Today is Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in the fifth week of Lent. Peace be with you!
Twelve days until Resurrection Sunday.
Our grocery delivery went okay, yesterday, but just “okay.” I got a text when the shopper began, and there weren’t a lot of replacements, which was good. However, I started getting texts that she was replacing things without asking approval. That’s not how that is supposed to work. When I finally started questioning that, then she started asking. But she wasn’t real great at communication, because, when they were out of Cherry Coke Zero, she said they had “regular.” I assumed she meant “regular” Coke Zero, but she delivered a box of “regular” Cherry Coke. Ugh. Kroger’s delivery service is powered by Instacart. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. I’ll go pick them up at the store. Kroger employees do all of that, and you get precise options on what they are attempting to replace your items with, along with the choice to reject the substitution. Oh, and they still are completely out of paper towels. I just don’t get that. I wish I had a clue what people are thinking. Or maybe I don’t.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
Today I am grateful:
1. For the rain we got yesterday
2. For the cooler temperature yesterday afternoon and this morning
3. That I have reliable transportation to get to work
4. For the gift of technology that allows us to still “meet” together as a church
5. For the gift of music, without which life would be unbearable
6. That You, O Lord, are my hiding place
Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.
Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.”
(John 17:11-13, 20-22)
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
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.
“Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give me this bread, that he may live in me, and I in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)
“Almighty and eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully accept the prayers of your people everywhere, and strengthen each of us to do your will; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours, The Concluding Prayer of the Church)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
“We don’t have to earn God’s grace, forgiveness, or entrance into His family. We simply accept His free gift.”
(Julie Schwab, Our Daily Bread)
And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them.
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.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
(From The Songs of Jesus, by Timothy and Kathy Keller)
Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
(Psalms 43:1-5 NIV)
God is our hiding place, our shelter, our stronghold. If you notice, there is a common “refrain” between Psalm 42 and Psalm 43. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Verse 5)
“When we put our trust in the living God, we know that nothing can come into that stronghold without God’s permission, limitation, and purpose.” The psalmist, here, even looks to God for his vindication, “not looking either to human approval or to personal vengeance.” The refrain in verse 5 has more of a ring of confidence to it than the ones in the previous psalm.
“Prayer: Lord, you are my vindication and reputation–it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. You are my stronghold–nothing else can protect me from every danger, even death. You are my joy and delight==all others will desert me. If you are my God, why should I be downcast? Amen.”
Father, You are my hiding place, my shelter, my refuge. You uphold me, and my identity and reputation are found in you alone. You are, indeed, my stronghold, and will protect me and deliver me. Even in death, there will be deliverance, as death is nothing more than a gateway to eternal life. And You will never forsake me. Help me to hide in You today.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.
2 thoughts on “You”
Dude. Seriously? Cherry Coke Zero – one of our “go-to” sodas. I often get Diet Dr. Pepper, though.
I also love Diet Dr. Pepper. That’s my current Sonic drink of choice. With cherry in it, though. I love cherry. I’ll drink it without, if I can’t find it with cherry, though. I’ve been a Dr. Pepper drinker since I was but a wee lad.
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