Today is Friday, the seventh of October, in the 27th week of Ordinary Time.
Peace be with you!
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that your voice reaches our hearts and that we can say with joy, "We belong to you. We too are yours." We want to lead lives that show we belong to you, never allowing ourselves to be sidetracked, never again giving way to pettiness, always drawing strength from the power of Jesus Christ. Protect our household. Watch over each of us. Protect us all on our way. O mighty God, be with us in the many dangers that surround us, and grant that we may always be joyful because our names are recorded in heaven. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
(John 10:14-15 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
- for the opportunity to get away for a weekend and enjoy God’s creation for a few days
- for the Good Shepherd; that I know Him, and that He lays down His life for His sheep
- that our Father, who is always near, is trustworthy in all things
- for spaces of beauty, mercy, prayer, and grace, created by God; may I move into them faiththfully
- Lord, I am simply grateful for You, today; Your presence in my life, and the way You encourage me and strengthen me through my feeble, human weaknesses
The day is born anew Light shines on your face Beauty calls to you Move into that space Guilty of your sins A feeling of disgrace Rejoicing in His mercy Move into that space To hear the still small voice From your inner place A drawing into prayer Move into that space When heaven calls your name Depend on His grace Our joy will be complete Move into that space
How often does God create a space of beauty and grace for us, invite us into it, and we just don’t move into it? We miss out on so many blessings, sometimes simply by not paying attention to our surroundings. God is here; God is now; He invites us into spaces of beauty, mercy, prayer, and grace! “Move into that space,” my beloved!
Please visit Daryl’s site at the link provided above.
For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”
(1 Peter 3:10-11 ESV)
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
(Revelation 7:9-12 ESV)
A Prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to you! Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call! For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace. Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you. (Psalms 102:1-3, 25-28 ESV)
“All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)
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)
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
(Galatians 6:2-10 ESV)
“Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
(John 12:28 ESV)
I may not be in a “space of beauty” this morning, as I am sitting in my usual space, the study, just off of our master bedroom. It is far from beautiful. But I have, somewhat gradually, moved into a space of mercy and prayer and grace, this morning.
I confess . . . I began the day in a bit of anxiety and stress. We started out thinking of things that needed to happen before we leave for Glen Rose, and I began to get anxious. Unfortunately, this is my nature. But God’s nature is otherwise. He bids me trust Him. He bids me not lean on my own understanding. And, in this, as I move into this space of mercy and grace, He will make my paths straight.
In that path, I find instructions, such as we find in Micah. As I walk that path, that the Lord makes straight for me, I am to be doing justice (as much as is in my control), loving kindness or mercy (chesed), and walking humbly with my God.
Walking in humility is hard. I’ve discussed this before, here. There are several Scriptures that sum up that idea, but one is in the blog today, Galatians 6:3.
For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
(Galatians 6:3 ESV)
Let us not further deceive ourselves by thinking, “well if I am something and I think I’m something, then I’m okay.” I don’t believe that is what we are supposed to get from that. We are nothing. Without Christ we are nothing. If we are anything, it is because of Christ, and, therefore, have nothing about which we can boast, other than Christ, Himself.
When we enter into that space of prayer, which should be many times in a day, it should be for one purpose, and that purpose is for the glory of God to be seen. Jesus asked the Father to glorify His name. The Father responded, saying that He has, and He will again.
“For this reason Jesus on His throne in glory will do whatever we ask in His name. Every answer to prayer He gives will have this as its object. When there is no prospect of the Father being glorified, He will not answer. As it was with Jesus, our motivation in prayer must be the glory of the Father – the aim, the end, the very soul and life of our prayers.” (Andrew Murray)
So, when we read those passages that say that Jesus will give us whatever we ask, we must understand that there are conditions. One of those, in my mind the main one, is that we be abiding in Him and His Word abiding in us. If this is the case, then we most certainly would not be asking Him to give us something that would not glorify God.
Like a Ferrari, for instance.
Father, I thank You for these spaces of beauty, mercy, prayer, and grace; spaces that are always near me, always waiting for me to move into them. I pray that You give me the spiritual sight to be able to see them and move into them, constantly, that I might walk humbly with You, on the straight path that You have created for me as I trust in You.
So many good things in today’s Scripture readings, Father. I thank You for Your Word and the impact it has on me, daily. I pray that it holds strong in my life, and that the influence will not fade.
I long for the day when I can see You face to face and worship You in person.
And I am especially grateful for the space of beauty to which we will be traveling, later today.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.