Monday, June 30, 2014

day no. 13,034: study, obey and teach‏

Ezra 7:10
Now Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel.
Study the Word.
Obey the Word.
Teach the Word.
These are the things Ezra had determined in his heart to be about.
What does it say and what does it mean?
What must I change about what I believe and how I behave in order to do what it says?
How can share what I’ve learned and what I’m doing with others?

Friday, June 27, 2014

day no. 13,031: the proof is in the provision‏

Acts 17:30-31

“Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent,31 because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”

God is commanding people to repent.

He will judge the world by the standard of righteousness.

Those who do not have Jesus as their righteousness will be found wanting and will be judged guilty forever.

Those who have Jesus have the standard of righteousness God requires and will be welcomed into His eternal presence.
The proof is in the pudding.
*if by pudding you mean "resurrection," which I don't suggest you begin doing because that would be unnecessarily confusing.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

day no. 13,030: open-mindedness = eagerness to hear and diligence to examine‏

Acts 17:11

The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
These people were commended by Paul for not taking his word for it.
He was encouraged by their devotion to God’s Word, not his words.
Their diligence did not quench their eagerness.
Their eagerness did not ignore diligence.
But don’t take my word for it, take His Word for it.
Examine the Scriptures daily.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

day no. 13,029: when, where and why‏

Acts 17:26-27
From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.27 He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
God has had much to say about when and where you were born.
These variables were taken into consideration and choreographed by Him SO THAT you would reach out to Him and FIND Him since He is not far from us.
By faith in Jesus, the vast gulf between God and man is bridged easily, effectively and eternally.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

day no. 13,028: there is no use trying to make your whites whiter

Acts 15:8-9

8 And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us.9 He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.

Nothing but faith in Jesus cleanses our hearts before God.
And that faith in Him cleanses us completely.

Nothing else can add to it or make you more clean.
If you are in Him by faith you are as clean as He was, is and evermore will be.

Monday, June 23, 2014

day no. 13,027: the proud divvy the plunder (for now)‏

Proverbs 16:19

Better to be lowly of spirit with the humble
than to divide plunder with the proud.
The proud divide their plunder.
They devour and destroy for the sake of gain.
They would rather have a share of the plunder acquired by wickedness than to in humility and righteousness be plundered.
If it is dog eat dog, they want to be the first dog, avoiding at all costs being the second dog.

Matthew 5:5
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
The reward of the lowly in Spirit is that they inherit the earth.
They may not be found dividing plunder here in the corners of this world, but they will one day be found frolicking in the pastures of the world they own.

James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
You aren’t humble for the sake of gaining things per se, but rather the humble will be those surprised to be receiving anything for doing what their regenerated hearts desired to do for Jesus’ Name.

Luke 14:11

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
You can make a dash for the cash along with those who mock meekness, but you will be dead broke and devastated forever under the just hand of God.
Better to be lowly and exalted by God than to strive to be much here only to be made humble by God’s firm rebuke.

Friday, June 20, 2014

day no. 13,024: and you, when you have turned back‏

Luke 22:31-32

31 “Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.32But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
I love Jesus’ Words, “And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Here is Matthew Henry’s take on it.
The charge he gives to Peter is to help others as he should himself be helped of God: “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren; when thou art recovered by the grace of God, and brought to repentance, do what thou canst to recover others; when thou hast found thy faith kept from failing, labour to confirm the faith of others, and to establish them; when thou hast found mercy with God thyself, encourage others to hope that they also shall find mercy.” Note, (1.) Those that have fallen into sin must be converted from it; those that have turned aside must return; those that have left their first love must do their first works. (2.) Those that through grace are converted from sin must do what they can to strengthen their brethren that stand, and to prevent their falling; see Ps. 51:11-13; 1 Tim. 1:13.
Those who have been brought back from sin to reconciliation should make it their business to seek sinners so that they might receive and embrace that same reconciliation.
You who have failed, be restored by the grace of God in Christ and then make it your business to speak boldly about your failure and His favor found in Christ alone.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

day no. 13,023: Phinehas stood up

Paul Sabino sent me a text the other morning pointing out this verse to me.

Psalm 106:28-31

28They aligned themselves with Baal of Peor
and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods.
29 They provoked the Lord with their deeds,
and a plague broke out against them.
30 But Phinehas stood up and intervened,
and the plague was stopped.
31 It was credited to him as righteousness
throughout all generations to come.
This phrase, “credited to him as righteousness,” is more famously applied to Abraham.
Genesis 15:6

Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.

And yet Scripture testifies that Phinehas had righteousness credited to him as well.

Romans 4, in referring to the Genesis 15:6 passage, states that this was not spoken merely for Abraham’s sake, but for ours also.

Anyone who is righteous is only righteous because they have been credited righteous by God.

He alone is righteous in Himself.

He graciously extends His righteousness down to us from the hanging body of His bloodied Son.

He mercifully receives our sin and sinfulness up onto His wrath-laden body.

If our accounts are to be reconciled and received by God, they will have to be rendered righteous.

That will not come by our efforts to earn credit on our own behalf.

We are saved by good works.

Jesus’ good works save us: His bank on our behalf, His benevolence for our benefit.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

day no. 13,022: Proverb$ 11‏

So Proverbs 11 had a lot to say about money today.

Let’s talk about that…
Proverbs 11
4 Wealth is not profitable on a day of wrath,
but righteousness rescues from death.
Money can’t buy salvation.
You can’t buy your way out of trouble in the end even if it works for now here.
7 When the wicked man dies,
his expectation comes to nothing,
and hope placed in wealth vanishes.
Everyone will give their wealth to someone else.
Some will give it back to God joyfully.
Others will wait to have it pried from their cold, dead fingers.
16 A gracious woman gains honor,
but violent men gain only riches.
If you are violent and aggressive, you can make bank.
But that is all you will get and you will only have it until you die and perish poor forever.
24 One person gives freely,
yet gains more;
another withholds what is right,
only to become poor.
Those who give freely and cheerfully receive what is most valuable: peace and freedom from the world.
Those who hold back in order to build bigger barns only inherit poverty.
25 A generous person will be enriched,
and the one who gives a drink of water
will receive water.
Those who eagerly protect what is theirs never find refreshment in the keeping of their things. There is only worry and anxiety about losing what they love.
Those who love God and love people will themselves be loved.
26 People will curse anyone who hoards grain,
but a blessing will come to the one who sells it.
Some people are worried that someday they may not have enough so they ignore those who do not have anything right now.
Those people are cursed by people and by God.
28 Anyone trusting in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like foliage.
Want to guarantee that you will fall? Trust in the uncertainty of riches.
They come, they go and your hopes are dashed.
The righteous will flourish as they are fed by the One who gives to those who empty themselves before Him.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

day no. 13,021: the righteous will escape

Proverbs 11

21 Be assured that the wicked
will not go unpunished,
but the offspring of the righteous will escape.
“Vengeance is Mine,” sayeth the Lord.
And He will take His vengeance.
The very command He gives us to abstain from taking revenge is hedged by His promise that He will one day take PERFECT revenge.
Sin is serious.
Someone has to die.
It will either be Jesus on your behalf or you on your own.
The wicked will be punished.
Even though they often live off the fat of the land for now, do not fret.
They will not succeed and prosper forever.
Likewise, the righteous will be delivered and escape.
The wicked can only abuse us as long as we’re here.
Once we both depart to eternity, we are untouchable in the arms of Jesus.
They, however, will forever be tormented by wrath of the Lamb.

Monday, June 16, 2014

day no. 13,020: everything in its right place

Proverbs 11:22
A beautiful woman who rejects good sense
is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
Take heed my beautiful daughters.
There is more to life than merely being beautiful.
In fact, to waste the blessing of beauty you have been given is to make a mockery of the One Who is the Giver of all good things.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

day no. 13,019 pretentious owl

Today someone was asking Finneas what an owl says.

The correct response of, "Hoo Hoo," was the retort.

My thought was, "Sometimes it's whom."

To which my next thought was this...

day no. 13.019: particularly pungent

From now on when someone (usually me) tells a particularly bad pun, I think we should respond by saying, “Ewwww… that’s pungent!”
Pun for pun, that is probably one of the better ones!
It’s a real stinker. 
OK, yeah, that was pretty pungent.
*happy father's day!

Friday, June 13, 2014

day no. 13,017: living the good life looks a lot like dying

Proverbs 8:35-36

35 For the one who finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but the one who misses me harms himself;
all who hate me love death.”
The wisdom of God is foolishness to the world.
Those who truly love life seek the Lord.
The world would say that they are living it up and those who love the Lord are wasting away their opportunities to truly live.
The world is wrong.
The one who finds wisdom, finds life and favor from the Lord: the Creator, Provider and Sustainer of all life.
The one who misses this, misses everything and actually injures themselves.
They stumble in the dark and stub their toes and bang their foreheads on cabinets because they refuse to walk in the light.
Rather than loving life, they prove in their rebellion that they hate life and love death.
They prefer to live a life of eternal death while yet alive.
Eternal life is not something you enter into when you die, it is something you experience by knowing the eternal God through faith in the One He sent, Jesus Christ, His Son.
Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only LIFE.
If you reject Him, you embrace death.
Don’t be besties with death by sacrificing your life to idolatry.
Don’t miss this!
Receive Him and so be received by Him.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

day no. 13,016: wisdom > wealth

Proverbs 8:11

For wisdom is better than jewels,
and nothing desirable can compare with it.
Of all the things people find desirable: power, pennies, pleasure, peace, profligacy, prestige, etc… wisdom trumps them all.
Knowing the purpose of life, the Creator of life, the applied practices and principles of living this life and the promises of God in providing for us in our poverty is of more value than any other single thing.
Jewels are cool, but it is better to know how to appreciate jewels without orienting your life around acquiring them that is most profitable.
Orient your life around acquiring wisdom.
Nothing can compare to what you will find.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

day no. 13,015: the height of foolishness is refusing to be lowly‏

Proverbs 8:5

Learn to be shrewd, you who are inexperienced;
develop common sense, you who are foolish.
Wisdom pursues the foolish
Wisdom invites the inexperienced.
There is hope for the foolish.
If you are being foolish or have led a life largely characterized by foolishness, take heart and take courage.
Wisdom is calling.
Do not, in your pride, refuse to listen.
Wisdom can be taught and developed.
Do not despair.
The epitome of foolishness is refusing advice and counsel assuming that what you already know is wisdom.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

day no. 13,014: oh slavery, i can't stay mad at you

Acts 7:39
Our ancestors were unwilling to obey him, but pushed him away, and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.
Though they had been saved through the waters of the Red Sea in miraculous display, in their hearts they kind of wanted to be back in Egypt. 
They pushed Moses away. 
They wanted to do their own thing. 
Life in the wilderness with God was less ideal to them than life in slavery back in Egypt. 
Their accusation was simple: Pharaoh was a better master than Yahweh. 
This was the heart disposition of those who died in the wilderness without reaching the promised land in their wanderings.
Don’t make scrapbooks of your sin and look lovingly back upon them as “the good ol’ days”
1 Peter 4:1-5
4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, equip yourselves also with the same resolve—because the one who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin— 2 in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. 3 For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the pagans choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 So they are surprised that you don’t plunge with them into the same flood of wild living—and they slander you. 5 They will give an account to the One who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.

Monday, June 9, 2014

day no. 13,013: the proverbial Gospel‏

Proverbs 30:7-9
Two things I ask of You;don’t deny them to me before I die:Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me.Give me neither poverty nor wealth;feed me with the food I need.Otherwise, I might have too muchand deny You, saying, “Who is the Lord?”or I might have nothing and steal,profaning the name of my God.
When we think we’re getting it done without providence, we grow proud and unwilling or unable to see ourselves as needy and dependent upon God our Creator and Sustainer.
When we think we’re failing in every way imaginable without grace, we grow despairing and unwilling or unable to see ourselves as holy and blameless because of His finished work on our behalf. 
If I’m proud, I will go down.If I’m depressed, I will refuse to be lifted up.
When I’m feeling like I got things together, I’m quick to deny any practical need for God’s grace in my daily life.  I am less likely to point others to their need for Him other than by exalting my example so high as to make others feel incapable of obtaining such favor as I’ve acquired: a favor unavailable to sinners and failures like the rest of y'all. 
When I’m feeling like I’m all out of sorts, I’m quick to revel in lawlessness since I’m already a lawbreaker.  I am less likely to point others to the availability of God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s accomplishments.  I am not prepared to proclaim His grace because I’m quick to ignore its power over me, a sinner.
Without Jesus we cannot endure success OR failure without wandering off the narrow path. 
Do not ignore God’s grace by seeking to demonstrate that you have it all together.
Do not profane God’s grace by seeking to indulge your flesh since your record is already blemished.

Do not give me too much. 

Do not give me too little.


Give me what I need. 

This is my plea.

Friday, June 6, 2014

day no. 13,010: fulfilling the Law through lawless people

Acts 2:23
Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him. 24 God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.
The plan was for Jesus to come and live a perfect life from the start in order to have a perfect life to offer as a perfect sacrifice in the end.This was the plan God had determined. He used the wicked intentions of lawless men to provide a way for wicked, lawless people to be redeemed. He overcame sin, Satan and death so that sinful, satanic, dead people might be holy, blameless, godly and alive.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

day no. 13,009 continued... God is Lord and Savior (PS 24)

Tonight I am kicking off Summer Salt’s series going through the book of Psalms by preaching on Psalm 24 at the Curris Business Building, Room #24 on UNI's campus.

Here’s the cook’s tour:

God is Lord and Savior.

He made it all and everything and everyone belongs and will answer to Him.

Who could possibly measure up to His standards?


And the gates of Heaven open for Him alone and if we place our faith in Him, He carries us with Him so that we can ascend the hill on His back and stand in His holy place by His grace.

He provides what He requires.

day no. 13,009: prepared to be powned

Acts 2:36
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah!”
Jesus is Savior and Lord. He is the One who saves and the One who rules. You cannot parcel out which parts you like. You cannot claim Him as Savior and reject Him as your Lord. He is not received on those terms. He is both Lord and Savior. If you receive Him, you receive His forgiveness AND His reign and rule over what used to be your life, but now is His. If you are bought back (redeemed) then you are owned, but have faith, you have a gracious Owner.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

day no. 13,008: eternal life is nothing less than believing that Jesus saves

John 20:30
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Believing in Jesus brings eternal life. 
There is a lot more that goes into being a disciple than that, but there is NEVER anything less than that!
It all starts with believing that Jesus saves. 
Life is found in His Name.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

day no. 13,007: slack is whack‏

Proverbs 24:30-34

30 I went by the field of a slacker
and by the vineyard of a man lacking sense.
31 Thistles had come up everywhere,
weeds covered the ground,
and the stone wall was ruined.
32 I saw, and took it to heart;
I looked, and received instruction:
33 a little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the arms to rest,
34 and your poverty will come like a robber,
your need, like a bandit.
It doesn’t take much of anything for things to go feral.
In fact, it only takes doing nothing.
All you have to do to ensure your life will be full of thistles and weeds is absolutely nothing.
And the worst part of it is that you will never see it coming.

Monday, June 2, 2014

day no. 13,006: young man, take responsibility for you and yours‏

Proverbs 24:27

Complete your outdoor work, and prepare your field;
afterward, build your house.
Young man, get your life together.
Read your Bible.
Pay off your debt.
Figure out where you want to go.
Then invite a young lady along for the ride.
Have some kids.
Build your house.
Carry your own burden.
Then carry the burdens of others.
Take responsibility for yourself.
Then take responsibility for others.