Am I Abiding?

“Romance is tempestuous. Love is calm.” – Mason Cooley
(BrainyQuote)

The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster,, is nescience, which means, “lack of knowledge or awareness: ignorance.”

Today is Chocolate Ice Cream Day. I could use some of that, today. But I probably won’t get any.

It’s back to “normal,” this morning, after five days that disrupt a life in a way that I really can’t come up with words to describe. I find myself wishing that I had one more day off, but I don’t, so here we go. The weird thing is that C’s bosses told her she didn’t have to come to work today, but she’s up, getting ready, anyway.

The funeral was nice. Everything went smoothly, and the lady who spoke did a beautiful job of it. I prayed at the beginning, said a few words, then introduced the first song, after which C got up and did a real good job of truthfully describing her mother, while keeping it all positive. She’s always been good at that. We all walked over to the mausoleum, which was just across the driveway, and that portion was, thankfully, very brief.

On the way back home, after loading up some of the flowers, we stopped at Braum’s for sundaes, then went home to relax for about an hour, before heading up to D’s apartment complex for a dinner that was provided by some of our good friends from church. We were all pretty exhausted, and hanging out with more people was the last thing I wanted to do, but we got through it just fine, and even had a good time. Of course, I didn’t make band practice last night. I’m really not even sure what day it is, to be honest. And to further complicate things, I have jury duty this Friday, so I’ll only work three days this week.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel.
His abode has been established in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah.
Glorious are you, more majestic than the mountains full of prey.
The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil; they sank into sleep; all the men of war were unable to use their hands.
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both rider and horse lay stunned.
But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?
From the heavens you uttered judgment; the earth feared and was still,
when God arose to establish judgment, to save all the humble of the earth. Selah.
Surely the wrath of man shall praise you; the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt.
Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared,
who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.

Psalm 76 ESV

“Nothing is lost in the divine economy.” Even chaos and wrath, produced by men, will turn around to praise and glorify God. The most pointed instance of this would be the wrath of men that put Jesus on the cross. But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. (Romans 5:20 ESV)

“‘In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time; all the lights of sacred story gathers round its head sublime’ (John Bowring, ‘In the Cross of Christ I Glory’). Amen.

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Don’t Slack Off

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:13

The ministry of intercession is a “hidden ministry that brings forth fruit whereby the Father is glorified.” There should not be any danger of pride, because nothing is done in front of others. But what is the center; what is the main source of power? It is the Atonement of Christ. “If the one central point, the great exerting influence in my life is the Atonement of the Lord, then every phase of my life will bear fruit for Him.”

I have to take time to ponder what is the central point of power for my life. Am I abiding in him? What does it mean to abide? Dallas Willard says it is to put the words of Jesus into practice in our daily lives. Chambers says it is to “continue to act and think and work from that center.” Very similar answers. What is the greatest power in my life? “The thing that ought to exert the greatest power in my life is the Atonement of the Lord.”

If I am abiding in Christ, the choices that I make will be “God’s foreordained decrees.”

Father, I confess that I am far from a point where every phase of my life is bearing fruit. I pray for abiding. I pray for the influence of the Atonement to be foremost in my life. Let that be the primary point of power for me, as it should be. Every hour of the day, bring my thinking around to the Atonement, to that center of power, that I might put the words of Christ into practice in my life, and find them to be true.

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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