Friday, November 28, 2014

day no. 13,185 continued... black Friday

long lines.
early mornings.
great deals.

but i'll pass.

grateful for a paid day off with my family.

for realsies!

day no. 13,185: the gracious gifts of God almighty‏

Genesis 33:5


When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he asked, “Who are these with you?”
He answered, “The children God has graciously given your servant.”
If you ever see Team VV putting around, you will see in our train those children God has graciously given to His servants.
Children are a gift from God.
Yes, they are work.
But they are worth the work.
Everything costs something.
Children are worth the price of admission.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

day no. 13,184 continued... and happy thanksgiving by the way

turkey.
football.
pumpkin pie.
etc...

grateful for a paid day off.

for reals.

day no. 13,184: the Israel of God‏

Galatians 6:15-16

15 For both circumcision and uncircumcision mean nothing; what matters instead is a new creation. 16 May peace come to all those who follow this standard, and mercy to the Israel of God!
The standard is that of being reborn (a new creation) by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
May peace come to all those who believe and behave in accordance with this standard.
Those who do are the true Israel of God.
Those who struggle the good struggle of faith.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

day no. 13,183: the sword of the Spirit or the scalpel of men?‏

Galatians 5:1
Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Do everything you can to resist the urge to go back to proving your worth and value by doing something great for God. God values you as much as He does Jesus if you have faith in Him. That’s it. If you are willing to be simple and have faith, you will have to value what God values instead of valuing what you strive so hard for outside of Jesus. If this was once or currently is you, be on guard against reverting being that way again on this side of the Cross of Jesus. Be careful to root out and kill any part of you that seeks now to earn what you have been already been given by faith.
Galatians 5:5
For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.
We came to Jesus and were adopted into the family of God by our faith in Jesus and the Spirit’s work in us to believe Him alone.
Galatians 5:12
I wish those who are disturbing you might also get themselves castrated!
It’s not every day an apostle tosses out a statement like this, eh?
Paul is running out the heretical argument to its logical conclusion: if cutting some of your penis off makes you more holy, would not cutting the whole thing off make you even holier. If circumcision is JV, castration is varsity.
Clearly not. We are made right with God by our faith in Jesus, not through works of the flesh (here represented quite literally as a work of literal flesh)
Galatians 5:13
For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.
So one might conclude from his strong words earlier that it doesn’t matter then what we do as long as we have faith in Jesus because nothing else matters.
Hit pause on that.
Paul didn’t say that everything else doesn’t matter, he just clarified that nothing else saves except the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Christ did not set us free from sin so that we could serve ourselves.
Galatians 5:25
Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.
We declare that by the Spirit alone do we have life.
Since the Spirit is the source of our lives, should not He also be the Ruler, Guide and Comforter of our livelihood?
That’s what they call rhetorical my friends.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

day no. 13,182: which new something are you seeking?‏

My friend, Tim sent me this email in response to our Bible read through passage:
Galatians 4:15-16
15 Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
When a man finds that he doesn't agree with the Truth, he should not seek to find a new truth, rather he should call on Jesus for help to find a new man, within himself.
Well put my man.
When we find that we disagree with Truth, it is not a mere matter of finding a better truth to agree with, but asking God to create in us a new man to embrace the one Truth, Way and Life that leads to life with God in Jesus.

Monday, November 24, 2014

day no. 13,181: an unlikely birth story

Galatians 4:28
Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
Isaac was a miracle baby.
His elderly parents conceived a miraculous child as promised by God.
When you or I place our faith in Jesus and our lives into His hands, a miracle takes place, just like the unlikely birth of Isaac.
By our faith in Him, we are remade and reborn into a child of God.
It requires a miracle of God to remake us.

Friday, November 21, 2014

day no. 13,178: fettered and free‏

Galatians 4:8-9

But in the past, when you didn’t know God, you were enslaved to things that by nature are not gods. But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?

You will be a slave to something.  

You are either a slave of Jesus or a slave to something else.  

Would you say you are a slave of Jesus’?  
Would anyone else say that you are a slave of Jesus’?  
Would your calendar speak to you being a slave of Jesus’? 
What about your bank account?  
Would your words spoken on any given day repeated back to you testify that Jesus is your boss?
Galatians 4:16
Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
I realize that asking questions like that may miff some people, but what would you have me do?  

Would you prefer flattery?  

You didn’t come to Jesus by flattery and you certainly won’t maintain pressing on in the race by flattery.  

The truth will set you free.  
Free to do what?  

Free to become a slave of Jesus rather than a slave to your silly, sorry self.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

day no. 13,177: I AM FEAR‏

Genesis 31:42

If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, certainly now you would have sent me off empty-handed. But God has seen my affliction and my hard work, and He issued His verdict last night.”
I had never before grabbed on to this particular title for God prior to Candeo going through Genesis:  Fear.
Did you catch that?
The Fear of Isaac.
He is the One with whom we have to do and here Jacob calls Him the Fear of his father Isaac.
If that weren’t enough, a few verses later, he says it again.

Genesis 31:53

The God of Abraham, and the gods of Nahor—the gods of their father—will judge between us.” And Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac.

God is love and mercy and kindness and FEAR.

He is a terrifying God, almighty and able to do whatever He desires whenever and for however long He determines.
Those of us who are in Christ no longer have anything to fear because Fear is on our side. 
If you are not a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ, you have much to fear for He who is FEAR is against you.
But if you have faith in Jesus fear not little flock, your Father and Fear in Heaven is leveraging all of His resources to love you and conform you to the image of His Son.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

day no. 13,176: in charge of working and watching‏


Genesis 2:15 

The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.

Men are called to work and to watch over the responsibilities God has given to them.

In other words, we must cultivate and guard what has been entrusted to us by God.

That includes our marriages, our children and our ministries.

Cultivating is a lot of work.
It is a front end investment.
It works with the promise of future reward.
It produces abundant fruit.

Guarding is a lot of time.
It is a back end investment.
It watches over what it values.
It protects the fruit.

We are called to work and watch, to cultivate and protect.

This means time, energy and money spent on your wife in order to see her bloom.

This means time, energy and money spent on your children in order to see them have fruitful lives.

This means time, energy and money spent in your local church serving the body with your talents to assist in the harvest of souls.

It is a lot of work and it is what God has called men to do.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

day no. 13,175: emptying the cross by our clever coolness

1 Corinthians 1:17
"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to evangelize — not with clever words, so that the cross of Christ will not be emptied of its effect."
It is easy to empty the cross of Christ by adding our coolness or cleverness to it.
People don’t need to think that you’re cool.
They don’t need to think that you’re clever.
They need to worship Jesus for the fullness of what He has done for us.
Do not take away from the completed works of Jesus by adding the stumbling block of your coolness and cleverness to it.
Let the stumbling block of the Cross be enough to trip others up.

Monday, November 17, 2014

day no. 13,174: an under-utilized text on parent-child relationships

2 Corinthians 12:14b

…For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.
Parents are obligated to save up for their children. 
If you are a parent, you are under the obligation to save up for your children, not spend your resources on yourself.
If you wanted to spend everything on yourself, you should not have sought to have children.

2 Corinthians 12:20

For I fear that perhaps when I come I will not find you to be what I want, and I may not be found by you to be what you want; there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.

This builds on the former point of proper behavior between parents and children in both directions.
Children are disciplined by parents that love them.
Only parents who HATE their children refuse to discipline them (Proverbs 13:24).
The reality for those parents is that they love themselves too much to endure the difficulty of disciplining their children.
They don’t want to spend their energy and tears to do what God has commanded them.
Children ought to respond to their parents’ commands with obedience and discipline with corrected attitude and actions.
The end point is this:
Selfish parents spend everything on themselves and refuse to pay the cost of loving their children.
Selfish children refuse to pay the cost of obeying their authorities and spend their time in rebellion.

Friday, November 14, 2014

day no. 13,171: flexing our weaknesses‏

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

If you spend all of your energy attempting to hide and cover up your weaknesses, you will have no energy left to boast about God’s strength for you.

If you exhaust yourself trying to be strong, you will leave no ambition to make much of His strength for you.

Religious people trying to earn their way to God’s favor will see you and be spurred on to try even harder and be even better and BOTH of you will fall short of the grace of God by refusing to receive His power in your weakness.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

day no. 13,170: thistle farmers‏

Galatians 6:7-10
Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.

We are all by nature thorn and thistle planters.
If we reap what we have sown, we will reap disaster and judgment.
If we want a fruitful harvest, we have to be in the Spirit.
To have the Spirit we must be reborn.
The flesh sows corruption and will reap devastation.
The Spirit sows redemption and will reap glorification in Jesus.
If you are not reborn, you are not a child of God.
You are a wicked one sowing seeds of thorns and thistles and weeds among the wheat harvest.
You may be camouflaged by the harvest popping up in your proximity, but you are dead, unfruitful and choking the life of those around you that are genuinely reborn by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Stop sowing destruction.
Start reaping salvation by the perfect Seed that fell to the ground in death and rose again to eternal life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

day no. 13,169: we marginalize God when we rationalize sin

Genesis 29:26
Laban answered, “It is not the custom in this place to give the younger daughter in marriage before the firstborn.”
We marginalize God when we rationalize sin.
When we choose to sin rather to trust God, we are saying, “I’ve got a plan and it’s better than Yours.”
Laban rationalized his sin by appealing to what he thought ought to have been done.
Where are we doing the same thing?
Where are we rationalizing our sin based on culture or tradition and in so doing marginalizing God in our lives?
Maybe we should abandon our attempts at self-realization through self-determination and self-reliance.
Just a thought for those of us who call ourselves Christian.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

day no. 13,168: bragging rights

2 Corinthians 10:17-18
 
17 So the one who boasts must boast in the Lord.18 For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.
 
We like boasting.
 
We often default to it.
 
Whether it is about our team over every other team or our color pallet, musical taste, movie choices, etc... over every other.
 
Paul encourages us to keep boasting.
 
The solution to boasting about stupid stuff is not  to quit boasting altogether.
 
The solution is tp BEGIN boasting about the Lord.
 
Make Him your boast.
 
Like so many things in life, the moral solution undercuts the godly purpose.
 
If you merely stop boasting, you won’t fulfill your purpose in boasting about Him.
 
Sure, you won’t brag about yourself (which is great) but the goal isn’t’ merely to stop exalting yourself.

The goal is not only, “I must decrease.”
 
The goal is also and ultimately, “HE MUST INCREASE”

Monday, November 10, 2014

day no. 13,167: acknowledging the lie and exalting the Christ‏

2 Corinthians 10:4b-6


We demolish arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.6 And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience has been confirmed.

If you are a Christian or have at least been around Christian culture long enough,you've probably heard the phrase, “take every thought captive to Christ.” What you probably haven’t heard is the context in which that verse occurs.

This is an act of spiritual warfare. This is demolishing idolatry as it rears its ugly head in our thoughts and in the thoughts of those we love and to whom we minister.

This is not merely greeting card spirituality turning frowns upside down and what not.

This is acknowledging the lie and exalting the Christ.

This is war.

Friday, November 7, 2014

day no. 13,164: a stroll through 2 Corinthians 9 - giving ourselves away and getting more of God

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously.7 Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.8 And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.

God provides the means to give.

The one who gives, gets more of God.
The one who holds on to what they have, holds on to seeds that fail to produce fruit.
They end up with less by trying to hold on to what they have.

2 Corinthians 9:11

You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us.

When you give, you get more of God and others get the opportunity to give gratitude and glory to God for your gift.

Everyone gets from God when you give.

So why withhold from yourself and your neighbor the growing opportunity to glorify God in gratitude for His gifts to us?

Giving away our treasure is consistent with our confession of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We demonstrate we have received His gift by giving to others in similar fashion.

And this not for our own glory and admiration from our neighbor, but for our clear consciences before God and man and our neighbor’s attraction and appreciation of the Gospel of Jesus for themselves.

2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.

We give because He first gave.
We live because He lives.
We love because He first loved us.

First things first.
He is before all things.
Let’s follow hard after Him.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

day no. 13,163: waterless clouds‏

2 Corinthians 8:10-11

10Now I am giving an opinion on this because it is profitable for you, who a year ago began not only to do something but also to desire it.11 But now finish the task as well, that just as there was eagerness to desire it, so there may also be a completion from what you have.

Many of you have stated at one time or another after getting riled up that you would start giving a tenth of everything you get back to God.

Some of you still haven’t followed through on that yet.

Hear the Spirit’s plea:

“finish the task as well, that just as there was eagerness to DESIRE it, so there may also be a COMPLETION from what you have.”

It’s good to be inspired to give.
It’s better to complete that desire by actually giving.

Instead of using your hand full of cash to pat your back for the desire to give it away, perhaps you should actually extend and open your hand to complete the desire by giving that cash away to His purposes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

day no. 13,162: sabbath rest is understanding and trusting that it is very good‏

My friend, Joel Vint, sent me this sermon on Sabbath rest by Timothy Keller.

Below are the link and the live-time notes I typed out while listening through it.

4 explanations of American work-a-holism

A - Job instability/competition
B - Disparity in salaries between entry level and highest level
C – Technology (you can work anywhere, so we work everywhere)
D – We define ourselves by what we want to be attaining (work is loaded with psychological pressure to help us fulfill our defined verdicts)

We have an inner need to prove ourselves to others and our own self which makes work so full of weariness. By default we assume we are what we do or have done or continue to keep doing.

We have an eternal inner murmur.

“I wanna go the distance. Then I’ll know I’m not a bum.” ~Rocky

I hear you, Rocky. Been there, often doing that too.

If you don’t have Jesus, you don’t have rest. If you have Jesus and you don’t have rest, you don’t know yet what you have.

REST = to be utterly satisfied with what has been done (God said, “VERY GOOD!” and rested)

In Jesus, you can look at yourself and your work and say, “It is good. It is finished.”

Physical work doesn’t make us weary; it’s the absence of deep rest.

This was GOLDEN: We never finish the wearisome work of asking the question, “Am I important?” If you were important yesterday, today the question remains: “Am I still important today?”

The Pharisees' plot to kill Jesus confirms Jesus as Lord of the Sabbath because Jesus experienced infinite restlessness on the Cross and then said, “It is finished!”

Because Jesus said, “It is finished!,” God looks at us and says, “It is very good!”

The work that makes us weary is finished in Jesus and so in Him we can have real, deep and enduring REST.

Vacations don’t deal with the deep rest, they merely are breaks from the physical work.

Without Jesus, the eternal inner murmur never finds rest. Never EVER.

All attempts to practice the Sabbath without first RESTING in JESUS are in vain.

INNER DISCIPLINES:

1. Act of Liberation – DT 15 – observe the Sabbath because you’ve been set free by Jesus! Slaves don’t get a day off. If you can’t rest, you’re a slave. Now that Jesus has set you free, be free (Gal 5:1)

2. Act of Trust – God has already finished the only essential work, therefore we are free to work hard without the pressure to help Him complete the good work.

EXTERNAL DISCIPLINES

1. Take more Sabbath time.

2. Balance your Sabbath time by doing something…
     a. Avocational (something you typically don’t do)
     b. Contemplative (something that expresses your worship)
     c. Inactive (physical rest)

3. Be accountable for Sabbath time: different seasons require different output, but knowing this, make sure to be even more accountable to not defaulting to making every season one where you work too much.

4. Inject Sabbath time into your work: think of gleaning where fields were not worked to the last corner. You’ll have to run the risk of falling behind in your career in order to spend your time for His Kingdom, not building yours.

5. Community: get some people around you in the same or similar vocation and do the work of figuring out what it looks like for you all to rest in Jesus.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

day no. 13,161: God guides us by the wisdom He does, gives and purchases for us‏

You’ve heard of the milk and meat of the Word.
 
According to Tim Keller, Proverbs are the hard candy of the Word.
 
It takes time and effort to appreciate, but the end result is sweet.
 
In this message my friend, Joel Vint, sent my way, Timothy Keller expounds on the idea of our plans and God’s plan and how they interact and exist in light of each other.
 
He discussed in detail how we are led by the guidance God:
 
1 - does,
2 - gives and
3 - purchases for us.
 
Want to learn more?
 
See below.
 

Monday, November 3, 2014

day no. 13,160: the price of admission‏

“The more we pay for advice, the more we are likely to listen to it. Advice from a friend, which is free, we may take or leave. Advice from a consultant we have paid much for personally, we are more likely to accept, but it's still our choice--we can take it or leave it. But the guidance of God is different. First of all, we do not come to God asking for advice, but for God's will--and that is not optional. And, God's fee is the highest one of all: it costs everything. To ask for the guidance of God requires abandonment. We no longer say, 'If I trust you, you will give me such and such.' Instead we must say, 'I trust you. Give me, or withhold from me whatever you choose.' As John Newton says, 'What you will, when you will, how you will.” ~Elisabeth Elliot
 
No need to add anything to that.
 
So I won’t.