- Day 5 of 40 Days to Celebrate the King
Psalm 44 and I Corinthians 15:1-28
On this day, 44 years ago, I made the second smartest decision I have ever made. Well, actually I followed through on the second smartest decision. I made the decision 6 months earlier when I asked Doris to marry me, and on this date 44 years ago we made it official. Actually, I made the second smartest decision I have ever made about 9 months before this date when I made up my mind to ask Doris to marry me. It took me 3 months to get my courage up, then she said yes, then 6 months later, on this date, 44 years ago, Doris walked down the aisle and we made it official.
It was not a spectacular wedding. We pretty much paid for the whole thing ourselves. Our rehearsal dinner was a spaghetti supper my mom made and served at my parents’ house. The ceremony was in a small little, Nazarene church in Ashland City, but the place was packed. The decorations were mainly borrowed things that Doris’s sisters and my sisters put together. The reception was in the fellowship hall of a Methodist church around the corner. We just served mixed nuts and cake. After it was over, Doris and I cleaned up the hall and put away the tables and chairs to save the custodial fee.
I had made reservations at a beautiful, 2-star hotel in Gatlinburg, but we were so tired we decided to stay at a Rodeway Inn in Nashville that first night. I wonder what the hotel clerk thought when two kids that looked like they were 15, checked in, without reservations, and counted out the room fee in cash and change? (I said it was the second smartest decision I made. I didn’t say Doris was all that bright in her choice.) The next morning, we headed out for our three-day, luxury honeymoon at the Glenstone Lodge in Gatlinburg.
All those memories are secondary to the main memory I have of this date. I was standing, nervously at the front of the church. My cousin Jerry was my best man. My dad stood behind me, the minister, and my Cousin Mary Ruth was on the church organ. She hit a chord, the congregation stood, and Doris and her dad stepped around the corner to the center of the sanctuary doorway. It was not a long church, maybe 30 feet, but I held my breath during the time it took her to walk down the aisle. She was absolutely the most stunning thing I had/have ever seen. Dark, dark hair falling beneath the wide, white hat she was wearing. Her eyes were dark and radiant. Her dress shimmered as she came down the aisle and at that moment, everything else slipped into the background, unimportant, unseen. There was only Doris. She took my breath away. She still does.
In I Corinthians 15 (watch what I do here 😊), Paul says, “I want to remind you of that amazing day when I told you about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” He says they received it. They took a stand on it. They were saved by it. And they hold firmly to it. He goes on to remind them of all of the people before them that have made the same decision, Peter, the 12 Apostles, about 500 more people, James (His brother) and a bunch of others that have become leaders of the faith, and last but not least, Paul himself. And because of that Gospel, these believers could look every enemy in the eye and know that the enemy was beaten, even the last and greatest enemy, death.
In the middle of that discussion is one of my all-time favorite verses, verse 10. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect.” Paul is saying, “That grace, that moment when Jesus stepped around the corner and I saw Him as if it were the very first time, and He took my breath away, that grace has profoundly changed everything in my life.” And you know why that is one of my favorite verses? That same thing is true for me. On the day that Jesus stepped around the corner for me, I made the first-best decision I have ever made. I would say the first-best decision is what made the second-best decision possible.
Well, this devotional was a flagrant celebration of my anniversary. It is also a celebration of my spiritual birth when I came to know Jesus. Both of those days are life-changing for me. I imagine your days are a celebration for you as well. So, today here are three questions:
When did you meet Jesus, and know His grace for the first time? Reflect on that a little bit.
How has your life been made different by Jesus?
What enemies are you facing today that need to be reminded, “God has put everything under Him, Jesus?” (verse 27)
Celebrate today the King coming into your life, the change that made, the hope that brought. And if you see Doris, tell her happy anniversary.
The prayer for this week, “Almighty God, as You have given Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord, grant us now grace to accept and rejoice in His Lordship.” Amen
If you are new to these 40 Day things we do, we take Saturday and Sunday off from devotional writing, but not from devotions, or reading the Scriptures together. Remember tomorrow the scripture is Psalm 44 and Matthew 26:1-29. Sunday we will read Psalm 44, Romans 7:13-14, Revelation 11:1-8, and John 18:33-37.
Next week this will be our scripture: everyday read Psalm 95
Monday Matthew 3
Tuesday Colossians 1:9-23
Wednesday John 18:33-37 (yes, again 😊)
Thursday Isaiah 43:1-21
Friday Hebrews 10:11-25
Saturday Zephaniah 3:14-20
This is the last week of the Church year. Sunday, November 28th is the first Sunday of Advent. We begin year C of the liturgical calendar. (More on that later.) Here is our scripture for next Sunday. Read Psalm 95, Jeremiah 33:14-16, I Thessalonians 3:9-4:2, Psalm 25:1-10, and Luke 21:25-36