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Archive for February, 2013

I am daily bombarded with deception and opposition (from without and within) all designed to disrupt my intimacy with God and diminish my fruitfulness in God’s redemptive mission. It is fierce and relentless aimed at nothing less than my undoing.

Why should I ever be surprised by any form of spiritual attack? The Apostle Paul assured his protégé Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

If I am to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12) I am left with but one choice, to wage war on my knees in radical dependence upon God’s word and Spirit, doggedly obedient to His gracious, praiseworthy instruction.

I do this knowing that God is for me (Psalm 56:9) and His promise is that everyone who is born of God overcomes the world. (1 John 5:4)

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Treachery tears at the fabric of our soul like few afflictions. I’ve known the painful experience of betrayal from both sides. And I’m quite certain that some form of heartbreak is universal among us during our journey in this life.

 Infidelity of any kind grieves us so because it dismantles the foundation of trust so vital to our relationships. In it we feel exposed and vulnerable. We are faced with the devastation of knowing that a rival object of affection – power, possession, or pleasure – has surpassed the affection once reserved for us.

In despair over such loss, I am renewed by the thought of God’s intimate understanding of what it is to be betrayed. He knows the grief of humiliation and rejection like no other. He knows our pain, calms our fears, and assures us that He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:3-6).

In light of that, we can confidently release once close companions into His capable hands and rest in His promise to establish us in His faithful care. Best of all, none can mend broken bonds like our covenant-keeping God.

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How many of us were trained (if we were trained at all) to be as or more consciously dependent upon God as we are practically self-sufficient. Aren’t most of us conditioned to do everything in our own power to make life work, then as a last resort, call on God … our “helper.”

What a gross distortion of what is true about us and true about God.

It takes so little to knock us down … sickness, unemployment, injustice, accidents, conflict. We are deficient, finite, always in need of help whether we realize it or not, whether we admit it or not.

God, on the other hand, is infinitely self-sufficient. He lacks absolutely nothing. He never needs help.

Why do we ever withhold any part of our fragile lives from the only One who can and does hold us up? Every breath we take, every beat of our heart is proof positive that God is faithfully sustaining our very lives and more than able to do beyond all that we ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

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Brilliant! Ingenious! Unusually Insightful!

It is accolades like these that are showered upon finite human beings determined to establish, despite all evidence to the contrary, that God does not in fact exist.

God calls it “foolish” … a painful accusation against our glowing reviews.

Humanity has always been easily impressed with what it discovers while dim to what has been revealed by the One who spoke all things into being. How foolish indeed we are to pat ourselves on the back while withholding honor and praise from our Maker.

What a shock when the veil over God’s full glory is pulled back, every knee bowed and every tongue confessing His splendor. We would do well to render to Him the praise He is due now before we stand in His presence to give an account.

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It’s a grave warning; a sobering admonition intended to deflate an ego destined for serious damage.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

Arrogance is the Achilles heal of even the smallest degree of human greatness. It spoils the grandest of stories by transforming heroes into fools. Dress vanity up, put a good face on it, cover the stench with a fresh fragrance, and you still got a hot mess waitin to happen.

Hubris of any kind may very well work a room or work a plan, but it always withers the soul.

A word to the wise, “…Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

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It’s a sick sensation being caught red-handed … irrefutable evidence flooding in to drown me in my depravity. Instinctively I hide, deny, justify, minimize, excuse, condone, blame-shift (ad nauseam); pathetic attempts to preserve lifeless pursuits. It started with Adam (Gen 3:8-12) and has passed down to every generation since.

Hope in these desperate straits lies only in the precious gifts of conviction, contrition and confession, each mercifully prompted by the Spirit of truth as a straight and narrow path to restoration. Excruciating exposure opens wounds in want of healing, and they are healed.

Red hands are washed as pure as the driven snow by the blood of the Lamb. What would you give for such joy? You’ve not nearly enough, but nothing is all you need. Tell the truth of your transgressions and find a Father’s forgiveness, secured for you by the Son’s sacrifice.

This scandalous salvation (1 Cor 1:23) is the song of broken yet hopeful people. We sing because our once red hands have been made clean and made ready for every good work (2 Tim 2:21). And the One who began a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:6)

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Accountability … So painful, but so good for us.

We are not autonomous creatures. We have freedom to do as we please, but we are not free to escape the consequences of our choices.

We answer to one another, but most importantly, we answer to a holy God. We are mistaken when we live as if the day will not come when our choices are put to the test, whether they are from a heart of faith or stubborn self-rule (1 Cor 3:13-15).

Accountability is ultimately a joy to those who thankfully submit to God’s standards and ensure eventual reward (Col 3:23-25; Heb 11:6). It is an infuriation to those who wish most to have immediate gratification over the great gift of eternal life.

We are at our best when we are willfully dependent upon and responsive to the grace-saturated wisdom of God the Father, lavished on us by His Son, His Spirit and His word.

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