Devoted to Jesus, Not A Cause

“I am not ashamed to say that no man I ever met was my father’s equal, and I never loved any other man as much.” -Hedy Lamarr
(BrainyQuote)

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is nonpareil, which means, “a person or thing having no equal.”

It is, of course, Father’s Day today. But it is also Garfield the Cat Day. Garfield made his first appearance in the comics on June 19, 1978. Which happened to be the day after Father’s Day that year.

As mentioned, today is Father’s Day. I have already received gifts from my family. R gave me a coloring book. That’s right. An “adult” coloring book. That’s a thing, these days, and I have been anxious to jump on that bandwagon. There is something relaxing about coloring, and I plan to make good use of that gift, which also came with a package of 50 colored pencils and a pencil sharpener.

This morning, I received a new trombone stand. My old one is wearing out. Can’t say I blame it. I’ve had it since high school. I also got two new games for the PS4, Until Dawn, and The Evil Within.

Father’s Day is bittersweet for me, now. As most who know me are aware, my father passed away in April of last year. Father’s Day for me is now a day of memories of the man I consider to be the best father ever. Hopefully, everyone who reads this feels the same way about their father. I would not argue the point with you if you do. I would be glad that you disagree with me.

On a bit of a downer, I’m not going to church this morning, as I was up half the night with an upset stomach. I’m quite sleepy, and may wind up going back to bed after C leaves for church. But I’m going to go ahead and get the blog done first.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads.

They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones.
They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”
For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant—
the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites,
Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Asshur also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah.
Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
who were destroyed at En-dor, who became dung for the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
who said, “Let us take possession for ourselves of the pastures of God.”
O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind.
As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
so may you pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane!
Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O LORD.
Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace,
that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm 83

Throughout history, there have been many conspirators against God. “Your enemies make an uproar,” verse 2 says. Edom, Moab, Philistia, Midian . . . all of these filled the air with what was, in truth, nothing more than meaningless noise. “Meanwhile prayer approaches the (supposed) silence of God and hears quiet words that fill life with significant hope.”

“I enter the place of prayer, dear God, to listen to what you have to say. I have been shouted at, accused, and threatened from newspaper, radio, and television. Now I want to hear the syllables of hope that come in the still small voice of your Spirit and establish you as Lord in my heart as well as ‘Most High over all the earth’ (Psalm 72:18). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Service of Passionate Devotion

He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
John 21:16

“Jesus did not say – Make converts to your way of thinking, but look after My sheep, see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Me.” Once again, a reading in this book goes hand in hand with what I have read in Dallas Willard, recently. We need to bring knowledge of Christ to people who would be disciples. In recent decades, there has been too much feeling and emotion involved in “discipleship,” and knowledge has all but been removed from the realm of faith. Knowledge and faith must go together for the disciple of Christ. “Discipleship is based on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on adherence to a belief or a creed.”

Some years ago, we began substituting “credal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many are devoted to causes and so few devoted to Jesus Christ.” I don’t know how long ago it was, but there was a point when I stopped supporting “causes.” The only one worthy of my support is Jesus Christ, and he is not a cause.

Jesus’s first obedience was to the will of the Father, not to men. “If I am devoted to the cause of humanity only, I will soon be exhausted and come to the place where my love will falter.” This is very important. This goes along with Willard’s talk of the “easy yoke.” If I am trying to bear the burden for men by myself, I will fail miserably. However, if I join the work of Christ, in total devotion to Jesus, the yoke will be easy, the burden will be light. “If I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity though men treat me as a doormat.”

Father, on this Father’s Day, I pray that you will be Father to the fatherless, and comfort those who need it. I pray that I will be devoted to Jesus Christ and him only, not to any human cause. I pray that I will tirelessly join the easy yoke and work with Christ in the work that you have given him.

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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