Personally, Passionately, and Devotedly

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss
BrainyQuote

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is quaff, which means, “to drink a beverage, especially an intoxicating one, copiously and with hearty enjoyment.”

Today is Join Hands Day, a day set aside to encourage unity between younger and older generations in our communities.

I’m pretending it’s a weekday morning (even though it’s almost 10:30, already), because we have a good bit of stuff that needs to get done today and tomorrow. I don’t want Christi to have to do stuff tomorrow, because it’s Mother’s Day, and I want her to be able to chill. So I’m going to try to whip this out and get to the grocery store, so that’s done today, before we head to Mineral Wells to visit with my mother.

The Rangers stopped their losing streak last night, defeating the Tigers 5-1. The Mariners lost, so the Rangers are back to within 1.5 games of first place. The Red Sox lost in a thriller (along with some really bad strike calls in David Ortiz’s last at bat of the night) to the Evil Empire, 3-2. They had the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, with only one out. Ortiz struck out looking, which is ironic, because the pitcher didn’t throw one single strike to him. Ortiz and Farrell both subsequently were tossed from the game. Which was really pretty irrelevant. Anyway, the Sox are now tied with the O’s for first place. A virtual tie, I suppose, as the O’s are 7 percentage points ahead of them.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

Psalm 65:9-13

When we are reconciled to God, we can see his hand “in the soil and the seasons.” We might not learn a lot about God from nature, but we can certainly see “signs of his bounty there.” And what we see in nature prompts us to “join in the praise of the God who provides such splendid fertility and stunning beauty.”

“Father, thank you for this glorious world to live in. You have spared nothing to create a magnificent setting in which I can experience your love and enjoy your salvation. All praise to you in Jesus Christ! Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“Building for Eternity”

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
Luke 14:28

“Our Lord refers not to a cost we have to count, but a cost which He has counted.” His cost was thirty years in Nazareth, “three years of popularity, scandal and hatred, the deep unfathomable agony in Gethsemane, and the onslaught at Calvary,” which was the turning point of all time and eternity. Jesus Christ counted the cost. No one will be able to look at him and laugh, saying, “This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”

There are stern conditions of discipleship in this chapter. If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (v 26) Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (v 27) So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. (v 33) The people he is going to use in his “building enterprises are those in whom He has done everything.” Jesus implies, in these verses, “that the only men and women He will use in His building enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth.”

Whatever we build will be inspected by God. Will he find that we have built on the foundations of Jesus, or on our own interests, valiant though they may be?

Father, I confess I am almost disheartened when I read some of these words of Jesus, for I know that I have not renounced all that I have. I’m not even sure that I have grown to a point where I can say that I love Jesus more than any of my “closest ties on earth.” I pray for this kind of personal, passionate, and devoted love for Christ. I want to be part of your “building enterprises.” Help me to have the strength and faith to fulfill the qualifications.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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