and it is God waiting for our repentance.

“‘God the Omnipotent! King, who ordainest thunder Thy clarion, the lightning Thy sword; show forth Thy pity on high where Thou reignest: give us peace in our time, O Lord’ (Henry F. Chorley, ‘God the Omnipotent’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“The Relapse of Concentration”

But the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days.
2 Chronicles 15:17

Asa’s heart was right, but his external obedience was incomplete. We must beware of anything of which we think, “Oh, that does not matter much.” Odds are, it matters a great deal to God. “Nothing is a light matter with a child of God. How much longer are some of us going to keep God trying to teach us one thing?” It is true that he never loses patience (see the above reading from the Psalms). Do we proclaim that our hearts are right, yet there is something in which God has caused us doubt? “Whenever there is doubt, quit immediately, no matter what it is. Nothing is a mere detail.”

We must constantly concentrate on our spiritual life, intellectual life, and our bodily life. “You no more need a holiday from spiritual concentration than your heart needs a holiday from beating.” In order for us to be entirely God’s (and he desires this), we have to watch and concentrate, always thinking about walking in his Kingdom, in the presence of Christ.

Father, show me those places where the “high places” have not been removed. My heart may be right, but if there are still external places where I have not been obedient, my heart also desires to have those removed. Help me to walk in your presence daily, always thinking about your Kingdom and how it affects the way I live.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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