Following JesusNew Every Morning | September 19, 2020
Jesus affirms a couple of our hunches about life: the centrality of relationship, the importance of justice, our responsibility to the poor, the preciousness of beauty, the value of meaning and purpose, the elusive significance of truth. Before long, we start to get a sense that Jesus is headed where we’ve wanted to go all along, and we start to follow him, trusting that he knows the best way to get there. To be sure, Jesus takes some puzzling turns along the way—moments where our nascent trust is put to the test. We may find ourselves answering even more questions: Will I find my purpose in life by laying it down for others? Does justice require me to take the short end of the stick? But, over time, our hunch becomes conviction, and bit by bit we’re willing to follow Jesus’ counterintuitive turns along the road.
—Matthew Croasmun, Let Me Ask You a Question: Conversations with Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2018)
How do you trust in Jesus, even when there are puzzling turns along the way? Join the conversation.
Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD is a rock for all ages.
—Isaiah 26:4 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Give me the patience, focus, and strength to pause, listen, and reflect on what you ask of me. What do you ask of me today?
(Follow today’s prayer with a moment of silence and stillness. Focus on your breath. Repeat the words of the prayer if that helps center you.)
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Let your life be shaped by the Word. Discover The Upper Room Disciplines.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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Trust means confidence to follow. God’s ways, Jesus’ ways are not our ways, we do not fully understand, but are provided with sufficient reasons which enable us to follow confidently even with “some puzzling turns along the way.”
Another section of deck sanded yesterday when what looked like probable rain turned to sun and blue skies. Had a walk in the woods. Prayers for wisdom, understanding, healing, reconciliation, safety, recovery, and guidance in these tough times, Grateful for resources and activities that bring joy, sustain life. Blessings to all. Thank You, Lord.
A very familiar hymn for
Today’s Scripture Reading:
Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me
1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.
2 Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s demands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
3 Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
4 While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.
Tune: TOPLADY (Hastings)
When I need to refresh my trust – I look back- at His faithfulness. I cling to the promises in The Word – promises of His steadfast love, His mercies unending, and peace like a river. I linger longer in the beauty of nature. And I pray slowly…Be still and know that I am God. He is God over everything, blessings and disappointments, contentment and suffering, the mountaintops and the valleys low.
He is Immanuel – God with us, God with me…right now and forevermore. Yes and amen.
Ally – thank you for the reference to Psalm 55. Verse 22 is the key, right? – “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.” This verse must embolden our trust.
Toplady, Augustus Montague, the author of “Rock of Ages,” was born at Farnham, Surrey, November 4, 1740. His father was an officer in the British army. His mother was a woman of remarkable piety. He prepared for the university at Westminster School, and subsequently was graduated at Trinity College, Dublin. While on a visit in Ireland in his sixteenth year he was awakened and converted at a service held in a barn in Codymain. The text was Ephesians ii. 13: “But now, in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” The preacher was an illiterate but warm-hearted layman named Morris. Concerning this experience Toplady wrote: “Strange that I, who had so long sat under the means of grace in England, should be brought nigh unto God in an obscure part of Ireland, amidst a handful of God’s people met together in a barn, and under the ministry of one who could hardly spell his name. Surely this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous.”
I need that verse from Psalm 55 to penetrate my soul and reassure me. I like to think of King David and God’s care for him throughout his life. No matter how much chaos and destruction David created iin his life, God was faithful. David returned to God in pentinence and thanksgiving, recognizing His faithfulness and providential care. When I pray regarding my problems and enemies I remember David and ask God to watch over me like He did David.
The kittens are beginning to lose their baby teeth. Megan found one last night. Tazzie is playing with them and has even slept with the black one. Things are going well. He has a weepy eye and the vet said that kittens often have respiratory ailments which Tazzie caught. Supplements are the cure and thankfully they are available in treats.
Prayers for Robert and his boundless energy and activity, may his health continue to be excellent.
Prayers for Marcy and her increasing ability to share her wealth of knowledge with us. I learn and grow so much .
Prayers for Jill and Larry, may both of them continue to enjoy good health and good conversation.
Prayers for Ally, may her cataracts be removed soon with no ill effects occurring. Prayers for her friend, Mr Pete, may he recover from Covid 19 and pneumonia.
Prayers, thank you and stay well dear UR