21st November 2008

Three Powerful Verses from Romans 8

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” – Romans 8:6

“And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” – Romans 8:27

“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.” – Romans 8:33

Lord you provide life and peace to your people. You intercede for the saints; it is your will to do so. You cannot be accused and your people cannot be accused because of your justification through your Son.

Father, help me to lift my mind off my flesh and on to the spirit. I want to have your eyes and the mind fo Christ. Help me to focus on your, see your glory, and have an accurate view of my position before you. Humble me and let me esteem others as better than myself. Forgive my arrogance. Forgive me for being so concerned with the things of this world. Forgive me for not seeing you in all that I am and all that I do. Forgive me for not giving you the due honor you so deserve.

Thank you that you do intercede for me. Thank you that you give life and peace to those who set their mind on the Spirit. Thank you for your defense of us against our sin through the work of Jesus.

Father, help me to think of you more. Help me to wrap my entire life around you and see your blessing and hand in everything I do, see, hear, smell, touch, and even taste. Make me more than a conqueror of my sins. Make me stronger in my faith. Give me a heart that is pure and help me to desire your will for my life, my family, my friends and those around me. Make me more like you every day.

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20th November 2008

Sin and Our Nature – Romans 7:24-25

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. – Romans 7:24-25

As I serve God with my mind, it’s interesting to think of my body being constantly embroiled in a battle to serve sin. Father, you have made a way to perfect us and make us holy as You are holy. Please do not let your patience run thin and continue to work within our rotten souls to make us something new as you make us anew in Christ. Your work is the true work and “our” work is but the musings of an errand boy – so different are your thoughts and desires to ours.

I confess that while my mind serves the law of God – it doesn’t always. I need help in making sure I stay focused on your law and my desire to uphold it as an obedient lover of your truth. Help me to do what you say, Lord, not just hear your words as a spectator. Help me to struggle through life with a focus on You and You alone in all that I do. Let my accomplishments be your accomplishments. My thoughts be your thoughts and let me decrease as You increase in me.

Thank you, Father for your work in me. Thank you for your Son who gave me a salvation I never deserved. And thank you for your word which challenges me to serve you with my mind, heart, soul and strength – and do wage a successful war with sin that is in me until You come.

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19th November 2008

How Can I pardon You? – Jeremiah 5:7-9

7 “How can I pardon you?
Your children have forsaken me
and have sworn by those who are no gods.
When I fed them to the full,
they committed adultery
and trooped to the houses of whores.
8 They were well-fed, lusty stallions,
each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.
9 Shall I not punish them for these things?
declares the Lord;
and shall I not avenge myself
on a nation such as this?

Wow. As I read this I look at my own attitude towards God in light of the many possessions I have. I have truly been fed to the full and I covet things that are not mine. How can I expect God’s pardon, aside form the mercy of Jesus’ sacrifice? I/we have come far from the design of God in this world. The additional blessings we afford in these United States offer only more temptation to sin and ignore the fact that God is the provider of our met needs.

Lord forgive me for taking your blessings for granted…. for looking inward and outward for my own good and not to you for sustenance and hope. Forgive me for not sharing my possessions with those in need and grabbing after things I don’t even own. Your grace should be sufficient.

Thank you for the greatest gift – that I should sell all my possessions for – the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ your son. Thank you for not giving me your wrath and judgment. Thank you for not being “fair” and for not repaying my evil with evil. Instead you have turned aside your justice and placed it on Him.

Please help me to turn aside from pride, from greed, lust and envy. Help me to look to you and only you and see the truth of your word and your love.

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18th November 2008

Caleb Discovers that Artists Get Paid

Tina made the mistake of telling Caleb that artists actually get paid for their artwork… Watch how fast this 5 year old can crunch numbers!

posted in Caleb & Caeden | 3 Comments

18th November 2008

Romans 5 – Peace With God

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

It’s amazing to see what it means to have peace with God. We are a people who have utterly offended him. I have broken all of His commandments and trampled on His laws. It seems such a simple sentence to be justified by faith, but the continuing passage describes that the power lies not in my faith, but in the sole redeeming power of Jesus, the second Adam.

Just as sin spread through the world through one man, Adam, Jesus has allowed redemption to spread through many by His one selfless act of mercy.

To have peace with God. Actual peace. In the old testament we are reading through Jeremiah and there is no peace. In fact, the nation of Israel is being judged by God. I deserve that type of judgment. To be stripped bare. To be removed from any place I have, any comfort, any safety. To be woken up to who God is and His power over me and my position, and my possessions.

“Remove the foreskin of your hearts” it says (Jeremiah 4:4). Indeed, the hardness of my heart and my unwillingness to obey him are astounding. And God opens with a simple statement that if we return, we should return to HIM. We should not waver. The alternative is God’s wrath, discipline and judgment.

And yet, in Romans, Paul reminds us that we have peace. How can this be? I am so detestable to Him in my actions and my selfishness and my disregard for His authority. And yet I have peace? This is the amazing love of God through Jesus His son. This is something only God can fully comprehend and execute. There is no self-justification for who I am and what I’ve done. I deserve death. And yet I have peace.

“To God be the glory” means much more than it did a few minutes ago.

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17th November 2008

God’s Veiled Mercy – 2 Kings 8

So many times I think that I must understand God’s plan in order to follow it, but simple obedience is all that is ever requested. In 2 Kings 8, the Shunammite woman is told to “Arise, and depart with your household, and sojourn wherever you can, for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come upon the land for seven years.”

Now this is just after Elisha had restored her son to life. Without any mention of argument or questioning, the woman does as Elisha commands. The end result should not be surprising, her return coincides with a discussion between the King and one of Elisha’s servants. They are discussing her and her son’s resurrection – one of the “great things Elisha has done.”

Not only was the woman warned of the 7 year famine so that she could avoid it, she ends up regaining her possessions and the fruit of the land for the 7 years she was gone. This is an unheard of blessing.

God’s mercy is often far greater than we can imagine. Faith in Him is what is required and what we should strive for obedience in.

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6th November 2008

Approaching people

I’m not sure how much of these thoughts are correctly based on scripture, but I couldn’t help but wonder how much my personal pride causes me to treat others in ways that they may not deserve. When the captain and fifty soldiers approached Elijah they were proud and demanding, feeling that they were in a position of power and might against the lone man of God. How many times do I approach others as if I am something special – knowing nothing of their circumstance or situation?

God is so incredibly wondrous. His omniscience and omnipotence means that He can condescend to use anyone for His purposes. In addition, His grace means that often we find He condescends to use those we may think “unusable”.

I confess that I often assume I know who is worthy of my time and respect – and who is not. All are worthy of our time and respect. Love our enemies. I have not. Treat our neighbors as ourselves. I have not. Love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I have not. Forgive me and help me to humble myself and regard others as far greater than myself.

Thank you Lord for second chances. Thank you for opening my eyes to my pride and selfishness. Thank you for making us part of your wondrous plan. Thank you for loving us and caring for and about us.

posted in Clint's Prayer Journal | Comments Off on Approaching people

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