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Are We Willing to Pray for Our Needs?

Devotional Thought of the Day:

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31  “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:31-33 (NLT)

9  “If any of you were asked by his son for bread would you be likely to give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish would you give him a snake? If you then, for all your evil, quite naturally give good things to your children, how much more likely is it that your Heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him?” Matthew 7:9 (Phillips NT) 

“Give us this day our daily bread.” What does this mean?

Answer: To be sure, God provides daily bread, even to the wicked, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that God may make us aware of his gifts and enable us to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.
14 What is meant by daily bread?
Answer: Everything required to satisfy our bodily needs, such as food and clothing, house and home, fields and flocks, money and property; a pious spouse and good children, trustworthy servants, godly and faithful rulers, good government; seasonable weather, peace and health, order and honor; true friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.  (1)

807      I copy these words for you because they can bring peace to your soul. “My financial situation is as tight as it ever has been. But I don’t lose my peace. I’m quite sure that God, my Father, will settle the whole business once and for all. I want, Lord, to abandon the care of all my affairs into your generous hands. Our Mother—your Mother—will have let you hear those words, now as in Cana: ‘They have none!’ I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you, Jesus. I want nothing for myself: it’s for them.”

in the Lutheran and evangelical churches, there is a reaction to the works of those like Joel Osteen and those who teach what is referred to as Dominion Theology, or more degradingly, as the prosperity gospel, or the “Name it-Claim it” movement.  So much of a reaction, I think we forget to tell people to pray, even as the Lord taught us to, and to recognize He will meet our needs.  He will care for us, and while we have to live wisely, we also need to live trusting Him.

Our reaction to those who sometimes advocate praying for selfish desires to be met, whether financial or relational is damaging.  Yes, we know God doesn’t necessarily want us to win the lottery,  He probably won’t grant always grant that teenager’s prayer to date the supermodel, or that everything will wok out perfectly, as we see it.  He does want us to look to Him, to see His love, to see His care for us. To have us depend on Him, like a child depends on their dad.

Yes, to often our prayers can become a form of idolatry, as we put our desires before our relationship with God, or make that relationship conditional upon getting what we want. (and we’ll even throw a tantrum when we don’t!)  But to stop depending on God, leads to anxiety, and coveting, and temptations to get what we want, without God.  To manipulate our situations, to become machivellian, that is what happens when we forget God is our source

We need to be aware of God’s gifts, we need to receive them and celebrate them, whether it is that last can of soup in the cupboard, or the bank account that is down to $2 the day before payday.  As we do realize that even these things are gifts of God, our attitude towards them will change. We’ll treasure what we have, not because of its fiscal value, but because of from whom we received it.

We need to pray, God give us what we need, even fervently pray for it.  Our relationship must be that kind of relationship – where He is the source of all our blessings… not just the eternal ones.    Don’t forget those, but also realize, from Him we have life,

Praying for our daily bread is not just about spiritual nurture. for we aren’t called to love Him with just our soul, but with every part of our lives.  Mind, Soul, Body and Spirit.  We need to realize our dependence and His faithfulness in this part of the prayer as much as any other!

So let us pray, even as our Savior taught us…

(1)   Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (p. 347). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.

Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2877-2882). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

The Paradox of a Christian’s Strongest Moments…..is When We are Broken.

Devotional Thought of the Day:photo(35)
9  But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me. 10  I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (TEV)

26  In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. 27  And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will. Romans 8:26-27 (TEV)

1  Imitate me, then, just as I imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (TEV)

141 As, sooner or later, you are surely bound to stumble upon the evidence of your own personal wretchedness, I wish to forewarn you about some of the temptations which the devil will suggest to you and which you should reject straight away. These include the thought that God has forgotten about you, that your call to the apostolate is in vain, and that the weight of sorrow and of the sins of the world are greater than your strength as an apostle… None of this is true!  (1) 


From the earliest days I remember hearing men and women preach and teach about Jesus, in ever denomination I have been associated with, there has been an encouragement to become people of great faith.  Some held up Bible figures, Samson and David, Moses and Elijah, Peter (not the one who would break betraying Jesus, but the one who was the only one ot walk on water, and preached at Pentecost), Paul the greatest missionary that ever lived.  Some held up saints that had gone to make their mark on the world, whether Patrick or Francis, Martin Luther, John Wesley, Mother Theresa or Billy Graham.   Some hold up the modern heroes now, the Rick Warren’s, the Pope Benedict’s.

I have no problem with us walking in the steps of those who walked before, just as they imitated Christ.

But it is where we imitate them, and where we are encouraged to imitate them, that I find challenging.

You see, every saint is such because of the trust they have in God.  The deep conviction and confidence in God, in knowing His presence.  That trust, that faith is often born in moments of despair, in moments of failure. Joseph in the prison, Gideon hiding out in the whinepress ( pun intended), Elijah in the cave, Peter in tears as the rooster crows and later on the beach, where three times he answers Jesus…not hearing the words that follow.   it’s Billy Graham, having failed as a pastor, or Luther, trembling at the mass, and appearing as a raving lunatic as he took on Satan.  It’s Paul as he bears the thorn in his flesh, and as he agonizes over his countrymen.

It is as St Josemaria says, as we look out on the brokenness of the world, of the brokenness of the church. of our own brokenness and sin.

When we feel handicapped, paralyzed, when our hope in view of the challenges… seems diminished.

We need rest – not just physical, but spiritual. We need to sit in the presence, in the glory in the peace of God and allow Him to heal our brokenness,  As we see Him do that, as we realize what He did to us in our baptism, and we are nourished by His precious Body and Blood, as we hear those precious words, “my child your sins are forgiven,”, we find our trust in God growing, our faith becoming substantial,  We know we can turn to God and depend on Him, that not only will He not condemn us, but He will not allow us to be separated from Him. We learn of his compassion for us, and His call to us, to ensure us He will be our God.

We can’t always hear those words, when we are struggling with the cacophony of life around us, when we are facing temptation, and the guilt and shame of sin.  When we are anxious about those we love, and the life-situations that assault and try them.  It is in those times, that we need to be strong, but a strength based on confidence that God is indeed with us.  With strength that flows from our trust that God will ensure all turns out for good for those who love him.  You see, our strength isn’t ours, it is His.  Much like a astronaut working on the space station depends on it for Oxygen and is tethered to it, so to our ability to endure is tied to Christ.

That is the thing we need to emulate of those people of great faith we are encouraged to imitate. The results of the work we do?  Everyone is different, and for every saint we know of, there are millions whose work was different, who challenges to trust in God were as great, who endured, not because of their strength, but because they trusted in God more than they clinged to life.

They prayed, “Lord have mercy!” confident that because He had, He would!  AMEN

(1)   Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 788-793). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Is There a Time to Be Numb?

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The church seems to be always threatened and challenged by storms…yet… He is here.. and He is its Fortress and rest

Devotional Thought of the Day:

1  For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.  4  A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.     Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4 (NLT) 

 9  Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong   2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)

829 The thought of what has happened to you burns within you. Christ came to you when you were only a miserable leper! Until then, you had developed only one good quality, a generous concern for others. After that encounter you were given the grace to see Jesus in them, you fell in love with him, and now you love him in them…  (1)

I sit here in my office, wondering how I will finish my sermon tomorrow.

It doesn’t help that the above passage from Ecclesiastes ran through my heart over and over in the early hours of this day.
It doesn’t help that yesterday I ended up grieving three different times, as I interacted with two friends who are suffering, and then wasn’t really able to interact with another close friend, whose husband, a pastor who has sacrificed much, passed away suddenly.

There is time, a season for everything, and it seems I’ve been in the midst of a season of trauma since September.

It’s to the point where I wonder if there are any more tears, even as they flow.  It’s where I hesitate with phone calls, relaxing when I see it’s my pharmacy that is telling me my refills are ready.

I wonder to myself, if there is a time to simply be numb……to be so drained that there is nothing left, just a soul that seems empty….

Then I look at the clock and realize, I’ve a sermon for which I have to compose the final manuscript, a congregational meeting to prepare for, a son who waits for me to take him to see Hobbit II in 3d in just 5 and a half hours…Time to kick into high gear…. even as the engine seems to cough and sputter.

Keith Green’s “my Eyes are Dry” comes on my rhapsody player… perfect song for a day like this….

What can be done for old heart like mine…. soften it up with oil and wine, the oil is You!  Your Spirit of Love, please wash me anew, in the wine of your Blood.

It’s what I need to hear, this song will get a lot of play today.  For there is nothing I can do, to find the strength I need today.  It’s going to have to be Him, if it is to be anything at all, if there is to be letter on the screen, if there are going to be words to hear tomorrow… He will have to be the strength I don’t have, for the trauma isn’t being removed.  The pain I’ve witnesses will be in places tomorrow, even distant places. How to speak to it?  How to show them the journey of History, of Abraham, of Jesus, is about God being here, in these times of numbness, or trauma.

For if I am numb, then He can minister to me, a sort of enforced rest, a time to just let God be God.  To slowly arise out of it in awe. To realize the depth of His love, His care for these friends of mine is far more than I can have – but He shall surely show it.  And Jesus shall indeed comfort my friends, my dear friends.  As He will me. Whether Keith realizes it or not, that last line, the wine of His Blood will have so much to do with it.  As we receive His Body and Blood, as we realize once again that we are united with His death, and His resurrection, as we remember the height of His love, and its breadth and width, and that its depth can reach us.

And once again, I realize I don’t have to play God… that He dwells in these friends of mine, and that God will be there for them. Even as He ministers through all of us, in our weakness….

The odd thing is that as I realize this, the numbness begins to recede… it’s time to work….

But may I never forget He is God… and I am not…and that its His work…not mine.

(oh and here is Keith Green’s song  – if you aren’t familiar with him, He passed away when I was in high school – but his music still nails me to the cross…. which is good!)

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3408-3412). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

The Compassion of God

Isaiah 66:10-14

 In Jesus Name

May the grace of God of Father and our Lord Jesus Christ bring you comfort and strength, as we journey through this life… in the presence of the Holy Spirit!

An Uncomfortable Reading?

Every week I face a choice, which of the three readings should I use as the basis of the sermon.  As I pick which to preach on, one of the things I look for is the biggest “gulp factor.”  That is, which of the passages will be the hardest to preach on, because that is where the best message may be.  The passage that causes you to “gulp” as you read it, that makes you uncomfortable as you read it… can have the lesson you need, but will struggle to hear.

It is… odd…funny…perhaps, but as I studied the passage – what became the gulp factor wasn’t that God was portrayed as being a compassionate mother…  or the frequent descriptions of female anatomy and nursing.  Those are awkward at best… but the gulp factor is…more challenging.

What is more challenging is this description of God being so compassionate, so comforting, so caring, for His people….

So much so, that instead of using a father as an illustration, God chooses to use one of the most intuitively intimate descriptions that we know of in life.

The question that faces us today is, are we able to be the infant in that picture? Can we be that completely dependent on God, not just for the sustenance that will give us life, but for the comfort, that will overpower our anxieties, our inabilities.

So – let’s all take a big gulp – and see how deep the love and compassion of God is for us.

Are We Willing to Be Comforted?

If I am to take this passage seriously, I have to come to grips with this picture of God.  He is the God who provides for us that which is necessary for life, but also, even as He does, He brings comfort to His children, to His people. With such care, such tenderness that the picture of a mom nursing her baby… is what describes His love best!

It seems to me that we shouldn’t ever outgrow this “phase”, as infants eventually grow into toddlers, then children, the teens and into adulthood.  But maturing as a believer isn’t about becoming more independent of God, even though we might like to define it that way!

That’s counter-intuitive, and even more counter-cultural.  Our world tells us we should become stronger, more self-sufficient, more driven, that we should grow and that means we should need less.  Our culture dreads the loss of independence. Most of us dread the days we will have to depend on someone else completely.   Yet, Israel – even after the height of growth, would come to need God more – yes for sustenance, but even more for comfort.

Perhaps this is why we struggle with this so much – if you asked us if we are willing to be comforted by God, most of us would have the same answer we would to having to depend on anyone else.

“Not today – I think I’ve got it handled”

“Let me try and fix it one more time… then I’ll pray about it and ask God for help.”

I think that is why God pictures us here as infants, not as toddlers or preschoolers!  

There is something in us, that finds trusting in God difficult, because we want to make it a decision, a choice, rather than the intuitive relationship, like that that exists between a mother and a newborn.

We’d rather do it on our own, to not be known as those needy for God’s presence and provision.  If we were asked, most of us were to stubborn to take what God brings to us, we would rather starve and die than eat of His heavenly nourishment.  That’ why Jesus says we must have faith like and infant.

It’s my prayer that the church everywhere, and especially here, embrace God’s provision and comfort, as easily as a newborn babe.  That we would be so overjoyed in God’s presence – that we just relax in His arms, and as ecstatic as an infant on his mom’s lap.

Rejoice, Be Glad, Rejoice

You see, that’s what this is all about – a relationship that we have with God, that goes beyond our ability to explain – one that we pour the energy of our voices into in song, in our praises as we realize His presence.

I want you to notice, that it’s not the infant that Isaiah describes rejoicing – even though the joy and peace is evident.  The contentment of a nursing infant is incredible – even for dads who took the late night feeding.  The mother’s joy is also incredible, as life flows from one to the other, and so it is for God, as He nourishes us.  Isaiah asks others to witness the joy, to share in the joy as well – to be glad (remember – that’s to dance!) for the people of God who have been comforted, who drink deeply of God’s provision, who know little to put to words, but turn easily to Him, and His love.

Verse 14 talks of witnessing this – and our hearts rejoicing – and our lives grow like the grasses that shoot up in the desert after a rain.  Much as we rejoice when God claims another here at the baptismal font, much as we rejoice when we come to the altar – and are fed by Christ… as we are fed through His word and through prayer.

I mentioned a little bit ago, that for the infant – it isn’t a matter of thinking and deliberation when it turns to his momma, or when it cries for her attention.  It is instead an intuitive action, as it is for the mom to go to her child.  That my friend is how we need to react with God, we turn to Him because we know He will answer our need – even if we can’t put words to it.   I love how Luther put it as he explains the First Commandment in the Large Catechism:

“You shall have no other gods.”

1 That is, you shall regard me alone as your God. What does this mean, and how is it to be understood? What is to have a god? What is God?

2 Answer: A god is that to which we look for all good and in which we find refuge in every time of need. To have a god is nothing else than to trust and believe him with our whole heart. As I have often said, the trust and faith of the heart alone make both God and an idol.

I always wondered why a newborn knows the difference between the females that hold him or her.  How does it know the difference between mom, and auntie, and grammy or cousin?  For that matter, why does the baby scream when some guy picks him up? 

The infant just knows, the same way we know God is God.  He provides what we need, there is a desire to bring us peace and comfort, to provide what is needed.  There is a joy that is beyond description as He feeds us, as He strengthens us, as He comforts us.

Which is why growing in Christ is not about growing in freedom from God, but recognizing our need for His interaction in our life. We grow to depend on His nourishment, and His comfort, for it is through that we grow to adore Him more and more.

For in bringing us comfort, it pours out on us as His peace, the peace that passes all understanding, and in which we are kept safe, our hearts and minds – by Christ…

AMEN

Our Place is His Place!

 Our Place is His Place

And the World would know!

John 14:23-31

 Jesus, Son, Savior

 May we welcome the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, confident of the love and mercy with which He cleanses our lives, and sets them apart to live in Christ with the Father!

 Mi Casa et Su Casa:  Ruth

Pentecost is more than a Sunday we celebrate once a year.  It is more as well than the longest church season of the year – when that banner is up there, and when I wear a green stole to symbolize the growth of the church.

It is the start of something wonderful, something which defines every day every moment of our life.  Because of the Holy Spirit, the one we confess is the Lord and Giver of our life.

One of the best illustrations of that life is found in the story of Naomi and Ruth.  The promise that Jesus makes to us, comes more fully into focus when we hear the promise Ruth made to Naomi,

But Ruth said, “Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; 17  where you die, I’ll die, and that’s where I’ll be buried, so help me GOD—not even death itself is going to come between us!” 18  When Naomi saw that Ruth had her heart set on going with her, she gave in. Ruth 1:16-18 (MSG) 16  

Of course, the Holy Spirit doesn’t say it quite like that – but the desire, the commitment, the very attitude of God is no less than Ruth’s, even unto death, God has made us a promise.  “and We (the Father and Jesus) will come to him, and make Our Home with Him.”

May we indeed be like Naomi, and realizing that God has His heart set on going with us, may we give in, and welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives.

May we rejoice in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, may we rejoice in His presence, here and now.

Judas’ lack of vision

I was given an article this week, a pastor’s comments on the ascension, that troubled me.  The basic concept was the reason the pastor thought Jesus ascended to heaven. He basically said the lesson of the Ascension was that God “trusts” us.  That He left us to finish His work and trusts us to do it. Here’s a quote:  “These were Jesus final marching orders:  ‘Go everywhere you can and be a witness for love.’ And then He left”

Some really bad theology there, for a number of reasons.  But I seem to recall the words a little differently

18  Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19  Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20  and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (TEV)

It’s that last line, the I will be with you always, that somehow I think the pastor missed.

And I think Judas’ question shows us why.

“Lord,” he says, “How is it that you will reveal your glory to us, but you will assure the world won’t be able to see it?”

I guess all the “light unto the gentiles stuff” and “that the world may know” that seems so much a part of the gospel readings slipped Judas’s mind for the moment.  Even as I think that the mission of making disciples slips our mind occasionally.

Along with some of the other things God would have us do, like loving our neighbor, or feeding the poor, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and forgiving those who have sinned against us.

I pray that God doesn’t just “trust us, and then leave.”  I need, and I believe you need the constant presence of the Comforter, to heal us, to comfort us, to empower and commission us to use the very gifts that the Spirit has invested in us….as we depend on Him

The Miracle of the Holy Spirit’s Ministry

As these two widows, the young Ruth and older Naomi moved to Jerusalem, Ruth took on the role of the provider. She was the one who went out into the fields and worked, she cared for her mother-in-law, even as she promised.

In many ways, this too pictures the relationship of the Holy Spirit with us, nourishing us with the word of God, gathering us to the sacrament,  Jesus prophesies about this work in this way. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

This blessed work of the Holy Spirit, is something we so desperately need in our lives.  For the treasure of the teachings of God are so easily pushed aside as we deal with the challenges in this world.  We need to know God’s love, we know He is with us, we need to explore the depths of His love, and how that love changes us from people outcasts, to being His very children.

We need the Holy Spirit to help us adjust our priorities, to help us keep our focus on God.  We need to be reminded of our baptism – the very place where the Spirit was poured out on us, reviving us and renewing us.  We need the Holy Spirit to grant us repentance, to help us treasure the incredible words of Jesus, the promises made to us by the Son of God.  We need to be reminded that God’s will is that no one should perish, that all would be transformed by God.

Here is how Paul described this work of the Holy Spirit,

27  God’s plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. 28  So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. Colossians 1:27-28 (TEV)

In other words – our place, wherever we are, He chooses as His place as well.  And that is what the Holy Spirit teaches us, even as we teach others.

What is that message?

So what is it the Holy Spirit calls us to our minds, that which Christ had taught the disciples?  Jesus said it this way,

“I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.”

And the Father sent His Son to save us, to make us His own people.. and such you are…

For he has done this – He has left us in His peace, He has given us His peace, the comfort the Holy Spirit has made known to us.

Assured of this – we have no need of troubled hearts, nor anxious minds..

For the Spirit reminds us, we dwell with God, we are in Christ, we are welcome here… in His peace.

AMEN.

On Surviving Mondays…

Devotional Thought of the Day:

“By yourself, if you don’t count on grace, you can do nothing worthwhile, for you would be cutting the link which connects you with God. With grace, on the other hand, you can do all things” (1)

Peter, James and John were on a short side trip with Jesus when the man came, looking for help.  Desperate he was, to find some comfort, some rest, some refuge for his tormented son.

The apostles tried, but to no avail, what they had done before wasn’t working, for some reason they couldn’t help, they couldn’t find the power, the “dunamis” to cast out those oppressive spirits.

Mondays can be like that, as we come back to “reality”, to the grind of another week.  Maybe the weekend was not a restful one, maybe it wasn’t what we expected, or maybe it was too much – and we need to recover from it!  Either way, back on the job on Mondays is always difficult, even oppressive.  I wouldn’t go so far as saying demonic… (well there have been some Mondays… )

But where do we find the strength for them.  In the same place that Jesus instructed his men to find their strength.

“his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Mark 9:28-29 (ESV) 

We were reminded on Sunday about this rtuth – that we must depend on Jesus, that we must entrust ourselves into God’s hands, to recognize that the Holy Spirit dwells in us.  Yet on Mondays, so often we forget this, so often we fail to remember this.  We let the situations get the best of us, we look at everything with a darkened, pessimistic view, we approach life, if not paranoid, then at least a little hesitant – wondering which trauma, which challenge, which confrontation will next pop up to bash us like a storm.

Yesterday in Sunday School I used a long quote from another pastor.  Not my usual thing – but this one – despite it’s somewhat archaic language rings so true.  Even though it will extend this devotion out – it is good for us to read:

” ( God’s ) Covenant blessings are not meant to be looked at only, but to be appropriated. Even our Lord Jesus is given to us for our present use. Believer, thou dost not make use of Christ as thou oughtest to do. When thou art in trouble, why dost thou not tell him all thy grief? Has he not a sympathizing heart, and can he not comfort and relieve thee? No, thou art going about to all thy friends, save thy best Friend, and telling thy tale everywhere except into the bosom of thy Lord. Art thou burdened with this day’s sins? Here is a fountain filled with blood: use it, saint, use it. Has a sense of guilt returned upon thee? The pardoning grace of Jesus may be proved again and again. Come to him at once for cleansing. Dost thou deplore thy weakness? He is thy strength: why not lean upon him? Dost thou feel naked? Come hither, soul; put on the robe of Jesus’ righteousness. Stand not looking at it, but wear it. Strip off thine own righteousness, and thine own fears too: put on the fair white linen, for it was meant to wear. Dost thou feel thyself sick? Pull the night-bell of prayer, and call up the Beloved Physician! He will give the cordial that will revive thee. Thou art poor, but then thou hast “a kinsman, a mighty man of wealth.” What! wilt thou not go to him, and ask him to give thee of his abundance, when he has given thee this promise, that thou shalt be joint heir with him, and has made over all that he is and all that he has to be thine? There is nothing Christ dislikes more than for his people to make a show-thing of him, and not to use him. He loves to be employed by us. The more burdens we put on his shoulders, the more precious will he be to us. “(2)


In closing consider this – you look at Catholic Saints like St Josemarie Escriva, you look at protestant preachers like Spurgeon, or hymn writers like Wimber or Newton or Wesley and Luther – the one common thread they have – is that we have to trust – we have to depend on God’s presence in our life.  Not just to get into heaven, but to enjoy the life eternal that starts when God makes us his…

Cry out Lord have mercy my friends, and know He has, He is, and He will…

 

 

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 1282-1285). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
(2)  Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

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