Today is Thursday, the 17th of November, 2022, in the 33rd week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ, that transcends all understanding, dwell in your soul today!
One week until Thanksgiving! Ordering the groceries today.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes! (Psalms 119:26 ESV)
Lord our God, you are our refuge. We wait for you, for your purpose will never fail and your promise will be fulfilled. This we may firmly believe, and from this we may draw strength every day. Even when our life brings sorrow, we do not want to grieve. We want to hope and believe and endure until your day comes. Your kingdom will come on earth, and in the meantime you are watching over your people. In the midst of the world’s daily affairs there will be people who hope in you, who belong to you, and who are firmly rooted in the grace of Jesus Christ until the time is fulfilled. Amen.
What answer shall be given to the envoys of that nation? “The LORD has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge.”
(Isaiah 14:32 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
- that we can find refuge in God’s Kingdom
- that His purpose will never fail and His promises will be fulfilled
- that, in the midst of the daily affairs of this world, there remains a people who yet find hope in God
- for the immensity of the love of God for us, which is fully unfathomable
- that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, created in Christ Jesus for good works, prepared in advance for me; may I be faithful to walk in them
Can we admit Our inability To grasp God’s love Enormity We can’t fathom It’s immensity Beyond limits Of humanity For He does love Everybody With love unique Individually Beyond all time Unconditionally To glimpse right here Infinitely
Brother Daryl states this almost perfectly. We truly cannot fathom the immensity of God’s love for us. And yet, we find this prayer from Paul in Ephesians:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV emphasis added)
Paul prays that we might know that which is unknowable. Let that sink in for a moment.
Please visit Daryl’s blog site at the link provided above, and read more of his inspirational poetry.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
(Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV)
I can’t help but wonder how we can read these verses and not show mercy to our fellow humans. I am more and more convicted, every day, about this.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalms 139:14 ESV)
But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
(Isaiah 64:8 ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:10 ESV)
It’s not just the psalmist who is fearfully and wonderfully made; it is every creature that has ever existed on this earth.
All things bright and beautiful All creatures great and small All things wise and wonderful The Lord God made them all (Cecil F. Alexander, 1848)
We are clay in the hands of our Father, the Potter, the Master Potter. It is His prerogative to shape us however He desires. Therefore, as Paul said, “Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?”
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”
(Romans 9:20 ESV)
And, furthermore, if we believe (and I do) that all things, all creatures, all human beings, are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” created in the image of God as Genesis tells us, then, again, I must wonder . . . how dare we not show mercy to one another, after we have been shown such great mercy by our Father in heaven! How it must make Him weep! Or even worse, perhaps it makes Him angry, and I can think of nothing worse than the anger of the Almighty.
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
(Matthew 18:21-35 ESV)
Father, You have shown us unlimited mercy. You have lavished marvelous, infinite, matchless grace upon us! In fact, You have lavished this grace and mercy upon every creature on earth, even those who refuse to acknowledge Your existence.
Your love for Your creation is truly unfathomable, unknowable. Yet Paul, in his prayers, prayed that we would know it. When I sit and contemplate You and Your love for us, I am rendered speechless, because there is no truly adequate response. “Thank You,” just doesn’t seem to cover it. Yet, it is all that I have, all that I can say.
I offer up to You my worship and praise, feeble as it is, imperfect as it is. I am grateful that You remember that we are dust, as the psalmist says. But I am also grateful to know that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” You have created us in Your image, and I celebrate this.
Now help me to remember that all humans are created in Your image, and that all humans are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have shown us mercy; You have shown me great mercy; therefore, I will show mercy to Your creatures, to my brothers and sisters in Christ, and to those who even refuse to believe in You. Because I have been shown mercy, because I am forgiven, therefore, I will forgive and show mercy, without limit, without exception. I commit myself to this, in the name of my Savior Jesus Christ, who shed His blood that I might live.
All glory and praise to You, through the Son and by the Spirit. God help me!
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. O, Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant us Your peace. (Agnus Dei)
Grace and peace, friends.