Always A Choice

Today is Tuesday, the ninth of March, 2021, in the third week of Lent.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,007

26 days until Resurrection Sunday

Today will be a little unusual, at work. Several groups of us are going to be shuttled to McKinney, where our client’s main facility is, to get new badges. I know my badge is set to expire in six days (they must be renewed every year), but normally, they can do it remotely. However, I hear, this time, that we are getting totally new badges. So we get a little road trip today.

I’m feeling a a few allergy symptoms, this morning. I woke up sneezing several times, during the night, and my nose is running slightly, but otherwise, I’m okay.


God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.


O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.
(Psalms 63:1-2 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

  • That I am alive and breathing
  • That You are my God, and that I am seeking You
  • That no one who truly hopes in You will ever be put to shame
  • That, when I am tempted, there is always a choice to do right
  • For the easy yoke of Jesus

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year



And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
(Isaiah 6:3 NIV)

Ponder, for a moment, how the holiness of the Lord becomes known through your day.


Of David.

In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.

I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.
(Psalms 25:1-3 NIV)

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me!

Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, LORD, is in you.

Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
(Psalms 25:16-22 NIV)


For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
(1 Corinthians 10:1-5 NIV)

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
(1 Corinthians 10:11-13 NIV)


As I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord, this morning, there are a couple of things that speak to me in these readings.

First, if we put our hope in the Lord, I mean really put our hope in Him, we shall never be put to shame. This is, I believe, an important thing. Here’s the thing . . . if we truly hope in the Lord, we will never do anything that could bring shame upon us.

I have been ashamed, in the course of my life. Ashamed of my actions. But, during the committing of those actions, I most definitely was not putting my hope in the Lord, was I?

If I live my life completely in the hope of Him, I won’t step off of the path, and there will be no reason for me to ever feel shame. Of course, our enemy will attempt to make us feel shame for any and every reason imaginable. Perhaps I didn’t take advantage of an opportunity to minister to someone in some way. There are a number of reasons that our enemy could use against us to try to make us feel worthless.

But my hope is in God, and as long as I walk in that, there is no reason for shame or guilt.

The second thing is the warning in the Corinthians passage. Verse 12 warns us against being overly confident in our status of standing. “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall,” Paul warns us.

He then gives the famous verse about temptation, assuring us that God will never allow us to be tempted with something that we cannot overcome. I think that this may not be so much a promise (many well-meaning people have abused this “promise”) as a statement of fact, meant to insure that we don’t try to use excuses for our sin.

“The devil made me do it,” Geraldine famously said. (Apologies to any younger readers who may not know who that is. Go on You Tube and search for Flip Wilson Geraldine.) But Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 10:13 takes that excuse away from us. The devil never made anyone do anything. The devil didn’t make Eve take a bite of the fruit of that tree. We always do it willingly. But we had a choice. We always have a choice. Every time I’m watching a TV show, and a character says, “I had no choice,” I vigorously disagree. You always have a choice.

Father, I thank You for the truth that if I put my hope in You, I will never be put to shame. I thank You for the truth that, when I am tempted, I always have a choice, and there is always a way of escape. May I walk in these truths today, and may my hope always be in You.

"Living God,
I mistakenly presume that your mercy 
takes the edge of offense from my sin,
but a glimpse of your supreme majesty 
sobers me.
My sin is an offense so serious that
its penalty is eternal punishment of body and soul.
Lord Jesus,
Son of God,
have mercy.
(Heidelberg Catechism 11)


Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
(Psalms 32:1-2 NIV)

A psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
(Psalms 23:1-6 NLT)

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)

Father, I praise You for rest. I don’t always rest well, at night, but when I do, I am so grateful for it. I love falling asleep meditating on Your Word. It gives me a more peaceful sleep, I believe. I am also thankful for the easy yoke of Jesus. I pray that more of us would step into that fully, being aware of its truth. When we walk in the yoke with Jesus, everything is easier, because He is strong, and He carries the brunt of the burden. Thank You, my Savior!

Lord, I thank You for the call to serve You in my home, in my community, and in my workplace. May I honor You in all of my choices today. May all of us be a blessing to those around us today. I pray a blessing on all those who work in agriculture today.

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

The Humility Of A Child

It appears to be Thursday morning. I’m still a little groggy as I start this today. I’ve been staying up to watch Red Sox v Rangers games. And for the most part it has been great fun for me. But I won’t go into that here. There are more important things to do on this blog. So i’ll get right to it.

Bible readings from Discovering the Bible, by Gordon L. Addington:
Matthew 18:1-14
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them
3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,
6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

What is it about humans that we always want to be the greatest, the best? We do have a competitive spirit, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Jesus pretty much turns it upside down here. If we want to “enter the kingdom of heaven,” we must “become like children.” What does that mean? Verse 4 offers a pretty good explanation: humility. We must be humble like children, and we must receive each other in our humility. However, if, by our own irresponsibility or pride, we should cause one to sin…It would be better if we had had a mafia burial (cement shoes, as it were, in modern terms). Jesus goes on to talk more about temptation.

7 “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!
8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.
9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

Temptations are a necessary evil, but we had better not be the source of them! Then Jesus repeats something he said back in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus certainly was not advocating self-mutilation (I’ve never seen a Christian with no hands or eyes). We know that it is not the hand or eyes that cause temptation or sin, but the mind and heart.

10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
11 [For the Son of Man came to save the lost.]
12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.
14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

(Verse 11 is not in the older and more reliable manuscripts.) So what is Jesus talking about here? Is he really talking about children, still? I don’t think so. Remember, he is using the child to represent God’s redeemed “children.” Can we take this to mean that we each have an angel (or multiple angels?) representing us before our Father in heaven? Interesting question. Then he compares us to sheep again. And after this comparison, I must take verse 14 to be specifically speaking of the elect. Jesus speaks of ownership…the man in the parable has a hundred sheep and one is astray. When he finds it, he rejoices. He does not love that one more than the other 99. “God elects, seeks out, and preserves not only His church as a whole, but each individual within the church.” (Reformation Study Bible notes on verses 12-14) There is a suggestion that Jesus may have had Ezekiel 34:11-16 in mind when he said this. 11 “For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.

Isaiah 28
He starts out with a judgment against Ephraim, who is described as being a drunkard. Verse 2 seems to describe Assyria as the are about to come down on Ephraim to bring God’s judgment. But, as always, there is a thread of hope in verses 5-6: In that day the LORD of hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people, and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate. But God’s people (even the priests and prophets) had become as drunkards…hard-hearted, sensual, even sarcastic. They speak in verse 9, insulting Isaiah, saying To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast? But God will speak to the people himself, saying in verses 12-13, “This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose”; yet they would not hear. And the word of the LORD will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. That line, “precept upon precept, line upon line,” is a a taunt that was thrown at Isaiah, but he throws it right back at them.
It is said that the rulers of the people have made a covenant with death (v. 15), and that they have made lies their refuge and falsehood their shelter.
16 therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
17 And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
18 Then your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it passes through it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass through, by day and by night; and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.

Psalm 118:22-24 seems to be related to verse 16. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Note the context for verse 24. I don’t suppose there is anything wrong with us quoting that on Sunday morning before our worship services, but it’s not the context of the verse. The “day that the LORD has made” is the day that Jesus became the cornerstone!
Back in Isaiah, notice the standard of measurement in verse 17. Justice and righteousness are the standards. The lies and falsehoods of the religious leaders and rulers will be swept away.

Proverbs 7:1-5
Solomon is really stressing the importance of avoiding the “adulteress!” But he begins chapter 7 just as he began the section in chapter 6, verse 20.
1 My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;
2 keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
3 bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend,
5 to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.

We are encouraged to be cling closely to wisdom, so that it might keep us from a multitude of sins.

Father, I pray for wisdom each day of my life. I pray that you would give me the wisdom and knowledge to live a successful life in your eyes. Let me not be tied to the ideas of success that come from this world, but, rather, let me see success as you see it; a life lived holy before you.
Let me not be one who is “in haste” or “put to shame” by the Cornerstone that you have placed. I pray that I will be, as it were, broken by this Cornerstone…broken to the point of ultimate submission to Christ. I pray for the humility of the child that Jesus spoke of. Let pride not be a stumbling block for me, and I pray fervently that I never be a source of temptation or sin to another child of God! I believe that I am one of your sheep, Lord! I praise you that you elected me, sought me out, and are preserving me in your tender care. You are my rock and my fortress, my shelter to which I can run.

As I pray for this day, Lord, I hear thunder outside, and have heard some rain. We praise you for the rain, and would ask that we get more. The lakes in our city are depleted beyond recognition. Give us rain to replenish the earth.

As I life up our nation’s leaders, Lord, I pray for wisdom for President Obama and Vice President Biden on matters of domestic and international policy. The president is seeking counsel from others as he works on a plan to try to get our nation back on its economic feet. I pray that they will have wisdom, and I pray that you would bring our nation back to the place of financial stability.

Give us a good day today, Lord. I thank you that Steph had a great day at school yesterday, and pray for another one. Let her not be overly anxious from the thunder outside right now. I pray that Christi and I will have a good day at our jobs today.

The humility of a child…this is no small feat for us. (I said “FEAT!”) We can only do it with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Grace and peace, friends.

“He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease”

It’s Friday morning, and I’m the only one up right now. Christi’s taking the day off to take care of a couple of things, and spend the day with Stephanie, because TODAY IS STEPHANIE’S 18TH BIRTHDAY!!! Just in case anyone who knows her didn’t already know that. And speaking of “just in,” today is also our son-in-law Justin’s birthday. I won’t say how old he is today. It’s one of those “milestone” birthdays, you know. So…Happy birthday to both of you!! Later today, C & S are coming to Grapevine to have lunch with me. That should be fun.

Time for the devotional…

Today’s Bible readings from Discovering the Bible, by Gordon L. Addington:
Matthew 15:1-20
1 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.”
3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’
5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,”
6 he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.
7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'”

Jesus really starts to tear into the religious leaders at this point. He exposes traditions for what they are in this scene. Having grown up Southern Baptist, I’ve seen a lot of traditions. Now, I won’t criticize the Baptist denomination too much. I learned a lot about the Bible, growing up Baptist. I believe that Baptists probably have more respect for the Bible than most other denominations. I mean, we even got points for carrying them to church with us (I still remember my Sunday School envelopes, with the 100% check list…bringing my Bible was worth a part of that percentage…we were all about the numbers)! Bible study was a very important part of being a Baptist. But we also had our traditions. There are a lot of people (and this spans all denominations and “non-denominations”) that believe that just showing up for church gets them some kind of supernatural points with God. The Pharisees in Jesus’s day had similar beliefs. They believed that their position gained them “points.” But Jesus exposed them for what they were…frauds. Verses 8 and 9 point that out quite well. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” The point here, just as it is today, is that there are many things being taught as “doctrine” that aren’t in the Bible. Now…remember that all of this started because the religious leaders complained because the disciples weren’t washing their hands before they ate!

10 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand:
11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.
14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.”
16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding?
17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled?
18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

Jesus continues on the subject that began the debate. It’s not what goes in that defiles, it’s what comes out. Whatever comes out of the mouth “proceeds from the heart.” Look at the list of things from the heart. “Evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” I believe (and I point my finger straight back at myself) that we need to pay a lot more attention to what comes out of our mouths. Because that seems to be a pretty good indication of the condition of our hearts. The pharisees were more concerned with dirty hands than dirty hearts. Outward tradition never outweighs inward condition.

Isaiah 19-20
Chapter 19 is very interesting. First, it begins with an oracle about Egypt. Things look pretty grim.
1 An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
2 And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, each against another and each against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
3 and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their counsel; and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the necromancers;
4 and I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

But then, beginning in verse 16, something very interesting happens. And I have to admit that this has never really caught my attention before.
16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them.
17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the LORD of hosts has purposed against them.
18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.
19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border.
20 It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them.
21 And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them.
22 And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.
23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth,
25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”

Some manuscripts call the “City of Destruction” the “City of the Sun.” But verses 24 and 25 are quite amazing, aren’t they? Here are three nations, which had previously fought, that are now finding common ground in worshiping the Lord.

Chapter 20 depicts some of the outlandish things that God’s prophets had to endure sometimes. God told Isaiah to “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot. (v. 2) Isaiah walked this way for three years! (To see other weird things that prophets had to do, go read Ezekiel!) But this activity was designed to show what would happen to Egypt at the hands of Assyria. I’ll admit…I’m confused on the timeline. These prophecies don’t always necessarily happen in order. Was this before what was prophesied in chapter 19? It is entirely possible that the prophecy in chapter 19 has yet to be fulfilled.

Proberbs 5:1-14
This passage of Proverbs warns against adultery or getting involved with a “forbidden woman” (v. 3). Look at the description.
3 For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil,
4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol;
6 she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.

Her lips “drip honey” but in the end she is “bitter as wormwood.” Anyone remember “Fatal Attraction?” Yeah. “Keep your way far from her,” verse 8 warns. It’s about honor, too. If you allow yourself to be drawn into wrong relationships, honor is at stake. The end result is tragic:
12 “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”

One thing to note. In verse 8, the word “far” is important. Don’t even get close!! We should be careful to avoid even the proximity of potential temptation.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3

The Phillips translation renders part of that verse, “Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance.” I bet we all know some people in this world who could use that instruction, eh? A lot of them live in Hollywood or play professional sports. But what about you and me? Are we ever guilty of having exaggerated ideas of our importance? Let’s look at some Biblical examples.
Moses…he was a prince in Egypt; he was the “emancipator of the slaves.” Yet Scripture says this of him: Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. Numbers 12:3
Paul the apostle…got a personal visit from Jesus when he was “saved;” he was carried into heaven at one point; he had the ability to raise the dead. However, when he introduced his letters, he said, Paul, a servant of God. Titus 1:1
John the Baptist…a blood relative of Jesus; the first evangelist in history. Scripture states that he said, speaking about Jesus, ” He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30.
Who am I? I certainly don’t have the ability to raise the dead. I never freed any slaves, nor am I a prince. I’ve never been the first anything in history. I am but a servant. Sure, I have talent. Yes I have skill. There are many, many people, though, who have more talent and more skill. I am nothing. But wait. I do have Christ. I have the Holy Spirit indwelling within me. That makes me more than nothing. But without Jesus, I am nothing. He makes me what I am. It is the gift of God that makes me what I am. I must never take credit for anything that God has given me, which is everything. The word here, is humility. One of the most difficult words in our language. Because we all want to be something; we all want to matter. The problem is…we tend to manufacture our own significance. I must be humble. “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
(Inspired by today’s reading in Grace For the Moment, by Max Lucado)

Father, dare I pray to be more humble? Am I brave enough to pray for humility? That’s a dangerous prayer, isn’t it? But I recognize the need for humility, and I truly believe that the past few months have instilled that a little better in my heart. You are doing something in my life right now that is thrilling. Let nothing go to my head, Lord. Let me not have an exaggerated opinion about my own importance. I am but your servant, and I desire to be used however you see fit. If the “giants” in Scripture had the humility that they had, how much more humble should I be, since I am no “giant” at all. Just let me be your servant, Father. That’s all I want.
Father, keep me away from sin, especially as I face the prospect of being involved in a wonderful worship ministry. Let my life be beyond reproach. Don’t even let me get near sin or potential temptation. Help me to guard my heart so that what comes out of my mouth is pure. Let there be no slander, gossip, or false witness coming out of my mouth. Let there be no murder or hatred spewing forth from my lips. Cleanse my heart with your Holy Spirit. Place the burning coal of Isaiah on my lips!
I pray that I will never again allow the traditions and commandments of men to supersede your truth. Let your Scriptures and the Holy Spirit be my guide into truth and doctrine, Lord. Give me wisdom as I read your word and meditate on your truths. Give me humility as I work these truths into my life and spread them into the world. Give me grace as I talk to other people. Most of all, give me love for all people.

I pray for this day, Father. It is a very special day for Stephanie. I pray that she has the best day ever today. Give me a good day at work today, and I pray that things that need to be worked out will get worked out so that the changes that we are making can finally be fully in place.

I also pray for Justin today, that he will have a very good birthday. Show your love to him on this day.

I ask again for some relief from the heat wave. We got a little bit last week, and a small amount of rain, for which we are very grateful. We pray, though for more rain, and less heat. Drive these 100+ temperatures far away from us, please.

Try on some humility today. It looks better on you than you think.

Grace and peace, friends.