Hymn: Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts by Bernard of Clairvaux


Jesus, thou joy of loving hearts!
Thou Fount of life, thou Light of men!
From the best bliss that earth imparts
we turn unfilled to thee again.Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
thou savest those that on thee call;
to them that seek thee thou art good;
to them that find thee All in all.We taste thee, O thou living Bread,
and long to feast upon thee still;
we drink of thee, the fountainhead,
and thirst our souls from thee to fill.Our restless spirits yearn for thee,
where’er our changeful lot is cast;
glad, when thy gracious smile we see,
blest, when our faith can hold thee fast.

O Jesus, ever with us stay;
make all our moments calm and bright;
chase the dark night of sin away,
shed o’er the world thy holy light. Amen

Daily Scripture Passage: Psalm 24:1-6


Psalm 24:1-6 (ESV)

The King of Glory

24 The earth is the Lord‘s and the fullness thereof,
    the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas
    and established it upon the rivers.

3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
    And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false
    and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the Lord
    and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Thoughts to Ponder from Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9


Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9 (ESV)

Moses Commands Obedience

“And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.

See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—

“Hear the statutes and decrees…that you may live” (Deuteronomy 4:1)

In ancient times, God’s Law set the Israelites apart. In his graciousness, he had given his chosen people a glimpse into his mind and heart. He showed them how to live together in the harmony and justice that reflected his glory. The Law made them unique among the ancient peoples – their God was so close that he shared his very thoughts and desires with them!

Today, as we consider God’s Law, we can see what a gift it is. Not only does God tell us to love him and love our neighbor, but he also tells us how to do it. What’s more, he gave us Jesus, who came to fulfill the Law! Jesus showed that it really is possible to live a life pleasing to God, a life that combines faithfulness to the commandments with a radical openness to the Holy Spirit.

Thank God for the Spirit – and for his gifts of grace and mercy! Without these, we would never be able to live the way God asks us to. And while we’re at it, let’s thank God for Jesus, who shows us hat fulfilling the Law is not just a matter of keeping the rules, it’s also about learning how to open ourselves to the Spirit so that we can grow closer to the Lord and receive his grace. It’s giving the Spirit a chance to change our hearts and minds, transforming us more and more into the likeness of our Savior.

At its best, fulfilling the Law is all about being changed on the inside. We look to the Spirit to help us put off our own preferences and tendencies in order to begin to think and love as God does. What a relief to know that when we feel weak and unable to obey, the Holy Spirit is with us to help us! And what a relief to know that when we fall, our Father is right there to pick us up and help us start afresh!

So don’t let the thought of fulfilling God’s law seem daunting. Just take it one step at a time. And make sure that you are taking each step with the Holy Spirit!

Thank you, Father, for your laws. Thank you for revealing your thoughts and desires through your commandments. And thank you for giving me your grace to transform me and make me more faithful. Amen.