reflection

Great Expectations, Greater Grace – Psalm 16:5-11

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January 4, 2015

“We have every reason to be filled with joyful expectations entering this new year because the gracious promises and provisions of the Lord never fail!” – Pastor David Horner

 

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Various ponderings on a Thursday morning…

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  Dame Julian of Norwich, a woman devoted to prayer and contemplation of the mysteries and glories of Christ, wrote a book entitled, Revelations of Divine Love, in 1343.  As she pondered the vastness of the living God, she made a very helpful comment about what it means to find our rest and contentment in longing for Him.

“We have got to realize the littleness of creation and see it for the nothing that it is before we can love and possess God who is uncreated.  This is the reason why we have no ease of heart or soul, for we are seeking our rest in trivial things which cannot satisfy, and not seeking to know God, almighty, all-wise, all-good…We shall never cease wanting and longing until we possess Him in fullness and joy.  Then we shall have no further wants.”

Even when followers of Christ speak of the expansive span of the universe, we run the risk of being more impressed by how enormous it is than how vast is the God who created it and “marked off the heavens by the span” (Isaiah 40:12).

Alexander Maclaren, Scottish-born preacher of the nineteenth century, had a gift for expressing the richness of the gospel in language that captured both heart and mind, emotion and intellect.  I ran across the following quote, found in Ken Boa’s book, Conformed to His Image, and am still turning it over again and again in my mind as a wonderful way to think about Colossians 3:2 where Paul exhorts us to “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”  Then again in Philippians 3:8, he reminds us of how significant this is as he makes his a confession of his own priority, “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord….”

Maclaren states that when we come to know Christ Jesus and turn away from lesser concerns which we often give greater value than Him, we will discover…

“The magnet that draws, the anchor that steadies, the fortress that defends, the light that illumines, the treasure that enriches, the law that commands and the power that enables.”

So today I am pondering!  The vast treasure that is Jesus Christ is mine by grace through faith in His name.  And as I consider and understand these things better, I can say, “Be at rest, O my soul, for your God is the Lord Almighty!”

Devotions for Week Sixteen

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Dads Words of Wisdom The difference between those who watch things happen, make things happen and don’t know what is happening is often traceable to an intentional focus on the direction you believe the Lord is taking you.  Rather than drifting passively along, thinking, planning, praying and ordering our steps in a purposeful pursuit makes a tremendous difference in how things work out.  Fathers and sons would benefit greatly from some discussion of what this would look like in their lives.

Click on the “For Dads” tab on the upper right hand corner of this blog to go to the “Dad’s Words of Wisdom (Chapters 14-20)” page and scroll down to the last entry.