Wednesday, July 31, 2013

nothing is not a little something

John 6:63a

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
When Martin Luther was debating whether fallen man is utterly dependent upon the Holy Spirit for regeneration, he cited this text and added:
“The flesh profits nothing. And that ‘nothing’ is not a little something.”
This is true in two senses:

(1) The flesh does not profit anything.
(2) This point is not merely a nuanced musing.

The flesh cannot profit anything.
This is of no small import.
This is, in fact, paramount in defining from where justification originates.
The quick answer::not from you!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

discernment isn't just telling the difference between right and wrong

"Discernment isn't just telling the difference between right and wrong but between telling right and almost right." ~ Charles Haddon Spurgegon

2 Timothy 4:1-5
I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. 4 They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

in case it's been a while since you last shared

Here are some tips for sharing the Gospel with someone in a concise way that draws on familiar, easy-to-remember Bible verses to walk through the problem and solution of sin. This is not the best way I can imagine, but it’s a way I could imagine myself naturally working through the most crucial elements of God’s redemptive plan in less than 5 minutes.

The goal of Part 1 is to lead the person to an understanding and acceptance of their sin and the consequences before God for it. The goal of Part 2 is to present God’s solution to the person’s sin, His one and only Son and that accepting/receiving this gift involves taking steps to follow Him in obedience by His Spirit.

You should see the contrast between Sin/Son, Sentence/Solution, Seperation/Sanctification naturally being played off of one another.

If it helps, great!
If not, use whatever works best for you.
Take it. Leave it. Modify it.

The point is: Share the Good News like it's Good News that you want to share!!!
Part 1
1)    Sin
James 4:17 - So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.
2)    Sentence
Romans 6:23a – for the wages of sin is death
3)    Separation
Is 59:2 - But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.
Part 2
1)    Son
Romans 6:23 full – for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
2)    Solution
Romans 10:9 - If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
3)    Sanctification
Romans 12:1 - Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.
John 3:16 – for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

countdown to Candeo

Head on over to:

We are beginning 40 days of Q & A's as we count down to the official launch of Candeo Church in the Cedar Valley!

Monday, July 29, 2013

pride and confidence are different‏

Bob Thune absolutely nailed it the other day. This encouraged my heart toward courage and toward humility. Only the Gospel and its proper handling can produce such a blessed paradox of thinking so much less of one’s ability and being so confident as a result.

Here is a quote Thune lifted from G.K. Chesterton on this topic of assurance, confidence, pride and prejudice:
What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition [and] settled upon the organ of conviction, where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed… The old humility was a spur that prevented a man from stopping; not a nail in his boot that prevented him from going on. For the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts,which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims,which will make him stop working altogether.

Please click the link above and read the full post.
It’s not long and will encourage your heart toward confidence in Christ and the gifts He has given you for your good, His glory, the church’s benefit and a witness to the world.

Friday, July 26, 2013

don't crack wise at me‏

I have only recently began to discover Jesus in Proverbs.

He’s always been there.
I was just looking for something else.
Proverbs 18:1
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.
No man can find God on his own.
Every man will aspire only to wickedness by pride or rebellion.
Unless Jesus enters our dilemma, we are destined only for destruction.
Proverbs again and again points us to Jesus.

1 Corinthians 1:24

but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ (is) the power of God and the wisdom of God
Jesus is the wisdom of God.
There is no such thing as wisdom apart from Jesus.
Proverbs is not a “how-to-live” book, but rather a “by-Whom-we-live” book.
Romans 1:5
…to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations…
Does faith produce obedience? Paul hopes so. He boldly proclaimed only 5 verses into his theological treatise regarding the Gospel in Romans that he desired its fruit would produce obedience fueled from faith.
For the sake of His Name among all nations.
We often turn wisdom into wise dealings.
By merely pursuing wise dealings, we can make friends and influence people.
But to whom and for what?
If not for Jesus, it’s not the Gospel or faith that’s driving our exertion.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

real solid sin and real solid righteousness‏

Chambers was firing on all cylinders this morning when he exhorted

To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit. What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin. Actually, that is all He can take from us. And what He gives us in exchange for our sin is real solid righteousness. But we must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration.

Once we have done that, the Spirit of God will show us what we need to surrender next. Along each step of this process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves. Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

We will suffer a sharp painful disillusionment before we fully surrender.When people really see themselves as the Lord sees them, it is not the terribly offensive sins of the flesh that shock them, but the awful nature of the pride of their own hearts opposing Jesus Christ. When they see themselves in the light of the Lord, the shame, horror, and desperate conviction hit home for them.

If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you.

This chart which Bob Thune introduced me to below explains well this growth of awe and repulsion the true disciple of Christ experiences. 
If the only time in our lives we see ourselves as sinners in need of grace and direction is an isolated moment in the past before God, we are not getting it. If the only life you were happy to give to God was the ruined one you left behind, you are not getting it. Your worst life then and your best life now are all God’s and only rightly to be called “Christian” if found in confidence in His work on your behalf.

Agree with God: You STILL suck!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

hot off the whine press‏

Proverbs 30:33

For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.
Pressing grapes produces wine.
Pressing pride produces whining.
Being hard-pressed ALWAYS produces something and that something places the object acted upon in a different state than if it had NOT been hard-pressed.
What is initiating the pressure and what is being pressed upon determines the outcome.
When God presses us, it produces poured out wine for our good and His glory in pressing us into the stamp and image of Christlikeness.
Just like in John 15 where we observe that pruning produces fruit, pressing produces change. Pruning hurts, but it’s to our good and God’s glory as increased fruit production ministers to us, our neighbors and our God’s delight.
Back to pressing.

Are we willing to be crushed that the full ripeness of our hurt may produce sweet wine for the rest?
God is gracious to crush us at the right time in order to prevent the whine from being bitter.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

the faith of a thief‏

Luke 23:32-43

32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals,one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
I never before realized the magnitude of the thief’s faith.
Both thieves/criminals were looking for salvation:
The first said, “Save yourself and us too!”
The second said, “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
The first thought salvation was through circumstances.
The second believed salvation was through Jesus.
The second criminal knew that he and Jesus and the other criminal were dying. He was under no delusion that they were going to survive this ordeal. His appeal was not be released from the penalty of his wrongdoing, but to be released from the eternal weight of his separation from Jesus. He acknowledged that Jesus was the only one dying that day without sin.
He believed Jesus was not dying, but becoming the King of the universe.
He believed in eternal life and both he and Jesus being somewhere soon once this death business was done. He believed Jesus would be there in power because of Who He was and is and was going to be ever after.
He believed that Jesus’ remembrance of him was more meaningful than being removed from the weight of his current circumstances.
He agreed with God that Jesus was good and he was not.
Three men died that day:
One died IN his sin.
One died TO his sin.
One died FOR sin.

Monday, July 22, 2013

like sanding through the hour glass

Monday, 8 pm, rented random orbital sander from Menards.

Began sanding.
Realized I needed Edger.
9:45 pm, rented edger from Menards.
Continued sanding until 4:42 am.
Swept floors and cleaned up rental equipment to avoid $25 charge.
Went to basement apt. where we are staying and showered.
Returned equipment at 7 am.
Took Tuesday off from work.
Went back to house to stain floors.
8 am to 1:20 pm stained floors.
Came home and laid on rug in living room.
Slept until 3 pm.
Got up and showered.
Stain dried.
I ate dinner and went to my softball game.
We lost.
Was sweaty already and headed over to house at 10:30 and put on first coat of polyurethane.
Got home at midnight.
Went to bed.
Got up at 4:45 am.
Went over to house and put on second and final coat of polyurethane.
Came home.

Drove to work.

Roughly 36 hrs total.
New floors.

spot the lie: FRIENDS edition‏

So Paige and I were watching FRIENDS the other night when this gem was dropped:

Chandler: I can’t believe I did this! What an idiot!
Monica: Oh, stop beating yourself up! People make mistakes! These things happen! There aren’t any messages you’ve forgotten to give me are there? (Chandler has a disgusted look on his face.) Apparently you’re not very good at it! I…
Chandler: Do you think he’ll ever forgive me?
Rachel: Of course he will! But Chandler the most important thing is you forgive yourself!Chandler: Y’know what? I-I kinda have.
Rachel: Already? That’s pretty bad what you did.
Did you spot the lie?
I know, I know. Which one, right?
Chandler is worried that the one he has wronged may not forgive him.
Rachel reassures Chandler that Joey will forgive him, but encourages Chandler to forgive himself. Because after all, that’s “the most important thing,” right?
It isn’t.
It’s not even possible.
Additionally, Rachel proposes that the One wronged is somehow less important in the equation than your own processing of the wrong you have committed.
Nothing could be more religious than making my sin against someone else about my disappointment with myself in making the situation about me and my struggle to live with what I’ve done.
Acts 2:22-23

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
Acts 3:14-15
14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
Acts 5:30
The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.
Peter simply slays people for their sins. It is rightly said that our sins nailed Jesus to the cross. They did. Peter’s audience, however, may have included men who literally had the hammers in the hands in addition to those who had cheered, “Crucify Him!” only months earlier. These people killed Jesus. Literally. So what is Peter’s response?
“God will surely forgive you for this. The most important thing is that you forgive yourselves.”
Acts 2:37-38
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
You do not have the authority or jurisdiction to forgive yourself.

Friday, July 19, 2013

friday funny

Next time a golden plate falls from the heavens, go ahead and put it in your spam file. Let's not base your entire life on a religion that's old enough for my dad to be like "Oh yea, that's not true... uh, that didn't happen."

~ Daniel Tosh
Have a great weekend and don't believe the hype.
It's not like Paul didn't specifically warn us against stuff like this when he wrote,
Galatians 1:6-9
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! 9 As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!

"better to have loved and lost...

…than to never have loved at all.” (J)

Try it.” (K)

~ Men In Black

Paige and I watched “Shadowlands” last night.
In the movie, C.S. Lewis states,
Why love, if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore: only the life I have lived. Twice in that life I've been given the choice: as a boy and as a man. The boy chose safety, the man chooses suffering. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal.”
J may have been correct in pointing K to the proverbial sentiments attached to giving yourself in love, but K was right to point out that “better” is far from “easier.”
I believe whole-heartedly that God is for my good and His glory.
And I do pray for comfort and ease, but I pray more for faith to grow and believe when I’m uncomfortable and uneasy because my “better," my good and His glory at times may require my pain.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

going through the motions

In prison, they swab your arm with an alcohol pad before they lethally inject you.

~ George Carlin

Understand how silly that is.

It is easy to get so caught up in the motions of things that we fail to think through why we do much of anything. 

We do what we do because it's what we do, don't you?

How could a person who is about to be dead in less than 10-15 minutes develop an infection from the injection that is about to kill them?

sharp pain prod‏

Chambers mined this out from God’s repository this morning.
The Word of God inflicts hurt on us more than sin ever could, because sin dulls our senses.
This hurt is heavier than that which comes in concert with sin, but it is more capable of producing godly repentance and faithfulness through its penetrating blow.
Sharp pains produces more violent and necessary activity than dull aches. God’s Word works to cut you to the quick. Sin seeks to erode your soul like sediment: slowly and surely.
Paige and I have a few shrubs that we have mown over time and time again. We merely address the surface problem. It is effective at making a nice-looking lawn, but it does nothing for the actual health and long-term beauty of the yard.
It is more work and more violent to dig deep and pull up roots, but it is more effective at resolving the actual problem: both the surface level aesthetic and the long-term logistic.
Get into the Word.
But do so primarily to get the Word into you.
James 1:25
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

franks n' beans

Could this can of poke and beans be any bigger?

This is the size of beans necessary to feed Candeo Church as of July 7, 2013.

As big as this can is, we are praying that God adds to our numbers enough that an absurdly-sized, AndyWarhol-ridiculous can of beans would need to be opened to sustain our congregation.

I seriously had a difficult time one-handing this bad boy.

Some would say this post doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

How 'bout I open a can on you and we find out?

jack bauer, billy bad apple-tastic!!!

John 10:18

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
Jesus just said, “No one can kill Me without My permission.”
That not only is the single toughest thing I have ever heard anyone say, it is made even more so by the fact that He could cash that check. It wasn’t just a tough thing to say: it was a tough thing to do.
No one can choose without caveat the time and place and circumstances of their demise.
But if one could, they would not.
If you controlled that much, you would choose not to die.
Jesus DID control that much.
And He died.

On purpose.
With purpose.

In our place.
For our sin.
In our place.
For our lives.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

did we ever reach a conclusion on that whole "how many angels can fit on the head of a pin?" thing?


Is this tissue as soft as an angel is soft?
Do we know that angels are, in fact, soft?

Or is this tissue as soft as angels prefer?

On a scale of  ZERO to ANGEL, how soft is this tissue?
Angelsoft, baby!

The product attempts to qualify the matter by stating it's "an ideal balance of Softness & STRENGTH."

How does that clarify things?

So does the "angel" part of "angelsoft" refer to how strong the tissue is?
If so, I was under the impression from before that they were soft.

If strength is what you're going for, I have better suggestions:


No, that clearly doesn't add up.

I think they were going for a double-dip akin to saying, "softsoft."

Because angels live on the tops of clouds and are the winged versions of our dead relatives, right?

Nice try Angelsoft!

Unless angels are, in fact, as strong as they are soft or as soft as they are strong, you've got yourself a dilemma.

put out to pasture‏

John 10:9

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
When we enter through the door of Jesus we find a fenced-in facility.
It is a gated community.
But we do not find a prison yard, we find pasture.
Not only are we saved, but we are set free.
The fences of God’s holiness do not keep us from doing what we want to do, they protect us from what we used to want to do. They define tangibly for us that which is pleasing to Him and since we love Him we long to do what He loves.
The pasture is for freedom.

1 John 5:3

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Candeo Church Kids

Kids church at Candeo is a frolic in the Falls.
It is fun to see all the young kids who will get to call Candeo home in the coming years.

we prefer to worry

Mr. Oz is much better than Dr. Oz any day, hands down, no question.

See below.

What is the thing that not only disturbs you but makes you a disturbance?It is always something you cannot deal with yourself. “They rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more.”Persist in the disturbance until you yet get face to face with the Lord Himself;do not deify common sense.
Watch how we limit the Lord by remembering what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past: “I always failed there, and I always shall”; consequently we do not ask for what we want, “It is ridiculous to ask God to do this.” If it is an impossibility, it is the thing we have to ask.If it is not an impossible thing, it is not a real disturbance. God will do the absolutely impossible.
Our agony comes through the willful stupidity of our own heart. We won’t believe, we won’t cut the shore line, we prefer to worry on.
If you have faith in Jesus, it is stupid to withhold hope in God for things which seem impossible while leaning only on Him for things you feel you have under control.
It is also stupid to call that “faith.”
Do not attempt to cut the thickness of your pride with the water of self-deprecation. The problem cannot be that you are too far away. Who could be so far that God could not reach them? What problem could be so large as to stump its Creator?
Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You are included in the “anything else” category.
You cannot separate God’s love from you if by faith you have received and by grace embraced Jesus as Lord.
Stop trying to defy Scripture by becoming the one thing that God cannot overcome.
He can.
You can’t.

Friday, July 12, 2013

not by generations, but regeneration

My wife was reading this blog the other day and forwarded me a note.

She indicated a point the author made that struck her:
God does not have grandchildren.
John 1:12-13
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born,not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
You are not regenerated by being born to the right parents at the right time because your parents were believers and they really wanted you to believe too.
The will of man and pride and legacy cannot accomplish regeneration.
John 3:3
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
May I state the obvious in proposing a person cannot birth themself.
John 6:44
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
May I state the obvious in proposing a person cannot draw themselves up from the depths of their mire and no one can draw up another.
John 6:63
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
The flesh profits nothing.
Not a little something.
This truth is spirit and life.
It is life-giving to understand that you don’t have life.
It is refreshing to realize you are stale.
It is domesticating to understand you are feral.
Life comes in acknowledging death.
God does not have grandchildren.
It is by blood, flesh and men we are born to inherit an earthly life.
It is through faith in Jesus that we are reborn to inherit eternal life.
"Even the best church planter or pastor in the world can’t regenerate his child’s heart. You can’t parent a kid into conversion any more than you can pastor people into salvation. We affirm regeneration by the power of God, not by parenting. But we’re called to dazzle our kids with Jesus, delight in the Gospel, and train them faithfully, all while trusting the Spirit to act upon our kids.” ~Dave Harvey, Am I Called?

second verse same as the first: closing time edition

Today we close on our new home in Cedar Falls.
It is nice to have this second half of the moving puzzle box checked as "done."
Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you?
We've got some work to do now.
It is no small irony that Lauren is to this day called Scoob by her mother, my mother-in-law, and is, of couse, swooping in to assist us get the house ready to call a home for Team Van Voorst and baby Schaeffer shortly.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

oh well: too deep, too far, too little and too hard‏

So Chambers took the past few days to pound this point into my skull
The woman said to Him, ’Sir, You have nothing to draw [water] with, and the well is deep’ —John 4:11

…beware of exhibiting religious deceit by saying, “Oh, I have no misgivings about Jesus, only misgivings about myself.” If we are honest, we will admit that we never have misgivings or doubts about ourselves, because we know exactly what we are capable or incapable of doing. But we do have misgivings about Jesus. Andour pride is hurt even at the thought that He can do what we can’t.

My misgivings arise from the fact that I search within to find how He will do what He says. My doubts spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself, I should bring them into the light and confess them openly— “Lord, I have had misgivings about You. I have not believed in Your abilities, but only my own. And I have not believed in Your almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.”

“Where then do You get that living water?” —John 4:11

“The well is deep”— and even a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew! (John 4:11). Think of the depths of human nature and human life; think of the depth of the “wells” in you. Have you been limiting, or impoverishing, the ministry of Jesus to the point that He is unable to work in your life? Suppose that you have a deep “well” of hurt and trouble inside your heart, and Jesus comes and says to you, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:1). Would your response be to shrug your shoulders and say, “But, Lord, the well is too deep, and even You can’t draw up quietness and comfort out of it.” Actually, that is correct.Jesus doesn’t bring anything up from the wells of human nature— He brings them down from above. We limit the Holy One of Israel by remembering only what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past, and also by saying, “Of course, I cannot expect God to do this particular thing.” The thing that approaches the very limits of His poweris the very thing we as disciples of Jesus ought to believe He will do. We impoverish and weaken His ministry in us the moment we forget He is almighty. The impoverishment is in us, not in Him. We will come to Jesus for Him to be our comforter or our sympathizer, but we refrain from approaching Him as our Almighty God.

The reason some of us are such poor examples of Christianity is that we have failed to recognize that Christ is almighty. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment or surrender to Jesus Christ. When we get into difficult circumstances, we impoverish His ministry by saying, “Of course, He can’t do anything about this.” We struggle to reach the bottom of our own well, trying to get water for ourselves. Beware of sitting back, and saying, “It can’t be done.” You will know it can be done if you will look to Jesus. The well of your incompleteness runs deep, but make the effort to look away from yourself and to look toward Him.

It is the sin of unbelief that produces the idea that we are too weak to be strong in Him.
It is the sin of pride to use your inferiority as a basis of demeaning His majesty.
It is the sin of gluttony to feast upon insecurity when He declares a fast.
It is the sin of morbid introspection that leads us to put immovable obstacles between Him and us in declaring Him too powerless to raze.

Do NOT look within.

It IS too deep.
It IS too hard.
It IS too far.

For you.

Do not refuse Him because you cannot get a bucket down far enough.
Do not reject Him because He does not come with a bucket.

Repent of your insistence on being saved a certain way.

It is deep.
But He’s deeper.

From its mouth to its mire, the well within you is seemingly bottomless.

He eclipsed the distance from heaven to earth, from God to man by a spotless life, sacrificial death and glorious resurrection.

He can handle the plunge to draw you out and up to God.