Friday, December 31, 2010

Priest of God

Malachi, Revelation 21-22

 2:5 "The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life
and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from
them, and they greatly revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 They
passed on to the people the truth of the instructions they received
from me. They did not lie or cheat; they walked with me, living good
and righteous lives, and they turned many from lives of sin.  7 "The
words of a priest's lips should preserve knowledge of God, and people
should go to him for instruction, for the priest is the messenger of
the Lord of Heaven's Armies.

Heavenly Father, I want to be a priest for you. Lord, I want to be a
man of integrity and lead others to walk with you. Lord, please
annount me with the presence of your Holy Spirit so that I will be an
effective witness for Christ. I ask in the name of Jesus. Amen

Sunday, December 26, 2010

what am I working for?

Haggai, Revelation 14-15

Am I working for myself or for the LORD?  Am I working to build a name for myself or Christ?  Am I working to build my house or the Body of Christ?

 Hag 1:3 Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4 "Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? ... 11 I have called for a drought on your fields and hills—a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops, a drought to starve you and your livestock and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get."

Heavenly Father, I want to invest in your Kingdom and the Body of Christ.  Lord, I want my life to be invested in your eternal glory, not wasted on temporary junk that only distracts me from you and your will.  Lord, please direct me and keep me focused on you.  I need you, Lord.  Please don't let me get carried away with myself.  May I only invest my energy and time in what you want me to.  I'm asking in the name of Jesus and for His Kingdom.  Amen.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Early discipleship

Zephaniah, Revelation 12-13

I've been thinking about Scott's new walk with Christ and the role of
older Brothers in helping him grow in Christ. As I was feeding Beau
at lunch today, I was impressed with a few analogies:

- You can't give them big bites, or they will choke. You can't
overwhelm a new Believer with a bunch of stuff to do. You have to make
sure they taste and see that the Lord is good.

- You want them to eat enough, but not too much. And you want to make
sure that they get a healthy blend of protein, fats, and carbs, and
plenty of exercise. Scripture reading, theology, encouragement,
communion, Scripture memory, prayer, giving, and good works have to be

- It is so rewarding to enjoy a meal together and see a child enjoy a
new flavor for the first time. Walking with a new believer and
seeing them grow is so encouraging and revitalizing to older Brothers.

Heavenly Father, thank you for letting us be involved in each others'
walks with Christ. Thank you for the Body. Lord, I want to be an
encouragement to other Brothers. Please use me. I pray in the name of
Christ. Amen.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Habakuk, Revelation 10-11

I am very thankful for a family that loves me and supports me. Brand
is such a devoted wife and mother, and she is so patient and
understanding with me. And I love to see my son grow and learn. Also,
I know that there are a lot of people that have trouble or tension
with there inlaws, but my inlaws have shown me much grace, and they
continue to love and support me in spite of my quirkiness.

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for a wonderful family. Thank you
for a supportive wife and a healthy son. Thank you for a loving
family. Please help me not take them for granted, and please help me
make good with the gifts that you have given me. I love you, Lord, and
I pray in the name of Jesus.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Micah 1-3, Revelation 4-5

A chorus of praise in Heaven:

4:8 ... Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,

   "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
      the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come."

 9 Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,

 11 "You are worthy, O Lord our God,
      to receive glory and honor and power.
   For you created all things,
      and they exist because you created what you pleased."

5:8 And when [the Lamb] took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God's people. 9 And they sang a new song with these words:

   "You are worthy to take the scroll
      and break its seals and open it.
   For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God
      from every tribe and language and people and nation.
 10 And you have caused them to become
      a Kingdom of priests for our God.
      And they will reign[f] on the earth."

 11 Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. 12 And they sang in a mighty chorus:

   "Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—
      to receive power and riches
   and wisdom and strength
      and honor and glory and blessing."

 13 And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang:

   "Blessing and honor and glory and power
      belong to the one sitting on the throne
      and to the Lamb forever and ever."

 14 And the four living beings said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.

Heavenly Father, please let me see you so that I will be focused on worshiping you instead of myself.  Lord, when I catch this glimpse of worship, I realize how disgusting it is for me to be selfish and worship myself.  Lord, nothing compares to you!  Please help me live in a way that pleases you and worships you.  Lord, I want to honor you and please you in this life so that worship in eternity will be even sweeter!  Praise and honor to the Triune God whose love is overwhelming and full of mercy and grace.  I love you, Lord.  Thank you for your love.  I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain and who has won the victory over sin and death.  Amen.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

gold, garments, and ointment

Jonah 1-4, Revelation 1-3
Rev 3:15 "I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, 'I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.
A few questions:
  • How do you "buy" anything from Jesus?
  • What does "gold" represent?
  • What do "white garments" represent?
  • What does "eye ointment" represent?
Reading some commentaries, it seems like "purchasing" something from Jesus means that we pay the price by sacrificing our selfish desires and obeying through faith the Lord's will for our lives.  I think the gold represents our faith and His divinity.  By faith, we experience Him, and He molds us more into His image.  He purifies our faith and our sonship through fiery testing.  The white garments represent good works, done in faith, which He prepared in advance for us to do.  The anointing of ointment represents the anointing of the Holy Spirit, through Whom we experience Christ and testify to His resurrection and our rebirth.  To overcome in this phase of the Church, we must overcome our indifference and pride and pay the price to know Him and gain Him.

Heavenly Father, please show me how to buy gold, garments, and ointment.  Lord, I want to know you and break free from this selfish and apathetic soul-life.  Lord, I want to experience and share the ZOE life with others.  Lord, please sharpen my hearing to listen to you, and quicken my heart to obey.  Please use my life for your honor.  I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Amos 1-3, 2 Peter 1-3

Over the last couple of weeks I have been more and more impressed that I need to be more integrated in discipleship - both mentoring and being mentored.  On Sunday, I spoke with our lead pastor about getting more involved, and I asked him to give me some direction on how I can do that.  We plan to have lunch tomorrow to discuss in more detail.

Yesterday I got to talk to one of my collegiate disciplers.  I was reminded how much I learned with him and how I need to be meeting with some older Brothers here locally.  I also need to stay caught up with the Brothers who have facilitated my growth over the years.

2 Pet. 1:3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires.

 5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God's promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Church, the Body of Christ.  Thank you for the Brothers and Sisters who invest themselves in taking care of the other members of the Body.  Lord, I want to be one of those Brothers.  Please pour your love through me into the lives of others, and show me how to do that practically.  Lord, please lead me to the specific relationships that you want me to have so that I can mentor and be mentored in sharing your divine nature.  I love you, Lord.  Please do this for Christ.  Amen.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Daniel 5-7

Daniel 6:3 Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel's great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. 4 Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn't find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. ... 10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. 11 Then the officials went together to Daniel's house and found him praying and asking for God's help.

I think there is a connection between integrity and discipline.  Daniel was faithful in serving the Lord daily.  I have to learn how to walk with Christ and know Him better every day instead of getting busy with religious duties.

James 1:22 But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

 26 If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Heavenly Father, please help me see Christ and serve you out of love instead of religion.  I want to know you and the power of your Holy Spirit.  Please fill my life with your presence and use me to accomplish your good purposes.  I love you, and I'm asking in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Monday, December 6, 2010

a little rusty

Daniel 3-4, James 1

Confessions:  It's been too long since I blogged, and I fell behind in my NT reading over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Resolve:  I want to be more self-controlled and a better spiritual leader of my family.  It's a tough balance, because I want to be consistent and disciplined, but I don't want it to be "religious".

Thanksgiving was a great time with my family and Brandi's family.  I went into the holiday with the intent of not being overly theological or argumentative, and the Lord blessed me with some great conversations.  I need to be that way all of the time.  I am thankful for:
- faith and salvation in Christ Jesus
- a family heritage of loving and serving the Lord
- a wife who loves the Lord, me, and our son
- a son who, on the whole, is healthy and growing
- a job where I can help people and use the gifts that God has given me
- a church where the leaders and most of the congregation are genuinely trying to figure out how to follow Christ
- a house that is warm during the winter and cool during the summer
- food to eat and clean water to drink.

In my reading this morning, I read the story of the Fiery Furnace and the boldness of three young men who feared the fire of God more than the fire of men:

 Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up."

I was reminded of a Shane & Shane song about Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: "O King, won't you burn us up in the furnace of your desire."  I think this couples well with another great verse that I read this morning:

James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Heavenly Father, please burn up the chaff of my selfish flesh and self-righteousness.  Lord, please give me grace to fear you and look to you for rescue from my flesh, this world, and the devil.  As much as it scares me to ask this, I want to be pure so that my life will honor you.  Lord, please be gentle with me, but I know that you want me to be holy like you.  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being my holiness.  Amen.