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December 17

[Read December 17 in John Piper’s The Dawning of Indestructible Joy before reading below.]

Whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.

Mark 10:44

Christmas. He came to serve, not to be served. He came to help us do everything he calls us to do.

–John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, page 56*

Oh my. That’s beautiful! and freeing! and true!

As one who has dreaded His call on my life, allowed it to burden and stress, I can say He has always been faithful to fulfill what He’s asked of me. When I let Him…

What a glorious truth to ponder! What a great new perspective on obedience.

What has He called you to do? has it felt like a burden? did you walk away?

Have you ever considered He’s asking to serve you when He calls you to do what He created you for? to help you do what He’s asking?

How does this truth change your attitude toward obedience?

Listen to His words in light of this revelation:

“… Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your glorious gift of service in my life. Taking on the burden of my sins, so I can be unburdened in serving You. Fill me with desire to embrace You as the One who serves me in all You call me to do. Amen.

[Feature Image Photo seen on blog by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash]

*© 2014. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

December 4

[Today’s post follows the reading of the December 4 devotional in The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper.]

Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Mark 10:45

Open your heart to receive the best present imaginable: Jesus giving himself to die for you and to serve you all the rest of eternity. Receive this. Turn away from self-help and sin. Become like little children. Trust him. Trust him. Trust him with your life.

– John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, page 22*

Have you ever considered Jesus as one who serves you? What does it mean to you?

How can relying on yourself keep Him from helping you?

And sin. What sins do you find more appealing than Christ serving you?

Father God, You care for Your children in so many ways. Open my heart to embrace my need for You. Open my mind to understand trusting You means letting You serve me through Jesus. Grow me to be Your obedient child.

[Feature Image Photo on blog by Greg Weaver on Unsplash]

*© 2014. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

Songs of Praise: Psalm 123-126

Today’s readings: Psalm 123-126 [Click the reference to read online.]

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy on us.

Psalm 123:1-2

God sent me to Psalm 123 as my life reeled from devastating news. My feet couldn’t find a firm place to stand.

When a moment came I could finally consider this psalm, I heard Him say: Trust Me. Watch. Wait. I will have mercy.

The circumstance didn’t end as I would’ve chosen. But I did clearly see His mercy through and through. And I learned to look to Him as a maid to her mistress, trust Him, and wait when life careens out of control.

Looking at these four psalms in context today, stringing them together, I see the blessings of setting our eyes on the Lord as a servant to His Master. From the perspective and attitude of being fully obedient to His Way, we find security, peace, protection, strength, and mercy when the trap has been set, the enemy attacks, and circumstances rage out of control around us.

Submitting ourselves wholly to God as Lord and Master, keeping our gaze fixed on Him alone, trusting Him with all we are and have, we find His mercy and discover Him trustworthy. No matter what circumstances threaten, He surrounds and encircles us as a mountain range.

He is trustworthy, even in the most devastating of circumstances. I know.

Choose to serve Him only. Not self. Not the things of the world. Nothing else will provide what we need to survive the perils of this dark broken world.

Today, I ask you to submit to Him fully as your Lord. List your fears and wants. Bring them before Him and say:

I want to serve You with all I have. I want what You want. Teach me to serve You. I will wait for You to direct me at home, work, and play. I want to know the joy of Your work in my life, bringing mercy and joy out of all I face. You are trustworthy.

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!

Psalm 126:5

Lord, may all my tearful sowing be in full obedience to You. I know serving You alone secures my life and brings me to a place of  eternal joy.

[Featured Image Photo seen on website by Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash]