Sunday, November 21, 2010

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Sunday morning: Psalm 31:31-40

Spiritual preparation. That's what we're called to do before we go to church, if we are to get and give as much of ourselves in worship. As early as Saturday evening, we should have donned a God-glorifying mindset, saturating our minds with Scripture, eagerly expecting what we will learn about God come Sunday morning.

My father, for instance, makes it a policy that everyone should sleep early Saturday night so we don't get late on Sundays. One doesn't just rush to church; there is ample heart preparation, he'd always say. Sadly, I don't do that most of the time. I study until the wee hours of the morning or watch the series I've just downloaded. Sometimes that leaves me drowsy when the pastor is already preaching.

I pray that I develop the discipline of preparing for Sunday worship. I like how the psalms included in the Song of Ascents show the excitement, the eager anticipation of coming to the house of the Lord to worship. "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord'" (Psalm 122:1). What an attitude!

One in a while, I'll be posting my Saturday (or early Sunday morning) devotions here, to force myself to study God's Word before I leave for church. I hope it becomes a mainstay of this blog, and I pray this encourages you, as well.

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For the past months, I've been doing a study of the book of Jeremiah, a major prophet in the Old Testament. Jeremiah is called the wailing prophet because he was commissioned by God to prophesy destruction upon the nation of Israel and Judah, and nobody listened to him.

God's chosen people were disobedient, lustful, and they did not take heed of God. God's punishment was the destruction of the nation and their eventual exile to Babylon.

It is a depressing book because the nation suffered because of God's holy wrath. What astonishes me more, however, is seeing His mercy in the backdrop of His judgments. As God disciplines His people, He also reminds them of His promises.

I read Jeremiah 31:31-40 this morning. Here God is telling His people that a time will come when He will establish a new covenant with the nation. It will involve God's writing of His law on the people's minds and hearts. God will also forgive them. "For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:34). The new covenant, of course, finds fulfillment in Jesus Christ, who died for us while we were yet sinners.

I'm sharing photos of the Supreme Court and school stuff sprawled on the dining table I took early this morning. It's a brand new day. Have a blessed Sunday, everyone!

Sunday morning, at 4 a.m.

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