Posted by justifiedandsinner
Devotional Thoughts for the Day:
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved.19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the intelligence of the intelligent.
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? 21 For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of what is preached. 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 (CSBBible)
We need a revival! We need a revival of consecration to death, a revival of happy abandonment to the will of God that will laugh at sacrifice and count it a privilege to bear the cross through the heat and burden of the day.
Reason that is under the devil’s control is harmful, and the more clever and successful it is, the more harm it does. We see this in the case of learned men who on the basis of their reason disagree with the Word. On the other hand, when illuminated by the Holy Spirit, reason helps to interpret the Holy Scriptures
Let us not be surprised to discover our frailty. Let it not come as a shock to see how easily our good behavior breaks down, for little or no reason. Have confidence in the Lord, whose help is always at hand. “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?”3 No one. If we approach our heavenly Father in this way, we will have no grounds for fearing anyone or anything.
Every once in a while I am told the church needs to be more reasonable. What I hear is an accusation that I am not being reasonable, that my logic is somehow flawed because I don’t agree wtih their niche of society, whatever its label. (And if you could narrow society into two basic sides – both sides will use the reason/logic play.
I am enough of a non-conformist that I have to watch myself, tell me that something is reasonable and I might just disagree for the sake of the disgreement. I resonate with Luther’s words, and am so willing to identify someone else’s reasoning as being in league with Satan. It is not hard to see usually, because it is not in agreement with scripture. So I have to watch my own sense of reason, and determine where my sense of reason, and the logic that interprets it, is faulty. Not an easy task! I have a few good friends I can count on to help me. This is the frailty of which St. Josemaria speaks. That frailty should drive us to the cross, to the
This is not the main reason to turn to scripture. The scriptures area there to reveal to us the love of God. But one of the side effects of that revelation is the abandonment to the will of God. To realize that dying to self (and therefore to my self’s reason) is not a major sacrifice.
Revival is not logical, it is not reasonable. It doesn’t have to be, and it is better subject to the Holy Spirit’s movement that to ours. But it can be prayed for, it can be sought, and the sermons and lessons given at our church’s need to aim at that – at seeing the church die and rise with Christ. It will happen in His time, in His way, according to the logic of God.
Ultimately, this is reasonable, ““Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 (ESV) That is also revival.
May it happen in our lives, that we we find His reason more satisfying than our own.
A. W. Tozer and Marilynne E. Foster, Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 366-Day Devotional (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007).
Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 54: Table Talk, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 54 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 71.
Escrivá, Josemaría. Friends of God . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted by justifiedandsinner
Devotional/Discussion thought of the Day:
23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has now come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. 24 I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains. 25 Those who love their own life will lose it; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. 26 Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am. And my Father will honor anyone who serves me. John 12:23-26 (TEV)
17 In the Lord’s name, then, I warn you: do not continue to live like the heathen, whose thoughts are worthless 18 and whose minds are in the dark. They have no part in the life that God gives, for they are completely ignorant and stubborn. 19 They have lost all feeling of shame; they give themselves over to vice and do all sorts of indecent things without restraint. 20 That was not what you learned about Christ! 21 You certainly heard about him, and as his followers you were taught the truth that is in Jesus. 22 So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to—the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. 23 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, 24 and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy. Ephesians 4:17-24 (TEV)
If the grain of wheat does not die, it remains unfruitful. Don’t you want to be a grain of wheat, to die through mortification, and to yield stalks rich in grain? May Jesus bless your wheat field! (1)
Yesterday I asked on Facebook a question about whether we would follow Jesus if he showed up today and asked us too. Actually, more specifically, I asked what our excuses would be when we told him we wouldn’t follow Him.
Most people said they would, and I believe in their hearts they sincerely believe it.
Even as I know most of us do not, even now, as Christ is present in our lives, as He is calling us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and walk with Him, through that dying to self, into the presence of the Father.
Will we walk with Christ in loving those who would kill us, that we could win their souls to God?
Will we forgive others who have sinned against us?
Will we depend on God when life is rough, the answers unknown, when we need to forsake joy and embrace suffering – that a person would come to know God’s love?
Will we give up taking care of what we are responsible for – to care for others. (think of John, James, Peter and Andrew leaving their fathers and boats behind, or Matthew leaving the tax table and the taxes he collected behind.._
Reading Les Miserable in my spare time is really causing me to ask these questions, not of you, but of myself. Wondering how I serve as an example, as Paul did, as Peter did, for those whom I have been entrusted with shepherding. It’s a hard question… and it seems like the law is condemning me…even brutally.
Until I realize that such things I cling to, are actually snares… snares that would stop me from following Christ, or at least blind me to His Spirit’s presence. I have to come to my senses and realize in whose presence I dwell. The Lord and Master who shatters those holds, who brings me healing, who brings me life.
This dying to self thing – its not so I can just die. It is so I can live.
We too need to experience what that seed did… actually we just need to realize we have… He has done this to us, even as He subjected Himself to it.
This imitating Christ – is the living that we were created for…
It is what began at our baptism, it is what is strengthened as we are absolved and commune…
It is the abundant life.
Lord have mercy on us, by crucifying our sin and sinful desires… leaving us nothing else, but You, and the glory in which you share with us. AMEN
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 574-575). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- What Do We Choose to Invite into our Lives? (justifiedandsinner.com)
- We must bear our cross….an powerful observation…. (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Pope Francis’ Angelus for June 23, 2013: English Transcript (devoutlycatholic.wordpress.com)