Develope a Palate

Develope a Palate
Daily intake of the Word nourishes the Spirit. Jeremiah's Menu is an exercise in recognizing God's Word made flesh in and around me. Eating the Word in a way that supplies the spiritual nutrients needed to grow. The Menu is offered with the hope of inspiring you to taste and see that the Lord is good. Bon Appetite!

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Quote Du Jour

Quote du Jour
Christians may differ on a variety of points, but they have all one spiritual appetite; and if we cannot all feel alike, we can all feed alike on the bread of life sent down from heaven. At the table of fellowship with Jesus we are one bread and one cup. As the loving cup goes round we pledge one another heartily therein. Get nearer to Jesus, and you will find yourself linked more and more in spirit to all who are like yourself, supported by the same heavenly manna. ---Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

under attack

Today I heard the continuing saga of a broken marriage...

Marriage... a divine relationship... under attack by a devious enemy... his only plan: steal... kill... destroy...

He steals the tenderness of a heart for love... hardened by scars from repeated self-wounding through serial-monogamy...
He kills the sense of security for children... nothing stable... their whole world rocked...
He destroys the foundation of a society... breaking the basic building blocks of civilization... the family...

It is no coincidence that the teaching on spiritual warfare follows shortly after the teaching on marriage... the divine relationship...

The enemy works just as diligently... patiently... waiting for an opportunity to devour the relationship between Christ and the Church... between Believer and Savior...

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled,
putting on faith and love as a breastplate,
and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
1Thessalonians 5:8

Remember... you belong to The Day...
practice self-control...
shield your heart with faith and love...
guard your mind with hope...

Lord Jesus... open my eyes to the schemes of the enemy... keep me in a place where I will not be deceived... I choose: faithfulness... integrity... trust in Your Way...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

a divine relationship

Brides and bridegrooms become husbands and wives... the picture God uses for Christ's relationship to His people... the Church...

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:23-27
ESV
(emphasis mine)

...sanctify... in Hebrew... hagiazo... means to separate from profane things... purify... refine... free from the guilt of sin...

The Bride... the wife to be... must be prepared... purified... to be married to One who is perfect... light and darkness have nothing in common...

A commentary explains... in Jesus's day... the betrothal... the engagement period... usually a year... was legally binding... the culture considered the couple husband and wife... even though the wedding had not taken place... the relationship unconsumated... a divorce required to separate...

Betrothal... a time of waiting for the day...  a time of preparation...

Jesus... the Bridegroom... sanctifies... purifies... His Bride...
through sacrifice... on a cross...
through trust... in trouble...
through His Word... washing with water...

His Word washes clean... refines... purifies...
through hearing...
through doing...
through eating...

His Word... communication... an important part of any relationship... most important in the divine relationship... Christ and the Church... Husband and wife...

Now is the time... while we wait for The Day... to prepare...

If we claim to have fellowship with [God] yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1John 1:6-7
(emphasis mine)

Learn to walk... prepare... begin with His Word...

Are you in His Word? ... hearing? ... doing?  ...eating?
Are you allowing Him to prepare you for life with Him? ...the two becoming one?

Monday, February 27, 2012

the King's heart for the Bride

Today... I continue to be led back to thoughts of the Bride... reading ...

"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,
'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'"
John 7:38
ESV

My attention caught by... living water...

Seeking other sources of living water in my Logos... I found...

You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
Your lips drip nectar, my bride...
A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a spring locked, a fountain sealed.
...a garden fountain, a well of living water,
and flowing streams from Lebanon.
Song of Solomon 4:9-15
ESV
(emphasis mine)

The Bride... a garden locked... a fountain sealed... a well of living water... unlocked by the love of the King... whoever believes in Him, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of  his heart will flow rivers of living water." To love the King... is to believe in... trust in... lead a life of obedience...

The King singing a song to the Bride... that to my ear... echoes the song of the Bride prepared...

The King pursuing... longing to unlock the streams of living water from the Bride He loves... one member at a time...

Lord, make me attentive to Your pursuit... to Your love... May I increasingly trust Your love for me... unlock my heart to the fountain of living water...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

the Bride swept away

Heart... attitude... fellowship... areas Believers... the Bride... need to attend to in preparation for The Day... preparations increasing intimacy with and desire for Christ... the Bridegroom...

I read these words today... a psalmist singing...

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:1-8 

words... sentiments... of a heart swept away... the Bride prepared...

Friday, February 24, 2012

preparations of the Bride: fellowship

We were created for community... by God: Father, Son, Spirit... who lives in community in and of Himself...

Fellowship... prepares us for The Day...

The Bride... the Church... is singular... yet many... In Her we find unity in diversity... yet...

For a people who claim one Lord, one faith and one baptism, we are not one church but exist in isolation, judgment, suspicion and condemnation.
---James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful Community

In this broken world, we see a broken Church... diversity leading to division... division based on fear... A ridiculous fear... the members of the Church form one body... to be afraid of others in the body is like our nose fearing our own hand... or our feet afraid of our arms...

We are one... each member created to help the others... hands needed to scratch the nose... arms needed to put on socks and shoes...

When we allow ourselves to be divided from other Believers... either individually or denominationally... we harm ourselves and grieve God...

Cultivating fellowship is key to preparing for The Day...

In community we face opportunities to exercise our new attitudes... or recognize the need for an attitude adjustment...

In community we interact with others who are closer than we to loving God whole-heartedly... we see what it looks like... encouraged we grow... we meet others whom we can help... others who have not walked as far as we...

In community we discover opportunities to serve... using supernatural gifts... teaching... healing... comforting...

Preparation in fellowship fulfills the second part of the greatest command...


Seek fellowship in community...

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:25

We need each other... only all-together... do we make one Bride... the mystery of Christ...

Lord Jesus, help me to recognize my need for others... and accept my part in the body... Grow me in love... grace... humility... Heal the places in me that keep me separated from others... those who are members along with me...

Do you embrace the idea of one Church ...all Believers supernaturally connected to others? How does this truth reveal itself in your life?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

preparation of the Bride: attitude

A proper attitude prepares the way for marriage...

Attitude... like the attitude of an airplane... determines whether we fly along smoothly... or crash and burn...

Our attitude sets the course for our interactions with others... pleasant or painful... pernicious or peaceful...

The initial step of heart preparation... surrendering to Christ... results in a new creation... this new creation has to learn to live with a new attitude...

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:1-2
(emphasis mine)
  
... hearts and minds set on things above... not on earthly things... a new posture... a new attitude... for a new creation... preparation for a new life... a new beginning...

The attitudes that steer the flesh are to be crucified... new attitudes... those we receive from looking up... spiritual attitudes... are to guide us...


Attitudes... like a wardrobe... are a choice...

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

Believers... the Church... the Bride to be... must dress daily for the wedding... clothed in Christ... because we do not know The Day... EVERYDAY we need to dress in the proper attitude...

Father God... help me to set my heart and mind on things above... maintaining a right attitude... help me to get dressed everyday... preparing for The Day... as I wait for the One who has captured my heart...

What is your attitude these days? Is your focus above... on Christ... or on yourself... earthly things... things that satisfy the flesh?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

preparation of the Bride: heart

A heart prepared for marriage is a heart in love...

We all long to be swept off our feet... heart captured... fully engaged...

I saw the effects of love recently... joy... peace... a heart changed...

But the human emotion of love is fleeting... no man or woman can stand the pressure of bearing the sole burden of another's love... we were not created to... not to depend on or be depended on...

God's greatest command...


God longs to be the best loved in our lives... He alone can bear the weight of love... He alone can be depended on as trustworthy... sure... His love is unfailing...

God is Love... and only in Him are we able to love...

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as he is so also are we in this world.
1John 4:16-17
ESV
(my emphasis)

...the day... the day that is unknown... the day that culminates in a wedding... those with hearts prepared will enter the wedding feast...

As Believers... the Church... the Bride to be... our first preparation is our heart... check to see who or what has first place... by whom or what have you been swept away?

If God has captured your heart... continue to nurture and grow that relationship... as we grow in love with Him we supernaturally begin to love others in a way that we can bear...

If another has captured your heart...your attention... repentance may be in order... an idol removed... a mind changed...

Lord, grow me to love You with all my heart... mind... soul... strength... that I might be ready for The Day...

Who has your heart?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

preparations of a bride

Yesterday's thoughts on weddings... turned my focus to the preparations required... the making ready...

...his Bride has made herself ready...

I heard a bit about the preparations for the wedding just experienced... my sister being the Mother of the Bride... the MoB... Over the last several months, during the making ready, I had many conversations with the MoB... like labor pains... the calls increasing in frequency as the day approached...

So many decisions to be made... date... venue (both ceremony and reception)... dress... invitations... photographer... flowers... details regarding the reception... programs... dress... bride's maids and their dresses...

Lots goes into the making ready of a bride...

Believers... the Church... is the Bride in the greatest story ever told... Jesus's story... the happy-ending... the new beginning... is nearer each day... but the date remains unknown to all parties except the Father of the Groom...

How do we prepare for an unkown... how do we make ready?

Any day could be THE DAY... being prepared is essential... if unprepared we will foolishly miss out...


The Bridegroom only receives the prepared...

What does it mean... spiritually speaking... to be prepared for the marriage... the arrival of the Bridegroom? How do we... as the Bride... make ready?

Perhaps we should consider... it is not an event we want to miss...

"Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!"
Revelation 19:9

Father God, You alone know the Day... teach me what it means to be prepared... fill me with an urgency and intentionality of preparing for a wedding... What details do I need to attend to?

Monday, February 20, 2012

weddings

Someone once pointed out that the ultimate happy-ending is a wedding... over and over great happy-ending stories conclude with a wedding... Cinderella... Snow White... Lord of the Rings... Pride and Prejudice... Hitch...

I just experienced a wedding... lots of beautiful people... joyfully gathered... singularly focused...




Unusual since half the party never laid eyes on the other half before... bride's family and friends... groom's family and friends... and they do party...

Food... dancing... celebration...

My family danced together for the first time ever! Only a wedding could provide the backdrop for such a joy in the midst of so many perfect strangers...

But... weddings feel more like a beginning than an end... maybe that's why they make great endings... they lead to a new beginning...

There's one more great story that ends with a wedding...

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready...
Revelation 19:6-7
ESV
(emphasis mine)

Jesus's story... or is it a beginning...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

for His glory... rich or poor...

The same day I read...

...there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, "You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land."
Deuteronomy 15:10-11
ESV (emphasis mine)

I read about generosity in The Good and Beautiful Community... three false narratives revealed...

Judgment... God helps those who help themselves...
Scarcity... If I give it away, I have less...
Entitlement... What I have is mine to use for my own pleasure...

Each a lie... deception...

God in His Sovereignty allows disparity...

...there will never cease to be poor in the land...

In His wisdom... God uses ALL THINGS for His glory... teaching... testing... growing...

Not all are poor because of sinful choices...
Not all are rich because they are righteous...

Rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord is the Maker of them all.
Proverbs 22:2

All created for His Glory... His purpose...

Those with... will you give without judging? ... will you give without fear? ...will you recognize what you have is not yours for your glory but for God's?

Those without... will you live in fear, wondering where you have displeased God? ...will you be thankful for the purpose He has for you? ... will you live without envy?

All is for His glory...

How can you bring glory to God from what you have... or don't have?

Friday, February 17, 2012

warnings

Before entering the Promised Land, the Israelites were warned...

"...Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.' ..."
Deuteronomy 8:17
ESV

"Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust [the enemy] out before you, 'It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess the land'...
Deuteronomy 9:4
ESV

Beware of pride... when blessing enters in... success deceives: I did it... I'm better...

We have... only because God gave... for His glory...

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. ... This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit...
John 15:5, 8
(emphasis mine)

All is from God and for God... He works in the lives of Believers to point the world to Him...

Beware... remember... it's not about you... do not steal God's glory for yourself...

Lord Jesus, remind me today that apart from You I am nothing... my next breath... next heartbeat... are gifts from You... May my life glorify You... point others to You...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

joy is to share

Leaving the church-house... gray-chilly air...
a small flutter-filled tree catches my eye... full of birds...
Cedar Waxwings...

The Waxwings migrate through in winter... I love to see them... joy from watching birds a gift given by my parents... Normally I would share the sight with my husband, but he was not with me...
Who would care? With whom can I share?

Back into the church-house... into the office I just left...
Does anyone care about birds? The little tree is filled...

The precious admin-assistant follows after me into the chilly-gray... There we stand under the portico... me sharing joy of birds... she listening... asking...

The moment passes... the Waxwings still flutter...

A simple thing... migrating birds... elusive... not spied every season... yet a joy that needed sharing...

Reflecting... Do I share the joy of Christ as quickly as I share the joy of birds? Do I hunt others down and say: Come and see! Hmmm... probably not... Why not? Why don't I call to others...

Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!
Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth bows down to you;
they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name."
Come and see what God has done,
how awesome his works in man's behalf!
Psalm 66:1-5

I'll have to consider... examine the heart... and the joy...

What about you... what joys do you share?
Fleeting ones... or... eternal ones...?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

fellowship: lessons in humility

Called to clean up a mess that's not mine... in a domain that's not mine...

What will people think of me?

It's not my mess... why should I?

Can't You call someone else? ...it's messy...

Knowing there is no other Way... I went...

What I learned... experienced... connection with Christ...

He came to clean up a mess that wasn't His...
In a domain that wasn't His...
He carried a burden not His own...
Paid a price He did not owe...

Humility... His way... no room for pride... only Love...

Lord, help me to recognize and seize opportunities to clean up messes for others... without fanfare... without grumbling... Remind me that I bear Your name... O Lord God Almighty... Empty me of pride... fill me with Love...

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection
and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings,
becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow,
to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11

A challenge:
Identify with Christ... clean up a mess that is not yours... bear the complete burden... do it in secret... do not demand praise or seek recognition... do it to gain a keener understanding of the One who cleaned up after you...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

extravagant love... a costly gift

Extravagant love beyond our understanding...

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in the heavenly realms
 with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world
to be holy and blameless in his sight. 
In love he predestined us to be adopted
 as his sons through Jesus Christ, 
in accordance with His pleasure and will--
to the praise of his glorious grace,
which he has given us in the One he loves.
In him we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God's grace
 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
Ephesians 1:3-8
(emphasis mine)

God gave the One He loved for us... the ones He loves...

Love given... not grudgingly... but lavishly... with pleasure...

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Colossians 1:19-20
(emphasis mine)

This love-gift cost God all His fullness... His infinite power... wisdom... knowledge... glory... all His fullness required to reconcile all things... through His blood... on the cross... costly...

But for the joy set before Him... He gave... He loved...
  
Lord Jesus, teach me to love like You... lavishly... with joy... with grace. Only in You... surrendered to You... thankful for Your love for me... do I have any hope of loving well. Thank You... for loving me...

How do you love? ...with grace? ... with pleasure? ...with a grudge?
Do you love only to receive? ...or for the joy set before you?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Psalm 119: Pey

Moving through the Aleph-bet one letter at a time... through Psalm 119 one stanza at a time... we come to the seventeenth letter: Pey (pronounced like "pay").

Read Psalm 119:129-136

Pey is for "mouth."

Mouth open and panting,
I wanted your commands more than anything.
Psalm 119:131
Msg

The Dictionary of Biblical Languages describes "mouth" as the entrance orifice of the body for ingestion, breathing and communication...

The mouth... the point of entry for essential aspects of life: food... oxygen... language...

God's Word so desired... the psalmist's mouth is open... panting... longing to be filled with words... life-giving words...
nourishing the soul...
breathing life to the spirit...
communicating guidance...

Cry out to the God who says...

I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
Psalm 81:10
(emphasis mine)

God is the One who fills... He calls us to open our mouths and receive:

Miracle words... words to live by... obey...

Direction that steadies our steps... guides the placing of each foot along the journey of life... avoiding the snare of sin...

Teaching... straight from the mouth of God... who smiles... shines His face on those who long to serve Him...

The breaking open.... unfolding... of God's Word enlightens those who long for understanding... the Hebrew can mean an entrance... a doorway... Jesus is that opening... the gate... providing insight into God and His kingdom, making the way for even the simplest to understand...

Jesus the mouth of God... the Word... the point of entry for the essential aspects of life...

Ask God to fill you with His Word...
open wide your mouth...
receive...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

faithful assurance

Have you noticed... some places... events... are just more open to God than others? Not that God is more accepted, but that God -- the Spirit-- seems more accessible... more present...

I was at one of those places yesterday... hearing God...

I will take care of it...

Difficult decisions... decisions that set a course for life... not mine but loved one's...

I will take care of it...

Struggling faith... not mine but loved one's...

I will take care of it...

So clear... so loud... so near... all day...

Odd... unsettling to some degree... a call for me to release... let go... let God take care of it...

Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
Psalm 37:4-5
ESV
(emphasis mine)

When was the last time you were in such a place?
How did you know... what did you hear?

Friday, February 10, 2012

joy in the weird

God's call to our ears... my ears... sometimes seems weird... a call to step out and bless... pray for others I just met... lay hands on their project...

Experience teaches... resistance makes obedience more difficult... it's easier to obey without thinking... just risk being weird...

The weird leads to joy... joy that affirms the call...

The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
Psalm 19:8
Msg

Thursday, February 9, 2012

a call to rest

Rest...

The word quietly echoes through my spirit... a call to temporarily rest from a call... a spiritual discipline...

Is it possible? Does God call us to rest in the middle of a discipline? My flesh is torn between the desire to be released (even though temporarily)... to ... I can't -- it wouldn't be perfect... a legalistic bent...

Rest...

A fear of mis-hearing... What if that's not the Spirit, but my desire to be set free?... What if it's the enemy deceiving?

Rest...

Did the Father call Jesus to rest during His call... His thirty year ministry?

A time of rest with family and friends...
A rest from healing and freeing...
A rest from being emptied of divinity...

Calls to rest accompany the call... calls to break routine... calls to solitude... calls to be filled...

This is Yours God... the only reason I carry on the discipline is to know You... serve You... worship You... it is Your call...

I choose to trust... I choose to rest...

"Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice..."
1Samuel 15:22

Have you been called to rest?
Are you resisting? Why?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

a sight to see

I love to see God's Word made flesh in people I love!

There is nothing more amazing than recognizing His Word in a living breathing loved one... His Truth revealed and proven...

The process is not always easy to witness...

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 8:3
ESV

Each journey personal... unlike that of those who have gone before...

An adventure for me as I watch... a learning process... praying... allowing God to speak -- His words, not mine -- trusting that He is faithful... that He will complete what He began...

Growing pains... they lead to beautiful things...

Oh, the depth and the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Romans 11:33

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

beautiful things

I am increasingly convinced... trusting more each day...
God's magnificent power to take the hideous... ugly... most horrific mess... and redeem it into something beautiful... breathtaking... glorious...

Just look at the cross... hideous....
Innocence... flogged... beaten... crucified...

Sovereign in ALL things... allowing only what suits His purpose... opportunities to reveal His glory and redeeming power...


For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Colossians 1:19-20
(emphasis mine)

God takes the broken -- our contribution to creation -- and makes it beautiful...

All we have to do is invite Him into the mess... into the brokenness... into our hearts...





What mess do you need to invite Jesus into?
Where do you need beauty restored?

Monday, February 6, 2012

fast

A fast... a way to remember... a spiritual discipline... abstaining from food... or a certain activity...

A fast helps us to hold fast to God: Father, Son, and Spirit... an activity... or lack of an activity... that helps us remember...

A fast turns our focus to God... something intentional... something different... when we miss what we usually have, we remember who we are doing it for...

"... But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." -- Jesus
Matthew 6:17-18

unseen... in secret... roots dig deep into the ground... unseen...

Our personal spiritual disciplines...
fasting...
prayer...
study of the Word...
grow roots in the unseen... grounding our faith...

Done in secret... what God calls us to do... for God only... not to lift ourselves up above others... not to feed pride... in secret... unseen... only to your Father... He sees...

A way to remember... holding fast... rooted in faith... fast...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

first and best

Today I read...

Francis of Assisi was called "the second Christ" because his life was so totally given over to expressing the life of Jesus. What can we learn from this man devoted like no other? "As Saint Francis did not love humanity but men, so he did not love Christianity but Christ," wrote Chesterton. Wow. Just let that sink in. Francis didn't fall in love with church; he fell in love with Jesus. "His religion was not a thing like a theory but a thing like a love-affair."
--- John Eldridge, Beautiful Outlaw

Reminded that loving God is first and best...

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' ..."
Matthew 22:37-38

Loving God leads to loving men... the second is like the first...

If we truly pursue God in love we will supernaturally begin to love others. We won't be able to help it... He will enable us to love with His perfect love...

Lord Jesus, I confess that I do not love You whole-heartedly... grow me to love You with all my heart, soul, and mind... 

Friday, February 3, 2012

fellowship: a journey

Fellow sojourners in the wilderness need one another...
they need support...
ears that listen...
words that pray...
hearts that point out the Way...
hearts that break for one another...
that connect in the common pain...
the journey through hostile territory...
home far away...

Lord Jesus... make me a worthy fellow traveller... a comfort for brothers and sisters along the Way...

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
2Corinthians 1:3-5
ESV
(emphasis mine)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

remember

Take time to remember...

...be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart;
consider what great things he has done for you.
1Samuel 12:24
(emphasis mine)

...we quickly forget...
...we are prone to wander...


Lord, provide me with a touchstone... a reminder to consider...
I do not want to wander from You today...

What helps you remember?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Psalm 119: Ayin

Another serving of Psalm 119... the sixteenth... Ayin...

Read Psalm 119:121-128

Ayin (pronounced ah-yeen) is for "servant"...

I am your servant;
give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.
Psalm 119:125

A good servant longs for understanding of the Master's Word that he might serve well...

A good servant worships the Master...

The Hebrew root translated both ways... serve... worship...

The Master's Word... precious to the servant who worships... can't stand to see the Word abused...

It's time to act, O Lord; Your law is being broken!

Servants... worshippers... enraged by the breaking of the Master's Law... heart-broken...

Where are you when it comes to the Lord's Word?
Do you desire discernment and understanding?
Is His Word more precious than gold?
When it's broken... are you indifferent... or... infuriated?
Do you consider His way right and every other wrong?

Lord... Master... fill me with passion for Your Word. Bless me with a servant's heart that worships You...