All Is Grace

Today is Friday, January 31, 2020. Peace be with you!

Day 22,604

Eleven days until Spring Training!

And just like that, January is over.

My first day back to work, post-flu, was pretty good. I was pretty tired, by the end of it, and hit the hay pretty early last night, but it went well. Fortunately, after today, I get a couple more days of rest.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
(Psa 95:1, 3)

Today I am grateful:
1. That the joy of the Lord is my strength
2. That, in his presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16.11)
3. That, at his right hand, there are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16.11)
4. That he gives me confidence (Hebrews 10.35, Joshua 1.9)
5. That our great salvation is complete . . . the work is done

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.
(Psa 17:6)

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
(Psa 119:130)

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
(Joh 7:37-39)

When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
(Psa 73:21-28)

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.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

“Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)

When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food. Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.
(Pro 23:1-5)

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
(Heb 10:35)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
(Jos 1:9)

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
(Jer 17:7-8)

(From The Songs of Jesus, by Timothy and Kathy Keller)

The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation— the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me, who delivered me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you rescued me from the man of violence. For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to your name. Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.
(Psa 18:46-50)

Earlier in the psalm, David seems to indicate that it was he who defeated his enemies, but in this passage, he declares that God delivered him from his enemies. Which is it? Do we defeat our enemies? Or does God do it? This is a paradox, indeed, as it seems to be both. We even have this strange statement in Philippians 2:12 that tells us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” That has been misconstrued for ages, but we know that it does not mean that we work for our salvation.

Whatever David did to defeat his enemies, he knew that “God accomplished it all through his grace, despite David’s imperfect efforts.” But David still had efforts; he was not passive. We do not always sit around and wait for God to do something. However, “work done in the belief it is all up to us becomes a joyless, deadly grind. Only those who know that salvation comes by sheer grace, not our efforts, have the inner dynamic of grateful joy (Colossians 3:15-17) that empowers the greatest efforts.” Truly, the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Nehemiah 8.10)

Prayer: “Lord, help me remember that my salvation in Christ is complete–so the great work is already done, the great debt already paid, the great disease already healed. That enables me to take on all lesser tasks and challenges with confidence and joy. I put myself in your hands–work through me. Amen.”

Father, truly, as I walk through this day, still weak from my previous affliction, may I remember the it is your joy that is my strength. Remind me of the truth of Psalm 16.11, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” I have forgotten the truth of this. I have briefly neglected this fullness of joy that exists in your presence, and the pleasures forevermore at your right hand. Help me to walk in those today.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3.17

Grace and peace, friends.