One Flickering Hope

Good morning. Today is Monday (how did that happen so fast?), May 20, 2013. I’m rather sleepy this morning, as I had trouble falling asleep last night. I’ll explain later. Christi continues to be recovering well, I think. she was happy yesterday afternoon, because she had gone longer without taking pain meds. She is very cautious about those things.

It was a pretty good day yesterday. We had a good worship celebration, and Steph and I went to the gym, where we got also got Christi’s account frozen for two months, so they won’t bill us while she can’t go exercise. There was a semi-long meltdown, but we won’t talk about that today.

There are now 25 more working days until the account I’m working on goes away. That’s about 25 days too long.

Today is Be A Millionaire Day. Too bad that’s not federally mandated.

I apologize, but I don’t have time for history and birthdays today, as I need to leave early to stop by the credit union office to obtain funds for the closing on our refinancing.


Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:1-2
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” Psalm 16:1-2
I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:1-2

Grant me peace, this morning, Father, as I look into your Word. Prepare me for this day.

Today’s reading from A Year With God is called “Let No One Boast.” The scripture reading is 1 Corinthians 3:16-21a.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men.

“The first and most prominent theme of 1 Corinthians is that God alone is the source of the Spirit-filled life.” All of the benefits of this with-God life are attributed to God. God calls us, God gives us grace, God strengthens us, and God sustains us. “Let no one boast,” Paul says in verse 21. That’s not the only place he says that, either. In 1:29, he says, . . . so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. We can never take credit for anything in our lives! Especially the spiritual “anything.” Everything that we have gotten in this with-God life has come from God. Therefore, we have no grounds for boasting. If we think we are wise, we must “become a fool” so we can be truly wise. “It is ironic that even those insights we receive while actively seeking God we are prone to crediting to ourselves.” I am challenged to consider any time I have claimed credit for something that God did or brought to me. That will take some serious thinking. One thing I do know, and that is, the older I get, the less I know. We say things like that facetiously, but it’s true. There are things that I have believed to be true all my life, and as I get older and study the Bible more, I find that these things may not be truth. The bottom line is, we don’t know half of the things that we claim we know about God. Be believe that he is good, and we know that he loves us with a love that is, as Francis Chan says, “Crazy.” And right now, at this point in my life, all I need to know is God’s crazy, overwhelming love. If that makes me a fool, then so be it. In the words of a dear friend of mine, “And in the end, I am left with one flickering hope.” What does that mean? It means that our hope in God is all that we have. Everything else is rubbish.

In 19 Mercies, by Brennan Manning, we have come to number 10. “We cry, ‘Abba!'” Brennan speaks of visiting a bar mitzvah with a rabbi. As the four-year-old son of the rabbi wandered away, he lost sight of his father. As he panicked, he found him, ran back to him and “flung himself into his father’s lap, shouting, ‘Ab . . .Ab . . .Abba!'” In spite of evidence that, originally, this word did not carry the meaning of our word, “Daddy,” there is still an intimacy involved that the people of the New Testament were not used to. They were used to the Old Testament God, not one they could call, “Father.” “What Jesus Christ reveals is that the God in whose presence Moses had to remove his shoes, the God from whose fingertips this universe fell, the God beside whose grandeur the Grand Canyon is only a glimpse, the God besides whose power the nuclear bomb is as nothing–this infinite, holy God, Jesus announces, we may dare to address with intimacy.” This is unbelievably beautiful.

for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 3:26-4:7

“We make ourselves what we are by the way we address God.”~~Thomas Merton

Father, and yes, I do mean “Father!” I revel in the fact that I can address you with this kind of intimacy; that Jesus Christ has made it so that I can run to you and say, “Abba!” This love that you have for me (and all the saints) is still sinking into my spirit, into my brain, after all these years. You have only been telling me about it for 55 years! You would think I would have caught on sooner. I implore you to keep teaching me this love. Keep showing me your crazy, overwhelming love! You are the source of everything that I am. I praise you and thank you this morning. You are my “one flickering hope.”

I pray for this day. May I get everything done that needs to be done today, and may I feel no anxiety or stress during this day. Continue Christi’s healing and recovery from her surgery. I pray for her return visit tomorrow, that the progress will be ahead of schedule. I pray for Stephanie today. She needs an extra dose of your love today, Lord. Draw her heart into yours.

“If I had no voice, if I had no tongue,
I would dance for you like the morning sun.
And when that day comes and I see your face,
I will shout your endless, glorious praise!”~~Colton Dixon

Grace and peace, friends.