“Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns.’ The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 96:7-10 – Worship in Reverence )
God’s holiness often produces such awe in us that we tremble in adoration before Him. After I came to the Lord is awe and wonder, I was almost dumbstruck as to what to say. Each day became easier, but then I noticed that when I began, I was in a closet whereby I could shut the door and be in silence that I felt Him. When I moved to my office in my home, it was more convenient but I didn’t feel His closeness as much as I had, maybe because I had a coffee cup with fresh, hot coffee sitting nearby and my prayers became a little shorter and the closeness I longed for just wasn’t there. So, I found a kneeler that hurt my knees, left the coffee in the kitchen, turned off my light and once again, I felt my Lord’s Presence. I had removed those distractions, so that it was just us. To truly worship is to get on our knees, remove distractions, and sit in the splendor of His holiness. Try this beloved, it will change your prayers and the content of them, so that we can reveal our commitment to Him with our presence and you just might find His Presence come nearer to you.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, we desire to show reverence to You in all aspects of our lives and especially in our prayer lives, communicating and listening in a reverential manner, that leaves time to hear Your response to us and also feel Your Presence. In the meantime continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that the recent offer from Ukraine for finding a peaceful solution brings Russia to come and work for a peaceful conclusion to the fighting. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“You can learn something from every person you meet, by speaking less and observing more.”
“I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you dear children, because you have known the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the worldly, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—-comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, bu the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1st John 2:12-17 – Love of God and His Ways, Not the World’s )
Firs and foremost, God is all powerful. Satan is not. Christians can and do overcome the evil one. We can let God’s Word lead us to resist temptation or fall to dust by the world’s ways. If we allow God’s ways to guide our lives, then we will live good and decent lives in an ethical manner. The ways of the world we live in today, well, there are no guarantees. God’s love motivates Christian ethics. Love of the world and desire for its things and ways tend to stand totally opposed to God’s love. Proper love leads one to do God’s will. Christian stewards are to lead lives to care lovingly for God’s world. We must not give our first love to the world and its material goods. Th steward’s supreme love is for God only. When the world become the object or our loving devotion, we show we do not truly love God. Eternal life is God’s promise to those who do His will.
SECOND THOUGH OF THE DAY:
“There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had loved with her husband seven years after her marriage and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at the very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.” (Luke 2:36-40 – ( “Fulfillment of Prophecy” )
I must note that I’m not repeating yesterday’s portion of Mary and Joseph’s trip to Jerusalem with Jesus and their encounter of two people Simeon and Ann. Both were given a rare insight of who the boy was and who he would become via the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit led Simeon to the Temple and upon his meeting Mary and Joseph and Jesus, he prayed openly to God for fulfilling the promise that Simeon would not die before seeing the Lord’s Christ, and he was overjoyed in thanking Him that he could now be dismissed for he had seen the salvation which God had prepared in the sight of all people. Jesus was the light for revelation to God’s people and to the Gentiles for glory to God’s people Israel. Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hears will be revealed; and a sword will pierce your own soul too, Mary.’
Secondly, the encounter with Anna the prophetess. Her recognition and thanksgiving grew out of a life of worship, prayer, and fasting. God calls some people to a special dedication to the life of prayer. He calls all to the ministry of daily prayer, though some rarely do and others don’t hardly stop. The presence of God was uniquely active in this Chrild, whose will and attitude developed with His body to reach the full potential God had for Him as His Messenger of redemption and salvation. Let me leave you with this thought, if Simeon’s comment that “this child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed,” if this is true (and I believe it to be so), “What would be revealed in the thoughts of your heart?