Friday, February 28, 2014

day no. 12,912: delicious, delightful and desirable (edible, aesthetic, enviable)

Genesis 3:6

Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Eve saw that the tree was delicious, delightful and desirable.
The tree appealed to three different domains: physical, mental and spiritual.

It was physically good. It was good for eating and would meet that dynamic well. It would taste good. It would nourish the body. It was something your belly would demand.

It was mentally satisfying. It was beautiful. It was good for observing and met that dynamic sufficiently. It delighted the eyes. It was something you wanted to look at and possess. It was not enough merely to look and enjoy, it urged more than merely looking. It inspired the mind. It was fun to mull over.

It was spiritually advantageous. It was desirable for obtaining wisdom. It would make the eater like God in knowing about good and evil and everything in between. It would advance one’s spiritual condition. Spiritually it would meet a need.

It was all of these things that so many things propose: sex, drugs, rock n roll, religion, importance, power, popularity, et cetera.

The tree was all of this, so you understand why its appeal was so powerful.

Yet God had said, “No.”

A simple command really, right?


But how attractive is the grass with the “keep off my yard” sign, eh?

That is our perspective this side of the fall, but doing something simply for the evil sake of it is not mentioned as one of the reasons the tree was attractive to Eve.

The best barometer of whether or not something is good is God’s word on the matter. Something may feel good, taste good, look good and be thought of as good by many and yet be wicked, evil and worthy of eviction from God’s presence by His pronouncement upon it.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

day no. 12,911: measuring a man named moses‏

Exodus 2:11-12

11 Years later, after Moses had grown up, he went out to his own people and observed their forced labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people.12 Looking all around and seeing no one, he struck the Egyptian dead and hid him in the sand.

Exodus 3:10-11

10 Therefore, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh so that you may lead My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
Moses was sure at one point that he was the man to rescue Israel from the abuse of the Egyptians all by himself.
With conviction and passion he did not stand idly by, but rose up to kill an Egyptian found oppressing Israel.
Then doubt and fear set in and Moses fled.
Later, after years in the desert, Moses was not so sure he was the one to deliver anyone from anything. Even if God was going with him to help him do it.  Even if God were to ask him to do it.
The same man had confidence, conviction and cowardice.
We are often tossed about from victory lane to the valley of the shadow, but by God’s grace we are what we are and we are determined to make sure that grace was not given in vain.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

day no. 12,910: two types of advice‏

Proverbs 15:22

Plans fail when there is no counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 9:9
Instruct a wise man, and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man, and he will learn more.
There are two types of people we listen to:
Type 1: people to whom we turn for advice on the very best way to do what we’ve already decided to do.
Type 2: people to whom we turn for advice on what is best to do in the first place
Both require varying degrees of humility to seek on the part of man.
The one requires the admission that we may not know the best way to accomplish the things that are on our hearts.
The other requires the admission that our hearts may not know what is best to accomplish.
The first answers the question: What’s the best way to do this?
The second answers the question: What’s the best thing to do?
To whom do you ask these questions?
Who is looking to you for answers to these questions?

Proverbs 16:2
All a man’s ways seem right to him,
but theLord evaluates the motives.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

day no. 12,909: like a claims adjuster silent before his claimants‏

I was just on the phone for 26 minutes with a customer who was dissatisfied with my service. I have honestly done as much as I can do for them, maybe even more than what would be expected from me, in order to try to help them and serve them and bring them good news. They were unimpressed and accusatory and spent 26 minutes exhausting their anger and ill will towards me.
I don’t know if I had considered the sanctifying work of my job until this morning.

Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet He did not open His mouth.
Like a lamb led to the slaughter
and like a sheep silent before her shearers,
He did not open His mouth.
I feel like I better understand Jesus being a sheep before a shearer and refusing to revile while being reviled by others. Handcuffed by civility and a desire to keep my job, I held my tongue. I appreciate Jesus’ commitment to Scripture in enduring false witnesses and a mock trial. He worked hard to keep a job He begged God to remove from Him the night before in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was a lamb led to the slaughter, but not ignorant or incapable of altering His circumstances. The source of all justice endured injustice in order to justify the ungodly. He is just and the justifier.
1 Peter 2:23
…when He was reviled,
He did not revile in return;
when He was suffering,
He did not threaten
but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.
I’m getting to know Jesus and appreciate Him more as I experience things in keeping with His sufferings. I held my tongue while I was accused. I did not threaten the frustrated customer on the other end of the phone by implying I would now fail to do my best for them. Rather, I promised I would continue to provide the best service I could (whether they appreciate it or not).
The Spirit is turning these thoughts and experiences to Jesus whom I long to know and love more intimately daily.

Monday, February 24, 2014

day no. 12,908: beauty and diversity‏

Genesis 1:26-27

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

27So God created man in His own image;
He created him in the image of God;
He created them male and female.

There is only one God.

That one God refers to Himself here as US and OUR.

He is a Godhead with one nature and three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

When He makes man in His image, He makes a man and a woman who complement each other. Equal in value, dignity and worth, yet different in form and function. Not better or worse. Different.

The Father, Son and Spirit are different persons. They have different functions. They are unique and distinct, yet unified and equal.

Just like men and women.

Different doesn’t mean better or worse.

Is Jesus less majestic because He deferred to His Dad?
Is the Spirit less praiseworthy because He points people past Himself to Jesus?
Is the Father less personal because He sent the Son to be one of us?

Authority, submission, roles and distinction are all part of perfection, not products of imperfection. These are not created as a result of sin or less than ideal.

The world has determined that being different is unacceptable.

God celebrates diversity.

The world strives for complete uniformity and calls it creativity.

Friday, February 21, 2014

day no. 12,905: the flames borrows their rays‏

So I began reading the Old Testament again and thought I would just start, “In the beginning…”

Here’s what I observed tonight.

Genesis 1:3-5

3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” Evening came and then morning: the first day.

On the first day, God created light. God created light because He is light. He possesses within Himself light. He can make it because He has it. Also interesting to note is that whatever this light is that burst forth into our world, it did so apart from the sun, stars or the moon. Those were not yet created.

Genesis 1:16-19

16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to have dominion over the day and the lesser light to have dominion over the night—as well as the stars. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth, 18 to dominate the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 Evening came and then morning: the fourth day.

So light in general borrows its glory from God and the sun, moon and stars borrow their light from the light that borrows its light from God. The sun is not bright because it is. It is bright because God makes it bright.

Revelation 22:5

Night will no longer exist, and people will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.

The Bible is bookended with light and God and the absence of anything artificial required to mediate it. Genesis 1 is the first chapter in the Bible and Revelation 22 is the last chapter in the Bible and they both articulate beautifully that true light is from God and if we have nothing but Him, we have light enough to see everything valuable.

In God we have a Source of everlasting brilliance that will never go out, dim, grow weak, extinguish, etc… He shines continuously forever.

John 8:12

Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

Thursday, February 20, 2014

day no. 12,904: a preview of things to come: Rev 19 & Ps 2‏

I was reading Revelation 19 this morning and it struck me how much of the language and imagery it shared with Psalm 2.

Here are just a few examples:

Revelation 19:9

Then he said to me, “Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate!” He also said to me, “These words of God are true.”

Psalm 2:12b

All those who take refuge in Him are happy.


Revelation 19:15

15 A sharp sword came from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty.

Psalm 2:8-9

8 Ask of Me,
and I will make the nations Your inheritance
and the ends of the earth Your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
You will shatter them like pottery.


Revelation 19:16

And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh:

Psalm 2:5-6

5 Then He speaks to them in His anger
and terrifies them in His wrath:
6 I have consecrated My King
on Zion, My holy mountain.”


Revelation 19:19

Then I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and against His army.

Psalm 2:1-2

Why do the nations rebel
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand,
and the rulers conspire together
against the
Lord and His Anointed One:


Revelation 19:12-14

His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. 13 He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God.14 The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen.

Psalm 2:12

Pay homage to the Son or He will be angry
and you will perish in your rebellion,
for His anger may ignite at any moment.


Revelation 19:11

Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness.

Psalm 2:11

Serve the Lord with reverential awe
and rejoice with trembling.

I love that Psalm 2’s prophecy is fulfilled in the Revelation of Jesus given to John.

Revelation 19:10b

Worship God, because the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Read your Bible and watch it weave together to make much of Jesus from beginning to end.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

day no. 12,903: alert and clothed‏

Revelation 16:15

“Look, I am coming like a thief. The one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go around naked and people see his shame is blessed.”
This is not the first time we have been told that Jesus’ return will “be like a thief in the night.” 
Paul mentioned it in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 and Peter mentioned it in 2 Peter 3:10.
If you knew when and where exactly the thief was coming, you would prepare and plan and then be ready at the moment and place he was to attempt his heist. But thieves do not announce their arrival plans.
Jesus’ second coming will be like a thief in the night. It will happen suddenly and unexpectedly.
Stay alert: Do not neglect the daily discipline of dying to yourself and training yourself in righteousness. Do not get lazy and assumptive. Jesus has not left us without orders or without warning that we must stay alert.
Remain clothed: Do not take off the white robes you received by grace through faith in Christ. Do not put on anything else. Stay clothed in Christ alone. His righteousness is the only garment that will not leave you naked and ashamed.
There is blessing in being awake and ready for the wedding feast.
For example:
Matthew 22:1-14
Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables:2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son.3He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn’t want to come.4Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, ‘Tell those who are invited: Look, I’ve prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

5 But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business.6And the others seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them.7The king was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city.

8 “Then he told his slaves, ‘The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.9Therefore go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.’10So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests.11But when the king came in to view the guests,he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding.12So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

day no. 12,902: burn them all down, my God, my God‏

I was listening to Ghost Ship's "One God" the other day and was struck by the lyric

"Burn them all down, my God, my God!"

I began reflecting upon the idea of asking God to burn down the altars and idols of my heart. Begging Him to intercede and destroy by violence those things in my heart and head that war against giving Him full rule and reign over everything I frequently call "me."

I want to be obedient to take my axe to the trees I'm able to cut down and to put in the effort to raze the idols I've raised up, but if I am to be truly set free from idolatry, God will have to destroy by fire and trial and difficulty those which are grafted to my heart.

I want God to kill and knock over that which would compete for affection with Himself.

It is a scary proposition to offer up to God however.

He is zealous for His Name.

He will certainly come and honor that request. He is excited to make more of Himself in my heart and He is eager to destroy those and that in me wihch opposes Him.

Everything that wars against God will be destroyed someday: even that which is left in me which wars against Him. 

By His grace, after this devastation takes place, I will be left before Him to worship in Spirit and truth forever.

Monday, February 17, 2014

day no, 12,901: common era C and E Christianity‏

We had 490 people at Candeo's first Christmas production. That is amazing. We usually average around 300. So that's nearly 200 extra people today.

People come out for the Christmas.

They also will often show up for Easter.

We endearingly refer to these as C and E Christians.

They are good for 2 out of 52 weeks in a given year.

I reflected upon this today and began thinking about these holidays in terms of birthdays and funerals.

Birthdays and funerals are major life-markers (extremely major in the case of funerals since they are about the most life-changing event in any one person's given life).

But how much relationship do you have with someone if you only attend their birthday parties and their funeral?

Is it enough to say you know a person?

I'm glad you're alive.
I'm sorry you're dead.
It was nice to know you.

But did you really know them?

I don' think it's unfair to question the legitimacy and reality of a person's claim to relationship with someone they do not spend much time with. In any other realm, it seems the answer would be obvious.

Don't deceive yourself.

It's no different here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

day no. 12,898: the Christian life begins and ends in frustration‏

It occurred to me today how frequently my plans become frustrated by certain things or people or circumstances or whatever.
Then it occurred to me that the entire Christian faith is based upon the embracing of frustrated plans. Not only merely accepting, but worshipping God in loud and lavish worship for ruining our lives.
If we are saints, it is because our sinful selves were interrupted and frustrated by a God who mercifully condescended to intervene and redirect our hearts and minds to new affections.
The Christian life begins with a frustration.
Praise God for His attentiveness to frustrate our lives, for not allowing us to wander without wonder, for not giving us the objects of our desires which are not He Himself.
Should it now be any different?
Is frustration only the entrance point to becoming a child of God?
God is gracious to continually interrupt and frustrate our lives in order to accomplish that which His Spirit desires. And praise Him forever for it. Over and over my days have ended differently than their design was in the AM on my sticky notes and planners.
Praise God!
I did not ink into my day: have epiphany about perspective of frustrations.
I did not know to ask or plan for it.

Psalm 37:4
Take delight in the Lord,
and He will give you your heart’s desires.
May the increasing desires of our hearts be He who has promised us His entire Person by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
May we gain daily more of that which never runs out, drink that which never runs dry, feast on that which never spoils, treasure that which never rusts, live for that which never dies: Jesus Christ, God Almighty, our King and Savior FOREVER.
So frustrate my days again and again my King.
Frustrate them inasmuch as they do not have You as their end.
Change my delights by taking from me that in which I delight in such manner and fashion as to rob You of that which You deserve.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

day no. 12,897: the song of God's servant Moses and the song of the Lamb‏

Happy birthday LAUREN!

Revelation 15:3-4

3 They sang the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the Lamb:
Great and awe-inspiring are Your works,
Lord God, the Almighty;
righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the Nations.
4 Lord, who will not fear
and glorify Your name?
Because You alone are holy,
for all the nations will come
and worship before You
because Your righteous acts
have been revealed.
I think I may write a song by putting some of this to music and perhaps drawing in more text or context from Deuteronomy 32 (the song of Moses which he taught Israel.).
God is righteous and true and worthy of praise. If we read Revelation and feel that perhaps He is going TOO far or being TOO severe in His wrath, we betray Him. We take sin’s side against Him.  We demonstrate that we don’t think sin is that BIG of a deal. It’s bad, but not THAT bad. Just like me, right? I’m not perfect, but I’m not that bad, am I?
It is either SO BAD that Jesus’ perfect blood is required and the only way possible to resolve it OR God is here in the wrong to go as far as He does in punishing wickedness. It is excessive and hot-headed.
Either Jesus suffers for you or you suffer yourself.
Those are the two options available.
It isn’t that God is so horrible as to do this to sinners, it is that He is so gracious and kind as to have sent and observed His Son endure cruelty and mockery and pain and torture and suffering so that He could in justice and love provide a way for us to be redeemed.
That is the Gospel.
That is worth writing songs about forever.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

day no. 12,896: the Spirit says, "let them rest from their labors"

Revelation 14:13

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: The dead who die in the Lord from now on are blessed.” 
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them!”

Are you laboring?

Working hard to give God glory?

Are you actively engaged in the daily work and war of faith in God’s righteousness for you in Jesus?

If your life is defined now by rest and leisure there remains no rest for you on the flipside. 

You have your reward like a man boasting of his generosity to God. The applause of men is his aim and men turn and look as he shouts his own praises. He has his reward. The same can be said for the one who worships comfort and rest and centers their life around doing the most comfortable thing for themselves that they can imagine. They have their reward.

But those who trust in God’s rest and desire to sit down only when in His presence will in this lifetime labor and toil and work hard; and our works will follow us to our reward: Jesus.

We will have the aim of our efforts.
He is happy to give Himself to us forever.

Do we want Him?
Do you want Him?

Does your day testify that what you want most is your best life later?