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Archive for November, 2012

I am unquestionably at my best when I cling tightly to my Savior.

Clinging isn’t just a state of mind. It is active, visceral, responsive and concrete.

It looks like integrity, trust, perseverance, submission, and gratitude. It’s intentional movement toward the righteous will of God. It means that my daily activities, ordinary and unusual are infused with a heart of shameless adoration for the One who animates my every act of obedience with His grace.

Even at my best, especially at my best, I need to humbly invite the Lord to “test my heart and my mind” so that I might not be blindsided by the residue of rebellion that lurks in my flesh.

Spiritual confidence and consistency is only had by those who keep their gaze fixed on the steadfast, sustaining love of Christ. Assurance is found in nothing else.

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Psalm 25: Help!

Just ask God for help.

The reasons are many that I don’t … I think I can handle it; I should be able to handle it; I want to handle it myself; I doubt if asking for help will do any good; I don’t deserve help after the mess I’ve made; I’m going to look/feel really stupid if God doesn’t do what I want/need Him to do.

I guess at the end of the day, trusting in myself seems like a better wager than trusting in God. But my story says otherwise. I’ve let myself down countless times, but I can’t think of a time when I’ve regretted putting things into God’s hands. I am my own worst enemy, and God is my greatest friend.

“None who wait for God (trust in; look to; hope in; expectantly rely on; faithfully follow) will be put to shame.”

Is it too good to be true? Not a chance.

I will never have a need so small or great that God will not gladly take it on and meet my dependence with His unfailing sufficiency, full of mercy and grace.

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We frown upon people full of themselves; people puffed up with a warped sense of their greatness.

It’s strange for the finite to act infinite, especially when the Infinite One is everywhere present; kind of embarrassing really.

We make far better stewards than owners. Running the universe is out of our league, but managing a small corner of the world for the One who made it all (and made us all), it’s what we were made for.

Blessing comes to those who seek their Maker instead of striving to be self-made. Our significance is found in celebrating the breath-taking beauty of the One whose likeness we bear … the Lord of hosts. He is the King of glory.

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Sheep without a shepherd are doomed.

Sheep with an incompetent shepherd are vulnerable at best.

Sheep with a good shepherd, despite all their natural flaws and frailties, are assured nourishment, renewal, security and fruitfulness they could not have otherwise.

I do not suffer for lack of a good shepherd; I suffer from my lack of awareness of my desperate need for Him. Thankfully, His goodness and mercy are so vast, He moves heaven and earth to retrieve me from wandering.

The Lord is my Shepherd … and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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“Eli eli lama sabachthani” … My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

After 33 years of enduring life sinlessly in a broken, sin-wrecked world; betrayal by one of His own; a charade of a trial conducted by His chosen people; mockery, humiliation, and merciless abuse; hanging bloody on a cross pierced by nails, suffering perhaps the most gruesome execution devised by man … Jesus quotes the words of Psalm 22 declaring the true cost of his sacrificial death … becoming the object of God the Father’s wrath poured out against sin and death.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

“How deep the Father’s love for us; how vast beyond all measure.
That He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure.” – lyrics by Stuart Townend

I marvel at the Father, Son and Spirit devising so sweet a gift to save my soul even while I was their enemy, a sinner fixed upon having life on my terms. Oh that my life would be a steady song of gratitude for that which I could never repay, but only receive by grace through faith.

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Strength is currency in the world of assurance.

Absolute strength (and the assurance it affords) in any context is about being immovable and moving all else at will. We naturally feel safe and secure to the degree that we believe we cannot be threatened by a force greater than our own.

In reality, we are truly fragile creatures, who cling to whatever strength we possess, knowing it can be overcome by any number of opposing forces. We are not indestructible, incorruptible, or unyielding. We are mortal.

Genuine assurance is not found in us, but in the ultimate Unmoved Mover. And His strength goes far beyond securing the present, on into eternity.

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God is free to act in any way He wants that is consistent with His nature and character.

I am free (by God’s design) to act upon the opportunities life gives me, some good, some not.

I am always free to ask for Gods favor, God’s blessing, God’s provision and protection. But I cannot expect God to move on my behalf simply because I ask. I may be asking for something that is inconsistent with His nature and character.

Before I ask, I should pause to consider whether or not my request is in alignment with God’s heart, His good and perfect will for me and this world in which I live. When I ask, I should always be glad to receive a reply of “wait” or “no.” As His child, God always has my best interests in mind, even when I don’t understand.

I can be most confident when I am most interested in seeing His will accomplished than I am my own. I am “saved” amid my circumstances when I am trusting entirely in Him and not in myself or resources I possess.

This I know, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).  Our God will always give us what we need to do what He has called us to do.

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