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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

waging war... requires... surrender...

When everything's a battle... waging war... requires... surrender...
surrender... 1 a: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand... b: to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another 2 a: to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner b: to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)...
Surrender... to His sovereignty...
Surrender... to His will...
Surrender... to His Word...
Surrender... to His way...

Surrender accepts His plan and purpose... in whatever He allows...
Surrender willingly yields power... control... to Him...
Surrender obeys His call... His guidance... His wisdom...
Surrender chooses to follow... lean on... His understanding...

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

In surrender to Him... we find peace... and victory...

And this is the victory that has overcome the world --- our faith.
1John 5:4 ESV

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

when everything's a battle... rejoice...

These last few days... everything feeling like a battle... I started a list... What not to do... when everything's a battle...

  • Do not have scrambled eggs for breakfast -- it's really hard to get all those little pieces of shell out before you scramble it...
  • Do not wear cream colored pants...
  • Do not write with a red ink pen... unless wearing red...
  • Do not drink coffee... unless wearing brown...
  • Do not pick up a large to-go tea in a Styrofoam cup by the lid...
  • Do not pick up a large to-go tea in a Styrofoam cup by the lid... again...
  • Do not attempt to practice "new" when you're the only one around...
When everything's a battle... everything's a battle...

But what I've found... in the midst of battle --- remembering Him... what He has done... that He's at work... that this is the day He has made --- is joy...

Weird...

This unexpected joy... in surrendering the battle to Him... sent me looking for a specific verse...

This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24 ESV

A verse I bet you're familiar with... yet have you ever looked at the context...?

I did this time... and discovered... this day that the Lord has made... is a specific day...

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 18:19-24 ESV

This day... that the Lord has made... is the day... when He opened the gates of righteousness to His people... to those who believe by faith... through His Son... the gate... the Way... into His presence...

The stone the builders rejected... He is now the cornerstone... the foundation of the faithful...

This is the Lord's doing... on behalf of creation... and the creatures He loves...

This day... marks the day the victory was ensured... every battle faced today can be faced with joy... because our perseverance... persistence... and firm stance... has attached to it... a guaranteed victory...

Each battle... an opportunity to grow in the grace of Jesus... the ultimate goal of our faith...

Each challenge... an opportunity to rejoice... in the victory to come... 

This is the day... the Lord has made...
let us rejoice... and be glad... in it... 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

war song...

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.
On the contrary, they have divine power 
to demolish strongholds.
1Corinthians 10:4

Several years ago... in a waking moment... He revealed... the divine weapons of spiritual warfare...

Songs of Praise...
Prayer...
Thanksgiving...

This week... I take up a war song... a song of praise... filled with reminders... to give thanks... and pray...


What's your war song... when you are feeling battle worn...?

Monday, July 28, 2014

when everything feels like a battle...

When everything feels like a battle... remember...

The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5 ESV

Lord Jesus... You are the Light...
no darkness... can overcome You...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

war weary...

The past two days... whew...
the unseen battle... it rages...

In me...
in others...
against me...
against others...

Feeling at a loss...
raging back seems easier...

Fighting just to listen...
hear His commands...
HARD...

The desire to see the battle won...
GREAT...
but it seems so far from over...

Anger rises way too easily...
tears flow... unbidden...

Feeling... war weary...

But He says... Wait... Trust...

I say... I can't... but You can...

Trusting Him... for strength...
perseverance...
wisdom...
guidance...

The Everlasting God, the Lord, 
the Creator of the ends of the earth
does not become weary and tired. 
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary, 
and to him who lacks might He increases power.
Isaiah 40:28-29 NASB

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 30

The Journey takes readers through the entire Bible in three years... here are the coming week's readings...

Monday                  Numbers 1:47 - 2:34
Tuesday                  Numbers 3
Wednesday             Numbers 4
Thursday                 Numbers 5
Friday                     Numbers 6

Feel free to join The Journey anywhere along the way... when the end is reached... it will begin again...

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
 or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, 
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tee planted by streams of water, 
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. 
Whatever he does prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3

Friday, July 25, 2014

a day...

A day... full of old... and new...

A day... in which to rejoice...
because it is... today...

A day... He made...

This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24 ESV

Thursday, July 24, 2014

the only source of peace...

Trusting Him... in all things...
the only source of peace...

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3 ESV

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

new... building confidence... exercising humility...

The first official day of new...

Accomplished some things on my own...
messed some things up on my own...

New provides opportunities...
to build confidence...
and exercise humility...

Certain there will be many more tomorrow...
and the next day...
and the next...

Thanking Him...
for many opportunities...
to grow in confidence...
and humility...
according to His will...

Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you
who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

a new journey...

new... adjective... 1: having recently come into existence: recent, modern 2 a (1): having been seen, used, or known for a short time: novel... (2): unfamiliar... b: being other than the former or old...
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.)
The new opportunity... presented several weeks ago... became confirmed today...

A new door opened... a new door entered...

Different than anything I've done before... new... a business opportunity... half-owner of a small shop...

The new partner... she asked... Are you scared now...?

And I have to say... No... not really able to identify one primary emotion...

I suppose as with any new... there is anticipation... excitement... joy... trepidation... and maybe... Yes... a little fear... but also thanksgiving...

This opportunity... came unsought... and unexpected...

Seemingly... from Him... or so I believe so much... I acted on it... after testing... and prayer...

So here I stand... on the threshold of a new journey... recently come into existence... known for a short time... unfamiliar... being other than the former...

Trusting Him... to lead... guide... and provide...


The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Psalm 28:7 ESV


Related fare...

Monday, July 21, 2014

are you willing to hear...?

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts...
Hebrews 3:7-8 Amp

Are you willing to hear... what He has to say each day...? each moment...?
...the real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.
---CS Lewis, Mere Christianity 
This willingness... to hear and obey... forms the basis for the transformation He wants to do in your life...

First thing in the morning... and every moment after...
becomes a battleground...
Who will you hear...?
Your own fears... frets... desires... or His call...

I faced this battle myself... just this morning...
a choice to make...
Will I hear...?

The choice leads to an end... either way...

If you refuse to hear... your heart hardens...
the rocks of fear... worry... wants... become planted...
no room for roots to grow...

Eventually... the whole of the heart becomes paved...
a hard path... where the Word sits...
and the enemy steals...

The choice to hear Him...
and choose His eternal perspective...
leads to a heart like His...

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil,
unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today,"
that none should be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV

Consider yourself exhorted... truth spoken in love...

Choose to listen... and obey... first thing... every day... and every... moment... after...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

thankful for a dead tree...

Today's sermon... inspired these words... and my heart...

Thankful for a dead tree...
the one that bore His body...
and my sin...

Thankful for life...
springing forth from a dead tree...
by the power of His Word...

Thankful for the reach...
of this dead tree...
into my life...

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 2:24 ESV

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 29

In an effort to not forget posting The Journey readings on Sunday... I've decided to post them on Saturday...

Monday               Hebrews 8-9
Tuesday               Hebrews 10
Wednesday          Hebrews 11
Thursday              Hebrews 12-13
Friday                  Numbers 1:1-46

We'll see how this works for a while...

Friday, July 18, 2014

needing continual cleaning...

A day spent deep-cleaning my bedroom... sheets... bedspread... pillows... baseboards... headboard... behind the bed...

Dusting places untouched for months (years?) brought me face to face... with the constant accumulation of dirt... and grime... throughout my life... and the need for continual cleaning...

People are messy... reminding me... every spiritual reality... has a physical manifestation...

Toward the end of the day spent cleaning... a verse I read this morning... came to mind...

Blessed (Happy, fortunate, to be envied) is he who has forgiveness of his transgression continually exercised upon him, whose sin is covered.
Psalm 32:1 Amp
(my emphasis)

The mess of life... and the mess of our broken selves... causes the accumulation of sin's filth... but in Christ... we have One who continually exercises forgiveness upon us... through the power of His sacrifice and blood...

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 1:7-9

What an amazing truth... His blood continually exercising its power of forgiveness... in our messy lives...


Our only part... acknowledge our mess... and confess it... 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 ESV

Truly something to be happy about because...
our lives... need... continual... cleaning.... 

Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but he who trusts in, relies on, and confidently
leans on the Lord shall be compassed about
with mercy and with loving-kindness.
Psalm 32:10 Amp


Take time to thank Him... praise Him... for His gift of grace in your life...
Or... if you have not yet acknowledged your messy life... confessed your sin... and received His lavish grace... consider it now... He's waiting for you...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

purpose-full...

He is purpose-full...

The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble.
Proverbs 16:4 ESV

Finding comfort... in His purpose...

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

Whether we see something as...
good... or bad...
challenging... or easy...
blessing... or curse...
we can trust... He has allowed it...
for a purpose...

His purpose... always good... 
for His people... 
for His glory...
for His kingdom...

I praise You... Sovereign Lord... and Your purpose-full nature... 
which cannot be thwarted... distorted... delayed... or overcome...

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
Psalm 33:11

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

feeling my weaknesses...

Feeling the full weight of my weaknesses... my eyes fall on the back cover of the current study with sisters...


God can use your weakness... 

Do I believe it... ?

I guess it's time to find out...

Lord... on a day of feeling physical fatigue...
trying temptations... and frustration... 
just a few of my many weaknesses...
I bring them to You by faith...
for You to use... anyway...
You... see... fit...

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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

thankful for His wisdom...

...the wise heart will know the proper time
and the just way.
Ecclesiastes 8:5 ESV

Thankful for His wisdom... His timing... and His just way...

I know I have none of these... wisdom... timing... or justice... except by His grace...

By faith... I exercised these three attributes of His today... 
relying on His guidance... direction... 
and not my own understanding...

Resting... and waiting... in peace...
because I trusted Him... 
and not me...

For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
Proverbs 2:6-8 ESV

Lord Jesus... only by Your loving mercy... and sacrifice... can I be considered upright... a woman of integrity... or one of Your saints... Thank You... Thank You... Thank You... for Your blessing of faith... and peace...

Monday, July 14, 2014

revelation...

revelation... noun... 1 a: an act of revealing or communicating divine truth b: something that is revealed by God to humans 2 a: an act of revealing to view or make known b: something that is revealed especially: an enlightening or astonishing disclosure
--- Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.) 
Revelation... comes in many forms... but it all originates with the Holy Spirit...

When it comes to revelation regarding the Word of God... finding its understanding... and sense... begins with our initiating a search... out of a desire for truth and wisdom...

My son, if you receive my words and 
treasure up my commandments with you, 
making your ear attentive to wisdom 
and inclining your heart to understanding; 
yes, if you call out for insight and 
raise your voice for understanding, 
if you seek it like silver and 
search for it as for hidden treasures, 
then you will understand the fear of the Lord 
and find the knowledge of God. 
For the Lord gives wisdom; 
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding...
Proverbs 2:1-6 ESV

Receiving His Word... treasuring it up... obeying it to the utmost of our faith and understanding... are the first steps toward revelation...

As we are in Scripture... He may draw our attention to a particular passage or word... for some reason we can't get it out of our mind... it catches us...

The Spirit inspires the seeking out of meaning... which leads us to dictionaries... lexicons... and commentaries...

Some of these resources are used by the Spirit to reveal... deeper meaning... understanding... and Ah-ha moments...

We read a Scripture we just don't understand... and can't get past... it sticks... 

When this happens ask Him... What does it mean...? How does this work...? Confess... I don't understand...

Then... maybe that day... or the next... even a week later... or a month... you may find yourself in the midst of a conversation... a circumstance... a situation... where you see that exact Word made flesh... and the Spirit says... See... this is what that means...

Revelation... still comes in dreams... and visions... too...

Our God... He's the same today... as He was yesterday...
He is faithful to those who are faithful...
and He longs for us to draw near...
building relationship... through understanding...

But the only true... wisdom... knowledge... and understanding comes from Him... we can't make sense of it ourselves... or figure it out on our own... 

So seek... ask... be receptive... and revelation... will... come...

"Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives,
and the one who seeks finds,
and to the one who knocks it will be opened. ..."
---Jesus
Matthew 7:7-8 ESV

Sunday, July 13, 2014

understanding His Word... it's revelation...

Making Sense of the Bible...  it's the title of a book by Adam Hamilton... a book I've scanned... but not read...

And it's bothered me... something unsettling... I couldn't quite put my finger on till today...

The title itself bothers me... Making Sense of the Bible...

It puts all the responsibility on us... to figure out what God is saying in His Word...

It implies starting with man... and working upward... in order to understand... and be able to make sense... of the Bible...

When in reality... the Word begins with God... and it is He Himself... who blesses us with revelation... and understanding... from above...

We do not need to make sense of Scripture...

We simply need to bring our questions to Him... and ask for the blessing of revelation...

Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.
Psalm 119:18

The Word starts with Him... and comes down...!

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven...
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth...
Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV

God's Word in Scripture... is often seen as seed being sown... falling on hearts... some prepared to receive... some not...

"... As for what was sown on good soil,
this is the one who hears the word and understands it.
He indeed bears fruit and yields,
in one case a hundredfold,
in another sixty,
and in another thirty."
Matthew 13:23 ESV

We just need to remember... it is only God... who makes things grow...



This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday               Leviticus 26
Tuesday               Leviticus 27
Wednesday          Hebrews 1:1 - 3:6
Thursday              Hebrews 3:7 - 5:10
Friday                  Hebrews 5:11 - 7:28

Friday, July 11, 2014

a picture of sin

Cleaning my shower... inspired a picture of sin...

This is a chore I don't like doing... so needless to say... I regularly procrastinate... until I can't stand it...

As I knelt... scrubbing soap scum... mildew... and general all-around-grunge... I was reminded that all this dirt... mess... yuk... came off me and my dear husband...

Now I have this theory... which I believe bears itself out in the overarching truth of Scripture...


So... while cleaning... I considered my sin... and the sin of my spouse...

If the physical residue off our bodies is so disgusting... I don't even want to know what the spiritual residue of our sin looks like... not to mention the actual sin itself...!

The thought leaves me grateful... and humble... before Jesus... my Savior... who allowed the grunge of the world... and the wrath of His Father against us... to be poured out on Himself... out of love...

For while we were still weak, at the right time 
Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die 
for a righteous person --- though perhaps for a good person
 one would dare even die --- but God shows his love for us 
in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, 
much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
Romans 5:6-9 ESV

Praise Him... from who all blessings flow...
including shower grunge to clean...
that I might see... Him...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

sin and the law

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

I saw this truth at work today... in my journey through Leviticus...

"... For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. You shall not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. The Sabbath of the land shall provide food for you, for yourself and for your male and female slaves and for your hired worker and the sojourner who lives with you, and for your cattle and for the wild animals that are in your land: all its yield shall be for food."
Leviticus 25:3-7 ESV

As I read... my heart tightened... and my flesh took on the persona of an Israelite farmer faced with this law... and the thought came forth...

What a waste...

And behind these words... fear... greed... distrust in His ability to provide...

I could not deny... the heart of this farmer... was mine... 

...through the law comes knowledge of sin...

With my spirit set on confession and repentance... I began to look... to see where these sins are being made flesh in my life...

I do not face the prospect of a Sabbath rest for the land every seven years... but I face decisions each day... about money... security... and whether He is trustworthy...

I'm stunned... that the law of Leviticus... has the power to reveal my personal sin... in such a stark way...

I find myself humbled... grateful for His Word... 

Lord Jesus... continue to reveal my sin... bring it to light...
I no longer want to walk in darkness...


A challenge for you...
Read Leviticus for yourself... as you journey through ask Him... to bring you to the knowledge of sin in your life... 
I'd love to know what you find out... about yourself... through the law...
Consider sharing it here... with us at this table...

[To leave a comment on a post... first click the post title... scroll to the bottom where you will find the "Post A Comment" box...]

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

mercy triumphs

God includes everyone in the death sentence in Exodus 11:5: "Every firstborn son in Egypt will die." God must do the just thing because He is God, but He balances His righteousness with His loving mercy. He decrees judgment for all sinners; then He provides a way of escape, a kiporah, or covering. While rain falls on everyone, those who have an umbrella do not get wet. For those who seek His way to satisfy the demands of His Law, God provides the blood of the lamb as a covering.
---Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Christ in the Passover
Mercy... fulfilled the law...

Mercy... defeated death...

Mercy... saves...

Mercy triumphs over judgment.
James 2:13 ESV

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

blessed by His mercy...

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, 
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
 and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Psalm 32:1-2 ESV

Blessed... in Hebrew... esher... a word meaning... happiness... blessedness... one resource translates it... to be envied with desire (Theological Wordbook of the OT)... a state of such happiness that everyone wants what you have...

A spirit free... void of the need to deceive... others... Him... regarding sin...

He's dealt with it... we don't have to...

This is the blessing of His forgiveness... the blessing found in His mercy...

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away 
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; 
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
Psalm 32:2-4 ESV

To keep silent... hide our sins... cover them ourselves... is the way of the flesh...

And [Adam and Eve] heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord among the trees...
Genesis 3:8 ESV

But the way of the flesh leads to groaning... the oppressive hand of guilt weighing day and night... strength sapped dry...

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Psalm 32:5 ESV

The pain of godly sorrow... drives us to confession... repentance... and there we find the blessing of His merciful forgiveness...

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 ESV

His mercy on the cross... stands ready... to hear and receive any confession... cleanse any stain...

Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you
at a time when you may be found; 
surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; 
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
Psalm 32:6-7 ESV

...let everyone who is godly... know the blessing of His mercy... it is for everyone who is godly... those willing to place their faith and trust in His merciful loving kindness... and follow His Way...

Anyone... may offer prayer to receive His forgiveness and mercy... to receive His shield of salvation... a true hiding place... that preserves us from trouble...

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Psalm 32:8 ESV

His mercy comes with counsel... 
instruction... 
guidance... 
in the Way... 

Those who listen faithfully... receive the blessing of His watchful direction...

Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
Psalm 32:9 ESV

The godly come willingly...
He will not make you follow His Way... 
He will not force you... like a farmer driving an obstinate mule...

Free will... to reject or receive... His mercy... His blessing... 
is the basis of faith... and love...

Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one
who trusts in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Psalm 32:10-11 ESV

Discover the blessing of His mercy... 
trust in Him... 
know His love...
praise His name...

Blessed... by... His... mercy...

Lord Jesus... open my eyes to the many aspects of Your mercies... fill my life with its enviable blessings... may others see... and be drawn to You... 

Monday, July 7, 2014

connected by His mercy...

The cross... a sign of His mercy... connects us to Him... and to each other...
In the first place [Christ's] union with the [human] race as "the last Adam" began historically at Bethlehem and ended at the cross and the tomb. In it He gathered up into Himself all that was in Adam and took it to judgment and death. In the second place our union with Him as "the second man" begins in resurrection and ends in eternity --- which is to say, it never ends --- for having in His death done away with the first man in whom God's purpose was frustrated, He rose again as Head of a new race of men in whom that purpose will at length be fully realized. ...
The cross is thus the mighty act of God which translates us from Adam to Christ.
---Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life
 Jesus... connected Himself to humanity... through incarnation... and from there gave Himself up to death on the cross... to bear our sins...

Through belief... trust... in His work of grace... we are connected with Him...

His cross... our cross...

We know that our old self was crucified with him
in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing,
so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Romans 6:6 ESV

By faith... we know we died with Him...

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live,
but Christ who lives in me.
Galatians 2:20 ESV

By faith... we know He lives in us...

Not only that... because of His mercy... we receive the Holy Spirit... and by His Spirit we are connected to all other Believers... becoming the Body of Christ...

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of activities,
but the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit
for the common good.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 ESV

We remember... the power of these connections... through Communion...

In Communion... we connect with Him... remembering His blood shed for our salvation... and His crucifixion... of which we are a part by faith... destroying the dominion of sin and death in our lives...

Through Communion... each of us gather... eating the Bread of Life... the single loaf broken for us all...

Connected... by... His... mercy... 


"... Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. ..." --- Jesus
Revelation 3:20 ESV

Lord Jesus... keep me attentive to Your mercy that connects...
I don't want to miss... Your invitation to communion...


Sunday, July 6, 2014

saved by His mercy...

The reading through of Leviticus has me considering His mercy... and the magnitude of His grace through Jesus... and the provision of blood for atonement... for forgiveness...

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.
Leviticus 17:11 ESV

All the blood in the tabernacle... a foreshadowing of what was to come... the perfect sacrifice... to end all sacrifices...

God presented [Christ Jesus] as a sacrifice of atonement,
through faith in his blood.
Romans 3:25

Each of us... in Christ... should greatly identify with Isaac... and his trek up the hill with his father Abraham...

Isaac carried the means for offering a sacrifice... the wood... the fire... the only thing missing... the offering...

"...but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
Genesis 22:7 ESV

Abraham... the father of the faithful... told his son whom he had been commanded to sacrifice... "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering..."

Yet... Isaac found himself bound to the wood... a knife to his throat... about to die at the hand of his father... when a voice said...

"Abraham, Abraham!... Do not lay your hand on the boy..."
Genesis 22:11-12 ESV

Imagine Isaac's relief... his joy... his wonder... at the ram in the bushes... provided for his salvation...

We too... should recognize the provision God made for us... saving us from judgment... and the shedding of our own blood... for our own sins...

We too... should breathe a sigh of relief... a grateful prayer... and offer an obedient heart... to the One who took our place... who saved us by grace...

Jesus... the ultimate Lamb of God... the final sacrifice... the One who came to take away the sins of the world... because of His mercy...

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy...
Titus 3:4-5 ESV

Saved... by... His... mercy...

Do you see it...?
Do you know it...?
Are you grateful for it...?

Father God... help me to more fully comprehend... 
Your mercy that saves... and the provision You've made... 
so I may live my life... in grateful obedience... for Your glory...


This week's readings for The Journey...
Monday                      Leviticus 20
Tuesday                      Leviticus 21-22
Wednesday                 Leviticus 23
Thursday                     Leviticus 24:1 - 25:22
Friday                         Leviticus 25:23-55

Friday, July 4, 2014

independence day...

A day to focus on freedom...

True freedom found only in Christ...

For freedom Christ has set us free...
Galatians 5:1 ESV

And it is within His commands... His law... we have the most freedom...

I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
Psalm 119:32

In freedom we serve... and love others...

You, my brothers, were called to be free.
But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature;
rather, serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:13

Embrace your freedom today... serve someone in love...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

surrendered...

This morning's call to fast... began with a desire to argue...
but I considered Him... Wonder-full...
His ways unlike mine... His thoughts way beyond...

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

So I surrendered... 
knowing it will be good in the end...
knowing He has purpose in the call...
knowing He will provide the strength...

And the refrain... it began to echo in my spirit...

I surrender all... I surrender all...
all to Thee my blessed Savior...
I surrender all...


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

beyond words...

Struggling to find one word... that expresses an essence of His character... That which is beyond our reach...

He is surprising... because He does the unexpected... but surprising doesn't capture the full magnitude...

He is unpredictable... yet steady in faithfulness... even when we aren't...

He is incomprehensible... but He reveals Himself in so many ways...

Just this morning... He surprised me in such a way... I laughed... an unexpected blessing... in the midst of listening for an answer to a specific question... the unexpected blessing appeared to be the answer...

Beyond anything I would have ever guessed or imagined Him doing...

What do you call that...?
Mysterious... No...
Astounding... Not quite..
Amazing... Hmm...

To see His joy... in the creation He holds together... What do you call that...?

Wonder-full...?

I am just left full of wonder...
wonder... a cause of astonishment or admiration: marvel... the quality of exciting amazed admiration... rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one's experience...
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Edition) 
That must be the word... Wonder-full...

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!
Psalm 72:18 ESV
(my emphasis... my prayer of praise...)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

His joy... my strength...

And do not be grieved,
for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10 ESV

I wonder... What does His joy look like...?





"... yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these. ..."
Matthew 6:29 ESV

I see the Lord's joy... in clothing the flowers... 

And this morning... 
seeing birds... take wing... each with different strokes... 
hearing their songs... varied trills and chirps...

What joy... the Lord must have... as He holds all these wonders together each day...

And again I say... the joy of the Lord... is my strength...