Today is Wednesday, the twelfth of October, 2022, in the 28th week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ dwell within you today!
Today is our 37th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, we both must work today. But we’re having a steak dinner tonight, to celebrate. Our “gift” to each other was the weekend at the cabin, which I will, eventually, write about. But I am short on time, this morning.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord our God, we thank you for the great light you send throughout the world to let us know that you forgive, that no sin is too great for you to forgive. Grant that people may cry out, "Have mercy on me, O God!" Give them the spirit of prayer in their hearts to call, "Father, forgive us our sins." Send your Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth and humility, and then forgive their sins. Wherever a soul is sighing, wherever someone is calling to you, hear him. May our prayers come before your throne. Hear and answer us. We have so much on our hearts that we cannot rightly express it all. We pray for others too. Father, forgive them. Clear away all the obstacles so that your judgment can be merciful toward those whom you forgive. Be with us. May we be a church community of Jesus Christ, washed in his blood, with strength to face every bitter outburst of the world's fury and still forgive. May our prayer remain, "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us. Matthew 6:12, TEV
Today I am grateful:
- for the great mercy of God, and that no sin is too great for Him to forgive
- for 37 years with the love of my life; may there be many more
- that we, as God’s children, are channels through which the love of the Father, the grace of Christ, and the power of the Spirit are manifested on earth
- for the ability (and desires) to look to things that are not seen (eternal), rather than things that are seen (transient)
- that “the Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me” (Psalm 28:7)
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground! (Psalms 143:10 ESV)
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.
(2 Corinthians 4:13-14 ESV)
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalms 28:7 NIV)
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 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: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:1-11 NIV)
O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing, verse 5-8 (Charles Wesley)
I felt my Lord's atoning blood close to my soul applied; me, me he loved, the Son of God, for me, for me he died! I found and owned his promise true, ascertained of my part, my pardon passed in heaven I knew when written on my heart. O for a thousand tongues to sin my great Redeemer's praise! The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace. My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread through all the earth abroad the honors of thy name.
I find it mildly amusing that we don’t get to the part most of are familiar with until the seventh stanza!
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
(2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV)
“God is an ever-flowing fountain of pure love and blessedness. Christ is the reservoir wherein the fullness of God was made visible as grace, and has been opened for us. The Holy Spirit is the stream of living water that flows from under the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Andrew Murray)
Such beautiful, eloquent writing! That could be a hymn, itself.
We, the children of God, believers and followers of Christ, are the channels by which all of this, “the love of the Father, the grace of Christ, and the powerful operation of the Spirit are manifested on earth and imparted to others.” (Murray)
Think of all the different opportunities we have to engage in this. We are partners with God in dispensing His grace on earth. In order to do this, we must be maintaining our spiritual relationship with the Trinity. Prayer is a huge part of this, but more than just our prayers for ourselves and our own needs. “The glory of prayer is that we have power as intercessors to bring the grace of Christ and the energizing power of the Spirit upon those that are still in darkness.” (Murray)
The more we engage in fellowship with the Trinity, the more power we have for this level of intercession. I daresay I have yet to reach that. Even in my role in intercessory prayer over the past few years, it has largely been as response to the needs of people as they have made them known.
I need to be better connected to the “reservoir,” so that the channel of Living Water may flow unhindered through! It’s like an unending circle. The more I’m connected, the more I pray, and the more I’m connected, and the more I pray. Or maybe the “better” I pray.
And, in reference to the somewhat obscure verse from 2 Corinthians, up there, this is what I believe, and therefore I speak. I can easily see that verse being misused to apply to “name-it-claim-it” philosophy (I’m not even going to dignify that by calling it “theology”), saying that if you speak it you will receive it. That’s not what the context of the verse is getting at. Paul is talking about what he is teaching the Corinthians. What he believes, he is speaking, and that belief that God raised Jesus Christ and will also raise us into His presence. He even goes so far as to talk about the physical world, saying that we do not look to things that are seen, but to things that are unseen. “For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (verse 18)
As we work to fulfill our responsibility as channels of God’s love, Christ’s grace, and the Spirit’s power, let us look to things that are not seen, rather than the physical things of this world. Let us focus on the Holy Trinity, and our intimacy in relationship to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Father, I thank You that You give me the ability to “speak” what I believe, in this forum. I thank You that You have directed my heart and my desires toward things that are not seen, rather than things that are seen. I still struggle with the things that are seen, but not like I used to, as You worked wonders in my, by Your Spirit.
I pray for all of Your children, the Church, the Body of Christ, as we work to be channels of Your love, Jesus’s grace, and the Spirit’s power, dispensing them in this world, without prejudice, to all people. I pray that we will do a better job of not doing things out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Help us to consider others as more significant than ourselves, and help us to have the mind of Christ, who did not try to hold onto heaven, but submitted to becoming human, that He might live for us and die for us.
All glory to You, through the Son, and by the Spirit.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!
Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
all things will pass away.
God never changes;
patience obtains all things,
whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.
(St. Teresa of Avila)
Grace and peace, friends.