Hope this is an awesome, praised-filled day! And we really do have TONS of reasons to fill this day with praise! I have a class on Wednesdays at the Morgan County prison, up by Frozen Head State Park. I'm teaching it together with a fantastically encouraging and gifted brother in Christ who came to know Jesus while an inmate there twenty years ago. In fact, he's still an inmate there. Been there over half his life. This week, he gave me a tour of the kitchen where he works everyday to help make all the meals for the 2400 guys who eat there three times a day. I’m thinking…if you had anything other than a pimento cheese sandwich for lunch…if fact, if you could actually choose "where?" and "what?" at lunchtime…and you were somewhere where you could see beyond the hills that surround your home-base …and if you were wearing clothes that were something other than denim blue, top and bottom, because you had the choice to vary it up your color scheme a little…those are GREAT reasons to praise the Lord!
Y’know, this morning I was leaving the house early for something and I switched on the news really quick to find out what the weather would be for today (I watch channel 10 when I can…Todd’s my weather homeboy!) and before the news and weather, there was a commercial on, telling me and everyone in the viewing audience, to go out and buy a new Lexus today, along with information on how we could get good financing for it. After thinking about it, I realized that if the person (you couldn’t see him…you just heard his voice) was talking at that volume in a room of people, it would probably be classified as yelling. Right after he was done, another kinda “yell-y” person was telling us to go to a certain restaurant and buy a lot of food “smothered in butter and sizzling bacon.” I thought, “Y’know, it’s only 6:07 in the morning and already a person who doesn’t know most of us in the viewing audience has told us to go $37,000 in debt and another person who doesn’t really know who might or might not have heart problems and/or blood pressure issues, has told us to just forget about all that, come to his restaurant and send our LDL cholesterol numbers through the sun-roof of our new Lexus!
It just seemed kinda pushy and bossy for so early in the a.m., if you know what I mean! So far, I’ve made it through the day without doing either one of those things…
It made me stop and think about a verse in Isaiah…It’s a Scripture that talks about Jesus, written seven hundred years before He was born in Bethlehem. Listen…
“The Sovereign LORD…wakens me morning by morning. He wakens my ear to listen like one being taught…” (Isaiah 50)
It’s so awesome to think of Jesus’ heart! A heart to please the Father with every beat and every breath! The heart of One who woke up each morning, opening His ears to the Father’s voice as soon as He opened His eyes to the new day…
In Mark’s first chapter, after a night’s sleep following an unbelievably busy day of watching their Lord heal the sick and free the oppressed, Jesus’ guys woke up and couldn’t find Him. They might have panicked for a minute, but by then, they should have known that He would be up “very early in the morning to find a solitary place” (1:35) to be alone with the Father...to share His heart…and to listen…”like One being taught.”
I think the Father can and will tell you what to do, if you’ll listen. If you really want to know. He won’t yell at you like they do on TV. But if you ask Him, “Father, I want to please your heart today. All day. Show me how my heart and my words and what I do, can please You”, He’ll let you know! Psalm 16 tells us, “I will praise the Lord Who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.”
And whatever He tells you to do probably won’t raise your cholesterol.
In fact, it’ll do your heart good!