Today is Saturday, September 10, 2022, in the 23rd week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ dwell in you today!
We’ll be traveling to Mineral Wells in a little while, with a rental truck, to bring some of Mama’s furniture back with us. We have picked out a few items to keep and put in our house, and the rest will eventually be sold in an estate sale, later this fall. We are getting pretty close to being ready for that, I think. We have a couple of young adults from some family friends that will be accompanying us to do the heavy lifting.
The weather will be warm, but not “hot,” as the temperature is predicted to only hit 89 today. And we should be finished and either back home, or at least heading that way before it reaches that temp. Yesterday, it only made it to 88. There has been no rain for a few days, and doesn’t appear to be any in the next ten days.
Update: we may not be going to MW . . . the truck we were supposed to get has mechanical problems and they don’t have another one.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord our God, we stand before your presence. Look in mercy upon us poor, weak children, who do not know where to turn unless you help us with your mighty hand. We trust in you. You will help us, you will always be with us, and even in hard times you will accomplish your will for what is good. Bless us when we gather to hear your Word. May your Word always be our strength and joy. Your Word gives victory in us and in the whole world so that your will may be done on earth as in heaven. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
(Psalms 119:105 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
- that God is always there to help me know which way to go
- that God’s Word is my strength and my joy
- that God remembers that we are but flesh, that we are dust
- for God’s Word, a lamp for my feet, a light on my path
- that my times are in His hands (Psalm 31)
You did not get here alone I walked with you all this time I AM here, yes, I AM near ©2022 S. Michaels Always Believe (Prophetic Haiku 7-7-7)
I love this new poem by Susan! God is always here, always near, and wherever we are, He has helped us get there. There is nothing in my life that I have accomplished on my own, nothing that I possess that I can call my own.
Please check out her other inspiration poetry at the link provided above. And much gratitude to Susan for permission to share her poems, here.
“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)
Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.
(Psalms 78:38-39 ESV)
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
(Psalms 17:8 NIV)
Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.
(Psalms 68:20 NIV)
for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
(Proverbs 2:8 NIV)
I want to give you an idea of the order of my daily devotional readings. When I first open my WordPress site, I look at some of my favorite blogs to see their most recent entries. This is when I read poems by Daryl Madden and Susan Michaels (linked above), and photography by Paul Militaru. So the poems are seen before any Scripture is read.
Then I look at the daily prayer from Plough, a site that I recently discovered, and can’t at all remember how. The Scripture verse that I share immediately following that prayer is usually the one that is included with the prayer at the link for that site. Today’s, of course, being Psalm 119:105, a favorite verse for many people.
So, keep in mind . . . I read Susan’s poem before I read Psalm 119:105. And then, along comes Psalm 17:8, from a totally unrelated source.
The number of times that the Scriptures and readings from unrelated sources come together like this is somewhat staggering. And it often fuels my own thinking, which is what I try to include in the blog entry. Often, I quote others, including Andrew Murray, because one of my current sources is Power in Prayer.
Today, there seems to be a thread of God’s presence with us, and the way He guides us through all things. He is always near us. There is nowhere we can go where God is not.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
(Psalms 139:7-10 NIV)
But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands;
(Psalms 31:14-15 NIV)
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
(Psalms 91:4-7 NIV)
Now, these passages are some that I thought of after reading the others and typing a few words. The Lord will hide us in the shadow of His wings. He is my “shield and rampart,” and His faithfulness guides me. I want to say it guides me every step of the way, but the truth is not quite so simple, because there are frequently times when I shut Him out.
Of course, we cannot truly shut God out of our lives, can we? But we can stop paying attention to His guidance and His Word. The consequences of this are never pretty, are they? We find ourselves in some dire circumstances, sometimes. But He has never left our side, and is always there, awaiting our cry, awaiting our return to Him.
He will never leave us or forsake us, and there is nothing that can separate us from His love. And, I find great encouragement in the verse that says that He remembers that we are but flesh. I also love this passage from Psalm 103 that tells us that He also remembers that we are dust.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
(Psalms 103:13-16 NIV)
So, in this task that we have been given, this job we have, of loving one another. One key to remember is this. If God knows and remembers that we are flesh, that we are nothing more than dust, how much more so do we need to remember that about one another? God, in His grace, understands our frailty, yet loves us as completely as it is possible to be loved.
This is how we are called to love each other. So, my beloved, let us remember that we are all dust and flesh. We are imperfect; we are flawed. Yes, in Christ, we have been, in effect, made flawless, but as long as we carry that treasure in these “jars of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7), we will still be encased in dust and flesh.
Let us all cut each other some slack.
Father, the encouragement that I get from these Scriptures is unmeasurable. I get such comfort, knowing that You are always near, that I am always in Your presence. I derive strength and confidence in knowing that You are always hiding us in the shadow, the shelter, of Your wings, that You are our refuge and rampart, our shield and defender.
It is also a great comfort to know that You know our frailty and remember that we are dust and flesh. You know our imperfections and are not surprised when we fail and falter.
What marvelous news that is! And thank You for the salvation of our souls, the forgiveness of sins, and the death and resurrection of Jesus, that has made all of this possible for us to be in relationship with You.
Now, Lord, please help us all to remember these things, that we might be a little bit more lenient with one another, remembering, as You do, that we are dust and flesh, and that none of us is perfect. That would go a long way toward making this world a better place.
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
(Psalms 91:9-10 ESV)
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
(Romans 13:8 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.