Today is Wednesday, the twelfth of
never May, 2021, in the sixth week of Easter.
Peace be with you!
Eight days until our Glen Rose weekend!
We had an unfortunate occurrence, yesterday evening. I got home from work and went to take my shower. I had recently been kind of vacillating between morning and evening showers. It’s a good thing, in retrospect, that I chose to shower yesterday evening.
Because I discovered that our hot water heater was leaking. My shower never got very warm at all. There was barely enough warm water to make it bearable. C got home while I was investigating, and we managed to get the water supply to the tank turned off, so it would stop leaking, and then she vacuumed up the water around the area where the tank is.
We also made sure to clear an accessible path to the thing, so that when we finally get someone scheduled to replace it, they will be able to get to it. Yes, we are those kind of people. The garage doesn’t hold cars, it holds junk. Go ahead and judge, I don’t care.
C is already planning to work from home tomorrow, because the pool guy is scheduled to come start work on our pool equipment, so she will try to set something up for the hot water heater tomorrow, as well. The expense will not hurt us, it’s just a minor inconvenience to deal with. I don’t see this being related to Snovid-21, as the heater is gas, so it was working the entire time the electricity was off, back in February. More than likely, it is related to the fact that it is the original hot water heater for this house, which was built in 1999. So it’s almost 22 years old.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
O, my Jesus, help me. Thank you for your humbleness; help me be humble. Thank you for your forgiveness; help me forgive. Thank you for your mercy; help me be merciful. Thank you for your compassion; help me be compassionate. Thank you for your kindness; help me be kind. Thank you for your joy; help me be joyful. Thank you for your love; help me love. (Daryl Madden, On a Bench of Wood: Reflections of God's Grace)
But I will give repeated thanks to the LORD, praising him to everyone. For he stands beside the needy, ready to save them from those who condemn them.
(Psalms 109:30-31 NLT)
Today I am grateful:
- for Your ability to make me humble, forgiving, merciful, compassionate, kind, joyful, and loving
- for Your Holy Spirit, and the promise of filling
- for all Your benefits; bless the Lord, O my soul!
- for Your great care for us, and the constant encouragement to be not afraid
- for the Gospel, that Your Kingdom is here, now
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
EASTER – DAY 39
God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.
(Psalms 47:5-7 NIV)
I pause, now, to quietly consider humility, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, kindness, joy, and love. O, Jesus, fill me today.
Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
(Psalms 103:1-5 NIV)
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
(Psalms 103:8 NIV)
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
(Psalms 103:13 NIV)
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
(Luke 24:44-53 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
As I read these passages again, I linger over any words or phrases to which the Spirit draws me, pondering and meditating on what connects with my soul.
Psalm 103 is a favorite of many, especially those early verses. The benefits of God . . . we are encouraged to not forget them. Also, there is the thought of speaking to my own soul. “Bless the Lord, my soul!”
There is a current trend of positive self-talk; speaking positive things to oneself. But it is, as we can see here, not new at all. The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. And David encouraged us, centuries ago, to speak to our own souls and tell our souls to remember the benefits of God. He then proceeds to list some of them.
I think it is no mistake that David lists forgiveness of sins first. If we didn’t have that, nothing else would matter, right? But he goes on. He heals our diseases, redeems our lives from the pit, and satisfies our desires, but with what? GOOD THINGS!
The other two verses from today’s segment speak of the Lord’s compassion on us, which is something definitely worthy of our meditation. If not for His compassion, we would surely perish.
After this psalm, we are treated to a glorious picture of Jesus’s ascension, which is too often neglected in our evangelical churches. I just looked it up, and Ascension Day just happens to be tomorrow. So we will talk a bit more about that tomorrow. Unless, of course, I forget.
I think it is noteworthy, though, that, after watching Him ascend, Jesus’s followers returned to Jerusalem “with great joy,” and “stayed continually at the temple, praising God.”
Father, thank You for all Your benefits to my soul and body. Help me to remember and reflect on those benefits, today. Also keep those characteristics mentioned at the top in the front of my mind and spirit today: humility, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, kindness, joy, and love. Fill me with all of those things today, as I walk through this day in Your Kingdom.
Sending God, how can I possibly represent you to a watching world? Let me start right here, on my knees, seeking the power that comes from on high. May your Spirit move me toward the world you love. Amen. Heidelberg Catechism 117)
Go and make disciples of all nations. . . . And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.”
(Matthew 10:29 NIV)
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10 NLT)
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
(Matthew 6:25-27 NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.
(James 5:7-8 NLT)
Good advice from Scripture, this morning. And I believe that we handled last night’s “disaster” quite well. We didn’t panic. We didn’t, and are not, this morning, stress out. It’s just a thing. Remember?
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.
(Isaiah 61:1 NLT)
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!
(Isaiah 52:7 NLT)
Lord, make my feet beautiful today. Help me to bring good news to the poor, comfort to the brokenhearted, and to proclaim the deliverance of captives and prisoners. Thank You for Your care and compassion for us, and remind me of this throughout the day, especially when I begin to get stressed over work issues, because that will certainly happen. All glory to You, Lord!
Today, Lord, I lift up all governments, world leaders, and the many, many needs of our world. Taken all together, they are overwhelming to me, but not to You. I also pray specifically for the continent of Australia, today, that Your presence, grace, and mercy would be felt there. May You also be close to those suffering from HIV/AIDS, today, bringing Your healing presence to their bodies and souls.
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!
Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
all things will pass away.
God never changes;
patience obtains all things,
whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.
(St. Teresa of Avila)
Hasad veshlom, friends!