Today The Journey daily devotional published by the Bible Reading Fellowship begins the series of essays I wrote for Paul’s letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon. These will run through the month of August, the month I turn 65 years old.
I am not arriving at this retirement age the way I expected. About the time I mark my birthday I will also be marking ten months since a stroke rewrote my situation.
For the month of July, The Journey was running a series of essays by another writer who was basing their daily comments around a garden metaphor. I was interested to see a statement I had written in the first of my essays for today where I used a similar metaphor:
Paul wants to make sure these new gardens of Christianity do not get filled with weeds before the evangelists move on. We are used to living with weeds before Jesus saves us. The weeds are familiar. They seem normal… These weeds are fatal and will choke us. We can no longer live as we please. There are new marching orders. They are concerned not with our own desires but the welfare of the whole Body of Christ.
Once again I feel the slap of my own words, read now a year and a half after I turned them in to the editors at Bible Reading Fellowship, just after Christmas in 2013. “New marching orders” indeed. And mine are not concerned with my own desires, that’s for sure.
For each day’s lesson the writers are asked to add a self-examination question and a prayer. I grow still inside as I re-read my own words.
Do you welcome the directions of the Holy Spirit in your life, or do you find residual resistance still in your heart?
I know the honest answer to that second question is still “Yes.” Lord Jesus Christ, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Prayer: Jesus, you said “Follow me” to each of your disciples and I know you are saying that to me. Help me to follow no other rules or gods, so that I may truly submit to you as my Lord.