Never Alone

Today is Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Hump Day. Blessings to you!

Day 22,413

Twenty-six days until S’s birthday!

C and S had a good time at the ladies’ outing, last night. They had dinner at Bosses Pizza. But they had burgers. Interesting. C said that the meat didn’t have a lot of flavor. S said her tater tots were delicious. C said they had really good ranch dressing. I had pizza at home, delivered from Tony’s in Watauga.

I played some PS4 games, but I also played a little bit of music, so it wasn’t a totally wasted evening.

The Texas Rangers finally snapped their losing streak, last night, beating the Seattle Mariners 7-2. Pedro Payano (who??) got the win for Texas. The are back over .500 at 51-50, in fourth place in the AL West, thirteen games out of first place, and 6.5 games out of the second wild card spot. They finish the series with the Mariners this afternoon, with Mike Minor taking the mound for Texas.

Chris Sale got win number five, as the Red Sox beat the Rays 5-4. They are 56-46 on the season, in a virtual tie with the Rays for second place in the AL East. The Sox are actually in front by .001 percentage. They are ten games out of first place, and two games out of the second wild card spot, currently owned by Cleveland. They play the Rays again, this afternoon, with a chance to sweep and take sole possession of second place. David Price will start.

The LA Dodgers and New York Yankees are tied for the best team in MLB, with .650 percentages. The Detroit Tigers have dropped into the worst spot, with a 30-66 record, .313 percentage.

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

As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! 
For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me. 
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!

Psalm 40:11-13

Today I am grateful:
1. That evils have NOT, in fact, “encompassed me beyond number,” and that my iniquities have not overtaken me.
2. That steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord “will ever preserve me!”
3. For the bond that is shared by believers in Christ.
4. That God “speaks” to us in many different ways.
5. That I am not left alone to fight this fight of faith.

“O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to thy merciful care, that, being guided by thy Providence, we may dwell secure in thy peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of this State (or Commonwealth), and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.”
(The Book of Common Prayer, Prayers and Thanksgivings, 19. For the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority)

(From Solid Joys), John Piper

Jesus Keeps His Sheep

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Luke 22:31-32

Peter ultimately failed Jesus, quite miserably, yet was, arguably, by the prayer of Jesus, preserved “from utter ruin.” He was restored and eventually became the strongest of the apostles, boldly preaching his message at Pentecost. We see Jesus interceding for us in much the same way in Romans 8:34. “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”

In John 10:27-28, Jesus promises the preservation of his sheep. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

We see in Philippians 1:6 that we are not abandoned in this work, as “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” And again, in Philippians 2:13, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Scripture is full of reassurances that God is working in us and will continue to do so. Hebrews 13:20-21, “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

It is true that we must work and fight. But our work and our fight is boldly enabled by the presence of the Lord, in Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:30, we are told that “those whom he justified he also glorified.” Says Piper, “The glorification of God’s justified children is as good as done.”

We have this assurance that he will lose none of those whom he has brought to faith in Christ Jesus. With this assurance, we can have the faith to only move forward and not be concerned about our destiny.

Father, thank you, praise you, for these reminders that we are never alone in our fight of faith. You have equipped us, you have enabled us, and you will keep us, in Christ Jesus, through your Holy Spirit. Thank you for your presence with us, every day.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

Grace and peace, friends.

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