Grace For A Well-Timed Help

Today is Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

“Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.” – Steven Wright

The word of the day, from, is doctrinaire, an adjective meaning, “dogmatic about others’ acceptance of one’s ideas; fanatical.”

Today is Daiquiri Day. I can never remember how to spell that. But a Daiquiri sounds really good on these hot Texas days in July. I’ll have strawberry or peach, please.

C is home! C is home! C is home!!

Yes, she got home around 7, yesterday evening, and we were able to have dinner together. I wasn’t expecting that until yesterday afternoon, when I found out her flight was getting in earlier than I had originally thought. Of course, she is exhausted, but still has to go to work today. It was pretty good trip from the sound of things, and there were some really cool things that happened, so that was nice. We are all very glad that she is home. Especially Screamer, the cat.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness
when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.”
Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”
Psalm 95:6-11

There is a contrast presented here, between worship and wandering, or worship and “the wilderness.” In worship, “we give our attention to God’s love and direction.” But in the wilderness, in Meribah and Massah, we give our attention to strife and temptation, “in which we look out for ourselves and snatch what we can in a trackless desert.”

“Father, I will give my attention to you in faithful worship, listening to your words of truth and guidance; and I will put aside the contentious scrabbling for my own way, which only adds years of wandering in the wilderness of my sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

(From Solid Joys)

His Timing Is Perfect

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Any work that we do, any ministry, is in the future. So there is always time to worry about it, to “fret about our inadequacy.” I know I do that a lot. Twice a month, on Wednesday, I fret about whether I’m adequately prepared to lead a prayer meeting.

“Prayer is the form of faith that connects us today with the grace that will make us adequate for tomorrow’s ministry.” I like that statement. We cannot pray without faith. I believe that the very fact that we pray indicates at least a little faith. After all, if I had no faith, why would I pray? Even people who don’t know Christ pray, sometimes. That means that there is a spark of faith there; a belief in something that might possibly answer that prayer.

So we pray, as John Piper would put it, for “future grace.” But what if the grace comes too early or too late? (That sounds like one of those rhetorical questions that Paul keeps asking in his letters.) Piper gives us a literal translation of the verse above that gives a sweet promise about that. Here is what his literal translation says: Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may find grace for a well-timed help.

Prayer is how we get this future grace. God’s grace will always arrive from the throne of grace, and right on time; right when we need it; a “well-timed help.” But we also have to have the faith that God’s timing is perfect, because ours isn’t. So we might get a little nervous when this grace doesn’t arrive when we think it should. We have to remember that God knows when it is needed. Remember that God set the times and boundaries for the nations of the earth (Acts 17:26). And then look at what the psalmist says in Psalm 31:15: My times are in your hand.

So when we begin to worry about the timing of this grace, we need to remember that it comes from the “throne of grace,” and that God’s future grace is always “well-timed.”

Father, thank you for these promises concerning grace. Thank you that your grace is always right on time. Now I pray that your Spirit will dwell so closely within me that I can remember these truths and promises when I begin to worry about the future (even when the “future” is ten minutes away).

Come, Lord Jesus!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)

Grace and peace, friends.