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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Inspired by . . . Apprehension of beauty




The Puritan, Thomas Manton said, "Men fail to have a deep apprehension of the beauty of holiness and the excellency of Christ because they do not exercise their thoughts more upon these things." (By Faith, p.50)

When I first read this line from my nightly devotional I read it as "deep appreciation." Both, I think, are true but Manton's point is far more critical to us having a complete and correct view of the God of the Bible.

On the one hand God wants us to call Him, "Abba, Father," and come boldly to the throne of grace. On the one hand, we are co-heirs with Christ and He calls us "friend."

On the other hand, the very voice of the Lord makes the hinds calve and flames of fire burst forth while the wilderness writhes in travail! A single word from His mouth and the cedars of Lebanon shatter.

Power! Majesty! Glory!

Is this part of your understanding of God?

In a church climate that rarely speaks about personal sin or the judgment and wrath of God we can easily fall into believing that God is passive or even impotent. When nearly 45% of those who call themselves Christian don't read the Bible for themselves, it's safe to say that most are more likely to have a wrong view of God than a Biblical (right) view of God.

A "right view" doesn't just happen, it comes by "thinking upon these things." By meditating on the beauty of His holiness and excellency of Christ.
"One thing I ask of the Lord, it is the one thing I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord..." Ps 27
Anyone who believes God is love, in the hippy- 70's-love-fest sense of the word, will never be able to face and confess the truth about sin.

Salvation does not come to us by way of the wedding and wine but by the blood and cross.

The cross is Love at it's most terrible.

We do well to be apprehensive about such a display of the beauty of holiness and excellency of Christ.

Shalom,






Friday, January 10, 2020

Inspired by . . . Taking Him at His word



Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 NKJV

What if 2020 is the year of REST?

Most of you will simply dismiss this outrageous statement out of hand. But for some, the words will strike a chord deep within.

R E S T

The very word spoken upon a lingering sigh is like a glimpse of heaven.

For some of us, a day of rest is hardly achievable, let alone an entire year.

But what is we took Him at His word. Even more, what if we learned to obey His word?

Come to Me.

He calls us all into His rest. How we get there will look different for each of us.

I believe He wants this for each of us and that, if we ask Him, He will teach us to fan the single chords of desire into a full song that will permeate every aspect of our lives.

Let us not be like there Israelites who refused His rest! 
Thus says the Lord : “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16 NKJV
Rather, may we heed the voice that says, "This is the way; follow it."

Blessings,

Monday, January 6, 2020

Inspired by . . . bearing gifts




The child's laughter was the first sound our weary bodies heard as we ducked and entered the clay dwelling. How different this place was from our mighty palaces made of stone!

His play turned quiet as we spoke with his parents in hushed tones.
They, too, had seen the great star in the west and wondered.

His father confirmed the date of his birth. This child- king whom we had come to worship.

He came obediently to his mother's call.

As he stood before us it seemed, for a moment, that all the light of the world originated from within him. And then he was a child again but not just a child, a King and we bowed low in his presence.

I worried that our gifts would seem strange to him, a child. Yet he touched each one reverently, almost with deep sadness.

His parents said little. Thanking us simply and offering lodging as the heady scent of our gifts filled the room.

The three of us awoke the next morning from a terrible dream! We knew at once we must return to our lands by a different route and avoid returning to Jerusalem.

The child, when we found him, was with the camels. Those ornery creatures actually kneeled for once and allowed us to mount!

I could feel the child's eyes on us as we rode away.

Truth be told, his gaze never left me. I felt His presence for the rest of my life.

Shalom,