Wednesday, May 25, 2011

redemption.

"He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name." [psalm 111:9]

the most amazing thing about our God is that He SAVED us from DEATH.  not just death, but forever torture and punishment.  that's huge!!!  

because of this, we receive his covenant.  not because we deserve it AT ALL, but because of his good pleasure and his choice.  this makes it all the more amazing.  he chose us simply because he wanted to.

my only response to his great love and salvation is praise.  he's beyond comprehension and is deserving of constant worship, both from my mouth and from my life.  my sin breaks his heart, and it's my joy to strive to be sinless.  of course, i can't be sinless, but it should be my desire.  i should love Christ and hate darkness.

Monday, May 23, 2011

my everything.

Paul talks about being the chief sinner.  God gave his perfect blameless loving kind son to pay for MY sins.  I AM that chief sinner.  And yet I am brought to my knees by his immeasurable grace.  What other response do i have?  Speechless awe.  How can I have been found worthy of this love?  All I have ever done is rebelliously yell in his face that I don't need him.  Even now, I fail constantly...  and every time I choose my own way, I grieve his heart.  Yet he never ceases to love me.  I don't even understand!  My rebellion is constant.  My thoughts, words, actions, and attitudes speak of my sinful worldly nature.  How can God love someone like that?  It's because I'm precious in his sight.  He has chosen me to shine his light in the world, and I owe him my everything. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."- Col. 3:2

It's so easy for me to become distracted by all the "pretty things" the world has to offer...  I am fooled into thinking that they will make me happy.  So much so that i really do feel happiness when i'm filling my life with them!  It's satan's lies.  I KNOW the joy i receive in Christ, yet i continually snub him for temporary things that i can taste, feel, see, etc.  I want gratification now, in a physical and emotional way.  Yet i'm always disappointed and left wanting more.  I put my faith too much in human relationships, and even the closest relationships will always let me down.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

bondage.

"Until we waken to our darkened spiritual condition, we live in sync with 'the present evil age' and the ruler of it. 'You once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience' (Ephesians 2:2).  Without knowing it, we were lackeys of the devil.  What felt like freedom was bondage.  The Bible speaks straight to twenty-first-century fads, fun, and addictions when it says, 'They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption.  For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.' (2 Peter 2:19)." -John Piper, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

stand.

You stood before creation
Eternity in your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand
You stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon your shoulders
My soul, now to stand

So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart oh God
Completely to you

So I’ll walk upon salvation
Your spirit alive in me
This life to declare your promise
My soul now to stand

So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart oh God
Completely to you

I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
I’ll stand
My soul Lord to you surrender

all I am is yours

Sunday, May 15, 2011

praise.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

1. Praise to the Lord,
The Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him,
For He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
Now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

2. Praise to the Lord,
Who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings,
Yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen
How all your longings have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

3. Praise to the Lord,
Who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness
And mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew
What the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

4. Praise to the Lord,
O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath,
Come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen
Sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
Public Domain

Friday, May 13, 2011

how much it must grieve the heart of God to look down upon his children and see so many who haven't tasted the joy he brings...
too busy finding satisfaction, though meagerly filling, from the things of this world.
created with immense capacity and need for Christ's joy, we amble along thinking we're doing all we should...
it's become a checklist for us...
how sad that our relationship with the creator and lover of our souls has been reduced to something like that!

however, we shouldn't be fooled to think that our seeking of joy should be simply to fulfill our own happiness!
it's when we find joy in HIM that we are completely satisfied... ONLY then.
but the most awesome part of all this is that God is the one who's being glorified in our joy... not us!
when we experience full and complete pleasure, we soon realize it can only come from him.
this, in turn, pushes us to no other end than glorifying Him...
our God is glorified when we are full of HIM...
before we know it, even the simplest pleasures point us to the heart of a holy God..
everything is from God and should drive us to our knees in praise!

he gives us joy because it makes us deeply happy...
but his chief end is never to glorify man, but to glorify Himself.
how shameful that we fall short of understanding that freeing fact

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

hallowed.

How many times have we recited The Lord's Prayer without really knowing what we are saying?  The first line, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name," is known by all...
~~~
"In the Lord's Prayer, we are asking that God would do whatever he must do so that his names is revered and esteemed and cherished in the world.  We might enlarge on this first petition with words like these: 'O Lord, please grant that your glory be honored...your holiness be reverenced...your greatness be admired...your power be praised...your truth be sought...your wisdom be esteemed...your beauty be treasured...your goodness be savored...your faithfulness be trusted...your commandments be obeyed...your promises be relied on...your justice be respected...your wrath be feared...your grace be cherished...your presence be prized...your person be loved.' "  -John Piper, When I Don't Desire God

Monday, May 09, 2011

life by the spirit.

16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, 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 sinful nature with its passions and desires.25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
-Galatians 5:16-25

~~~
We are completely unable to produce these fruits ourselves. They are fruits of the SPIRIT, and the SPIRIT must create them in us. Romans 8:7-8 tells us, "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." When we don't live in step with the Spirit, we will always give into our sinful, selfish nature.  And every time we give into that, we grieve the heart of the God who gave all to save us.

evil one.

" 'Deliver us from evil' (Matthew 6:13).  The devil is the great deceiver, and the aim of all his deception, as with temptation, is that we desire anything- even good, safe, wholesome things- above God.  He offers a thousand substitutes and threatens us with a thousand miseries in this world.  When we pray for deliverance from him, we mean: Never let us be attracted by the substitutes, and never let us infer from our miseries that God is not our all-satisfying Friend."
-John Piper, When I Don't Desire God

Sunday, May 08, 2011

desires revealed.

"The central definition of prayer in the Westminster Catechism is 'an offering up of our desires unto God.'  Therefore prayer is the revealer of the heart.  What a person prays for shows the spiritual condition of his heart.  If we do not pray for spiritual things (like the glory of Christ, and the hallowing of God's name, and the salvation of sinners, and the holiness of our hearts, and the advance of the gospel, and contrition for sin, and the fullness of the Spirit, and the coming of the kingdom, and the joy of knowing Christ), then probably it is because we do not desire these things.  Which is a devastating indictment of our hearts."
-John Piper, When I Don't Desire God
~~~
Ask yourself, do I pray for these things?
The glory of Christ
The hallowing of God's name
The salvation of sinners
The holiness of our heart
The advance of the gospel
Contrition for sin
The fullness of the Spirit
The coming of the kingdom
The joy of knowing Christ

prayer.

I pray, O God, that I may know you and love you,
so that I may rejoice in you.
And if I cannot do so fully in this life
may I progress gradually until it comes to fullness.
Let the knowledge of you grow in me here,
and there be made complete;
Let your love grow in me here
and there be made complete,
so that here my joy may be great in hope,
and there be complete in reality.
Lord, by your Son, you command, or rather, counsel us to ask
and you promise that we shall receive so that our “joy may be complete.”
I ask, Lord, as you counsel through our admirable Counselor.
May I receive what you promise through your truth so that my “joy may be complete.”
Until then let my mind meditate on it,
let my tongue speak of it,
let my heart love it,
let my mouth preach it.
Let my soul hunger for it,
let my flesh thirst for it,
my whole being desire it,
until I enter into the “joy of the Lord,”
who is God, Three in One, “blessed forever. Amen.”
Anselm, Proslogion

Friday, May 06, 2011

enemy

"The fact that I died with Christ is linked directly to his dying for my sin. “He himself bore our sins . . . that we might die.” This means that when I embrace Jesus as my Savior, I embrace my own death as a sinner. My sin brought Jesus to the grave and brought me there with him. Faith sees sin as murderous. It killed Jesus, and
it killed me. Therefore, becoming a Christian means death to sin. The old self that loved sin died with Jesus. Sin is like a prostitute that no longer looks beautiful. She is the murderer of my King and myself. Therefore, the believer is dead to sin, no longer dominated by her attractions. Sin, the prostitute who killed my friend, has no appeal. She has become an enemy." - John Piper, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die

reason.

“Christ died that we might live for him” does not mean “that we might help him.” “[God is not] served by human hands, as though he needed anything” (Acts 17:25). Neither is Christ: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). What Christ died for is not that we might help him, but that we might see and savor him as infinitely valuable. He died to wean us from poisonous pleasures and enthrall us with the pleasures of his beauty. In this way we are loved, and he is honored. These are not competing aims. They are one."  - John Piper, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die

Thursday, May 05, 2011


How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. [Psalm 84:1-2]

celebrate!

Something I found today:
"The sinners and the sick, the broken, the discouraged, the wounded and burdened — we are the ones who get to celebrate grace!  Regardless of the mess of your life, if Christ is Lord of your life, than we are the celebrants out dancing in a wild rain of grace — because when it’s all done and finished, all is well and Christ already said it was finished."

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

"Yes, there is a mean, violent streak in the true Christian life!  But violence against whom, or what?  Not other people!  It's a violence against all the impulses in our own selves that would make peace with out own sin and settle in with a peacetime mentality.  It's a violence against all lust in ourselves and all enslaving desires for food or caffeine or sugar or chocolate or alcohol or pornography or money or the praise of men and the approval of others or power or fame.  It's a violence against the impulses in our own soul toward racism and sluggish indifference to injustice and poverty and abortion.  Christianity is not a settle-in-and-live-at-peace-with-this-world-the-way-it-is kind of religion.  When Jesus said, "the truth will set you free" (John 8:32), he didn't mean without a battle.  He meant that truth would win the war of liberation in the soul.  Christianity is war.  It is a declaration of all-out combat against our own sinful impulses.  The apostle Peter said, "Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul" (I Peter 2:11).  To become a Christian is to wake up to the reality that our soul- the eternal joy of our soul- is at stake.  Therefore, Christianity is a mortal combat for true and lasting joy." - John Piper, When I Don't Desire God

nothing.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."
-Romans 8:35,37
~~~
Nothing can separate us from God's love!  We must be careful not to believe that nothing bad or tough will ever happen to Christians; that isn't what Paul is saying here at all.  We are promised that bad things things will happen to us, but we are also promised that none of them, no matter how horrible they are, will EVER remove us from God's hand.  This promise should be enough to sustain us, yet we constantly look for something else.  We are rarely satisfied in God's love alone.  But we were made for Him, not this world or its pleasures.  Having our eyes fixed on bringing Him glory no matter the situation will always result in joy because our joy doesn't come from anything around us; it only comes from Him.  Happiness can leave us for a moment, but our joy is deeply-rooted in Christ and can't be taken.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

all.

"Loving God is most essentially treasuring God.  And loving him with all the heart and all the soul and all the mind and all the strength means that every faculty and every capacity treasures God above all things and in such a way that our treasuring of any other thing is also a treasuring of God.  In other words, there may be other good things that we may rightly treasure in some measure.  But we may not treasure them in the place of God.  We may only treasure them as expressions of treasuring God.  If one of our human capacities finds pleasure in anyone or anything in such a way that this pleasure is not also a delight in God, then we have not loved God with all that capacity."  -John Piper, What Jesus Demands from the World

portion.

Psalm 73:25-26- "Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
~~~
My emotions, the things i reply on many times, will always fail me.  I can't rely on them.
The only thing I can rely on for strength and peace is God.  
He is my portion, meaning he is everything I need.  He is ALL I NEED!
My deepest desires are only filled by him.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

‎"You are Yahweh. Your existence is absolute, eternal. Your sheer being wakes me, shocks me, sobers me, intensifies everything." -J. Piper

iceberg.

"If it were not for the death of Jesus in our place, the only possible joy would be the joy of delusion- like the joy on the Titanic just before it hit the iceberg....If passengers were suddenly made aware that in a matter of hours most of them would drown in the icy ocean, all their merrymaking would cease. Their joy depends on their ignorance. However, if the passengers knew that the ocean liner would sink, but that a great armada of utterly dependable ships and sailors was already on the way and would arrive and save everyone who followed their instructions, something very different would happen.  To be sure, the lighthearted merrymaking would cease, and a great seriousness would spread over the Titanic; but there would be a different kind of joy- a deep sense of gratitude for the rescuers, and a deep sense of hope that, though much would be lost, life would be saved....Jesus Christ came into the world as the divine Son of God in order to die for our sins and rescue us from the wrath of God, the burden of guilt, the condemnation of justice, the bondage of sin, the torment of hell, and the loss of all that is good- especially the loss of God....The iceberg just ahead is NO HAPPINESS FOREVER, only misery."  -J. Piper, When I Don't Desire God
~~~
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us- for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.' " (Galatians 3:13)
"Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God."  (I Peter 3:18)

james 4:7-10

"Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you." -James 4:7-10
~~~
Submitting myself to God means I am completely His.  I must give Him my all... My emotions, desires, happiness, pain, fear, etc.  God promises that if I fight Satan, he will have no power over me; I am God's and He will protect me from evil.  Each and every time I seek the face of God, truly, I will find Him.  I am a sinner, I am torn in my spirit, and I must be pure and clean before God.  I need to understand the seriousness of my sinful nature and humble myself before God, my only saving grace.  When I am humble, He will lift me up in Him.

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