Blessed God, hour by hour, you have sustained me through this day. Your love has enabled me to stand strong and live with confidence. As this night settles, may your mercy surround me. May you grant me refreshment of spirit and renewal of mind. I love you and I pray that for all the ways I have failed this day, you will forgive me and grant me the strength to serve you in the best way possible tomorrow. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Daily Archives: January 10, 2022
Nothing will help us more to make of these disciplines what they ought to be than a continuing remembrance of Jesus.
He was the most wisely disciplined person in history. Name the disciplines one by one. Then recall his perfect illustration of their meaning and purpose.
Obedience: “Not my will be done” – “my meat and drink is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” As Paul Tillich said, Jesus lived in unbroken unity with God and yet sought nothing for himself by that unity.
Simplicity: He lived simply – “foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head”; there was no effort to make an impression – he refused the spectacular, he spoke the language of the people; there was no pose of any kind; he kept silent when he did not know the answers – “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son.”
Humility: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God”; “take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart.”
Frugality: “How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God”; “for our sakes he became poor that we through his poverty might her rich”; “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”; “those who wear soft raiment are in kings’ houses.” Frugal in food, he fasted long days in the wilderness. Frugal in sleep, he spent whole nights in prayer alone with God. Frugal in personal relationship, he loved people but could get along without them if his truth offended them; “will ye also go away?”
Generosity: He gave everything to God, everything! His days and nights, his dreams and deeds, his labors and his life itself, were God’s. He gave himself without stint to people, sharing with them his truth, ministering to their souls, healing their sickness, listening to their questions, “for many were coming and going and there was no leisure even to eat”; “he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”
Truthfulness: Even his enemies had to say, “we know that you are true…you do not regard the position of men but teach the way of God.” Deceit, evasion, double-talk, ambiguity, exaggeration, flattery, guile never appeared in his life even when, by common strategy, they promised advantage to his selfless cause.
Purity: Not even a look in the direction of evil, no mixed motives, no service adulterated by sly self-interest, nothing that did not fit the concept of God-likeness: He not only said, “Blessed are the pure in heart,” he was that!
Charity: Paul’s deathless portrayal of charity had Jesus as its model. Every quality of life that good usage names charity was Christ’s in abundance – gentleness, graciousness, quick forgiveness, bountifulness, courtesy, self-sacrifice, universal good will, channeling God’s love toward all people – of all this Jesus was the perfect incarnation.
Nor were all these superlatives qualities of life sheer native endowment. They were his because God was in him, true! But God was in him because he did what the rest of us must do – by dedication and discipline keep one’s life open to God.From Discipline and Discovery by Albert Edward Day
Isaiah 42:1-7 (ESV)
The Lord’s Chosen Servant
42 Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.
5 Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
7 to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.