Sunday, September 30, 2012

Submitting to the Spirit of God

Paseo Christian - Greg and Neill - Submission

As we study Luke, we need to see that Jesus is inviting us to submit to Him as He makes these Gospel accounts living and active in our lives

Submission is a choice.

- Posture to listen, humble acceptance
- without rank, mutual submission
- pushes us outward, heaven on earth

What will submission cost you?
- pride, time, but not joy

How do you need to submit to God?
- marriage, parenting, career

2 Cor. 5:14-15 - death for us so that we can live in Him

Friday, September 28, 2012

every man's battle - walking by the Spirit

Gal 5
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. ... 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity ... 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
I'm not sure that I have appreciated the importance of verse 16 before.  (I usually just jump to verse 22.)  And I think it is interesting that the bad list in verse 19 begins with sexual sin.  Certainly common to man.
It seems to me that the key here is to walk by the Spirit - live by the Spirit, and keep in step with the Spirit.
Heavenly Father, please help me walk by the Spirit.  I want to live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit.  Lord, please produce the fruit of the Spirit in me.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Gal 4
4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
This is a powerful reminder of how expensive our freedom is.  Not only are we free, but we have been adopted as children of God.  How great is His love, that we should be called the children of God.
And if I am a child of God, then what does that mean for daily living?  It means I should abide with Him.  I should walk with Him.  I should dwell in His presence.  It means I should know Him and obey Him.  I should be attentive to His Spirit within me.
Heavenly Father, I want to abide with you.  Holy Spirit, I want to follow you and listen to you today.  Lord, please help me obey!  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Believe and obey

Gal 3

22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

On my walk this morning, I asked the Lord, "Why am I so busy?"  I didn't get an audible answer, but I did get the sense that at least part of why I am busy is from pride, guilt, or lack of focus with respect to over-committing myself.  As I read the Scriptures this morning, I am reminded that I do not have to work for God's favor, only believe in Jesus.  Believe and obey.  Listen and obey.  Actions apart from obedience are a waste of time and a distraction from building the Kingdom.

Heavenly Father, I love you, and I want to listen to you and obey you.  I believe in Jesus, and I want to walk with you and follow you.  Holy Spirit, I want to walk in your way and hear you guide me.  Please lead me, and I will obey.  Please deliver me from my own way, and lead me to walk in the Way of Jesus.  I ask in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

celebrating life

Gal 2

Sunday was Jude's first birthday!  It has been amazing to see him learn and grow.  And in the last week or so, he has really made a lot of progress in walking on his own.  He is such a blessing and such a joyful person.  I pray that the Lord will continue to grow him and use him to advance the Kingdom.

Yesterday evening, our pastor's son had an emergency appendectomy.  As we were sitting with them in the surgery waiting room last night, I was impressed with how fragile life is and how important it is to enjoy life with those God has brought into our lives.  We are walking with Christ with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.

Heavenly Father, thank you for life, and thank you for the lives of those around us.  Thank you for opportunities to enjoy your Life with others.  Lord, I pray that our enjoyment of you will be like abiding in the vine.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


2 Cor 10

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

As I think about these verses along with Eph. 6, it seems to me that the Sword of the Spirit is the principal weapon.  It is through a growing understanding of God through His Scriptures that we wage war against the enemy spiritual forces.  Thoughts and arguments are critical battles within the battlefields of our minds.  Transforming our minds into obedient Minds of Christ is the mission.  This is accomplished through a daily, hourly, moment-by-moment humble submission to the authority of Scripture and application to the details of our lives.  Consistent and daily reading, meditating, and discussing of Scripture is critical.  Personal meditation, as well as groups of disciples.

Heavenly Father, please help me submit to your Word and respond in obedience.  On a daily basis, I need to humble myself before you through the reading of your Word, and I need to listen to you and obey.  Please help me learn the discipline of responding in specific obedience.  I love you, and I want to know you and walk with you.  I want to be useful to you.  Please use me.  I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


2 Cor 9

11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.  13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!

God blesses us.  We bless others.  Others bless God.  We all bless God.  God uses all of this blessing to propagate the Good News of Christ.

Heavenly Father, please use me as a blessing to others and a blessing to you.  Please help me live generously.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

financial giving

2 Cor 8

So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. ...  You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.

It's interesting that the "obligation" that Paul argues here is a result of the congregation's initial desire to provide financial aid.  It was not a religious obligation, but an obligation to obey the desire to be generous.  Of course, our generosity is a reflection of the generosity that Jesus demonstrated by giving Himself as a payment for our sinfulness.  Perhaps a good test question for fiscal generosity could be, "How is the generosity of Christ's sacrifice being magnified through my giving to this particular ministry?"

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for letting me be so focused on money.  I confess that as an American, I tend to think that money is more valuable and powerful than it really is.  Please help me see money as a tool or resource that may or may not be useful to you depending on the particular circumstance and obedient response to your Holy Spirit.  Lord, I know that you don't need money, and I can't buy soul's with money, but I know that you can develop generous financial giving in me that can be used by you to help expand the Kingdom of Christ.  Lord, please grow humility in me to see that apart from humble obedience, money can get me caught up in prideful religious "donations" or wasteful worldly spending.  I want to obey you generously.  I love you.  Thank you for your generosity through Christ.  I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Monday, September 17, 2012


2 Cor 7

I have the highest confidence in you, and I take great pride in you. You have greatly encouraged me and made me happy despite all our troubles. ... But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. ... 13 We have been greatly encouraged by this.  In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was about the way all of you welcomed him and set his mind at ease.

I think God uses our fellowship to encourage each other.  One of the enemy's most strategic attacks is with discouragement.  So, it is very important for us to encourage each other.  In general, I think we need to be more intentional and direct about encouraging each other.

Heavenly Father, please help me be an encouragement to my family and my church, especially our pastor.  Lord, please use me to encourage the broken to allow you to heal them.  I love you, and I want to be useful to you.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

personal and corporate advancement

2 Cor 3

16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

I watched a movie last night with some guys.  It really made me think about how I need to be more collaborative and strategic with other Believers to extend the reign of Jesus Christ in our lives.  I need to invest more in discipleship.  I need to step up and be a leader, and I need to train others to be leader-makers.

Heavenly Father, please show me how I can serve those around me to show your love.  And please show me how I can be a better leader in the Body of Christ and lead others to be leaders.  I love you, and I want to seek first your Kingdom.  I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


2 Cor 2

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. ...

You know how some smells just really get you.  Like the smell of popcorn in a movie theater that you can't resist, and you just have to buy some!  Or when you can smell popcorn wafting town the hall at work and you want to go steal their popcorn.  Or the smell of fajitas in a Mexican food restaurant (especially when you hear them served sizzling!). 

Or the pungent smell of a toddler's dirty diaper.  Yuk!  It's like it sticks to the inside of your nostrils and won't go away for hours.  Yuk.

But I think our lives should be polarizing.  Like popcorn and poop.  Like life and death.

Heavenly Father, I want my life to smell like Jesus.  I want to have the aroma of Christ present throughout my daily living so that all of those around me consider the presence of Christ in my life.  Lord, please give me opportunities to share the love of Christ.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2 Cor 1

21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your patient love and strength.  Lord, I want to stand firm in Christ.  Thank you for anointing us in the ministry of reconciliation with Christ.  Thank you for the ministry of Jesus the Messiah and the opportunity to participate in your redemption and restoration of people with you.  Lord, thank you for your Spirit.  I want to walk by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit.  Lord, please help me today to listen to the Spirit and obey as I hope for Christ's return.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Monday, September 10, 2012

victory in Christ

1 Cor 15

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.58 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.

He gives US the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Stand firm.  Let the roots of your faith anchor yourself into Christ and allow Him to strengthen you into an oak of righteousness.  Give your heart and effort completely to Him because He accomplishes good and beautiful things through us.

Heavenly Father, please help me abide in you.  I want to know you and walk with you.  Please lead me to follow you and obey you in the Spirit.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


1 Cor 12

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

How are we using our spiritual gifts to build up the Body?  I wonder what the Church would look like in the US if pastors would preach/teach more about spiritual gifts and serving the Body instead of focusing on denominational doctrinal issues or how to live a better life.  If everyone has been given a spiritual gift, then how do we help people discover their giftedness and use it?  Maybe the spiritual gifts test/questionnaires/surveys are helpful for pointing you in a direction, but it seems to me that gifts are discovered by serving.  As the Body is built up by your service, there will probably be some confirmation of your giftedness.

Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing me to be in the Body of Christ.  Please help me use my gifts and help others to use their gifts.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


1 Cor 11

23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me." 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it." 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again.

Thanks to my Brother Jayson, communion has become much more important to me over the past eight years.  I have realized that celebrating the Lord's supper is one of the characteristic marks of identifying with Christ. I think it is very important to remember the death of Christ and His love for us every time we meet together as Brothers and Sisters.  And I think it is important to remember that He is returning soon.  I think it is also important to remember that we are His body; we are the church, and this is clearly shown through celebrating communion.

Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus and His death and resurrection.  Thank you for paying the penalty of death for me, and thank you for the promise and hope of Christ's return and our resurrection with Him.  Thank you for the Church and for allowing me a place and function in the body.  I pray that I will serve you well and continue to support and build up the body.  Lord, please help me continue to grow in understanding and appreciation of communion.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

looking out for others

1 Cor 10

24 Don't be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. ... 33 ... I don't just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.

I need to be more conscious of how what I say and do affects others' perception of Christ.  I want to make sure that I am being a good example of what it looks like to live with Christ.

Heavenly Father, please help me be a good ambassador for Christ.  I want to be salty and bright.  Please guide what I say and do so that Jesus will be seen as who He really is.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.