Thursday, August 16, 2018

Spiritual hunger

I was talking with Andrew and Jake last week about wanting to hunger for God.  How do I increase my hunger for God?  Jake suggested that in the physical, you can stretch your appetite by forcing yourself to eat when you aren't hungry (like food eating competitors).  So, I think there is value in choosing to read Scripture and spiritual books, even when you don't "feel" like it.

I was thinking about it again several days ago, and the Holy Spirit told me, "A fire doesn't have a problem being hungry."  I realized that I want the Holy Spirit to kindle a fire in me so that He can keep adding fuel to the fire, and the fire will keep growing.

Father, thank you for making me with a capacity to host your fire.  Jesus, thank you for the prophetic vaions of you in the Scriptures in which you are described as being like fire.  Holy Spirit, kindle your fire in me.  Consume me with your growing fire.  I love you.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Types of Christ in Esther and Mordecai

Esther figuratively willingly went "to her death" by going before the king uninvited, but the king extended his scepter and "resurrected" her life.  Esther sacrificed her life to save her people from destruction.

Mordecai was a humble servant of the king, and he did not pursue promotion.  But because of his faithfulness and obedience, the king promoted him to the highest position in the kingdom.  According to Isaiah 53, Jesus was a humble servant, but the Father has promoted Him to the highest position. One day, soon, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is the King of all Kings.

Father, I want to be like Christ.  Holy Spirit, thank you for showing me Christ.  Jesus, please reveal yourself through my life.  I love you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

As good as done

Esther 6:12‭-‬14 NIV
Afterward Mordecai returned to the king's gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, "Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!" While they were still talking with him, the king's eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.

When the Lord has set something in motion, it is as good as done.  From our limited human perception, it may not appear to be resolved, but from His perspective, it is as good as done.  God has ordained that evil is defeated, and the Church will be saved.  It is done.

There is a tension between the now and the not-yet.  May we persevere in faith, knowing that He who called us is faithful to complete the work that He has begun.

Romans 16:20 NIV
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

1 Thessalonians 5:23‭-‬24 NIV
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Philippians 1:6 NIV
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 10:14 NIV
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

1 Corinthians 15:54‭-‬58 NIV
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."  "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Father, thank you for your promises of victory over sin and death.  Jesus, thank you for accomplishing our salvation.  Holy Spirit, I want to run with you today in confidence of your authority and power.  I love you.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Already paid in full

Yesterday, I stopped in to say hello to one of my colleagues.  I discovered that he was involved in a community service program and complimented his efforts.  As I was walking away, he said, "We all have to pay for our sins somehow." I was already out the door and walking down the hall, but I had a gut reaction that his statement was not true.  I wish I had responded immediately.

A few minutes later, I was walking back by his office, and I decided I was going to respond.  So, I stepped into his doorway and said with a smile, "The good news of Jesus is that He paid for all of our sins, so we don't have to pay for anything."  He replied, "I didn't get a receipt." And as I was walking away again, I responded, "Just ask Him for it, and He will give it to you."

Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus.  Holy Spirit, please help my colleague understand how much you love him.  I ask in the name of Jesus.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Inheritance

" 'I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession.
Ezekiel 44:28 NIV


But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9‭-‬10 NIV

Father, you are my only inheritance! I don't want anything else but you.  You are enough.  You are my treasure, and where my treasure is, my heart is there also.  You have my heart.  I want what you want.  Thank you for loving me.  Please help me shine brightly today.  I love you.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Watchman: Old Covenant versus New Covenant

Ezekiel 33

It seems to me that Ezekiel was explicitly instructed to announce the sins of the people.  God told him that he was a watchman on the wall, and that if he warned people of the looming consequences of their sin, then their blood was on their own heads, and Ezekiel would not be held accountable for their rebellion.

I know that some churches today have this perspective that their role is to condemn people of their sin.  But to be honest, as I consider the whole of the New Testament writings, it seems to me that the principal focus of our proclamations to the world is not sin and hell.  Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations, and He told us to be His witnesses.  We are witnesses of his grace and mercy.  I think we should be proclaiming the goodness of God and testimonies of how we are sons and daughters walking in the blessing and favor of our Heavenly Father through Jesus.  The Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of convicting the world of sin as we highlight the goodness of God through Christ.  I wonder what it would be like if all churches around the world were passionate about proclaiming the goodness of God instead of proclaiming the sin of the world.

Father, thank you for showing your goodness to me.  I want to be faithful to share your goodness with friends, family, coworkers, and strangers.  Holy Spirit, thank you for giving me power to demonstrate the goodness and lordship of Jesus.  I love you.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Summer vacation 2018

We went to South Texas to celebrate my Grandmother's 90th birthday.  She has forgotten who most of us are, and she only remembers the last few minutes, so every time I saw here I greeted her as if for the first time, and I said, "Hello, Grandmother!", so that she would have a clue about how I was related to her.  One time she came out to the swimming pool and was watching the kids swim.  I sat next to her and asked her what her favorite Scripture passage was.  She said that it would be hard for her to pick, and then she asked me.  I told her that I think Romans 8 is one of my favorites.  I talked about verse 1, verses 5-6, and verses 28-39.  It was so encouraging to see her face light up.  I asked her when she started following Jesus, and she said she thinks she was six or seven years old.  I told her about when I remember believing the Gospel and feeling freedom from my sin. Afterwards, I thanked God for the opportunity to have a spiritual conversation with her.  Before we left, Grandmother was out in the yard watering plants, and I got to hug her and tell her that I love her.  And I spoke one of the Apostle Paul's blessings over her, "May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." That was a special moment for me.

We also went out to the cabin in the Hill Country, and we spent a day with Brandi's grandparents.  It was great to have spiritual conversations about healing with Grandma and fruit of the spirit with Paw Paw.  I was thankful that Paw Paw took time to go out in the heat of the afternoon with me to dig up a chili petine/pequine plant for us to bring back to El Paso.

Father, thank you for family, and thank you for the heritage that we have in Jesus Christ.  Thank you for the opportunity to have time together as a family.  Lord, thank you for protecting us and preserving us.  I love you.