March 29, 2012

What Then Shall We Say to These Things?

Satan hears the well-known voice, and lifts his foot from the neck of the fallen; and Death hears it, and the grave opens her gates to let the dead arise. Their way is one of progress, holiness, triumph, glory, and none shall dare to stay them in it. Come, my heart, rejoice in the immunity which thy Redeemer has secured thee, and bless His name all the day, and every day. C.H Spurgeon. 

Romans 8 puts it this way, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died - more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

Father, today my fickle soul collapses in a heap. I'm so grateful that all my hope, all my righteousness, all my ability to stand before the throne is completely grounded on you. There are days and there are trials where I can't feel the sweet promise of your love. I let myself believe lies that satan's whispering or sometimes shouting in my ear. This makes my heart a slave to condemnation and drives me to "do" more, try harder, go further. I am weak and I'm not designed to carry this burden. I get worn out, frustrated, angry, bitter and resentful. 

Father help me camp out on the truths of scriptures like Romans 8. Help me set up house and build my life on this solid truth, so that no matter what I'm feeling, how low I may stoop, how frequent I fail, how often I fall prey to the lies of the enemy, I cannot be separated from your love. The same love that sent your own Son to suffer and die a criminal's death for my soul. To pay the price, to bridge the gap which welcomes me to the banquet feast.

I'm slowly learning these things; to lean heavily on your grace, to run faster and sooner back to you, and in moments of feeling weak, recognizing it's because I am. My loving Father is calling my name, bidding me to come and rest. I have a long way to go, but by your grace, I can look at my life, and point to your hand orchestrating it. Every single trial, every pain, every tear for my good, and ultimately your glory. 

You've met my biggest need...

"How will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"

March 17, 2012

mr owen

[All our troubles and distress are God's means to make us more and more like his Son. (For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Rom 8:29) They help us to have a deeper sense of the vileness of sin as God see's it. Troubles are used by God to discipline and correct his children, as such, they are not to be despised (Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Heb 12:3-11). Troubles help us to rely less and less on created things for our comfort and to rejoice more in the things of Christ (But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Gal.6:14.) Troubles help us to kill our lusts or corrupt desires. We are delivered more and more from the pollutions of sin and are made more and more holy, as he is holy (So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Cor 4:16). Troubles are God's ways of drawing out from us all the graces of the Spirit in order that they may be constantly and diligently exercised.] John Owen

March 16, 2012


[The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.]  Psalms 111:10

Oh LORD teach me what it means to fear you. Tonight I feel small and unworthy and incapable of coming to you. Lacking wisdom and certainty in how to approach your throne. But like the children in Matthew that you drew towards you I feel you bidding me come. Your calling me to come boldly before your throne of grace. Tonight this Psalm speaks so loudly to my weak, undeveloped, immature, lack of wisdom. Father, you triumph over my inability, you died for that immaturity. You sent your son to pay the price that could never be paid and to bridge the gap to you, the Father, so that I may come and worship. Tonight I'm pleading  for more and more of you. Reading through the tail end of the Psalms tonight I'm overwhelmed and undone by the repetitive compilation of stories of your faithfulness. 

LORD as I spend some specific time in the next day and a half to press into you I'm so aware of my weakness. But I know you give grace to the humble, strength to the weak, courage to the downcast and peace to the restless. I pray that it will be a time of quieting my soul and listening for your voice.  I pray it will be a time of acknowledging my dependance and desperation. I pray it would be a time of rich prayer. As I think about so many individuals you've put a weight on my heart to pray for, give me the words to pray and speak loudly to my soul. 

Thank you for your Holy Spirit and thank you that you are stronger then my stubbornness or my hard heartedness. Thank you for being faithful to get after my heart so I see my need to get after you. 

I come to you so aware that I can't come to you on my own. (or something like that right David?) So in your mighty and sovereign name, Amen. 

March 6, 2012

deconstruction allows reconstruction.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26).

One of the most beautiful things in scripture to me is that the Lord fills up His Old and New Testament with broken, sinful people. He loves to use those people sending them forward to fulfill His plan. It's something I absolutely cannot wrap my head around. He repeatedly uses broken people to contrast His Love. Christ's perfect love vs the weak, fickle, love of man. This does two things for my soul. 

1. It frees me from the lies and bondage of the enemy that my ability to love is determined through my own sheer will and determination. 

2. After being set free it allows me  to love and pursue Christ and others knowing that my broken, incomplete love will be made perfect through Him. 

Reading scriptures like this one, [be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.] Eph 6:10 Cause my heart to rejoice and position myself under this...
[Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.] 2 Cor:9-10

Father this morning I'm so aware of how flawed my ability to love is. The only person I've talked to this morning is the Barista. Frankly Lord, my sinful heart likes it that way. Loving people with a genuine love is difficult thing for me to do, especially when I'm in a situation where I can pull the offense card. Rid my heart of all my strategies and plans, all my offense and my hurt. Help me to love like you. The idea of being freed from this weight of obligation and duty is one that I can hardly grasp.

Father, completely knock down walls I've built to manage and maintain relationships and offenses. In your strength, help me see when the building process begins. I don't feel the mixing of the cement and the stacking of the bricks anymore. I can't see the walls growing, open my eyes Father, knock them down so that nothing prohibits me coming freely to you so that you can take this little broken, weak, fragile heart and make it whole, strong, and renewed, for your glory.


March 3, 2012

I said maybe.

A friend emailed this to me yesterday. Paul Tripp said it better then I ever could.

[Waiting on God isn’t about the suspension of meaning and purpose. It’s part of the meaning and purpose that God has brought into my life. Waiting on God isn’t to be viewed as an obstruction in the way of the plan. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For the child of God, waiting isn’t simply about what I’ll receive at the end of my wait. No, waiting is much more purposeful, efficient, and practical than that. Waiting is fundamentally about what I’ll become as I wait. God is using the wait to do in and through me exactly what He’s promised. Through the wait He’s changing me. By means of the wait He’s altering the fabric of my thoughts and desires. Through the wait He’s causing me to see and experience new things about Him and His kingdom. And all of this sharpens me, enabling me to be a more useful tool in His redemptive hands]


March 1, 2012

safe and secure.

[I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.] Psalm 31

Father it's crystal clear in your word that we should be joyful people.  So if we're created to be rejoicing worshipers why do I so often find myself enslaved to something that is sucking the joy from me? Like a leech that latches on to the skin I find something in creation that gives me a fleeting joy, a momentary flicker of happiness or excitement and I go after it.

There is a problem... Theses things were never created to become my main source of joy and pleasure. That is not how they were designed, they are not capable of supporting my needs and they will never fufill. They are temporary and they leave me feeling empty and depressed. A.W Tozer paints a accurate image when he says,[We may plead for mercy for a lifetime in unbelief, and at the end of our days be still no more than sadly hopeful that we shall somewhere, sometime, receive it. This is to starve to death just outside the banquet hall in which we have been warmly invited.]

Father I don't want to be starving outside the banquet hall door anymore. You've reserved a place for me and my foods getting cold. You've removed every obstacle that sepearated me from feasting with you. You've adopted this soul, you've rescued me. 

So rejoice soul, rejoice. Get up off the floor and come to the table. You've been bought with a price, you are loved by the Father. He's welcoming you to come back again, feast at His table and be content, find satisfaction and rest in your status in Him. Rejoice despite of suffering, rejoice despite various of trials and hardships. Rejoice when people offend you, rejoice when people attack you, rejoice when you don't know what to do next. Rejoice because whatever comes your status in heaven is secure and your joy cannot be taken from you. 

You've set my feet in a broad place. My joy is secure.