Good morning. It’s Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Back to work today, after a long weekend. We had a great visit with my parents, yesterday, along with a fairly healthy lunch at The Mesquite Pit in Mineral Wells. After looking over the menu, which actually had a small variety of grilled foods, Christi and both chose the 1/2 barbecued chicken, which consisted of, I guess, a breast, leg and wing (there may have been a thigh in there, but not sure), that had been probably rotisserie barbecued. It was very tasty, along with two sides of green beans. I’m sure it was more calories than I’m supposed to have for one meal, but we balanced it off by having a simple sandwich and 100 calorie bag of low fat popcorn for dinner after our workout yesterday.
It’s currently 37 and clear, outside, this morning, with a projected high of 69. No rain in the forecast…should be a beautiful day.
My Utmost For His Highest
But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. Mark 14:6
“If human love does not carry a man beyond himself, it is not love.” I could stop right there, couldn’t I? I mean…that could be the totality of today’s devotion, all wrapped up in one sentence. If I am sensible and discreet, always calculating…that’s not really love. “It may be affection, it may be warmth of feeling, but it has not the true nature of love in it.” Have I ever been so carried away by love for God that I do something, not just out of the sense of duty, or because there is something in it for me?
Here is a bold statement. “Abandon to God is of more value than personal holiness.” I can hear the gasps of shock from here. What??? “Personal holiness focuses the eye on our own whiteness; we are greatly concerned about the way we walk and talk and look, fearful lest we offend Him. Perfect love casts out all that when once we are abandoned to God.” I am of no use to God…I must accept that fact. However, I can be of value to him. What’s the difference? I can’t consciously do things just because I think they will be useful to God. Well, I guess I can, but they won’t be. They will simply be “feathers” in my cap. But if I am abandoned to him…truly abandoned, he can work through me all the time. In that way, I can be of value to him.
“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; Daniel 7:13-14a
Tabletalk is going to spend the next few days examining some of the titles that Scripture uses for Jesus. This study begins with one that Jesus frequently used for himself in the gospels. This title was “Son of Man.” Some believe that he used this title to emphasize his humanity. Some say that it means he saw himself as a prophet, like Ezekiel, who was also called “son of man.”
The passage quoted above is “the primary background for our Lord’s use of the title ‘Son of Man.'” Jesus’s quoting of this text from Daniel “shows us that He is worthy to receive an everlasting dominion from God Almighty.” In the first part of Daniel 7, several kings, represented by beasts, are cast down from their dominion, and it is all given to “one like a son of man.”
“This ‘son of man’ comes from heaven, is worthy of everlasting majesty and dignity, and has a kingdom that knows no ethnic boundaries.” When he called himself “Son of Man,” he was telling people that his origin was not Bethlehem, “but that He is from all eternity.”
The Bible Panorama
Mark 3; Numbers 1-2
Mark 3 begins with a teaching on the “Sabbath” (1-6) as Jesus quizzes the religious leaders before healing a man with a withered hand. He simply asks them if it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath, or should harm be done? Which should he do on the Sabbath, save life or kill? When they did not answer him, he healed the man. After speaking to crowds, Jesus heals many people, and they begin to publicly claim that he is the “Son” of God (7-12). He then appoints the twelve (some of whom had already been chosen) to eventually be “Sent” out to preach his message (13-19). In 20-30, there is “Serious” accusation leveled against him by religious leaders, who accuse him of being in league with Satan. Jesus, at this time, shows that they are in violation of a sin for which there is no forgiveness, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I think I may have just noticed that this sin is defined in this passage, so there is no need for the ongoing question about what this means. Mark simply says, “…for they were saying, ‘He has an unclean spirit.'” (v 30) In 31-34, Jesus teaches that his closest family is “Spiritual,” not biological.
Numbers is the fourth book of the Pentateuch. It was written by Moses, probably between 1445 and 1405BC, during the wilderness wanderings. It has the name “Numbers” because, well, that’s what it does. It records and numbers the children of Israel, and their organization by tribes. It also relates their wandering in the desert after failing to enter the Promised Land because of their lack of faith. They are characterized by sinfulness, failures, murmurings, jealousy, and unbelief. What a lovely list. Yet God’s presence remains with them.
As Numbers 1 begins, they are in the “Desert” (1), and it is the second month of the second year since they left Egypt. “Details” are taken (2-19) of all males over twenty years, that are able to fight. In 20-46, the numbers of “Descendants” of the sons of Israel, who are able to fight in war, are given by tribe. The Levites, however, are “Different” and are excluded from this numbering (47-53). At this time, Israel is successful in “Doing” all that God commands (54).
Numbers 2 begins by giving details of the placement of “The Tabernacle” in the camp (1-2), whenever they stop. 3-34 shows how “The Tribes” are to arrange themselves around the tabernacle when the stop to camp.
Father, it is my desire to be abandoned to you. Perhaps I have reached that point a couple of times in my whole life, but it has never lasted more than a few moments. I want to be like Mary, who burst on the scene, broke open the most expensive thing she had, and poured it over the head of Jesus, taking no thought whatsoever of what others might think of her actions. I want to be like that. Why? Because you have forgiven me of many sins, and of many that I’m sure I will commit in the future. Because you are infinitely beautiful! And you deserve my full worship and praise. I pray that I would be moving in that direction.
I praise you, Lord Jesus, Son of Man! I acknowledge your worthiness, your kingship, your lordship. You are King of kings and Lord of lords! You are from all eternity in origin! I will praise you with every breath that proceeds from my mouth for all eternity. I look forward with great anticipation to the day when I will be united with you for eternity. I pray that I will be able to serve you with abandon, as I grow closer to you and the Father in this life.
I pray for this day, Father. I have not heard any update on Bart. I continue to pray for his health and healing, Lord. I pray for Christi’s day at work, and mine as well. May we both have a good, productive day at work today. I pray that Stephanie’s day will go well, also, with her meeting with the teacher. I pray that she got a good amount of homework done last night. I also pray for her first meeting with a new trainer Friday night. I pray that you will help him to understand how to work with her for the best results.
I pray for continued success in our workout and health program. Let us continue to be faithful, without wavering, in this journey.
May we all work toward living our lives with abandon toward God.
Grace and peace, friends.