Today is Thursday, February 22, 2018. Day 21,896.
16 days until Glen Rose.
Sparky Anderson, born on this date in 1934 (died 2010), said, “Just give me 25 guys on the last year of their contracts; I’ll win a pennant every year.” It’s true. It’s amazing how good some players play in a “contract year.”
The word for today is fantasticate. I swear I’m not making this up. It’s a verb which means, “to make or render fantastic.”
It’s right at freezing this morning, but just got to that temperature in the last hour. It’s currently not raining, but probably will be again, soon. I checked the cars, and there is no ice on them, so we should be okay, this morning. In fact, by 7:00, it’s supposed to be back above freezing, with a projected high of 44-45 today.
We still haven’t made it back to the Y, yet, but that is mainly because it has been cold and raining the last two nights. We might go this evening.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.
O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old:
you with your own hand drove out the nations, but them you planted; you afflicted the peoples, but them you set free;
for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your arm, and the light of your face, for you delighted in them.
You are my King, O God; ordain salvation for Jacob!
Through you we push down our foes; through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.
For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me.
But you have saved us from our foes and have put to shame those who hate us.
In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah.
“For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me.” The writers of this Psalm know who to trust for their salvation. They know that it is not in their power; their weapons cannot save them, nor can their own strength. Only in the Lord can they be victorious.
(From The Business of Heaven, C.S. Lewis)
A Complaint from the Ungracious
“I have heard some people complain that if Jesus was God as well as man, then His suffering and death lose all value in their eyes, ‘because it must have been so easy for him.’ Others may (very rightly) rebuke the ingratitude and ungraciousness of this objection; what staggers me is the misunderstanding it betrays. In one sense, of course, those who make it are right. they have even understated their own case. The perfect submission, the perfect suffering, the perfect death were not only easier to Jesus because He was God, but were possible only because He was God. But surely that is a very odd reason for not accepting them? The teacher is able to form the letters for the child because the teacher is grown-up and knows how to write. That, of course, makes it easier for the teacher; and only because it is easier for him can he help the child. If it rejected him because ‘it’s easy for grown-ups’ and waited to learn writing from another child who could not write itself (and so had no ‘unfair’ advantage), it would not get on very quickly. If I am drowning in a rapid river, a man who still has one foot on the bank may give me a hand which saves my life. Ought I to shout back (between my gasps) ‘No, it’s not fair! You have an advantage! You’re keeping one foot on the bank?’ That advantage – call it ‘unfair’ if you like – is the only reason why he can be of any use to me. To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?” (From Mere Christianity)
I’m not sure I would ever say that the perfect life, suffering, and death of Christ were “easy” because he was also God. I think the sweating of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane proves otherwise. But I certainly understand the point that Lewis is making here.
(From Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die, John Piper)
9: For the Forgiveness of our Sins
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
When I forgive an offense, I do not require payment from that person. If payment was made, no forgiveness is required. The act of forgiveness “assumes grace.” Notice (I confess that I have not looked at it this way) that the word, forgiveness, has the word “give” in it. “Forgiveness is not ‘getting‘ even. It is giving away the right to get even.”
When we trust Christ, God does this for us. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:43) God does not hold our sins against us. I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25) As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)
At the same time, we know that forgiveness is simply not enough. We see this more clearly when the injury is greater. What if judges simply said to murderers, “Are you sorry? Okay. The state forgives you. You may go.” The state “cannot forsake justice.” Neither can God. “All sin is serious, because it is against God.” It is his glory that has been injured, and he cannot just set us free any more than “a human judge can cancel all the debts that criminals owe to society.”
“That is why Christ suffered and died.” See Ephesians 1:7 above. “Forgiveness costs us nothing. All our costly obedience is the fruit, not the root, of being forgiven. That’s why we call it grace. But it cost Jesus his life. That is why we call it just. Oh, how precious is the news that God does not hold our sins against us! And how beautiful is Christ whose blood made it right for God to do this.”
Father, again, I cannot adequately thank you for this. Yet I shall try to express my gratitude for the magnificent thing which you have done for us, as we do not deserve it. But, as stated, that is what makes it grace. Grace is you doing in and for me what I cannot do myself. Thank you, O my Father! I pray for the righteousness of Christ to infuse my life to the point that all sin is pushed away, and that temptation rolls off of me like water from a raincoat.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22
Grace and peace, friends.