Intimate, Spiritual, Personal, and Uninterrupted

Today is Monday, the eighth of August, 2022, in the nineteenth week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ dwell within you today!

Day 23,524

Only eleven more days until S turns 29!

We only hit 99 degrees, yesterday, for the second consecutive day of under-100 temps! The record for yesterday’s date was 105. Today’s high is predicted to be 101, but that is followed by five straight days of below-100 highs. The bad news is that Wednesday’s chances of rain have dropped.

The colonoscopy prep is going fine, I suppose. I just drank my second dose about thirty minutes ago, and am waiting for it to take effect. I’m working on my second glass of water, as I am required to drink two 16-ounce glasses within an hour of the dosage. After 8 AM, this morning, I am not allowed anything to drink or eat. The procedure is scheduled for noon, and I am due to arrive at 11 AM. My post-procedure lunch is going to be legendary.

The Texas Rangers lost the series finale with the Other Sox, 8-2, to split the four-game series. They are now 48-60 for the season, still in third place in the AL West, still 21 games out of first place, and now ten games out of a Wild Card spot. They have today off, and will begin a three-game series in Houston tomorrow.

The Red Sox seem to hitting a new low, as they lost to the Royals again, 13-5, yesterday. So they lost that series, 3-1. In spite of all of this, they are still only two games below .500, at 54-56, but they remain in last place in the AL East, 16.5 games out of first place, and now five games out of a Wild Card spot. They also have today off, and will begin a series against the Braves tomorrow in Boston.

The LA Dodgers continue to roll along as the best MLB team, at 75-33. The Washinton Nationals continue to stumble as the worst MLB team, at 36-74. The Dodgers also have the best ongoing win streak, now at eight games (the Cardinals are right behind them with seven). The Nationals and Yankees (HAH!) still share the longest current losing streak at five games. The Dodgers, for the hat trick (trifecta?), continue to have the best run differential, now at +226, while the Nationals have a reverse trifecta with the worst run differential of -196. The Rangers have dropped back into the negative with -1, and the Red Sox have dropped to -30.

It’s Monday, so I’m off work today (the main reason that the procedure was scheduled for today), and it’s my “light” week, so I only work tomorrow evening and all day Thursday.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Lord our God, we come before you in the great name of Jesus Christ. We thank you that while we are still living on earth you give us hope and joy in this great name. May something be born in us through your Spirit to make us of one mind with Jesus Christ. In all our relationships with others may we learn that it is better to submit in patience than to dominate, better to serve than to rule, better to be the weakest than to bring pressure to bear on others. Give us this attitude. Let this attitude arise in many so that they may be Christians not only in their words and thoughts, but Christians at heart, loving their neighbors and at one with the Savior on every step of the way. Amen.
(Daily Prayer from Plough.com)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 2:3-5 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

1. that it is "better to submit in patience than to dominate, better to serve than to rule" (Plough.com Daily Prayer)
2. for the possibility of having the mind of Christ
3. that Jesus is the exact imprint/representation of the nature/character of the Father
4. for the great works that we can do because of our faith in Christ
5. for the disciplines of meditation and contemplation, by which we truly come to a more intimate knowledge of our Father

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
(2 Corinthians 9:6-8 ESV)

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 
"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
(Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)

But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
(Isaiah 64:8 ESV)

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
(Psalms 43:3 ESV)

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 
(John 14:1, 12 ESV)

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
(Hebrews 1:1-3 ESV)

Do I believe in Jesus, or do I just believe in the documents that I have read about Him?

In some ways, all I have is those documents. But that’s not 100% true, because I have His Spirit, which is not contained in any document or building. Nevertheless, I don’t have the benefit of those first disciples, who walked with Him personally.

How is it possible that we (whoever believes in Christ) will do the same works as Jesus did, and even greater works?

Through the faith that leads us to know that Christ and the Father are one, so are we in Christ, and Christ is in us.

“It is this intimate, spiritual, personal, uninterrupted relationship to the Lord Jesus that manifest itself powerfully in our lives today, and especially in our prayer lives.” (Andrew Murray)

And how do we experience this? By allowing God the time to reveal Himself and His will to us during our times in the secret place of prayer. Also by bowing down to Him in worship. “Allow our Lord to take full possession of you and to show you how you may live and walk in abiding fellowship with Him. . . . It has not entered into the heart of man what God can do for those who love Him.” (Murray)

Today's sources:
Pray a Word a Day
YouVersion Bible reading plan
Daily Guideposts 2022
Power in Prayer, by Andrew Murray

Father, I thank You for the knowledge of You that You have given me. Yet I pray for more. I want to know You more, know You better, know You as You know me. I realize that this will not be fully possible until I stand before You, someday. Nevertheless, I pray for it now.

I pray to know the faith that comes from the understanding of the relationship between You and Christ and the Holy Spirit. I pray that this will manifest itself powerfully in my life, and in the lives of all of Your people, as we navigate the treacherous waters of life, in this day and age.

I confess that I struggle with the possibility of doing “greater works” than Jesus did. I have always struggled with that, wondering how on earth we could possibly do anything greater than Jesus did. And then, right after that statement, He told His disciples that if they ask anything in His name, He will do it.

Father, I desire that “intimate, spiritual, personal, uninterrupted relationship” with Jesus that brother Murray talks about. Help me to accomplish that, to maintain it, and to let it work its way within me, daily. But I never want to do “greater works” for my own name’s sake. My name is nothing. The name of Jesus is everything.

May I have the mind of Christ as I engage in relationships in this world, knowing that it is better to “submit in patience than to dominate, better to serve than to rule.” It is better to appear to be weak and follow the commands of Christ, than to appear to be strong and fail in the quest of loving one another.

And finally, Father, I am grateful for Your provision in my life, and that You have created within me the spirit of a cheerful giver, making us generous with the resources with You have provided. We are aware and believe strongly that we have nothing that You did not give us. Therefore, we are generous with that which You have provided.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!


“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
(John 14:15 ESV)

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
(John 13:34-35 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

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3 thoughts on “Intimate, Spiritual, Personal, and Uninterrupted

  1. It pleases me to no end that the Orioles are above the Red Sox in wins. The O’s are 56-52. The progress these boys have made is so impressive! Wishing you a great week, my friend!

    1. Good for them! They’re the only other team in the AL East that I don’t hate. LOL! Primarily because their team is usually made up of a lot of ex-Texas Rangers. Hope you have an awesome week, as well!

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