Friday, October 31, 2014

day no. 13,157: broken people cannot fix us, fallen people cannot lift us up and glory-less people cannot give us glory‏

My friend, Joel Vint, sent me an email with some links to a few of his all-time favorite sermons.
First on his list was this:
I needed to hear this today.
I am often clamoring for the love and recognition of those around me and even myself rather than the love and recognition that comes through Christ alone.
Count me shallow if you will, but listen to Vassar’s questions and see if you survive them without any moment of pause.
In his closing prayer, he summed it up well,
“Broken people cannot fix us. fallen people cannot lift us up and glory-less people cannot give us glory.” ~ JR Vassar

Thursday, October 30, 2014

day no. 13,156: judging sin while justifying sinners‏

Romans 3:26
God presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.
God judges sin and sinfulness by requiring someone to die for it.
Jesus died the death we should have died.
Jesus died because God hates sin.
God justifies sinners by faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus lived the life we should have lived.
Jesus lived because God requires righteousness.
God proves that He hates sin and loves us by sending His one and only begotten Son to live and die for us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

day no. 13,155: formless and void before He spoke‏

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

Just as the world was once formless and void, so we were formless and void. But God spoke, "let there be LIGHT!" and it was.

So it was with us.

He said, "let there be LIGHT"

And in our dead, formless, void hearts; He created NEW life. Something that had never before existed. Something brand new. Something good.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

day no. 13,154: all of it imputed

Mercy does not give something bad that was earned or deserved.
Grace gives something good that was not earned or deserved.

By God's mercy, He does not treat us as our sins deserve.
He provides Jesus as our substitute.
Jesus takes our sin upon Himself.
He dies for our sins.

By God's grace, He treats us as though we've never sinned.
He provides Jesus as our substitute.
Jesus gives His righteousness to us.
He lived for our righteousness.

We are saved from our sins by His mercy.
We are sanctified through His life by His grace.

Monday, October 27, 2014

day no. 13,153: the never-forgetting God

Isaiah 44:21-22

21 Remember these things, O Jacob,and Israel, for you are my servant;I formed you; you are my servant;O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.22 I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloudand your sins like mist;return to me, for I have redeemed you.

Remember... you will not be forgotten by Me.


You will not be forgotten.

Your sins?



Never forgotten.

Remember this.

Friday, October 24, 2014

day no. 13,150 continued... anyone/anything other = anathema

Galatians 1:7b-9

...there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.




If ANYONE preaches ANYTHING to you OTHER than the true Gospel of Jesus Christ's life, death and resurrection on our behalf because of our sin, because of His great love, then may that person preaching and teaching whatever it is they are spitting, may that one, be eternally condemned. 

May they forever burn under the wrath of God.

May they be cursed forever.

Twice Paul uses the word accursed.



May that be the end of any who would trample the blood of Jesus by either attempting to convince you that your sin wasn't that bad or that His sacrifice wasn't sufficiently good.

day no. 13,150: thirty-six years

(as I write this, I am listening to Bastille's "Other People's Heartache Pt. 2")

On this the thirteen thousand, one hundred, fiftieth day of my life, I am turning 36 years old.

It was thirty-six years ago this very day that I was born.

I'm closer to 40 than 30.

I'm twice as old as I was when I graduated from high school.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

day no. 13,149 continued... locked and sealed

Song of Solomon 4:12

A garden locked is my sister, my bride,a spring locked, a fountain sealed.

Men desire to find a private garden into which they are granted exclusive access.

Men who have worked hard and labored find themselves thirsty and searching for a fountain to refresh their souls.

My daughters, please hear your father's voice.

Do not be a public garden.

Your springs will dry up and refresh no one.

Keep your garden locked and your fountain sealed.

I love you my sweet little ladies.

day no. 13,149: happy birthday mother of mine!

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

75 years in the books.

That's a lot of candles.

You're worth each and every one.

I love you mom!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

day no. 13,148: until love pleases

Song of Solomon 3:5

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,by the gazelles or the does of the field,that you not stir up or awaken loveuntil it pleases.

Certain ingredients have no business being mixed up until they are free to intermingle without restraint.

Do not begin mixing it up until you're able to mix it without restraint.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

day no. 13,147: the scariest word

Isaiah 66:16

For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment,and by his sword, with all flesh;and those slain by the LORD shall be many.

The most terrifying word in the previous statement is not the fire or sword of the Lord, but the fact that the number of those who will be slain by the Lord is represented as "many."

That's a lot.

More the not.

Most will ignore this warning.

Most will not budge an inch.

But for the few that move:

Flee the wrath to come and run to Jesus.

Monday, October 20, 2014

day no. 13,146: are you willing to stink in public?‏

2 Corinthians 2:14-16
14 But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life. And who is competent for this?
God is spreading the knowledge and salvation of His Son Jesus Christ across the entire world by saving souls and sending them to their neighbors, co-workers, family, etc...  
If you represent Him, you will be a stench to some and a breath of fresh air to others.
We have no way of knowing to whom we will be which, so we preach and plead with everyone trusting that God will use the Message of His Son to set many free.
Those who reject the Message also reject the Messiah and will suffer the consequences not only of their pride and rebellion in living, but also now the rejection of the Son of God. 
Who is competent for this work?
It's rhetorical.
No one.
No one of us is competent to carry in us and on our lips the Message of grace and wrath and faith and destruction.
But we must anchor that Message in our hearts and heads and make every effort to place it accurately upon our lips so that perhaps by His grace others will come to have Him in their hearts and heads as well.

Friday, October 17, 2014

day no. 13,143: two money musts‏

1 Corinthians 16:2
On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he prospers, so that no collections will need to be made when I come.
Two things: FIRST and AS HE PROSPERS
FIRST: Let your giving determine your living.  Give to Him first.  Off the top, from your first and from your best.  Do not keep back the first and best for yourself.  Set it ASIDE for the Lord who is the first and best.
AS HE PROSPERS: However you prosper, it is from God.  If you prosper more, He has given you more to give.  Do you see it that way or do you see it as more to keep for yourself? 
If your life is oriented around money, you will keep the first and best for yourself and even if you give, you will only give what you feel like, not in proportion to how He prospers you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

day no. 13,142: some people are ignorant about God and we aren't doing them any favors by our behaviors‏

1 Corinthians 15:34

Come to your senses and stop sinning, for some people are ignorant about God. I say this to your shame.

Are you claiming Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and yet refusing to do what He says to do and engaging in beliefs and behaviors He says not to do?

Are you out of your mind?
Come to your senses?

Some people don't know God and they are watching you sin and assume that there is no difference between following Jesus and NOT following Jesus because your lives look quite similar.

This is to your shame.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

day no. 13,141: knock it off! (srrrrsly, cut it out)‏

Romans 4:10
"In what way then was it credited — while he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while he was circumcised, but uncircumcised."
Wedding rings are a symbol and/or sign of marriage, but the covenant and commitment between the husband and the wife IS marriage.
The substance is more important than the symbol or sign.
Abraham had God’s promise before he had God’s sign of the promise.
That said, Abraham didn’t refuse to participate in the sign by pointing back to the promise.
He got sliced.
A good husband wear’s his wedding ring, but an even better husband is committed to keeping the vows (promise) that the ring represents.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

day no. 13,140: i love because You first loved me, i live because You live‏

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,is not selfish, 
is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness, 
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love does some stuff.
Love does not do some other stuff.
Love is something.
Love is not some other things.
If the Spirit is in us, He urges us to love and we desire to be more loving.
These verses present us with the challenge to orient and discipline ourselves to be loving in the image of the One who lovingly made us.
We must see and marinate in the hope of His love for us: a love perfectly defined and faithfully perfect as described above.

Monday, October 13, 2014

day no. 13,139: how should Christians think about their body parts?‏

1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial
God designs and gifts His children as He desires.
If we all do what He designed us to do, the body is healthy. 
If we spend time jealous of other body parts and trying to be something we’re not, we end up neglecting the things that we are and the gifts we do have and EVERYONE suffers accordingly.

Friday, October 10, 2014

day no. 13, 136: all she wanted was a little peace and quiet‏

1 Corinthians 14:33-34

God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but should be submissive, as the law also says.
God has created an order that He commands be continued.
He has established the system of authority and responsibility in the church, in the home, at work and in the world.
ALL THE CHURCHES of the saints observe God’s order.

1 Corinthians 11:16

But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.
THE CHURCHES OF GOD all follow this order.
You don’t have to in your church if you don’t want to, but you won’t be one of God’s churches. You will be a church of man, ruled by men, facing the end of all men.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

day no. 13,135: if anyone thinks he is something, he should recognize Someone‏

1 Corinthians 14:37-38

37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, he should recognize that what I write to you is the Lord’s command. 38 But if anyone ignores this, he will be ignored. 
If you think you have God’s Spirit in you and are a spiritual authority or spiritual person, you should LISTEN to Paul who is anointed by Jesus as an apostle and authority.
Demonstrate that you are under the authority of God by deferring to the authorities He has placed over you. 
If you ignore this, you yourself will be ignored.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

day no. 13,134: what response were you looking for?‏

1 Corinthians 14:24-25
24 But if all are prophesying and some unbeliever or uninformed person comes in, he is convicted by all and is judged by all. 25 The secrets of his heart will be revealed, and as a result he will fall facedown and worship God, proclaiming, “God is really among you.”
A Word from the Lord can cut to the division of joint and spirit, bone and marrow.
Your pomp can only drive another to despair or pride.
Despair if they cannot imagine being as holy as you dress yourself to be.
Proud if they observe your unrepentant hypocrisy and say to themselves, “at least I don’t think I’m all that like (insert name here)”
Don’t deprive others of the opportunity to be cut to the quick by your insistence on building yourself up before others.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

day no. 13,133: don't be a big ol' baby‏

1 Corinthians 14:18-20
18 I thank God that I speak in other languages more than all of you; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, in order to teach others also, than 10,000 words in another language.
20 Brothers, don’t be childish in your thinking, but be infants in regard to evil and adult in your thinking.
Don’t be childish in wanting presents for the sole purpose of enjoying them yourself.
Don’t be a baby that begs and cries only for that which they plan to spend on their sacred little self.
Be innocent with regard to evil and mature in your desire to be selfless.
Don’t be babbling nonsense while insisting that everyone in the room look at you.
Be mature.
Set yourself aside.
Speak to the building up of everyone.

Monday, October 6, 2014

day no. 13,132: a foreign tongue‏

1 Corinthians 14:4
The person who speaks in another language builds himself up, but he who prophesies builds up the church.
1 Corinthians 14:12
So also you—since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek to excel in building up the church.
Why do you want what you want?
Do you want it to look good to others?
Do you want it to feel better about yourself?
Seek to build up the church in each and every blessing for which you long to receive.
The natural man seeks to build himself up.
The spiritual man seeks to build up the church.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

day no. 13,131: preaching Genesis 42-45 at Candeo this morning

This morning I am teaching on Genesis 42-45 at Candeo Church in our series "Introducing God" going through the whole book of Genesis.

In case you missed it, here's the run down.

1. God's Grace Produces Grief
2. God's Grace Provides Perspective
3. God's Grace Changes Lives
4. God's Grace Saves Sinners

1. We see God graciously helping Joseph's brothers to feel the weight of guilt for their sin committed against their brother over 30 years previous.  At the time, they felt no shame or guilt at the time they did the wickedness against Joseph.

2. We see God graciously helping Joseph's brothers see their problem not merely as one against man, but against God.  Against God they have sinned in sinning against their brother and it is with Him that they have to conduct the business of making it right.

3. We see God graciously give Judah a selfless and sacrificial heart.  Earlier he had helped his brothers sell Joseph into slavery although Joseph had done nothing wrong.  Now we see him begging to be sacrificed instead of his brother Benjamin (even though as far as he knew, Benjamin was actually guilty of sin and deserving of Pharaoh's wrath).

4. We see God graciously orient history and circumstances around saving Joseph's brothers.  He saved Joseph, but He did that in order to save the very brothers that had abused Joseph in the first place.  God's grace extends to those who do not deserve and in fact, deserve something bad in return for their actions.

Friday, October 3, 2014

day no. 13,129: love through the mud‏

1 Corinthians 13:5
(Love) does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
This chapter on love most commonly heard next to marriage vows interestingly enough appears in the middle of a discussion on spiritual giftings and serving the local church.
Chapter 12 spoke of the “body” of Christ assembled as the local church and chapter 14 will continue to speak with more detail regarding the local church, its order and the gifts of individuals serving the church.
What is most important in all of this is love. 
More important even than your individual gift is using whatever you do with love to serve the church.
Love is not selfish and self-seeking.
Love is not provoked.
It doesn’t seek glory for itself by getting more noticeable gifts or acknowledgement.
It doesn’t get jealous if someone else is gifted greatly for His service.
Love through the mud.
Clearly it is our calling.

1 Corinthians 13:12

For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
Now I know in part,
but then I will know fully,
as I am fully known.
We will know and be known fully and completely finally forever.
It will happen one day.
All the misunderstanding between people in both directions and between people and their God will be done away with forever.
No more assumptions and speculations.
No more junk like jealousy and provocation.
No more seeds of self-seeking.
Clear, face to face, distinct truth and grace.
Love through the mud.
Clearly it is our only hope.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

day no. 13,128: saul of tarsus was not merely a free agent‏

Acts 13:46
Then Paul and Barnabas boldly said: “It was necessary that God’s message be spoken to you first. But since you reject it and consider yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles!
Saul of Tarsus was a Christian-persecuting Jew.
He was aggressively committed to his religion to the extent of physically imprisoning and attending the executions of those who opposed his convictions.
That man met the Son of God while on the way to persecute more of those who followed The Way.
The man who hated Christians became one when he met the Christ.
Interestingly enough, however, he did not become a Jew-persecuting Christian.
He was not like a home run hitter who gladly gives his life to hitting homers for whomever will pay him to do it.
Persecuting people who opposed his convictions was not his thing.
At least it wasn’t anymore after he met Jesus.
He adamantly argued and persuaded his fellow Jewish neighbors and countrymen to follow the God of their fathers by the Son He had graciously provided for us.
And when push came to shove, he allowed himself to be shoved.
He didn’t push back.
He didn’t initiate a physical retaliation or stir up an army to persecute those who were persecuting him.
No, he loved his enemies and after being rejected and abused by them, he left them to their own fancies to preach the same God to the Gentiles.
Saul was a different person as a result of meeting Jesus.
He didn’t continue doing what he used to do for a new team.
He began playing an entirely different game.
Are you still playing games?
Are you claiming Team Jesus, yet still playing for Team Self?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

day no. 13,127: an eternal argu/arrange-ment‏

1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.
The model of functional subordination is found in the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit being equal in value, but different in function. Jesus obeys the Father.  This is not because He is less than the Father. That is a value we read into that statement, just as we do in hearing that wives should submit to their husbands.  It isn’t a statement of value or worth, it is a statement of order that is rooted ultimately in the order of the Godhead.
This an eternal order, not a culturally bound one. This is not simply a matter of what was once practiced, but is now optional.  Father, Jesus, Husband, Wife is the established order and Paul argues from the very order of the Trinity and the created order produced by this God for the eternal order of authority and responsibility.

1 Corinthians 11:10

This is why a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
1/3 of the angels chose to remove the symbol of authority from their heads in following Satan in outright, open rebellion against God.  If you are a woman who wants to fight back against this created order of God in NOT submitting to your husband, you are following a demonic spirit of rebellion more in keeping with the angels who became demons by following Satan’s proposed order of creation than in keeping with the one created by God.

1 Corinthians 11:16

But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.
Anyone want to argue about this? 
Yep. Many in fact. 

And they are all wrong. 

Sure, you can find churches that don’t hold this position. 
But Paul states emphatically here that those ARE NOT churches.

All the churches OF GOD receive and believe in this God-ordained order of life and home. All of the other churches that deviate from this plan are churches OF MEN, not OF GOD.