Today is Tuesday, September 22, 2020. Peace be with you!
Nineteen days until our Broken Bow vacation; twenty days until our 35th wedding anniversary!
And, today is the first day of my favorite season of the year: Autumn!!
Full disclosure: I did not take that picture.
We had a different kind of evening, yesterday. C went over to help some friends who are getting a house ready for them to move in. So I cooked chili when I got home from work and set hers aside for her to eat when she got home. The family she was helping is a very sweet family, and has been an active part of our little church. The husband/father has ALS and is confined to a wheelchair, so the mom and kids have to do everything. The mom does a variety of things for a living, including delivering Amazon packages and making custom t-shirts, such as the new one I got Sunday afternoon.
We have a lot of love for this family, so when the mom reached out for help, yesterday, C was all over that, just as I knew she would be.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Giver of all good things, we thank you: for health and vigour, for the air that gives the breath of life, the sun that warms us, and the good food that makes us strong; for happy homes and for the friends we love, for all that makes it good to live. Make us thankful and eager to repay, by cheerfulness and kindliness, and by a readiness to help others. Freely we have received; let us freely give, in the name of him who gave his life for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. (Giver of All Good Things, Thomas Ken (1637-1711)
Scriptures and Prayers from The Divine Hours
Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
(Psalms 31:23 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
- For the way You are transforming me
- That You have caused me to put hope and trust in Your Word
- That You have put it in my heart to be generous to the needy and hungry
- That this world is not my true “home”
- That someday, I will be home, where we will see Your face
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
(Psalms 119:147 ESV)
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.
(Psalms 118:28 ESV)
I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.
(Psalms 119:113 ESV)
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
(Mark 3:31-35 ESV)
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
(Psalms 145:18-21 ESV)
Lord, have mercy on us; Christ, have mercy on us; Lord, have mercy on us.
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.
"Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Grant us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; 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)
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
(2 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV)
Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone; any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.
(Proverbs 17:8 MSG)
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The GOD of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, GOD will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.
(Isaiah 58:6-12 MSG)
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
(Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV)
He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.”
(Psalms 105:8-11 NIV)
“God’s promise to give Abraham’s descendants a homeland is central to understanding the plan of redemption. We long for home, a place of security, comfort, and love. We were made for a world without death or parting from love, a world in which we walked with God and knew Him face to face.”
This world is not that place.
As comfortable and secure as I feel in this place wherein I am typing at the moment, it is not my true “home.” And that home is what I long for, daily.
“Lord, give me the peace that comes from knowing that nothing in this world is truly home. Give me the strength that comes from visiting my future home when I know Your love and presence in prayer. I praise You that You will bring us someday to the true country we have been looking for all our lives. Amen.”
(From The Songs of Jesus, by Timothy and Kathy Keller)
Oh, yes, Lord! How we long for “home!” Give us strength to endure the trials and tribulations of this world and this life as we wait for You to take us Home. And, while we are enduring, may we endure with true love, the love that Jesus Christ has for us. May we not “endure,” as some do, with whining and complaining, but with encouragement and blessing. Yes, Father, make me a blessing today.
I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
Grace and peace, friends.