Today is Wednesday, the third of March, 2021, in the second week of Lent.
Peace be with you!
32 days until Resurrection Sunday
Unfortunately, we got a diagnosis on our pool, yesterday. We finally were able to get someone to come look at it. I’m sure he has been very busy since Snovid-21. It’s not good. We have a lot of cracked things, and are probably looking at a major overhaul of equipment. I’ll have to continue the conversation with our pool guy today, to see if he has the capability of repairing/replacing it all. Some of that equipment is over twenty years old, so much of it will probably need to be replaced. Nevertheless, all of this is a “footstool” issue, in the grand scheme of things.
The governor of Texas announced, yesterday, that he will ignore doctors and science and lift all pandemic restrictions in our state, effective a week from today. I fully expect Texas to be leading the world in Coronavirus cases within three weeks.
One of my old supervisors from a previous job with CEVA accidentally called me at 3:30 this morning. I didn’t answer, but immediately he texted me, apologizing that he has another person working with him with the same name as me. It would be humorous, but I didn’t get much sleep after that. I believe I might suggest that he sort his contacts by last name. Haha!
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
“Enter, Lord Christ– I have joy in Your coming. You have given me life; and I welcome Your coming. I turn now to face You, I lift up my eyes. Be blessing my face, Lord; be blessing my eyes. May all my eye looks on be blessed and be bright, my neighbors, my loved ones be blessed in Your sight. You have given me life and I welcome Your coming. Be with me, Lord, I have joy, I have joy.” (Celtic Daily Prayer)
Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the LORD our God. Those nations will fall down and collapse, but we will rise up and stand firm. Give victory to our king, O LORD! Answer our cry for help.
(Psalms 20:7-9 NLT)
Today I am grateful:
- That every problem or issue we encounter in our lives is temporary
- For my future inheritance in God’s Kingdom, which cannot fade, be corrupted, or perish
- That I am alive and breathing
- That Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom
- For the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
LENT – DAY 13
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
(Psalms 145:13 NIV)
In light of everything going on in the world, these days, ponder for a moment the everlasting kingdom of God.
Vindicate me, LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD and have not faltered. Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
I do not sit with the deceitful, nor do I associate with hypocrites. I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, LORD, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
LORD, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells. Do not take away my soul along with sinners, my life with those who are bloodthirsty, in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes. I lead a blameless life; deliver me and be merciful to me. My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the LORD.
(Psalms 26:1-12 NIV)
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
(Romans 4:1-5 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
I struggle with Psalm 26, because I have most certainly not led a blameless life. However, I have, to my credit, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and His sacrifice on the Cross, which utterly erased my record of sin, past, present, and future. You might ask how there could be a record of future sin. My only explanation of this is that God exists outside of time, and sees my whole life at one time, even the parts I have not ventured into, yet. In the words of the psalmist, this information is too high for me, too lofty to attain.
I can say, I believe, that I have trusted in the Lord for most of my life, if not all. Sure, there have been periods of time where that trust waned a bit, but it never entirely disappeared. I have never completely forsaken my God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And, like David, I can say that “I love the house where You live.” That “house” is different for us than it was for David. But, to bring it into a more New Covenant way of thinking, I love the Church. And Church with a capital C is the Body of Christ, all believers, all over the world, past, present, and future, the communion of Saints.
I am a firm believe that if you claim to love Jesus and do not love the Church, you are a liar.
One of the things that makes the Church unique is the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us by faith, as Abraham experienced. If we trust in God rather than our works and deeds, our faith is, indeed, credited as righteousness.
So, to circle back, because of these truths, I guess, perhaps, I have led a “blameless” life. But it is not my life that was blameless. It was my Savior’s.
Father, I praise You that my faith has been credited to me as righteousness. Thank You for the example of Abraham; thank You for the testimony of David; thank You for Your Word, which so effectively communicates these truths to us, that we may live and walk in Your kingdom today. I praise You for the work of Christ, fully completed and efficacious, that has drawn us into and given us full access to Your “holy of holies,” that we may approach You, without guilty consciences, to worship You and pray to You.
"God of boundless mercy, I come empty-handed, confessing the bankruptcy of my works and drawing on your infinite grace by faith. Thank you for the gift of righteousness in Jesus, who was made to be sin and a curse in my place, on the cross, making me right with you. In the Savior's name, amen." (Canons of Dort 2.2)
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
(Psalms 130:5 NIV)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
(Psalms 32:8 NIV)
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
(Psalms 143:8 NIV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
In the book of Jonah, there appears to be a prophecy of the Lord that did not come true. Jonah was told to deliver the message, “”Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” (Jonah 3:4 ESV)
Yet, when Jonah delivered the message, albeit unwillingly, the Ninevites believed the message, repented, and God spared them.
God showed great mercy in this, and also showed that He “would rather save the lost even if by doing so it would appear to void His Word.”
But Jonathan Cahn brings out a great point. Was the prophecy, in fact, unfulfilled?
The word translated “overthrown” or “destroyed” in most translations, is the Hebrew hafak. That word can mean “overturn,” “change,” or “convert.” And that, in fact, is exactly what happened to Nineveh.
“The Mission: Today, let His mercy triumph over all judgment and condemnation. Let logic of judgment yield to the paradox of His love.”
“Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.”
(Jonah 3:2 NLT)
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
(2 Peter 3:9 NLT)
Father, I praise You for Your great mercy and love, which would even make it look like Your Word did not come true. But I also praise You that our human understanding of Your Word is so incredibly fallible that we are honestly unable to make a judgment like that. Thank You for the mercy You showed Nineveh, even though Your prophet was against it. Thank You for the mercy You show me, and the rest of the world, every day. You are merciful to all, and none of us deserves it. All glory to You, Father!
Lord, I lift up all governments and leaders in our world, praying for the needs of the world around. May You be faithful and just in all of Your dealings in our world, today. I especially lift up the North American continent today and all nations included in that continent. May Your grace and mercy overflow in us today. I also pray for peace in any places in the world where war and strife are occurring. May all divisions and conflicts cease, and Your peace reign over all.
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!
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.
(Psalms 143:8 NLT)
Grace and peace, friends.