Growing Up Strong In God

Today is Thursday, June 15, 2017. Day 21,644.

I was running slow this morning, so I didn’t have time for my usual trivial pursuits. I will mention that bowling was a mixed bag, last night. I started out badly, with a 124, but finished strong, with 185 and 181, to average around 163 for the night. Unfortunately, we only won one of the three games.

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! 
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Psalm 95:1-3
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
Psalm 86:4
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
Psalm 57:5
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.
Psalm 69:6
Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 
It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 
Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 
lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 
And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.

Mark 13:33-37
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 
let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 
before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalm 96:11-13

(From Practice Resurrection)

Eugene Peterson gives a summary of the subject of the book: “finding and living into the form of what one psalm translation terms ‘the beauty of holiness’ (Ps. 29:2 KJV). The formation of our minds and spirits, our souls, our lives–our lives transformed, growing up strong in God, growing to maturity, to the stature of Christ.”

He certainly has no intention of minimizing the importance of evangelism. It is necessary and essential. But growth is equally essential. “The American church runs on the euphoria and adrenaline of new birth–getting people into the church, into the kingdom, into causes, into crusades, into programs.” The idea of growth, transformation, spiritual formation, is delegated to “specialized ministries,” and, thereby, removed from the center of the church’s life.

It’s a cultural thing, really. The American culture has little tolerance for the ways that promote centering and growth; things like silence, solitude, simplicity, patience. Unfortunately, our churches tend to adapt to the culture. They become “talkative, noisy, busy, controlling, image-conscious.”

The purpose of the book is not to constantly bash the church. It is to teach us what the church is supposed to look like; to teach us that we are in community, and that we all need each other desperately.

Father, help us to grow up in you. Teach us your ways, that we might walk in your truth. Teach us the things that we need in our lives in order to grow; the disciplines of spiritual formation that will help us re-arrange our lives to better love you and walk in your kingdom.
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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