Friday, May 30, 2014

day no. 13,003: limited strength

Proverbs 24:10
 
If you do nothing in a difficult time,
your strength is limited.
 
What you do when you are weak largely defines how strong you are in actuality.

Everyone should be strong when things are going well.

We all should be at our best when things are ideal.

This verse struck a particular chord with me today.

The day of adversity often reveals how weak I truly am.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

day no. 13,002: you should wage war (but with sound guidance)‏

Proverbs 24:5-6

5A wise warrior is better than a strong one,
and a man of knowledge than one of strength;
6for you should wage war with sound guidance—
victory comes with many counselors.
 
Wise warriors win the war.
Knowledgeable knights win the fight.
A teachable heart endures the battle.
Might alone cannot make right.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

day no. 13,001: the rooms are filled with every treasure‏

Proverbs 24:3-4
 
3A house is built by wisdom,
and it is established by understanding;
4by knowledge the rooms are filled
with every precious and beautiful treasure.
 
Wisdom decided to build a home.
 
It would not begin to build until it found a firm foundation in understanding
 
Knowledge filled the rooms with every heavenly treasure that lasts forever.
 
A godly house is built by wisdom.
 
It is affirmed and anchored in understanding.
 
Its rooms are packed full of everything precious.
 
It doesn’t merely inhabit the home, it fills it.
 
Like a lung full of breath is a house full of knowledge.
 
It is life giving and enduring.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

day no. 13,000: milestones

I am 13,000 days old today!!!

It is a milestone of sorts I suppose.

It's not every day you turn 13,000 days old.

In fact, it's really only that one day when you do.

Here's to 13,000 more.

I will be 70 years old if I hit 26,000 days.

Crazy to think about.

In some ways, 26,000 days is a TON of days.

In other respects, it seems crazy that if you live to 70 years old and change, you will have only have lived 26,000 days.

At any rate, I've wasted many days and they counted for nothing.

Here's to making the most of the days I've got left in the tank.

Monday, May 26, 2014

day no. 12,999: push the point all the way through‏

Stay on point and push that point hard until it breaks skin.
 
Acts 2:37

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?”

If you push the main point, you will break the skin.

The hardened surface will give way to the pointed charge of Christ crucified when by grace the Spirit shows up to provide faith.

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.

If you push the main point, your blows will penetrate to the deep places of a person where only God can restore and renew by His mercy.
 
Stick to the point.
 
If you get dull in the pulpit, your words will fall harmlessly to the ground after they collide with toughness of heart
 
If you stay sharp, you just may see people reborn as their callouses are breached by God’s grace.

Friday, May 23, 2014

day no. 12,996: boasting about His graciousness, not our grace‏

May your generosity abound as God is generously providing you with abundance.

You give your riches to others as God has richly given to you.
 
We are not called to give from what we do not have.
 
We are commanded to give of that which we have been given.
 
Have you received:
 
Grace? Give grace to others
Mercy? Show mercy to others
Money? Give money to others
Patience? Be patient with others
 
1 Corinthians 4:7
 
For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn’t received it?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

day no. 12,995: walls provide peace

Song of Solomon 8:8-10

8Our sister is young;
she has no breasts.
What will we do for our sister
on the day she is spoken for?
9If she is a wall,
we will build a silver parapet on it.
If she is a door,
we will enclose it with cedar planks.
 
10I am a wall
and my breasts like towers.
So in his eyes I have become
like one who finds peace.
 
Guard your head and heart against attack.
 
Be a wall, not a door.
 
Walls protect precious things and provide appropriate, yet guarded points of entry.
 
Doors swing both directions and without discretion allow entry and exit.
 
People will find peace in observing your head and heart protected by discretion and prudence.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

day no. 12,994: God the Priest and God the Sacrifice‏

John 19:28-30
 
28After this, when Jesus knew that everything was now accomplished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, He said, “I’m thirsty!”
 
29A jar full of sour wine was sitting there; so they fixed a sponge full of sour wine on hyssop and held it up to His mouth.
 
30When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
 
We see Jesus choosing His death, choosing to die, finishing everything and bringing everything to a close by His own discretion.
 
And even that, in order to fulfill the prophecy of His legs not being broken like the other criminals, who were at the mercy of the crucifixion.
 
They were suffering on the crosses without control of their circumstances. In fact, in another Gospel account, the one, even says something to the effect of,
 
“If you’re God, get us off these things and let’s go!”
 
Jesus’s response is,
 
“I am God dying for the godless. I am the King killed for His subjects. I am the Priest offering Himself as the sacrifice for His parishioners.”
 
And having done everything well always in every circumstance, He laid down that perfectly prepared sacrifice on the altar and offered it as a ransom for many.
 
God the Priest.
God the Sacrifice.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

day no. 12,993: with all of your might and mite‏

Luke 16:13

No household slave can be the slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t be slaves to both God and money.”
 
Love the Lord your God with all of your might and all of your mite.
 
Do not spend your strength on acquiring fleshly weaknesses.
Do not spend your mite on acquiring earthly strengths.
 
Spend your strength on serving others.
Spend your money on being generous to others.

Monday, May 19, 2014

day no. 12,992: if you know and if you do‏

John 13:17

If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

It is good to acknowledge that a servant is not greater than their master.
It is good to recognize how this dynamic cashes out with us being Jesus’ servants.

It is good to know your place.
It is good to know His place.

It is good to know all of these things.

You are blessed if you put them into practice.

Friday, May 16, 2014

day no. 12,989: what would you do if you knew?‏

John 13:3-4

3 Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God.4 So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself.
 
So He got up and served His friends.
 
Knowing that He had everything in His hands, that He could do anything He wanted to do, that anything He commanded would be done, He choose to serve.
 
Knowing that He was divine, from God, holy, blameless, righteous and Lord, He choose to serve.
 
Knowing that He was going back to God to be back where He belonged, to where He had been for eternity past, to His home, He spent His last moments of freedom here with us serving His friends.
 
He chose the Cross.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

day no. 12,988: there is a way to judge rightly‏

John 7:24
 
Stop judging according to outward appearances; rather judge according to righteous judgment.
 
The Pharisees saw Jesus doing something on the Sabbath and immediately cried, “Foul!” Jesus points out that even the Pharisees do stuff on the Sabbath sometimes, like when the 8thday after the birth of a male child fell on the Sabbath for example.
 
Judge according to righteous judgment. Don’t be a hypocrite that condemns people for making exceptions to rules when you yourself find reason to make exceptions to rules. The Pharisees didn’t like that Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath.
 
In other places Jesus would point out other hypocrisies like when a sheep would fall into a ditch on the Sabbath and the Pharisees would help it escape certain peril.
 
All that to say, sometimes rules collide and you have to determine which rule overrules.
If the rules for my kids are have fun and be safe, sometimes those rules collide. It might be fun to jump off the piano, but it’s not safe. Guess which rules supersedes the other? Be safe.
 
Love God. Love People. These are the two greatest commandments. Remembering the Sabbath by keeping it holy was a commandment. In this instance, loving people in the Name of God to bring glory to Him is a greater rule than remember the Sabbath. One could even argue that making much of Jesus on the Sabbath is not only NOT a violation, but a direction application of remembering the Sabbath.
 
Either way, judge with righteous judgment, not merely what your gut would tell you.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

day no. 12,987: dropping the 'God bomb' on a conversation‏

John 8:58-59
 
58Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.”
59At that, they picked up stones to throw at Him. But Jesus was hidden and went out of the temple complex.
 
Rest assured, Jesus’ audience knew exactly what He meant. Our modern minds might not make the connection immediately however.
 
I AM is the Name God used when Moses asked, “Who should I say is sending me?”
 
I AM is God’s Name. The Trinity (or Godhead) is Named YAHWEH (or I AM).
 
Jesus’ audience asks, “You are not even 50 years old, how could you possibly know Abraham personally?”
 
Jesus’ response is to say, “Not only was I around during Abraham’s lifetime, I was around before the world was created because I am God. Abraham worshipped Me.”
 
Rather than worshipping Him, they tried to kill Him. Later, they will succeed. But not because they won, but because He chose to lay down His life.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

day no. 12,986: you will die in your sins (unless...)‏

John 8:21
 
Then He said to them again, “I’m going away; you will look for Me, and you will die in your sin. Where I’m going, you cannot come.”
 
Repeated phrases are things to key in on when reading your Bible. Jesus here repeats this phrase, “die in your sin.”
 
John 8:24
 
Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
 
The fact that He reinforces this sentiment verbatim should cause you to pause and absorb the weight of what He is saying.
 
If you do not have Me, you only have your sin.
If you have Me, you no longer bear your own sin.
 
You are in sin already.
 
Without any rebirth, redirection, regeneration, repentance, you will die in your sin.

Monday, May 12, 2014

day no. 12,985: I AM promised I WILL‏

Genesis 12:1-7
 
The Lord said to Abram:
 
Go out from your land,
your relatives,
and your father’s house
to the land that I will show you.
2 I will make you into a great nation,
I will bless you,

I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
I will curse those who treat you with contempt,
and all the peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.
 
4So Abram went, as theLord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated, and the people he had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan,6 Abram passed through the land to the site of Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your offspring.” So he built an altar there to theLord who had appeared to him.
 
In the first SEVEN verses of Genesis 12, God says, “I WILL” SEVEN times.
 
I AM promised “I WILL.”
 
I AM done did.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

day no. 12,984: the day to celebrate baby houses

Being a mom is hard.

It is not likely the hardest job in the entire world as some would condescendingly argue , but it is uniquely difficult for sure. (Check out THIS RANT from my wife on the subject).

The paradox mom's are often faced with is this: if you do your job really well, you put yourself out of job permanently.  I suspect that is why proverbs like this exist:
 
Proverbs 23:22
Listen to your father who gave you life,
and don’t despise your mother when she is old.
 
Cut your mom some slack.
 
She knows that you're not a child anymore. She's glad that you're not.  It is a testimony to the quality of job she did that you don't  need her to cut up your food for you and land the plane for your vegetables. 
 
That said though, she does still worry about you and love you and well, "mother" you at times.
 
So here's to my wife who mothers 4 little kids every day knowing that someday they will no longer need her in the same manner that they do now.  If you fail to mother your kids, they need you to mother them forever.  If you mother them well, they grow up to not need you and resent, perhaps a little, the insinuation on occassion that they need ANY help from you.
 
So baby houses, here's to you. 
 
You grew a human being in your body and then got it out of you. 
You took that baby and fed them and lost sleep with them and got their pee and poop and your clothes and reoriented your free time to be available to serve them.
You taught them and loved them and fed them and clothed them.
 
You were not only a house for a baby for a time, but you provided a home for that baby to grow up and reflect upon.
 
Thank you mom for raising me and setting aside what surely were your own plans on many occassions in order to keep me from dying or starving for attention.
 
Thank you my wife for the hard work you do daily in laying yourself aside in order to serve others and teaching them to do the same when they are raised and ready to be released into the world.

Happy Mother's Day every other mother who reads this.
 
Thank you for sacrificing your lives in order to provide life and livelihood to the littles and least of the world.

Friday, May 9, 2014

day no. 12,982: a pointed observation‏

John 5:39-40
 
39You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me.40 And you are not willing to come to Me so that you may have life.
 
Salvation is not found in reading your Bible every day. I’m glad if you are, but that doesn’t save.
 
Jesus saves.
 
The Pharisees were better Bible readers than us and it benefitted them nothing for salvation because they didn’t believe what the Book said.
 
It’s as though the Pharisees spent the entirety of the lives studying an arrow.
They wanted to know the exact measurements and color and texture and what not of the arrow.
 
They could tell you more about that arrow than most.
 
But they never looked to where the arrow was pointing.
 
The reason you point at something is not to draw attention to your finger, it’s so that attention will be directed to the object of your pointing.
 
Read your Bible.
It points to Jesus.
 
Learn more about Him as you read more, but make a point (punny!!!) to do what it says and find comfort and assurance of salvation where it points you to: Jesus solely, Jesus wholly, Jesus only always be.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

day no. 12,981: do not be amazed (again) that you must be born again‏

John 3:5-8

5 Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. 8The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
 
I don’t think “born of water:” here refers to baptism. It’s possible, but I think the verses that follow this statement help clarify the intent and meaning of verse 5.
 
I think born of water simply means “born naturally” or “born the way everyone is born.” That is to say, anyone hearing or reading these words was born the once. This we know for certain.
 
But Jesus states that simply being born the once does not usher you into the Kingdom of God any more than dying the once ushers you into His heavenly abode. We saw this theme first appear in the opening chapter of John’s Gospel if you recall where he pointed out that it is not those born of flesh, blood or the will of man that are children of God, but those that receive Jesus who are given the right to BECOME His children.
 
Verse 6 is simply a restatement of verse 5.
 
Born of water = born of the flesh
Born of the Spirit = born of Spirit.
 
Then Jesus says, “Don’t be amazed at this.”
 
Why?
 
God saves people. 
 
He sends His Spirit to regenerate and rebirth people from the kingdom of death to the Kingdom of God. It has always been this way. This is not a new teaching. This is the way God saves people. No one who knows their Bible should be shocked by this repeating of revelation.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

day no. 12,980: the Carpenter's stairs‏

John 1:51

Then He said, “I assure you: You will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

A long time ago a man named Jacob had a dream about a stairway to Heaven.

Jesus confirms that HE is that stairway.

He is the bridge that gaps Heaven and earth.

Genesis 28:12

And he dreamed: A stairway was set on the ground with its top reaching heaven, and God’s angels were going up and down on it.

The only way up to God is His grace in sending His Son all the way down to us.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

day no. 12,979: a cook's tour‏

John 1:45

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law (and so did the prophets): Jesus the son of Joseph, from Nazareth!”

Philip and Nathanael apparently read their Old Testament and saw in it the promise of a Messiah. Remember just back in the last chapter of Luke we read that Jesus walked some disciples through this very same thing: Moses and the prophets pointing to Jesus.

Luke 24:27

Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

All of Scripture leaves us hoping for the provision of a Savior.

Whether it’s the OT or the NT, the point and application is often the same: place your faith in the One who has done it all for you.

Monday, May 5, 2014

day no. 12,978: family ties‏

John 1:12-13

12 But to all who did receive Him,
He gave them the right to be children of God,
to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born,
not of blood,
or of the will of the flesh,
or of the will of man,
but of God.
 
Those who do NOT receive Him do NOT have the right to BECOME children of God.
 
We are not born children of God. 
 
People often confuse this terminology with being created in the image of God. 
 
We all ARE created in His image. 
That is true. 
 
But being a child of God, spiritually speaking, is something that happens by adoption, not by birth.
 
If you are not REBORN by God, you remain outside of His family.

Friday, May 2, 2014

day no. 12,975: catchphrase‏

“People don’t need you to be Jesus for them; they need you to NEED Jesus in front of them.”
 
I have found myself saying this phrase often in the various contexts I am privileged to do ministry.
 
This is what I hope I am modelling well for my friends and family as well as teaching emphatically to them as well.
 
If people need me to be Jesus for them, guess what? People are in trouble.
I’m not Jesus.
 
But if people observe me needing Jesus in front of them, they may see what it looks like to depend and trust and fall on Him alone.
 
If that inspires them to do the same, that’s a win.
 
I don’t need people to think I’m awesome, because I’m not.
God is awesome.
 
It makes much of Jesus to make more of my dependence and neediness of Him above all things.
 
If Jesus is helping you to succeed at the moment, share your victory in Christ by giving Him
the glory.
 
If you are failing your expectations of yourself, the commands of the Bible, your friends, your family, your Lord; share your failure with those around you by giving glory to the God who would save and love someone as broken as you are because of your faith and reliance upon Him.
 
People need to see you NEEDING Jesus.
Because you do.