Today is Tuesday, the thirteenth of April, 2021, in the second week of Easter.
Peace be with you!
37 days until our Glen Rose weekend
It is currently 56 degrees and raining, this morning. The projected high is 70 for today, with a roughly fifty percent chance of more rain. Most of that looks like it will occur late tonight, going into tomorrow morning. Imagine that! It’s acting like spring out there! April showers, and so on.
The Texas Rangers lost another game, last night, again failing to score any runs. On the plus side, the Rays only scored one run, but it was enough to win the game. Dunning, the starter for Texas, pitched four innings, gave up two hits and no runs. Having not watched or listened, I don’t know why he was removed from the game. Oh, wait. I can see that he had thrown over 110 pitches. That’s why. Taylor Hearn came in from the bullpen to lose the game. If anyone is counting, that is three out of four games in which the Rangers have not managed to cross the plate. They will try again tonight, at 6:10 CDT, with Kyle Gibson (1-0) starting for the Rangers.
The Red Sox and Twins were postponed, last night. They will try again at 1:10 CDT, in Minnesota, starting pitcher TBD.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
"Open, Lord, my eyes that I may see. Open, Lord, my ears that I may hear. Open, Lord, my heart and my mind that I may understand. So shall I turn to You and be healed." (Traditional)
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psalms 73:25-26 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
- for the rain we are receiving, this morning
- for the beauty of God’s creation; the wonderful colors in the world, and the silent wonder of the universe above
- that You are firmly in control of all things
- that, as I walk in Your kingdom, this world is a perfectly safe place for me to be
- that every day is a new beginning; “every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before . . . “
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
EASTER – DAY 10
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV)
I am pausing to quietly celebrate the glory of God, this morning, resting in His presence.
A maskil of Asaph.
O God, why have you rejected us forever?
Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember the nation you purchased long ago, the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed— Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
(Psalms 74:1-2 NIV)
We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.
How long will the enemy mock you, God? Will the foe revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!
But God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth.
(Psalms 74:9-12 NIV)
To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
(Revelation 1:4-8 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I rest in God’s presence, this morning, I reread these passages, inviting the Holy Spirit to enter into this time, drawing me closer and pointing out anything in these passages that I specifically need to notice.
What draws my attention in the passage from Psalms is the thought that “we are given no signs from God.” Does it seem, at times, that God is silent in our time? We have His Word, so, in that sense, He is not silent. And, perhaps, that is enough. I suppose there have been no “official prophets” since Christ ascended. And I believe there is a reason for that. As Michael Card so wonderfully wrote, “His final word was Jesus.” So, while we may not have any real “prophets” or modern-day “signs” (even though there are a number of people who will claim to be “prophets” or claim to have experienced “signs”), we have the Word of God, we have Jesus, and we have the Holy Spirit.
So, I say to you, if you believe God has been silent, that’s on you. I may not “hear from God” every day, but most days I believe that I have heard something from Him, through this humble morning devotional.
I also wonder, sometimes, the same as the psalmist, “How long will the enemy mock You?” “Why do you hold back your hand?” I’m sure I’m not alone. This is where our faith and trust must come into play. We must, in our belief, know that God has it all under control. His “right hand” will come out soon enough, and when it does, it will be horrible. I probably don’t want to see that.
The Revelation passage reminds me of some words of Eugene H. Peterson, in This Hallelujah Banquet, which I am still working through, as time allows. Peterson thinks of Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, as our Source, and our Destination. He is where we begin, and He is where we are going.
Father, I praise You that You are firmly in control of all things, and that, as I walk in Your kingdom, this world is a perfectly safe place for me to be. Whenever I begin to question or doubt, as the psalmist so honestly confessed, remind me of this truth. Remind me that there will certainly be a day when Your “right hand” will come out, and judgment will be meted out, and it will not be pretty. I praise You that You are, through Jesus, our Source and our Destination. You are our all in all; You are everything we need. You are enough.
Jesus, glorious Savior, I see you resurrected, unable to be held in the grip of the grave, immortal and yet still so vibrantly human. You are the Son of God, Lord of the living and dead, head of the church, and you have completed all your work to bring home to the Father. Revive me in grace, strengthen me in the good fight, and assure me of my resurrection. To you be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Westminster Longer Catechism 52)
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
(John 20:29 NIV)
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”
(Philippians 2:14-15 NIV)
In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?”
Moses also said, “You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD.”
Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.'”
While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud.
(Exodus 16:2-10 NIV)
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
(Philemon 1:7 NIV)
Father, I thank You that every day is a new beginning. Remind me, each night, as I lie down to sleep, that it is the beginning of a new day. Everything past is gone. Only new is ahead. May we truly “latch on” to this truth, Lord, and focus our energies, our spirits, on that which is new, and that which is ahead, or in front of us. Let me not look behind. And oh, my Father, please help me to stop grumbling and complaining . . . about anything. It does not good, whatsoever, and only makes my own moods darker. Lighten my spirit today; lighten my countenance, so that people can see Your light on my face (at least in my eyes). All glory to You, Lord.
Lord, You have called me to serve Christ wherever I am; in my home, in my neighborhood, in my workplace. May You strengthen me to do so worthily. Help us all to do a better job of serving the “common good,” rather than looking out for our own “rights.” For those who work in the arts, theater, and entertainment industries, I pray a blessing. Shine Your light on them, Lord, as that can be such a marvelous platform to display Your glory.
I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
(Genesis 1:4-5 NIV)
Grace and peace, friends.