Monday, June 29, 2015
Sunday, June 21, 2015
John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do,and he will establish your plans.9 In their hearts humans plan their course,but the Lord establishes their steps.
13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips;they value the one who speaks what is right.21 The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.
23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent,and their lips promote instruction.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
I don't know if it was a dream I had last night or what, but I woke up with this clear thought in my mind, "Jesus wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty". And on second thought, I don't think He even cared about rolling up His sleeves first.
Jesus wasn't worried about becoming "unclean" by touching an unclean person or by an unclean person touching Him. Jesus wasn't scared of "unclean" people, Pharisees, or demons.
Jesus said it is what is inside you that makes you clean or unclean. And I want rivers o living water to flow through me, keeping me clean, and healing and cleansing others.
And Jesus had no image to maintain. He didn't need to look clean or put together.
Heavenly Father, thank you for encouraging me. Holy Spirit, thank you for speaking to me in my dreams. Lord Jesus, thank you for your example of ministry that I can follow. I want to be your disciple and apostle. I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.
Friday, June 12, 2015
The other day, a Brother sent me a text message asking if I was OK. I replied that I wasnt. I was working on my tenure application and felt like a failure. He called me and told me that the grace that I extend to others, I need to apply to myself.
I am having difficulty applying grace to myself. I suppose that it is pride that hinders me from doing so.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your grace. Please help me receive it. I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom,
but a perverse tongue will be silenced.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Saturday, June 6, 2015
Growing up on the farm, it was not uncommon for my dad to give me some basic instructions and then send me off to do something that I had not done before. But I actually saw my dad do this himself on many occasions, so he was actually teaching me a lifestyle. For example, I watched my dad regularly disassemble and repair broken farming machinery without any manuals. He taught me to just try to do stuff and figure it out while you are doing it. Now, of course, while you are figuring out how to do stuff, you will probably make some mistakes, but you will learn so much.
A couple of days ago, my dad and I loaded up cotton seed in a planter that I haven't used before, and he gave me some basic instructions for getting rolling. At first, I was a little uncomfortable with the ambiguity, and then I realized this lesson:
If you want to keep growing, you have to keep doing new things.
You have to keep pushing past the awkwardness of not knowing how to do something, and just do it. You have to be willing to make mistakes and learn as you go.
And of course, this applies to spiritual growth, as well. I think Jesus wants current, modern-day disciples to try to live like He did, even as He sent out the seventy two disciples to preach and heal. I think He wants us to continue growing into the maturity of Christ, such that we would operate with similar authority and power. And to get to that level of maturity, I think I am going to have to start stepping out into some things that make me uncomfortable, and see the Holy Spirit work things out.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your desire to grow me into the image of Christ. Thank you for the challenge to continue stepping out of my comfort zone, even thought it makes me feel nervous. Help me see that life with you is abundant and vibrant. Heavenly Father, thank you for your loving kindness. I want to run with you. Holy Spirit, give me boldness to jump when you tell me to jump. I love you, and I want to operate like Christ. I ask in the name of Jesus.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Heavenly Father, thank you for speaking to me through analogies. Lord, please give me more. I want to know you, and I want to have good conversation with you. I want to be faithful to share the analogies that you give me with others. I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.
We had a great retreat this weekend.
Thursday evening, the discussion about praying for healing was very encouraging to me. Basically, it's not so much about how much faith you have as actually using what faith you do have. Just pray for people, and believe that God will heal them.
Duncan's message Friday evening about salvation and our relationship with God was very encouraging to me. Duncan involved several people in a powerful visualization of the progression through original sin, spiritual separation from the holy God, death of Christ, death with Christ, burial of Christ, burial with Christ, resurrection of Christ, resurrection with Christ, dwelling with Christ in the heavenly realm, and the Holy Trinity dwelling with us.
On Saturday, two of the most impressive points were our identity as adopted sons of God and God's infinite riches. Duncan shared a helpful framework for thinking about our relationship with God. First, sonship; you are a son of God by the adoption of God. Second, friendship; you can avail yourself to growing in your friendship with God. Third, partnership; our Heavenly Father has a family business, and you can invest yourself in helping Him in his business.
Heavenly Father, thank you for making me a son. Please help me grow in my awareness of this reality. I want to grow in emulating the model of sonship that Christ demonstrated. I want to grow in my friendship with you; I want to be call you, "Abba." Holy Spirit, thank you for your presence and power. I want to grow in partnership with you. I want to listen to you and make use of you infinite resources to advance your Kingdom. I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.