Thursday, December 3, 2015

day no. 13,555: the passive and active wrath of God

Friday, November 13, 2015

day no. 13,535: Thy Mercy, My God (unabridged)

We choose hymns for each of our kids and sing a verse before bedtime.  "Thy Mercy, My God": is the hymn we picked for Rocco.  It reminds me of Romans 12:1 where Paul turns the corner from orthodoxy to orthopraxy, from the light of the Gospel to living in light of the Gospel.  In this verse, Paul says, "Therefore, in view of God's mercies..."  He uses the phrase "in view of God's mercies" as a summary statement of the entire Gospel he has spent the 11 prior chapters detailing with theological precision.  Therefore, "God's mercies" can be used as a way of referring to the entirety of the Gospel. This song speaks to the glorious joy and gratitude of a heart saved by grace through faith in Christ alone to the glory of God alone!

The author: John Stocker, of Honitan, Devonshire. Contributed during 1776 and 1777 nine hymns to "Gospel Magazine" Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, 1908 

1 Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, 
The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue; 
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, 
Hath won my affections and bound my soul fast. 

2 Without thy free mercy I could not live here 
Sin soon would reduce me to utter despair; 
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive, 
And He that first made me, still keeps me alive. 

3 Thy mercy surpasses the sin of my heart 
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart, 
Dissolved by thy goodness, I fall to the ground 
And weep to the praise of the mercy I found. 

4 The door of Thy mercy stands open all day 
To the needy and poor, who knock by the way; 
No sinner shall ever be empty sent back, 
Who comes seeking mercy for Jesus' dear sake. 

5 Thy mercy in Jesus exempts me from hell; 
Its glories I'll sing, and its wonders I'll tell: 
'Twas Jesus the friend when He hung on the tree 
That opened the channel of mercy for me. 

6 Great Father of mercies, thy goodness I own, 
And covenant love of thy crucified Son: 
All praise to the Spirit, whose action divine 
Seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

day no. 13,534: ten years in the making

10 years ago today I nervously attempted to hide a bowl and washcloth in Paige's dorm room at Wartburg College. I didn't want her to catch a glimpse or a whiff of what was to come later that evening.  I got my James Bond on and she didn't see the supplies until I exited the bathroom later that evening with them prepped and ready to go.  She sat down on her dorm room futon and I sat down at her feet, bucket, water and washcloth in tow. I washed her feet and asked her if she would do me the honor of being my girlfriend and committing herself to me and the prospect of seeing if perhaps God would bless our budding love all the way to the altar. She said, "Yes!" and 10 years later we sit here in our living room with 5 little kids calling us mom and dad. 8 years of marriage and a budding legacy that began 10 years ago today on a dorm room floor in Waverly, IA. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

day no. 13,526: rocksteady

tonight at 10:38pm Rocco Henry Warfield Van Voorst was born and transferred from womb to room. weighing in at 9lbs 10.9oz and towering over other lesser babies at 22 inches, he is a rockstar! 

i love this little man.  

i have no idea who exactly he looks like yet, but newborns always kind of look like they've recently participated in a fight club.  

what a stud little buddy. i'm very excited to get to know him and to tell him about Jesus and to introduce him to his brothers and sisters who will most certainly love him with all their little van voorst hearts.

welcome to our circus little man.  we're working without a net and we may have a bunch of clowns crammed into a van, but it's entertaining and the popcorn is overflowing.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

day no. 13,523: character witness

My faithful dead friend Oswald Chambers reminded me of this today:

"Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsyllabled isolation. Never confound the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life. Much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him — “I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.” “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” — this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible."

Saturday, October 31, 2015

day no. 13,522: 181,882 days ago this very day

Happy Reformation Day!

498 years ago today Martin Luther nailed 95 theses beginning with...

1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, "Repent" (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. ~ Martin Luther

He changed the way we think about repenting which is fitting since the word repent means change your mind, agree with God NOT do penance.

Feast your eyes upon this article published today by R.C. Sproul.

Here's the closing remark:

In the final analysis, the Roman Catholic Church affirmed at Trent and continues to affirm now that the basis by which God will declare a person just or unjust is found in one’s “inherent righteousness.” If righteousness does not inhere in the person, that person at worst goes to hell and at best (if any impurities remain in his life) goes to purgatory for a time that may extend to millions of years. In bold contrast to that, the biblical and Protestant view of justification is that the sole grounds of our justification is the righteousness of Christ, which righteousness is imputed to the believer, so that the moment a person has authentic faith in Christ, all that is necessary for salvation becomes theirs by virtue of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. The fundamental issue is this: is the basis by which I am justified a righteousness that is my own? Or is it a righteousness that is, as Luther said, “an alien righteousness,” a righteousness that is extra nos, apart from us—the righteousness of another, namely, the righteousness of Christ? From the sixteenth century to the present, Rome has always taught that justification is based upon faith, on Christ, and on grace. The difference, however, is that Rome continues to deny that justification is based on Christ alone, received by faith alone, and given by grace alone. The difference between these two positions is the difference between salvation and its opposite. There is no greater issue facing a person who is alienated from a righteous God.

At the moment the Roman Catholic Church condemned the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, she denied the gospel and ceased to be a legitimate church, regardless of all the rest of her affirmations of Christian orthodoxy. To embrace her as an authentic church while she continues to repudiate the biblical doctrine of salvation is a fatal attribution. We’re living in a time where theological conflict is considered politically incorrect, but to declare peace when there is no peace is to betray the heart and soul of the gospel.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

day no. 13,520: riches to rags

James 5:1-3
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.
You will have what you treasure.
The treasure of this world will eat you alive, forever.
The treasure of Christ will keep you alive, forever.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

day no. 13,519: 9 years ago today

It was 9 years ago today that I faked a birthday party for myself in order to propose to the lady I call wife.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

day no. 13,518: the love of a father

This thought is far from exhausted, but I wanted to capture some of it even if its only a snapshot of thoughts in process.

I don't love a lot of people. I like most people, but I don't love many.

I think God is using my family and the growing number of children who call me, "Daddy," to increase the number of people I adore in this world both in quantity and in diversity.

Each child is so different in personality, features, voice, character, etc... and I love them all fiercely. God is growing me in capacity to love and commit myself to more by giving me an ever growing flock of littles for whom my heart leans in without exception.

Praise God for using the dreams and aspiration He placed on my heart to better me and expand my ability and willingness to love and spend myself to more.

Monday, October 26, 2015

day no. 13,517: to dads of daughters

Mark Driscoll sent this out in an email today with specific respect to his 12 year old daughter. I hope and pray and aspire to be this kind of dad to my daughters Penelope and Laurelai and any other girls that may be granted us to raise.
  1. The world is a dangerous place, and a daddy is commissioned to protect his daughter from harm.
  2. By providing for her practical and emotional needs, a daddy creates an environment in which his daughter can flourish.
  3. A daddy provides appropriate male affection that helps safeguard a girl from seeking it elsewhere.
  4. In loving her mom, a dad sets a pattern of what a healthy relationship should look like.
  5. Since they are both called “father”, a daddy can help a girl understand the love of her heavenly Father.
  6. In a world filled with confusion and manipulation, a daddy can help a girl understand her true identity and value. 
  7. By having fun with his daughter, a daddy nurtures a relationship in which she wants to spend time with him.
  8. By being a teacher to his girl, a daddy can help her navigate the practical issues of life.
  9. As her first pastor, a daddy introduces his daughter to Jesus, the Bible, prayer, and church.
  10. By knowing and encouraging his daughter, a daddy can help her be secure in who God made her to be. 
  11. By acknowledging his own faults, flaws, and failures, a daddy helps his daughter learn how to be honest about her own struggles. 
  12. In accepting his daughter as a gift from the Lord, a daddy sees her as a treasure and helps her to also see herself as a treasure. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

day no. 13,513: oh, freedom!

Those who refuse to be under authority do not find freedom, but actually inspire increased restriction being enforced against them (i.e time out, prison and eventually hell itself) while those who submit themselves under the authorities God has placed in their lives find freedom and the increased opportunity to do as they desire. 

"Love God and do as you please." ~ St. Augustine

John 10:9
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
What we want in rebellion against authority, we find in submission to authority: freedom.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

day no. 13,509: being right and being righteous

it is possible in pride to be right without being righteous and it is possible in Christ to be righteous without always being right.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

day no. 13,473: rocco henry warfield

Well, it's official.

Rocco Henry Warfield Van Voorst is the name of the baby boy due Oct. 31, 2015.

Here's a little background on the name selection:


Simon Bar Jonas was the disciple Jesus Christ renamed Peter or "Rock."

I love Peter, his rawness, his boldness, his repentance after failure, his persistence, his passion, his faith, his works, his life, his death.

Rocco literally means "rest."  I love the idea of rest, of being at rest in Christ, of striving ceasing, of that final Sabbath Rest that awaits us all in Christ at His coming and Kingdom.

I love the Hebrew war cry "Rak Chazak Amats" and while not a direct derivative, I like that it sounds like the beginning of that ancient call to manliness and playing the man, being strong and courageous, being a man and fighting for things worth fighting for and dying for things worth living for.

Also of those who wore the name well, St, Rocco, a saint born with the mark of a cross on his person and a life of serving Jesus, the poor, the sick, the needy and humbly accepting and persevering under false accusations and imprisonments.


Easy, it's my middle name.

But more than that it literally means "head of the household" from "haim" which means 'home' and "rik" which means 'ruler.' So it is a charge and encouragement to be the head of the household as a federal husband, like Jesus, taking responsibility for those under his care and leveraging all his God-given and mandated strength to serve, provide and protect those for whom he bares responsibility.

It is a call to complementarianism and the roles of men and women as designed and commanded by God and godliness.


B.B. Warfield is a dead, white, reformed theologian which in my book is a great start to an eternal friendship. I read a book last year summarizing essays, sermons and books written by Warfield on the Christian Life.

I also have a feeling that within my childrens' respective lifetimes the spiritual battle and war in both the physical world and the world of ideas and doctrine will be waged fiercely.

2 Corinthians 10:5-6
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 

I am praying for sons that fight courageously the good fight and agonize over the good agony, spending themselves for that which will endure them and outshine them for their benefit forever and ever, that is the glory of God revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, our Lord! I am praying my sons help DESTROY wolves and false teachings to the protection of the flocks over which they are given influence.

I am very excited to meet my newest son and tell him about his name and the God who will one day rename all of those found eternally in His Son. (REV 2:17)


Monday, August 31, 2015

day no. 13,461: hiatus

may be posting on here less regularly than before for a while.

I will still post periodically, but the grind of pumping out posts monday-friday on a weekly
basis has finally caught up with me.

I will be posting on Twitter at:


Friday, August 28, 2015

day no. 13,458: either there was a Jesus or there was nothing

“Either there was Jesus or there was nothing.” ― Larry HuntspergerThe Fisherman

Jesus is everything.

If there is no Him, there is nothing else.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

day no. 13,457: the Bible is a story about a dragon fight

"The Bible is a story about a dragon fight." ~ Douglas Wilson, Future Men

Jesus is the dragon-slayer to end all dragon-slayers.

It is good for a little boy to dream about fighting and slaying dragons and giants.

I am glad to have two little ones with feet on the ground that enjoy a good sword fight and one coming this October who I pray joins the battle as soon as he can.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

day no. 13,456: one team, one dream‏

Ephesians 5:28

In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.
Becoming one flesh means taking care of my wife the way I would take care of myself.

It only makes sense.

What person doesn't seek food when hungry or water when thirsty?

That same level of attentiveness and concern should be displayed for my wife.

Always aware of her wants and needs and making them a priority in my life.

Beyond it being a ministry to my wife, it also serves my long-term best interests as Paul points out here.

My wife and I are one.

Spending myself to love my wife is an investment in my marriage's long-term success and my satisfaction in being part of it.

Our lives are measured not by how much we have accumulated, but how much we have given away.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

day no. 13,455 continued... 10 years ago this very evening

It was 10 years ago this very evening that I met my wife in person for the very 1st time!

Little did either of us know where we'd be these 10 years later, but I don't think it's an overstatement to suggest that we both had an inkling, perhaps, that it might be something similar to what we are currently enjoying.

Paige and I hit it off quickly and quickly realized we had similar ideas of where we wanted to go and where we wanted to go with our lives.

So here's to 10 years ago and a memory of the Salt Company kickoff in Ames, IA which I treasure.

day no. 13,455: thoughts from Luke 12:22-48‏

the passage begins with a "therefore" which requires you to place your teaching within the general context and in particular the main point immediately preceding your passage: which was being rich in this world and poor towards God leads to your everlasting destruction in the life to come.

the command following the "therefore" is simple and straightforward. "Don't be anxious about your life."

Jesus goes on to explain what He means by "life" by giving a few examples: food and clothing.  I don't think He means to say that these are all that make up one's "life" but rather that these are two obvious and easy areas of everyone's lives to identify as opportunities to trust God as a providing Father or anxiously, feverishly work to protect one's self from potential disaster.

also,worthy of noting is that Jesus commands "Don't be anxious."

it isn't a suggestion or a tip or a lifehack for a better livelihood.  it is a command from Jesus our God and Savior. "Don't be anxious about your life."

anxiety or anxiousness about worldly things is the sin of unbelief which is ultimately why Jesus commands us to separate ourselves from it.

Jesus then gives one example each of food and clothing by pointing to ravens and lillies, both of which are provided for by God without any anxious toil on their part. 

Jesus' point here is punctuated by Him saying emphatically that God loves us more than birds and flowers. anymore, this isn't necessarily an assumed notion, but it is nevertheless still true. Jesus became a person to save people to call them brothers to have blood like us so that He could spill His blood for us as a ransom in order to redeem us from our sin.  He didn't become a bird or a lily to identify with them.  He is their God, but He is our Father and we are His children through faith in Jesus Christ.

it is also worth noting that this lesson and command to no be anxious is aimed at the heart of those already confessing belief and faith in Jesus, the parable that ends your passage gives plenty of opportunity to aim at the ignorant and unbelieving who will suffer at the wrath of the Lamb for their ignorance and unbelief in Him.

“Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth 'thrown in': aim at Earth and you will get neither.”― C.S. Lewis, The Joyful Christian

Anxiety about this life amounts to nothing. It doesn't give you more life, it doesn't make your current life better, it doesn't make life more fulfilling, it doesn't convince death and destruction and moths and rust and decay to deviate from their God-ordained purpose. The thorns and thistles of this world are a curse from God that also provides the blessing of teaching our hearts to desire a better country, that is a heavenly one.

Hebrews 11:13-16

13 These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. 14 Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return.16 But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
I adore LUKE 12:32. I find it to be a GREAT source of hope and comfort about the kind of God we serve and the kind of future we have ahead of us if we remain faithful to Him and trust His hand for better or for worse. 
Marriage vows include a promise to keep covenant under conditions of poverty or prosperity, sickness or health, better or worse and that is a promise made to a person who will most assuredly sin against you.  How much more the loyalty and promise we can make to our God and Father who never sins and desires eagerly to give us His first and best and serve us by handing us a Kingdom already prepared by Himself.
Lastly, you pointed out the 4 categories this morning: 
believes master is coming soon and is working to please Him until He comes back
believes master is coming sometime, maybe and so in the meantime are acting like they own the joint and demonstrate their evil by choosing to run a loose ship with carousing, gluttony and mean-spirited, harsh treatment of others who stick around the true Master's house.
believes master is coming sometime, but doesn't do anything (good or bad) they don't try to take over the house as headmaster, but they do ignore the Master's desires and disgrace His value by doing nothing to demonstrate the reality that they live in His house. this is the sin of Adam watching his wife eat the apple. the common sin of men specifically and people in general. 
didn't know master was coming back and was acting like they were the master of the house because they didn't know someone else would ever come back and claim authority over it.
the severity is from worst to least #2, #3, #4 with #1 receiving no beating or negative consequence for their waiting and working under the rule of the Master of the home even in His absence or delayed return.

Monday, August 24, 2015

day no. 13,454: blood bond‏

Ephesians 2:13

But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
We were all once far from God.

We lived and died everyday far away from Him and His reign and rule in our hearts, in our heads and in the works of our hands.

But by the blood of Jesus we are brought close.

Because Jesus died and shed His blood, we can be close to God without fear.

Friday, August 21, 2015

day no. 13,451: we need strong, good men to protect us from strong, wicked men

“Unbelief squashes; faith teaches. Faith takes a boy aside, and tells him that this part of what he did was good, while that other part of what he did got in the way. And this is how to do it better next time.” ― Douglas Wilson, Future Men

It is easy to see the chaos and sin in boys' energy and aggression.

But it takes faith to see the glory of God growing in the lives and hearts of little men as they break your lamps, ruin your carpet and dig up your yard.

it takes faith to teach boys how to be men.

It takes nothing more than worldliness and religion to neuter boys of their energy and aggression.

"In the past, a common taunt against Christianity was that the 'church' was an activity for little old ladies of both sexes."

The problem with boys isn't that they aren't more like girls.

The problem with boys is that they are sinners, just like little girls, but their sin is so much more destructive and disruptive to peace and quiet.

So it is easier to castrate them and avoid the clean up in aisle 5 rather than teach them how to harness and aim their energy and aggression toward righteousness which alone can rise up to defend the weak and powerless against the flexed muscles of the powerfully wicked.

We need strong, good men to protect us from strong, wicked men.

Too often the church has been guilty of sucking the strength from young men in order to guard against them growing up to be strong, wicked men in whose paths we tremble. The Christian approach has been to take away Popeye's spinach in order to avoid the fear of Popeye turning out to be a villain.

But Bluto is out there and he is strong and he is setting his sights on Olive Oil.  Her only hope is that someone good and strong will rise up to take on her wicked and strong captor. However, the Popeyes we prefer are too weak and too frail to fight off Bluto's raw power. The Popeyes we love blog ferociously against the actions of Bluto, but lack they courage and follow through to actually oppose him on his own turf. We like our Popeyes good and weak while waiting and wishing for the Blutos of the world to die.  We desire a world of weakness. A good, powerless world in which we feel safe and sound.

Additionally, robbing men of strength does nothing to address their wickedness.  It just makes their wickedness of the slimy, pathetic, lazy, shady, backbiting variety of which the world certainly does not benefit from multiplying.

God, grant me the faith and strength to raise my boys to rise up to fight giants, kill wolves and slay dragons by faith through the strength God has given them.

1 John 2:14

I write to you, fathers,

    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God abides in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

day no. 13,450: do, don't and done‏

Galatians 6:15

It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.
You cannot be saved by what you do or what you don't do.

You cannot prepare a long list of accomplishments worthy enough of entrance into His holy presence.

You cannot prepare a long list of vices from which you abstained participating worthy enough of you being declared righteous, clean and holy.

The ONLY thing that actually counts is being born again, made new by grace through in Jesus Christ ALONE.

Not what you do, not what you don't do, but what Christ has done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

day no. 13,449: cut offs are always en vogue

Galatians 5:4-5

4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.
Paul told the Galatians that they could only be made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Others had come and said you needed faith in Jesus PLUS you had to be circumcised in order to be made right with God.

So Paul's response in this letter is to tell the Galatians that if they choose to cut part of themselves off then they will be cut off from Christ because their confidence is in their flesh (or recent lack thereof) instead of in Christ ALONE.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

day no. 13,448: the always present threat of works righteousness‏

Galatians 2:11

But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong.
Peter knew that the only way to be right with God was through faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is the message he worked so hard to get to the Jews that they might believe and have life.

But Peter was also tempted to believe that being Jewish or acting Jewish had a little more street cred than not being Jewish.

It's easy to do.

I do it.

I sometimes get sucked up into the surface of things and forget the substance of things and I have to constantly be reminded of the simple truth of Jesus solely, Jesus wholly, Jesus ever only be. 

It is good to be surrounded by God-fearing, Gospel-filled friends who can point this out, like Paul did for Peter, when we accidentally add to or take away from the only thing that saves: Jesus all by Himself.

Monday, August 17, 2015

day no. 13,447: 8 years in the making

Eight years.
Book it!

I love you my lady.

I feel like we're getting more and more in stride as the days go by.  I'm more confident in your love for me and mine for you now than I was the day I asked you to say, "I do."

We're growing together in God and in relation to each other.

I love being married to you and am often overjoyed at the thought of the family we have cultivated together.

I like our life together.

Friday, August 14, 2015

day no. 13,444: hi, Lighter

Ephesians 5:7-14

7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Light always defeats darkness.

Wherever there is light, darkness forfeits ground.

The darkness cannot turn the lights off.

Dark rooms are destroyed once they are lit up.

We are sleepwalking in the valley of the shadow of death, but His light wakes us from our stumbling to the slaughter.

You are called to get to know this new reality as the dominating feature of your new existence, forsaking the former life of living only as the walking dead.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

day no. 13,443: maggot beds and worm sheets

Isaiah 14:9-11

9 Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations. 10 All of them will answer and say to you: ‘You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!’ 11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers.

I do not want to go to there.


Not even a little.

This is the terrible end of all pride and grand-standing before God.

God humbles the proud and makes them lay down on maggots only to then cover them with worms.

The boaster's mouth is stopped; their imaginings vanish in the reality of their defeat in death.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

day no. 13,442: Christ died for no purpose

Galatians 2:21

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose

If a person can live well enough to gain access to Heaven then Jesus was slaughtered for no reason.

If a person can get to Heaven without Jesus, God was cruel to allow His Son to suffer such violence only to serve as an example of selflessness.

Right standing with God is only available through faith in Jesus by the grace of God.

If you say there is any other way, you nullify the grace of God and elevate human merit to a place of idolatry.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

day no. 13,441: self and steam‏

2 Corinthians 10:17-18

17 As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”
18 When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.
It doesn't matter what you think of yourself, unless you think a lot of yourself, in which case it matters a great deal because God doesn't buy into boasters.

So what you think of yourself matters a great deal.

If you are puffed up and self-assured, you will be found wilted and left wanting by God at His final judgment.

The ONLY approval that matters is His approval of you.

All the self-esteem in the world will not survive the melting pot of God's pure assessment.

Monday, August 10, 2015

day no. 13,440: which is better? to do the right thing or to have the right motive?‏

Pastor Troy Nesbitt from Cornerstone Church of Ames passed this pearl of wisdom along to me to help me in training and raising my children in the Lord.

“Which is better?"

  • to do the right thing? or
  • to have the right motive?
If I do the right thing with the wrong motive, God sees my heart and, it’s still wrong. If I do the wrong thing with the right motive God sees my heart but, it’s still wrong. So I say, the goal is to do the right thing with the right motive. But it is always right to do what is right regardless of what is going on inside my heart. 

If I have a wrong motive, I should work on that.
If I do the wrong thing, I should learn what the right thing is.

So I tell my kids. If you know the right thing to do…do it. It’s always right to do what is right.

Friday, August 7, 2015

day no. 13,437: left overs and right unders‏

2 Corinthians 8:15

As the Scriptures say,
“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
    and those who gathered only a little had enough."
The ones who gathered a lot, ate a lot.
The ones who gathered a little bit only ate a little bit.

No one gathered more than they needed and stored it aside for later.
No one gathered so little that they were left wanting more right now.

Are we acting in unbelief by trying to gather more than we need?
Are we acting in unbelief by trying to put off gathering anything?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

day no. 13,436: happy day x 2

Happy Birthday Dad!

77 years ago this day you were born.

77 years.

Oh, the places you've been, things you've seen, the jobs you've done, the people you've loved, the life you've lived.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

38 years ago this day you were married.

38 years.

Oh, the places you've been, things you've seen, tears you've shed, laughs you've had, triumphs you've won, trials you've endured.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

day no. 13,435: don't waste it‏

2 Corinthians 6:1-2

We are working together with God. We ask you from our hearts not to receive God’s loving-favor and then waste it. The Holy Writings say, “I heard you at the right time. I helped you on that day to be saved from the punishment of sin. Now is the right time! See! Now is the day to be saved.”
That pretty much says it, eh?

Don't waste the grace you've been given.

Don't take advantage of mercy.

Work together with God because He already worked hard for you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

day no. 13,434: from rags to riches‏

2 Corinthians 5:4-5

While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
While a good deal of time is probably spent yearning for a body that no longer breaks down and sins, the truest desire is not to be DONE with the old body as to be unclothed and free from the body altogether, but rather to be CLOTHED more with righteousness and a body that behaves as it ought to without the influence or interruption of sin.

Monday, August 3, 2015

day no. 13,433: rejecting sinfulness and sliminess‏

2 Corinthians 4:2

We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
I love this.

Paul points out a couple things about the kind of evangelism true Christians engage in.

First, it does not compromise morality for the sake of growing numbers.

God hates sin and all sinful behavior is rejected by His followers.

Second, it does not compromise integrity for the sake of growing numbers.

God has spoken and it is not our job to add to or take away from His words in order to win people to thinking favorably about Him.

So we don't trick sinners by pretending sin isn't a big deal and we don't deceive them telling them only part of the story or leaving parts of the story out or adding parts to the story that make God seem more likable and Christ more tolerable to the unsaved as though it were our job to protect Him from their judgment.