The Wonderful Cross

Today is Saturday, November 26, 2016. Twenty-nine days until Christmas!

Quote of the Day

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” – Charles M. Schulz

Word of the Day

Heartsease – peace of mind

Today is Small Business Saturday. This day is set aside to remind people to support local small businesses instead of shopping at Walmart, or some other box store. Join Kristen Bell and Ted Danson in supporting small businesses.

We had a nice day of doing not much of anything, yesterday. Mostly, we binge-watched iZombie on Netflix. That’s probably what we will do this afternoon, as well, unless we make it out of the house to get groceries. It has been a nice, restful weekend, so far.

We did get the Christmas decorations up around the house, yesterday, and C put up the Christmas tree, along with the outside decorations, while I took a short nap, yesterday afternoon. The only time we left the house was to go to Sonic for drinks and Taco Bell for lunch.

91 days until the first Spring Training game.
128 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD! Psalm 115:18

I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Psalm 142:5

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 
For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Psalm 108:3-4

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. Psalm 84:11

Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem, how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare, down to its foundations!” 
O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed, blessed shall he be who repays you with what you have done to us! 
  Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!
Psalm 137:7-9

I have to confess that this is one passage that has always greatly disturbed me. I would never be comfortable praying verse 9. However, Peterson quotes C.S. Lewis on this one, “the ferocious parts of the Psalms serve as a reminder that there is in the world such a thing as wickedness and that it (if not its perpetrators) is hateful to God.” This is from Lewis’s Reflections on the Psalms.

“Father in heaven, as I seek ways to express your word of salvation to the sinner,
keep me at the same time vigilant and hostile to sin so that even as I learn to love the persons you love,
I may learn to hate the sines that you hate. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

“We lose power if we do not concentrate on the right thing,” says Oswald Chambers. What is the “right thing?” It is the Cross of Christ. One of the reasons that the modern church has lost much power is that it insists on concentrating on the effects of the Cross; salvation, sanctification, healing, and so on. “If I talk my own talk, it is of no more importance to you than your talk is to me; but if I talk the truth of God, you will meet it again and so will I.”

In the words of one of my favorite hymns:

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

Here is an “updated” version of that hymn, by Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman:

Father, may I focus on the Cross more in my life, and, thereby, glean the benefits, the effects of that Cross. May it be alive in me every day, and may I glory in the truth of it, to the point that it reflects off of me and is displayed unto others.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4

Grace and peace, friends.

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