Today is Friday, September 9, 2022, in the 23rd week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ dwell in your soul!
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord God, we thank you that it is your will to strengthen us through your presence, through Jesus Christ, the leader of your cause, who is and remains victor among all on earth. Our souls need strength and our hearts need confidence so that in our time we can draw near to you and to your kingdom. Bless us with the Holy Spirit whenever we begin to grow weary. Your Holy Spirit can give us the strength to believe and hope, the strength to see the salvation that is coming to give joy to all the world. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
- for coffee
- for the strength and confidence to draw near to God, daily
- for the Holy Spirit, who gives us that strenght
- for the joy that comes in the presence of the Lord, the pleasures at His right hand
- for the possibilities that come in a life of abiding in God’s Word
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
(1 Peter 3:8 NIV)
“This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.'”
(Zechariah 7:9-10 NIV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
(John 15:7 NIV)
There is certainly joy in the presence of the Lord, “pleasures forevermore” at His right hand. And it is abiding in, dwelling in, that presence that gives us the power to do the things that are required in the other Scriptures, here.
Peter admonishes us to be to be “like-minded,” to be unified in thought. Be honest . . . do you see that in today’s church? I don’t. And the reason is, in my humble opinion, is that we are focusing on issues and concerns that are not the highest priorities of the Church. It is impossible to be unified or like-minded when we insist on centering our thoughts on controversial issues. We like to argue too much; it seems as though we thrive on it.
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.
(1 Timothy 4:7 ESV)
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,”
(1 Timothy 6:20 ESV)
In the second half of the verse from 1 Peter, he tells us to be “compassionate and humble.” I don’t see much of that going on, right now, either. Now, mind you, the tragedy is that what we see is coming from the groups of people who are making the most noise.
I guarantee you that there are some honestly godly people out there, quietly going about the business of working the Gospel in this world. But those aren’t the people that the “world” is seeing, right now.
The admonitions of Peter go hand in hand with the direction in Zechariah. The real tragedy is what is said in the verse immediately following the ones I quoted up there.
“But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears.”
(Zechariah 7:11 NIV)
And that is what I’m seeing in a large part of the church, today. Refusal to listen to God’s Word, and focusing on their own opinions, driven by human beings.
This becomes the reason that prayers are not answered, when considered in light of John 15:7. For most of my life, I have seen many people focus so much on the second half of that verse that they miss the requirement in the first half. Everyone wants to jump to the “ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” part.
But they miss that bit about abiding, remaining, dwelling. If we truly abide in Christ and in His word, the possibilities are endless.
And I’m out of time, this morning.
Father, I thank You for the truths that are presented in Your Word, today. May we, Your Church, successfully abide in Christ and in His Word, that we might be faithful ministers of the Gospel, administering true justice, showing mercy and compassion, being like-minded, not oppressing the widows and the fatherless and the foreigner and the poor. May we never be found to be plotting evil against one another.
Help us to love one another the way Christ has loved us.
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.