Thursday, January 31, 2013
"two things i ask of You, o Lord; do not refuse me before i die: keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. otherwise i may have too much and disown You and say, 'who is the Lord?' or i may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God."
keeps me depending on You.
this side of the second coming of Jesus
that the only hope that i have of riches
is the contented trust that paul talks about
because the real riches
lie in the hope of glory
that's ahead of us
the hope of rest - final and complete
the hope of joy - full and everlasting
the hope of love - fully realized
we don't know now what we do not yet have
as we find all of our delight in a single day that has gone well
a relationship that is promising
a bill that is paid
a meal that was successful
a week of 5 good workouts
the smallest taste
the faintest whisper
the most momentary thought
a vanishing mist
a single breath
it is a gift to be reminded so very often
that this life alone holds no promise for anything better.
another winter of helplessness
snuck up like each of the last
as each task demands twice the energy,
twice the grace, twice the discipline
like the taskmaster that demands more of the slave
than seems humanly possible
and like the pharaoh that asks the hebrews for
more bricks but offers them no more straw
winter, the taskmaster
my Father, the strength to go on
He gives just enough for the next step
He walks me through one day at a time
and i'll never be able to say this of anyone else
He is all, He's in all, He is faithful
even when i have to tell myself that it is true
because Truth is
even when feeling isn't
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
when God leads it should be simple,
knowing myself, however,
if i sit back and wait for simple
or if i wait for motivation,
my fear is often greater than any risky submission.
Father, i know that You will lead and You will make clear
and Your ability to speak is greater than any ability of mine to hear You.
daughter, you need not dramatize e v e r y t h i n g .
delight in what is good.
hold on to it.
believe Me for your brothers.
take heart; My burden is light.
let what I have finished be your joy.
the debt that you could never pay, I've paid.
now You may approach the throne of grace with c o n f i d e n c e ,
knowing that I have changed all of it.
you have the hope of rest.
you have the hope of a city made of gold
and every kind of precious stone
where there is no more tears or death or pain
but light, and healing, and the tree of life
and this is no doubt what she was talking about.
it should all be joy.
all of life is joy.
because this is where You lead.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
amidst the checking-off of an overwhelming to-do list
i heard a song that made me think of you
and i am, again, placing you before our Father
asking Him to keep pulling you to Himself,
to keep holding you with all gentleness and compassion,
and to persist in the healing process that He's begun.
because i am confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
if He promised it, you can expect it to be done.
all of the haunting memories and shameful regrets
that you hold onto so tightly,
the fear that you will never move forward from this-
He's already been victorious over it all.
i heard another song recently, too, that demands,
"stop fighting a fight that’s already been won."
the Bible talks like this too
and people get confused thinking that the implication is that
if i'm really saved then i won't have to try anymore.
life will be easy. and good. and happy. and pretty. neat. and clean.
but the reality behind all of this
is not that the fight is over,
but that that fight is over.
the doing-it-yourself and depending on your own strengths and trying to be good enough, godly enough, smart enough, attractive enough, intelligent enough, popular enough, happy enough
God calls it chaff.
and Jesus' righteousness, the avenue by which the wheat is gathered.
the chaff, the worthlessness that will blow away or burn up.
Jesus' righteousness, the gold that will remain after everything else falls away.
the battle is in the process of making our attention continually set in His direction
so that when temptation presents itself
the option is to move away from Him, into sin, a deeper despair, regret, hopelessness
or toward Him, into the light, the source of Life, holiness, righteousness, hope, and promise.
it is that split second when each of us knows that the choice lays before us.
some have trained themselves to the extent that this small window of time is nearly unrecognizable
and some have trained themselves to the other extreme and they see the fork in the road as clear as night and day
and many live in the land between
where God desires to walk with us as we learn
to choose Him
and, therefore, to choose joy.
that night and day distinction becomes clearer,
the choice more obvious.
it is scientifically proven that the more a person does something the more trained his mind is to do it involuntarily.
will describes it like a path in a forest,
the good path becoming more and more matted, worn, welcoming,
while the path leading to destruction becomes overgrown, unused, undesirable.
God works to train our minds on the path leading to Life.
He is able
if we are willing to stop in that moment of decision
and choose the better
by letting Him fight for us.
i am here to testify to the truth
that He fights for us when we ask Him to.
let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
of struggling in life,
struggling to sense God's nearness or to believe that there is something beyond all of this for which we have hope.
one type of person will conclude,
because the struggle is great,
that God is not who he says he is
and this person will pursue a life of temporary pleasures that promise high and deliver low.
the other type of person will cling with a forever-grip to his certainty that God is the only hope for eternity
and this person will plead with God
based on His character
plead for grace
and love for people
a hope that perseveres
a hope that promises high
and delivers even higher.
because even the words through which we hear the promise
are limited in their ability to paint for us the picture of what each day with Him will look like.
revelation 21 offers a glimpse
water of life, clear as crystal,
the tree of life
healing for the nations...
but how do the nations know about Life if they don't hear?
and how do they know that God's character and His promises can be trusted
if they aren't told?
our only hope is in Him.