Friday, January 30, 2015

day no. 13,248: no human ingredient in it at all‏

Chambers locked and loaded another gem the other morning when I read,
Waiting for God to act is fleshly unbelief. It means that I have no faith in Him. I wait for Him to do something in me so I may trust in that. But God won’t do it, because that is not the basis of the God-and-man relationship. Man must go beyond the physical body and feelings in his covenant with God, just as God goes beyond Himself in reaching out with His covenant to man. It is a question of faith in God— a very rare thing. We only have faith in our feelings. I don’t believe God until He puts something tangible in my hand, so that I know I have it. Then I say, “Now I believe.” There is no faith exhibited in that. God says, “Look to Me, and be saved…” (Isaiah 45:22).
When I have really transacted business with God on the basis of His covenant, letting everything else go, there is no sense of personal achievement— no human ingredient in it at all. Instead, there is a complete overwhelming sense of being brought into union with God, and my life is transformed and radiates peace and joy.
Good. Stuff.
When we receive God on His terms, we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is not of our own merit or accomplishment that we find ourselves comfortable, safe and secure in God's presence.
His grace saves and assures and does away with every and any compulsion to believe we could achieve salvation without His good works on our behalf.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

day no. 13,247: the one thing you need in order to go to Heaven

The following thought was produced during a conversation with my two big kids before bed:

What do you need to go to Heaven?


The only thing you need is nothing and the faith that Jesus has everything.

The only thing some people don't have (read - refuse to have) is nothing.

And that is all you need if you want to go to Heaven.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

day no. 13,246: zephaniah's closing comfort‏

Zephaniah 3:16-17
16  On that day it will be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear;
Zion, do not let your hands grow weak.
17  Yahweh your God is among you,
a warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will bring you quietness with His love.
He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”

What a comfort to read these words the other morning.

"Do not fear."

I fear sometimes. I worry about the future. I worry that I'm not enough. I worry that I don't believe enough. I worry that Jesus saves some, but not people like me.

"Do not let your hands grow weak."

I am often tired. I feel worn out. My feeble hands cramp. They carry the weight for only so long. They can't do what I wish and they often do what I darkly, deeply desire.

"Yahweh, your God is among you."

This, in itself, is not particularly comforting.  Reflecting upon the sentiments above, you can see why a holy God's nearness would be terrifying rather than comforting.


"A warrior who saves."

He saves weak, feeble, tired, grumpy, grouchy, worried, fearful, timid, pathetic people like me.

He is a warrior where I am a weakling.
He is a Savior where I am a captive.
He is merciful where I am a rebel.

"He will bring you quietness with His love."

My noisy thoughts need quieting.

His love brings peace and quiet.

The fact that we, who require so much work, are such a delight and joy to Him who works and wars on our behalf is startling.

It is unnerving.
It seems unreal.
Over the top.
Too much.

And it is.

But it is true.
It is Who He is.

Revelation 19:11
Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

day no. 13,245: accidental virtue doesn't exist‏

"No man is virtuous because he cannot help it; virtue is acquired." ~ Oswald Chambers
Read this gem from Utmost the other morning.
For virtue to be in you, something has to happen.
Virtue is not present by birth, nature or by accident.
First, God did something.
If not for His initial move, virtue for us is forever fleeting.
But God did something.
By faith we are fully virtuous as Jesus was virtuous in life, death and resurrection.
By faith we are fully virtuous and growing in virtue at the same time, but in different ways.
2 Peter 1:3-11
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness,godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.

Monday, January 26, 2015

day no. 13,244: the revelation of Jesus fulfilling old revelations‏

Revelation 7:17
For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne
will shepherd them;
He will guide them to springs of living waters,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Again today we see John receiving a revelation of Jesus Christ that echoes all the way back to the Old Testament.

Psalm 23:1-2
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
2 He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.

God will guide us to living, quiet waters

Isaiah 25:8
He will destroy death forever.
The Lord God will wipe away the tears
from every face
and remove His people’s disgrace
from the whole earth,
for the Lord has spoken.

God will wipe every tear of sorrow, grief, sadness, sickness and sin from our eyes and remove our disgrace forever.

Friday, January 23, 2015

day no. 13,241: John was able to see Jesus as Isaiah once saw Him‏

Revelation 4:2
Immediately I was in the Spirit, and a throne was set there in heaven. One was seated on the throne

John here sees something that Isaiah once saw hundreds of years earlier, yet reported very similarly.

Isaiah 6:1
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple.

Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on His throne.

Isaiah 6:10
Dull the minds of these people;
deafen their ears and blind their eyes;
otherwise they might see with their eyes
and hear with their ears,
understand with their minds,
turn back, and be healed.

This is what Isaiah heard Him say then.

John 12:40-41
He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so that they would not see with their eyes
or understand with their hearts,
and be converted,
and I would heal them.

41 Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke about Him.
The same was true of those in John's day.
John reports here in His Gospel that Isaiah saw Jesus all those years ago.
John himself, later while writing the book of Revelation referenced earlier, was granted eyes to see what Isaiah once saw: Jesus on the throne.
The Bible is awesome.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

day no. 13,240: the Key of David

During the Christmas season it is not uncommon to hear the following:

O come, thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery.
Its roots are deeply Biblical.

Revelation 3:7
“Write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia:
“The Holy One, the True One, the One who has the key of David, who opens and no one will close, and closes and no one opens

Again, where does this language come from?
You guessed it, the Old Testament

Isaiah 22:22
I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; what he opens, no one can close; what he closes, no one can open.
Jesus is the One with the key to the house of David and by faith in Him alone is the door opened or closed.

He is the Key.
He is the Door.
He is the only Way.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

day no. 13,239: too often, the way taken is the wrong way

"Most of us hold the dream of becoming something better than we are, something larger, richer, in some way more important to the world and ourselves. Too often, the way taken is the wrong way, with too much emphasis on what we want to have, rather than what we wish to become." ~ Louis L'Amour

Too many want greatness without being great.
Too many desire wealth without being rich before God.
Too many want to be large in the view of others without growing.

Too often, the way taken is the wrong way.

The Gospel preaches the exact opposite.

We are free to become less, because we have found the One who is more.
We are free to become poor, because we have found the One who is worth everything.
We are free to become small, because we have found the One who is BIG.

We are free from the patterns and philosophies and worldly wisdoms of getting ahead here, because here no longer holds the same allure it once did before we met Him.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

day no. 13,238: only the fool says in his heart that there actually is a God

"In our world it's cool to search for God, but uncool to find Him." ~ Ray Ortlund, Jr.

And even worse to have been found by Him I might add.

It is cool to be religious and seeking a higher, better way.  It's admirable to be a good citizen full of character. It is good to seek good. You will do well to do well and to seek the wellness of all.

But dare not denote the Source of good and submit.

Forbid you find the Finder.

There is nothing less cool than worshipping a God Who commands your respect and awe.

It is cool, however, to be the kind of person who wishes that there was a God.

"Only the fool says in his heart that there actually is a God," says the world.

Monday, January 19, 2015

day no. 13,237: jude's doxology‏

Jude 1:24-25

24 Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time,now and forever. Amen.
These words of comfort and worship have few, if any, rival in all of Scripture.
He is able to protect you from stumbling.
He is able to make you stand in the presence of His glory.
He is able to make you blameless.
He is able to make you have great joy.
He is the ONLY God.
He is our Savior.
He is our Lord, Jesus Christ.
From before time began up until right at this moment and again going ahead until forever, He deserves and possesses in Himself all glory, majesty, power, and authority.
Let us worship.

Friday, January 16, 2015

day no. 13,234: banner

3 John 1:4

I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
This is sort of a banner verse in my life.
One I quickly latch on to in thinking about the little flock in my home.
Nothing makes me happier than hearing my children honor Jesus from their heart with their lips and lives.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

day no. 13,233: commanding love and loving commands

2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk according to His commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: you must walk in love.
Love is walking according to Jesus' commands.
Jesus' command is that you walk in love.
Love = Command
The command of God has always been to love.
Love God.
Love People.
This is the Law of God.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

day no. 13,232: fighting the good fight

I can't remember if I ever posted this or not and when I tried to search I could not find it, so I apologize if you are seeing this again, but in all honesty, I was pretty psyched to be seeing this again even though it is a little dated at this point.

Finneas is matter-of-fact, even when he's killing things apparently.

May he, like his namesake (Phinehas), grow up to be the God-honoring combination of zealous AND discerning, capable of action and able to hit pause when necessary.

To both pounce and to ponder when pertinent that is my prayer (to put it poetically and perhaps pretentiously. don't poo poo, it's just pee pee after pee pee)

Numbers 25:11

“Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest has turned my anger away from the Israelites by being as zealous among them as I was. So I stopped destroying all Israel as I had intended to do in my zealous anger."
Joshua 22:30-33
30 When Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the community—the heads of the clans of Israel—heard this from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, they were satisfied. 31 Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, replied to them, “Today we know the Lord is among us because you have not committed this treachery against the Lord as we thought. Instead, you have rescued Israel from being destroyed by the hand of the Lord.”
32 Then Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, and the other leaders left the tribes of Reuben and Gad in Gilead and returned to the land of Canaan to tell the Israelites what had happened. 33 And all the Israelites were satisfied and praised God and spoke no more of war against Reuben and Gad.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

day no. 13,231: memorizing Scripture

1. memorizing Scripture makes meditation possible at times when you cannot read your Bible and meditation is the gateway to deeper understanding

2. memorizing Scripture strengthens your faith and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God

3. memorizing Scripture shapes the way you view the world by conforming your mind to God's viewpoint

4. memorizing Scripture makes God's Word more readily accessible in overcoming temptation to sin

5. memorizing Scripture guards your mind in making it easier to detect error in a world filled with error by the god of this world, who puts the "I" in liar.

6. memorizing Scripture allows you to punch the Devil in the face in protecting you, your family and your church

7. memorizing Scripture provides the strongest and sweetest for ministering to others in need

8. memorizing Scripture provides the matrix for fellowship with Jesus because He talks to you through His Word

Monday, January 12, 2015

day no. 13,230: this is the victory!

1 John 5:3-4
For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden, because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. 
Our faith in Jesus Christ has freed us from the power of the world that previously bound us.
We are set free from the slavish tyranny of self to do the will of God.
This is victory over the world: living in it without being of it.

Friday, January 9, 2015

day no. 13,227: Christians are sinners‏

1 John 1:8-10

If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

We are sinners.
And sinners sin.

Many of us are quick to admit that we are sinners and imperfect people.
Many of us are slow to confess our specific sins and imperfections.

We are commanded here to confess our specific sins, not merely admit we are sinners in general.

He is faithful to forgive those who confess.

Let us who call ourselves Christians continue to be defined by the fact that we admit and freely confess our shortcomings.

Far too often Christians form communities that require outward conformity and hypocrisy because to confess one's sins is to be equated with being lost or immature.

The Lord saves sinners, let us never forget.

Let's stop pretending to be healthy and admit our sickness so that our Physician may get the credit for any health others observe.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

day no. 13,226: spinning slavery and salvation

2 Peter 2:19
They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them.
No one markets slavery.
But everyone hopes you become a slave to their product.
They sell freedom.
They pray for slaves.
Anyone selling you anything other than Jesus is a slave-trader.
That which they offer promises freedom.
Freedom from bad hair, slow streaming, fat rolls, loneliness, ugliness, boredom, etc...
But they are slaves to lesser things.
They are free only in that they give no concern as to what Jesus has done, is doing and will do someday.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

day no. 13,225: gift givers‏

1 Peter 4:10

Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.
If you are a child of God by faith in Jesus, you have been given the gift of salvation, but also spiritual gifts for the purpose of glorifying God and serving others.

So what has He given you?



God did not give these gifts to you to spend exclusively on yourself.

Glorify God. 
Serve others.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

day no. 13,224: a look back at the books i read last year

1. New Testament - Holy Spirit
2. My Utmost for His Highest - Oswald Chambers (perennial favorite)
3. Biblical Eldership - Alexander Strauch
4. Dangerous Journey - John Bunyan
5. Sticky Church - Larry Osbourne
6. Church Membership - Jonathan Leeman
7. Just Do Something - Kevin DeYoung
8. A Light in the Attic - Shel Silverstien
9. Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling
10. 300 - Frank Miller
11. Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silversteien
12. Jesus Story Bible - Sally Lloyd Jones
13. Warfield on the Christian Life: Living in Light of the Gospel - Fred Zaspel
14. Date Your Wife - Justin Buzzard

It was fun to get acquainted with B.B. Warfield.  I have a feeling we'll be buds going forward.

It was also fun reading so many books to my kids.  Look forward to reading many of these again in addition to some new material (Chronicles of Narnia, perhaps?)

Monday, January 5, 2015

day no. 13,223: as we wait for revelation

1 Peter 1:8-9 
You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy,because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ will soon be revealed in full at His return.
Even though we don't see Him now, we worship Him.
Like the wind, we do not see Him, but we see the affect He has on the world we do see.
Some day soon faith will be made sight.
In the meantime, let's devote our minds to teeing us up to act faithfully out of the overflow of our faith.
This isn't a game.
Take this seriously and set you hope fully on the One who is coming by serving Him whole-heartedly now.

Friday, January 2, 2015

day no. 13,220: the wisdom test‏

James 3:13

Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness.
The wisdom test is not administered in a classroom, but in a living room. If you are wise and understanding, show it by your kind works and gentleness of counsel. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

day no. 13.219: a faith that saves not‏

James 2:14
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him?
That kind of faith cannot save.
Because it is not faith at all.
Faith saves completely, entirely, sufficiently.
But faith is defined by something
And the definition is not decided by you.
It is full of faithfulness and devotion to the Object of its faith.
If you have faith in Jesus, it looks like something. Not something in general, but something specific: godliness, Christlikeness, fruits of the Holy Spirit.


Oh yeah, by the by, Happy New Year e'erybody!

Welcome to the party 2015.

Adios 2014.