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, April 30, 2014

He will teach you...

As for you, the anointing which you received from Him 
abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; 
but as His anointing teaches you about all things, 
and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, 
you abide in Him.
1 John 2:27 NASB

What an awesome gift... His teaching...

His anointing... of the Holy Spirit...

"...When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth,
for he will not speak on his own authority, 
but whatever he hears he will speak, 
and he will declare to you 
the things that are to come. ..." ---Jesus
John 16:13 ESV

Seeking Him... allowing Him to teach... is all we need to do... to be led to truth...

I've asked Him...
What should I read...?
What does this mean...?
Am I wrong...?
What's right here...?

He has never failed... to speak... 

And when He speaks... He affirms... and confirms... His teaching through Scripture... and others... who seek Him alone... for teaching...

Do you have a question...? regarding Him... His Word... truth...?

Ask Him... with a heart open to Truth... not just seeking another opinion... but open to His answer as truth... submitting to His knowledge... and understanding... coming under His way... His Word... His logic...

Be prepared... for conviction... humble yourself before Him... wrestle with Him over the answer... be willing to come into agreement... with Him... 

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy
and empty deceit, according to human tradition,
according to the elemental spirits of the world,
and not according to Christ.
Colossians 2:8 ESV

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

His Word... has power...

His Word... has power...
whether a heart is open... or... indifferent...
rebellious... or... obedient...

His Word... will... have... its... effect...

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out of my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. ..."
Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV

Monday, April 28, 2014

trusting Him...

He said...

"It is finished."
John 19:30

The battle won... over every sin...
every dis-ease...
every deception...

Trusting His complete...
forgiveness...
healing...
victory...
no matter the current circumstances...

Trusting Him.... taking Him at His Word... 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 ESV

Sunday, April 27, 2014

thanking Him...

Thanking Him... in all things...

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1

No ifs... ands... or... buts...


This week's reading list for The Journey...
Monday                    Job 36
Tuesday                    Job 37
Wednesday              Job 38:1 - 40:2
Thursday                  Job 40:3 - 41:34
Friday                       Job 42

Friday, April 25, 2014

a day of blessings...

God's grace... it abounds... even when a heart wants to ache...

A day begun... with more art from a loved one... speaking truth... and healing...

Later... confirmation upon confirmation... of truth revealed...

Revelation affirmed... through inexplicable joy...

A day of blessings... grace upon grace...

"My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2Corinthians 12:9

Thursday, April 24, 2014

leaning into Him and His promises...

Watching a loved one struggle... tempted to be pulled under with him... offers opportunities... to lean into Him... and His promises...

So far... finding Him trustworthy and sure... with the testing... and practice... of His Word...

Finding peace... in response to giving thanks...

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

...leads me to trust the surety... of His other promises...

God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond 
your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide 
the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

And we know that for those who love God all things
work together for good, for those who are called
according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 ESV

"I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5 ESV

Lord... thank You... for the opportunity to lean into You...
and Your promises... Thank You for Your faithfulness...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

finding comfort in His Word...

When the silence breaks...
the news... what you expected...
but not what you hoped...
seek Him... in His Word...
find comfort... for a hurting heart...

Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.
Psalm 119:49-50 ESV

Amen...



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

do you know you're free...?

As a new creation in Christ Jesus... we are free...from the power of sin... and death...

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2 ESV

How does this truth play out in your day-to-day life...? do you feel free...? 

I know I struggle... struggle with sin... fear... anxiety... struggle to find peace... wrestle with feelings of guilt... and shame...

What about you...?

But He says... we are free... dead to sin... 

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:36 ESV

Seems to boil down to a belief issue... or more to the point... unbelief...

Do you believe it...? that you are free...? from the power of sin... and death...?

Is unbelief keeping you from living the resurrected life...? living out what is already yours...?

This has been a theme in my life lately... books... songs... reminding... explaining... what it means to be in Him...
Oh, it is a great thing to see that we are in Christ! Think of the bewilderment of trying to get into a room in which you already are! Think of the absurdity of asking to be put in! If we recognize the fact that we are in, we make no effort to enter. If we had more revelation, we should have fewer prayers and more praises. We spend so much time praying for ourselves just because we are blind to what God has done.
---Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life
Are you fighting for what you already have...? blind to what He has done...? in you...? for you...?

Before going to bed the other night... I tried to lock the back door...
The lock had been sticking lately... but I literally could not turn the deadbolt...
I was getting really frustrated...
then I realized... it was already locked...!

A picture for me... of the reality of the frustration... anger... confusion... we face when we try to achieve something that's already been done for us...

All there was for me to do... was accept that the door was locked... and go to bed (wondering if early onset dementia was in my future)...!

How often do we struggle with sin... wondering why God won't answer our prayer... make us more patient... kinder... merciful...? give us power to resist temptation...?

Well... consider... you are already dead to sin... it has no power over you... it does not need to be fought for with your will... and your strength... it's already done...

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:8-11 ESV

The Greek translated as... must consider... is an accounting term... a record keeping term involving debits and credits (Louw-Nida)... so Paul is telling us that we must believe ourselves dead to sin... and alive to God... in the same manner and surety... as we balance our checking accounts...

Believe it with the same acceptance... as I did the locked door...

I suppose I could have kept on struggling with the lock... letting unbelief have its way... but that would be stupid... insane actually...

Perhaps we need to consider... and count on... the promises and truths... He says we have in Him... and stop trying to get something... do something... be something... we already are... if we would just accept it...

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:13-14 ESV
(emphasis added)

Just simply present yourself to Him... 
accepting His death... as yours... 
accepting His life... as yours...

He doesn't want your effort... or sacrifices... He wants you...
He wants your heart...

Are you willing to give it to Him...? wholly...?


Believe Him wholly... and live free...

And my God will supply every need of yours
according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
To our God and Father be glory forever and ever.
Philippians 4:19-20 ESV

Monday, April 21, 2014

do you know your name...?

In light of what you know...


...and having chosen to believe...

"But you," He asked them, "who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter answered,"You are the Messiah,
the Son of the living God!"
Matthew 16:15 HCSB

...do you know... who you are... in Him...?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

This new creation... comes with a new name... a new character...

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons,
by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"
Romans 8:15 ESV

Don't ever forget... don't let anyone tell you different... you are... the child of the one true King...


How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1


[Note: yes... I forgot again... below you will find... what I forgot... but... my name is still... Child of the One True King...]

This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                   Job 29-30
Tuesday                   Job 31
Wednesday              Job 32
Thursday                  Job 33
Friday                      Job 34-35

Sunday, April 20, 2014

did you know...?

...He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.
...go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen...
Matthew 28:6-7 ESV
(my emphasis)

He has risen...!

All crucified with Him...
evil... dis-ease... sin... defeated...
It is finished...

When we believe...
we receive...
His resurrection... and His Life...!

Go and tell... His disciples...
that they might believe...
live... and multiply...


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                   Job 29-30
Tuesday                   Job 31
Wednesday              Job 32
Thursday                  Job 33
Friday                      Job 34-35

Friday, April 18, 2014

glimmers of hope...

Glimmers of hope... I saw them today... through art...
The beauty of art is that it separates us enough from our own pain in order to make it safe to approach.
---Emily P. Freeman, A Million Little Ways
I see the gift of art in a loved one... and how He uses it to help her deal with struggles... and through the art... hope glimmers... tears fall...
These tears carry the gift of your desire. Listen to them.
 ---Emily P. Freeman, A Million Little Ways
 A deep desire for healing... for loved ones... a desire shared with Him...

And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,
because He has anointed Me 
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent Me
to proclaim freedom to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. He began by saying to them, "Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled."
Luke 4:17-21 HCSB

He is about His business... He will not rest... until it's done...

Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at work to this very day, and I, too, am working."
John 5:17

Filled with hope... knowing I'm not alone in my desire... not alone in my waiting...

I will praise you forever for what you have done;
in your name I will hope, for your name is good.
I will praise you in the presence of your saints.
Psalm 52:9

Thursday, April 17, 2014

more freedom... from misconceptions surrounding obedience...

I heard it in my heart... Spirit to spirit...

Obedience is not about getting what you want...

Building on recent revelation... 
If obedience is solely about my relationship with Him... then it is not for obtaining what I want...

An unconscious belief... that I could control a situation... bend Him to act on my behalf... through obedience...

Clearly a misconception hidden deep in my heart... 
Clearly connected to the recently revealed... insidious... perverted... pride...

My... My... My... (sighed with a shaking of the head...)

There is a place in my life... where God has given me a Word... connected with a strong desire... one I've been working on... and waiting on... for a lot of years...

And I can't count the times... I've said... or thought... 
It's my fault this is not happening...
I'm such a slow learner... remedial in my obedience... stiff-necked...

Eyes on self... again...! (recognize the pride...?)

A truth revealed...

Obedience to Him is not about getting what I want...

Ahhh...

Yet another place of freedom...

My pursuit of following His Word... obeying His instruction... does not make my desire come to pass...

He alone... in His timing... will bring about what He will bring about... (changes in me... and in others...)

Now I say this... not from a rebellious... or disobedient heart...

Over the years... I have pursued obedience to what He said... to the utmost of my faith... and understanding...

I'm not saying... Give up... don't obey... it doesn't do any good...

I'm saying... I've had a misunderstanding... a misconception... hidden deep within my heart... a lie planted by the enemy... that has been bearing rotten fruit... and unwanted weeds... in my relationship with Him... for a long time...

Again... I say... 

Ahhh...

I feel release... from a previously unrecognized bondage... 

Thank You... Lord...

What about you...? Do you have misconceptions... concerning obedience... that steal your joy... and peace...? Or any other lie... the enemy has planted deep within...?

Seek Him... ask Him... pursue Him... just for Him... and see what He might reveal...

Blessed are those who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart...
Psalm 119:2 NIV

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

pride-full vanity...

So I see it now...
my obedience... a source of pride...
a pretty pathetic thing to be pride-full about...

A revelation... that sets me... free...

Free in the fact... it's not about me...
Free from striving...
Free to be...
Free to rest... in Him...

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength..."
Isaiah 30:15 NIV

Lord Jesus... thank You for opening my eyes... to my pride-full vanity... thank You... for setting me free... through repentance... and rest... to pursue You... in quietness... and trust...


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

why i need Jesus... (and you do too...)

Why do I need Jesus...?

My obedience is not trustworthy...

It came like an epiphany this morning...

Reading more... on His work... and ours...
How do you beat sin? We beat sin only by pressing into Jesus, knowing Him, and chasing Him. There is grace upon grace to be had in Him. So much grace, you can't use it all up. If we broken people will come to Christ in faith, we will receive an infinite supply of grace. This is why we pursue Christ above all --- because He is more than enough. He will always be enough.
---Mark Chandler, To Live is Christ to Die is Gain
Our work... pursue Him in relationship... not in obedience...

I see that... and know that... 

My obedience comes from a place that longs to please...

But I've put too much stock in it... depended on it as a barometer... of my love for Him... His for me... how I'm doing with Him in relationship...

This morning... it's just so clear...

My obedience is not trustworthy...
His is...
He puts no stock in my obedience...
Only His...

His obedience alone... the basis of our relationship...
His obedience born out of love... 
Love for His Father... 
Love for His creation...

The call to obedience is purely about entering into relationship with Him... coming to know Him... in and through His Word... coming to know Him... through His continued work in the world... coming to know His ways...

There's freedom... in this epiphany... 
I'm a sinner... 
He knows it...
My obedience will continue to fall short... continue to fail...
He took care of that...
His acceptance of me... my salvation... His love for me... is not dependent on me...
It's all Him...

A simple message given Saturday... at worship... focused on communion...

He took the bread...
He blessed the bread...
He broke the bread...
He gave the bread...

The bread... Himself... 
He took the mission willingly...
He blessed His Father with obedience...
He allowed Himself to be broken... 
So He could be given... to a broken world...

He took... He blessed... He broke... He gave...

And I see how He took me... and you...
He blessed us in the choosing... even though we were already broken... 
He broke our bondage to sin...
So we might give Him our lives... for His use...

Not because we are great at obedience... not because we are trustworthy... not because He needs us... but because He is great at obedience... He is trustworthy... and we need Him...

Hallelujah...!

It is not about me... only Him...

Obedience... I'm going to stop counting on mine... no longer let failure put a veil between me and Him... no longer allow the enemy to accuse...

Because now I KNOW... my obedience is not trustworthy...

He's not counting on it... and neither am I...!

I obey... because I want to know Him...

Amen...

Christ has set us free to live a free life.
So take your stand! Never again let anyone
put a harness of slavery on you.
Galatians 5:1 Msg

Monday, April 14, 2014

the insidious nature of pride...

The current treadmill read... and the audio-book in the van... both speak to His complete work on the cross... and our surrender to that work...

Our only need... to rest in Him...
Always, always, always seek the cross. It is there that we see our example for service and sacrifice to others. It is there that we get the power to serve and sacrifice for others. And it is there that we receive forgiveness when we fail in serving and sacrificing for others.
---Mark Chandler, To Live is Christ to Die is Gain
Always... always... always... seek the cross...

Nothing more is needed... but here is where I stumble... instead of seeking Him... I look to me...

What more can I do...?
Where did I fail... is it my fault they struggle...?
Look how far I am... from where I should be...

This attitude steals peace and joy... focuses only on what I still need to attain... and its root is pride...

The insidious nature of pride... it's not only found in the boasting... but anywhere eyes focus more on self... than on Him... self-pity... self-loathing... self-centeredness...

The reality is... I need nothing... and can do nothing... because in Him... by His grace... I have it all...

Pride looks to self... and its own involvement in salvation...

True humility... looks only to Him and the cross... thinks nothing of self...

Perverted pride... sees sin... as greater than His salvation...

True humility... receives conviction... asks forgiveness... steps back onto the narrow road (which just got a bit narrower)... and joyfully moves toward Him...

Herein lies the life free from the law of sin and death... and here is where the law of the Spirit of life is found...

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2 ESV

The law... given to highlight sin... and the death it brings... 

...since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:20 ESV

To live under the law... is to live by the flesh...

...with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Romans 7:25 ESV

Every time I move back under law... a veil comes between me... and Him... blinds me to His grace...

The law reveals our striving... to save self in our own strength...

Jesus came to fulfill the law... the only One who could... and set us free...

To walk with the Spirit... with no fear of breaking the law... is the law of life...

In Christ... we died too... and by faith... become free from the law of sin and death...

The only place to look is Him... pursue the Father through the Son by way of the Spirit... this is the law of life...

The enemy continually tries to draw us back under the law... because that is the place of sin and death... he does so through accusation... deceives us by using guilt... shame... reminding us of sin... failure... debts... tapping into deep areas of unbelief...

Beware... this trap... snare... that puts our eyes back on self... leads us away from Truth... and Life...

Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2Corinthians 3:5-6 ESV

Getting glimpses... of the new me... and the power and presence of the Spirit... all around...

Warned... afresh... about the insidious nature of pride...

Where do you tend to be drawn to self... instead of Him...?
Could it be... pride...?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

butterflies and doves

Sitting before stained glass... in the midst of worship...

Suddenly... they appear... hidden in broad bands of broken color... surrounding Him in the center...

Butterflies... and... doves...

A blue butterfly... catches my eye...

You are a new creation...

Doves... purple and blue... fly about... encircling Him...

Wonder takes hold... seeing what was always there... but at first unseen...

The prayer it comes...

Open my eyes to see... the change in me...

Open my eyes to see... the presence and power...
 of the Spirit around me...


For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.
Psalm 36:9 NASB95


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                  Job 21
Tuesday                  Job 22
Wednesday             Job 23-24
Thursday                 Job 25-27
Friday                     Job 28

Friday, April 11, 2014

to a son... thoughts on godly men... and camping...

Husbands, love your wives,(even before you know who they are)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 (her) to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV
(my commentary added)

I know the world doesn't think much of this these days --- with all the blurring of gender lines and free "love" and friends with benefits --- but as a man created in the image of God and as a follower of Jesus --- you should think first about the honor of the young women you know, and not the desire or pleasure you get from their company. Case in point... a camping trip. 

And I know your heart to stay pure, and in your mind all will be innocent... many guys and girls... but wisdom says... No. The reputation of these young women should come first in your mind. And opposite sexes, together all night, no chaperons, no mission but fun, deems this unwise.

Plus, this kind of intimacy and adventure, that of camping overnight with a woman, should be thought of as something you only want to share with your spouse.

Think about it... camping with your wife in years to come... Do you want memories with other women on other camping trips to come to mind? Ones that might be awkward to share... and perhaps make her jealous... no matter how innocent it seemed at the time?

An episode of Castle comes to mind... the two main characters engaged. In planning their honeymoon, her primary criteria is that it be someplace he has never been with another woman --- a virgin adventure, so to speak. (He having been married twice before, and possessing extensive resources, makes this goal really difficult.)

A good reason not to take any vacations with girlfriends (or even girls that are friends) --- even if you stay in separate rooms. Of course, supervised mission trips or working as camp counselors somewhere is a different category altogether.

As I process your question... Can girls come on the camp out?... I realize there is so much more to protect... save... for your future relationship with your wife than the act of "sex".

I haven't thought through this before, but I know from experience these things to be true... even when nothing happened...

Take your role as a Christian man and protector of the garden seriously, which is first and foremost (after your relationship with Him) to protect and honor the women God places in your life. Not only for your future marriage but for theirs too.

Husband and wife --- married couples --- make up the basic building blocks of the Church... (two becoming one... and... where two or three are gathered in my name I Am there with them...) Protect your future marriage relationship in every respect and protect the Church.

Love you,
Mom

PS... Thanks for asking the question...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

a labor of love...

Crawling in bed last night... brought tears...

Thoughts turned to a loved one...

Prolonged waiting makes for a heavy heart... that cries out to Him...

Following prayer... sleep came quickly... but became restless...

Waking several times... with heart-felt prayers pouring forth in my mind...

Different than anything experienced before... I have had wakeful nights... God pressing me to pray... often out of bed and to my Bible... clearly conscious of the call to intercede...

But this... waking with full blown prayer... over and over... wrestling... with Him... not only for one... but others too...

Finally waking... just before the alarm... a settling... the wrestling done...

My flesh wonders if I should worry... but my spirit says be still... He's at work...

And I wonder... was I Jacob... wrestling with Him... crying out... I won't let you go... till you bless them...

Or was I Epaphras... the one who wrestled in prayer... so others might stand firm in all His will...

Either way... called to a long night of travail... a labor of love...

Arise, cry out in the night,
as the watches of the night begin;
pour out your heart like water
in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your children...
Lamentations 2:19

Who have you wrestled with Him for lately...?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

trusting Him for what He's done...

Continuing to hum... sing... Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus... Just to take Him at His Word... and finding it difficult...

A catch in my heart... keeps me from fully resting... trusting... in His work...

Eyes keep turning to me... my failings... my doubts... my fear... of rejection... punishment...

Fears... unfounded... if I would just trust... have faith... in His Word... and work...

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-5 ESV

Thinking too highly of myself... I suppose... believing what I do... where I fail... is greater... than Him... His work...

Silly really...

The verse that comes to mind...

And without faith it is impossible to please him,
for whoever would draw near to God must believe
that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV

...faith... in this verse comes from the Greek... pistis... according to Louw Nida means... to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance...

And... believe... in this verse... pisteuo... shares the same root... bears the same meaning...

So I hear... without trust... it is impossible to please Him... whoever would draw near to God must trust...

Trust... this is where I need to grow... 

Primarily... stop trusting in me... and trust fully in Him... His love... and His work on the cross...

For how I do long to please Him... be near Him...

The stanza... I'm most drawn to... in my trusting hymn... the one I want to live out... is...

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

Oh... for grace... to trust You more...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

do not be deceived... by self...

Thoughts of a loved one struggling... cause me to consider our capacity for self-deception...

This morning's waking thought... Do not be deceived...

Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside). [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap. For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality), will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:7-8 Amp

We deceive... and delude... self... when our professions of faith are only words... no heart engaged... no surrender... to His will and way...

Sowing to the flesh... to our sensual nature... we reap only destruction...

And I see a misunderstanding... by which we often delude self... a truth about His nature... often misconstrued...

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Psalm 103:6 ESV

Yes... He is... slow to anger... merciful... gracious...

Self-deceit begins... when we mistake His slowness of anger... as acceptance of our worldly ways... or believe Him indifferent... when we wander...

Hearts grow hard... as sin... and sowing to flesh... continues... conviction suppressed... no immediate consequence experienced... when His quiet voice warns... 

Self... unwittingly... mocks Him... 

No... do... not... be... deceived...

You will reap what you sow... what you bury in your heart... in the secret place... it grows... it manifests... and growth... takes... time...

Consider with me today... His mercy... grace... and slowness of anger...

Where are you mistaking His grace... for tolerance... acceptance... of what you're sowing in your life...? 

Monday, April 7, 2014

re-membering Him...

A teaching from retreating... Believers re-member Him... come together... as the one Body of Christ...

The sacrament... mystery... of communion... the picture of re-membering... many parts becoming one... partaking of... His body... broken bread... and wine... poured out blood...

The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread.
Having given thanks, he broke it and said,
This is my body, broken for you.
Do this to remember me.
After supper, he did the same thing with the cup:
This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you.
Each time you drink this cup, remember me.
1Corinthians 11:23-25 Msg

Yet... I see Him... re-membered... through prayer... Believers gathered to intercede for others...

Consequently, [Jesus] is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:25 ESV

He is re-membered... when we gather to study... share what we've learned... through His Word...

And they were astonished at his teaching, for [Jesus] taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
Mark 1:22 ESV

Through worship... He is re-membered...

"...Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
John 4:23-24

Any time... His people gather... to serve... love... others in His name... His character... He is re-membered...

"...For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I among them." ---Jesus
Matthew 18:20

How are you... re-membering Him... with others...?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

we need Him...

The reading through... brings me to Job... and his lament... reveals our need...

To him who is about to faint and despair, kindness is due from his friend, lest he forsake the fear of the Almighty. [You] brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, as the channel of brooks that pass away, Which are black and turbid by reason of the ice, and in which the snows hides itself; When they get warm, they shrink and disappear; when it is hot, they vanish out of their place. The caravans which travel by way of them turn aside; they go into the waste places and perish. [Such is my disappointment in you, the friends I fully trusted.]
Job 6:14-18 Amp

Job... in the midst of despair... finds his friends lacking in kindness... they seem like brooks fed only by the melting snows in Spring... deceitful brooks running dry... providing no refreshment... when days grow hot... when water is needed...

Jesus... He is the only Friend... who faithfully stands by us... the only One... who will never disappoint... run dry... when it comes to compassion... mercy... kindness...

Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of this water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
John 4:13-14 ESV

Job's complaint continues... his suffering leaves him feeling vulnerable... at a loss... before God... 

For [God] is not a mere man, as I am, that I should answer Him, that we should come together in court. There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand upon us both, [would that there were!]...
Job 9:32-33 Amp

Job sees the need for an umpire... an arbiter in other translations... to be able to stand before God... someone to give him a chance to be proved righteous... before Him...

God the Father... in His mercy and love... provided just such a Mediator...

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all...
1Timothy 2:5-6 ESV

All mankind... represented by Job... all need a Friend... who understands... all need a Mediator... before the Almighty...

Before the Israelites became a nation... through captivity... before the Exodus... and the Law... Job's heart... cried out for a Savior... an innate need... of everyone born... in this broken world...



This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                       Job 12-13
Tuesday                       Job 14
Wednesday                  Job 15-16
Thursday                      Job 17-18
Friday                          Job 19-20

Friday, April 4, 2014

prayer... a crucified grace...

Prayer... a grace of the crucified life...

Sin... the primary barrier to prayer... was alleviated at the cross...
God gathered up in the Person of His Son all that was of Adam and crucified him; so in him all that was of Adam was done away. Then God made, as it were, a proclamation throughout the universe saying, "Through the cross I have set aside all that is not of Me; you who belong to the old creation are all included in that; you too have been crucified with Christ!" None of us can escape the verdict. ...
God's question is clear and simple: "Christ has died, and I have included you there. Now, what are you going to say to that?"
---Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life
...all included... all crucified... on the cross... all dead...

The clearing away of sin... opens the way for communication with Him... the curtain torn... the Holy of Holies open wide into His presence...

And He begins the conversation... with a question...  Christ has died... you were included... what do you say to that...?

The door of prayer open... sins done away with... the question posed... anyone blessed with faith... may say... Yes...

Here... at the point of... Yes... everything changes... for with the Yes comes resurrected life... not only do we share in His death... but in His life... when we say Yes...

Prayer leads us to an intimate relationship with God... and as we grow close... we change... and as we change... the world changes... one... person... at... a... time... for... all... eternity...

Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:10 ESV

Thursday, April 3, 2014

crucified...

Processing what it means... to be crucified with Him...

New insights... from an old book... bring me face to face... with my own unbelief... and limited understanding... of His crucifixion... my baptism into His death... and resurrection...
The real meaning behind baptism is that in the cross we were "baptized" into the historic death of Christ, so that  His death became ours. Our death and His became then so closely identified that it is impossible to divide between them. It is to this historic "baptism" --- this God-wrought union with Him --- that we assent when we go down into the water. Our public testimony in baptism today is our admission that the death of Christ two thousand years ago was a mighty all-inclusive death, mighty enough and all-inclusive enough to carry away in it and bring to an end everything in us that is not of God.
--- Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life 
His death... my death...

Receiving His crucifixion... brings to an end... everything in me that is not of God...

His resurrection... my resurrection...

Longing... to take hold of the freedom from sin He says is mine...

Seeking... asking Him to open my eyes... and heart... to the Truth...

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 ESV

Lord Jesus... open my eyes to the reality of my death... 
and resurrection... in You...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

trust Me...

It started last week... a tune to a hymn I couldn't name... echoing through my head...

Humming as I woke... and throughout the day... words mostly unknown... the only ones I came up with... I sang...

Jesus, Jesus how I love Him...
Hmm hmmm hmm hm hm hm hmmm...
Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus...
Hmm hm hmmm hm hm hm hmmmm...

Intending to go online and find the lyrics... because I know from experience... when He places a tune... a hymn in my head... He has something to tell me... but busy days followed...

The melody persisted... and it wasn't until Sunday afternoon... after thumbing through the hymnal during worship... after asking another if she knew it... that I finally got on the internet to find words...

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er’
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
‘Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er’
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Yes, ‘tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
 Life and rest, and joy and peace.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er’
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er’
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

The hymn... Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus... trust... not... love...

Since retreating... I had been focused on loving Him... singing away a hymn with the words I thought I knew... but exchanging love for trust... when I read these lyrics... it was like... Ahhh... this is what You want me to know... 

Him... saying to my heart... Trust Me...

Back to the question of faith... and the root of cynicism... here is where He says... Trust Me...

Now I'm learning this hymn... struggling still with replacing trust with love...as I sing... but I'm learning...

Tis so sweet... to trust... in Jesus...

Trusting Him... with loved ones... and the seemingly unchanged...

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV

Oh... for grace... to trust You more...


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

no division...

Waking thoughts...

There should be no division in the Church...
no dividing wall...

And the Scripture... that affirms...

As you come to him, the living Stone 
--- rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him --- 
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house 
to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices 
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1Peter 2:4-5

Jesus... the Living Stone...
Chosen by God...
Rejected by the world...

Those in Him... like Him... chosen by God... rejected by the world... to be built into a spiritual house... one spiritual house...

The time of retreating comes to mind... many denominations gathered for one purpose... His Love... knowing it... sharing it... finding healing in it...

In this world we will have trouble... but the Church is not to cause the Church trouble...

There should be no division...

Only as one... will the world see Him...

Only in our love for one another... will He be revealed...

The Living Stone... the Cornerstone... we are to be like Him...

He has only one Church... 

And I wonder... 
Do I cause division...? where am I failing to offer unity...?

What about you...?
Are you a part of His one Church...? Or are you a dividing wall...?

Consider division in your church home... Is there any...?

Consider the many denominations in your community... Is there unity in diversity...? or animosity...?

Where can you begin to make a difference... for Him...?

May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to live in such harmony with one another,
in accord with Christ Jesus,
that together you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:5-6


[Note: Wow... it took me til Tuesday to realize I didn't post the readings for The Journey on Sunday... here they are...]

This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                            Job 3-4
Tuesday                            Job 5-6
Wednesday                       Job 7-8
Thursday                           Job 9
Friday                               Job 10-11