Monthly Archives: August 2018

A Fresh Start Toward Renewal

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A roll of the dice?

Love the unity of Scripture as the M’Cheyne reading plan shows-so many times-on so many days.

Today Proverbs talks about the lots going as God guides and John describes the soldiers casting lots for Jesus’ robe. I wonder if that dude who won that roll of the dice ever understood what a treasure God had given him?

Do we really appreciate the treasure that God gives us?

Let’s put on hope and view life through its lens!

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Combating sluggishness

When Jesus made disciples, he taught, then tested. They often understood, but as often did not. This would sometimes draw one of my favorite (and frequent) responses. “How long will I be with you?” Well, the answer is: long enough. He disciples them for the appointed time. They didn’t seem quite ready but Jesus sent the Holy Spirit who entered and empowered them. The Father’s great plan was working.

Now we come to today and our own responsibility to be and make disciples. On the M’Cheyne train this morning I read this text:

“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” (Proverbs‬ ‭13:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

I read it, looked back at it and read it again. It occurred to me that this verse has a direct application to being a growing disciple.

When I act as a spiritual sluggard, I do the least I can get by with. I see time with God as a law, a rule, something I should get done. My heart is seldom filled and my attitudes are worse than ever.

I am reminded that when I am diligent in my spiritual development, I find myself going to bed looking forward to soaking in God’s word when I get up. I enjoy my conversation with Him because I’m taking the time with him (yes, I must sacrifice some sleep, but, eh). The result is that I am supplied for the day and cope better with everyday struggles.

“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” (Proverbs‬ ‭13:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Oh, that I would receive Grace to crave a deeper relationship with God and to choose diligence.

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loving God’s grace

I love God’s grace and provision. Just as I’m about to preach a fun message (fun for me anyway) from Ephesians 5:1, where does the M’Cheyne train have me this week? Ephesians? So even though my review of the context, the whole book review and digging into the original is long done, I’m it reading chapter by chapter, and tomorrow morning I’ll read chapter 4 in my devotions just before preaching 5:1*. I love God’s plans that I didn’t even know about!!! Yes, details about the life matter.

Consider the details of the Tabernacle in the OT.

You, fellow disciple of Jesus, are now the temple of the Holy Spirit.

He cares for and guides your details as you travel the path, following Him!

And His big plans! Look at this:

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians‬ ‭3:20-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

* If you’re not part of a church regularly and have an interest in digging into Ephesians 5:1 and thinking about being an imitator of God, join me at Christ Central Church in Charlottesville (meets at the Y?) tomorrow (8-19) at 10!

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decisions, decisions…

Look not solely around, fellow disciple, at circumstances that influence daily decisions, but make decisions with godly discernment that is informed by your being steeped in the word of God. Hear the counsel of Christ:

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (John‬ ‭7:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

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How are you sleeping?

An influential friend once told me that a measure of your level of spiritual peace is how well you’re sleeping.

That made a ton of sense to me. Much later I learned to break the Lord’s Prayer into its phrases and use that as a basis for what is called adoration prayer. Adoration prayer reflects with your Heavenly Father about His greatness, speaking His attributes, reflecting on His goodness and power and being thankful that in that greatness He loves and cares for even such a wretched sinner as me. What I’ve found is that once I’ve trained myself to do this as my last conscious communication before sleep, I sleep well. Others agree that this has helped them. Then, just now, I read this:

“The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew. My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” (Proverbs‬ ‭3:19-26‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

It’s like a guide for what I’ve learned and practiced. It’s a fruitful Christian discipline.

Reflect on God before your slumber and enjoy sweet sleep.

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A Grand Journey

A life of being Jesus’ disciple is a grand journey.

We take each hill as it comes.

Sometimes we walk side by side.

Other times we walk single file.

But because we walk with Him, we are never alone.

“You make known to me the path of life;

in your presence there is fullness of joy;

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭16:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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