Are We Devoted to Christ?

“Be you writer or reader, it is very pleasant to run away in a book.” ― Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain
(Goodreads)

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is punctilio, which means, “strictness or exactness in the observance of formalities or amenities.”

Today is World UFO Day. Check the skies for strange objects. Or watch movies like this one.

It’s Saturday morning, and preparations are underway for the holiday weekend. By preparations, I mean C is cleaning house. I’ll be helping some after I get finished, here.

We’re planning to go get my mother later, today, then bring her back here for the weekend. The Southlake Community Band will be playing at Stars & Stripes 2016, tomorrow night. I think R & J might be there for that, as well.

The Rangers beat the Twins 3-2, last night, to become the first team to win 52 games. They are 8.5 games ahead of the Astros. The Rangers are also only four percentage points behind the NL Cubs, who have the best record in MLB. The Red Sox beat the Angels 5-4. They are four games behind the Orioles and 1.5 ahead of the Boo Jays.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalm 90:1-2

These words describing creation (“brought forth . . . formed”) are similar to the language of childbirth. Just as a father exists before his children, God exists before the mountains. When we take refuge in this God, we are not taking temporary shelter in a “makeshift shelter, but habitation in an eternal dwelling place.”

“‘Before the hills in order stood, or earth received her frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same. O God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come, be Thou our Guard while life shall last, and our eternal Home’ (Isaac Watts, ‘O God, Our Help in Ages Past’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

The Conditions of Discipleship

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.
Luke 14:26

Harsh words from our Savior, words that have been discussed and debated for centuries. I think Oswald Chambers nails the meaning. “If the closest relationships of life clash with the claims of Jesus Christ, He says it must be instant obedience to Himself.” Being a disciple means devotion to a person, to Jesus Christ. There is a vast difference between being devoted to a cause and being devoted to Christ. This is a recurring theme of Chambers.

There are many who are devoted to evangelism, but are they devoted to Christ, himself? We even find ourselves devoted to the cause of making other disciples, but are we devoted to Christ? It’s tricky. “To be a disciple is to be a devoted love-slave to the Lord Jesus. Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not devoted to Jesus Christ.” This is a passion that can only be given us by the Holy Spirit.

“Men pour themselves into creeds, and God has to blast them out of their prejudices before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.”

Father, you have brought me far down this road, compared to where I was several decades ago. I was captivated by a belief system, not necessarily a creed, but much more devoted to what I believed than to Jesus, himself. As Chambers said, you blasted me out of those prejudices and pointed me down a path of following Christ. My following, though, is still quite immature and flawed. I pray that you keep bringing me along, keep me following Jesus. May the Holy Spirit pour that passion for Christ into my life, embedding it into the deepest crevices of my being.

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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