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Wonderful Wednesday is Coming…

Father, Creator of light & life, guide our pathway in Your wisdom.Help us to see. Your ways are higher than our own, Your intentions more secure than the heavens themselves. What we call wisdom is utter foolishness compared to Your truth, wisdom & knowledge. Give us eyes to see & ears to hear. Give us faith where ours falls short. Help us to see Your handiwork all around us, & prepare our hearts for today & the days yet to come. Give us strength to stand, so that we might endure & give glory to Your Name.
It’s through Jesus I come to You & make my requests known. Amen.

Luke 21:29-38
29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

37 And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. 38 And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.

We had this great day every spring when we went to Milligan College & I am very glad to say the practice still continues. Depending on the day of the week when it occurs, it will have a different name, but it is affectionately referred to as “Wonderful Wednesday.” As an alumnus, I still get an itch for Wonderful Wednesday every spring. When the weather starts to turn, & when the world starts to wake up again, I still long for a “Wonderful Wednesday.” So, very kindly, the president of the college will at least acknowledge that desire with us all & periodically sends out an “excuse note” that we can playfully offer to our employers & supervisors if we so desire. Here is last year’s note:

Wonderful Wednesday Note

There are signs all around us that Wonderful Wednesday is somewhere on the near & coming horizon. Our anticipation grows & we begin to look for it every single day. We wake up, waiting for the notice that was slid under our door in the middle of the night, by surprise, letting us know that classes have been cancelled for the day & that we want to wear something we don’t mind getting really wet, dirty or even ruining. And we will eat very well, too. It’s a great day!

Jesus has been talking about the coming of The End here in Luke 21 & He has been very clear & open with the fact that there will be things that happen to tip us off to its proximity. He also lets us know that there will be other things that occur, other events that will feel an awful lot like the end, but they’re just a part of the stage being set for the final act.

However you slice it, though, Jesus is giving us an assurance that the day of Judgment is indeed coming & that we ought to be prepared for it. And since we don’t know when that day or hour will occur, we need to be ready for it every. single. day. Just like Wonderful Wednesday, we need to wake up with anticipation growing in our bones. We need to look for the signs of its coming & we need to talk about it with people, sharing it with people who don’t know about it. Wonderful Wednesday, as an alumnus, is a teaching tool for people who didn’t attend Milligan. It’s an opportunity for us to wax nostalgic & brag on our school. We want to talk about Wonderful Wednesday because we enjoyed it so much.

Jesus knows that we all live in anticipation of The End, & so we must choose our attitude towards it. We can either use it as a point of fear or a point of triumph. If you view it from a point of fear, you are less likely to talk about it, less likely to address it personally & more likely to pretend that it doesn’t exist. But if you are looking forward to it, if you anticipate it with joy, then you’re going to get yourself psyched up for it, & being excited about it you naturally engage other people with its coming.

So it takes strength to make it to that day, because this life is difficult & full of distractions. There are worries & concerns that drag us down & pull us away from our focus in Christ. So He encourages us to stay awake, to pray & to look forward to the end with an eternal perspective that will help to propel beyond the hard days & into the joy that is to come.

No one knows when that divine note will slide under the doorway of our reality, & when Jesus will crash through letting us know that classes are permanently cancelled. But until that Marvelous Monday, or Terrific Tuesday (or whatever it is) rolls around, we need to live in joyful anticipation of the return of our Lord & Master, our Savior & King Jesus. And we do this by walking in the rhythms of His grace, every day, sharing the joy we have found in Him.

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Generous God, Generous Love

Bless the LORD o, my soul! How excellent is His greatness!

Ephesians 4:1-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Bask in that for a moment will you? Listen again to what you just read. Rest in words of grace and provision, forgiveness and the mystery of the opening of the will of God to His people. Remember the sealing of the Holy Spirit that came to you when your faith came into being, and your submitted your heart to His, being baptized into His baptism for the praise of His glory.

Remember.

This is our resting place, within the generosity of God. We deserved death as the payment for our sins, for our rejection of His will and Lordship over us. We were guilty, broken and damned. There is no sadder state than the one we occupied before we met Christ, no condition more hopeless. We were sinners in the hands of a just, wrathful and holy God. Hell and desolation were our destination, separated from Him for eternity, goats, chaff & weeds all.

But through Christ Jesus we have stepped out of darkness and into His glorious light!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise God all creatures here below!
Praise God above, you heavenly host!
Praise Father, Son & Holy Ghost!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

Dwell in this blessed truth today, if you are in Christ! If you are not, listen to the words of promise above, the words of hope and expectation. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart, the ears of your soul, so that you might see and hear what so many already enjoy and find their peace within. God is generous with His grace. He is generous with His love.

Praise God!

Psalm 119 //  Alef // Delight in God’s Word

“1 How happy are those whose way is blameless,
who live according to the Lord’s instruction!

2 Happy are those who keep His decrees

and seek Him with all their heart.

3 They do nothing wrong;

they follow His ways.

4 You have commanded that Your precepts

be diligently kept.

5 If only my ways were committed

to keeping Your statutes!

6 Then I would not be ashamed

when I think about all Your commands.

7 I will praise You with a sincere heart

when I learn Your righteous judgments.

8 I will keep Your statutes;

never abandon me.”

Psalm 119:1-8

This is the longest psalm, David spends 176 verses praising God for His Word. It is best to consume it piece by piece, section by section. 

So, read it again, listening for the emotion in David’s words.

Read it a third time, placing your own heart where David’s is…how does God’s Word encourage you?

Read it a fourth and final time, making it a prayer of thanksgiving.

  

  

Psalm 107 // Thanksgiving for God’s Deliverance

“1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;

His faithful love endures forever.

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim

that He has redeemed them from the hand of the foe

3 and has gathered them from the lands —

from the east and the west,

from the north and the south.

4 Some wandered in the desolate wilderness,

finding no way to a city where they could live.

5 They were hungry and thirsty;

their spirits failed within them.

6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;

He rescued them from their distress.

7 He led them by the right path

to go to a city where they could live.

8 Let them give thanks to the Lord

for His faithful love

and His wonderful works for all humanity.

9 For He has satisfied the thirsty

and filled the hungry with good things.

10 Others sat in darkness and gloom —

prisoners in cruel chains —

11 because they rebelled against God’s commands

and despised the counsel of the Most High.

12 He broke their spirits with hard labor;

they stumbled, and there was no one to help.

13 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;

He saved them from their distress.

14 He brought them out of darkness and gloom

and broke their chains apart.

15 Let them give thanks to the Lord

for His faithful love

and His wonderful works for all humanity.

16 For He has broken down the bronze gates

and cut through the iron bars.

17 Fools suffered affliction

because of their rebellious ways and their sins.

18 They loathed all food

and came near the gates of death.

19 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;

He saved them from their distress.

20 He sent His word and healed them;

He rescued them from the Pit.

21 Let them give thanks to the Lord

for His faithful love

and His wonderful works for all humanity.

22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving

and announce His works with shouts of joy.

23 Others went to sea in ships,

conducting trade on the vast waters.

24 They saw the Lord’s works,

His wonderful works in the deep.

25 He spoke and raised a tempest

that stirred up the waves of the sea.

26 Rising up to the sky, sinking down to the depths,

their courage melting away in anguish,

27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men,

and all their skill was useless.

28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

and He brought them out of their distress.

29 He stilled the storm to a murmur,

and the waves of the sea were hushed.

30 They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet.

Then He guided them to the harbor they longed for.

31 Let them give thanks to the Lord

for His faithful love

and His wonderful works for all humanity.

32 Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people

and praise Him in the council of the elders.

33 He turns rivers into desert,

springs of water into thirsty ground,

34 and fruitful land into salty wasteland,

because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.

35 He turns a desert into a pool of water,

dry land into springs of water.

36 He causes the hungry to settle there,

and they establish a city where they can live.

37 They sow fields and plant vineyards

that yield a fruitful harvest.

38 He blesses them, and they multiply greatly;

He does not let their livestock decrease.

39 When they are diminished and are humbled

by cruel oppression and sorrow,

40 He pours contempt on nobles

and makes them wander in a trackless wasteland.

41 But He lifts the needy out of their suffering

and makes their families multiply like flocks.

42 The upright see it and rejoice,

and all injustice shuts its mouth.

43 Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things

and consider the Lord’s acts of faithful love.”

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