Today is Tuesday, the eleventh of October, 2022, in the 28th week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ dwell in your heart today!
You may notice I have changed the title of my blog. After all these years, I have decided to change it to “Spaces of Beauty, Grace, Prayer, and Mercy.” Not that I think my blog is beautiful (not by any stretch of the imagination). Rather, I pray that it will lead all who read it into at least one of those spaces.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Dear Father in heaven, we love and honor your ways even when they are bitter ways. We long for courage and strength. Lord, help us to believe. Grant faith to the millions surrounded by death, faith that overcomes everything through utmost self-denial. Let your light shine out to bring life to the nations in the midst of all that is happening. Your light shall lead and guide us, and peace will come, a deeper peace than we have ever known. Remember each of us in all our concerns, and grant that the struggles of life may lead us to peace. If hard and bitter ways should be our lot, help us to remain steadfast, never complaining about our burdens even in the most difficult days, for through grief and trouble the way leads to you. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:3-4 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
- for the faith that God has given me, and that He continues to give me
- for a wonderful weekend in Glen Rose
- for the possibility of deep peace in our lives
- for the eyewitness accounts of the life of Christ in the Bible
- for the amazing things that God has prepared for and does for us who wait for Him
Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones! (Psalms 105:1-6 ESV)
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.
(1 John 1:1 NLT)
“O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing” is possibly Charles Wesley’s (1707-1788) best-known hymn. Did anyone know that it has 17 stanzas?? Over the next few days, I will share them, here, courtesy of Spiritual Classics, by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin.
Glory to God, and praise and love be ever, ever given, by saints below and saints above, the church in earth and heaven. On this glad day the glorious Sun of Righteousness arose, on my benighted soul he shone and filled it with repose. Sudden expired the legal strife, 'twas then I ceased to grieve; my second, real, living life I then began to live. Then with my heart I first believed, believed with faith divine, power with the Holy Ghost received to call the Savior mine.
Apparently, this hymn was written on the one-year anniversary of his conversion to Christianity.
From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.
(Isaiah 64:4 ESV)
The King James Version of the verse above says
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
(Isaiah 64:4 KJV)
Either way, it is more than “we who are finite beings should expect from an Almighty God.” (Andrew Murray) Indeed, what right do we have to expect anything from the Creator of the universe?? Yet, that is exactly what He wants us to do.
He wants us to wait, expectantly, to see what He has prepared for us, what He will do for us, when He acts on our behalf. “He wants us to believe and trust Him for what to us is impossible.”
I believe it was Dallas Willard’s definition of grace that went something like this: it is God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
When it comes to our prayers, we tend to be small-minded. I know, because I’ve been there (and still am, probably most of the time). I confess that I have not been guilty of praying expectantly. I also confess that, when I did, my expectations seemed to not have been met. Except that, perhaps, I was looking at things from a human perspective, rather than a divine perspective. I can’t really help that, can I?
But I need to learn, I have been gradually, slowly, learning, to wait on God, and to wait expectantly. I don’t deserve for my prayers to be answered. I have no right to expect my prayers to be answered. Except for that which is on the basis of the blood of Christ. Because I am a child of God, then, yes, perhaps I do have a right to expect His answer.
But, yet, there are conditions. I must be abiding; I must dwell in His Word and in Christ, and have Christ abiding in me. I must “take delight in the LORD” (Psalm 37:4), that He might give me the desires of my heart, which should be the desires of His heart.
“Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (Psalm 105:4)
Yes. That is what I must do. Seek and wait.
Father, enlarge my heart that I might seek You continually, and wait on You expectantly. I really don’t have much else to add to that. That is my desire, today, that is my prayer. And I will wait, expectantly, to see what You will do for me, what You have prepared for me.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!
I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!
(Psalms 119:32 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.