Thursday, May 25, 2006

His glory

HIS GLORY, my response

I get up in the morning, and I’ve sinned in my thoughts even before my day has really begun. I don’t even need to leave the house in order to sin, to blaspheme my Lord. I wonder: if I could see the glory of God, would I be so cavalier in my handling of His blood?

Revelation 1:12-18 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

When I read Scripture, my sinful nature tends to blur my understanding; instead of interpreting Scripture honestly, and submitting, I manipulate it to agree with the way I want to live. The result of this mishandling of Scripture is that I don’t see the glory of God. . . rather, I see the “glory” of John.

see Exodus 33:18-23
see Exodus 34:29-35
see John 17:1-13

Scripture indicates that, were I to see the glory of the Lord, I most certainly would not respond in the manner I do. This would be life-changing.

Psalm 19:1,2 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.

Isaiah 6:1-6 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then on the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

see Ephesians 1:12
I was created for the praise of His glory!

O Lord, my response to You is so far below what you have called me. I buck against that for which I was created, instead seeking the elevation of my own status at the expense of a deeper relationship with You. Please forgive me and have mercy on me. Restore to me the joy of my salvation in You. Create in me a thirst only satisfied through You. Please let me see You, that this wandering wretch would know on Who to focus in this world. Thank You for
Your mercy shown in my life,
Your numerous blessings,
Your patience,
Your discipline,
Your love,
Your grace,
taking notice of someone so insignificant in the vastness of Your creation.
May I live according to the precepts of Your Word, submitting to Your authority in my life. Thank You in advance for accomplishing in my life all that You please.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Colossians 4v12

Colossians 4:12b …always struggling on your behalf in his prayers…
#75 agōnizŏmai – lit. to compete for a prize; to contest
x3 strive
x3 fight
x1 labor fervently

Luke 13:24strive to enter through the narrow door.
John 18:36 …my followers would be fighting
Colossians 1:29 ...for this I toil, struggling
1 Timothy 6:12fight the good fight of the faith…

Sometimes, I carelessly handle another’s prayer request, as though merely saying I will pray for someone will somehow afford them the same blessings as ACTUALLY praying for them. Why do I do this?

O Father, do I ever pray to You with this anguish in my heart when the prayer concerns someone else? My total selfishness interferes with my ability to struggle emotionally in my prayers on behalf of others. I need You to intervene in my heart, that I could pray earnestly for others. Is prayer not the most important thing I could offer in someone else’s life? Something so important, yet I’m so inept at praying that way. Please have mercy on me, and make my heart hurt, even agonize over those I pray for. Let me love them as I’m commanded (John 15:17; Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 1:22; James 2:8; 1 John 3:11).

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

my Conduct...

I live among the wreckage of a fallen world that fights against the glory for which it was created. There is, however, a proper way to conduct myself in this world, that were I not seeking it daily in the Word and in prayer, I would miss. Too often, I hurry through my day, assimilating the philosophies of this world, while relegating the reproof of Scripture to some back closet in my mind.

Colossians 3:1,2 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

When I consider what things are above, where Christ is, at the right hand of God, I’m reminded that only Holy things are there. I am to set my thoughts on the things that are Holy, just as I noted last evening (Philippians 4:8).

While in this world, I’m not to be corrupted by it’s materialism (Matthew 6:19-24). As a Christian, the most important driving force in my life should always be the glory of the Lord. This means my focus should not be money or the pursuit of the things it can buy. Good grief, this can be tough many times, because of the never-ending barrage of advertisements telling me that whatever I have currently is not good enough. . .I should buy whatever the newest gadget is they are peddling. TVs are not big enough, stereos not loud enough, houses not ritzy enough, cars not glamorous enough, computers not fast enough, breasts not large enough, lips not pouty enough, butts not ghetto enough. . . or too ghetto. It’s ridiculous, the things we are told to chase after by the world, in light of Scripture’s clear teaching that these things are not important or eternal!

While in this world, I’m not to be corrupted by it’s apathy towards the Lord (Luke 12:13-21). It’s trendy to be spiritual, but not towards the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It’s cool to have a religion that you use for advice, so long as it’s not exclusive in it’s membership. Moral relativism is pervasive in our society. This is the notion that there is no absolute truth, and that what is “true” for one person is not necessarily “true” for another. This is the platform used to propagate “tolerance,” which is another hot topic for me (to be addressed later, maybe). Tolerance is the term used by our society to mean support for the beliefs of all people equally, except for those who believe in something very exclusive (such as Christianity, that teaches Christ is the ONLY way to Heaven). The world wants a religion that isn’t intrusive or demanding or judgmental. For those who are perishing, religion can truly become an “opiate for the masses.” For the Christian, however, the precepts of the Lord are intrusive into every aspect of life, demanding in worship, and judgmental to the point of defining what is holiness and what is sin.

If I love the world, and use my vaporous life to pursue the things of the world, the Bible is very clear about my relationship with God (1 John 2:15-17). People can argue contrary to me, but Scripture is clear in this matter. It is my humble hope to convey the Truth of Scripture as clearly as a finite intellect attempting to grasp the infinite is able to do.

Colossians 3:5-8 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all awayL anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Colossians 3:12-13 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

I don’t have much more to say, other than the fact that I don’t do most of the things I talk about very well. I am a clumsy man in need of my Savior every day.

(Philippians 3:13,14)

Monday, May 01, 2006

the Worm

the Worm. . .

Romans 7:15-21 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Matthew 7:17-20 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Lord, please forgive me. I have been short in my private prayer, barely giving You lip service in my quiet times, and it’s reflected in my actions and my thoughts. The things I don’t want to do, I find myself doing. The thoughts I don’t want to think, I fail to even put up a fight against. You command me to dwell on things that are good, commendable, lovely, worthy of praise, yet my thoughts are sinking in the mire of my sinful nature. Lord, please forgive me for being me.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

I can do nothing apart from You, and I desperately need Your touch in my life, because I feel as though I am doing just that . . . nothing, for Your Kingdom. Please restore me, not so I can feel comfortable about my walk with You, but rather so that I can honor You and worship You the way You command me to. I recognize that You mandate what makes an obedient servant, not me. May I fall on the precepts of Scripture, not depending on the “logic” of my mind, for instruction. Let my appetite be satisfied in You alone, not settling for the vanities of this world. I could daily pray the same prayer over and over to You without changing a word, and it would never cease to be true. I am an unsteady, idolatrous person, my heart is wicked and deceitful, and I am unable to do any good; I need Your grace and Your mercy and Your patience every hour of my life in order to bring honor to Your name. I humbly beg You to make this so.

the Broken Heart
O Lord,
No day of my life has passed that has not
proved me guilty in thy sight.
Prayers have been uttered from a prayerless heart;
Praise has been often praiseless sound;
My best services are filthy rags.
Blessed Jesus, let me find a covert in thy appeasing wounds.
Though my sins rise to heaven thy merits soar above them;
Though unrighteousness weighs me down to hell,
thy righteousness exalts me to thy throne.
All things in me call for my rejection,
All things in thee plead my acceptance.
I appeal from the throne of perfect justice
to thy throne of boundless grace.
Grant me to hear thy voice assuring me:
that by thy stripes I am healed,
that thou wast bruised for my iniquities,
that thou hast been made sin for me
that I might be righteous in thee,
that my grievous sins, my manifold sins, are all forgiven,
buried in the ocean of thy concealing blood.
I am guilty, but pardoned,
lost, but saved,
wandering, but found,
sinning, but cleansed.
Give me perpetual broken-heartedness,
Keep me always clinging to thy cross,
Flood me every moment with descending grace,
Open to me the springs of divine knowledge,
sparkling like crystal,
flowing clear and unsullied
through my wilderness of life.