Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of You…Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God’s prayer.”
Psalm 42: 6, 8
The Message Bible
Joy In The Morning
“O Thou who givest songs
To watchers in the night,
To whom all Nature’s praise belongs,
Grant me a psalm of light!
Thou who to countless birds
Dost joyous matins teach,
The soul of praise unformed in words,
Now listen, I beseech,
As one, Thy ear has kept
From every danger free
While I so peacefully have slept,
Would, waking, sing to thee.
‘Joy cometh in the morn,’
And I, to life renewed,
With every nerve and sense new-born,
Or with fresh power inbued,
Would consecrate to Thee
The hours of this new day,
That thus the harp, within may be
Divinely tuned, always.
Known unto Thee alone
Whatever this day may bring;
But if, O Master! Thou shalt touch
Each key and silent string,
Though pain with joy may blend,
And smiles may herald tears,
Thy love will to Life’s anthem lend
Hope, to dispel all fears.”
S. Louise Collins
Today’s Study Text:
“Not My will but Yours be done.”
Luke 22: 42
“Lest I Forget” Part 13
“May I Be Willing Lord”
“There is no peace but in the will of God. God’s will is our peace and there is no other peace. God’s service is perfect freedom and there is no other freedom.”
What does it mean in a personal way to do the will of my Father in heaven?
What changes in my life would need to be made in order for me to follow God’s calling and will in my life?
“You will feel tremendous peace when you are in God’s will and great unrest when you are not.”
Henry and Richard Blackaby
“Conform no longer to the pattern of this present world, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds. Then you will be able to discern the will of God, and to know what is good, acceptable, and perfect.”
Romans 12: 2,
“May I Be Willing Lord”
There are so many details about the purpose and plan of Jesus’ life which the Apostle John shares with us in his gospel. But one of the most important things which Jesus talked about happens to find its recorded place in John 6. Jesus was in the Temple teaching when He made this point, dealing with His own life in relationship to His heavenly Father:
“For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me.”
John 6: 38
In a nutshell, Jesus’ purpose on earth was direct and distinct – to do the will of His Father in heaven. As I read this text several times in a variety of Biblical translations, the message of this passage in Scripture only came through brighter and clearer. I was assisted by the words of Matthew Henry who explains that: “Jesus tells us that He came to do, not His own will, but the will of His Father; not that He had any will that stood in competition with the will of His Father, but those to whom He spoke suspected He might. ‘No,’ saith Jesus, ‘My own will is not the spring I act from, nor the rule I go by, but I am come to do the will of Him who sent Me.’…Christ did not come into the world as a private person, that acts for Himself only…He came into the world as God’s great agent and the world’s great physician…The scope of His whole life was to glorify God and do good to men and women. He therefore never consulted His own ease, safety, or quiet.”
Every day when Jesus arose to go on missions of merciful grace and miraculous healing, the foremost thought in His mind was to glorify His Father in heaven by doing His Father’s will. Jesus never fumbled around, trying to pinpoint the purpose of His’ life. No offense whatsoever is meant by my next comment for praise God there are devout Christians who write wonderful books for readers today. But the fact is that Jesus never had to purchase a book to let Him know how to put “purpose” into His daily life.
When Jesus got up each day, He greeted His Father with the knowledge that God’s purpose for His Son’s life was clear and well-defined. I’d like to suggest to all of us, who at times have found ourselves floundering in rough seas wondering what in the world we are doing, that if we seek our heavenly Father with this prayer, “Not my will but Your’s be done,” we too will find a direction and purpose to our lives never before known. As Pastor and author Henry Drummond observed: “It matters little whether we go to foreign lands or stay at home, as long as we are sure that we are where God put us…(As) I started to read the “Bible” to find out what the ideal life was, I found that the only thing worth doing in the world was to do the will of God.”
One of my favorite authors, Pastor Jack Hayford, in his terrific volume, “Pursuing the Will of God, gives us this wonderful news, “There’s a place in God’s will for you, no matter what your age, no matter what your past.” I want to add to this statement by letting you know that I’m a real-live example of someone who God has taken on a very challenging journey in life so far! But I must interject that some of the detours I have been on in my life were false paths I tried to carve out for myself. As I’ve pondered my life, I have come to the conclusion that if we will let Him, God will use every detour, every bump, and every accident along our way to get us to the point where our will is so tightly bonded with His that like the Psalmist we will say: “I delight to do Your will, O my God” (Psalm 40: 8, N.I.V.) As Pastor Murray penned, “Through the will of God, delighted in, and done, lies our only way to the heart of God, His only way to our heart.”
I am very fond of the writings of several Scottish pastors who ministered during the 1800’s. One of my very favorites is George MacDonald. Born in 1824, MacDonald is called an author, poet and Christian minister. Not only did George MacDonald inspire his readers and parishioners, but C.S. Lewis, writing about the inspiration he personally received from MacDonald pointed out that, “it is a striking indication of the trend and shallowness of the modern reading public that George MacDonald’s books have been so neglected.” (And don’t forget – these words reflected the reading habits of the public over 100 years ago!).
In his book, Diary of an Old Soul, written in 1880, George MacDonald left this prayer-poem:
“Afresh I seek Thee,
Lead me – once more I pray
Even should it be against my will, Thy way…
Let me no more out of Thy presence go,
But keep me waiting watchful for Thy will
Even while I do it, waiting watchful still.”
You see, if fifteen years ago you would have told me that I would be writing a daily devotional which would inspire the formation of a prayer chain stretching around the world in 192 countries, I would have told you that you were completely off your rocker. But then, as Pastor Hayford writes, “If we set our paths to pursue God’s will, even amid our muddling failures, the Lord can somehow bring about a net gain.” And I’ll add, you’ll find out that only within the will of God will you be truly, joyously happy.
“I ask You, Lord, please demolish anything in my life that isn’t according to your specifications or that doesn’t merit Your crowning seal of approval.”
Dick Eastman and Jack Hayford
Living and Praying in Jesus’ Name
“There are no disappointments to those whose wills are buried in the will of God.”
Frederick William Faber
Have Thine Own Way, Lord
“Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter; I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Have Thine own Way Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being – absolute sway!
Filled with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!”
“Nothing can happen to a child of God outside the will of God.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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