Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday of Increasing Warmth And Light: A Devotional for Protection, Another for Wisdom

TODAY TEMPERATURES WILL RISE OVER 30 DEGREES!. It is most welcome. In fact the forecast calls for temps to rise into the low 60s for a day or two this week.  Talk about a turnaround!   This week has been a one of more stillness, reorganizing and planning for the New Year. To wit, here are several devotionals to inspire us at this budding time of the year:


 7  But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. 8  Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies- make your way straight before me. 9  Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies. 10  Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you. 11  But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 12  Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
KELLER COMMENTS: David's psalms often speak of enemies. Ancient kings were always in danger of people trying to kill them. We may have fewer enemies intent on physical violence, but there are many forces in the world that can ruin us economically, emotionally and spiritually. We must do what David did. He asks God to spread his protection over him. He is sure God will do this because he looks towards his temple, the place where sins are atoned for (in the OT). Christians do the same when they remember and look to the One who claimed to be the final temple (John 2:20-21) the ultimate sacrifice, and the conclusive proof of God's great love for us.

PRAYER: Righteous Lord, I ask for protection from all the hostile forces around me (and my family and loved ones) But when I get indignant about evil in others, I remember my own sin, and that I can come near you only by your grace. How I need to hate wrongdoing and yet not become angry and begin to feel superior to others! Keep me and my loved ones safe, but keep us humble. Amen.

---KELLER,  The Songs of Jesus 



Proverb 1:22: How long you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?

KELLERj COMMENTS:  THE OPPOSITE OF WISDOM.  Throughout the book of Proverbs the opposite of wisdom is called foolishness. In English the word 'fool'  is little more than an insult.  In Proverbs, however, fools are people so habitually out of toucch with realilty that they make life miserable for themselves and all those around them.  We can't treat our body any way we want without consequences.  We can't treat  people any way we want and expect to have good friends and a strong family.  We can't all live selfish lives and expect thej social fabric to remain in tact. Fools, however, do all these things and therefore sow and reap discord and destruction.

There are various forms of foolishness, as we will see (in Proverbs).  But the ultimate foolishness is to make anything the center of our lives besides God.  That will always lead to disappointment and breakdown.

Jesus describes the foolish man whosse home is built on sand instead of on the solid rock of Christ's word and wisdom ( Matthew 7:24-26).  Fools fail to see boundaries embedded in reality---physical, psychological, relational and spiritual.  They step outside them and wonder why they sink.

Where have you seen most recently---either in your life or someone else's----the bitter fruit of foolishness?

PRAYER:  Lord,  my heart so often wants to deny reality, but that is foolish,  Reality in this fallen world is both wonderful and t errible.  Help me see it for what it is, and teach me to walk wisely in it.  Amen.

----KELLER,  Proverbs, God's Wisdom for Navigating Life

No comments: