Today is Sunday, the twenty-fifth of July, 2021.
Twenty-five days until S’s birthday. And she still hasn’t given us her birthday list. Hint, hint.
We had a wonderful visit with R & J, yesterday, and got to ride in their new car. Actually, C and I both got a chance to drive it. We had lunch at our old standby, Hoffbrau. This time, I tried their grilled salmon, which was good. The best part was the roasted corn on the cob. I even ate the steamed spinach.
I’m going to give Mama a moment to process that.
As I stated, yesterday, we aren’t having church, this morning. C and I may run up to a local weekend farmer’s market and see what they have. I’ve got a few things ordered to be delivered from Albertson’s between 10 and 11, things that I forgot yesterday, so we may run up to that market after those get delivered, before going to Applebee’s for our traditional Sunday lunch.
I decided, yesterday, to go ahead and complete the job application for the Watauga Library assistant job. It’s part time (don’t know how many hours) at $12.40 an hour, and is literally five minutes from my house. Since the bus driving gig seems to be delayed for a bit, I’ll see what comes from this one. If they show any interest, I may move on that one, instead. If they don’t, I’ll just keep looking.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, you heavenly hosts; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (Traditional Doxology)
Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.
The godly always give generous loans to others,
and their children are a blessing.
(Psalms 37:25-26 NLT)
Today I am grateful:
1. for this day of rest; 2. that You are trustworthy and faithful in all that You do; 3. that You guide me in Your truth and teach me, so that I have put my trust in You; 4. that no one who hopes in You will ever be put to shame (Psalm 25); 5. for the joy that comes from knowing that You have forgotten my sins forever.
Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
ORDINARY TIME – WEEK TEN – DAY ONE
The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
(Psalms 145:13b NIV)
I pause for a moment of silent meditation, considering Your faithfulness and trustworthiness in all that You do.
In you, LORD my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, LORD,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, LORD, are good.
(Psalms 25:1-7 NIV)
The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
(Genesis 12:1-5 NIV)
DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION
Holy Spirit, as I read these passages again, please direct my thoughts, my meditations, and my prayers into Your will. Teach me Your ways; guide me in Your truth.
The psalm is a great one, focusing on trust. The psalmist makes a simple declaration, “In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.” Then he repeats it in verse 2, “I trust in you.”
He believes, according to verse 3, that “No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame.” I, too, believe this. It is something that I consistently rest in. While there have been times in my life where I have been ashamed, those times were caused by me NOT, temporarily, putting my hope and trust in the Lord.
I love the requests in the remainder of today’s passage:
Show me Your ways Teach me Your paths Guide me in Your truth and teach me Remember Your great mercy and love Do not remember the sins of my youth, but remember me according to Your love
Because, “you, LORD, are good.”
And has He not already promised us that He will not remember our sins? This is one of those truths about God that has astounded me for decades. You just try and forget something. Go ahead. Try.
I’ve forgotten a lot of things, but never on purpose. The harder you try to forget something, the harder you remember it. It’s like trying to not think about a purple elephant.
See? You’re thinking about purple elephants.
But God (I love those two words) repeatedly says, in His Word, that He will forget our sins. It’s not always worded exactly like that, but that’s what it means. Here are some verses to back this up.
“And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
(Hebrews 8:12 NLT)
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
(Psalms 103:11-12 NLT)
“But, dear family of Jacob, you refuse to ask for my help. You have grown tired of me, O Israel! You have not brought me sheep or goats for burnt offerings. You have not honored me with sacrifices, though I have not burdened and wearied you with requests for grain offerings and frankincense. You have not brought me fragrant calamus or pleased me with the fat from sacrifices. Instead, you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your faults.
“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.”
(Isaiah 43:22-25 NLT)
Those are just a few. There are others. The point is that God willfully, intentionally forgets our sins. He will not remember them. That is His promise, and, as stated above in a different psalm, He is trustworthy in all He promises.
The only thing I’m going to say about the passage from Genesis involves one little phrase in verse 4. “And Lot went with him.”
It’s a thing that we all suffer from. We hear God’s Word and we obey . . . sort of. Abraham’s obedience was slightly tainted by him taking his nephew along for the ride. The consequences of that little slip were tremendous. Abraham would never have been involved in the whole Sodom and Gomorrah thing if he had left his nephew at home. There would be no pillar of salt standing in the desert.
But it is also important to note that Abraham still wound up where God wanted him. He just had a slight detour.
Father, I praise You that You have the ability to forget our sins. I trust in that. I can’t forget them, and I know that I frequently bring them up, or perhaps it is my enemy that brings them up in my mind, trying to make me feel shame. But Your Word says that if we hope in You, there is no shame. I am getting better at throwing that back in my enemy’s face, too. I may not be able to forget my sins, but I can rest in the confidence that You can and You have, and that my past has been rewritten by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Thank You, O my Father!
I also praise You that, even when our obedience is incomplete, You can still manage to get us to where You want us to be, just like Abraham.
Lord, please give us increased fellowship with the risen Christ in our lives. Give Your people spiritual renewal and refreshment.
"God of Abraham, in your call is a claim-- that I am yours. Thank you for the grace that has found me and makes me willing and ready, with my whole heart, to live for you, to go where you send, to follow where you lead. As you have blessed me, make me a blessing. In the name of the One to whom I belong, amen."
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
(Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
But our citizenship is in heaven.
(Philippians 3:20 NIV)
There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
(John 14:2-3 NLT)
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
(Colossians 3:1-4 NLT)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
(Revelation 21:1-4 NLT)
I’m just sitting down here waiting for Home . . .
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!
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.