February 13, 2018 · 08:11
Scripture is like an endless stream of refreshing water cascading over a fall.
I’d finished the various weight machines that I’m using to strengthen my legs and thus ease my weary knee. Having been on the treadmill for 20 minutes I realized I was thirsty and chugged down half of my 500ml bottle.
What I should have been doing was drinking along the workout – or so they tell me.
This is, too often, the way we treat Scripture. We wait until we’re thirsty. When in fact, we should be drinking regularly.
Hear the Psalmist:
“but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalms 1:2-3 ESV)
May we intentionally drink our fill so that we do not thirst.
February 12, 2018 · 09:37
These questions were brought back to my attention this morning, I thought them worth a re-post.
1. What do my words tell me about the state of my heart?
2. What are the ways that I am training / renewing my mind for God’s use?
3. What to my fears tell me about what I REALLY believe?
4. What are the things in my life that are drawing my strength away from God’s use?
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February 10, 2018 · 11:55
We all wrestle with could’a, should’a and would’a, three feeders of regret. The idea of regret relies on our feeling that we should or should not have done something. When we sit in regret we are dwelling on what we should or should not have done.
This can, and often does, develop into shame, that place in life where we think we are bad because we did (or did not do) X. I’m convinced that the Enemy uses shame way more often than we realize.
For the disciple of Jesus there is a problem with this thinking. Our standing with God has nothing to do with what we have or have not done. Our standing with God is based completely on the finished work of Christ.
So when we regret, when we dwell in our regret, we are looking at our own work rather than at the work of Christ. We might even say that we are putting Jesus back on the cross.
The moment we are convicted about something we should, or should not of done, we must run to God. We confess. In some (many?) cases we should contact someone else and ask for forgiveness. But ultimately once we have done this we are no longer to live in regret. Condemnation is gone for those IN Christ Jesus.
The prodigal son, as depicted in the photograph above (of the painting that hangs in the National Gallery in Washington – one of my favorites on my visits there) sits pensively among the swine. He just needed to get up and run to his father.
Yeah, that’s it.
Run to the Father, whose Son has made the way possible, whose Spirit is calling and whose arms are open wide.
February 9, 2018 · 07:55
At the very end of Ezekiel 17, a chapter of prophesy against the intrigue of Judah during the Babylonian occupation, these words are spoken to Ezekiel.
“I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.” (Ezekiel 17:24 ESV)
These words should bring comfort to the disciple of Jesus. Comfort in the knowledge that he serves the LORD who is sovereign and omnipotent. Whom shall I fear?
February 6, 2018 · 07:58
Christians are called to be disciples.
A disciple is one who studies Jesus and follows him in obedience.
A disciple also is one who seeks to bear fruit. This is where abiding comes in.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4 ESV)
I suggest that practicing the spiritual disciplines is a key to abiding in Jesus.
The disciplines, when practiced, help us rest in Him, Be changed by Him and bear fruit that gives Him glory.