Thursday, April 30, 2015

day no. 13,338: desert souls

John 7:37-38

37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”


Anyone who thirsts for righteousness, who longs for heaven and completion and to be done sinning and being sinned against WILL find refreshment and satisfaction in the Son of God.

Not only will Jesus bring crisp, cold refreshing water to weary, thirsty souls, but He will cause them to well up into RIVERS of water flowing out from their hearts and pouring over into the hands and head and feet and lips.

Those that confess that they are a desert and cry out for water will be refreshed and made into an oasis of hope for other weary travelers.

Check out this song:  Rend Collective - Desert Soul

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

day no. 13,337: happy birthday penelope!

Today little Sissy turns 5 years old!

You are a delight little lady.

You are smart as a whip.

You are a reading machine.

You are a cute as a bug.

You are my little girl and I love you so.

It is a joy watching you grow up.

You are a great little sister to Atticus and big sister to Finneas and Laurelai.

You make me laugh.


Seriously, I just want to record all the things you say.

You love Jesus and wearing dresses.

You like Pink and Purple and  mac n cheese.

You are my little lady and it is a joy being your daddy dearest.

Happy Birthday Penelope!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

day no. 13,335: Kings and Kingdoms‏

John 6:15

When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.
Isn't that an odd response?

Doesn't Jesus want to be king?

Not like this.

He deserves adoration and fanfare.

But unless He dies for His people, they can never enter His Kingdom.

If He allowed the people to anoint Him King now, the Kingdom would remain closed.

Friday, April 24, 2015

day no. 13,332: your hopes will accuse you‏

John 5:45

“Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes."
If you have set your hopes on being a good person, or at least a person who is good enough compared to others and assume that on that basis you will enter eternal rest in Heaven with God, you will find yourself falling short of the very standard you are trying to leverage to your aid.

The Law REQUIRES perfection.

You either are perfect or you fall short.

It is A+ or nothing.

Even if you muster up a B+, it won't pass.

Only perfection.

If you appeal to being more good than bad as the reason you should get to go to heaven, the very logic you are employing to your aid will be the very standard by which you are condemned.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

day no. 13,331: unless you are born again...‏

John 3:3

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
We are all born children of wrath, enemies of God deserving His righteous revenge.

But by grace through faith in Jesus alone we are granted the opportunity to be born again, born fresh, born into a different Kingdom with a different destiny.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

day no. 13,330: God's friends

I read this the other day in my New Testament read through plan:
John 15:13-15
13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
What an amazing descriptor, right?
People often talk of having a relationship with Jesus.  I assume what they mean by that is a positive relationship with Him, one where they obey, He leads, they follow, He dies, they are saved, etc... 
But everyone has a relationship to Jesus.
Some are enemies, some are blasphemers, some are haters, some are ignorers.
But each and every one has a relationship with Jesus.
What an amazing thing that "friend" is even an option when it comes to the types of relationships we could possibly have with Him.
It reminded me of a man named Moses, God's friend.
Exodus 33:11
Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.
We can be God's friends because He laid down His life for us.
Because He initiated that possibility.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

day no. 13,329: two rules and Rulers‏

John 2:10

 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
I remember leading a Connection Group through John 2 a long time ago and reading from Spurgeon with respect to this very verse referring to what he called "the Rule of Hell."

The Rule of Hell is this: lure them in with sweet and then drown them in the sour.

In other words, bait people with attractive things while concealing from them the ugly things that are to come further down that road.

That is how Satan tempts.

The Rule of Heaven is EXACTLY, not surprisingly, the opposite.

Endure the difficult, darkness of this world holding strong to the hope that Christ alone has overcome and in the end you will inherit beautiful blessing forever and ever amen!

Two ways of going about appealing to people.

Two paths.

A narrow one beginning in humility, ending in glory.

A wide one beginning in luxury, ending in hell.

Monday, April 20, 2015

day no. 13,328: one gracious blessing after another‏

John 1:16

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.
Jesus has everything.

And with it all, He is very generous.

He is gracious.

He gives blessing after blessing out of the overflow of His desire to bless.

Friday, April 17, 2015

day no. 13,325: it is ALL about Jesus!‏

Luke 24:27

Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
The Bible is about Jesus.

ESPECIALLY the Old Testament as Jesus points out here.

Luke 24:44-45

44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
The Scriptures are ALL about Jesus.

ALL of them.

Has your mind yet been opened by Jesus to this reality?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

day no. 13,324: burning green wood‏

Luke 23:31

For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?
If the perfect Son of God is imperfectly judged, abused and murdered, how much worse will it be for those who are imperfect when the perfect judgment of God comes?

If Jesus is a green tree, not fit for the fire, yet subjected to the flames, how much more deserving the dry wood for tossing in the flames?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

day no. 13,323: run, run, flee the city of destruction!‏

Luke 17:32

Remember what happened to Lot’s wife!
Do you remember Lot's wife?

She was on her way to safety.

She had been told that if she stayed where she was, she was going to die.

So she was running away from danger.

But she turned back.

She stopped running.

And she became a pillar of salt.

She was on the way to safety when she decided to abort the mission.

Remember Lot's wife.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

day no. 13,322: seeking to give and destroy respective kingdoms‏

Luke 12:32

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
Jesus gladly seeks to be generous.

His desire is to give us His Kingdom.

Luke 12:37

The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat!
Those who wait for Jesus by grace through faith and faithfulness will be served by God Himself.

He comes to them as a servant.

Luke 12:39

“Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into.
Those who do not wait for Jesus will be robbed of their earthly treasures.

He comes to them as a thief.

Jesus wants to gladly give away His Kingdom to those who wait by faith.

Jesus will destroy all other kingdoms that raise opposition to the one kingdom that will remain.

Monday, April 13, 2015

day no. 13.321: cheap Law and fake grace‏

Matthew 5:48

But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
The grace of God is NOT a lessening of His commands.
Grace isn't, "Nice try. Not quite, but I'll accept it."
Grace doesn't diminish the Law.
God STILL requires perfection.
It is a necessity.
Which is why Jesus lived a perfect life.
Jesus did what God required.
And He offers us His perfect resume' so that we can fulfill God's requirements without Him lessening His commands to do so.
God will NOT compromise His holy standards.
BUT, He does provide a holy substitute in Whom we can meet His standards in the person and work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
Grace is Not merely Cheap Law.
The Law is still very expensive and God does NOT lower the bar so that sinners can leap over it.
He allows us to inherit Jesus' success after He jumped over the bar.

Friday, April 10, 2015

day no. 13,318: graceless, godless moralism‏

Job 42:7-9

After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has. So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the Lord commanded them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
Moralism makes God angry!
Job's friends offered many solutions to Job's situation and ALL of them involved Job DOING something to save himself from his circumstances.
That is Gospel-less moralism.
And God HATES it.
It elbows Him out of the picture and suggests that we can force the hand of God by our goodness.
In the end, Job's sufferings qualify him to offer a sacrifice on behalf of his graceless friends.
The very sufferings that those same friends assumed were a scar of disgrace on Job's life, were in fact the very badge of grace of God's continued presence and fellowship with Job.
Jesus suffered perfectly so that He could not only offer something in our place, but that He could offer His very Self in our place.
He is the perfect Mediator.
He goes between to incur the wrath and provide the perfection required for graceless people like you and me to be in God's presence.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

day no. 13,317: His Be The Victor's Name‏

By weakness and defeat, 
He won the meed and crown; 
Trod all our foes beneath His feet 
By being trodden down. 

Tullian Tchividjian turned me on to this line from this hymn.

Christ lost so that we could win.

He suffered defeat so we could be victorious.

He demolished the strongholds that held us by being demolished by our strongholds.

Christ suffered in our place so that we can reign in His place.

Amen and amen!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

day no. 13,316: never beyond grace‏

While listening to a sermon on the book of Job from Tullian Tchividjian the other day, he dropped this gem,

“Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace.”― Jerry BridgesThe Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness

Christ is our life.

We never blow it so bad that we can be unadopted if we are in Christ.

We never kill it so well that we can be children of God without Christ.

Christ is our life.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

day no. 13,315: the rule of much and little‏

Luke 7:47 

“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

Have you been forgiven much?

Have you confessed much?

Are you still trying to convince yourself or others that you for the most part have things under control?

Your love is likely very little.

Jesus offers full, robust, enrapturing forgiveness for those who are willing to agree with Him and find themselves undone in His presence.

He puts back together those who fall apart.

He breaks into pieces those who insist on standing by their own strength.

Fall down before Him.

He will lift you up.

Monday, April 6, 2015

day no. 13,314: blessed are the unworthy‏

Luke 7:4-7

So they earnestly begged Jesus to help the man. “If anyone deserves your help, he does,” they said, “for he loves the Jewish people and even built a synagogue for us.”
So Jesus went with them. But just before they arrived at the house, the officer sent some friends to say, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor. I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.
What did people say about the centurion? Worthy.
What did the centurion say about himself? Not worthy.
What did Jesus say about the centurion? Amazing.

Jesus gave the centurion, a man well-respected and considered worthy yet humble and considered himself unworthy, what they both agreed he did not deserve: grace upon grace.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

day no. 13,313: He rose just like He said He would

1 Corinthians 15:4
He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
1 Corinthians 15:14-19
14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile andyou are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Friday, April 3, 2015

day no. 13,311: He died just like He said He would

1 Corinthians 15:3

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

day no. 13,310: the mission and the means‏

Run, John, run, the law commands, 
But gives us neither feet nor hands. 
Far better news the gospel brings: 
It bids us fly and gives us wings.
~ John Bunyan

I adore John Bunyan.
But I digress...
Finding out our purpose in life is not a pleasant thing.
If you discover you were made to fly and the sole purpose of your life is to fly freely, you might feel discouraged by the fact that you aren't a bird.
But if the purpose is accompanied by a promise, it brings hope.
It makes a purpose a delightful thing, a place to long for, a joyful pursuit.
But if we only discover our purpose with no promise of any progress, we are destroyed by despair and would have fared better to have never discovered our purpose in the first place.
God made us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.
That is bad news.
It's bad news because I don't do that very well or as often as I would like or how much He deserves and requires.
It is only Good News when we discover that God has promised to save us from falling short of our purpose and has provided a means through His Holy Spirit to rebirth us into new creations that are growing more purposeful.
He ultimately promises to make us who His Spirit urges us to be, who He deserves, who we were purposed to be.
A purpose married to a promise is Good News.
It gives us a mission AND the means to accomplish it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

day no. 13,309: disciplined by kindness‏

“When I thought God was hard, I found it easy to sin; but when I found God so kind, so good, so overflowing with compassion, I beat my breast to think I could ever have rebelled against One who loved me so and sought my good.” – C. H. Spurgeon

We often believe that lawlessness just needs stricter laws to restrain it.

Spurgeon points out that love snuffs out the fire of rebellion better than louder shouts and flexed muscles.

God's kindness is meant to lead us to repentance.

It saves us and keeps us by the attraction of its powerful pull.

We often run FROM that which is hard and abrasive.

We desire to run TO that which is soft and kind.