Persecution Strengthens Faith

Today is Sunday, December 4, 2016. Twenty-one days until Christmas!

Quote of the Day

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.” – Alfred Adler

Word of the Day

Andragogy – The method and practice of teaching adult learners; adult education.

Today is Wear Brown Shoes Day. Apparently, brown shoes are not as numerous as other colors. But I’m a guy, and we typically have only two or three colors of shoes. Black, brown, and white (tennis shoes). I guess we might have other colors of tennis shoes, but mine are usually white or grey. I do have some brown shoes. Perhaps I’ll wear them today.

Last night’s Night of Worship was tremendous!! It may have been the best one ever. I really believe that God “showed up” (he is always there). I know I felt his presence, both in the songs, and in some of the prayers that were prayed. It was a great night.

We are getting ready for our worship gathering, this morning. And I’m behind. Oh, well. C and I have been talking about stuff, mostly last night. We worship with The Exchange, which meets at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach Street, Fort Worth. Worship begins at 10:15.

83 days until the first Spring Training game.
120 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Sunday in the second week of Advent

I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. Psalm 101:1

But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. Psalm 88:13

Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore. Psalm 93:5

This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:23

“Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
Grant us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.”
(The Divine Hours)

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, 
who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. 
  They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah. 
  Guard me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet. 
  The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net; beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah.
Psalm 140:1-5

When a true believer is persecuted, it does not destroy faith; it strengthens faith. “Hostile attempts against the faith are as futile as trying to get rid of a nail by hitting it with a hammer–blows only embed it more firmly in reality.”

“Powerful and merciful Savior, keep me from evil today. When I am weak, give me strength; when I am tempted, grant me courage; when I am disheartened, provide me with hope. In the name of Jesus who ‘himself was tested by what he suffered’ (Hebrews 2:18). Amen.”

Father, I have never been truly “persecuted.” I hear people speak against the faith, at times, but rarely has someone singled me out for being a Christian. But I pray that, should that day ever come, you would make me strong in your Spirit, that any persecution would strengthen my resolve to stand firm in the faith, and that my confidence would be in you and Christ, not in any words I might say or things I might do. Your grace is sufficient.

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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