Miracle, Not Manipulation

Today is Sunday, July 17, 2016.

“Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t.” – Pete Seeger
(From Eduro.com)

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is ambrosial, which means, “exceptionally pleasing to taste or smell; especially delicious or fragrant.”

Today you get two “holidays,” because one of them is just weird. First, though, I’ll point out that today is Peach Ice Cream Day. I love peach ice cream, and, for some reason, it is very hard to find in stores. I’ve gone up and down the Kroger ice cream aisle, and never seem to be able to find any.

Now, for the weird one. Today is Yellow Pig Day. I’m just going to quote what the web site says, because I could never come up with this on my own. “Yellow Pig Day originated in the 1960s when two math students from Princeton spent a long time obsessively analysing the number 17. It seems that they went a little mad eventually, and decided to invent the concept of a yellow pig with 17 toes, 17 teeth, and so forth… Now Yellow Pig Day is an important part of the academic calendar, and is celebrated with cake, carols, parades and general revelry.”

Personally, I prefer the number 19.

The night of worship last night was really good. The house was packed (which, unfortunately, made it much warmer), and there was much visible worship going on, and I have to believe, perhaps even more “invisible” worship. I know that God was lifted high, and Brandon, the guy whose house we were at, had an amazing time leading it. I could tell he would have just as soon never stopped. In fact, when S and I left (I was very proud of her for going), they were still singing. We had been there two hours, though, and she had reached her limit. Plus she was hungry.

So we stopped by Lee’s Grilled Cheese on the way home, and picked up some dinner. It was late, and I was tired, so I didn’t try to do anything productive, other than print out this morning’s worship music. I played Fallout for about 45 minutes, then went to bed.

One more sleep until C comes home!

We are getting ready for our worship gathering, this morning. We worship at The Exchange Church, and we meet at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach St, in Fort Worth, TX.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Who rises up for me against the wicked? Who stands up for me against evildoers?
If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute?
They band together against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.
But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.
He will bring back on them their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness; the LORD our God will wipe them out.
Psalm 94:16-23

We live in a dangerous world, that seems to be ruled by the “wicked.” We live in a stress-filled world, that seems to be ruled by anxieties. “God has the power to dissolve the cares and dissipate the perils. God’s consolations penetrate the deepest recesses of body and soul and bring an inner health that breaks out in confident cheer.”

“I need your consolations, O God, so that I will see my life held together by the one who created this world and is redeeming it, not victimized by those who ‘contrive mischief by statute’ and walk over anyone who is poorer or weaker than they. Make me strong in Jesus Christ (Psalm 94:20). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

The Miracle of Belief

. . . and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power . . . 1 Corinthians 2:4

What Paul is saying here, is that “he would veil the power of God if when he preached the gospel he impressed people with his ‘excellency of speech.'” Our belief in Christ is truly a miracle, produced by the power of the redemption, through the Holy Spirit. We are not won over by the flowery speech of men, “but by the sheer unaided power of God.” Yes, the Gospel must be preached, but it is not the personality of the preacher that draws people to Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ who draws people to himself. If I preach the Gospel, and it is because of my preaching that people want to live a better life, they will never get close to Jesus. It must be because they were touched by the miracle of the redemption of Christ.

Father, if and when I get opportunities to “preach” the Gospel, I pray that it would be your power that would draw people to yourself, not smooth talking by me. Let it always be your power of redemption that draws people to Christ. He, himself, said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me.” It is he who draws, by the power of your Spirit, not us, by the power of our words. Let us never rely on ourselves to see people brought to Jesus. May we never attempt to manipulate someone into the Kingdom!

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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