Carefully Careless

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” – Stephen Hawking
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is zeroth, “being numbered zero in a series; also : of, relating to, or being a zero.” The reason that the 21st century and new millennium began in 2001 was that there was no zeroth year.

Today is World Whisky Day. It’s all about good times, good company, and good whisky.

I don’t have much to write about this morning. I woke up feeling like I’m catching another chest cold. Bleah.

The Red Sox lost to the Indians, last night, 4-2, but Jackie Bradley, Jr., extended his hitting streak to 25. The Orioles won, so the Sox are a game out of first place. The Rangers beat the Astros 2-1, but Seattle won, as well, so they are still 1.5 out of first.

I’m supposed to go to a Night of Worship tonight, but I’m not sure if I’ll make it.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore?
O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.
For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face.

I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s sons.

Psalm 69:4-8

There is a sense in which people “despise and reject what they do not understand.” And people often do not understand righteousness, so they tend to despise the righteous. Intimacy with God often means that we will be alienated from some other people.

“Father, you know my inner heart, my secret motives, my basic desires. My sins and my virtues are both under your mercy, so that I have nothing to fear from men and everything to hope from you, even in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Divine Reasonings of Faith

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

These words of Jesus comprise one of the most revolutionary statements we have ever heard. We typically argue exactly opposite: “I have to live. I have to make this much money. I have to buy clothes. I have to eat.” “The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God, but how we are to fit ourselves to live. Jesus reverses the order: Get rightly related to God first, maintain that as the great care of your life, and never put the concern of your care on the other things.”

In verse 25, Jesus says, “Do not be anxious about your life.” The KJV says, “Take no thought for your life.” He is not saying that we should take thought for nothing. Rather, he is teaching that “a disciple has to make his relationship to God the dominating concentration of his life, and to be carefully careless about everything else in comparison to that.” Carefully careless. I love that phrase.

You see, we might be careless about what we eat and drink, and our lives will suffer for it. I, for example, and extremely overweight. But I should not allow this to be the ruling factor in my life. My relationship to God in Christ and his kingdom should be first, and I should be carefully careless about what I eat and drink. The number one care in my life should be my relationship to God; everything else is second.

This falls so in line with what I have been reading by Dallas Willard, lately. I am very excited to begin focusing on the spiritual disciplines, or spiritual formation.

Father, take these truths that Jesus spoke and embed them in my soul. Make my life about your kingdom and my relationship with you in Christ. Help me to study Christ and make him the main focus of my heart, and put everything else second.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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