No Other Motive

Today is Friday, September 16, 2016. 28 days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“I opened a book and in I strode. Now nobody can find me.” ― Julia Donaldson

Word of the Day

Noctambulate – To walk about at night.

Today is Guacamole Day. Okay, now I have to figure out how to get some. Guacamole is one of my favorite foods. In fact, it’s pretty much how I rate any Mexican restaurant, by the quality of their guacamole.

Nothing much happened yesterday. Well, I’m sure stuff happened somewhere, and may have even been important. I just don’t know about any of it. The Rangers didn’t play, and the Red Sox were losing to the Yankees 5-2 when we went to bed, going into the ninth inning. I was pretty sure it was over. Then this happened.

Hanley Ramirez hits a walk-off home run to straightaway center field off of a 99+ mph fastball. Wowzers. So the Red Sox are two games up in first place. Their magic number is 15. With 16 games left. I need some Xanax.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat.
Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.
Psalm 115:1-8

Eugene Peterson quotes John Calvin: “Surely, just as waters boil up from a vast, full spring, so does an immense crowd of gods flow forth from the human mind, while each one, in wandering about with too much license, wrongly invents this or that about God himself. . . . man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.” (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1:65, 108)

“Father Almighty, you revealed yourself to me in Jesus Christ, ‘full of grace and truth.’ Cure me of idol-making, from fashioning gods out of my desire and imagination, so that I can be free to worship you–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (John 1:14). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6

This is something I struggle with, especially as leader of a prayer ministry. “Do not have as your motive the desire to be known as a praying man.” If that is my desire, then I have my eyes on men and not God. “Have no other motive than to know your Father in heaven.” Chambers even goes so far as to say that it is not possible to conduct life as a disciple without having times of secret prayer.

It is important for us to know that the only reason God hears us is because of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Our earnestness and zeal have no impact on whether God hears us. It is the blood of Christ that causes God to hear us. And the purpose of prayer is not primarily to get stuff from God. The idea of prayer is to get into communion with God.

Father, I desire that perfect communion with you. I also desire that my prayers be authentic, not laced with ulterior motives and false pretenses. This is difficult, because of my sinful humanity and flesh. But I do believe it is possible. As I continue working the disciplines, lead me in that direction.

Come, Lord Jesus!

“Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.” (The Divine Hours)

Grace and peace, friends.

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