Entries by YMI

The Right Time

There’s a right time to say “I do” to sexual intimacy. It’s after saying “I do” at the altar.

ODB: Name of Names

September 21, 2019 

READ: Exodus 6:1–8 

God exalted [Jesus] to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name. Philippians 2:9

 

The name of Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) is legendary in the world of music. His violins, cellos, and violas are so treasured for their craftsmanship and clarity of sound that many have been given their own names. One of them, for instance, is known as the Messiah-Salabue Stradivarius. After violinist Joseph Joachim (1831–1907) played it, he wrote, “The sound of the Strad, that unique ‘Messie,’ turns up again and again in my memory, with its combined sweetness and grandeur.”

Even the name and sound of a Stradivarius, however, doesn’t deserve to be compared to the work of a far greater Source. From Moses to Jesus, the God of gods introduces Himself with a name above all names. For our sake, He wants the wisdom and work of His own hand to be recognized, valued, and celebrated with the sound of music (Exodus 6:1; 15:1–2).

Yet this deliverance of strength in response to the groans of a troubled people was only a beginning. Who could have foreseen that, by the weakness of crucified hands, He would one day leave a legacy of eternal and infinite value? Could anyone have predicted the resulting wonder and grandeur of music sung in praise of the name of One who died—bearing the insult of our sin and rejection—to show how much He loves us?

— Mart DeHaan

In what ways can you see the hand of a Master patiently shaping your life to put His name on you? What is He doing today to remind you that you’re His child?

Father in heaven, please do something in and through us today that helps others see that we owe everything to You.  

The Right Thing

Doing what’s right is a reflection of real faith in Jesus.

ODB: In the Vine

September 20, 2019 

READ: John 15:1–8 

No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4

 

One spring after a particularly dreary winter during which she helped a family member through a long illness, Emma found encouragement each time she walked past a cherry tree near her home in Cambridge, England. Bursting out at the top of the pink blossoms grew blossoms of white. A clever gardener had grafted into the tree a branch of white flowers. When Emma passed the unusual tree, she thought of Jesus’s words about being the Vine and His followers the branches (John 15:1–8).

By calling Himself the Vine, Jesus was speaking of an image familiar to the Israelites in the Old Testament, for there the vine symbolized God’s people (Psalm 80:8–9; Hosea 10:1). Jesus extended this symbolism to Himself, saying He was the Vine and that His followers were grafted into Him as branches. And as they remained in Him, receiving His nourishment and strength, they would bear fruit (John 15:5).

As Emma supported her family member, she needed the reminder that she was connected to Jesus. Seeing the white flowers among the pink ones gave her a visual prompt of the truth that as she remained in the Vine, she gained nourishment through Him.

When we who believe in Jesus embrace the idea of being as close to Him as a branch is to a vine, our faith is strengthened and enriched.

— Amy Boucher Pye

How are you receiving spiritual nourishment from Jesus? What will help you remain in the Vine?

Jesus, thank You for helping me to remain in You. May I find the peace, hope, and strength I need today.