Relationship, Not Service

Today is Tuesday, August 30, 2016. 45 days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

Word of the Day

Vilipend – to regard or treat as of little value or account. Also, to vilify; depreciate.

Today is Frankenstein Day. That’s rather ironic, as we lost Gene Wilder yesterday. You know . . . Young Frankenstein?

Yes, the news was breaking as I was starting my afternoon break yesterday. Gene Wilder, our beloved Willy Wonka and Young Frankenstein has died at the age of 83. He died “due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.” Did anyone know he had suffered from Alzheimer’s? Probably not, as Wilder chose not to disclose it. “He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world,” said his nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman.

Band practice went well, last night. We made it through most of the music for the upcoming concert, which will be on Saturday, September 17, at 7:30 PM, at our usual spot, the Southlake Town Center Gazebo.

The Rangers beat the Mariners 6-3 last night, knocking Seattle into third place and maintaining an 8.5 game lead over the now second place Astros. The Red Sox beat the Rays 9-4, but gained no ground on the Boo Jays, who beat the Orioles 5-1. They are still two games behind, in second place. They do, however, have a two game lead in the wild card chase.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters;
they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight;
they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
Psalm 107:23-32

Every day, in the business world, we see people overcoming insurmountable odds, using their wit, cunning, cleverness, and intelligence. These situations, of course, give people the illusion of having control. “But there are powers and forces over which cunning has no influence. Life has storms from which mere ingenuity cannot save us.”

“Just when I get my life arranged so that everything is under control, something happens to upset it. I need to learn, Lord, that life is not a business that I arrange and control, but a pilgrimage in which you give protection and provide guidance. Help me to learn that through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Am I Convinced by Christ?

Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20

What Jesus tells us is that we should not be rejoicing in “successful service,” but because we are rightly related to him. “You can never measure what God will do through you if you are rightly related to Jesus Christ.” But if our eyes are on the service, instead of on Christ, our reward will simply be the job well done. Maybe that’s enough for some people. But if we stay focused on Christ, rightly related to him, he will pour “rivers of living water” through us, and we won’t even be aware of it. That’s the best way to be. If I am rightly related to Jesus, then my daily walk will include works that our Father will do through me that I won’t even be aware of. I don’t need to be aware of them. My reward is not in the works of service that I do, but in my relationship with Jesus.

“The tendency today is to put the emphasis on service.” Do you realize when that was written? This book was initially copyrighted in 1935! Imagine how true it is in 2016! Things haven’t changed much, have they? For all of our talking and teaching about “grace,” we still manage to put all the emphasis (well, most of it, anyway) on works! We cannot make our usefulness the measure of our success. “It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him.” We must keep our relationship with Jesus right; the work will take care of itself, as we stay in the “easy yoke.”

Father, I pray that you keep me rightly related to Jesus. I know that this depends somewhat on me, and pray that I can manage to do this daily. But I fail a lot. Keep my eyes on Jesus. Help me to “look full in his wonderful face.” Then you can work through me, and I don’t have to worry about the works of service, because they will flow through me like rivers of living water.

Come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

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