“There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God’s love.”

From today’s sacredspace.ie.

There is a need for words, in prayer, in relationship, in mission. (Let no one tell you otherwise.) But in the space between the words, there is also revelation and communication. And there is concealment of some sort. (Jesus did not reveal himself completely to others.) Let the former be honest, and keep the latter from being malicious.

Let us seek to have “the good will of all the people” Acts 2.47, by being people of compassion and commitment. Above all, let us give heart, soul, and mind to the Lord. “O Lord, teach me how you want me to live! Then I will obey your commands. Make me wholeheartedly committed to you!” Psalm 86.11.

  1. From Oswald Chambers: “The missionary’s message is not nationalistic, favoring nations or individuals; it is ‘for the whole world.’ When the Holy Spirit comes into me, He does not consider my partialities or preferences; He simply brings me into oneness with the Lord Jesus.”

  2. People want feedback, but then they don’t. Somebody once said to keep your counsel to yourself. Not a bad piece of advice. I should remember.

  3. If God knows me completely and loves me still, I can be honest before him about who I am. I can also be transparent when with others, revealing, in appropriate ways and at proper levels, who I am.

  4. John Henson wrote that Israel forgot “material wealth is a terrible indicator of national well-being.” A bad habit of many peoples.

  5. Perspective is important. Check out this map that shrinks countries to size on a Mercator scale.

  6. An original verse: The single drop of rain from heaven seems small / Until another joins and together they fall.

  7. A Bible verse: “But these people say evil things against whatever they don’t understand. And the very things they do understand will destroy them. That’s because they are like wild animals that can’t think for themselves. Instead, they do what comes naturally to them” Jude 10 NIrV.

  1. I confess: I’m a reader of headlines. There’s not enough time to read it all. Many people are like me. Alert to publishers: Make headlines descriptive; quit the sensationalism and teasers.

  2. Now using my home office full-time. Still have to buy chair for the desk and other items, as well as unpack most of my books and papers. But it’s getting there. This is the place.

  3. Ed Mathews wrote in today’s devotional: “The first missionaries were refugees.” Persecution for God’s people is a given.

  4. The dividing line is drawn between those who want to love God by faithful obedience and those who want to redefine love in their own terms.

  5. Long holiday weekend sees travelers to the coast frustrated over closed Tamoios highway with several landslides due to heavy rains.

  6. A verse of mine: “God gives all his children the power to stand, / For nothing can remove them from his hand.

  7. A Bible verse: “To you, O Lord, I call out for help, for fire has burned up the pastures of the wilderness, flames have razed all the trees in the fields” Joel 1.19.

  1. More than 200,000 people are expected over the Oct. 12 holiday weekend at Aparecida, just down the highway from us, where Brazil’s patron Catholic saint stands behind bullet-proof glass.

  2. God is. God is love. God is good. God is working to bless. God is seeking fellowship. Do you believe?

  3. Big file for future book is freezing LibreOffice software in new laptop. Filed bug report, but no one has been able to replicate the problem.

  4. Heard tell that a new Truth for Today commentary on Hosea, Joel and Amos by Jack P. Lewis is now available. I want it. Can I, can I?

  5. Some people in the church agree with Bill Clinton’s statement about politics, “We need not just a new generation of leadership but a new gender of leadership.”

  6. An original verse of mine: We’ve no idea of what we truly need, / God shows the way, and Jesus takes the lead.

  7. A Bible verse: “But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls” Hebrews 10.39.

  1. Been getting lots of spam calls on my old cellphone. So I’ve turned it off. Want to talk? Send me an email.

  2. Suffered a sustained personal attack in a Twitter conversation as I argued for the exclusive use of the name Christian.

  3. I love fonts. Confession: there’s an occasion or two that I spend too much time figuring out what font to use in a document.

  4. Walls and barriers are but tests for one’s dedication and opportunities to prove the power of God.

  5. Is multitasking a myth? Do we try to justify our lack of concentration? To do one thing is not to do it well? If so, we are doing many things badly.

  6. An original verse: Grace comes not once but twice, and still again, / So let us ask not if he’ll come, but when.

  7. A Bible verse: “My people will live in peaceful settlements, in secure homes, and in safe, quiet places” Isaiah 32.18.

  1. I preached a gospel meeting. On the last night, I did not wear a necktie. The roof did not fall. The brethren did not faint.

  2. Another excuse to drink falls to the ground. Forget the idea that a glass of wine is healthy.

  3. Friends rented my old office. TortaStore owners needed more space to prepare their chocolates. May it serve them well!

  4. Didn’t feel the usual strong desire to go home after two weeks away. I was a trooper for the whole 5 weeks. Must be growing up.

  5. Need to put final touches on presentation of our time in the U.S. First time to do that.

  6. An original verse of mine: Bought with a price, do not be human slaves; / But serve the Lord, who frees and loves and saves.

  7. A Bible verse: “Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘It is not within my power, but God will speak concerning the welfare of Pharaoh'” Genesis 41.16.

  1. Brazil’s presidential election is tomorrow, so there’ll be much movement in the streets as people go to their obligatory vote. Hopefully, no violence.

  2. Kavanaugh is now on the U.S. Supreme Court. Let justice prevail.

  3. Missus and I arrived home today. Stay tuned for a short presentation of our time in the U.S.

  4. No food in the house, after five weeks of absence, so tonight we ordered pizza. Missus remarked that we had no pizza while in the U.S.

  5. In record time, three suitcases have been unpacked. One to go. It takes days to readjust, but getting back in routine is comforting.

  6. An original verse of mine: The righteous rejoice when justice on earth prevails; / They’ve faith in God when human fairness fails.

  7. A Bible verse: “He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring olive oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him” Lk 10.34.

One more lesson tonight in the “Divine Initiative” series here in Chillicothe OH, on “The Family of God.” The Lord’s grace gives us community. We cannot survive alone. We need each other. God created us as social beings, as souls who need fellowship for growth and service. The key word is love. The spiritual family deserves greater priority than the physical. It is more important. Let us live in family, and learn to serve and love.

Please download the PDF of Ed Mathews’s free devotional book, Plow New Ground. Today’s meditation alone is worth the effort, based on 2 Cor 2.14. Among other things, Ed writes,

Messenger of God. As a captive in the victory procession of God, Paul spread everywhere the message of redemption, II Corinthians 2:14. The Lord made His intentions known through His surrendered servant, Colossians 1:25. Paul was not fickle. He was faithful. He followed the drum beat of heaven. He was “sent from God,” II Corinthians 2:17b. He went when the Lord called. He did what the Lord commanded. His life was not his own. It belonged to God. Consequently, Paul could rightly say, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me,” Galatians 2:20.

People read so many flawed denominational materials — hey, we have far superior writings and true teaching in many brotherhood material, like this one.