Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere…
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”(Psalm 84:10 – from The Upper Room daily devotional guide)
Every morning – early – my “go to” scripture reading comes to me via The Upper Room devotional magazine. I will likely read other passages during the day, including entire books of the Bible; I’ll probably have conversations about all manner of scripture references; and I will doubtless prepare lessons for more than one class. But, regardless of my other study, I’m going to launch my day with the help of The Upper Room.
What struck me this morning was the tie-in to where my heart was already singing. Because – as I’m fond of saying – Sunday at church is the best preparation possible for Monday, and whatever might come during the rest of the week.
Yesterday was the first Sunday of the month, and at our church that means the celebration of communion. Rebekah’s message (it will be podcast at this link sometime this morning) was a simple reiteration of Christ’s constant invitation to live “The life that is truly life.”
She talked about the challenges and hardships and tragedies that so often characterize life, and she shared the clear word Jesus has in response to the age-old question, “Did I do something to deserve —– (fill in the blank)?”
And the word from Jesus is this: “No!”
Or, as Rebekah put it, “Nnnnooooooooo!!!”
THE JESUS QUESTION: Life here on Earth is defined by struggle; that’s a no-brainer. However, rather than laying out blame, Jesus suggests an alternative. “Live. Live as a Follower of The Way. Live purposefully, and cultivate the soil you are planted in so that you bear good fruit.”
The Jesus question is never about pointing fingers, assigning blame, judging, comparing ourselves to others, or beating ourselves up; the Jesus question is about making the choice to live victorious, God-centered, fruit-bearing lives.
So that’s it. That’s my word for Monday morning. It’s always a beautiful thing to live my Monday in response to Sunday. Because Sunday is all about resurrection, and belief, and hope, and new life - DEREK