Today is Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Day 21,894.
18 days until Glen Rose.
Anthony Stewart Head, born on this date in 1954, said, “I have a very open mind. I believe that there’s a spirit world. I believe that there’s a lot of stuff out there that we don’t know about, don’t want to understand, and sometimes we don’t want to understand it.”
The word for today, from Dictionary.com, is thewless, an adjective which means, “lacking in mental or moral vigor; weak, spiritless, or timid.”
Band practice was fun, last night. Good fellowship with fellow trombonists, and a pretty good rehearsal, as well. Our concert is slated for Monday evening, March 5, at Whites Chapel UMC in Southlake. There should be a flyer soon, and I will post it.
C continues to feel better, and we may actually go to the Y tonight, after work!
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation
and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.
By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
A very popular Psalm, 42 was not written by David. I have felt the pathos of this one many times. “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” It’s a good thing, I believe, when you recognize that thirst. The writers lament their soul’s condition, but end up on a positive note. “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
(From The Business of Heaven, C.S. Lewis)
The Summons of Lent
“It is a matter of common experience that, when one person has got himself into a hole, the trouble of getting him out usually falls on a kind friend. Now what was the sort of ‘hole’ man had got himself into? He had tried to set up on his own, to behave as if he belonged to himself. In other words, fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realizing that you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again from the ground floor – that is the only way out of a ‘hole.’ This process of surrender – this movement full speed astern – is what Christians call repentance. Now repentance is no fun at all. It is something much harder than merely eating humble pie. It means unlearning all the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training ourselves into for thousands of years. It means killing part of yourself, undergoing a kind of death. In fact, it needs a good man to repent. And here comes the catch. Only a bad person needs to repent: only a good person can repent perfectly. The worse you are the more you need it and the less you can do it. The only person who could do it perfectly would be a perfect person – and he would not need it.” (From Mere Christianity)
What a quandary, indeed. I need something that I cannot do for myself. This leads to my favorite definition of grace. Grace is God doing in/for us what we cannot do in/for ourselves. This does not mean that God will repent for me. What it does mean is that God will enable me, a “bad” person, to repent, something only a “good” person can do. The way he enables me is through the indwelling Holy Spirit, which I have because of the sacrifice of Christ.
Father, I confess that repentance is hard. No, that’s wrong. Repentance is impossible. Without your help, without the sacrifice of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit, repentance is impossible. Even with all of those present, it is still difficult, because I am still imperfect. Yes, the life of Christ reforms me, makes me whole. But I still carry this treasure around in an old “jar of clay,” my flesh. And my flesh would ever lead me in a different direction. Help me, Father! I do believe! Help my unbelief! Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22
Grace and peace, friends.