Surrender

“We are all hypocrites. We cannot see ourselves or judge ourselves the way we see and judge others.” ― José Emilio Pacheco, Battles in the Desert & Other Stories
(Goodreads)

The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is nadir, which means, “the point of the celestial sphere that is directly opposite the zenith and vertically downward from the observer,” or, “the lowest point.”

Today is Meteor Watch Day. If the conditions are right, look at the stars tonight. You never know what you might see.

It looks like July is coming in with a vengeance. The projected high for Sunday is 101, followed by six more days of 100+ (that’s as far as the forecast goes), with 104 on Saturday, the ninth.

Ugh.

Both the Rangers and Red Sox lost last night. The Rangers blew a great lead on the Evil Ones, and lost in the bottom of the ninth, 9-7. They gave up six runs in the bottom of the ninth. Just one game, though. They are still well ahead of the second place team. The Sox got shut out by the Rays. The Rays!! The last place team in the East, they are 2-8 in their last ten, and both of those two are the Red Sox! Tonight, they play the Halos, who are even worse than the Rays. I’m very afraid.

Not really . . . it’s just baseball. That’s the way baseball go, you know.

We’re having a pot luck lunch at work today. The company is providing hot dogs and buns. I’m bringing a dump cake.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

But now you have cast off and rejected; you are full of wrath against your anointed.
You have renounced the covenant with your servant; you have defiled his crown in the dust.
You have breached all his walls; you have laid his strongholds in ruins.
All who pass by plunder him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice.
You have also turned back the edge of his sword, and you have not made him stand in battle.
You have made his splendor to cease and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with shame. Selah.
How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?
Remember how short my time is! For what vanity you have created all the children of man!
What man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah.

Psalm 89:38-48

“Trust in God is tested by tremors of judgment. No covenant precludes such experience, and no faith is exempt from such testing. The marvel of the gospel is that faith emerges from such troubles with stronger song and firmer trust.”

Even when we fail the testing, like I did Monday night, when we acknowledge that failure, trust and faith are strengthened.

“Take the incidents in my life, dear God, that I interpret as your rejection and disapproval, and show me how they are consistent with your covenant love, used by your Spirit for my salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Perhaps another way of saying this is that events that we perceive to be “rejection and disapproval” are not that at all. They are testings designed to make us grow stronger.

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Do It Now

Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.
Matthew 5:25

While this verse tends to be primarily about paying what is owed, there is a deeper principle at work. “Am I insisting on my rights, or am I paying what I owe from Jesus Christ’s standpoint?” The fact that we work so hard to insist that we are right indicates that there is some point of disobedience in our lives. This all goes back to the question of whether we are willing to surrender our rights for the sake of the Gospel.

Father, I pray that you keep working in my life on this point. There seems to have been progress, but I still fall back into the natural human habits of trying to defend my own rights. I pray that I would seek you and your kingdom above all else. Direct me toward a life of simplicity.

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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