The Real Thing

Today is Thursday, October 27, 2016. Fourteen days until our Glen Rose Weekend.

Quote of the Day

“A book is not supposed to be a mirror. It’s supposed to be a door.” ― Fran Lebowitz

Word of the Day

Delectation – delight; enjoyment.

Today is Black Cat Day. We have one of those, so we always celebrate it. Ours is eighteen years old. Happy Black Cat Day, Screamer.

Terry Francona has finally lost a World Series game. The Cubs beat the Indians 5-1, last night, to tie the series 1-1. They have a day off, and will resume the series in Chicago tomorrow.

Apparently, they are making a Toy Story 4 movie. But it’s not due out until 2019. Why even bother to tell me that?

I don’t have much else to say, so on to the devotions.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! Psalm 99:1
Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Psalm 106:47
Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! Psalm 33:8

(From Praying With the Psalms)

In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me.
Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.
What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you, you deceitful tongue?
A warrior’s sharp arrows, with glowing coals of the broom tree!
Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.
I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!
Psalm 120

We are immersed in a culture full of lies and malice. Sometimes, it feels as if we are drowning. “We can trust nothing we hear, depend on no one we meet.” We have a longing for peach and truth that directs us “on a pilgrim search for wholeness in God.” Our discontent with this world of sin is one motivation for the journey of discipleship.

“God, in a world where more lies are told than truth, and where enmity is more common than peace, I thank you for your constancy and your fidelity. Give me the strength to be a peacemaker when those around me are scornful of your peace. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:19

The King James Version says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” What Jesus did not say was “Go and save souls.” Salvation is the supernatural work of God. Jesus said, “Go and teach; go and make disciples.” And it should go without saying that you cannot make disciples unless you are one. How do you become a disciple? This is a question that I have struggled to answer for most of my life. I like the way Dallas Willard answers the question. You put the words of Jesus into practice in your daily life and find them to be true. In other words, you become a disciple by believing in and acting upon the words of Jesus, not just simply by believing in Jesus.

When the original disciples came back from their first mission, they rejoiced, but for the wrong reasons. Jesus tells us not to rejoice because of successful service. The secret of joy is to be rightly related to Jesus. “Rejoice because your names are written in the book of life.” The “great essential” of the missionary’s work is that he be true to God’s call. The single purpose is to make disciples. “There is a passion for souls that does not spring from God, but from the desire to make converts to our point of view.

There is a song by my all time favorite Christian group (Daniel Amos), called “Colored By.” It addresses that very issue. Here’s a piece of those lyrics:

“Down at the little church, they all wear hats
They feel they’re doing right
Over at the big church, they hate those hats
It get’s them uptight, now is that right?

You might not recognize, the truth gets colored by
Wrong things, bad things do disguise
Afraid you might despise the real thing”

Our call is not to convert people to our own view, but to make disciples of them, following the words and steps of Jesus Christ. The challenge comes in a question from Jesus: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” If we take up any other method, we totally depart from his methods.

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.

Father, I believe I have made more progress on the road of discipleship this year, than I have made in all of the 58 years before it. I pray that it continue in that direction. I thank you for the teaching that you have brought my way, and the influence and brotherhood of my brothers in Christ on this journey with me. We are, as iron sharpens iron, walking together in this and helping each other along. Help me to be one who fulfills the calling of your Great Commission. Help me to somehow make disciples as I go.

Even so, 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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