Today is Monday, August 29, 2022, in the 22nd week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ dwell within you, today!
It is one week until our Labor Day holiday in the U.S.
We hit 96 degrees, yesterday, for a high, which was exactly what was predicted. Sadly, our few days below 90 have disappeared from the forecast, with today being 95, and the rest of the ten-day forecast showing low nineties. There are a few days in there where rain is possible, though, so that’s always good.
Today’s agenda includes an exploratory trip to Target for groceries, just to see how they compare to our usual stores. It’s a little farther away from home, which is why we haven’t frequented that store. After we see how this goes (someone recently told us that their grocery prices have come down in recent years and I already see that bananas are even cheaper than Walmart), I may see about signing up for delivery from that store.
We also have at least one more trip to the exotic animal vet, to take Princess (guinea pig) to have her eye looked at again. I’m hoping this will be the last time. At least, today, there should not be a monsoon occurring while we are driving.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord our God, dear Father in heaven, we thank you for all you do in our lives, for you stretch out your hand to us on earth through our Savior Jesus Christ. We entrust ourselves to you, knowing that everything depends on your rule over our lives. It is your rule that enables us to go forward in your strength and in your light, always finding new joy in spite of struggles and temptations. May your mighty hand be with those who call to you, no matter how they may do it. You see into their hearts. You know those who are sincere, and you will send your Savior to bring them out of all evil and darkness. Be with us today and every day. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. (Hebrews 13:7, 9 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
- for the many teachers of the Word that God has brought into my life over the years, especially the ones who did not offer “strange teachings”
- that God, our Father, stretches out His hand to us through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit
- for the strength that God gives to go forward, always finding new joy in life
- that God, in His greatness, holiness, and unspeakable glory, condescends to converse with us; He listens to us and speaks with us; He loves us and cares about us
- for saints who speak gracious words and have soothing tongues; may they speak louder than those who do nothing but complain and express anger
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
(John 8:7 ESV)
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
(Proverbs 15:4 NIV)
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
(Proverbs 16:24 ESV)
The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
(Proverbs 18:4 ESV)
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chronicles 16:10-11 NIV)
“Think of God, His greatness, His holiness, His unspeakable glory, and then imagine the inestimable privilege to which He invites His children, that each one of them, no matter how sinful or frail, may have access to God at any time and may talk with Him as long as he would like.” (Andrew Murray)
On top of this, God, through Jesus Christ, has also made numerous promises about hearing and answering the prayers of His children. What joy that should bring us! What an honor to have this privilege and this great salvation!
I speak to my own shame when I say that there should be no more precious place to the saint than the place of private prayer. Yet I spend so little time there. And, at the same time, considering the great privilege and the amazing truth that God desires this conversation with us, how much more important does this make the Proverbs verses quoted above?
If I truly believe in the precious nature and power of prayer, how could I allow my tongue to speak words that are not gracious and soothing? How can I allow my tongue to speak perverse words or complaining words or angry words? If I am seeking His face always, my words, both spoken and typed, in this age of rampant social media, should express that in the most positive ways possible.
Father, as I read and type these words, this morning, I confess that I do not always speak words that are gracious and soothing. While they might not often be “perverse,” they are often judgmental and full of complaint. My purpose, though, especially in regard to social media, remains to spread the Gospel of love and peace, and to attempt to speak words that line up with those Proverbs above.
I am not without sin, so I have no place to throw stones, literally or verbally. Let my tongue and my fingertips be soothing and not perverse (which really just means unreasonable or unacceptable). May my words, both spoken and typed, be like honey, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Let my words be like the deep waters of wisdom that comes from You, as I have no inherent wisdom of my own.
As I pray for people who have requested prayer from me, may I take this quite seriously, and may my life be such that You hear and answer those prayers, and that Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
(Psalms 19:14 ESV)
Grace and peace, friends.