Stay In The Word!

We could all list many reasons to be saturated in the Word of God.

Whether we call it “quiet time,” “time alone with God,” “devotions,” or whatever…a regular, systematic intake of the Bible is crucial.

Yesterday’s massacre in Colorado, coupled with last week’s murder of mainly Asians, only adds to the racial, political, and “Christian” turmoil.

Thus Psalm 119.165 came as a source of stabilizing today:

“Great peace have those who love your law, nothing can make them stumble.”

Not “just” peace, but great peace.

If the headlines or other issues are leaving you listless, hopeless, and worried…I suggest you get into the Word.

You will never “find” time for the Bible; you must make time.

Need peace…great peace?

Read your Bible.

Praying with Paul

Of the many prayers recorded in scripture, Colossians 1.5-12 contains my favorite “outline” to pray for myself, my family, my friends and co-workers, and many others.

It begins with Paul saying “we haven’t stopped praying for you.” Convicts me as I remember people for whom I’ve not prayed, and wonder how many people I’ve told “I’ll be praying for you” and fail to follow through.

Then come specific requests:

  • He asks “that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…”
  • That prayer helps us “walk worthy” of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him”
  • Part of that pleasing is we are “bearing fruit in every good work”
  • And even as we bear fruit we are “growing in the knowledge of God”
  • Which allows us to be “strengthened with power according to His glorious might”
  • Which will give us “great endurance and patience
  • So we may “joyfully give thanks to the Father…”

There it is…covers a lot of bases…and thus I often pray it for myself and others.

Perhaps it would be of help to you in your times of prayer?

Special Tuesday Throwback Tune

Too many (in my count) friends have died over the last few weeks.

Covid, sudden, miscarriage, etc.

First Corinthians 15.55:

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

The death of Christians causes us to grieve, but not as those without hope grieve. Though our minds know our loved one is with Jesus; our heart is crushed.

I don’t know, nor need to know, the process of a Christian’s death…I’ll experience it soon enough. “Absent from the body, present with the Lord” (2 Cor 5.8) is good and clear enough for me.

How that transition happens; what, exactly, is it to be present with the Lord is beyond my understanding.

But I try not to let what I don’t know mess up what I do know.

A friend passed away from COVID this afternoon. While praying for his widow and other family I remembered today is also his physical birthday. The Puritan Alexander Grosse wrote,

“For the day of death to the body is, as one saith, the birthday of eternity to the soul.”

For the believer death has no victory, and the sting of death, though painful, is countered by “blessed assurance.”

Usually on Tuesdays I post a “Throwback Tune.”

Only this seems appropriate today:

A PRAYER FOR EVERY DAY

Chris Fabry wrote At The Corner of Mundane and Grace (Waterbery Press) a couple decades ago. The book itself is great; and, for me, the greatest part is this…I have it printed out and look it over often as a reminder and guide:

A PRAYER FOR EVERY DAY     

Lord, lift my eyes today from the stuff of earth. Help me see the sun, and if there are clouds, help me see them, too.     

Take away my unending desire to know exactly what your will is for my entire life, and give me an unquenchable thirst to know only You today.     

When I’m in an argument with friend or foe, deliver me from the need to always be right.

Give me instead a desire to love.     

Deliver me from the need of things to make me happy.     Except for that new printer.     Okay, deliver me from the printer, too.     

When I’m looking for my keys or a parking place today, Lord, I pray you will give me patience instead.     And then I pray You will reward my patience with a really close parking space.     

Make me a servant.

Deepen my understanding of your love and let my service respond sincerely, not from a sense of duty.    

Give me willingness to at least attempt being content with my circumstances.     

Lord, deliver me from the need to keep score.     

Show me someone who needs a smile today. Help me give it without reserve.     

When someone cuts me off in traffic, give me the grace to remember when I did the same, stupid thing.     

Open my eyes to see what You see.     

Open my ears to hear what You hear.    

 Deliver me from the island of me.     

You who spoke the universe into being, who set the stars in their courses, who formed my DNA, don’t just give me a spiritual bypass. Create in me a new heart, a clean heart, a willing heart.     

Open my nasal passages and help me smell the newly cut grass and the fresh, clean scent of my little girl’s hair.     

You, who touched the tongue of the dumb, loosen my tongue to speak Your praises.     

Give me a heart of thanks for fallen leaves, flat tires, wet sneezes, phlegm, and tooth decay, for these things make me long for heaven.     

Show me souls today, not just faces.     

Show me hurts today, not just anger.     

Give tears for dry eyes.     

Change the drudgery into work fit for a King’s son.     

Strip me of pride, sloth, and envy.     

Clothe me with humility and vigor, and help me find a good antonym for “envy.”     

Lord, I look at my child opening a bag of candy. I see the anticipation and expectancy and want this same spirit when I think about You.     

Give me a renewed desire for your Word.    

If a storm should come, give peace.     

If doubt should come, give hope.     I

f a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses should come, help me not to hide inside the house until they leave. Help me show them a kindness and love they have never experienced.     

Most of all, Lord, in every moment of this day, help me see Jesus.     Amen.

Hollow Eyes

Petra blazed a trail…offended many, loved by many; in fact, as time evolved people who used to love them hated them, and visa versa.

Say what you will, they wrote and performed some incredible songs.

“Hollow Eyes” came out in 1984.

I thought of the song as I saw some hollow eyes when I stopped for coffee this morning.

Hopeless and helpless.

I said “hi” to the guy; he ignored me.

I shot up a prayer for him as he walked out the door.

And thought of “hollow eyes” displaying hollow hearts…the hole that only Jesus and the gospel can fill.

And freshly recommitted to seizing the opportunities to “brag on Jesus.”

Join me?