Psa 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Such a lovely verse, we hear it, we sing it we say it but true obedience calls me to do it.  You know when you wake up early in the morning and every thing is fresh and new this is a good verse.  I’ve made it through the night, the sun is rising, the birds singing every thing is alive.  Then my head kicks in with a thousand memories of the day past and the struggle begins.

Pulling verses out of the scriptures and just repeating them will just not suffice any longer for me.  For me to run around with a few “pet” verses spouting them off and calling that encouragement for myself or others just seems empty.

It’s hard for the mind to comprehend the meaning of a day of rejoicing such as spoken of in this verse.  In the midst of suffering the psalmist cries out THIS the Day, a day of rejection, a day when the enemy surrounded like bees stinging, wounding nothing seemed good yet in the midst of this he cries is The Day the LORD made.  The LORD the Self-Existing One made such a Day of suffering, pain and trial and rejoiced in it. 

Look at The Day.  A day when your closest friends don’t understand, they abandon you, they betray you, one minute they seem to vehemently defend your cause and the next they deny even knowing you.  The Day when it’s really hard for us to know the true enemy.  Is the enemy your friends who you love the most and have hurt you the most?  Is the enemy the ones who come after you with sticks and stones looking for your vulnerability and you realize that enemy could not have known unless the one you called a “friend” had sold you out?

On that kind of day do you really feel like rejoicing?  Whoop da do! Yeah let’s all sing!  Let me now just offer myself to be beaten, spit on, dragged through the crowds naked, bleeding and mocked and if that’s not enough just nail me to a cross and stare at me. 

I really think rejoicing as it is presented in this verse would be the last thing on most peoples mind.  The rejoicing here is to spin around with violent emotion.  The world’s logic would have us just spin around in repulsion to such a scene.

Oh Christians they say you are too simple minded, too narrow minded….foolish they say to keep hanging on to a cross when you should save yourself.

Well I’ve listened to that chorus most of my life and I’ve found that such thinking did affect my actions.  I burdened myself with the cares of the world and would take them all to a building I called church and called myself good.

The picture comes into my mind of everyone standing in a circle holding hands and walking around and around singing…”ring around the rosy, pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all fall down.” Then to make it all better we embrace one another with a round of “Kum by Ya my Lord” then we just walk out declaring we had church.

Today it just ocurred to me that I’ve sang and taught my children to sing some harmless little songs that really didn’t mean anything they were just fun.  Words, meaningingless words put to a tune and we just sing along cause it’s fun.  Have we truly hanged our harps in the willows and forgotten that we are called to sing the song of the Redeemed?

Singing the songs of Zion can be rather difficult but that is the cross I’ve chosen to carry.  I have chosen to select my words more carefully today because it is by the Word that I shall be judged.  The same Word that for joy endured a cross that I deserved yet because He loved me he took my place of suffering and gave me a song instead.

The suffering unto death is finished.  The suffering I endure now doesn’t even come close to what He endured for me!  Matter of fact when I really look at anything I go through it just pales in comparison.  So why are we striving to death with one another? 

There are only two wills in my world.  God’s will and mine.  God’s will is true, right, just and holy.  My will is self proclaimed, self-righteous, self-justifying and set on blaming everybody else for all that goes wrong.

So this morning I traveled back to the Garden and laid my head upon the Rock and cried………Father not My will but thine be done.

It’s times like this when even my words are useless so I rely on His……

Hebrew Chapter 12

Heb 12:1 Do you see what this means–all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running–and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.

Heb 12:2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God–he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.

Heb 12:3 When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Heb 12:4 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through–all that bloodshed! Heb 12:5 So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either.

Heb 12:6 It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.

Heb 12:7 God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training,

Heb 12:8 the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God?

Heb 12:9 We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live?

Heb 12:10 While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best.

Heb 12:11 At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

Heb 12:12 So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet!

Heb 12:13 Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

Heb 12:14 Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God.

Heb 12:15 Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time.

Heb 12:16 Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite.

Heb 12:17 You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing–but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.

Heb 12:18 Unlike your ancestors, you didn’t come to Mount Sinai–all that volcanic blaze and earthshaking rumble–

Heb 12:19 to hear God speak. The earsplitting words and soul-shaking message terrified them and they begged him to stop.

Heb 12:20 When they heard the words–“If an animal touches the Mountain, it’s as good as dead”–they were afraid to move.

Heb 12:21 Even Moses was terrified.

Heb 12:22 No, that’s not your experience at all. You’ve come to Mount Zion, the city where the living God resides. The invisible Jerusalem is populated by throngs of festive angels

Heb 12:23 and Christian citizens. It is the city where God is Judge, with judgments that make us just.

Heb 12:24 You’ve come to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant. The murder of Jesus, unlike Abel’s–a homicide that cried out for vengeance–became a proclamation of grace.

Heb 12:25 So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings?

Heb 12:26 His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time–he’s told us this quite plainly–he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.”

Heb 12:27 The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.

Heb 12:28 Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander.

Heb 12:29 He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!