Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday 3-30-10

Galatians 1:23-24

"23  But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
24  And they glorified God in me."

God did a mighty work in Paul's life through saving and sanctifying him. When men looked at Paul according to verse twenty-four they glorified God. I believe that this is the reason why God saves us and sanctifies us. There is nothing special or wonderful about me that God should have saved me. It is simply because of his mercy and that he seeks to be glorified through me life. I do not believe it is egotistical for God to seek his own glory, because if I love him and glorify him (which all men fall short of). Then I am fulfilled and happy when God is glorified, that is my joy is made complete in God being brought glory. 

May my life be as Paul's in that as men look at me and see what I was before God's work. Then they see the work that God has wrought in my heart and life may the glorify God


Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday 3-29-10

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

"9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

Just previous to this verse Paul mentions his "thorn in the flesh", and states that he had asked God to remove it at least three times. God tells Paul that His grace is enough for Paul and that His power and grace is made "perfect" through Paul's deficiencies. How Paul responds just is very convicting. Paul says that he "takes pleasure" in being feeble or frail, in rebukes or disapproval's, in daily menial tasks, in being tortured for Christ, in difficult times. 

Just having been reading through some of what Paul went through in the previous chapter his attitude is a great example to me. I'm sure he struggled at times no doubt but his selfless attitude of "if my being puny, or being whipped, or made fun of brings Christ glory.. then bring it on." This attitude and really mindset was no doubt not developed overnight. But I really believe it came from Paul being completely and totally satisfied in God, he didn't need comfort, fame, men's praise.. Christ and Christ alone was who/what I believe Paul longed for. Hence in the face of distressing things he is able to say "therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Please remember in prayer David Velke and his family, they left on a short term missions trip for 6 months with his family this past weekend. They are settling down in their house there and will be getting hands-on-mission-training.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday 3-25-10

1 Corinthians 3:7  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

As I read this I thought of years back one particular summer my family did a garden. Months before summer we fertilized it, limed it, tilled it.. tilled it again, fertilized it, limed it, tilled it again. We cut branches off trees that would block out sunlight, we set up schedules for weeding/watering/ect., we put down news papers around the plants so the weeds would be choked back. We got good quality seeds, planted them at the right time, the right depth. We watered them, weeded the garden, there was a lot of work that went into it. But there was almost no crop what-so-ever that year, so much hard work and very little to show for it. Now there were other years in which we got tons of fresh produce but that year wasn't one of them.

I thought of that summer and how it relates to spiritual battles. We can plan out, sacrifice for, work towards a goal such as a church plant or soul to be won. But that is all we can do is labor, I cannot save anyone, I cannot make anyone repent of a sin, I cannot cause anyone to grow in the Lord, I can do nothing but obey God. I need to make sure all my laboring is done as unto the Lord, if I become self-reliant and think I can achieve this or accomplish that on my own strength and not by God's grace I am greatly mistaken. May whatever God calls me to do, may I obey completely and remain totally dependent on his grace and power to accomplish the task he gives me to do. 

May the grace of God be with you,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday 3-24-10

Romans 8:28-31 

"28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"

I cannot begin to express how these verses and really Romans chapter eight and nine in general impacted me this morning. I do not even know how to begin, so I will leave it at this if anyone wants to deny God's absolute sovereignty they will have to remove Romans chapters eight and nine from their bible. 

From Him, for Him and unto Him,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday 3-22-10

Romans 1:14-15 

"14  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
15  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also."

As I read this I really began to think of what my life would look like if,  I was indebted out of joy to the gospel and to lost souls. What would my money be spent on? What would my time be invested in? What would my desires be? What would my goals be? How would my life change?

I do believe our lives would change if we realized the horror of our sin, we realized the love of God, we realized the passion that Christ has for us. I do not want to waste my life, I do not want to waste any part of my life. I have a burning desire to be used of Him and for Him. Nothing held back, nothing to regret. I have been called crazy for removing some things from my life that weren't sin but were sucking my time away from the Lord. I do not believe it is crazy or irradcal to give up the temporal pleasures of this world, and instead invest my time, energies, and resources into Kingdom growth. In fact I believe the opposite to be true. How can one who claims to be bought by the blood of Christ put the temporal trinkets ahead of eternal treasures like souls? 

Please pray for David Gates and his family. Mrs. Beth gave birth to a healthy baby girl. However there are some health issues with Mrs. Beth the extent of them unknown to me. But please join me in prayer for them, they are close to my heart, and have of late weighed heavy on my heart. 

Because of Him, and for Him..

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday 3-21-10

Acts 17:6  And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

These men had a reputation for living for Christ and doing great things for Him and by His grace. They were not just preaching it up Sunday then not living it out Monday. Their lives had been changed and where preaching, living and discipling others in such a way that others lives where being darasticly changed! I get excited as I read this and think about it. I am also saddened because I can think upon so many (including myself in the past) who wasted and are wasting their lives. 

I do not know how to put into words the burning desire and burden I have to see God's children act like them. Why do we hang onto the things of this world whether it be money, possessions, entertainment; why do we walk in sin loving pornography, men's praise, earthly goods. I want my life to be nothing short of one that is spent up wholly for Christ. I want my time, energy, effort, thoughts, passions, and desires to be set in Christ Jesus. May my life be worth living not because of who I am or what I have done but rather may my life be worth living because of who I am in Christ Jesus and what he has done in me!

Unto Him be all glory, honor and praise,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday 3-20-10

Acts 4:20  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

Acts 9:20  And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

As I was reading today it really hit me how the gospel changes a life. I mean it seems like such a basic thing to note, but these scriptures and others really brought out the changes that were going on in the early Christian's lives. This changing or transforming from the old to the new should be evident in every person who claims to be a Christian. We should daily be transformed by the Word of God, we cannot grow content to be mediocre Christians, to do so would spell doom on our lives and how they should be lived for Christ. 

In Acts chapter four verse twenty Peter and John are speaking to the Jewish leaders. They basically say "We cannot help but preach the gospel." Why? I believe it was because they were truly repentant of sin, truly grateful for salvation, truly seeking to be Christ-like, their lives were transformed because of the gospel. Likewise in Acts chapter nine verse twenty Paul almost immediately after being converted goes and begins to preach in the 
synagogues. Why? Because the gospel transforms lives. We were not saved so we could grow comfortable in this world, but rather to die-to-self each morning on our knees abandon all else but Christ and pick up our cross and follow Him. I cannot express in words the burning desire I have in my heart to see Christians be just what that word means: Christ-like. I want my life to count, no being filled up with this world, no conforming to the status quo, I want my life to be nothing less than reckless pursuit after my Creator, Savior, and Sustainer!

Please pray the various pastors/missionaries/teachers who will be proclaiming forth the word of God tomorrow. Ask God for his grace and power to be upon their lives, and that He would receive much glory from his people.

In Christ alone our hope is firm,

Friday 3-19-20

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Just a really short thought but powerful one (at least to me). As I read this just the necessity of preaching the gospel and sending others to preach was shown quite vividly. These are some of the last words Jesus speaks unto the Christians gathered there as he ascended into heaven. Jesus' doesn't ask who will go, they don't pick straws to see who is going to have to witness. Jesus says very bluntly "ye shall receive power" and then "ye shall be witnesses unto me". I do not believe he leaves room for debate or second guessing like most American Christians act like. May wherever I go may my life be spent knowing and showing Jesus Christ!

In Christ,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday 3-15-10

Luke 22:63-65

"63 ¶  And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.
64  And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?
65  And many other things blasphemously spake they against him."

What kind of gospel do I preach? When persecution comes what kind of gospel will I preach? Jesus was mocked for living and preaching the gospel. Jesus was spit upon for living and preaching the gospel. Jesus was beat for living and preaching the gospel. Jesus was lied about for living and preaching the gospel. Jesus was slapped and humiliated for living and preaching the gospel. Jesus was brutally tortured for living and preaching the gospel. Jesus was horrifically murdered for living and preaching the gospel. 

I by no means seek persecution for faith in Jesus Christ. But I do expect it to come, Jesus warns us about it in Matthew 5. He says we are blessed when others revile us, persecute us, and say all manner of evil against us. I honestly do not get why most Christians are content to live nominal lives and never proclaim an offensive gospel. May I never grow content with a "peace-time" mentality and not pick up my cross and follow hard after Jesus Christ. But wherever I go, may I live a life which there is no explanation for except that I be a follower of Jesus Christ. May by God's grace I stand firm the face of persecution, not relenting or recanting, but rather boldly proclaiming Christ's death and love. May I be one who can die for Christ, because I live daily for him!

May grace be with you,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday 3-14-10

Luke 12:21  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Luke 12:31  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

What a fatal error that we could become so busy with this life that we would not be rich toward God. As I look forward in the next month or so to getting a job to support myself as I serve God this summer here at home and at my churches. As I begin for the first time to draw a regular paycheck I want to the basis of why I am working, what I spend my money on and just how I think about money and worldly possessions in general to be based off of Luke 12:21 and 31. 

God is the author of my salvation, the finisher of my faith. God is the source of my joy and fulfiller of all my desires. His glory is the purpose of my existence. May worldly possessions, vainglory, and all the empty promises of sin fade at the beauty of Christ Jesus and his love for me. May my life not be spent laying up treasure for myself here on earth, but rather at crowns which I will cast at my saviors feet!

May we truly be living sacrifices,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday 3-13-10

Luke 5:11  And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Previous to this verse Peter, James and John had just made the catch of their lives. They had so many fish that their boat was fixing to sink.. I cannot imagine how many thousands of fish they had. I do imagine that what they just caught would have paid a very handsome sum. Yet they walked away from it, to follow Jesus! I think of the Israelites when God rescued them from Egypt, they literally walked out of Egypt with the treasures of Egypt. Yet they took what God gave them and made idols of the material possessions. 

How I have been like unto the Israelites; I've taken the possessions that God has given me and used them for my selfish desires and wicked practices. I thank God for working in my heart and convicting me, and rescuing me from sin. It is only by his grace and power that such a feat could be done. As I read this evening it really convicted me to check where my desires where, to make sure that they are set in Christ and not worldly possessions. The words to a old hymn come to mind "My richest gain I count but loss". How true the best thing the world offers cannot begin to compare to what I have in Christ Jesus! 

May you have a blessed Lord's day,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday 3-12-10

Mark 10:43-45

"43  But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
44  And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
45  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

Over the past several days through The Word, God has shown me my wrong attitude towards serving. Well particularly serving at home, I find great joy in being used of God to help and minister to others outside of my family. Yet when "rubber meets the road" here at home I often grip and complain, and do my best to keep from serving. How hypocritical! As I read this the Holy Spirit convicted me and I had to repent. I know that it was God's work in my heart that made me grimace at the thought of how stinking selfish and prideful I've been. 

As I read verse 45 my heart just grew heavy at the thought of all that Jesus did to minister unto me.  How he bore insults and false accusations, how he was spit upon and slapped. How the thorns were shoved down upon his skull, and scourging (ie. Roman half-death) he took - some say no doubt that his organs would hang down because his back was ripped open so badly - for me! We have not gone into detail of the agony of the cross or much less the spiritual burden that was placed upon him because of my pride, lusts, lies, hate, and rebellion... Yet whenever there is a small task which needs to be done at home, well it's to much of an inconvenience, or I don't feel like it. Oh may God work mightily in my heart and grant me a true, humble servants heart!

Be in prayer for the various pastors/teachers/missionaries who will be proclaiming the word of God on Sunday. 

Blessings in the name of Christ Jesus,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thursday 3-11-10

James 1:22-24

"22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was."

As I was working on memorizing James 1 this morning these verses really convicted me. Here's some observations I had: 1. If anyone just hears (or reads) God's word but doesn't apply it to their lives they are deceiving their own selves. 2. The person who is a "hearer" is like the guy who takes a quick glance at the mirror then goes on his way. 3. The person who just take a quick glance at God's word but doesn't apply it, doesn't dwell on it, ect. is only going to forget what the word said.

Likewise if I am not in God's word throughout the day I have a tendency to forget what manner of man am I. So about two months ago I switched to reading a three chapters, three times a day (morning, afternoon, and evening). While this has helped greatly in having more time in God's word (and coming to love God's word more and more), it also means that I tend to become distracted with what I need to do after I finish my bible reading. Which can lead to once again just "taking a glance" at God's word without any deep convictions or changes taking place in my heart.  May I "pull out the mirror" throughout the day, studying it and seeing how my heart, desires and affections need to be shaped and changed accordingly. And may God grant me the grace to live out Matthew 16:24 in denying myself, taking up my cross and following unreservedly Jesus Christ.

In Christ alone,

Wednesday 3-10-10

Matthew 15:8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Goes hand in hand with the verse(s) I was memorizing today James 1: 22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." Definitely convicting.. how easy it is to fall into rendering only "lip service" to God, or to just hear (read) his word and not apply it to my life. It is a dangerous trap to fall into only serving God outwardly. I thank God for rescuing me from going through the motions of serving him, while my heart was set in sin. May he keep my heart set on him, may I draw near to him with my heart and my life bring him much honor. 

Please pray for Japan in 2009 the number of suicides exceeded 30,000 for the twelfth year straight. Please pray that God will raise up laborers to go!

Blessings in the name of Jesus,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday 3-9-10

Quickly some observations surrounding Jesus being tempted.

Matthew 4:2-3 "2  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread."

My heart (which Jeremiah 17 says is deceitful and desperately wicked) knows exactly when I am weakest and will attack full fledged there. Just like Satan knew that Jesus would be no doubt weak and famished after fasting for 40 days. I need to be on the alert for where and how I will be tempted.

Matthew 4:5-7 "5  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7  Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

Another tactic of Satan/flesh is to tell me that I can indulge in sin because I will have forgiveness, or that this one time isn't going to hurt. I love Jesus' response, because if I know something is wrong and I do it anyway, am I not in a manner of speaking "tempting God". Who is to say that I will not die in the sin. I think what really hit me about this was that Jesus in essence was saying don't mess with sin. I think of Ananias and Saphira, who deceived the apostles and were struck dead instantly for lying to Peter.

Matthew 4:8-9 "8  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."

How Satan promised glorious things to Jesus yet they could not compare to the the glory He would receive through dying on the cross. Likewise Satan offers pleasures in sin, yet they cannot even begin to compare to the pleasures found in Christ. These are not just words, I have searched for water in broken cisterns and have found that only living and satisfying water is found Christ Jesus.

Unto him who is able to do above what we ask or think,

Monday 3-8-10

Malachi 1:7-8

"7  Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
8  And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts."

Real quickly just a couple observations. The children of Israel were offering these sacrifices that were obviously not the best. Let's take a look: "Ye offer polluted bread", "ye offer the blind", "ye offer the lame and sick". These "sacrifices" weren't sacrifices at all, they were what was left over, not even second place they were horrible animals. In fact God knows just how bad they are and he calls them evil.. he tells them to offer them to their governor. Why? I believe it was to make them think, because they knew that what they were "offering" to the Lord was so bad that even the government wouldn't want it. 

What struck me wasn't what I head a bunch of my life about "giving your best to Jesus". It wasn't about whether or not you wear a suit on Sunday. In the years past all I attributed to "giving your best to Jesus" was how someone dressed and if they knew bible lingo. It's not about that, God couldn't care less if I went to church with bluejeans or a three-piece suit. What God does care about is the heart, He wants all my desires and affection to be upon Him, He wants me to flee sin and be pure for him. How does this fit in to the passage? Well my dress right, talk right, act right isn't not what God desires, that is like offering him a lame and sick sacrifice, which verse 8 says is evil. According to John 15 if I abide in Christ and He in me then my joy will be made full, and I believe that that is what God wants.. for me to be completely satisfied in him, so that he would receive glory through my life.

Please pray for bro Tony Howeth and Mrs. Stacey Howeth. They are currently traveling to Ireland for 10 days if I remember their schedule right. Please pray that God's grace and power would be upon brother Tony as he preaches. Also that he would keep them safe in their various travels.

In Christ,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday 3-7-10

Proverbs 1:7-9 
"7 ¶  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9  For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck."

While I did my normal bible reading today (through Zephaniah), this proverb (which I read this morning) really struck me more than the passage in Zephaniah. Just going to be completely honest with this my flesh screamed out in horror as I read this. It hated the very idea of what these verses had to say, and so much more my desire to see them implemented in my life. To be brief (as I am attempting to be more disciplined in my getting up each morning), the instruction, counsel, wisdom that dad gives, shares with me should be something I delight in. The old man hates to submit, hates to be humbled, he loves to rebel, to always be right, to boast himself. I thank God that the old man no longer is who I am, for in Christs' death I gained a new identity, sin longer has a hold on me for it was crucified with Christ on the cross. So now I am free to fear God, to honor my parents, to walk in wisdom and instruction and not foolishness and sin. May God grant to grace to my that is needed to listen to the commands, and instruction of my parents. May I honor my mom and dad, and may God receive glory through that relationship.

Please pray for a young missionary couple (in training): Chris Waye and his family. They just arrived in Peru for 6 months of hands on training and practice. Please ask God to use this time to grow them, and use them for his glory. 

Unto the author and finisher of our faith,

Saturday 3-6-10

Micah 6:6-8 

"6  Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? 
7  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

As I read this the reality of "What do I have to offer God", struck home again and again. So often I like to think or act like I bring something to the table in my relationship with God. According to the word of God all I have to offer is equal to rags that have been used to clean a filthy toilet. I think well if I do this, or do that God will bless me more, or love me more. No these  things could not be further from the truth. God's perfect love is made evident in that nothing I do can make him love me any more or any less. 

Three things God says he desires, each of these things I am dependent on him to enable me to do. To do justly or turn from my sin, to longer walk wickedly. To love mercy, just as God pours out new mercies on me, so should I love mercy. To walk humbly with God, or as Jesus said to "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except itabide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." (John 15:4)

May you have a blessed Lord's day,

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thursday 3-4-10

Obadiah 1:3-4

"3  The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
4  Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD."

One of those passages that that I read hating it and loving it at the same time. I know that this is a warning that I need, but in my pride I don't want to admit it. I to often get boastful and prideful and like to "lift myself up" above others and even God. I love men's praise and revel in the moment that I receive it, but it is passages like these which make utter horror and fear grip my heart as I begin to move my confidence and trust from God's trust to my own self-reliance. I will not pretend to act as if I have pride near conquered, or even know how to conquer it aside from complete dependence on God. For if I look anywhere else other than the cross as my means of overcoming pride then I lift myself above the cross. For in the cross alone is found victory over pride and all sin. May God drive me to my knees before him in utter dependence on his grace and humility because of his grace which he so freely bestows upon me.

I have a praise and a prayer request; today is brother Tony Howeth's birthday. Words and time would fail me to say how much my God has used him in my life, I thank God for him daily, he is such a blessing! I also encourage you to pray for him and his family, as there is continuing to mount bills from the various medical expenses. 

In Christ,

Wednesday 3-3-10

Joel 2:12-13

"12 ¶  Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil."

Some great verses reminding me of what God wants. I thought it was so well put in the beginning of verse 13 "rend your heart, and not your garments". God is looking for a true change of heart, not just our emotions or feelings. He desires to see repentance, true repentance not just a temporary I am sorry.. never going to do that again.. rend my garment.. type deal. I've been guilty of not turning to God will all my heart, many times have I "repented" but not really, because then I would have to give up my sin. God is good, gracious and merciful he has forgiven me of all people! The least deserving hypocrite of all to be saved from sin and hell.. God's mercies, love and grace are truly overwhelming!

Please pray for the Tolson family. They are a young missionary couple finishing up deputation before heading to China. Mrs. Natasha is pregnant, however the baby has what is called "body stalk anomaly", basically the baby has very little chance of going full term. And if it is born alive it will only live a few minutes. Please pray for God's grace and comfort during this time.

Love through Christ alone,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday 3-2-10

Hosea 7:2 "And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness:"

Wow! What a statement!

As I read this, all I could think is how grateful I am of the cross! What Jesus did upon that cruel cross was totally and completely for me, there is no longer remembered any wickedness that I have committed. By Christ Jesus' death I am made righteous, not by any merit of my own, but rather Christ's blood makes me holy. As I read this the weight of what is being said just struck me, that this is what it is like to live without the blood of Christ applied to one's life. That is the kind of condemnation that I deserve! 

How little I take my salvation to be sometimes. Father I repent of not being thankful for my eternal salvation from sin and eternal torment and destruction. May God use this to increase my love for him, and my burden for seeing souls saved from eternal damnation. 


Sunday 2-28-10

Daniel:8 "¶  But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank:"

As I read this verse I thought of why Daniel purposed in his heart. It was not some out of the blue, "Hey let's do a really noble thing and not drink wine and eat the king's meat". That is not where this decision to boldly obey God came from, rather I believe it came from a real personal daily relationship that Daniel had with God Almighty. As I read this I once again thought of James 1:12 "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." The simple beauty of this verse just becomes more and more clear as I read it. That the only way to endure temptation is to love the Lord. May my life be a testimony to God's grace and power, may he sanctify me, that all of me would be set apart for the masters use.

Saturday 2-27-10

Ezekiel 33:31-32

"31  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
32  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not."

These verses so well describe how I was for many years. I saw what I would be apart from the grace of God, a deceiver, a liar, a lover of my sin rather then a lover the only true and living God. While these verses are what I would be without God's grace, these verses could have described me beautifully for many years. I would come to church, bring my bible, sing the songs, know the answers, everything a good young Christian was supposed to be and do. Only one problem, it was fake. Now honestly I did enjoy church well to an extent, I didn't care for the preaching because I would hear God's word but not do it, but other than that I enjoyed it. It made me feel good, I was self-righteous. May the Holy Spirit continue to instill in me a greater love for God, may I never "play church" again, ever in my life.

Please pray that this earthquake in Chile will open more doors and reveal the need for laborers to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Also a praise that Jason Holt's family (wife and three kids) are completely fine and were not hurt at all.

May you have a blessed Lords day,

Friday 2-26-10

Ezekiel 20:43 "And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed."

As I read this I thought "lothe myself"? It's such a strange idea in world that tells us to love ourselves, embellish ourselves in this or that, to treat ourselves to this thing or to do this because we deserve it. Our concept is to love ourselves, not lothe ourselves. While this idea that I am to lothe myself because of the evil I've committed seems foreign, as I thought about it I do it all the time. Well not to myself but to others, I look upon homosexuals, rapists, fornicators, murderers, thieves, liars and condemn them and what they do. Yet I look upon my own heart from which lies, adultery, pride, murder, thefts, rebellion come from, and I commend myself rather then condemn myself? 

How conceited my heart it to look upon other men and lothe them for what they have done. Yet I look upon my own heart and life and love it. May the reality and heaviness of my sin never leave my mind. May when I compare myself beside a loving, holy, pure and righteous God, may I lothe myself for the evils I have committed. 

Please pray for those pastors, missionaries and teachers who will be proclaiming the word of God on Sunday. Ask God to send his grace upon them as they finish studying, and that he would speak through each one to bring himself glory and honor!
Unto Christ be all glory honor and praise,