Do We Listen, Yet Not Hear?

Today is Wednesday, August 17, 2016. TWO more days until S turns 23!!

Quote of the Day

“A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience.” – Elbert Hubbard

Word of the Day

Big whoop – Expressing dismissiveness: ‘So what?’ ‘Who cares?’

Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day. That seems to be every day at our house. At least the black cat seems to think so.

So only today and tomorrow for this work week, and we’re off Friday! Woohoo! S’s birthday is Friday, and we are taking off for the day. I’m not sure what all we will do, but Martha’s Mexican Restaurant and pedicures will most certainly be involved. The best part will be not working. Saturday, we will head to Mineral Wells to spend a couple of days with Grandma, and attend church with her on Sunday morning.

The Red Sox and Rangers both pulled off close games last night. The Rangers won theirs in the bottom of the tenth inning on a “walk-off hit-by-pitch.” I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before. The Red Sox won on two home runs by Mookie Betts. That guy is on fire. So the Sox are now tied with Baltimore for second place, while the Boo Jays are in first, since they beat the Yankees last night. The Rangers are the only team in the AL with over 70 wins.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Who can utter the mighty deeds of the LORD, or declare all his praise?
Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!
Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them,
that I may look upon the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory with your inheritance.
Psalm 106:1-5

This psalm becomes a psalm of lament and confession, but it begins with an opening of praise. “It is because the Lord ‘is good’ and ‘his steadfast love endures forever’ that sin can be confessed with the expectation (‘remember me’) of restoration.”

“As I look at the past, I see a mass of human failings; keep me, O God, from adding yet another sin by using what I see to document accusation against others. Rather, I will confess my contribution to the failures and look to you for forgiveness, in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Are You Discouraged in Devotion?

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

If you have never heard Jesus say a “hard word,” Oswald Chambers questions whether you have heard him at all. “Jesus Christ says a great deal that we listen to, but do not hear; when we do hear, His words are amazingly hard.” This, of course, is why we rationalize words like the Beatitudes, saying that they are just ideals, lofty principles to strive for, not actual characteristics that should drive our very existence.

Another amazing point is that Jesus did not chase after this man. He was not being in any way “solicitous.” He simply put it out there and left it at that. He did not plead, he did not try to entrap. “He simply spoke the sternest words mortal ears every listened to, and then left it alone.” The modern church would do well to observe this example. I have been in altar calls where Jesus is misrepresented as “pleading” with people to come be saved. That is never true.

The man in this passage heard the words of Jesus, understood them, but turned away, not defiantly, but heart-broken. “And Jesus did not go after him, He let him go.”

Have we heard the words of Jesus? What is our response? He will not beg or plead with us; he will not chase after us. He speaks . . . and then he just waits for his words to bear fruit.

Father, I pray for your Spirit to work on me, that the words of Jesus will begin to bear fruit in my life. I have read the words of Jesus over and over. But have I truly heard them? As I continue to read his words, throughout my life, may they take root; may the embed themselves in my very being, and have an effect on me that remains forever. I pray for them to bear fruit in my life. I do not want to turn away, either defiantly or broken-hearted.

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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