Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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We have one of our staff who has a pretty regular assignment. That is, show up at the post office every morning. Yeah. Yeah, the one who goes there is a pretty familiar figure. They know about what time to expect our person to come in, and they know it's important. See, the orders are, "Don't stop at the office. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go straight to our post office box." See, that daily trip to the post office is really our lifeline. She checks the box and there we find the contributions that really keep us going, very important communications, maybe answers we're looking for. And I'll tell you what, if she's sick, we'll send somebody else over there the first thing in the morning. We are dependent on that daily pickup.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Don't Forget to Check Your Box."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is actually written by a prophet who's in the pits. Now, you didn't know prophets got in the pits. Well, you thought they were on top of everything all the time? No. No, the neat thing is that the heroes of the Bible have their down days. And I'm so glad, because so do I; so do you.
Lamentations...now how do you like that for the name of a book written by a prophet? Right away you know the fellow's not feeling too good. Lamentations 3, and listen to the mood he's in as I begin verse 19. "I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me." I think in Hebrew that means, "In the pits." Right? "This I call to mind and therefore I have hope."
What do you call to mind, Jeremiah? Well, here's what he says. "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, For His compassions never fail." Now, get this. "They are new every morning." And then you remember that hymn that comes from these words Great Is Your Faithfulness? Do you know what the margin of survival is when you're overwhelmed, when the pressure's coming at you, when your feelings are at low ebb? He says, "It is the Lord's compassions," and notice, "new every morning."
Now, it may be that you're limping along right now because you have started too many days without checking your box. I mean to fill up with today's special strength, with today's special love, with today's special words from His book for this day and all of its needs.
Richard Foster, the author of Celebration of Discipline, writes that when he prays, he likes to pray palms up/palms down. He puts his palms down first of all to empty out all of yesterday, and then he prays with his palms up to get all that God has to give him that he's going to need for that day. That's a pretty good idea, dropping yesterday's accumulation; receiving today's strength. And the key words are "every morning."
We live life, not as years, not months, not weeks. We live days. That's why a once a week fill up won't do it, or some occasional spiritual highs. We're wired for an every morning relationship. The alternative is a growing mountain of stress, and frustration, and paralysis, frayed nerves, frayed relationships. See, it's possible to go through a daily Bible reading and prayer ritual without picking up the Lord's love for that day. I'm talking here about having a transaction with Him each new morning.
Like our staff person going to the post office, your first responsibility of the day is to stop and see what's come from God for you for that day. There will always be what you need if you stop to pick it up before you rush into your day.
Your Father has something special to give you for this day. So, don't forget to check your box.