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!

Receive Jeremiah's Menu by Email

Quote Du Jour

Quote du Jour
Christians may differ on a variety of points, but they have all one spiritual appetite; and if we cannot all feel alike, we can all feed alike on the bread of life sent down from heaven. At the table of fellowship with Jesus we are one bread and one cup. As the loving cup goes round we pledge one another heartily therein. Get nearer to Jesus, and you will find yourself linked more and more in spirit to all who are like yourself, supported by the same heavenly manna. ---Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Monday, October 31, 2016

wait on Him... Jude 17-23...

But you must remember, beloved, the predictions
of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you,
"In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own
ungodly passions." It is these who cause divisions, worldly people,
devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up
in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep
yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our
Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy
on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire;
to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained
by the flesh.
Jude 17-23 ESV

Another Word on waiting in the last time...
there will be scoffers... worldly... Spirit-less people...
dividers... both in the church... and outside the church...

They will follow their own passions... and not God...
we wait with these people...
and in a way... wait on...

Through holy faith... and Spirit-filled prayer...
we prepare to wait...
offering mercy to doubters...
snatching some right out of the fire... by our love and witness...
showing fearful mercy... to those whose garments are stained...
remembering to love the person... but hate the sin of the flesh...

Through faith and prayer...
we keep ourselves in love with God...
who enables us to love as He does...
to truly love... with Spirit-filled godly love...
and not the perverted sympathetic love of the flesh...

True love sees right from wrong...
let's God define sin...
and hates to see anyone led astray from His Truth...

Love does not allow a child to play in the street...
Love does not allow a brother in Christ to play around with sin...
both deadly games...

We now reside in the last time...
waiting on Him...

How are you at loving scoffers...?
being merciful to the lost...?
offering love to those with ungodly passions?

The temptation I've faced lately...
one pointed out to me recently...
is to check out... back off...
quit offering what I have...
because nobody seems interested...
in Truth... in His Word... in His Way...

As the thought flew threw my mind Why continue...?
He quickly brought to mind His Word...

"No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar
or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter
may see the light. ..."
Luke 11:33 ESV

Light... those of us who know Him...
have Him shining in our hearts...
have an obligation... to let Him shine...
share Him with others...
even the scoffers...
the uninterested...
and those who don't want it...

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts
to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV

That's what we're called to do...
in the last time... in a dark world...
shine with all the faith He blessed us with...

This last time message...
is the last in the series of...
wait on Him...

So now I wait...
to see what's next...
Amen...


Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 148... and... Jesus is not worried about our feelings...

Jesus... He really wasn't the greatest dinner guest... at least not all the time...
He was invited into the homes of several Pharisees... religious leaders...
and He just didn't worry too much about their feelings...
or those of the other guests... as a matter of fact...

While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him,
so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished
to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him,
"Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish,
but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools!
Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?
But give as alms those things that are within, and behold,
everything is clean for you. 
"But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and
every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God.
These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the
synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you!
For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk
over them without knowing it."
One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying
these things you insult us also." And he said,
"Woe to you lawyers also! ..."
Luke 11:37-46 ESV

Well... you get the idea...

Jesus was not concerned about offending His host... or the other guests...
what He was... and is... concerned about... is the heart...

He knew the Pharisees and lawyers had heard Him teach... seen His miracles...
but they just weren't getting it...
they were blind...
blinded by their hypocrisy...

So... Jesus spoke the truth in love...
He tried to shame them to repentance...

One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler
of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold,
there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded
to the lawyers and Pharisee, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath,
or not?" But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed
him and sent him away. And he said to them, "Which of you,
having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath
day, will not immediately pull him out?" 
And they could not replyto these things.
Luke 14:1-6 ESV

Not only did He try to teach truth with a long list of woes...
He told parables revealing truth...
humble yourself...
host those who could never repay you...
don't miss the Banquet on account of worldy pursuits...

Jesus... having failed to capture their hearts in the streets and synagogues... went into their homes... with bold... in your face... truth...

Desperate for their hearts...
desperate for our hearts...
He is not worried about our feelings...

"... Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets
and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I
have gathered your children together as a hen gathers
her brood under her wings, and you would not! ..."
Luke 13:34 ESV

So the next time His Word offends you...
or the Spirit convicts you over self-righteousness...
don't be too quick to brush it off...
sit in it for a minute...
don't let Him offend you...
remember... He only speaks truth... in... love...

"... And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." ---Jesus
Luke 7:23 ESV

This week's readings...
Monday                 Luke 15:1 - 16:13
Tuesday                 Luke 16:14 - 17:19
Wednesday            Luke 17:20 - 18:30
Thursday               Luke 18:31 - 19:27
Friday                    Luke 19:28 - 20:18

Friday, October 28, 2016

wait on Him... 2 Peter 3:13-14...

But according to his promise we are waiting for
new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these,
be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish,
and at peace.
2 Peter 3:13-14 ESV

We are waiting...
in a dark... broken... corrupt... world...
for the promised coming...
of new heavens... and new earth...
in which dwell only righteousness...

While we wait in the dark...
for Him to turn on all the lights...
we have His light in us...
shining as brightly as we will let Him...

He calls us to be diligent in our waiting...
serving Him... staying near Him...
so we may be without a smudge...
and at peace...

Only in Him...
can we be spotless...
seeking His Way...
being quick to confess... repent...

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

Only in Him...
can we be at peace...
resting in Him...
trusting in Him...

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:5-7 ESV

Confession... forgiveness...
supplication... thanksgiving...
the way we wait for Him to bring Light...
to this dark world...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

wait for Him... 2 Peter 3:10-12...

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief,
and then the heavens will pass away with a roar,
and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved,
and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved,
what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness
and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming
day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire
and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
2 Peter 3:11-12 ESV

The day of the Lord is coming...
like a thief...
unannounced...
uninvited...
in some cases... unwanted...

On this day... every created thing...
corrupted by the rebellion... sin... of man...
everything tainted...
will be destroyed...
burned up...

A heat so hot...
the already flaming stars...
will melt...

All will be exposed...
every deed...
and its hidden motive...
revealed... by the holy fire... of God's judgment...

If all that's corrupt...
is to be destroyed...
how ought we live...?

If all that is done...
is to be exposed for what it really is...
how ought we live...?

Peter tells us...
in lives of holiness... godliness...
waiting for...
even hurrying up...
the coming day of God...

Live a life which won't dissolve...
under the holy fire of Him...
invite Him...
hurry Him...
work to bring others to Him...
those He's waiting for...
those He knows are coming...

Look forward to...
work toward...
His breaking in...
and breaking out...
the world from its sin... and corruption...

Are you looking forward to His Day...?
or dreading it...? like a thief in the night...?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

wait on Him... James 5:7-8...

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient about it, until it receives the early and late rains.
You also, be patient. Establish your hearts,
for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
James 5:7-8 ESV

Patient... no one really likes to be patient these days...
that's why waiting is so hard...
but James tells us to patiently wait...
like a farmer... for his crops...

The farmer knows he waits for something precious...
it is his livelihood... his life...

The farmer invested time... energy... resources...
to prepare the ground...
plant the seed...
weed...

The farmer's waiting is filled with work...
not just watching...
not sitting twiddling thumbs...
or playing checkers on the front porch...

But yes... there is waiting...

Patiently waiting for the promised seed to sprout...
to poke up through the ground...
burst forth into life...

The plants sprout... but still there is more waiting...
for the precious fruit... the grain... the crops... the harvest...

Seeds don't sprout fruit...
they sprout plants which need to mature...
before they can grow fruit...

James tells us the waiting for Jesus is the same...
the ground has been prepared...
the seed planted...
the sprout bursting forth...
but it's not yet time for the harvest...

God prepared the ground of the earth...
ever since the Fall in Eden... He's been cultivating... the hearts of His people...
preparing them for the Seed...

Jesus came... did more preparation... 
revealing the precious nature of the fruit...

Then the Seed was planted in the ground...
miraculously He sprouted up in three days...
and in these days of growth...
His people... His church... are maturing...
but it's not quite time for the full harvest...

This is where we wait patiently...
weeding...
keeping predators away...
doing the work of the farmer...
diligently... waiting and watching...
the seasons and times...
for the coming harvest...

And it will come...

And [Jesus] said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter
seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day,
and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.
The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear,
then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe,
at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."
Mark 4:26-29 ESV

Wait patiently...
watch the rains come and go...
doing their work...

Wait patiently...
work to weed out sin in your life...

Wait patiently...
bring light to a dark world...
love the unlovable...
deal with integrity when all others cheat...
respond with kindness... instead of offense...
reveal the precious nature of the coming fruit...
for the day of harvest is coming...

"The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom.
The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy
who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age,
the reapers are the angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and
burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out
of his kingdom all causes of sin and law-breakers, and throw them
into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping
and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. ..."
Matthew 13:37-43 ESV

And great will be the harvest...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

wait on Him... Hebrews 9:27-28...

And just as it is appointed for man to die once,
and after that comes judgment, so Christ,
having been offered once to bear the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to deal with sin
but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV

Man dies but once...
then judgment...

So Jesus...
dying once... as an offering for sin...
was judged sinless...
raised again to life...
life eternal...

He's coming back...
but He will not deal with sin...
that's done... judgment is set...

"... Whoever believes in him is not condemned,
but whoever does not believe is condemned already,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. ..."
John 3:18 ESV

He's coming to gather up... those who believe...
those eagerly waiting... for Him...

Do you believe...? 
Is He coming back for you...? 
Or have you condemned yourself...? with unbelief...?

If you believe...
wait eagerly...
He is coming for you...!

Monday, October 24, 2016

wait on Him... Titus 2:11-14...

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions,
and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,
waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God
and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us
from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own
possession who are zealous for good works.
Titus 2:11-14 ESV

God's grace... Jesus...
appeared to bring salvation for ALL people...
only not all receive it...

God's grace... Jesus...
trains us...
to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions...
to live self-controlled... upright... godly lives...
now... in this present age...
not in the time to come...

This is the way we wait for our hope... Jesus... to appear...

It may sound like a lot...
the training...
the waiting...
the denying of self...
NOW...
until you consider...
He gave Himself...
on the cross...
for our redemption...

He paid a high price...
a painful... excruciating... death...
to purify us... for Himself...
to make us His own possession...
people zealous... for good works...
just like Him...

Is it really too much to ask...?
to renounce the flesh...?
all those things that lead to death...?
and wait for Him...? 
NOW...?
zealous... fervent... eager... for good works...?

Just this evening...
before writing...
I found myself wimping out....
tired... fleshly... 
not zealous... eager... or fervent...
about finishing up the good works...
He has for me today...

I found myself forgetting...
the first love...
the love and wonder...
of Him finding any use for me at all...
and now in this season...
where He's finding so much use for me...
I can't do it without Him...
I'm whining...
instead of rejoicing...
looking for ways out...
instead of eagerness to serve...

Pathetic...
that's what I am today...

But by His grace...
His mercy...
I remember...
the wonder...
of serving Him...
His faithfulness to provide...
what's needed to complete...
to finish what He's started...

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psalm 51:12 ESV

Lord... forgive me for my lack of zeal...
fill me afresh with the wonder You can find any use for me...
restore joy... provide a willing spirit...
You have done so much for me... and I've so little time...
to do for You...
I choose to wait on You... as You call me to...
Amen...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 147... and... a picture of great faith...

Read Luke 7:1-10

Luke tells the story of a centurion with great faith...
faith which caused Jesus to marvel...
I tell you... I have not found such great faith... even in Israel...

This story makes me wonder...
Do those born and raised in church... lose the wonder... of faith...?

Israel... God's chosen people... were exposed to Him... the telling of His wonders all their lives... generation upon generation... yet among those church-people... Jesus found none of great faith...

The centurion... a Gentile... came to know God and His people later in life... for he would have been raised to believe pagan gods... the gods of Rome... Caesar...

Yet this Gentile centurion... had greater faith than God's people...

Somewhere in his life... the centurion saw the one true God through His people... they were the only ones talking about Him... serving Him... living life His Way... so among the Jews... the Gentile saw truth... he turned from paganism to Judaism...

The Jewish elders called the centurion worthy... he built their synagogue... their church house... the communal center for the Jews...

The centurion clearly loved God's people... and God...
in Jesus he saw Him too...

In humility... the centurion would not go directly to Jesus... he asked Jewish elders to speak to Him on his behalf...

In humility... he would not allow Jesus to come to his house... he was not worthy...

The centurion understood authority... he believed... trusted... Jesus's authority to heal disease... He didn't need to be present... He didn't need to lay on hands... all He had to do was speak... and He would be obeyed...

In humility... the centurion trusted... believed... saw Jesus's authority over illness and death...

The centurion's humble faith... belief... trust... in Jesus... caused Jesus to marvel... wonder... Not even in Israel... have I found such faith...

Sometimes... I think growing up in church... fetters faith... He becomes commonplace... instead of a wonder which humbles... bringing people to their knees...

Those who convert later... pagans who turn from worldly idols... to the true and living God... have powerful faith... often beyond those brought up in faith...

Paul saw it in the Thessalonians...

For we know, brothers, loved by God, that he has chosen you,
because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power
and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind
of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became
imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word
in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you
became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you
in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth
everywhere, so that we need not say anything.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-8 ESV

Jesus sees the commonplace faith too...

"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the beginning of God's creation.
"'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.
Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm,
and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. ...'"
Revelation 3:14-16 ESV

Lukewarm faith... Jesus can't stand it... it makes Him sick... the original Greek literally means... vomit... not spit...

There is a danger in commonplace faith...
Jesus says He'd rather see cold faith than lukewarm...

There's no confusing cold with anything near hot...
what's lukewarm can be deceiving...

Hot faith... great faith... is what Jesus desires in His people...

Maybe we all need to go through a turning... a re-turning... at some point... maybe even over and over... to keep us in a place of wonder... to fuel the fire of humble faith... to serve... trust... believe... Him who Was... and Is... and Is To Come...

Is your faith great...? or lukewarm...?
Ask Him today... to stir afresh... a fire of faith...

No matter how long... since our conversion...
we need a returning to... a reminder of... the greatness of our God...
in order to maintain... great... faith...

This week's readings...
Monday              Luke10:21 - 11:23
Tuesday              Luke 11:24 - 12:12
Wednesday         Luke 12:13-59
Thursday            Luke 13
Friday                 Luke 14


[Just a note... only eight weeks left in The Journey of three years through the Bible...]

Friday, October 21, 2016

wait on Him... 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10...

For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you
in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth
everywhere, so that we need not say anything.
For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception
we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols
to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven,
whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 ESV

Paul commended the faith of the church at Thessalonica... 
the Word of the Lord sounded forth from them...
they turned from idols... to serve the living God...
and waited... for Jesus to return...

How faithful are you...? according to these parameters...?

Does the Word of the Lord sound forth from your life...? in speech...? in action...?

Who are you serving...? idols...? or the true and living God...?

What are you waiting for...?

Waiting on Him to return...
sharing His Word...
serving Him...
this is faith...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

wait on Him... Romans 8:23-25...

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.
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 8:23-25 ESV

Firstfruits...
the taste of what is to come...
at the time of the full harvest...

Firstfruits of the Spirit...
the wonder of living currently in the year of the Lord's favor...
this odd time of promise for Believers...

The time of His eternal indwelling power...
housed in our still corrupt deteriorating flesh...

Though our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV

The taste of life in the Spirit...
fills those who believe...
with longing for perfection... eternity...

We groan... at gray hairs...
wrinkles...
aches...
pains...
weakness...
because our hearts have experienced...
have seen... something better...

Like creation...
Believers wait with eager longing...
for His return...
for the fulfillment of the adoption...
the redemption of bodies...!

This is the hope... the awaited expectation...
for which we have been saved...
the promise of something more...
more than we can ask for or imagine...
but not yet see...

So we hope... wait...
with patience...
steadfastness...
endurance...
perseverance...
because it is the promise...
of Him who cannot lie...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

wait on Him... Romans 8:19...

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

We can learn something about waiting... from creation...

Creation was subject to suffering...
not willingly...
but because mankind sinned...

We too suffer while we wait...
but we deserve it...

God placed people in charge of creation...
He blessed us with authority to keep and care for all creation...
and just about the first thing we did was break it...
by rebelling against God... and His one rule...

Creation waits with eager longing...
for the revealing of the sons of God...

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 children of God.
Romans 8:20-21 ESV

Those who know Jesus...
those who believe...
are the sons... the children... of God...
and at His return...
our full glory will be revealed...
and all things set right...

Are you waiting with eager longing for His return...?
Do you look forward to all He will restore...?

Take a lesson from creation...
eagerly await... look forward to...
His return...
and our glory...

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

wait on Him... Acts 1:4-5...

And while staying with them [Jesus] ordered them not to depart
from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father,
which, he said, "you heard from me; for John baptized with water,
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
Acts 1:4-5 ESV

...wait for the promise of the Father...
Jesus's instruction to His followers...
...wait... for... the... promise...

A promise from the Father is sure...
it will come to pass...
He cannot lie...
He has the power to bring about whatever He promises...
His promises are always better than what we come up with...

His promises are worth the wait...
but when we don't wait well...
we can make matters worse...

Abram and Sarai come to mind...
the geriatric couple whose names were changed to Abraham and Sarah...
and to whom God promised a child...

Sarai... she got tired of waiting...
and came up with a plan...

And Sarai said to Abram, "Behold now,
the Lord has prevented me from bearing children.
Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her."
And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
Genesis 16:2 ESV

Interesting logic... the God who promised prevented her from having a child... so she came up with a plan of her own... apparently waiting... was not an option...

The problem of working out His promises our way...
is they turn out to be more trouble... than blessing...

Sarai's impatience birthed Ishmael...

"... He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone
and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers."
Genesis 16:12 NIV

When the promise did come to pass...
Sarah and Abraham bore Isaac...
but Ishmael caused problems for his brother...
the son of promise...

Eventually both Ishmael and his mom were removed from the household of Abraham...

Ishmael... like Isaac...
birthed a great nation...
he had twelve sons...

Tradition has it...
one of Ishmael's sons was the ancestor of the prophet Mohammed...
the father of Islam...
and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers...

The hostility between Isaac and Ishmael continues today...
because someone couldn't wait... for God's promise...

Jesus says...
wait for the promise of the Father...
therefore... WAIT...
resist impatience...
don't try to make His promise come to pass your way...
His way is always better...
it just requires... waiting...

What are you waiting for...? are you tempted to manipulate circumstances...?

Consider carefully what you might birth...
then choose to wait...
for what He has promised...

Amen...

Monday, October 17, 2016

wait on Him... Zephaniah 3:7-8...

"... I said, 'Surely you will fear me; you will accept correction.
Then your dwelling would not be cut off according to all
that I appointed against you.' But all the more they were eager
to make all their deeds corrupt.
"Therefore wait for me," declares the Lord, "for the day
when I rise up to seize the prey. For my decision
is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms,
to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger;
for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed. ..."
Zephaniah 3:7-8 ESV

In His grace... over and over...
He brings correction to our lives...
through the consequences of sin...

Yet... how often do we recognize it as grace...? 

Surely we would accept correction...
but no... we blame others...
blame Him...
blame anyone but ourselves...
for life's "misfortunes"...

If only we had eyes to see His grace...
we wouldn't lose our place in the world...
we wouldn't be sent into exile...

Instead... we are all the more eager to continue down the path of corruption...

The warning is sure...
wait for it...
because when we don't return to Him...
don't receive His grace...
destruction is imminent...

He is a jealous God...
He will not allow those He loves to be possessed by someone... something... else...
He will not allow His glory to be given to another...
His indignation will pour out...
His wrath consuming all the earth...

But there is a refuge for those who return...
for those who receive the grace of the cross...
where His anger... wrath... ire...
have been poured out in full...
on His Son...

For God has not destined us for wrath,
but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ...
1 Thessalonians 5:9 ESV

He endured what we could not...
God's wrath...

By sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh
and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh....
Romans 8:3 ESV

Conviction... grace...
Consequences... grace...
Correction... grace...

When we see these graces...
we see our need for a Savior...
and are prepared to receive salvation...

... and to wait for his Son from heaven,
whom he raised from the dead, Jesus
who delivers us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 ESV

With salvation we wait for His return with confidence...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 146... and... the abundance of His heart...

The gospel of Luke... like the others... reveals Jesus...
Son of God...
Redeemer... Savior... Deliverer...
Good News of great joy...
Light to the Gentiles... Glory to the Jews...
fulfillment of Scripture...
Healer of spiritual and physical disease...

Recently... Sister Talk taught... Jesus--God Incarnate...
during the preparation... we received a revelation...
regarding the Word made flesh...

Jesus... in His sermon on the mount...
taught about good trees... bad trees... and the fruit they bear...
a metaphor for people... and their works...

"...The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good,
and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil,
for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. ..."
Luke 6:45 ESV

Man created in His image...
speaks... produces... out of the abundance... overflow... of his heart...
therefore... God too... speaks... from the abundance of His heart...

He is love...
the Word He speaks is Love...
Light...
Purity...
Righteousness...
Justice...
Mercy...
Compassion...
Truth...

The Word He speaks... is Jesus...

Jesus... the overflow of God's love for His creation...
the gospels reveal this Word of love through Jesus's... healings... teachings... truth... sacrifice... forgiveness... mercy...

Have you let His heart... overflow into yours...?

Read along through Luke... just see... what abundance is found... in His heart... for you...

This week's readings...
Monday               Luke 7:1-35
Tuesday               Luke 7:35 - 8:18
Wednesday          Luke 8:19-56
Thursday             Luke 9:1-43
Friday                  Luke 9:44 - 10:20

Friday, October 14, 2016

wait on Him... Habakkuk 2:2-3...

And the Lord answered me:
"Write the vision; make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end --- it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay. ..."
Habakkuk 2:2-3 ESV

Visions... revelations...
they come from God...

When He blesses with a vision...
it comes with instructions...
Habakkuk was told...
Write it down... make it plain...
so whoever reads it... can run and tell...

Daniel... received a vision...
he was told...
seal the words... until the time of the end...

saw Jesus revealed in all His glory...
He ordered them...
tell no one... until the Son of Man has risen...

It seems His visions... revelations... come with waiting...
waiting for them to come...
or waiting to be able to tell...
but be sure... the time will come...
to tell...
to be fulfilled...

Whatever He's revealed to you...
may feel like it's delayed...
but it's not...
it comes at His time...
the perfect time...
and because He is God...
you can be sure it will come to pass...

Just... wait...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

wait on Him... Hosea 12:6...

"So you, by the help of your God, return,
hold fast to love and justice,
and wait continually for your God."
Hosea 12:6 ESV

The prophet Hosea... gave a word from God... to Jacob...
Jacob... who in the womb... took his elder brother's heel... vied for a position of authority...
Jacob... who strove with God... whose name was changed to Israel... God-wrestler...
Jacob... who prevailed over the angel... then wept... and sought a blessing...

A message not only for rebellious Jacob... Israel...
but for all His people...

Only with God's help... can we return... repent...

He alone turns our hearts toward Him... 
blesses us with conviction... 
and faith to receive...

We cannot clean ourselves up... and come to God in presentable fashion...
we need His help... His strength... to limp our way back to Him...

On our returning... repentance...
we hold fast... keep... give heed... to love and justice...
compassion and mercy...
and wait continually... eagerly... for God...
to save...
to bless...
to restore...

A heart of hopeful waiting...
depends on Him...
to help us return...

By His help we return...
to love... justice... hope...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

wait on Him... Micah 7:5-7...

Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend;
guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms;
for the son treats the father with contempt,
the daughter rises up against her mother,
the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
a man's enemies are the men of his own house.
But as for me, I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me.
Micah 7:5-7 ESV

Who is worth waiting on... hoping in...?
Not your neighbor...
your friend...
your spouse...
your children...
your in-laws...
only God...

God alone delivers...
God alone is faithful...

Every person in your life will eventually let you down...
no person can save you...

Too often we put our trust in others...
trust which rightly belongs to God...

When He is our hope...
the One on which we wait...
we save ourselves a lot of grief...

For years... I found myself putting hope in my husband...
waiting on him... to keep me safe and secure...
looking to him... to make me content...

Finally God revealed this as idolatry...
He will never allow us to find security and peace in a person...
because He is the only One to fill that place in our lives...

Consider who you are waiting on... hoping in...
if it's a person in your life... let it go...
love them... bless them...
but don't put your hope in them...

Turn to God to fill the role of Savior... 
Confidant... 
Friend... 
in your life...
He's waiting for you... to wait on Him...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

wait on Him... Lamentations 3:25-26...

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:25-26 ESV

Wait is found twice in today's passage...
I ventured to see if they were the same in Hebrew...
they were not...

The first wait...
hope in... hope for...
look forward with confidence to that which is good...
(Dictionary of Biblical Languages)

The second wait...
staying or continuing in the same state or position...
(Dictionary of Biblical Languages)

The Lord is good to those...
who expect Him to be good...
to the soul who seeks Him...

To the faithful you show yourself faithful...
Psalm 18:25 NIV

Those who understand the goodness of God...
wait for it...
and receive it...

It is good... to wait...
staying in the same state of expectation... hope...
waiting quietly... for His salvation...

Wait well... for His goodness...
persevere in the wait...
He shall show up...
for your good...
He is faithful to His Word...

What are you waiting for...? are you expecting His goodness...?

Monday, October 10, 2016

wait on Him... Isaiah 64:4...

From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
who acts for those who wait for him.
Isaiah 64:4 ESV

When we wait on Him...
He acts... works...
on our behalf...

Do you need any better reason than that...?

Father God... teach me to wait for You...
I so want You to work wonders in my life...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Journey Readings: Week 145... and our most common error...

Philippians... another of Paul's letters to the church... packed with instruction... insights... warnings... we would do well to return to it over... and... over... in order to prevent error...

In this short letter... I believe Paul points out our most common error... when it comes to living the Christian life... trusting in our own natural strengths and understanding...

Paul clearly warns...

...glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh...
Philippians 3:3 ESV

When it comes to putting confidence in the flesh... Paul had quite the resume...

A good family... 
proper education and credentials... 
a rule-follower...
Paul had it all down-pat... 
until Jesus crossed his path on the road to Damascus...

According to his own understanding... Paul was doing the work of God by persecuting the church... putting an end to those trying to destroy his religious affiliation... but Jesus showed up... and revealed his blindness... to the truth... (see Acts 9)

Paul learned... none of his strengths in the flesh were of any use when it came to righteousness...

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered
the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may
gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own
that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ,
the righteousness from God that depends on faith...
Philippians 3:8-9 ESV

Paul learned... to be content in any circumstance... good or bad... abundance or want... not through his own willpower or humility... but through the strength of his Savior... Jesus...

...I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.
In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret
of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:11-13 ESV

We too need to learn... to count anything in our flesh as rubbish... 
our family...
our education...
our intellect...
our understanding...
our professional affiliations...
our religion...
our financial portfolios...
these are not strengths...
they are barriers to knowing and serving Jesus...

Do not continue in the most common error of man...
I can do it...

In humility... recognize your need for Him... in ALL circumstances...
I can't... but You can...

This week's readings...
Monday               Luke 2:22-52
Tuesday               Luke 3
Wednesday           Luke 4
Thursday              Luke 5
Friday                   Luke 6

Friday, October 7, 2016

wait on Him... Isaiah 49:22-23...

Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I will lift up my hand
to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosoms,
and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens
your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground
they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust off your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame."
Isaiah 49:22-23 ESV 

God's Word to His people...
the ones who would soon lose...
their children...
their homeland...
their belongings...
to exile...

Because of their rebellion against Him...
His people would face defeat...
dispersement... to foreign nations...

But He reminds them beforehand...
even in the midst of their rebellion...
He will not forget His covenant...
He will not forsake His people...

When the time is right...
the discipline done...
He will raise His hand to the nations...
return their children to them...
and the kings who pillaged them...
will now provide for them....
the queens who drained their energy...
will now nourish them...

Those whom He used to punish His people...
will ultimately bow down to them...
and lick their feet clean...

For those who remain steadfast to Him in exile...
who wait on Him faithfully in the midst of abuse...
will know that He is Lord...
for they will not be put to shame...

His people will be a source of shame...
for their enemies...

Waiting on Him in the midst of oppression...
pays off in the end...

Do not be tempted to defend... or defeat... your oppressors yourself...
there is no shame in waiting...
for He is Lord...

Thursday, October 6, 2016

wait on Him... Isaiah 33:2...

O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
Be our arm every morning, our salvation in time of trouble.
Isaiah 33:2 ESV

Those who wait on the Lord...
know they need His grace...
His support...
His salvation...

With this self-knowledge of need...
comes an expectation grace...

The psalmist cries...
O Lord... be gracious to us...
we wait for You...

The psalmist reveals his knowledge of the Lord's grace...
His heart for the poor and needy...

Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high,
who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.
Psalm 113:5-8 ESV

The Lord is gracious to those who know their poverty... their need... apart from Him...

For those with such knowledge of the Lord...
a cry of confidence is heard...
O Lord... be gracious... I wait for You...
in need of Your strength each morning...
in need of Your salvation each trouble-filled day...

Do you know you are poor and needy apart from Him...?
How confident are you of His grace in your life...?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

wait on Him... Isaiah 30:15-18...

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
"In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and trust shall be your strength."
But you were unwilling, and you said,
"No! We will flee upon horses"; therefore you shall flee away,
and, "We will ride upon swift steeds"; therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
A thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee,
till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill.
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
Isaiah 30:15-18 ESV

Blessed are those who wait on the Lord...
and right here in Isaiah... He tells us how to wait...
In returning and rest...
in quietness and trust...
through these we gain salvation... and strength... to wait...

But do you see who else is waiting...?
The Lord waits...

And what is He waiting for...?
To be gracious... to those unwilling to wait...

He waits...
for us to wear ourselves out...
trusting in the things of this world...
rather than returning... and waiting on Him...

He waits and watches...
for opportunities to be gracious...
exalting Himself in our eyes...
by blessing us with mercy...
when we have come to the end of ourselves...

If we refuse to wait on Him...
He will wait on us...
until we are ready...
to receive His grace...

Which are you more familiar with...?
the blessing of waiting...?
or the futility of running...?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

wait on Him... Isaiah 26:7-8...

The path of the righteous is level;
you make level the way of the righteous.
In the path of your judgments, O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.
Isiah 26:7-8 ESV

Who are the righteous...? whose path is level...?

Those who trust in the Righteous One...
who give their life to Jesus...
are righteous...

The Lord makes their way smooth...
no worries of condemnation...
no fear of stumbling blocks...
pitfalls...
or perils...

The righteous have no fear of His judgment...
they wait in the path for His judgment...
trusting it to be right...
just...
true...

When His judgments come...
His name... His character...
will be recognized for what it truly is...
by ALL...

None will dispute...
none will argue...
none will deny...
He is the Righteous Judge...
of all creation...

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 the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father...
Philippians 2:9-10 ESV

Those of us in Jesus...
Believers in His Name...
wait with hopeful expectation...
for Him to be honored...
praised...
glorified...
for Who He is...
and what He has done...

Waiting for His judgment...
and His glorification...
should be the desire of our soul...

How do you feel about waiting in the path of His judgment...?