Today is Thursday, the sixth of October, 2022, in the twenty-seventh week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ be with you today!
This is delayed today, because I had an appointment at 10:00 to get my cyst removal stitches out.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
My Friend of Lighty, by Daryl Madden
In a chapels morn’ Deep within a prayer Inpouring of Spirit My friend of light is here On an ocean of waves Joy shining clear In thousands of diamonds My friend of light is here On a cloudy day In hope to appear The sun bursting through My friend of light is here In my times of need A blessed soul to share Bearing of my cross My friend of light is here
My thoughts on this, and I am not sure how the author intended it, are that it could be referring to Jesus, but could also be referring to a human “friend of light,” a brother or sister in the faith, another saint. How precious it is to be in the presence of another saint, a true “friend of light.”
Please visit Daryl’s site at the link above.
Lord our God, our Father, give us your Spirit, we pray, for you have ruled over us at all times and loved us with a love that guides and leads us, that helps us go forward in body and soul. Reveal your hand. Grant that we undertake nothing in human strength; may everything come from you for each one whose heart holds true to you and who does the work intended for him. Then everything we do on earth can be a service to you. Protect us through your great goodness and faithfulness, which have been with us to this day and will go with us into the future. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
“O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
(John 17:25-26 ESV)
Today I am grateful:
- that Jesus makes the Father’s name known to us, that His love may be in us
- for brothers and sisters in Christ, “friends of light”
- for the beautiful music of Salt of the Sound; please check them out
- for God’s gift of holiness, through Jesus Christ; may I get to know it more through prayer and devotion
- that I will sing to the Lord as long as I have being; may my meditation be pleasing to Him (Psalm 104:34)
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD. (Psalms 104:33-34 ESV)
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:27-31 ESV)
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
(Jeremiah 33:3 ESV)
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
(Psalms 19:1 ESV)
but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
(1 Peter 1:15-16 ESV)
“Be holy.” How exactly do we do that? There are many who have tried to “be holy” by obeying an innumerable set of rules. The “Holiness Church,” for example. Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t. In fact, one of the major objections to unbelievers, regarding church, is all the “don’ts.”
I get it.
But that’s now how we accomplish holiness. We cannot be holy by works. You cannot do enough positive things and avoid enough negative things to be holy. It’s like trying to work your way to Heaven. You can’t do it. Because if you have sinned once, you are disqualified. Period. You can’t undo that one, and all the “good” things you do cannot outweigh that one.
There is this terrible concept that so many people have, hoping that, when they die, that the good that they did will outweigh the bad, and that there is some kind of scale system at the “pearly gates,” whereby St. Peter will do some calculating and either you get in or you don’t.
That simply isn’t the way it is. But that, my friends, is part of the “good news.” Because the blood of Jesus on the Cross erased all of the sin. It changed history, as well as changing the future.
So, back to the original question. How do we achieve holiness?
God imparts it to us, through Christ. It is a gift. But here’s the thing. We cannot grasp or get to know this holiness if we are not spending time with God in prayer. No, we don’t get to be holy by praying; that’s just another “work.” We get to know God, and thereby, His holiness, by praying.
Prayer involves more than just asking for stuff, though. Meditation is prayer; contemplation is prayer; waiting on the Lord is prayer (in my opinion). Prayer can be anything that can draw you closer to the Almighty. C and I are going to Glen Rose tomorrow. We will spend a lot of time sitting on the deck of the cabin on the banks of the Paluxy River. Some of that time, we will be reading. Some of that time, we will be engaging in prayer by looking in wonder at the beauty of God’s creation. I’m looking forward to taking my telescope out to look at the night sky during this trip, so I can see the heavens declaring the glory of God and the sky proclaiming His handiwork.
Singing is prayer. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live, as long as I have breath, as long as I have my being. Which means I will sing for eternity, because that’s how long I will have my being (I don’t know about breath . . . I’m not sure we will need breathing in heaven). And as I sing, I will pray that my meditation is pleasing to Him.
Praying is also calling to Him. Jeremiah tells us to call to Him, and He will show us things that we do not know. How much do you not know? I guarantee you that there is more that you don’t know. I’m confident that if you took all of the knowledge in the entire world and added it all up, there would still be more that is unknown.
I don’t know a lot. Wait. Let me rephrase that. There is a lot that I don’t know. Just the other day, I learned something. (Spoiler alert, this has nothing to do with anything theological.) I was shelving DVDs at the library Tuesday night, and I ran across a movie, from 1971, called “They Might Be Giants.” It has George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward. I’ve never heard of this movie.
However, I have heard of an alternative rock band, formed in 1982, called They Might Be Giants, created by John Flansburgh and John Linnell. They assumed the name because it had been used by (and discarded by) a friend who had a ventriloquist act. Okay, so the band is named after the movie. But that’s not all. It is also a line from Don Quixote! You know, the book by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It explains why Don Quixote was “tilting at windmills.”
So there you go. There was something that you probably didn’t know. (Hats off if you did.) And no extra charge for that.
Now, God did not show me that (or did He?) as a result of me calling out to Him. It’s just to illustrate how much there is that we do not know. After a year a some months working at a public library, there are still books in there that I have not seen. Just in the Hurst Public Library, there is literally at least a ton of stuff that I. Do. Not. Know.
You think you know?
Well, that certainly took a sharp left turn, didn’t it? Where was I?
Oh, yeah. Jeremiah. And knowing God’s holiness in our lives. If we are lacking in prayer, we will be certainly lacking in holiness, or at least the knowledge and practice of it. It may be there, buried deep within our soul, simply because of the work of Christ in our lives. But, without prayer, it will stay there. May we pray more fervently, that our holiness may come to light, that He may be glorified, and the earth be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the seas.
Father, I call out to You today, that You might show me Your might works, and that You might tell me great and hidden things that I do not know. Maybe there are some things I don’t want to know, so don’t tell me those. But You know . . . You know all things, so You know what I need to know. Help me to wait on You, to wait patiently. I prayed for patience, yesterday. So today, I had to wait thirty minutes past my appointment time at the doctor’s office, to get my stitches out. And while I was waiting, I had to listen to bad country music. And then I had to listen to someone else singing along with the bad country music. I should be careful what I pray for.
I will sing to You, Father! I have not been singing enough, lately. Forgive me for that, and help me to sing more. I don’t know what that will look like. It might just be me singing alone in my room, here. I don’t know. But if so, then let me do that, and do it will all my being. You have given me life and breath, and I choose to use that life and breath to praise and glorify You.
By my prayers, my worship, and my singing, and my meditations, which I hope will be pleasing to You, let me know Your holiness, and thus display the holiness with which You have gifted me. Let it not stay buried deep in my soul.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!
Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
(1 Samuel 2:3 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.