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

Friday, April 29, 2016

sing to the Lord all the earth...

He sings a song of love...
to His who are beloved...
Do you hear it...?




My beloved speaks and says to me:
"Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,
for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come..."
Song of Solomon 2:10-12 ESV

He sings His song through creation...
His creation sings back...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

more... on the flip side of prayer...

This morning's devotional... affirms Tuesday's thoughts on prayer...
The most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in self and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits; and hence the use of prayer, because, while it adores God, it lays the creature where it should be in the very dust.
---Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening
I woke this morning with young Believers on my heart...
a desire to correct... teach... encourage... safeguard these I teach from spiritual dangers...

Scripture for this situation is placed on my heart...
and while praying for these... I know there's not one thing I can do to change their hearts... to protect them... warn them...

Only God can do that...
I'm laid in the dust for these young brothers in Christ...
knowing I need Him... to provide opportunity...
time... and preparation of hearts...
to offer a Word... in hope of its taking root...

The morning's devotional continues...
Prayer is in itself, apart from the answer which it brings, a great benefit to the Christian. As the runner gains strength for the race by daily exercise, so for the great race of life we acquire energy by the hallowed labour of prayer. Prayer plumes the wings of God's young eaglets, that they may learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer girds the loins of God's warriors, and sends them forth to combat with their sinews braced and their muscles firm. An earnest pleader cometh out of his closet, even as the sun ariseth from the chambers of the east, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race. ... Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives to troubled mortals the peace of God.
---Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening
Through prayer... both for ourselves and others...
we come to know His strength... His power... His wisdom... His peace...

Prayer reveals our weakness... we are helpless dust before our Lord...

But in response to revelation of Truth... He doesn't leave us empty...
He fills... with His great strength... power... wisdom... peace...

Prayer... it's always good for us... and for others...

I ask you to pray with me today...
for the opportunity... to speak to these young Believers in Jesus's name...
and by His power... turn them from darkness... to Light...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

endings...

Endings...
I've been thinking about them recently...
some are sad... out of your control...
others... reasons to rejoice... pursuits achieved...

Some endings take a long time to process...
this week an ending more than a decade old...
was stirred afresh by consideration of a next step...

Unexpected emotions welled...
leaving me wondering... Why...?

Another ending comes next week...
a joy for a loved one...
a next big step...

Wondering what emotions will rise...?

Endings...
I'm not particularly sure I like them...
they generally come with change...

Change always calls for processing...
letting go of old ways...
setting new sights...

And I'm reminded of One Who has no end...
the One who never changes...
the One on whom a life can always depend...

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
therefore I will hope in him."
Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

the flip side... of intercessory prayer...

Intercessory prayer...
intentional prayers on behalf of another...
have a flip side...

Even when we pray for others...
He uses our prayers...
to change our hearts...
open our eyes...
transform our lives...

I've experienced it myself...
but this evening I'm reminded by a friend who said...
Since we've been praying for him... I've been more aware...

It's just so true...
prayer...
it's not so much about what it does for others...
it's about what He does in us...

O you who hear prayer...
You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas...
Psalm 65:2, 4

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession
and thanksgiving be made for everyone...
This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
who wants all men to be saved and to come to
a knowledge of truth.
1 Timothy 2:1, 3-4

Monday, April 25, 2016

freedom... from judgment...

On the morning of jury duty...
I open my prayer guide...
where I read...

Honor God, praise Him as Judge...

Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?
Genesis 18:25

He is the Judge of all creation...
the only Judge who judges perfectly...

Only He sees... knows... all the evidence...
the motive of every heart... behind every action...

He knows the rule of law perfectly...
because He defined the law...

With God... Truth always rules...
He cannot be swayed... manipulated... deceived...

He is the Judge of all the earth...

Because He judges rightly...
and brings all things into judgment...
I do not have to judge...

Vengeance belongs to Him...
Grace belongs to Him...
Forgiveness belongs to Him...

And praise God for His judgment...
and praise Him for His Son...
who came to receive judgment...
for those who trust Him... 

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 8:3-4 ESV

Because of Jesus...
and the blessing of faith...
I am judged righteous...
He is my righteousness...

Today I see... freedom... from judgment...
both passing judgment on others...
and receiving it from Him...

Freedom from judgment...
makes room for us to walk in grace...

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ
to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:22-24

Are you free from judgment...?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 121... and... He gives life...

The shortest chapter in all of Jeremiah caught my attention this last week...
Go ahead... read it for yourself...
Jeremiah 45
[If your Bible is not handy... click the reference above to read online at BibleGateway.com...]

So... let me give you some background...
Baruch the son of Neriah was Jeremiah's scribe... he'd been with him a long time... through thick and thin...
Now the timing of this message to Baruch is the fourth year of Jehoiakim... son of Josiah... king of Judah... the same year... this same king... took the book Jeremiah dictated to Baruch... and cut it up... piece by piece... and burned it... then he sent men to find the author and his scribe so he could kill them...
Jeremiah and Baruch were then commanded by God to rewrite the whole thing...

Just imagine... Baruch is tired...


"Woe is me! For the Lord has added sorrow to my pain.
I am weary with groaning, and I find no rest."
Jeremiah 45:3 ESV

he is tired of writing...
tired of rewriting...
tired of running for his life...
tired of hiding in fear...

Baruch was having a pity party... and blaming God for all his sorrows...

God hears Baruch... he got a personal response from God through Jeremiah... his own message... now that should be encouraging... God hears His people when they moan... groan... complain...

Yet... he might have received the message as more of a scolding... than an encouragement...

"...And do you seek great things for yourself?
Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster
on all flesh, declares the Lord. But I will give you your life
as a prize of war in all places to which you may go."
Jeremiah 45:5 ESV

God gives life...
Those He calls are not promised riches... in fact... Jesus said...

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

If they persecute me they will persecute you...
John 15:20

Those who follow me must take up their cross...
Matthew 16:24

Depending on the season of history in which we live... God builds up... or tears down...

I believe we're living in a season where God is about to tear down the blessings which built our nation...

We too need to take a lesson from Baruch...

Don't blame the Lord...
thank Him for life...

Jesus gives us all sorts of reason to hope... rejoice... no matter what season we live in...

He... is... Life...

Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 43:5

This week's readings...
Monday                  Jeremiah 50
Tuesday                  Jeremiah 51:1-22
Wednesday             Jeremiah 51:23-64
Thursday                Jeremiah 52
Friday                     1 Chronicles 1

Friday, April 22, 2016

just a question...

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect
and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2-4 ESV

Why...? if trials... inconveniences to great suffering... are good for us... do we need to be told... commanded... to consider it... count it... all joy...?

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary,
you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested
genuineness of your faith --- more precious than gold
that perishes though it is tested by fire --- may be found
to result in praise and glory and honor 
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV

Just a question....

Thursday, April 21, 2016

why darkness needs to be confessed...

Darkness... it has no substance...
it's only an absence of light...

Light... photons... wave-particle duality...
all its lengths of color mixed together... make white...

Darkness lurks in our hearts...
the shadow of sin...
the remnants of wounds...

When Believers recognize darkness in their hearts...
when the Holy Spirit convicts...
there's only one thing to do...
confess...

Bring your darkness into the light...
share it with a trusted friend in the faith...
a sister or brother in Christ...

Today... I was reminded afresh of the freedom it brings...

Moved to confess something dark in my heart...
it's been going on a while... months in fact...
a jealousy of sorts...

I don't agree with it when it raises its ugly head...
but pride kept me from confessing...
thinking it would somehow... just... go... away...

Bringing it into the light was not something I wanted to do...
but I know enough by now... (spiritually speaking...)
to know keeping it hidden... only gives it room to grow...

I spoke it out loud... to a trusted friend...
and though there was sorrow for the darkness in me...
I soon felt lighter...
less burdened...
dare I say... free...?

And I realize... darkness cannot exist in the light...
its nothing really...

Darkness stays dark when its hidden...

Therefore... darkness needs to be confessed...
because then it has no power...

Light... overcomes... darkness...

Do you have something dark lurking in your heart...? something that makes you cringe with shame...? when you see it...?

Bring it to the Light...
first confess it to Him...
then ask who else you need to confess it to...

Confession leads to freedom...
freedom from darkness...

Breaking free is never easy...
but its always worth it...
Amen...

He uncovers the deeps out of darkness
and brings deep darkness to light.
Job 12:22 ESV

Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly,
as there is more gain in light than in darkness.
Ecclesiastes 2:13 ESV

Again Jesus spoke to them saying,
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me
will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 8:12 ESV

"... I have come into the world as light,
so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. ..."
---Jesus
John 12:46 ESV

The night is far gone; the day is at hand.
So then let us cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:12 ESV

Jesus came so we could see we were stumbling around in the dark... He came to make it safe to come into the light... to find forgiveness... healing... freedom...

Light... it is our armor... in a dark world...
even when the darkness is found in our own heart...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

joy... joy... joy...

I felt it this morning... joy...

The inexplicable joy...
found in His presence...
feeling His Spirit active...
working through me...

It's always such a wonder...
a mystery... how being obedient...
seeing Him show up...
experiencing His faithfulness...
brings such... joy... joy... joy...

I hope you find some today...

If it's been a while... maybe it's time to check with Him... see where He's calling you...

Are you doing what He wants you to...? serving...? giving...? seeking...? obeying...?

My experience has been... if you are... it will not fail to come...

Joy...

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11 ESV

Joy... 

For you make him most blessed forever;
you make him glad with joy in your presence.
Psalm 21:6 ESV

Joy...

But the righteous will be glad;
they shall exult before God;
they shall be jubilant with joy!
Psalm 68:3 ESV

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

recognizing attack...

Be sober-minded; be watchful.
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a lion,
seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8 ESV

Be watchful...
he's on a tear...
stirring up emotions...
instigating dangerous thoughts...
looking for ways to derail your faith...
paralyze your obedience...
or use you as a tool to attack others...

I've seen the adversary at work this week...
in others...
in me...

Even now... distraction... stirs feelings of inadequacy... emptiness...

But... however the enemy sifts...
whatever thorn he sticks...
God says...

"My grace is sufficient for you..."
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

Stand firm in His grace...
by His strength...
and know you are not alone...

Resist him, firm in your faith,
knowing that the same kinds of suffering
are being experienced by your brotherhood
throughout the world. And after you have suffered
a little while, the God of all grace,
who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:9-10 ESV

Monday, April 18, 2016

freedom... to lay down an offering...

offering... the act of one who offers... something offered especially: a sacrifice
ceremonially offered as part of worship... a contribution to the support of a church...
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Ed.

Yesterday... I had an opportunity to give an offering at church...

Not a monetary gift in the offering plate... but a time of witness... sharing part of my story... through a prayer and praise service...

This is not something I've done before... at least not in a public setting... with a microphone and sound system...

Multiple times... I've shared bits of my story... one on one... or in small groups... Bible studies... so yesterday... felt like a sacrifice...

But the funny thing was... this whole opportunity... this offering... appears to be an answer to prayer... one I wrote in a journal... way back in January...

Lord, free me up to use the gifts You've given me
boldly and without fear! or false humility.

The journaling about offering... came to my attention the eve of the service...

Forgotten pages became most significant in my preparation...

My desire... was to be available to Him... to share the work He's done in me... through His Word... and prayer...

My usual way would be to fret... write... know exactly what to say... but that just wasn't the way this time...

I wrestled with resisting the urge to practice in my head... 
He called me to let my story speak... in that moment... as He led...
and really... I mostly had peace...

The morning came... my flesh wanted to bolt... but my spirit seemed calm... prepared...

I prayed earnestly... to be a blessing to Him... to His church... to give an offering... a contribution of spiritual support to His people...

Another line in my journal helped me prepare for this moment...

...an offering is an act of worship given solely with God in mind...

The freedom of offering solely to Him... allowed me the freedom to lay down my offering... leave it on the altar... no need to review... critique... seek affirmation from others...

Whatever your offering... use your freedom in Christ... to contribute to the support of His people... whether it's monetary... spiritual... service... whatever... 

Lay it down for Him on the altar... and thank Him... for what He's done for you...

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another,
as good stewards of God's varied graces...
in order that in everything God may be glorified
through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion
forever and ever. Amen
1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 120... and... two ways to disobey...

In The Journey readings through Jeremiah this last week... we saw two kings dealing with God's Word in two different way... both reflect hearts of total disobedience...

King Jehoiakim... completely open about his rebellion to and rejection of God's Word...

As he listened to Jeremiah's book of prophecy read to him... he'd stop every so often... cut the piece out of the scroll... and throw it into the fire...

Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it
from the chamber of Elishama the secretary. And Jehudi
read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside
the king. It was the ninth month, and the king was sitting
in the winter house, and there was a fire burning in the
fire pot, before him. As Jehudi read three or four columns,
the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them
into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed
in the fire that was in the fire pot. Yet neither the king nor
any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid,
nor did they tear their garments. Even when Elnathan
and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn
the scroll, he would not listen to them.
Jeremiah 36:21-25 ESV

After the reading was finished... the book completely burned... he sent men to arrest both the prophet and the scribe who helped him...

King Jehoiachim... had no fear of the Lord...

King Zedekiah... he approached Jeremiah multiple times... both openly and secretly... asking for intercession and seeking what God had to say...

Yet... he took God's Word... as one of many options... if it didn't sound good to him... or didn't meet with his understanding of the situation... he rejected it...

King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and received him
at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said
to Jeremiah, "I will ask you a question; hide nothing from me."
Jeremiah said to Zedekiah,
"If I tell you, will you not surely put me to death?
And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me."
Jeremiah 38:14-15 ESV

King Zedekiah... feared man... more than God...

One openly rebellious. One diplomatic.
Both completely disobedient.

There is only one way to receive God's Word... as what it is... God's Word...

He is... and has... the final Word.

How do you handle God's Word...?
Do you openly reject it...? rebel against it...? see it as a book written by men...?
Do you deceive yourself...? constantly consulting...? but only taking what sounds good...?
Or... do you actually receive it as what it is...? God's Word to obey...?

I've invited you many times in these writings to join The Journey...
today... I ask you to be discerning... 

If you have no intention of obeying what you read...
honestly wrestling with it... as God's Word...
don't... read... it...

Disobedience to His Word... hardens your heart... once you know what His Word is...

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it,
for him it is sin.
James 4:14 ESV

This week's readings...
Monday                     Jeremiah 41-42
Tuesday                     Jeremiah 43-44
Wednesday                Jeremiah 45-47
Thursday                   Jeremiah 48
Friday                        Jeremiah 49

Friday, April 15, 2016

the wonder of revelation... and seeking Him...

...the mystery was made known to me by revelation...
Ephesians 3:3 ESV

Between the subject of revelation coming up today in the writing for another blog*... and finishing up the series on Psalm 103... I'm left wondering...

You see... the writing that happens these six days a week... just happens...

It's part of my relationship with Him... a call He's put on my heart to experience His daily faithfulness... exercise the gift of teaching... and grow in knowledge of Him...

In the middle of writing the Psalm 103 posts... I was completely humbled by the process... because I approach each day empty... not knowing what's going to be written until it's revealed...

Each time I sit in front of my computer... a blank post page in my face... I wonder... What is going to fill this page...?

The process of going through a specific passage... with a specific purpose... left me feeling like a slacker...

No preparation... no research... or plan... no outline... no certainty of what to share... each time I finished... I wondered... Where did that come from...?

I expect nothing to make sense when I proof... but when re-reading what's written... (yes... a few changes are made...) for the most part... I'm amazed it makes any sense...

Then... I realized... these writings are the fruit of my relationship with Him... 10,000-plus hours spent in His Word... over the last two-plus decades... not because I had to... but because I want to know Him...

Today's writing on revelation for the other blog... brought it all together for me...

...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 2:3-6 ESV

Revelation from God... through the Spirit... by faith in Jesus... comes from seeking...

Seeking... the process of spiritual mining for spiritual treasures through... prayer... Bible study... and obedience...

It seems these posts... if there is any understanding or teaching in them... are a blessing from Him... a fruit of seeking...

Wonder of wonders...

I'm left amazed...

I pray each of you who venture to this table... find something to whet your appetite for seeking Him...

Dig into the Word... pray... obey...
Ask for revelation...
He is faithful to reveal...

Amen...


*Note... the post on Growing In Faith at FUMC is scheduled to publish April 19... 2016...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

psalm 103... and Easter perspective... part fourteen...

The final piece... part fourteen... of viewing Psalm 103 from an Easter perspective...

Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
Psalm 103: 20-22

Jesus...
His birth announced by angels in a field...
to unsuspecting shepherds...

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all people. Today in the town of David
a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby
wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared
with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth
peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:10-14

Jesus...
reminded His disciples... in the garden of Gethsemane...
angels were waiting... watching... for God's plan to play out...

"... Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father,
and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?
But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?"
Matthew 26:53-54 ESV

Jesus...
His resurrection proclaimed by angels...
to unsuspecting women...

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men
in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
..."Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here; he has risen!..."
Luke 24:2-6

Angels... the mighty ones... servants...
who do His bidding... obey His will...
praise His holy name...

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels,
numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand
times then thousand. They encircled the throne and the
living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!"
Revelation 5:11-12

The angels... His heavenly hosts...
those who see and know all that goes on in the heavenlies...
have waited and watched God's plan of salvation...
play out through Jesus...

They know.... they praise...

We've seen all His benefits... 
His love... His mercy... His amazing grace...
played out through Jesus...

Those who know... believe...
those who believe... praise...

At His return... ALL will praise...
everyone in His dominion will see His works... 
know He is worthy...
every knee will bow...

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11

The last verse brings us full circle...

The psalmist began by prodding his soul to praise...
naming His benefits... remembering His works...
he he has stirred up plenty of reason to praise...

Praise the Lord... O my soul...

Lord... thank You for all Your benefits...
the many reasons to praise Your holy name...
the revelations of You in the psalms...
never let me be empty of praise for You...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

psalm 103... an Easter perspective... part thirteen...

Just a couple more days to go... looking for the resurrected Christ... and we'll be through our journey of Psalm 103...

What will we see today...?

The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Psalm 103:19

The Lord Jesus... established His throne in heaven... 
through obedience to His Father...

And being found in human form, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted
him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under earth...
Philippians 2:8-10 ESV

His Kingdom... rules over ALL...
those in heaven... all the unseen supernatural creatures...
those on earth... all living breathing beings on planet Earth...
those under the earth... all who have already passed from life to death...

Jesus's rule is complete... perfect... preeminent...

The Lord Jesus... established His throne in heaven...
as the Lamb of God... the perfect sacrifice...

And every priest stands daily at his service,
offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of God...
Hebrews 10:11-12 ESV

Jesus... our perfect High Priest... was also the perfect sacrifice...

Perfect obedience...
led Him to the cross...
Unmerited death...
led Him to rise from the grave...
He now sits at the right hand of God...

The Lord Jesus... established His throne in heaven...
by being... the radiance of God's glory... and nature...

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact
imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe
by the word of his power. After making purification for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high...
Hebrews 1:3 ESV

Jesus... the Word made flesh... that we might see His power lived out...

The Lord Jesus... WILL establish His throne forever...
when He returns... and fixes all things...

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
"Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom
of our God and the authority of his Christ have come,
for the accuser of the brothers has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
Revelation 12:10 ESV

The Revelation of Jesus... given to John...
proclaims a day to come... when all things will be set right...
the accuser... the enemy... defeated...
sin... death... sorrow... sickness... gone...

"... 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."
And he who was seated on the throne said,
"Behold, I am making all things new."
Also he said, "Write this down,
for these words are trustworthy and true."
Revelation 21:4-5 ESV

Write it down... take note... don't forget...
even if it doesn't look like it just yet...
His throne is firmly established...
His Kingdom rule a certainty...
its fulfillment... still to come...

Lord... I praise You for Your obedience...
Your pure perfection... Your glorious representation of the Father...
Your Word of power... Fill me with confidence in Your Kingdom to come...
assured of Your place on the throne...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

psalm 103... and Easter perspective... part twelve...

Nearing the end of Psalm 103...
continuing to view it from the empty tomb...
verses 17 and 18...

But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children---
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
Psalm 103:17-18

Everlasting to everlasting...
it's not about others remembering our place in this world when we're gone...
it's about us remembering our place before Him...

When we remember who we are... 
short-lived dust...
and whose we are... 
God's...
He remembers us... loves us...
into eternity... 

Jesus made the Way for us to be remembered...
for us to be established eternally...
as children... heirs... of the Creator...

Again... fear of the Lord... understanding who we are... and who we are before our Creator... is the key to receiving... accepting His love... His righteousness...

We must remember His precepts... 
keep His covenant...
in order to be kept eternally...

This is all made possible... when we know Jesus...
fall in love with Him... 
on account of what He's done for us...
and follow Him...

The man who says, "I know him,"
but does not do what he commands is a liar,
and the truth is not in him.
But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly
made complete in him. This is how we know
we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him
must walk as Jesus did.
1 John 2:4-6

When we live out His love for us through obedience...
our children... our children's children...
see and know the Truth...

His righteousness is with those who know Him...
not just go through the motions...
not just check the boxes... church... devotional... prayer...
not just follow the rules...

Those who know Him love Him all day long...
in all sorts of ways... 
and those ways... infiltrate the hearts of those around us...
from everlasting... to everlasting...
generation... to generation...

Do you love Him...?
Do you know who you are before Him...?
Do you know who He is...? and what He's done for you...?

Everlasting to everlasting...
the Lord's love... is not a box to check...
it's a relationship to enter in...
child to Father...
servant to Lord...
beloved to the Lover of our souls...

Father God... grow me to love You...
with all my heart... soul... mind... and strength...
I desire Your love... from everlasting to everlasting...

Monday, April 11, 2016

psalm 103... an Easter perspective... part eleven...

Returning to the exercise... of seeing Psalm 103... with Easter eyes...

As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers no more.
Psalm 103:15-16

In the previous verse... just before... God assures us... as Creator... He knows... remembers... how we are formed... His compassion poured out... on those who fear Him... on those made of dust...

Here... we get a reality check...
to make sure we know who we are...

If we didn't understand our temporary frail nature...
we soon will...

The length of our days... equal to that of grass... flowers in a field... when compared with the expanse of eternity...

Grasses... we see them shoot up in the spring...
mow them all summer...
but by fall... they're slowing down...
by winter... dried up... brown... lifeless...

A few short months...
a moment in the span of eternity...

Flowers... have even a shorter life expectancy...
day lily blooms... last 24 hours...
sunflowers... maybe a week or more...
but eventually the petals wither...
the wind blows...
and they are gone...

Unless a place is intentionally marked...
there is no evidence that it ever was...

I suppose this is the heart behind mankind's need for mausoleums... large headstones... and namesakes on hospital wings... libraries... stadiums...

We don't want to be forgotten...
but we will be...

Just how many generations of parents... can you name...?
these are ones directly related to your existence...
most can name back to grandparents...
but what about greats...? great-greats...? or great-great-greats...?

People made of dust...
with a relative lifespan of grass... flowers...
are soon forgotten...

God the Father set eternity in our hearts...
we have this deep-seated belief... we are made for more...

He has planted eternity in the human heart,
but even so, people cannot see the whole scope
of God's work from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

Eternity... planted in our hearts... so we might seek... and find... the One... through whom we can enter eternal life... Jesus...




No matter how spectacular a life...
it lasts only a moment...
then... its place remembers it no more...


...the wind blows over it... and... it... is... gone...

Lord Jesus... thank You for making the Way...
that we might enter into what's planted in our heart...
Teach me to live for You... and not for that which...
will be remembered no more...



[Note... For those who only view email... you may want to have a look at Jeremiah's Menu online... it finally got a new look...]

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 119... and... living in exile...

This week's readings brought us to a letter God wrote through Jeremiah to the exiles living in Babylon... a letter giving instruction... a timeline for their captivity... and encouragement...

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile
from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses
and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce.
Take wives and have sons and daughters;
take wives for your sons, and give your daughters
in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters;
multiply there and do not decrease.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent
you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf,
for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
...
For thus says the Lord: When seventy years
are completed for Babylon, I will visit you,
and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back
to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope. 
Jeremiah 29:4-7, 10-11 ESV

This letter can speak to us too... because really... all God's people currently residing on planet Earth... live in exile...

We too temporarily reside in enemy territory... until Jesus returns...

But our citizenship is in heaven,
and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ...
Philippians 3:20 ESV

We too are called to live... plant... produce... multiply...

"...Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe
all that I have commanded you. ..." ---Jesus
Matthew 28:19-20 ESV

We too are called to pray for the nations where we live... their authorities... and welfare...

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers,
intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
for kings and all who are in high positions,
that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life,
godly and dignified in every way.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV

We too have a limited time in which we will be in exile...
the duration of our seventy-plus years...
or when He comes to fix all things...

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven
with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel,
and with the sound of the trumpet of God.
And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will
always be with the Lord.
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 ESV

He also knows the plans He has for each one of us...

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

And everything He allows in the life of a Believer... is for good... and His glorification...

And we know that in all things God works for the good
of those who love him, who have been called according
to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the likeness of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
And those he predestined, he also called;
those he called, he also justified; those he justified,
he also glorified.
Romans 8:28, 30

He also offers us hope... that never fails... 

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has
poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,
whom he has given us.
Romans 5:5

His Word... helps us to successfully live out our time in exile... jump into The Journey this week... and see what instruction... revelation... and encouragement... you can find...

This week's readings...
Monday                 Jeremiah 32:16 - 33:13
Tuesday                Jeremiah 33:14 - 34:22
Wednesday            Jeremiah 35-36
Thursday               Jeremiah 37-38
Friday                   Jeremiah 39-40

Friday, April 8, 2016

psalm 103... an Easter perspective... part ten...

A dozen verses behind us... ten to go... looking into Psalm 103... from the vantage of Easter...

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers we are dust.
Psalm 103:13-14

God the Creator... like a Father...
has compassion... on all His creatures...
compassion... sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it...
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.) 
He not only desires to alleviate our distress...
He has the POWER to do it...!

That's why He sent His Son...
to live... die... rise...
so we might not suffer for our sins...

He longs to save...!

...God our Savior... desires all people to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 ESV

Yet... again... we see fear of the Lord...
as the key to receiving... experiencing... His compassion...

Those who fear... accept Jesus as Lord...
and through faith... become children of God...

For you are all children of God
through faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26 NLT

Through Jesus... we receive sonship in the Kingdom of God...

As Father... Creator... 
He knows how we are formed...
dust... dirt... debris...

Not only does He know how we are made...
He came down... to be made Himself...
take the form of... dust... dirt... debris...

[Christ Jesus] made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
Philippians 2:7

It's one thing to know how something is made...
it's another altogether to become one yourself...
especially when you are the One who made all things...!

Post-cross... 
Post-resurrection...
His compassion is experiential... 

He experienced Himself... 
fatigue...
hunger...
temptation... 
doubt... 
anguish... 
rejection...
betrayal...
persecution...
death...

He who is...
eternal...
omnipotent...
pure...
holy... 
omniscient...
experienced... all His creatures experience...

He has compassion... because He knows...
He has compassion... because He knows we can't...

His compassion... seen... lived out... on the cross...

And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death ---
even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:8

Father...
Creator...
Judge...
Man...
Sacrifice...
Savior...

He knows...
He remembers...
He pours out compassion...
on those who fear Him...

Your compassion... beyond words...
thank You... thank You...
praise the Lord... O... my soul...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

psalm 103... an Easter perspective... part nine...

About halfway through Psalm 103... wondering what we will see today...

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions for us.
Psalm 103:11-12

Love greater than the distance between heaven and earth...
Transgressions removed farther than we can even imagine...
Yet... this love... this forgiveness... reserved for those... who fear Him...

Let's look at what this fear of the Lord is about...
The biblical conception of fear embraces a much wider dimension than does our common English word, which simply denotes dread or terror. While this meaning forms an essential part of the scriptural picture, it is by no means the primary significance, especially when the fear of God --- an awe-inspiring reverence --- is referred to.
There is, of course, a legitimate place for the fear of God in the lower, anxious sense. We are told, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb 10:31, RSV). Jesus taught that we should fear God because he has the power to punish sin and consign people to utter destruction (Lk 12:4-5). Fear has a constructive role to play in enabling men to realize both the degeneracy of their souls and their need of divine forgiveness.
---Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Jesus showed us the greatness of God's love...
Love greater than we can fathom...

He came and made a way... for sins to be removed...
blotted out... cast east and west... never to return...

But there were... are... those who reject His love...
disregard His forgiveness... for they have no fear of Him...
no understanding of what Jesus revealed...
our need for a Savior...

Those who rejected Him... crucified Him...
Those for whom He prayed for forgiveness... spat on Him...
Those who preferred their own light... to the Light of the world... stayed in darkness...

"... And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world,
and people loved the darkness rather than the light
because their works were evil. For everyone who
does wicked things hates the light and does not come
to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
But whoever does what is true comes to the light,
so that it may be clearly seen that his works
have been carried out in God." --- Jesus
John 3:19-21 ESV

To truly know God... 
even an inkling of the reality of Him...
is to fear Him...

Jesus came... to reveal the reality of His love...
mercy... compassion...

Where fear of the Lord drives us to follow the law...
His love... compels us... to follow Him...

His love... enables us to trust...
trust enables us to walk out of the darkness...

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant?
Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

But now, all you who light fires and provide
for yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment.
Psalm 50:10-11

Those who refuse to fear the Lord...
see Him for who He is... and who they are before Him...
will not receive... experience... His love... or... forgiveness...

Those who fear Him... know Him... trust Him... receive...
love beyond comprehension...
forgiveness unimaginable...
all in Jesus's name...

Father God... fill me with a proper fear of You...
without You I'm lost in the dark...
I trust You... Lord... show me the Way...
use me to shine Your Light in the life of others...
that they may find the Way too...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

psalm 103... an Easter perspective... part eight...

Here we go... another piece of Psalm 103... seen in light of His work on the cross...

He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
Psalm 103:9-10

We stand at a miraculous time in history... the year of the Lord's favor...

"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 for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
Luke 4:18-19
(emphasis added)

These words of Isaiah... Jesus read in a synagogue on a Sabbath day in Nazareth... after reading He sat down... and said... Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing...

Jesus made it clear... He is the One Isaiah prophesied about... hundreds of years earlier...

The fulfillment of these scriptures... proclaim the year of the Lord's favor... the amazing time in which we now live...

Jesus preached His good news to those poor in spirit...
He proclaimed freedom for those imprisoned by sin...
He opened the eyes of those spiritually blind...
He released those oppressed by the enemy...

He not only proclaimed the year of the Lord's favor...
He brought it to pass... via the cross... the tomb... the resurrection...

As Believers... we live in bodies of flesh... continually stumble over temptation... yet know... rely on... the grace... the favor... of the resurrected Jesus...

A place... and time... where we sin...
yet go forth unaccused...

Sin and grace...
daily intertwined...
in those who know Him...

The wrath... anger... of God... which we deserve...
has been poured out on the Son...

Jesus took the brunt of what we deserve...
By His grace... punishment forgoes us...

Our iniquities... need no repayment...
He footed the bill... paid the ransom...

By His wounds... we... are... healed...

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

No... He does not treat us as our sins deserve...

He pours out Himself... in grace... and... love...

Lord Jesus... let this truth sink in deep...
may it transform my heart and soul...
to pour out my life... for You...