Good morning! It’s Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Today is National Coconut Cream Pie Day. Christi likes that. Actually, she says she likes Coconut Meringue better. I’m not a fan of either. Never been much for coconut. I guess the biggest news on this day is that, in 1945, it was V-E Day. Victory in Europe. However, in 1963, Sean Connery starred in his first James Bond movie on this day. Connery IS the best Bond. I will accept no arguments. Don’t even try.
Christi continues to work at the madhouse. Her quest goes on. All prayers are appreciated.
Stephanie should be able to get her diploma any time after June 2. As previously stated, there will be great joy and celebration, and possibly the Myposian Dance of Joy.
Father, I pray that you would show me more of you today. Give me something that will help me live this day looking to you.
I know I’ve shared this before, but I felt like starting off with some worship music this morning.
My heart will sing no other name…Jesus!
My Utmost For His Highest
Because you have kept my word about patient endurance… Revelation 3:10
Chambers compares the patience of a saint with a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. “God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says–‘I cannot stand any more.’ God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands.” We must maintain our relationship to Christ by “the patience of faith.” As Job (who, contrary to the popular saying, wasn’t all that patient) said, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him!” No matter what the cost, I will wait for him.
Some see faith as sentimentality. “Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love.” We cannot see what he is doing, but we know that he is good; that he is love, therefore, we “fling [ourselves] in reckless confidence on God.” (This is really good stuff!)
God gave all to save us in Christ; He desires us to place our “abandoned confidence in Him.” We have places in our lives where this confidence has not touched us yet. Jesus had none of those; our goal is to have none of those. “The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering.”
Today’s Bible Readings
John 3; Psalm 13; 2 Samuel 18
John 3 contains what is probably the most famous of all Bible verses, John 3:16. It also gives us the phrase, “born again,” in verse 3, as Jesus answers Nicodemus’s questions. However, it is noted that the word “again” is literally “from above.” The point is, to enter God’s kingdom, we must be born of the Spirit. When we read John 3:16, we tend to think it is telling us how much God loved the world. This is not quite accurate. It might be better translated, “This is how God loved the world…” How did he love us? By sending his only Son to die in our place.
Later in the chapter, John the Baptist utters the famous words, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (v 30). But he utters something equally profound a few verses earlier that not so many people quote. “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven” (v 27). Do we really comprehend the gravity of that truth? I have not received even one thing that was not given me from heaven! This is truly a beautiful chapter!
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
David feels forsaken. He prays for light in his eyes and is concerned about his enemies prevailing. But at the end, he trusts in the Lord and sings praises to him.
In 2 Samuel 18, David and company are about to head into the final battle with Absalom. The men would not allow David to go with them, saying that he was worth ten thousand of them. David acquiesced. However, he ordered them, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” Even after all of the treachery and betrayal, David still loved his son. How his heart must have broken! While Absalom was riding, his long, beautiful hair got caught in a tree. He hung helplessly in the tree. One of David’s men saw him and told Joab. Joab rebuked the man for not killing Absalom, but the man remembered David’s orders. Joab was not so compassionate. “I will not waste time like this with you,” he snarled (I’m embellishing…it doesn’t say he “snarled”), and thrust three javelins through the heart of Absalom. Runners carry the news to David. His reaction is recorded in verse 33: And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Father, I have worshiped you this morning, and feel as though I have already run into your arms. My heart will sing no other name…Jesus! I believe that your presence is here with me, and is with me at all times, 24/7. What I need is to recognize your presence throughout the day. If I truly believe (and I do) that you are with me all the time, then there are times during my day that I need to acknowledge that presence. Times when things may not be going quite the way I think they should; times when I have stress; times when I experience crisis; times when I doubt that you are actually in control of the madness. Father, I pray today…help me to fling myself on you with reckless confidence!! May I take no thought of consequences of following you! You are in control of my life. I have not one single thing that was not given me by you! By the power of your Spirit, and by the power of the ascended, glorified Christ, may I live my life in this manner! May my faith be a patient faith, one that shows complete and utter confidence in your loving hand. I also pray that you do these things for Christi as she makes her way to work today. Give her this reckless confidence in your hand; in your power. May she look to you today, by the power of the Spirit, for her confidence and guidance. Help her deal with the madness and appear to be the lone voice of sanity. I pray by your Spirit that you would give her favor with those in authority over her. I pray that you would change the hearts of those who deal recklessly with other people. I pray that you would shatter the immorality and materialism of one, bringing her to her knees in repentance! Unleash your power on this place, Lord. Only you can change hearts.
I thank you for the third chapter of John. I thank you for the way that you loved us. I also thank you for the words of John the Baptist that affirm our status before you. I have nothing, Lord. I remember from last week…I have nothing and I am nothing! I am not second, I am last! Make me last, Father. Humble me down to the dust with your Word. Glorify yourself and Christ through my life. Aim me at things I cannot see; stretch me to the point of breaking. I might complain, true. I probably will. (I think I just heard Christi laugh somewhere.) But you are God and you know what is best for our lives.
I pray for this day, Lord. Give Christi the bold confidence to get through it. May she not waver; may she not back down. Make her tough. I pray for Stephanie. She has not been feeling well for a couple days. Help her feel better and get her work done today. Sharpen her mind for the task ahead. May my day go smoothly today.
I pray for our friend, Dennis Jernigan, your psalmist. May his shoulder surgery go smoothly this morning, and his recovery be quick. It’s hard to play the piano with your arm in a sling. Get him through this with his eyes fixed on you.
I lift up my brothers and sisters in Christ at The Exchange. I pray for our church and its ministries, that we will be successful in the mission that you have given us. I pray for a place for us to worship; a permanent place that we can call home.
Fix your eyes on the Lord and fling yourself on him with reckless confidence! He is faithful and true, and oh, how he loves us!
Grace and peace, friends!