Today is Thursday, the thirteenth of October, 2022, in the 28th week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ dwell within you today!
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Dear Father in heaven, we come before you as your children, longing to be assured through your Spirit that we are and may remain your children. We long to live to the glory of your name under the shelter and guidance of the Lord Jesus in expectation of the great day which shall fulfill all promises made to us. Strengthen us, especially in dark and troubled days. Help us when danger threatens and when evil tries to make headway among us. Deliver us from all evil, for yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir. Galatians 4:6–7, RSV
Today I am grateful:
- that I am a son and an heir of God
- for whatever God is going to show me, today
- that the Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1)
- that Jesus “breaks the power of canceled sin” (Charles Wesley)
- for God’s power to keep us
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
(John 3:17-18 ESV)
This makes me wonder . . . if God didn’t send Jesus into the world to condemn the world, then why are there so many “Christians” who feel it is their duty to do so??
Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Who can utter the mighty deeds of the LORD, or declare all his praise? Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times! (Psalms 106:1-3 ESV)
“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
(Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1 ESV)
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
(Luke 1:76-79 ESV)
O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing, stanzas 9-12
Jesus! The name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease; 'tis music in the sinner's ears, 'tis life and health, and peace! He breaks the power of canceled sin, he sets the prisoner free; his blood can make the foulest clean; his blood availed for me. He speaks, and listening to his voice new life the dead receive; the mournful, broken hearts rejoice, the humble poor believe. Hear him, ye deaf, his praise, ye dumb, your loosened tongues employ; ye blind, behold your Savior come, and leap, ye lame, for joy.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV)
“O God, make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be made.” (Robert Murray M’Cheyne)
“The keeper of our souls is watching over us; our Father delights to reveal himself to us. He has the power to let the sunshine of His love guide us throughout the day.” (Andrew Murray)
“The keeper of our souls . . .” This is the lesson for today. It winds itself through passages of Scripture shared from unrelated sources. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
The Lord goes before me; He will not leave or forsake me. I need not fear. He keeps me; He keeps my inheritance in heaven. If I embrace these truths, I literally have nothing to fear. Every fear that I have is unfounded, baseless.
The “sunrise” has visited us from on high, the “sunshine of His love” has shined upon us, able to guide us through every day.
And, o, the words of that hymn by Wesley! Words that I didn’t know existed until a few days ago, and words that I am quite familiar with, as well. The ninth stanza I am well familiar with.
Jesus! The name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease; 'tis music in the sinner's ears, 'tis life and health, and peace!
I find it interesting that the word is “charms” in Wesley’s original. I remember singing “calms,” back in my youth. And for some reason, “our” was changed to “my” in both of the first two lines. I rather like “charms,” as it has more of a meaning of controlling. The snake charmer doesn’t just “calm” the snake; he controls it. If I allow it, Jesus will control my fears.
His name is powerful; it charms my fears; it ceases my sorrows; it is music in my ears, the name of Jesus; and it is “life and health, and peace!”
The work of the Holy Trinity is keeping me.
And, to top it off, here are some words of Jesus, regarding that “keeping.”
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
(John 10:27-30 ESV)
Father, I thank You for your ability to keep me. I also thank You for the inheritance that is kept in heaven for me, where it cannot perish or fade or be corrupted.
I believe that I am secure in You; that “no one is able to snatch” me out of Your hands, including myself. I’ve done some stupid things in my life, things that, if any of us humans were running things, would have disqualified me.
But we are not running things, You are. You are God, we are not. And that is a good thing; that is a beautiful and wonderful thing. The truth of Jesus’s words do not free me to do whatever I please; rather they comfort me when I do stray from Your path, because I know that You will bring me back; You will never leave me or forsake me; I have nothing to fear.
You are my Keeper.
All glory to You, through the Son, and by the Spirit.
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
My God, my Keeper You are my light and my life Whom, then, shall I fear?
Grace and peace, friends.