Bless Those Who Curse You

Today is Sunday, June 4, 2017. Day 21,633.

Today’s word of the day is notabilia, which means, “matters, events, or items worthy of note.”

Today is Cancer Survivors Day. My mother is one. I work with one.

I’m sitting at a table, looking at a patio door at the Pacific Ocean. What a beautiful sight, as well as a thunderously awesome sound. The current temperature is 59 degrees, and it’s mostly sunny.

We had breakfast a little while ago at a local cafe, called “Grumpy’s.” It was delicious, especially the bacon and the gravy on the biscuits. I’m guessing we will be back there later in the week.

After I get through blogging, C and I will go out and drive around a little, then stop at one of the local stores for a few groceries, mostly snacks.

I have decided to write a separate blog post detailing our experiences from yesterday (Saturday, June 3). I’ll do that immediately after finishing this one.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Psalm 95:1-2
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us!
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 80:1-3
It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,

Psalm 92:1-2
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Psalm 119:36-37
And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 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 6:5-6
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalm 19:7-11
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.
The Gloria
Holy Father, creator and sustaining wisdom of all that is, both in heaven and on earth, take from me those thoughts, actions and objects that are hurtful. Give me instead those things that are profitable for me and all who seek rightly to praise you. I ask this grace in the company of all believers and through the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who is, with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
The Prayer Appointed for the Week

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Matthew 5:44

The KJV translates verse 44 like this: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

Bill Giovannetti begins today’s reading asking this question: “Do I really have to do this, Lord?”

This may be one of the hardest things that a Christ-follower is ever called upon to do. “Bless them that curse you.” “Pray for those who persecute you.” Bill writes of invisible hands reaching up inside him to choke off his prayers. Grudges had been nursed for years. We all have these wounds that run deeper than we want to admit. But if we are honest, we know that God asks us to pray for these people, not against them.

Recently, things “came to a head” for Bill, as he was preparing a sermon. As he was preparing for worship, the Spirit whispered to him. Pray for them.

“I sighed and prayed,” he said. “There was no great relief, no lightning bolt, no deep emotion–just a still, small voice and a free-will choice.”

He obeyed the Spirit’s prompting and discovered power for his preaching. In the two weeks that followed, he continued to pray for those people.

“I don’t know what God is doing in their lives, but I do know what He’s doing in mine: God is setting me free.”

If we are truly following Christ and practicing the disciplines that lead to spiritual reformation, we will get to that place where we will, by nature, “bless them that curse us” and pray for those who persecute us.

Father, teach me your ways in this. Teach me, through practice and training, to be able to bless those who curse me or persecute me.
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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