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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Romans 8... day 30...

What shall we say to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all,
how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:31-32 ESV

In light of all... these things... He has done...
  • sending His Son in the flesh for the condemnation of sin...
  • giving His Spirit to live in us and bring life...
  • free us from the law of sin and death...
  • bless us with the spirit of sonship by whom we cry Abba! Father!
...He has shown Himself as a God... who is... for us...

Therefore... if He is for us... 
who in all creation...
both seen and unseen...
could possibly be against us...?

There is none greater than He...
He is the Most High...
God of gods... Lord of lords...

How awesome is the Lord Most High,
the great King over all the earth!
Psalm 47:2

He did not spare His own Son...
but gave Him up for us all...

Can you imagine such a thing...? The Creator of the universe... giving up His Son... for His rebellious creatures...?

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Psalm 8:3-4 ESV

In light of all these things... 
How is it we ever doubt His motive in our lives...?
Why do we complain...? grumble...? when we don't get our way...? or don't get what we think we deserve...?
What is wrong with us...? that we don't believe His great love for us...?

He did not spare His Son...
How will He not also... graciously... 
with Him... give us all things...?

How is it we ask for more...!?
Why isn't His sacrifice of grace enough for us...?

O Lord... Gracious Father God... 
let this truth... root deeply in my heart...
You are... more than enough...
Amen...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Romans 8... day 29...

And those whom he predestined, he also called,
and those whom he called he also justified,
and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8:30 ESV

You are predestined... to be conformed to the image of His Son...

You have also been called...

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine. ..."
Isaiah 43:1 ESV

and justified...

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 ESV

and glorified...

For it was fitting that he,
for whom and by whom all things exist,
in bringing many sons to glory,
should make the founder of  their salvation
perfect through suffering.
Hebrews 2:10 ESV

I think back to where we first began... 

There is therefore now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1 ESV

How hard this truth is to believe... to walk in whole-heartedly...

This chapter is all about understanding the spiritual life... being Spirit led... while still walking around in flesh...

It's about... understanding who we are in Christ...

We are consumed... at times... with the guilt of our sin... past and present...

We wonder if our suffering... is the just punishment... of an awesome God...

Paul tells us... we are new...
things are not always the way they seem...
there is something more going on...

You have been called by name...
justified by faith...
glorified by grace...

Believe it...

You... are... more...


Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 65... and His mercies...

The last week of readings through Samuel... brought us through some difficult passages...

David returns to Jerusalem as king... after fleeing from his son Absalom...

Civil unrest lies just below the surface... A contemptible fellow willing to keep the pot stirred... ends up losing his head...

We see David sequester the concubines left behind... destined to live out their lives as widows... because of Absalom's rebellion...

The nation endures a three year famine... because of the former king's sin...
David became responsible for settling the matter with the offended party...
Seven descendants of Saul... seven young men... end up dying to make restitution for their father's sin...

Then... God seems to incite David to sin... in order to pour out His anger on His people...
No specific reason stated...
When David realizes what he's done and seeks forgiveness... God gives him three choices to choose from for atonement...

Shall seven years of famine come into your land?
Or will you flee three months before your pursuing enemies?
Or do you prefer three days of pestilence in your land?
2 Samuel 24:13 Amp

David becomes greatly distressed... but his answer is one we need to remember...

Let us fall into the hands of the Lord,
for His mercies are many and great;
but let me not fall into the hands of man.
2 Samuel 24:14 Amp

I wonder at David's answer... all he's done... seen... experienced... trials... rebellion... judgment... and still he sees above all... in all... God's mercies... many and great...

Do you see His mercies...? consider them many and great...? when you are going through extremely difficult times...?

This week of readings just happened to lead us into Palm Sunday... and the upcoming Passion Week...

In worship today... the music ministry presented an Easter cantata offering... The Passion and the Promise... and I saw some parallels... between David... and Jesus...

We know... today's palm branches... become tomorrow's ashes...

In just a few short days... the crowds went from... Hosanna...! to... Crucify...!

And I wonder at His pain... both Son's... and... Father's...

Can you see His great mercies in the cross... and all that led up to it...?
In the betrayal...?
the injustice...?
the mocking...?
the persecution...?
the crucifixion...?

It's a challenge to see mercy... beauty... in the midst of pain... suffering... 

But from the ashes... come salvation... redemption... resurrection...
In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, a wondrous beauty I see, for 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died, to pardon and sanctify me.
---The Old Rugged Cross, verse 3
Do you see...? His great mercies...?

Come learn more about the mystery of His great mercies... join The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday                    Psalm 1-5
Tuesday                    Psalm 6-8
Wednesday               Psalm 9-10
Thursday                   Psalm 11-15
Friday                       Psalm 16-17

Friday, March 27, 2015

Romans 8... day 28...

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined 
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
in order that he might be the firstborn
among many brothers.
Romans 8:29 ESV

He has known you... always...
even before the world was...

For He chose us in Him,
before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and blameless in His sight.
Ephesians 1:4 HCSB

He has had a specific purpose in mind for you...
since before you were...

For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV

The purpose of your life... is to know Him...
be conformed to His image...

Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust,
we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
1Corinthians 15:49 ESV

The suffering... waiting... enduring... 
is about being reborn...
into His image... 
becoming His brother...

Are you more caught up in the things of the world...? 
or in becoming a brother of Christ...?

Seeking His Kingdom first... is about this pursuit...

He says...

"... Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. ..."
Isaiah 48:10 ESV

Interpreting everything that comes into our lives... as a means to purify... refine... who we are... to be like Him... is the best way to stay focused on Him... and not get distracted by the things of this world... which don't really matter in the end...

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Romans 8... day 27...

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 love this verse...
it's one of the first I memorized...
one of the first I clung to...

I love this verse because it summarizes the awesome power of our amazing God...

He is the One...
who works all things together for good...
in the lives of those who love Him...

Oh... where to begin...

The first epiphany I had regarding the depth of this verse revolved around my own sinful past...

Grave choices made reeked havoc in my soul...

Through this particular Word... I began to see... experience... God's power and grace...

He works all things together... for good...

We're talking... past... present... future... things...

From the moment you receive Christ as your own... by owning your sin... and accepting His willingness to take it from you... a miraculous event takes place...

Everything you've ever done... are doing... or will do...
is worked by Him... into good for you... if you love Him...

Now... it was a challenge at first  to see how He might use what I've done for my good...

He revealed His allowing of my sinful choices... as the medium He used to protect me from a life of legalistic pride...

A hard pill to swallow...
but... yes... I see it...
and in light of His sovereignty...
agree with it...

The second epiphany concerned difficulties... trials... that come into our lives through no apparent fault of our own...

This verse tells us no matter how horrendous or devastating it might seem He possesses the POWER to work it all together for your good...

Do you believe it...?

I mean some pretty horrible things happen in this broken corrupt world... you know what I'm talking about... but He says...

...for those who love God...
ALL THINGS... work together...
...for... GOOD...

It sounds ridiculous... yet...

I have to consider... personally... I've experienced the illness and death of my mom... which seemed devastating at the time... but it is what He used to bring me to Him...

In the eternal scheme of things... I claim it as all GOOD...!

Look at Joseph's life... 
hated by his brothers...
sold into slavery...
falsely accused...
unjustly jailed...
only to end up second to one... in the most powerful nation on earth...

...for those who love God... all things... work together... for good...

He alone has the power to allow what the enemy intends for harm...
and actually intend it for good...
the good of His people who love Him...
and for His glory... according to His purpose...

And not only that... the good He works in your life... through both terrible and wonderful events... works good into the lives of all who love Him...

Somehow... all tied up together in the Body of Christ... are all sorts of things... God is working for good for those who love Him...

In Christ... He encompasses your entire life's history...
and works it... into good for you... and His people...

All this hangs on His sovereignty...

Everything... that happens... or comes into your life... (your choices... other people's choices...) flows through His divine hands...

Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Lamentations 3:37-38 ESV

From here... we can firmly stand... 
He is the Rock... and... Redeemer...

One last note... on His spectacular power... to work all things for good... a perspective changer...

The enemy... enticed man... to sin...
through the one sin...
corruption and death... entered creation...

The most amazing thing to me... is the remaining beauty... of creation... even in its brokenness...

We see everyday... the effects of sins destruction...


but overall... God's good... 
through beauty... life... re-creation...
overpowers the effects of evil...




Beauty...
Life...
Re-creation...

Evidence... of His working all things for good... for those who love Him...

How can you NOT love Him...?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Romans 8... day 26...

And he who searches hearts knows
what is the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints
according to the will of God.
Romans 8:27 ESV

... he who searches hearts...

Who is he...  who searches hearts...?

...the Lord searches all hearts 
and understands every plan and thought. ...
1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV

"I the Lord search the heart and test the mind,
and give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds."
Jeremiah 17:10 ESV

He... the Lord God... searches hearts... and knows the mind of the Spirit...

The Spirit Himself... is God... and only speaks what He hears...

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth,
for he will not speak on his own authority, 
but whatever he hears, he will speak...
John 16:13 ESV

The intercessory groanings... too deep for words... are clearly understood by the Father...

He knows our hearts...
He knows what we need...
He knows the mind of the Spirit...
Who only prays according to His will...

All prayers for you... presented before the Father... by the Spirit... are tailor-made for you...

Each groan... filtered through the will of God... your heavenly Father...

And because you are sons,
God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying, "Abba! Father!"
Galatians 4:6 ESV

Rest easy... trust Him... 
with whatever you are suffering...
with whatever you are hoping for...
with whatever you need patience to endure...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Romans 8... day 25...

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us
with groanings too deep for words.
Romans 8:26 ESV

Likewise... the Spirit helps us... in our weakness...
likewise... 1: in like manner: similarly... 2: in addition... 3: similarly so with me...
We must look back in the text... to see what likewise refers to...

Sufferings...


For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:18 ESV

Hoping... waiting... 


Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?
Romans 8:24 ESV

Patience... endurance...


But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:25 ESV

Likewise... in the suffering... hoping... enduring...
the Spirit helps us...
in our weakness...

Suffering... waiting... enduring patiently... expose our weaknesses...
physical...
spiritual...
emotional...

In our weakness... we grow weary... desperate... impatient...
Hearts ache... prayers have no words...

Yet... likewise... the Spirit stands fully in His glory...
He knows what lies ahead...
He helps us in our weakness...

The Spirit intercedes for us...
prays for us...
when we can't utter an Amen...

Our own groans...
echoed by the Spirit...
standing before the Father...
groaning on our behalf...

What a picture...

What a blessing...

An awesome reality... which helps us...
suffer...
hope...
endure...

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me...
Psalm 139:6 ESV

Monday, March 23, 2015

Romans 8... day 24...

Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:24-25 ESV

Hope... fills a void...
sustains a longing...
encourages endurance...

Once hope is fulfilled... it disappears...
or we replace it with another...
because the human heart is not easily satisfied...

... hope that is seen... is not hope...

But without hope we are lost...
becoming prey to...
despair... 
doubt... 
depression...

To live hope-full... is to live... faith-full...

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Hope... inspired the shepherd... to leave the ninety-nine... to find the lost one he could not see...

Hope... encouraged the woman... to sweep diligently... until she found the lost coin... she knew not where...

Hope... kept the father's eyes on the road... day after day... month after month... waiting for his lost son to return... he knew not when...

Hope... keeps the farmer... sowing... tilling... weeding... when there is nothing to see...

See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
James 5:7 ESV

Hope... 
fuels patience... 
provokes action...

For whatever was written in the former days
was written for our instruction, that through endurance
and through the encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have hope.
Romans 15:4 ESV

But when it's fulfilled...
no longer necessary...
hope... ignites... joy...

Through [our Lord Jesus Christ] we have also obtained
access by faith into this grace in which we stand,
and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:2 ESV

Father God... bless me with hope...
firmly planted in Your coming glory...
that I might diligently wait... 
faithfully... gracefully... joyfully...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 64... and... where is He... when we the suffer consequences of sin...?

Last week's readings... brought us deeper into the consequences of David's sin with Bathsheba...

The Lord told David... through Nathan...

Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house...
2 Samuel 12:10

...the sword... 
an instrument of battle... 
a symbol of discord... dispute... enmity...
an agent of destruction... violent death...

The aftermath of David's sin... resulted in... a volatile family life...

One son... lusted after a half-sister... 
leading to... rape... hatred... shame...

The rape led to hatred of one brother... against another...
ending in murder...

A son alienated from his father because of sin...

David's lack of effort in bringing about restoration...
caused the son to rebel...
undermine his father's kingdom...
plan a coup...

With news of his eldest son's traitorous behavior...
David and his people fled Jerusalem...
fearful of death...

David's disobedience... turned a family feud... into a civil war...

And I wonder... 
reading chapter after chapter... 
of this painful era in David's life...
Where are You... Lord...? when we suffer the consequences of sin...?
Who are You... Lord...?

All that happened... God had prophesied through Nathan...
David knew... it was coming...

Even though forgiven...
sin brings consequences...

As David flees with his people... along the escape route... 
some curse him... throw stones at him... 

David's attitude amazes me... when one of his warriors asks if he can take off the head of the one who degrades the king with words... and the throwing of stones... 

If he is cursing because the Lord said to him,
Curse David, who then shall ask, Why have you done so?
... And David said to Abishai and to all his servants,
Behold, my son, who was born to me, seeks my life.
With how much more reason now may this Benjamite do it?
Let him alone; and let him curse, for the Lord has bidden him to do it.
2 Samuel 16:10-11 Amp

Even in the midst... of suffering the consequences of sin-full behavior... David never loses sight of the sovereignty of God...

David answers my question... Where are You... Lord...? when we suffer the consequences of sin...?

You are with us... right in the middle of our suffering...

Who are You... Lord...? 

You are sovereign... in all things...

In the midst of the messes I make... You are present... Lord...
You say You will never leave us... or forsake us... and You don't...
Never let me think... You have abandoned me... 
in suffering the effects of sin... You have not left me...
You have forgiven me... You intend good... 
to come out of all the enemy intended for my destruction...
even when I fall to temptation...

Where is He when we suffer the consequences of sin...?
He is with us...

Open up yourself... to learn more about Him... join The Journey... through His story...

This week's readings...
Monday                2 Samuel 19:16 - 20:26
Tuesday                2 Samuel 21
Wednesday           2 Samuel 22
Thursday               2 Samuel 23
Friday                   2 Samuel 24

Friday, March 20, 2015

Romans 8... day 23...

And not only the creation, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
groan inwardly as we wait eagerly 
for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
For in this hope we were saved.
Romans 8:23-24 ESV

Believers... possessing the firstfruits of the Spirit... 
groan... suffer... along with all creation...

We know... things are not as they should be...

Our own bodies...
subject to the corruption of the world...
labor with...
disease...
aging...
brokenness...

God set eternity in the hearts of men...

We know things are off...
when wrinkles appear...
hair thins...
strength fails...
eyes weaken...
ears grow deaf...

The longer I walk with Him... 
the more my own spirit... 
longs for perfection...

Our spiritual rebirth making us sons of God... 
becomes finalized upon Christ's return...
and our bodies will experience complete redemption...

For in this hope... we were saved...

Believers have their hope set... 
in the completion of redemption...

A different worldview... from those who do not know Him...

Unbelievers... their only hope... is found in this world...
there is no other for them... no other vision...
no alternative...

But we... Believers... have hope in the eternal...
what is to come...
the resurrection hope of Christ Jesus...

In Him... the suffering of this world... 
has meaning... purpose...
there is more to come...

But if this is it...? suffering without redemption...?
We are a pitiful lot...

If in Christ we have hope in this life only,
we are of all people most to be pitied.
1 Corinthians 15:19 ESV

Our hope in Him... will not put us to shame... 
our suffering... will have its effect...

...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


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Romans 8... day 22...

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning
together in the pains of childbirth until now.
Romans 8:22 ESV

These present sufferings... which have the whole creation groaning... are labor pains...

Something is about to be birthed...

I've experienced the pains of childbirth... done some groaning myself...

But what I find unique... and most hopeful in this particular verse... connecting suffering with labor pains... is that in the midst of groaning... suffering... were moments of joy... things we look back on now... and laugh...

Something good comes from new birth...

And that is what all this suffering is about...

I know some... who have horrible stories... about their own growing up years... 

The kind of happenings you might see on the Lifetime movie of the week...

Yet... as they tell their stories... born out of suffering... there are these moments of joy... which don't seem possible...

Grounded in all the suffering... is faith in Jesus... His work... His way... which shines the light of joy... into the midst of their stories...

So today... in this verse...
I find a handle to take hold of... 
a firm place to set my foot...
when it comes to suffering...

Because of Jesus...
it's all purposeful...
moving us toward an end... which is good...
part of the process... of making all things new...

And he who was seated on the throne said,
"Behold, I am making all things new."
Revelation 21:5 ESV

The next time you hear about... or experience... creation groaning... through...
violent storms...
earthquakes...
tornadoes...
rock slides...
flash floods...
recognize them for what they are...
labor pains...

Then... Behold... see Him... making all things... NEW...

"... He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
and death shall be no more, neither shall there be 
mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, 
for the former things have passed away."
Revelation 21:4 ESV

The memory of the suffering doesn't last long...
when you're holding... experiencing... something... brand... new...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Romans 8... day 21...

For the creation was subjected to futility,
not willingly, but because of him who subjected it,
in hope that the creation itself will be set free
from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom
of the glory of the children of God.
Romans 8:20-21 ESV

Because of mankind's sin... creation was subjected to futility... not willingly... but because of Him... who subjected it...

And to Adam he said,
"Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you,
'You shall not eat of it,'
cursed is the ground because of you..."
Genesis 3:17 ESV

The earth suffered fallout... from man's sin... 

...cursed is the ground because of you...

Creation did not suffer willingly... as Christ did... 

Being subject to His sovereignty... just as we are... the earth endures futility... 

Not only do we desire... freedom... release from the bondage of corruption... but all creation does...

The creation waits eagerly in hope... that it too will obtain the freedom... of the glory... of the children of God...

A freedom all glorious... without corruption...

Today... currently... we are all... still under the curse...
illness...
brokenness...
disease...
death...
which plagues all creation...

We live with the hope of the freedom... to come...
but even in brokenness...
hope... blooms...

I planted hope months ago... 

Tulip bulbs... deep in the ground... buried...
an exercise in waiting...

The last week or so... they began blooming...
I've watched their leaves... peak through the dirt...
get taller...
buds forming...
opening...

They are not quite what I hoped for...




These tulips are short...
imperfect...
marred...
battered by rain...

Yes... hope bloomed... but not to my eager expectation...

So... today... I'm reminded... 
of creation's bondage to corruption...
my sin...
and the futility of this earth...

But... I also see afresh the need to not plant my hopes in the things of this world...

I need to invest all my hope... in His Kingdom... that is to come...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Romans 8... day 20...

For the creation waits with eager longing
for the revealing of the sons of God.
Romans 8:19 ESV

All creation... waits with eager longing... for the sons of God to be revealed...

The sons of God... those who live according to the law of the Spirit of life... bring life... as they live for His glory...

Humankind was not the only casualty of sin...

The fatal act in the garden... brought death to all creation... gave birth to disease... brokenness... 

All creation... broke... when mankind... sinned...

And all creation... waits eagerly... longingly... for the sons of God to be fully revealed...

The revealing... will be an unveiling of sorts...

When He returns... everything will be uncovered... for what it really is...

"... Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed,
or hidden that will not be known. ..." ---Jesus
Luke 12:2 ESV

There are those of us in Christ... who do not fully know... who we are in Him... we allow unbelief to veil who we really are...

Sanctification is part of that process... of learning who we are in Him... but a day is coming... when we will be set free... from all the lies of the enemy... all the wounds and scars that bind...

...the revealing of the sons of God...

We also wait... for those who do not yet know... they are sons of God...

Somewhere in our future... God sees hearts turning to Him...
and He will keep waiting... until the full number has been reached...

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you, not wishing any should perish,
but all should reach repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV

...the revealing of the sons of God...

It's not just about us... it's about all things... seen... unseen... earthbound... and... in the heavenlies...

So the next time you see a diseased tree... a barren landscape... a stray animal... or even roadkill... remember... all creation... is waiting... eagerly... for the unveiling... of all God's sons... and daughters...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Romans 8... day 19...

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worth comparing with the glory
that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:18 ESV

Yes... our inheritance in Christ... is connected with suffering... but it pales... in comparison to the glory to be revealed...

No one suffered more than Christ on the cross...
physical pain...
humiliation...
injustice...
abandonment...
betrayal...
rejection...

He is the model... for how we are to handle suffering... in His name...

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him, endured the cross,
scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God.
Hebrews 12:2

Do you see how He endured...?

...for the joy... set before Him...

Endurance requires a vision of all that is to come...
the joy set before us...
the glory to be revealed...
when everything is set right...

So... fix your eyes on Jesus... the author and perfecter... of your faith...

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself,
so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Hebrews 12:3 ESV

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 63... and His usual way with us...

David... established as king of Israel...
his palace... wives... harem... all in place...
and he said to Nathan the prophet...

See now, I dwell in a house of cedar,
but the ark of God dwells within curtains.
2 Samuel 7:2 Amp

Nathan said... Do all that is in your heart... the Lord is with you...
But God... He had a different plan...
That night... the prophet received a message for David...

Go and tell My servant David, Thus says the Lord: Shall you build Me a house in which to dwell? For I have not dwelt in a house since I brought the Israelites  out of Egypt to this day, but have moved about with a tent for My dwelling.
... when your days are fulfilled and you sleep with your fathers, I will set up after you your offspring who shall be born to you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My Name [and My Presence], and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
... And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever.
2 Samuel 7:5, 12-13, 16 Amp

David's heart longed to build God a house... yet... God said...
No... I will build you a house... a forever house...

Humbled by the Word... King David went before the Lord... and said...

Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house,
that You have brought me this far?
Then as if this were a little thing in Your eyes, O Lord God,
You have spoken also of Your servant's house in the far distant future.
And this is the law for man, O Lord God!
2 Samuel 7:18-19 Amp

And this is the law for man... O Lord God...

A phrase translated by another as...

Is this your usual way of dealing with man,
O Sovereign Lord?
2 Samuel 17:19 NIV84

The law... torah... in Hebrew... translates... manner... custom... mode... law...

The law... is God's customary way... manner... with mankind...

Yes... this is His usual way... of dealing with people...

For those who have a heart after His... He builds a house for them... a forever house...

In my Father's house there are many dwelling places (homes).
If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away
to prepare a place for you.
John 14:2 Amp

Jesus... the One through whom God built David's forever house... builds those who belong to Him... a home... too...

What a gracious God... treating all impartially... grace-fully... according to His usual... customary... way...

As if salvation... and forgiveness... were not enough...?
He builds... prepares... a place for us...
a forever house...
with Him...

Learn more... about His usual way with us... read along... on The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday               2 Samuel 13
Tuesday               2 Samuel 14:1 - 15:12
Wednesday         2 Samuel 15:13 - 16:23
Thursday             2 Samuel 17
Friday                  2 Samuel 18:1 - 19:15

Friday, March 13, 2015

Romans 8... day 18...

...and if children, then heirs ---
heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,
provided we suffer with him
in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:17 ESV

As children of God... we are heirs of God... and fellow heirs with Christ...

But there is a painful proviso... stuck in the middle of this verse...

...provided we suffer with him... 

...then we are heirs...

I remember a time in my late teens... I was listening to a young woman who was really fired up about the whole Christ thing... following Him... really looking forward to His return...

At the time... I didn't know a lot about Him... really had no relationship with Him... but what I did know... was where He ended up... and what was happening when He returned...

It was clear to me... to follow Jesus... meant to end up crucified...
A painful walk... ending in execution...
Honestly... this was not a walk I really wanted to take...
count me out...

And as to His return...?
I knew there would be much blood shed... lots of death and destruction...
Again... not something I relished occurring...

To follow Christ is to suffer...
He tells us to count the cost...

But... what I've learned since then is... either way... in this world... we will suffer...!

"...In this world you will have trouble. ..."
---Jesus
John 16:33

We can suffer for the sake of suffering... or we can suffer for His glory...

He captured my heart... through my mom's suffering... 
her trust in Him... bringing Him glory... through her suffering...

Years later... I am so thankful for the loss of my mom... its timing... 
how He used it to capture my heart... transform my life...

I get it now...
the cost is worth it...

I see it...

Yes... we will have trouble in this world...
a truth He immediately follows up with...

"But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

He suffered... so others may live...

This is the legacy He leaves...
the inheritance we become a part of...
through His suffering...

I pray you get it too...

There is no greater joy...
than recognizing His glory...
in your own suffering...

"... Whoever does not bear his own cross
and come after me cannot be my disciple. ..."
Luke 14:27 ESV

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Romans 8... day 17...

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God...
Romans 8:16 ESV

The Spirit Himself... bears witness with our spirit...

According to the law... two witnesses were required... to put another to death...

On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses
the one who is to die shall be put to death;
a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.
Deuteronomy 17:5 ESV

...or make a charge... of any kind...

A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime
or any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed.
Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses
shall a charge be established.
Deuteronomy 19:15 ESV

Here God says... there are two witnesses... to the death of our flesh... the Spirit Himself... and... our spirit...

The Holy Spirit... is a witness... bears confirmation... with our own spirit... that we are God's children... in Christ...

You know... that you know... that you know...
Those things you just know...? you know just because...?
It is that knowledge... along with the testimony of the Holy Spirit... that you are a child of God...

Clear evidence that you... your natural fleshly self... is dead...

We no longer have to listen to... or obey... our flesh... when it comes to temptations... desires... that put us out of sync with the Spirit...

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,
you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature
urges you to do.

The proof has been given... heed it...

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ 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

You are reborn...
a new creation...
heirs to a new life...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Romans 8... day 16...

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

We did not receive the spirit of slavery...

Slavery to sin and death.. is what He freed us from...

For freedom Christ has set us free;
stand firm therefore, and do not submit again
to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 ESV

The spirit of slavery to sin... leads us back into fear... because of punishment...

For fear has to do with punishment...
1 John 4:18 ESV

In Christ... we have received... the Spirit of adoption... as sons...

By this Spirit... we cry... Abba...!  Daddy...!

Our heavenly Father... loves us perfectly... there is no reason to fear...

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:18 ESV

There is discipline... but what father does not discipline...?

Slaves endure punishment... from an owner... who has no interests but his own...

Sons endure discipline... from a loving Father... who has their best interest at heart...

Yes... you may have had a hard earthly father...
one who makes it difficult to trust your heavenly Father...
but He... is... perfect... love...

There is no need to fear the discipline... of our Father in heaven...
He disciplines with... wisdom... grace... mercy... love...

To Him we can run... crying... Daddy...! Daddy...! and expect loving arms to embrace...

He is a Father completely trustworthy... completely faithful...

Receive your Spirit of adoption... as a son... cry out to your Father... who loves you perfectly...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Romans 8... day 15...

For all who are led by the Spirit of God
are sons of God.
Romans 8:14 ESV

If the Spirit of God dwells in you... 
you have been born again... in the Spirit...
a son of God...

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

We enter his kingdom... as sons of God...
brothers of Jesus... 
full... not half... 

We... in Him... are led by the Spirit... the Spirit that blows where it pleases...

Being led by the Spirit... confirms our sonship... and the full inheritance that comes with it...

In him we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
making known to us the mystery of his will,
according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ...
Ephesians 1:7-8 ESV

Life...
Love...
Peace...

Are you becoming familiar with your inheritance in Him...?

Take hold of your sonship...
follow the Holy Spirit...
wherever He leads...

Amen...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Romans 8... day 14...

For if you live according to the flesh you will die,
but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.
Romans 8:13 ESV

Living life according to the flesh... leads to death...

By living according to the Spirit... you put to death the deeds of the body...

This is living...

To follow the Spirit... puts to death... kills... the works... deeds... of the flesh...

The Holy Spirit... He will not live at peace... with the desires... will... of the flesh...

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit,
and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh,
for these are opposed to each other...
Galatians 5:17 ESV

How often do we confuse the things of this world...? the things of the flesh...? as life...?

The things of the world that feed our flesh... only make us hungrier for the things that do not satisfy...

They cannot fill... they are not life...

Jesus... by the Spirit... is the only One who can lead us into life...

"...I came that they may have life
and have it abundantly. ..." ---Jesus
John 10:10 ESV

But how odd... that for now... we have this Spirit in flesh... two totally incompatible beings...

No wonder we struggle...

The key is to remember the true source of life... learn to discern... what truly leads to life... and what leads to death...

And the blessing...?
By following the Spirit... living according to Him... we don't have to kill ourselves... He does it for us...

Following Him... increases His presence... and power... in our life... while decreasing that of the flesh... and its deeds...

...choose this day whom you will serve...
Joshua 24:15 ESV

Flesh... or... Spirit...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Journey Readings: Week 62... and despair...

David successfully confronted Saul... showing how close he could get...

Stealing into Saul's camp... he took Saul's water bottle and spear from next to his head... while he slept... while all slept...

Again... David respected the anointing... convicted Saul with his words... and Saul went home...

But David said in his heart,
I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul.
1 Samuel 27:1 Amp

The running for so long... was wearing on David... despair set in...

Because of this despair... loss of hope... he ran to take refuge among the enemy...

Despair leads us to bad places... dangerous places...

While living among the enemy... David lied to stay safe...
Even though he made continuous raids against the enemies of Israel...
he told the enemy he was plundering the villages of Judah...

Because David lied... he had to make sure no one in any of the villages where they raided survived...

No one could be left alive... who might give him away...

Despair... leads to fear...

Fear leads to desperate measures... death... lies... sin...

And I wonder... Is there any area of my life where despair is creeping in...? where I might choose to find refuge with the enemy...? rather than trust God...?

Throughout the period of David's running... God was in control... He was with him... He knew... He watched... and He was waiting... for David to turn to Him...

David's charade put his and all his men's families in danger... and the men blamed David...

They wanted to stone him... they despaired for their wives... and children...

But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:6 Amp

In his deepest despair and loss... David turned back to God...

God guided him to pursue the attackers... and He made the way for David and his men to rescue all who had been captured... in addition to much plunder...

What if David had sought encouragement and strength from God before turning to the enemy for refuge in the first place...? might much of the fear...? ...lies...? ...loss...? been avoided...?

Remember... don't give into despair... and fear...
Seek God... His encouragement... and His strength...

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

This week's readings...
Monday               2 Samuel 3:26- 5:25
Tuesday               2 Samuel 6-7
Wednesday          2 Samuel 8-9
Thursday              2 Samuel 10-11
Friday                  2 Samuel 12