Thursday, July 31, 2014

day no. 13,065: making many books

Ecclesiastes 12:12

My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

There will always be something that you don't know.

Just accept it.

There is only so much that is actually worth knowing.

And no matter how much you know, if you don't know the stuff worth knowing, you don't know much.

If you ignore first things for knowing things 2 through 50, you still haven't learned that first things should be first.

Knowing more about God is beneficial inasmuch as you worship Him for Who you know Him increasingly to be.

People don't hire new employees based on resumes alone.

Resumes are great and helpful in understanding who a person is, but you have to actually meet with the person to color in the gaps left merely by looking at information about a person.

Don't merely study God's resume.  
Don't not study it, but don't study just that.  

Get together with Him face to face and get to know Him.

He is worth knowing to the exclusion of everything else.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

day no. 13,064: are you devoted to a personal cause or to a Person who was and is the first cause?

I came across this today while reading Mr. Chambers

"Paul was devoted to a Person, not to a cause. He was absolutely Jesus Christ’s. He saw nothing else and he lived for nothing else."

It is easier to embrace principles than it is to embrace people.

It is easier to die on hills than to die to yourself.

Without Him our practices and principles point only to human progress.

Humanity will never progress to the point of paying off the debt that is owed in full.

Jesus paid it all.

The Person and work of Jesus Christ alone are the hope of humanity.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

day no, 13,063: battling with a brandished arm (and other Billy Bad Apple things God says)

Isaiah 30:31-33

The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the LORD, when he strikes with his rod. 32 And every stroke of the appointed staff that the LORD lays on them will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. 33 For a burning place has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

The breath of the Lord like a stream of sulfur kindles the fires of the place prepared for God's enemies.

That is tough beyond description.

His weapons are merely His arms.

There is nothing more deadly or powerful that He could employ than His own arms.

He is mighty to save and to destroy.

Every mighty blow He inflicts in justice on those who reject Him and His provision will be accompanied by the roars of crowds cheering Him.

The wicked may prosper for a time, but they will not ultimately succeed.

Their ways will not prosper before Him and they will be sent to the place prepared for them.

Jesus said that He was going ahead to prepare a place with Him for those that love Him.

He also has gone ahead to prepare a place of eternal punishment for those who forever oppose Him.

Monday, July 28, 2014

day no. 13,062: grace for nothing and mercy for everything

Isaiah 63:7-9

7 I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,
the praises of the LORD,
according to all that the LORD has granted us,
and the great goodness to the house of Israel
that he has granted them according to his compassion,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
8 For he said, “Surely they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely.”
And he became their Savior.
9 In all their affliction he was afflicted,
and the angel of his presence saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

The steadfast love of the LORD is worthy of every ounce of praise I can muster, every penny I can spare, every minute I can make, every emotion I can conjure, every word I can utter, every effort I can energize.

In all our affliction, He was afflicted.

Out of His love and pity, He redeemed us.

His unfailing love for our failings.
His gracious provision for our neediness.
His great goodness for our badness.
His compassion for our selfishness.
His abundance for our poverty.
His salvation for our sin.

Friday, July 25, 2014

day no. 13,059: how the Christian wages Holy War with Muhammed (or any other the rulers, authorities, or cosmic powers over this present darkness)

Ephesians 6:13-17

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

The world is full of warfare.

One could even say it's a world of warcraft (but only a few single guys living with their parents would say that)

Fight the good fight of faith.

Stand firm.

Allah and any other that would exult their name against or over the Name of Jesus is an idol and will be toppled over when the King of Kings returns.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

day no. 13,058: the day the dust will sing

Isaiah 26:19

Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.

The dead will live.
The dust will sing.

The dead will be born anew.
The dead won't stay dead.

The voice of the Lord will call and the dead will listen.

Some to everlasting life.
Some to everlasting destruction.

For some, death will never again be tasted.
For the rest, death will be drunk deeply for eternity.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

day no. 13,057: foxes in the henhouse

Song of Solomon 2:15

Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.

Many marriages tolerate foxes.

They simply get used to them and assume them.

They get used to the discord and dysfunction and somehow survive day to day their destructive, deceptive presence.

Catch the foxes.

Don't let them live in your vineyard.

Don't tolerate their existence.

It will make life a little more uncomfortable at first if you've been allowing them to live in your lives, but it is worth it.

In the long run, your marriage will be built on honest and integrous interaction that allows both spouses to know and be known without all the rigamaroo of dancing around the issues that plague your garden.

The name of that unnecessary and deadly dance?
The foxtrot, of course!

Don't do it.

Pick off foxes as you root them out.

More like foxshot.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

day no. 13,056: the Gospel first and before all other things

Galatians 1:3-5

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Paul begins a letter he knows is going to be stern and difficult the same way he always does: with the Gospel.

I love the book of Galatians. I love how pastoral and professorial Paul is in fleshing out the theology and doctrine of the Gospel in this letter. You can feel the passion of Paul in his words and the superlative nature of this charge given to the church at Galatia.

I love it.

One of my favorite books.

Monday, July 21, 2014

day no. 13,055: ashes to ashes...

Ecclesiastes 12:7

...and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Man is at his essence but dust.

When it is all said and done he returns to his humble beginnings.

God took dust and formed man.

He breathed His life into the dust and made man a living spirit-filled dust-formed body.

When it's all over, the body returns to dust and the spirit returns to God.

Hebrews 9:27
And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment...
Because of sin, we all die.
But because of Christ, we may live.
(we now resume our scheduled programming)
Hebrews 9:28 also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

Friday, July 18, 2014

day no. 13,052: the days of youthful bliss

Ecclesiastes 11:9

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

Have fun.

Be young.

But know that God sees everything and will judge accordingly.

Don't waste your youth.

It's not an excuse to live only for your sweet sacred self.

God does not grade on an age curve.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

day no. 13,051 continued... preaching at the Salt Company

This evening I preached at Candeo Church.

Psalm 84 was the text.

Here's the main take aways:

1. God allows us to be defined by what He has done for us rather than what we've done or what's been done to us by others (the sons of Korah) (vs. 1)

2. God gives value and rest to those who are considered worthless and restless (vs.3)

3. God turns the tears and suffering of our dry seasons in joyful springs of fresh water by which He perseveres us. (vs 6)

4. God, who is owed everything, gives grace, glory and every good thing to those who draw near to Him with integrity (vs. 11)

day no. 13,051: seasonal affective disorder

Ecclesiastes 11:7

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

Attention all people who get depressed in the winter with the dark, cold days; you now have a verse.

Light is sweet and it feels so good to get out and enjoy the sun and the warmth of it on your skin.

It is good for us to get fresh air, warm sun, and grass or sand or some variant of earth in between our toes.

So move south or plan vacations if you are called north.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

day no. 13,050: how are babies made?

Ecclesiastes 11:5

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

If your kids ever ask you how babies are made, tell them you don't know.

It's honest and it's easy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

day no. 13,049: a little birdie told me

Ecclesiastes 10:20

Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king,
nor in your bedroom curse the rich,
for a bird of the air will carry your voice,
or some winged creature tell the matter.

I don't know for a fact, but this may be the specific etymology of the colloquialism, "a little birdie told me."

The point being this: don't say about someone what you wouldn't want them to know you said about them.  Things have a way of getting back to the source.
Numbers 32:23

But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.

Even if the natural consequences of gossip do not find you out as stated above in Ecclesiastes, the supernatural consequences will track you down.

Monday, July 14, 2014

day no. 13,048: what we need

"We are often told - or just whispered to - that what we need is more self-esteem. That is false. What we need is more humility and more Christ-esteem." ~ Ray Ortlund, Jr.

He must increase, we must decrease.
This isn't an insistence upon our rights or our value, it is a declaration of His right as Lord and His value as Savior.
We are valuable because He values us.
It begins with Him, not with us.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

day no. 13,047: preaching at Candeo

This morning I preached at Candeo Church.

Genesis 26 was the text.

You can listen HERE or watch below.

Here's the main take aways:

1. God is with and will bless us who receive Him because of what Somebody else (Jesus) accomplished for us (vs. 5)

2. God wants us to return often to a place of contemplating all He has already done for us in order to comfort us now and give us courage to go forward (vs.25)

3. God welcomes those who seek peace, particularly when they do not deserve it. (vs. 30-31)

Friday, July 11, 2014

day no. 13,045: you cannot have the Jesus of the Bible and at the same time reject the Bible of Jesus‏

"We cannot have the Jesus of the Bible and at the same time reject the Bible of Jesus." ~ B.B. Warfield

John 10:35

...the Scripture cannot be broken
Jesus said that Scripture could not be broken.
He seemed to believe the Bible was relevant, timeless, spot on and God's unbreakable, impenetrable Word.
You can't believe in the Jesus we find in Scripture and reject the Scripture that Jesus believed.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

day no. 13,044: only when it's convenient for you

Acts 24:25
As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.
Felix called Paul when it was convenient. 
He liked hearing truth when he liked hearing truth. 
When he didn’t like hearing it, he shut it off and turned a deaf ear and hardened heart to it. 
He picked and chose. 
That is convenient, but that isn’t the whole truth and nothing but the one truth sets one free
Don’t make the same mistake of hearing only what you want to hear and becoming yourself the arbiter of what truths you will accept from God and which ones you reject or have no time for hearing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

day no. 13,043: the two common threads of saving faith and faithfulness

B.B Warfield points out that Saul of Tarsus’ conversion may have included many unique details (personal appearance and audible voice of Jesus, Jesus’ strong hand knocking Saul down, blindness, etc…), but the basic outline of what occurred is the same as any person’s typical conversion experience.

Warfield points out that there are 2 phenomena common to each and every story of salvation.  He calls them surrender and consecration.


Acts 22:8

“I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’

Acts 22:10

“Then I said, ‘What should I do, Lord?’
Warfield’s point is this: everyone that God saves first acknowledges who Jesus (Lord, God, Christ, Savior) is in also recognizing for the first time who they are (sinner, unholy, unworthy, needy, at His mercy).  Next, they immediately employ themselves to His service in submitting themselves to whatever He might ask of them to remedy their newly discovered situation.
Warfield points out that it is the Spirit that graces the person with the first knowledge and recognition of who they are and who Jesus is.  It is the same Spirit that then grants mercy to the person by provoking them to pursue a resolution with this newly discovered almighty and uplifted Savior.
Lastly, the person discovers in this moment of terror that the work of bridging the gap they have recently been made aware is already accomplished.  The vast distance between you and God that previously was unrealized is in the moment after acknowledgement breached by the One who graced you with the despairing knowledge.
That’s why we sing
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace, my fears relieved

It is right to inquire, what should I do?  The knowledge of His exalted place and our devastating failure should produce a desire to bridge the gap. 
The Good News is that the gap is already bridged by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our LORD and SAVIOR.
He provided what He required.
The rest of the Christian life lived in trust and dependence upon that Good News still often inquires of its Lord, “What should I do?”
The doing now not being sought to save the sinner, but to sanctify, set apart and consecrate the life that was purchased by the Saving One.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

day no. 13,042: without revelation people run wild

Proverbs 29:18

Without revelation people run wild,
but one who listens to instruction will be happy.
Reminds me of the time of the Judges.
“In those days there was no king in Israeleveryone did what was right in his own eyes.”
Revelation comes down, speculation goes up.
Without revelation, we follow only our own fancies.
We speculate that God agrees with us (that’s why he or she’s so smart, right?)
We fashion a god in our likeness and worship him or her not realizing it is only our powerless reflection that we praise.

Monday, July 7, 2014

day no. 13,041: kanye 'as far as the east is from the' west

Sin takes you further than you want to go
Faster than you want to get there
Keeps you longer than you intended to stay
Costs you more than you wanted to pay


This is like a Daft Punk proverb or something.
Maybe Kanye will rip this off too.

Friday, July 4, 2014

day no. 13,038: judah, Jesus and genesis

Genesis 44:33

Now please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave, in place of the boy. Let him go back with his brothers.

Judah offfered to put himself under the wrath of Pharoah in order to set Benjamin free. 

Now, it bears pointing out that at this point Judah isn't even sure if Benjamin is innocent.  He has no evidence to suggest that Benjamin DIDN'T steal the silver cup.

Even so, Judah offers himself as a substitute for his brother Benjamin.

One day Another who went by The Lion of the Tribe of Judah would do the same.

He would be King and Sacrifice, Christ and crucified.

Genesis 49:10

The scepter will not depart from Judah
or the staff from between his feet
until He whose right it is comes
and the obedience of the peoples belongs to Him.

Revelation 5:5

Then one of the elders said to me, “Stop crying. Look! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has been victorious so that He may open the scroll and its seven seals.”

He would offer Himself for people He KNEW were sinners.
He would rule and reign and redeem as true Judah!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

day no. 13,037: warning: wolves are coming

Acts 20:32
And now I commit you to God and to the message of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.
Paul just warned his friends that wolves were coming.
His confidence in leaving them to fend for themselves in the face of these foretold attacks was twofold:
He was leaving them in the powerful hands of their Father.
Also, he had preached to them the full counsel of God so that they were not without artillery to defend their hearts and minds against falsehood and heresy.
The message of grace genuinely received and believed by a person transfers them from the family of death to the household of life as an adopted child of the eternal King!
Preach this message, share this message and those who believe can be left in confidence that the Good News and the Good King will keep them safe (even in the face of great trial and difficulty!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

day no. 13.036: the Lord saves sinners

The Lord saves sinners.

The Lord: for all that He is
Saves: for all that it's worth
Sinners: for all that they need.

The Lord saves sinners.

The Lord: perfect, complete and eternal
Saves: does everything for
Sinners: wicked, unrighteous, imperfect rebels

The Lord saves sinners.

The Lord: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Saves: work together
Sinners: for those working against Him

The Lord saves sinners.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

day no. 13,035: logos, ethos and pathos (a brief word on preaching the Word)

So I decided to start studying deeply the book of Isaiah on weekends.  I received a commentary from a friend maybe 6 or 7 years ago on the book of Isaiah called "God Saves Sinners" by Ray Ortlund, Jr.

I am going to read through the commentary as I read through the book of Isaiah in order to more deeply study it.

In the opening pages of the book Ortlund offers a "Word to those that preach the Word."

He reminds us who preach that the Logos (the Word) is paramount.  Jesus is the Word who was in the beginning and who was with God and who was and is and ever will be God.

We have to be men of ethos as well.  Substantive men who let the Word sink deeply into us and to teach and instruct us first so that we can in turn, teach others (Ezra 7:10).

Lastly, we have to be men employing pathos.  We have to bring our charisma and character and convictions to light by launching them out with the tone, candor, speed and pitch appropriate to the power of the message we preach.

A man who has studied the Word, been nourished by the Word and persuasively preaching from their unique person the Word they know and believe is the kind of man preachers are called to be.