Today is Friday, November 29, 2019. Peace be with you!
26 days until Christmas! (You knew that was coming, right?)
Yesterday was a most wonderful day. We had an awesome lunch that C mostly prepared, with a little help from Mama. I stirred a pot for a few minutes. Does that count? R & J brought a pumpkin pie and a couple of peanut butter pies, one of which they left with us. We had turkey (also provided by R & J, as they got a free one from Albertson’s), ham, mashed potatoes, dressing (not “stuffing,” because it was not “stuffed”), corn casserole, green bean casserole, rolls . . . I think that’s all. The only thing missing was the cranberry sauce, which I forgot about until this very minute. Oh, well. It was so good.
Today, C’s niece will be coming over around noon, I believe. We will continue our Thanksgiving celebration with them, and, hopefully, eat up most of the leftovers. There will probably be turkey and ham for another week, but the other things should mostly be gone after today. That’s okay, though, because I love to snack on cold turkey (no pun intended) and ham.
Today is Buy Nothing Day. I’m actually quite fond of that concept. “Black Friday,” in my opinion, is a blight on our society. Too many viral videos of shameless people beating on each other in mob fashion, just so they can get an Elmo doll, or some other ridiculous thing. Besides that, most stores have already had Black Friday prices going on for a week or so. In the spirit of full disclosure, however, I will confess that I have bought several items this morning. All from the comfort of my study chair. But they were, more or less, necessities. First, I bought some printer cartridges, because my black ink cartridge appears to be completely empty. Then I bought some iPhone lightning cables, because C’s car charger has quit working.
Today is also Chocolates Day. That should be a national Federal holiday, in my opinion. I love pretty much anything chocolate, and I am obviously not alone.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Today I am grateful:
1. That I don’t “celebrate” Black Friday.
2. For family and the wonderful time we had together, yesterday.
3. For the rain we are getting today.
4. For the atonement for sin.
5. That he who began a good work in me will bring it to completion (Philippians 1.6)!
“O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.”
O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions.
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field,
but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.
So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’
He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’
But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'”
You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
“Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours)
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
These are such great comforting and encouraging words! To know that the work that has been begun in me will be completed, gives me that pervasive sense of well-being that Dallas Willard calls “joy.” I’m not perfect. I’m not even close. In fact, sometimes, it seems that there has been little to no progress in my spiritual development. Nevertheless, I have this encouragement from Paul. I know he was writing to the Church in Philippi. But why would this not be applicable to me, as well?
Jesus began a good work in me before the foundations of the earth! Before I was born, before my parents were born, before any of my ancestors were born, Jesus Christ began a good work in me. And he will finish that good work! I believe this with all my heart, and that is what keeps me going.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3.18
We are being transformed, all of us who call the name of and follow Jesus. Gradually, from “one degree of glory to another,” we are being changed into the perfect image of the Lord. We are being sanctified by him who called us out of darkness into life.
So take heart, today. No matter what circumstance you find yourself in, even if you have stumbled and fallen horribly, Jesus Christ is working in your life to transform you into his perfect image. He started it, he will finish it.
Father, I thank you for this truth, today, this encouragement. In your time, you will perfect all things. Please give me patience as I wait for you to complete me and everything else, and as we wait for the return of the Lord.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
Grace and peace, friends.