Today is Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in the fifth week of Lent. Peace be with you.
Eleven days until Resurrection Sunday.
I don’t think there will be many April Fool’s jokes today.
C found paper towels, yesterday! We needed a few things that we didn’t get in our grocery order, so she ventured out to the store. Albertsons didn’t have any, and she had to go to Kroger to get the lancets I like, and Kroger had about ten packages of Brawny, so she bought two. She also found some Cherry Diet Dr. Pepper for me. Oh, and she gave the Cherry Coke to our neighbor. So that’s cool. That’s the neighbor that found our cat.
That’s about all I have, for today. I will say it’s going to be a very sad month for us. There are several events/memories in this month, and we won’t be able to gather with family to celebrate/memorialize. We were also planning our trip to Glen Rose on the weekend of the 16th-19th. I seriously doubt that we should do that. We haven’t made up our minds, yet. We’re not sure the rules allow for such a trip. However, if we did go, we would be “sheltered-in-place” in a remote cabin for the whole weekend, with little to no human contact. We haven’t spoken with the cabin owners, yet. We’ll try to do that this weekend.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.
(Psalms 85:8-9 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
1. That You, O Lord, still speak to us; help us to listen.
2. For the beautiful weather yesterday.
3. That You open my eyes to see new things.
4. That You are good, and Your steadfast love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16.34).
5. That You are still here with us, enabling us to do Your work.
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
(Psalms 43:3-4 ESV)
That they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.
(Psalms 83:18 ESV)
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
(Isaiah 9:2 ESV)
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
(Luke 19:41-44 ESV)
A Psalm of David.
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah.
(Psalms 24:1-6 ESV)
As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
(Psalms 84:6 ESV)
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.
“Gracious Father, whose blessed son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give me this bread, that he may live in me, and I in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)
There are some good words for these days in today’s selection of Scriptures from The Divine Hours. Words about hearing what God is speaking, not returning to folly, letting light and truth guide us, and knowing that God Almighty is Most High over all the earth. May we hear and heed those words today.
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
(Luke 22:39-44 ESV)
“What might we learn if we prayed honestly and with complete abandon, as Jesus did? What situation are you facing right now where you can pray honestly yet with abandon to God?”
(Elisa Morgan, Our Daily Bread)
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
(Psalms 119:18 ESV)
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
(1 Chronicles 16:34 ESV)
The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both.
(Proverbs 20:12 ESV)
With these Scriptures from Daily Guideposts, I begin to think that God might be trying to tell me something. I’d better have my eyes and ears, as well as my spirit, open and paying attention today. I don’t want to miss this.
(From The Songs of Jesus, by Timothy and Kathy Keller)
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil.
We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors; you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob. Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes. I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.
(Psalms 44:1-8 NIV)
The benefit of “story” is evident in this reading. It is the stories that were handed down from generation to generation that allowed him to write that he had heard what the Lord had done for his ancestors “in their days, in days long ago.”
“We have a direct link to the mighty deeds of the past, because they were the exploits not of our ancestors but of God himself, and that God is still with us. Christians should never look at church history as if it contained some great race of heroes that has vanished irretrievably. Their God is our God. Nor should we look at earlier times of spiritual ministry in our lives and think that we’ll never be capable of that again.
“You weren’t capable of it the first time. It was God. And he is still there.”
Look at that sentence again!
“You weren’t capable of it the first time!”
I don’t know when I have felt more encouraged than I do right this second. Our God, the God who is Most High over all the earth, still reigns. It is He who did the marvelous works of our ancestors and of our own past. And it is He will is still able to do those works, even when we believe that we can’t do them, which is correct, because we can’t!
I once had a pastor who said, “The Christian life isn’t hard. It’s impossible.” And, to a degree, it is. But the yoke of Jesus is easy because we step into it with Him!
“Prayer: ‘O God our help in ages past’–you are still with me now. I thank you that you are eternal, unchanging in your person, character, and attributes. Let me remember that with excited anticipation for the things you will be doing today through me. Amen.” (Quote from the hymn, “O God Our Help in Ages Past,” by Isaac Watts)
Yes, Father! Draw me closer to You today, and hold my eyes and ears wide open to see what it is that You have to say to me and do in and through me! Help me to believe that there are still acts of ministry that You have for me to do in You and in Your power. But not in my own, because I have never been capable of doing them. It was always You!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
“O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while life shall last,
And our eternal home.”
Grace and peace, friends.