Today is Tuesday, the ninth of August, 2022, in the nineteenth week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ dwell in your heart today!
Ten days until S turns 29!!
Yesterday’s procedure went quite well, I think. And I must have been dreading it a lot more than I thought, because I was in better spirits, yesterday afternoon, than I have been in quite a while. Anyway, the procedure went smoothly, and they found only a couple of polyps, which were removed and sent to pathology. The doctor did not seem at all concerned that they might be cancerous. The nurses and techs were all very friendly and treated me very well. Best nap I’ve had in a long time. I tried to get them to give me some of that stuff to take home, but they wouldn’t do that. Propofol. That’s it. Best anesthesia ever.
Afterward, for lunch, I had a double cheeseburger (with a fried egg and bacon on it) and fries from OC Burger, followed by one of their gigantic chocolate chip cookies. It was delicious, and, at that moment in time, it was the best cheeseburger I’ve ever had. Hah.
Let’s see. Weather. It hit 101 yesterday, for our 41st day of triple-digit temperatures, this summer. Hopefully, there won’t be a streak to count, because it is not supposed to hit 100 today. In fact, the predicted high today is 97! And, if the forecast holds true, we have six straight days coming, below 100. And tomorrow, there is almost a 50% chance of rain! The record high for yesterday’s date is 106. The record low is 58. Now there’s a record I’d like to break!
There was no baseball that mattered to me, yesterday. I’ll take a look and see if any of my stats changed. Likely not. There were only seven games played, yesterday. The Nationals lost, so they will still be the worst in all of the categories. The Dodgers didn’t play, but will still be the best in all of the categories. The Rangers and Red Sox did not play, so they didn’t lose, and their run differentials didn’t get worse. For today, the Rangers play the Astros in Houston, and the Red Sox play the Braves in Boston. The only thing the Rangers have going for them is that Martin Perez is scheduled to pitch.
Since it is Tuesday, I’ll be working at the Hurst Public Library from 4:15-8:15, tonight, shelving books and/or DVDs. Good times.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord our God and our Father, we praise you because we are allowed to have community together in the name of Jesus, who has opened our eyes to see you and who has promised to be among us when we are gathered in his name. May our hearts remain unshadowed, even when our lives seem to grow difficult and the future looks dark. Protect us whenever we are tempted and have battles to fight. Deliver us. Make us free people who know we belong to you and who are allowed while still on earth to have a share in eternal life. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
(Matthew 18:20 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
1. for the presence of Jesus, when we gather together in His name 2. that I belong to Jesus, and have freedom in Him that can never be taken away by any government or earthly power 3. that God is constantly showing me the path of life, as I seek the "ancient paths" (Jeremiah 6:13) 4. for the fullness of joy in His presence, the eternal pleasures at His right hand 5. for the promise of Jesus, that if we ask anything in His name, He will do it; may I understand this promise correctly and walk in it
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV)
“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
(2 Corinthians 10:17-18 ESV)
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.
(1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT)
Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
(John 12:26 NLT)
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:14 NIV)
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)
“Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”
(Jeremiah 6:16 ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
(John 14:6 ESV)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
(John 14:12-14 ESV)
When we speak a person’s name, we are (or at least should be) speaking more than just a proper noun. Names conjure up different things for different people. I could say the name, Jimmy Carter, and it would mean something different to everyone. But to me, it brings thoughts of integrity, honor, and extreme generosity. It speaks of his character and his nature.
The name of Jesus Christ “means His nature, His person and work, His disposition and Spirit. To ask in the name of Christ is to pray in union with Him.” (Andrew Murray)
Later on in this same discourse, Jesus tells His disciples that if they abide in Him, they can ask whatever they desire. (John 15)
“As we live in Him, we receive the power to avail ourselves of the authority of His name.” (Murray)
One of the things that Jesus showed us, while He walked on the earth, is the nature of true prayer. “To pray in His name, we must pray as He prayed.” Not necessarily in exactly the same words. But in the same Spirit, certainly. He is my example, my teacher, and my intercessor. And through Him, one of my goals is to receive from the Father, just as He did.
Things to consider, though, when we are asking. Is the nature of my prayer of the flesh or of the Spirit? While there are certainly material things that the Lord wishes to grant us, we must consider the words of Paul, up at the top of this entry, remembering that we do not "wage war according to the flesh." Can it be said that I am praying "in union with Him," when I ask for something? This is where the "prosperity gospel," the "name-it-claim-it" theology falls completely apart. If I pray for a Maserati, am I praying in union with Jesus. Is there any possible rational need for a $215,000 car when there is so much poverty in this world? Am I asking so that I will look good? Any boasting that I do must not be in myself, but in the Lord. If I commend myself, that is all the commendation I will get. If I pray to look good to others, that is all the reward I will receive, as well, according to Jesus.
According to Jesus, the Father honors those who serve. “No time or effort is too great to serve others through prayer and intercession.”
Praying in Jesus’s name requires much more than simply tacking on “in Jesus’s name” at the end of our prayers. This is a practice that has sadly cheapened pray, over the decades. There is nothing wrong with saying that. Nothing at all. However, if we think that the act of saying validates everything that we prayed, we need to think again.
Because praying in Jesus’s name means much more than that. It means praying in union with Him, which, to me, means praying for things that He would want. I just cannot make myself even imagine Jesus praying for a Maserati or a mansion. I can, however, easily see Him praying for a friend’s surgery recovery, or for a friend’s marriage, or for even something as small as success in a weight-loss journey.
So before I pray for something, I stop and think . . . (no, I’m not going to say “What would Jesus do?”) can I envision Jesus praying for this?
Today's sources: YouVersion Bible app/reading plan Daily Guideposts 2022 Power in Prayer, by Andrew Murray
Father, as I consider praying in the holy and mighty name of Your Son, I ask that I would always stop to think about things, about His character and nature, about His prayers, and about whether I can think of Him praying the things I’m about to pray. This, however, does not meant that I might simply confess to You the way I am feeling about something or someone, at the moment. But when it comes to what I ask for, I commit to evaluating those requests based on the Scriptures that we have before us.
I pray that You would always help us to remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood, and no human being is our enemy. Even in the physical realm, I commit to not considering any human being to be my true enemy.
I commit, as well, to not seeking to commend myself, or seeking the commendation of others, and only seeking Your commendation. May any boasting I do be in You, and You only, through the Son and by the Spirit.
I praise You that You have put me on the road to life; that You have shown me this path, and that in Your presence is that fullness of joy, and pleasures forevermore. May I be satisfied with these, Father.
As we seem to have departed from some of the more “ancient paths,” Father, I pray that You would help me to find them again. I will, as Jeremiah stated, seek those ancient paths, by looking back at teachers of old to see how they lived their lives and how they meditated and prayed. I also pray that You will help me pray only in union and agreement with Jesus Christ. Teach me to pray, Lord. Help me to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking for whatever I find to be needed.
And thank You for giving me everything I need for life and godliness.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!
“As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number:
(Job 5:8-9 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.