Showing posts from November, 2012

The Infinite God

No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” 1 John 4:12-15
Over the next few weeks, my kids and I will be going through the 2-volume set by AW Tozer titled The Attributes of God as we dive into this subject as our main focus for school. In order to get through the books in that amount of time though, I will only be reading them excerpts from each chapter. To condense the material in that manner though means I must read the chapters ahead of time, and to you it means that I have the ability to share from those readings on the week day mornings I add these books to my devotional material. If you have never read Tozer's writings before, you are in for a tr…

Real Faith In Action

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” James 2:14
This morning I woke up with lots of thoughts swimming through my head about the situation we are experiencing with the missionary family who moved into our apartment in August. As we came into an agreement with them about their stay, it was agreed that our place would be a “stopping off point” for them to wait on God's next assignment. Unfortunately these past few months with this family has not been as blessed as we had hoped it to be, and actually it has been difficult to deal with this family who have given us very mixed signals about their true faithfulness to God. From what we have been able to observe of them during their stay, they have not seemed to be fruitful for God's kingdom at all. Now, here is the point that I wrestle with my thoughts because I know there are times in each of our lives that God grows us from within because the fruit He is pr…

Steps Towards the Everlasting Kingdom

I am Your servant;
Give me understanding,
That I may know Your testimonies.”
Psalm 119:125

Have you ever come across a section of biblical text and thought, “If I just could understand what the real knowledge behind these passages are, then I may have a chance at starting to apply them in my life.”? Today I had that experience as I read the 2 Peter verses I have copied for you below:
...His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust...for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are …

Testimonies in the World

I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” John 17:15
As Christians we should all have a story to tell of how the Lord has worked in our lives amongst the every day coming and goings in this world. The way God presents us the stories we have to share with on another are wrought amongst the every day things we experience as we allow ourselves to be transformed by His power and within the broken and parched land we live in. Jesus was well aware of our need to be in this world but not of this world in order to be the greatest living testimonies of who He was and who He could still be in the lives of ordinary men and women. When we fail to live in and amongst the lost and forsaken in this world or when we try to shelter ourselves or our families from lessons that pain and sin have to teach us, it is then we lose out on a great amount of teaching that was meant to strengthen our walks and encourage our faith all the more …

The Work of Sorrow

For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now 'If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?' Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:17-19

The focused walk of the Christian is unfathomable to the world. The fact that an individual would be willing to suffer, walk against the current of “normal”, and stand firmly focused on Jesus apart from the continual sorrows this world produces is truly an oddity. But, what is even more odd is the fact that across all cultures, all continents, and all social classes that this world uses to divide and label people, the prevailing force of Christ in the lives of Christians is an unswerving force of unity in spirit. The reason for the determined focus of commonality of those who follo…

Thanks Always for All Things

Image thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...”   Ephesians 5:20
As a wrap up to this Thanksgiving week-end, my church had a day of thanksgiving where most of the sermon time was set aside so that people within the church could share with the rest of the congregation what they were most thankful for this past year. The service itself was very moving, thought provoking, and beautiful as each person with varied reasons stood up and shared what they felt led by the Spirit to share. But, this evening as our small group came together, the following question was posed:  " How can we be thankful like the bible teaches us to be thankful in Ephesians 5:20?"
As I was still thinking about that discussion after getting home this evening, I thought that maybe there was a greater meaning to that particular verse if I were to look at it in its original Greek, and so I put out a few of the words and set to figuring out what I could find thr…

Programmed for Success

The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41
This morning I took some extra time I had to get on the treadmill and do a customized work-out I programed into it many years ago. In programming this particular work-out I made it a point to push myself at different speeds and inclines to just the point that I could hardly stand the level of the work-out anymore, but instead of ending the program at the point of my fatigue I just changed around the speed and incline ratio to somewhat trick my body into thinking it was getting rest while all the while it was still pushing itself at the same level.
As I was reading my bible after my time on the treadmill, it seems there was a larger work-out for me to take into consideration and a grander program instilled into my life that the Lord wanted me to take note of today. In the same way that I very carefully programmed into my treadmill the levels I could push myself to and still withstand the pressure, God builds circumst…

Doorway of the Perfect Prince

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the
Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.”
Psalm 100: 4-5

Today, as I continued my reading through Ezekiel, I was drawn again to a passage about a gate, the east gate in particular. In the below verse you will see that the east gate was a special gate, one for a prince to enter and by which he made his offerings before the people who were entering the other gates.
“Thus says the Lord God: 'The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened. The prince shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway from the outside, and stand by the gatepost. The priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings. He shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate…

Interacting with those on the Outside

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:31-32
 Since today is Thanksgiving here in the United States, and it is a holiday for most to come together with their natural families who often do not all share a deep passion for the Lord, I thought it was very fitting the words the Lord had for me to share with you all this morning. I have to admit first of all that the things I am about to speak about, in the past I used to be very guilty of. It has been over the past few years that I have seen the error of my past actions. The paths the Lord has allowed me to take because of how I have crossed the lines of my own calling to minister to the Lord within my relationship to Him and my interaction with people who are on the outside of…

The Lord's Hatred

'Come now, and let us reason together,'
Says the
'Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.'”

This morning my bible readings led me to some interesting thoughts about the cross and God's love. Too often I think we as Christians see God within His attribute of love and yet we do not spend an equal amount of time on His attribute of hate. In just making that statement I may have offended some of you since God is perfect and it would seem wrong for me to say that God is hateful at all. But hear me out on this and I hope to bring us to agreement through God's word.
First, read the following two sets of verses which each talk about a hatred both God the Father and God the Son have:
These six things the Lordhates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running…

Gate of Righteousness

“Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord,
Through which the righteous shall enter.

I will praise You,
For You have answered me,
And have become my salvation.”
Psalm 118:19-21

The past few days I have been reading through Ezekiel and the visions he was given from the Lord of His new temple. I can't say most of it was really engaging reading for me since I tend to be more of a visual learner and all the words about dimensions just tend to fog up my thinking. But today as I started to read about the gates into the outer temple court and the inner temple court I couldn't help thinking about what it would be like to walk up those stairs and enter the temple for myself.

Then he went to the gateway which faced east; and he went up its stairs and measured the threshold of the gateway...On the outer court was also a gateway facing north...After that he brought me toward the south, and there a gateway was facing …