Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Based on Isaiah 65:1-66:24, Psalm 116:1-14, and Philippians 2:1-30.
Thank You, Jesus, for making us children of God -- without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we shine as Your lights in the world, holding fast to You, the Word of Life, that we may rejoice in knowing that we have not run in vain or labored in vain because we live in Christ.
Yes! And if I am being poured out as a drink offering, I rejoice and am glad. For it is You, O God, who works in us both to will and to do for Your good pleasure. You have heard our voices and our supplications. You have inclined Your ear to us. Therefore we will call upon You as long as we live.
Thank You for our inheritance as descendants from Jacob, for the enjoyment as those who are poor and contrite of spirit, who tremble at Your Word. In Your mercy and grace, You intervened to lead us away from choosing our own ways into choosing, instead, to seek Your wisdom and Your way. You have brought us peace like a river! You dandle us on Your knees! You have made us as Your children, offerings in clean vessels.
Great are our consolations in Christ! Great is Your mercy and our abundant life in Your lavish love. O LORD, we implore You, retrieve the others -- so many beloveds who do not know You -- yet. They are like we were once -- they simply have no idea; they know not what they are doing. Unwittingly, their souls are delighting in abominations, calling good "evil" and evil "good." We would still be following our own wits and wisdom, but You came to us, extending Your wisdom, and we have been comforted in Christ ever since.
Hear our prayers, O GOD, for those who are now surrounded by the pains of death and the pangs of Sheol. May they, amidst their troubles and sorrows, call upon You and say, "O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul." And You will, O LORD, for great is Your mercy and Your are gracious to save the simple and return rest to our lost souls. You will deliver all who are greatly afflicted and who call upon You to keep their feet from falling and to deliver them from death.
I was brought low, and Your saved me. Therefore, I render to You, LORD, my grateful and surrendered heart in the midst of a world that is circling the drain and in the presence of all Your people. We trust You and entrust all of this to be addressed by Your amazing, saving grace. Amen.
This photograph is by Jo Chaney.