Tuesday, July 17, 2018

day no. 14,512: our champion

Psalm 89
The heart of a people is with their champion. As he goes, they go. So when Goliath was bested by David, the Philistines fled for fear since their champion lay headless on the battlefield. When you have David as your shepherd, you have hope and confidence. The man who destroyed bears and lions with his bare hands and decapitated the giant is on your side and for you. What could possibly go wrong? We have the son of David, the better giant slayer on our side. What shall we fear? Will He be bested? Will He grow old or tired and fail us? No, He is a living God who sits enthroned with sin, Satan and death as His footstool, of what or whom shall we fear? As Jesus goes, we go and He goes on forever in life and joy.

Monday, July 16, 2018

day no. 14,511: an age of ministry

Numbers 4
In order to serve as a priest, one must be at least 30 years old and cannot be older than 50. In Luke 3:23 we discover that Jesus also waited until he was 30 before He began a public ministry. While Jesus certainly spent the 30 years previous diligently keeping the law by doing what God had commanded and avoiding what God had forbid, He did not step into a public, more priestly role until He was 30. These data points are more descriptive than prescriptive given that the priesthood has been fulfilled in Jesus, but they do give some credence to the practice of waiting for men to turn 30 before they are considered for the office of elder in a local church.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

day no. 14,510: capturing the moment

Psalm 88
This is what happens when you write the song while you're in the mood. This is raw. This is unfiltered. This is what pain and suffering and being tested actually sounds like. Many wait until the moment passes and then in reflection write about what it was like, but this captures the essence of affliction as it is happening. This is the depths of a soul crying out to God certain He's there, hoping He cares.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

day no. 14,509: throwing shade at the light

Jeremiah 23:33
“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will cast you off, declares the Lord.’"

I love this! I love everything about it. The backstory is that God has given Jeremiah some pretty dire predictions of the future to proclaim to His fellow people. So much so that the people have come to expect it like young 20-somethings renting a home near the railroad tracks come to expect the intermittent horn blast and floor rumble routine that comes with the territory. So God here gives Jeremiah some back up. He packs Jeremiah's lunchbox with some sass to serve back at his dissenters. God's got His prophet's back.

The next time Jeremiah goes out and the people see him and mockingly inquire "What's the bad news today?" his response is to be, "You are!"

That is such a great comeback. You can't throw shade at the Light.

Friday, July 13, 2018

day no. 14,508: we are beggars! this is true.

Martin Luther's last words, written on a scrap piece of paper read, 

"We are beggars! This is true."

This calls to mind Jesus' first words from His most famous sermon, 

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs if the kingdom of heaven."

No one comes to God save by Christ and no one receives Christ save by beggary.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

day no. 14,507: the golden circle:"why" before "what"

Stan Hayek sent ( this link ) to a TED talk by Simon Sinek entitled, "How Great Leaders Inspire Action," out to CG leaders and asked us to watch. 

I really appreciated the golden circle diagram emphasizing that your "Why" should be driving your "How" and your "What." Why inspires, what solicits. You can get 10% of people to get behind what you solicit, but you can change the world by gripping the hearts of 84% of people if you inspire them. Some people will always hold out no matter "what" you do and some will be on board based on the "what" alone; but inspiration, that comes from leading with your "why," will rally the troops to insist on sweating and bleeding if only for the opportunity to be part of "why" you're doing.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

day no. 14,506: in our stead

Numbers 3:44-45
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the people of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle. The Levites shall be mine: I am the Lord. 

When it comes to matter of priesthood it seems that God prefers substitution. He institutes imputation and substitution. All the firstborn of all the people of Israel were to be substituted for the Levites. The Levites would serve as a consecrated people on behalf of their brothers. They would approach God on behalf of the entire nation. They were set apart for this particular responsibility. 

Thousands of years later, Jesus would become our great High Priest. He was not from the tribe of Levi, He was from God. He brought the sacrifice of His life into the most holy place and split the dividing veil forever. Jesus is our Priest and our sacrifice and most importantly, in every way, our substitute. He took our sin and gave us His righteousness. Salvation itself stands firmly on the solid ground of substitution.