Today is Tuesday, January 8, 2019.
36 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Leo Tolstoy, Russian mystic and novelist, 1828-1910
The Quotations Page
The word of the day is labyrinthine. It means, “complicated; tortuous,” or, “of, relating to, or resembling a labyrinth.” (Dictionary.com)
Well, we didn’t make it to the Y last night. We don’t really have a good reason. We just didn’t do it. Instead, we made chili and watched an episode of Speechless and an episode of Big Bang Theory. That was pretty much it.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:4
Today I am grateful:
1. For the people God has placed in my life, thus far. I’m feeling pretty blessed right now.
2. For the Holy Spirit, who continues to gently nudge me toward a deeper experience with Jesus.
3. For Jesus, who shows me the way to the Father.
4. For the Father, who is always near me, always with me, everywhere I could possibly go
5. For the truth that, no matter how I feel, spiritually or emotionally, all of the above are still true.
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
(The Book of Common Prayer)
Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
I’m starting with this verse, but will segue into something else; different, but related, I think.
This verse is the inspiration for a Matt Redman song, “Let My Words Be Few.”
It’s a verse and concept that I keep needing to go back to. You see, I have a problem with letting my words be few. Big problem. My words have gotten me into more trouble than I care to speak of. It’s a constant case of, “Did I say that out loud??”
I think the point of this verse in Ecclesiastes, though, is more about the things we say before, or to, God. Jesus makes a sort of reference to the idea when He tells us not to make rash vows to God. God is in heaven; I am on earth. I will let my words be few.
Now for the segue.
In Every Step An Arrival, by Eugene H. Peterson, today’s reading begins with a verse about Moses.
GOD said to Moses, “Climb higher up the mountain and wait there for me; I’ll give you tablets of stone, the teachings and commandments that I’ve written to instruct them.”
Exodus 24:12 (The Message)
Moses is at his pinnacle, here; the highest point of his life. And I’m not just talking about physical location, either. He’s the leader of the people; he has brought them out of Egypt (with God’s help, of course); he is God’s spokesperson. “He is the key person in the people’s relation with God; he is the key person in God’s relation with the people.”
In all of this, we might make the mistake of thinking that Moses is indispensable. But he is not. He is necessary, but not indispensable. “If Moses had not done it, God would have prepared another.”
So what we need to realize is that the “great thing in this story is not what Moses did but what God did. God calls; God gives; God instructs.” Moses simply answered God’s call and waited for God to speak. Moses “knew how to get out of the way so God could be in the way.”
This is where I believe the two ideas are related. Moses knew how to let his words be few. When he came back down from the mountain, he “gave the people God’s word. He didn’t tell the exciting story of his forty days on the mountain. He did not show a set of slides of the views from Sinai. He was absolutely silent about himself in order that he might talk about God.”
I especially got a kick out of that statement about the slides. I’ve been a part of far too many missionary presentations in my life.
Anyway . . . These concepts are important, especially as we think about gathering to worship. “We come to a place of worship to find out about God, not about man. We are here to get ourselves in relation with God, not to be entertained with religious tales of the saints and sinners.”
May we stand in awe of God today, and let our words be few.
Father, as I go through this day, help me to let my words be few, and to stand in awe of you, as you are in heaven and I am on earth.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4
Soli Deo Gloria!