Archive for January 7th, 2008
I have never been much of sleeper. Sleep has never come easy and I’ve never seemed to need much sleep. However, this past year, I have taken great comfort in several verses in the Psalms that talk about the LORD’s ministry to us during the night. Both Psalm 3 and Psalm 4 have such verses — our reading today is from Psalms 3-5.
//Inspiration: Psalm 3:5 & Psalm 4:8
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. … In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.
//Incarnation: What this verse means to my life today
I have seen the LORD sustain through several troubling periods in my life and in the middle of the chaos and vulnerability of those times, I have seen Him bring me comfort and help me sleep. So I need to commit several of these kinds of passages to my memory and quote them on those nights when sleep is hard. I need to approach rest as a sacred time where the LORD meets with me and ministers to my Spirit. I must view rest a worship time where I entrust myself and my future to the LORD and let Him nurture, protect, and restore my spirit.
//Invitation: My prayer for today
O LORD, forgive me for those times that I have dreaded the silence of the night and the times when my mind raced and could not find sleep. I commit to seek you in the quiet of the night and trust that you will minister to me whether waking or asleep. I want to meet you in these spaces of sacred rest and know that you will restore and renew my spirit so I can serve you with passion. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Click the comments link below and share your input on today’s readings!
Here a couple of questions to get you started, but feel free to add whatever you like to the discussion.
What is the verse that speaks most powerfully to you and why?
What makes it hard for you to live out God’s will for you in this passage?
What did you think about Phil’s take on this passage?
Over Christmas, my brothers and I, along with our families, were all together in Abilene. Christmas Eve was a beautiful day and we were all suffering from cabin fever. So I brought out several compound bows — the archery kind and not the wrapping paper kind — and a target. Using the easiest bow to pull back, however, we all missed the target — we’re still looking for one of those arrows! Our form was good. The target was set up well. So what was wrong?
The aiming device on the bow was broken! No matter how hard we worked and how proper the target, we weren’t going to hit it. This effort in futility made me think of how simple this principle is, yet how so few people actually get it when it comes to life. Most folks have good goals for life — a good family, a productive job, joy, love, making a difference in the world … The problem, however, is the aim at getting to those goals is off. We make it about us … what we want … what we like … what brings us glory. Our aiming device is wrong. Listen to Jesus’ words:
Then he [Jesus]said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for you to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit your very self? (Luke 9:23-25).
This passage got me thinking about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. As I did, I “googled” his name and an article I wrote nearly a year ago came up first in the link list. As I read this article, I was convicted by my own words — words I had written less than a year ago yet words I couldn’t remember writing. I was so convicted by them that I reprinted them in this week in Heartlight: Even if It Means a Cross. I encourage you to read the article and contemplate the sacrifice and be willing to follow Jesus … even if it means a Cross … because it does!
Then I’d love to hear from you in regard to these questions:
Do you think most Western Christians really only want a “Tinkerbelle Jesus” or is that too harsh an indictment?
Do you think we really “get” the meaning of the Cross?
Do you think we really only want the Savior side of Jesus and not the Lord side of Jesus who calls us to follow him no matter the cost?