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

Monday, April 30, 2012

thank You... for love

Thank You, Lord, today...
for the many different opportunities...
You've given me...
to love others...
in many different ways...

And this is his command:
to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and to love one another as he commanded us.
1John 3:23

Saturday, April 28, 2012

roses and relationships

Waking thought... a rose... a picture of relationship...

Each person... created in the image of God... a bearer of glory...

Each person... a rebellious sinner... hard to bear...

Roses... glorious... beautiful... fragrant... but... each must be handled with care... thorns hidden... beneath the beauty...


 


In close relationship... the pain of sin... overshadows the glory... the God-gift in the other...

The closest relationship of all... marriage... two-becoming-one... the stickiest of relationships... the one with the most potential for great glory... and great pain...

     Marriage unites two image bearers, two reflectors of God's glory. The marriage of two Christians has the potential to be truly wonderful and fulfilling. However, it is not something automatic, especially since we are image bearers who have rebelled against the one we reflect. In other words, marriage also brings together two sinners. The combination of glory can multiply the glory, and the combination of sin can enhance the sin.
     In marriage, both happen. Marriage is an institution of joy and grief. And the glory often comes through the struggles in communication, goals, priorities, child rearing, and sex. Anyone who expects glory without a fight is foolish. In a fallen world, problems, both small and great, will arise.
--- Dan Allendeer & Tremper Lonman III, Intimate Allies

We are willing to handle roses... because of their beauty... knowing the truth of the thorn... we approach with care... eyes wide open to the possibility of pain... hurt...

Relationships... approach them as roses... with awe and respect of the glory of God... but with care... and the reality of the pain of sin...

Fight... to reveal the glory... in others...

Fight... to diminish the thorns...

Especially with your spouse...

Be completely humble and gentle;
be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2
(my emphasis)

Friday, April 27, 2012

content in all circumstances...?

I've heard it multiple times... the past two days...

...be content whatever the circumstances.
Philippians 4:11

On the radio... a lesson to be learned...

...we're living in a society that is permeated by a spirit of discontentment...
...contentment is an undervalued grace...
---Alistair Begg, Truth for Life

Yes... that could be me... discontent... like the culture...

I hear the warning anew... past struggles... ground gained... but still... susceptible...

Yet... the nearer I draw to God... the more I desire His standard... discontent... when things in life... don't match with His Word...

Visions given... ideals to work toward... fight for... God-given standards... stir discontent... action to change...

Discontent that moves us to battle for the Kingdom... isn't this good...?

I've heard it named... Holy Discontent...

Without discontent... I would not move to save... restore... the lost... the broken...

I refuse to be content with... broken marriages... broken people... broken communities...

So... really... are we to be content in all... with all... circumstances...?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Psalm 119: Resh

Only three letters to go... approaching the end of Psalm 119... the twentieth serving... Resh (pronounced "raysh")...

Read Psalm 119:153-160

Resh is for "look"... "see"...

Look upon my suffering and deliver me,
for I have not forgotten your law.
Psalm 119:153

The cry of the psalmist...
Look at me God... Do You see me...?
Don't forget me... I have not forgotten You...

The cry of the faithful... following God's Way... in a broken world... the world that promises trouble for those who follow... the world that provides the cross to carry... all the way to death...

Even this side of the cross... death defeated... Satan disarmed... Jesus sitting in the place of Supremacy... the righteous suffer... the road rocky... refinement... painful... in the midst of Good News...

In putting everything under [the Son], God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.
Hebrews 2:8
(emphasis mine)

A unique time in history... a time to live by faith... sure of what we cannot see...

We cannot see the world subject to the Savior... we cannot see His absolute authority over evil... we cannot see how all works for good...

So we cry with our Hebrew friend... Look at me... deliver me... defend me...

I look on the faithless with loathing,
for they do not obey your word.
See how I love your precepts;
preserve my life, O Lord, according to your love.
Psalm 119:158-159
(emphasis mine)

In pain... we look with loathing on the lost... we cry out... reminding God of His promise... of His Good News...

But His Word says... live by faith... not by what we see... look at His Word... with eyes of faith... look at the lost... with compassion...

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2Peter 3:9

By faith... choose to see the Lord at work... by faith... choose to identify with Him in suffering... by faith... choose to continue to follow... a Savior whose reign we cannot see...

From our psalmist friend... we learn... experience... God's patience... He can take our ranting... our complaining... we can come to Him with our heartache and pain... He calls us to...

In the coming to Him... we take our eyes off self... and place them on Him... look...

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith... Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrew 12:2-3
(my emphasis)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

refinement... an intimate walk...

Refinement requires reading... a steady diet of God's Word...

Scripture... the script for life... reveals what needs refining...

Without the light of the Word... we walk in the dark...

The path unlit... we can't see what makes us stumble... what needs to be removed...

Refinement is personal... a process requiring time spent with God... the Word made flesh... forging intimacy... trust...

A fresh reminder swept through my heart today... going back to the Book... the one I ate from for fifteen years... the one I put aside for a thinline a year ago...

NIV Study Bible...copyright 1985... a gift from loved ones... part of a survival kit...

It sat on the shelf... at least three years... before the crisis... before the dark closed in...

Today... I went back to that Book... a day of wrestling with words for ministry... a need to see evidence of the walk... fifteen years of notes... underlines... brackets... epiphanies... tears...




A tangible reminder of His faithfulness... His refining Hand... in my life...

Intimate refinement... a Book smelling of God... speaking His words... revealing our history...

When your words came, I ate them;
they were my joy and my hearts delight,
for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.
Jeremiah 15:16

Do you have a tangible reminder of refinement?
...of intimacy?
...of His faithfulness?
What is it...?
Can you smell Him...? ...hear Him? ...is He real to you?
What helps you connect to Him... intimately...?


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

refinement... a life unfolding...

Life in Christ... begins a journey... marked first by baptism... a surrender... to something new...

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. ..."
John 3:5-6
ESV

Just born... a life unfolding...

a spiritual babe... hungry...

a diet of milk... moves only to meat... with growth... maturity...

Refinement... through hardship... the road to maturity... obedience...

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4

How is your life unfolding these days?
Finding joy in the growing pains?
Or... Are you refusing to grow up?

Monday, April 23, 2012

where life begins

In Sunday school... we read the book of Hebrews... chapter by chapter... the entire book in one sitting... no time left to discuss... or share thoughts... just washed with the Word...

I entered worship with this picture of Christ... the Ultimate Sacrifice... High Priest... One who made the Way... into the Holy of Holies... into God's presence... tore the veil separating us from the Father... restored relationship... 

The service began with sixteen youth... entering... by the Way...
five baptized...
all confirmed...

The first hymn... painted the picture...

I was there to hear your borning cry,
I'll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,
to see your life unfold.

it struck me... life... begins at baptism...

baptism... immersion... into God...

Father... Son... Holy Spirit...

We are born dead... spiritual stillborns...

raised to life in Christ...

God... heaven... rejoices... at baptism... a new life... unfolding...

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Romans 6:4

Saturday, April 21, 2012

small blessings

A day to recognize... small things...

invitation to lunch... with father and son...

sharing laughter... after... watching a silly movie...

son in suit...



green beans that grow...



sunflowers that sprout...



subduing a small part of earth with my spouse...




love in my small corner of the world...

 
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.
1Chronicles 29:13

Friday, April 20, 2012

small things

My attention has been brought to small things... their importance... my ingratitude of...

Do not disdain the small.
---Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

I read it yesterday... knew the Book that these words reference... searched out the verse...

"Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. ..."
Zechariah 4:10 
(my emphasis)

Zerubbabel... a descendant of David's royal line... among the first to return to Jerusalem after exile to Babylon... worked to rebuild the altar... Zechariah credits him with laying the foundation of the temple... the one whose hands completed the work... A great work... the beginning sign... a small thing... a plumb line... 

Today... in my reading... another small thing...

Once again, we misunderstand the significance of our own sin. Adam and Eve probably said to themselves as they bit down on the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, It's just a small thing. What harm can it do? We are not hurting anyone as far as we can see.
---Dan Allender & Temper Longman III, Intimate Allies

 A small sin...? There is no such thing... could this be... an insight needed... to clear the way... for drawing near...?

Small things...

Great things... both good... and evil... begin with the small...

I think back... years ago... to the beginning of a new call... a call that brought joy... an unbelievable call... Stepping out in faith... diligently pursuing... small successes... small signs of God's use...

But lately... the call seems... I don't know... futile...? ... nothing really to show for all the years... just small things...




This reminder.... Who despises the day of small things?... apparently... I do... forgetting... God works little by little... makes way for possession of the great... with small things...

Today... I give thanks for the small... reminders... successes...

Today... I will not disdain the small... sins... blessings...

Today... I take hold of a now old call... with a new attitude...

Lord... forgive my ingratitude... my blindness... to the importance of... small things... Thank You... for Your patient reminder... Your grace... Your love...

How do you receive the small...?
with thanks...?
with indifference...?
with disdain...?
Is there something small... a call... a gift... you need to see in a new light...?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

hazards of drawing near

The nearer I draw... into the Light... the more imperfections I see...

He highlights sin...

At times... what's revealed... seems so... insignificant... I rebel... it happened this week... the sin He spotlights... so trivial... I rationalize... justify... refuse to correct...

Such hardness of heart... repels me... reverses the drawing near... till I cry... weep... mourn... over the thing He calls sin...

A reminder of my sickness... a reminder of my need...

Drawing near... invites inspection... incites rejection... unless you become a receptacle for grace... unless you know... or at least desire to know... the Love of the Father...

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Psalm 51:1-6

What do you see in your drawing near?
Do you repel...? or repent...?
Do you reject...? or receive...?
Or... have you learned to stay at a safe distance...? just out of transformation's reach...?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

more on drawing

Yesterday's waking thoughts... led to more re-reading... the end of chapter 2...

I know now, from experience, that the path to joy winds through this dark valley. I think every well-adjusted human being has dealt squarely with his or her own depravity. I realize this sounds very Christian, very fundamentalist and browbeating, but I want to tell you this part of what the Christians are saying is true. I think Jesus feels strongly about communicating the idea of our brokenness, and I think it is worth reflection. Nothing is going to change in the Congo until you and I figure out what is wrong with the person in the mirror.
--- Don Miller, Blue Like Jazz


My thoughts drawn back to... draw near to Me... and what follows...

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts,
you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep.
Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
James 4:8-10
ESV

Drawing near... requires a need... a recognition of our brokenness... a desire to repent... turn back... be clean... Here is where Christ meets us... only those who are sick seek the Healer...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

waking thoughts...

A thought repeated... as I woke this morning... in that space between sleep and awake...

Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you.

God speaking from the book of James... having to check... I found it in 4:8...


These thoughts... I've found... begin new teachings... a string of connections to follow... leading to revelation...

Still... before sunrise... after reading the verse... studying "draw"... the Greek... according to Enhanced Strong's Lexicon... meaning... to bring near, to join one thing to another... to draw or come near, to approach...

I was drawn to pick up another book... one I hadn't seen in years... a foundation for a movie just seen... that God made the way to see... a movie I've been asking since...
Why did You make the way for me to see it...?
What am I supposed to learn...?
What are You saying to me...?

I find the book... opening to the first page... first chapter... I read...
Beginnings
God on a Dirt Road  Walking Toward Me
I once listened to an Indian on television say that God was in the wind and the water, and I wondered at how beautiful that was because it meant you could swim in Him or have Him brush your face in a breeze. I am early in my story, but I believe I will stretch out into eternity, and in heaven I will reflect upon these early days, these days when it seemed God was down a dirt road, walking toward me. Years ago He was a swinging speck in the distance; now He is close enough I can hear His singing. Soon I will see the lines on His face.
--- Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz


Coincidence...? I don't think so... the markings of a lesson... the beginnings of something new to learn...?

Lord... open my ears... and eyes... to all You have to say about  drawing near... prepare my heart... and will... to incorporate Your Way into me...  

Monday, April 16, 2012

revelation of rolling...

Rolling... your way onto the Lord... it works... it's true...

He will act... when you trust...

Trust that whatever happens... is in accordance with His love for you...

Experiencing His act... on my behalf... gives a deeper sense of peace... confidence... in His love for me...

Easier to be...

Easier to trust...

Hope-fully...

Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:1-4
ESV

The precursor to rolling... a new way to live... closer to His heart...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

effects of rolling...

Over the last day and a half... I've seen it... watched in amazement...

The sowing... of rolling...  Him acting... on my behalf...

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
Psalm 37:5
ESV
(emphasis mine)

His act... working out my desire... what I rolled onto Him... what I wanted to manipulate to get...

His way... different than anything I expected... anticipated...

His way... revealing new insights in the process...

He is good... faithful to His Word... faithful to the faithful...

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
Psalm 33:4 

Thank You... Father God... for the promise of Your Word... for the faith to believe... for revealing Your love to me...

Friday, April 13, 2012

visions... the good... the bad... the struggle

A vision stirs my heart...

One I've had before... one I long to see fulfilled... one I've worked toward... prayed for...

One I've repeatedly... stuffed down... put aside... improbable... if not impossible... after so many years...

Stirred anew... the vision that swells desire... feeds frustration...

Questioning... Why does God keep bringing this back?... It's painful... hard...

Sharing these thoughts with a dear friend... her response... a reminder really... came as a question... What happens to people who have no vision?

I know the answer... a wisdom we speak often...

Where there is no vision, the people perish...
Proverbs 29:18
KJV

Others translate perish... cast off restraint... The Hebrew literally meaning... be out of control...implying open defiance of a known standard or authority... (Dictionary of Biblical Languages)

A known standard... could it be... vision provides the known standard...?

A known standard... the reason for its continued return... the model... creation... before the fall...

The known standard... Jesus fought for... paid a high price... to make way for its return...

The vision that caused Him to weep over Jerusalem...
The cost that caused Him to sweat blood in Gethsemane...

Following Christ... being a disciple... requires a vision... requires a will... heart... spirit... to sweat blood... be crucified... to see it come to pass...

Today... I hear God's call... fight for the vision... I give it to you because that's My standard for you... otherwise... you will perish... run amok... get lost... die...

Today... I choose to fight... with the knowledge... and hope... that God will... has... made the way...

Do you struggle with a vision...?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

good counsel

Good counsel for sowing... and... rolling...

Be joyful in hope,
patient in affliction,
faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

good... but... hard...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

rolling... rolling... rolling... by faith...

Today... a desire... to manipulate... to get my way...

Today... a choice to sow...

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
Psalm 37:5
ESV

A Word previously studied... a Word needing practice...

commit... in the Hebrew... literally means... "roll"... "roll away"...

The Hebrew... way... also meaning... "road"... "journey"... "manner"... "habit"...

Today... with my desire... I choose... a new way... a rolling... in faith... trusting... my Lord to act...

Rolling desire onto the Lord... feels a little like the guy of myth punished by the gods... eternally sentenced to rolling a rock up... only to have it come right back...

Committing to the Lord... hard... my flesh unable to let it go... causing the desire to roll right back onto my heart...

Today... I choose rolling... onto Him... sowing righteousness... breaking up hard ground... waiting for it to rain... reaping steadfast love... by faith...

Because... whatever... however... He acts... I hear the Truth speaking...


What do you need to roll?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

not so pretty feet...

As it is written,
"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
Romans 10:15

The Good News... so often I fail to share it... maybe... because I don't always feel it...

My life... not a consistent picture of good news...

Recently... I read...

The great commission was given to us through the disciples. Like Genesis 1:28, where God gives basic and crucial commands to all people through Adam and Eve, so Jesus here gives his marching orders to Christians. This is what they are to devote their lives to. Genesis 1:28 is often called the cultural mandate. With that in mind, we can call Matthew 28:18-20 the gospel mandate. It is the mandate to subdue the earth with the gospel. We are the voice of the Lord on the earth. After all, "How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?" (Rom. 10:14).
---Dan B. Allender & Tremper Longman III, Intimate Allies (emphasis mine)

The brokenness of a rebellious world... and a self-centered heart... steal the good news... silence my voice for God...

When I fail to speak... to live... good news... I allow the world to subdue me... rather than me subdue the earth with the gospel...

Failing... to speak... to live... good news... leaves me with ugly feet...

Father God... forgive me... for not speaking... sharing... living... the Good News... forgive my ugly feet...

What shape are your feet in?
Do you need a spiritual pedicure?

Monday, April 9, 2012

everyday easter

Sunday... resurrection revealed...

Monday... the good news... the gospel... began to spread...

A gospel was news of some event that changed things in a meaningful way. It could be an ascension to the throne, or it could be a victory. When Greece was invaded by Persia and the Greeks won the great battles of Marathon and Solnus, they sent heralds (or evangelists) who proclaimed the good news to the cities: "We have fought for you, we have won, and now you're no longer slaves; you're free." A gospel is an announcement of something that has happened in history, something that's been done for you that changes your status forever.
---Timothy Keller, King's Cross (emphasis mine)

Good news...

What would be good news to you... what would change your status forever?

A healing...?
Something found...?
A new beginning...?

Whatever would be good news to you... is found in the good news of Jesus... the resurrection...

Have you found it?
Do you believe it?
Do you live it everyday?

In Christ... your status has been changed forever...



And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isaiah 35:10
ESV

Saturday, April 7, 2012

when restoration seems hopeless...

On the cross... the Light of the world... extinguished...

A sealed tomb...

Disciples... scattered...

Saturday... silence...

Darkness... reigned... this side of the first Easter...

Hope for restoration... gone...

To remember... the grief... doubt... confusion... of the first disciples... helps us persevere... knowing what we know...

Jesus's work of trust... obedience... love... coming to fruition...

He... the firstborn from among the dead...

The Light... returning...


Have a hope-full... joy-full... thank-full... Easter... 

Friday, April 6, 2012

clearing the way for restoration

Today... the Friday called good... marked by the cross...

Jesus... the Word made flesh... the Word that spoke creation... doing the hard work... trusting... obeying... humbling Himself... to the point of death on a cross...

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5
(emphasis mine)

Jesus... out of love... chose to die for our sin... He died for me... you... everyone... paying the ultimate price for restoration...

He cleared the way for forgiveness... He restored freedom... saved us from God's wrath... Jesus did the hard work... to make way for complete restoration...

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3

Am I... filled with joy...?

This filling often eludes me... sowing... in the hard-soul ground... takes its toll... Forgetting the good done this Friday... reveals the uncultivated ground... a poor planting of thanks... seeds of belief sparsely sown...

But praise God... our gracious... gracious... grace-full Lord... understands... forgives... and promises joy...

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6

Lord Jesus... thank You... thank You... thank You... for clearing the way... doing the hard work... understanding... As I sow in tears... waiting for joy... I choose to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

the work behind restoration

This week... facing my own restoration of sorts with its frustrations... I asked God for a word... one to sustain... guide... He said...

Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is time to seek the Lord,
that he may come
and rain righteousness upon you.
Hosea 10:12
ESV

A Word from God almost always spurs me on a journey through Scripture... my own spin on lectio divina... a word... or phrase... captures my attention... sparks a memory... bridges a connection to another Word...

The word... righteousness...

Sow for yourselves righteousness...

The connection... Abraham... the one credited with righteousness... not because of his works... but because he believed... he trusted God's promise...

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness...
Romans 4:5
ESV
(emphasis mine)

Planting... belief... trust... faith... this is righteousness... believing in God's promise... trusting in the work of restoration... through the pain... the mess... the delay...

Sow for yourselves righteousness...

A specific place to plant... in your fallow ground... another says... your unplowed ground... hard ground... uncultivated... a place that needs to be broken...

...break up your fallow... unplowed... ground...

Plant belief in a new place... a place previously unplanted with faith... a place hard from the effects of the world and sin...

Restoration requires a breaking up... or down... a tearing away of the old... the corrupted... to make new... In a spiritual restoration... unbelief... doubt... must be broken up...

Paul's word to the Romans included this about Abraham...

No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness."
Romans 4:20-22
ESV

Abraham did the hard work of breaking up his unbelief... his fallow ground... where previously there was no faith... he wrestled with self... his flesh... his understanding... broke it... crucified it... that he might believe...

This planting of hard soul ground... planting faith... leads to a harvest of steadfast love...

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:6

We reap the love of the Father in faith... breaking up unbelief... sowing trust... here in the previously hard places... we can reap... experience... God's steadfast love... Always present... but impossible to receive... harvest... without faith... belief... trust... righteousness...

...seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

Doing the work... of not working... instead believing... trusting... seeking God in faith... leads to increased faith... the grace of God raining down...

What an amazing way to not work... the hard work of breaking up unbelief... allowing God in new areas of your life... a continual cycle of restoration... until we are completely free of the hard... fallow... ground...

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5
ESV

The Word... the work... needed to find rest... in the process of restoration...

Sow for yourselves righteousness...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

restoration... a process of trust...

To find the rest... in restoration... we must trust... as Jesus trusted...

Jesus trusted God alone... He came to do His Father's will... not His own...

"Father...not my will, but Yours be done."
Luke 22:42

Jesus did not come to please others... but God...

Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.
...he knew what was in a man.
John 2:24-25

Too often... we put our trust in others... or self... in order to restore...

The work of restoration can only be accomplished when we trust God...

In the last few days... God led me to read...
Never trust anything but the grace of God in yourself or in anyone else.

Rest... in the restoration... is found... when we trust God's grace at work... in our life... and in others... when we choose to see... a construction zone... marked with yellow tape... reading...

GRACE AT WORK 

Only from this perspective... love... grace... Sovereignty... at work in EVERYONE... can we rest... in the midst of... pain... mess... delay...

We can say... Yes... to restoration... because He is trustworthy...



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

finding rest... in restoration...

The process of restoration... leaves me feeling... restless... the pain... the mess... the delays... tempt me to abandon...

But look...  rest... found at the forefront of.... restoration...

To rest... according to Webster's... is to cease from action or motion: refrain from labor or exertion... to be free from anxiety or disturbance... to sit or lie fixed or supported... to remain confident: trust...

Rest requires trust...

No one sits in a chair... to rest... if they do not trust it to hold their weight... Do you lie down in bed... if you believe it will collapse to the floor...?

Who do you trust... for the restoration of... souls... selves... relationships...?

God alone is trustworthy... in the emotional... spiritual... physical... restoration of lives...

He who was seated on the throne said,
"I am making everything new!"
Then he said, "Write this down,
 for these words are trustworthy and true."
Revelation 21:5
(emphasis mine)

Consider... today... do you trust God...?

Monday, April 2, 2012

approaching easter... a time of restoration...

Jesus... came to restore...

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
--Jesus
John 10:10

The thief... stole life... with a lie... in the beginning...
Jesus... brings restoration... in the end...

As followers... disciples... we must learn to do... what Jesus did... does... willingly... pay the price... take the time... bear the mess... of restoration...

Just six days till Easter... four to the Friday... marked with the cross...

Let's focus this week... consider... what's been restored in our lives... and... what following... might mean...
 
Then Jesus said to his disciples,
"If anyone would come after me,
he must deny himself
and take up his cross
and follow me. ..."
Matthew 16:24
(emphasis mine)