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from glory to glory…

Archive for the category “Night Watches”

Night Watches…

moonlight sailboat2

These passages for yesterday’s morning reading, but another one of those days when God drew me out to serve before I could write down my thoughts…

Meditating on them throughout the day,  and into the night… found time and expression today to write…

Daily Office Passages for Thursday, First Week of Lent, Year 1:

Psalm 50; Deuteronomy 9.23-10.5; Hebrews 4.1-10; John 3.16-21


Here is a link to view the passages cited and shared from the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer: Scripture Passages in NKJV

On this link, you may also find a menu from which to choose alternate translations…


Meditating on salvation and judgment…The righteous will live by faith, the object of our faith being the only true and living God, His work, and nothing else…God’s judgment and His salvation  are both matters of faith in Him…

Here, I confess that, as I age and become less valued in the eyes of our culture, I have worried about my present, about my future…what will happen to me as I advance in age and probable infirmities…where will I live IF…who will look out for me IF…

METLIFE  may, indeed, be part of God’s provision, the answer is not entirely METLIFE for the “IFs” in life… Even METLIFE’s resources are limited and would prove insipid in a culture bent on disposing of the non-viable, and when life on the earth becomes “very tempestuous” (Psalm 50.3)

Examining the history of the people God called to be His own, I find a warning to my own mind and heart and inclinations. Everywhere the people of Israel stumbled was by not believing God, and by not believing God’s work… both able and faithful to deliver and provide…

Likewise, when the Lord sent you from Kadesh Barnea, saying, ‘Go up and possess the land which I have given you,’ then you rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and you did not believe Him nor obey His voice. You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.”

–Deuteronomy 9.23-24

Their absence of faith, their refusal to believe, led them to “put the faithful word of God behind them”­—to judge it as insipid and irrelevant…

For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”

–Hebrews 4.2

Like the people of the nations around them, the people whom God had taken to be His thought they could have rest by their own works; one of those works was entertaining the motion to return to Egypt—to find rest, as if the God who brought them out of Egypt had neither shown them rest nor was able to provide it in the pilgrimage…The people whom God had taken to be His had lapsed into the very thinking of the people around them who call the true and living God insipid; and those who advanced that opinion also “tweeted” regularly that those who trust Israel’s God are most ridiculous of all people. And Moses knew right well what the people of the nations would say:

…Lest the land from which You brought us [Egypt] should say, ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring them to the land which He promised them, and because He hated them, He has brought them out to kill them in the wilderness’.”

–Deuteronomy 9.28

But Moses was a man of faith, who saw the circumstances and the danger, and knew his only recourse was to go straight to the God who is like no other… He is sovereign over all creation…He keeps His promises…

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

–Psalm 50.15

Therefore [Moses] prayed to the LORD, and said: ‘O LORD God, do not destroy Your people and Your inheritance whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look on the stubbornness of this people, or on their wickedness or their sin…”

 –Deuteronomy 9.26-27

…Because Moses knew the consequences of resisting God by taking a faithless posture, preferring our own works and the fabrication of our own gods…

He…who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”

–John 3.18b-20

So God swore, ‘They shall not enter My rest…’ –Hebrews 4.3b; Psalm 95.11

Now consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver… What right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth, seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes.”

–Psalm 50.22,16-21

Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”

–Hebrews 4.7; Psalm 95.7,8

Because…

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  He who believes in Him is not condemned…”

–John 3.16-18a

…Lest I lapse into the very thinking of the people around me who call the true and living God insipid; and those who “tweet” regularly that those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ are most ridiculous of all people…

… to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”

–Psalm 50.23b

Here is the treasure that I seek as my earthen vessel is being humbled to the dust… It is one thing to practice the vigilant discipline of giving up worry and anxiety for Lent… giving up performance stress in my daily work… giving up all foggy ideas in my little grey cells about the God who both judges and also saves… There is more to this life of belonging to God than sheer denial of the right of those worldly taskmasters to rent space in my head. The calling in this night watch meditation is to being clothed further in faith in the God who is able in all the circumstances of my life in the culture of the world that surrounds me…

Affirming with all boldness: As God is my Judge, I do believe in His salvation—namely, the Lord Jesus—and that He is able to provide for every circumstance I encounter on my pilgrimage in this vessel of dust…

In worrisome moments, bringing that anxious reflex to the God who alone can change that worry into exultant praise that He is able to advocate for me in my vessel of dust…

Working each day in pure, certain faith in God’s sovereignty and appointment of the tasks which line up in the day—and by that faith, know what it is like to labor from a point of rest in my vessel made of dust—because God is able to bring to fruition what He ordains for me to be doing…

Resting in the sure and certain knowledge that every evil act of hatred on this fallen planet will be judged under the pure, righteous hand of God…that all the work that I do in this dusty vessel will be examined and revealed whether it was done in faith in Him or was a work of faith in my SELF…that when He judges, His perfection of beauty will shine forth for all to see…

Because…

…We who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said…For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”

–Hebrews 4.3,10

Blessed are those who are being clothed further with the remembrance of who the Lord Jesus Christ is; whose little grey cells inside their dusty little heads are at rest with God by faith in Messiah Jesus, Savior and Judge; whose lives are characterized by steadfast faith in God as they walk about in their earthen vessels  at such a time as this…

Pray for those who are in danger of being destroyed by the gods they mold with their own hands; pray for those who have yet to recognize that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Promised Messiah, the Holy One of Israel. And…

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…

For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: ‘This is My resting place forever…I will also clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy…”

…Psalm 132.6


 

Night Watches…

moonlight sailboat2

These passages for yesterday’s morning reading, but my day pressed in on me before I could write down my thoughts…

Meditating on them throughout the day, they are too beautiful to leave unspoken…they wake me in the night watch…

My heart is overflowing with a good theme;  I recite my composition concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”

–Psalm 45.1

A call for giving up indifference and complacency and smugness for Lent–specifically, indifference, complacency and smugness before the Lord Jesus Christ…

Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land’; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you. It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore understand that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.”

–Deuteronomy 9.4-6

In the fullness of time, in their moment of eternity, these were called to a bloody task of ending the influence of the unyielding rebellion in the land God had chosen for His government… not because they are better than others, but because of His own sovereign, righteous purposes… Were I there, were I among the warriors called to wield the sword, would I go in reverence before God, in humility before Him? Could I have carried out the terrible work without presumption, and self exaltation, and the intoxicating adrenaline which incites the flesh to forget the God who made me and commanded me by His own pure righteousness?  Would I understand how to be both valiant and humbled, at the same time, in godly reverence and fear (Hebrews 12.28)?

Because He is not a god contrived by my own imaginations, molded with my own hands…

Then the Lord said to me, ‘Arise, go down quickly from here, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt have acted corruptly; they have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them; they have made themselves a molded image’.”

––Deuteronomy 9.12

He is fairer than all…

You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever…Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions. All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad…Listen, O daughter, consider and incline your ear…Because He is your LORD, worship Him…”

–Psalm 45.2,6-8,10a,11b


The Fragrance of Christ


Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, ‘Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!’ Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.’ So the Jews answered and said to Him, ‘What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up’.

–John 2.13-19

In the fullness of time, Jesus addresses the uncouth and irreverent posture of people in the royal courts of the Lord; the activity was not only questionable in its legitimacy, but even were it legitimate, its conduct was unfitting for this place…a place for prayer, reverence, worship…Were Moses there to execute chastening, he might forget his King (as he did on occasion) and allow his own zeal and indignation to fuel the lust for satisfaction of his own flesh…In contrast, Jesus executes righteous indignation, with restraint, not fueled with the intoxication of adrenaline, but governed by the Spirit of God to purge the courts of the Lord of unacceptable activity in them…to command reverence to God…In His zeal, He could have vaporized them on the spot…but instead, He drove them out…

All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad. Kings’ daughters are among Your honorable women; at Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir. Listen, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your own people also, and your father’s house; so the King will greatly desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, worship Him. And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; the rich among the people will seek your favor. The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; her clothing is woven with gold. She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; the virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You. With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought; they shall enter the King’s palace. Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, whom You shall make princes in all the earth. I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.”

–Psalm 45.8-17

If my dusty little grey cells were more attentive–if my dusty little grey cells were clothed further with the awareness of my own uncouth and ill-bred deportment in contrast to the glory and beauty of King Jesus, would I realize more the grace which He has poured out on me? Would I understand the calling to His courts and how to carry this royal calling in my earthen vessel? Would I be willing to be groomed and taught to serve in His presence, with reverence and godly fear?

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him… For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.”

–Hebrews 3.1-6

 


Here is a link to view the passages of this morning’s adventure into timeless glory from the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer: Scripture Passages in NKJV

On this link, you may also find a menu from which to choose alternate translations…


Blessed are those who are being clothed further with the remembrance of who the Lord Jesus Christ is; the memory in their little grey cells inside their dusty little heads of Messiah Jesus’ majesty and glory–the King who has called His people to enjoy His beauty and grace and to serve Him in His courts… in their earthen vessels  in this moment in eternity–for such a time as this…

Pray for those who are in danger of being destroyed by the gods they mold with their own hands; pray for those who have yet to recognize that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Promised Messiah, the Holy One of Israel. And…

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…

For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: ‘This is My resting place forever…I will also clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy…”

…Psalm 132.6


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