Friday, April 30, 2010

Wake Up to Wisdom! - Day 6 - Psalm 119:1-88

Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD,
your salvation according to your promise;
then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word. (v. 41-42)
The more time I spend in God's Word, the more He teaches me about His love. I really need to know it so that I can handle the taunting I get on a consistent basis. You wanna know who's picking on me? That's right, the enemy we read about on day 1 of this reading plan. Satan, (the Bible calls him "the Accuser"), would just love for me to be discouraged. He wants me to believe that God doesn't care about me. Or at least, get me to focus on the unlikely, no the impossible, prospect of my measuring up to what he wants from my life. But God's promise to me is rock solid. I'm his child! I've got an answer for the one who taunts me.
Lord, hear my prayer. Let your steadfast love come to me, your salvation according to your promise; then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wake Up To Wisdom! - Day 5 - Isaiah 55:1-13

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."
(v. 10-11)
These amazing words from the pen of the Prophet Isaiah tell me that there is a powerful reason to spend daily time in the Word of God. He's taking the "NEU mann" I am in Christ and causing spiritual things to happen in my life. He's making me grow! His clear prophetic word to ME is that He's going to accomplish something in me that will come to pass as I receive the Word with a ready and open heart. There's a purpose for which He sends His Word to me. Will He use it today to encourage someone else? Will he expose any traces of the "OLD mann" that He wishes to purify? Will He challenge me to greater boldness? He will not send it to me as an empty exercise just for "devotion time" but to make some things happen today!
Gracious God, make my heart ready and fertile for the heavenly rain of your Word. May it bring forth flourishing fruits and accomplish the purpose for which you have sent it today! In the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wake Up To Wisdom! - Day 4 - James 1:1-25

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (v. 22)
This whole reading for the day is great! I've only quoted verse 22 but I urge you, as with all the readings in this series, read the whole thing every day.
As I pondered this today, I thought about the instability in the world. These are difficult times for God's people. It's no time to be "double-minded"(v. 8). That's when the instability of the world matches the instability of the "OLD mann". The results can be a catastrophe! Verse 12 tells us that we are blessed when we remain steadfast under trial. The answer for the growing "NEU mann" is to be daily in the Word of God. That's not to say fulfilling the daily obligation to read or hear it. In this little letter we are reminded that "hearers only" deceive themselves. The OLD mann can "hear" the whole counsel of God but the NEU mann does it! What is God telling you to "DO" today? Let His Word be a call to action!
Father in heaven, thank you for the amazing guidance of your Word. Teach me not just to hear it but to do it, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wake Up To Wisdom! - Day 3 - Proverbs 3:1-35

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (v. 5-6)
The "OLD mann" seeks to be wise in his own eyes. but leaning on this understanding can be disastrous. Human wisdom simply will never measure up to our need. The world is filled with crooked and deceptive paths that lead to places, people, and situations that will trap us in the tight hold of sin and death. The Bible teaches us that wisdom from God will literally "save" us. That's why it is commended to us as a priceless treasure. Get all of the wisdom you can from God. As that store of wisdom grows in the "NEU mann" it enables an ever-increasing trust in God that can take powerful authority over our whole heart. These little verses speak so clearly to our need.
Gracious Lord, I trust you. Cleanse away any remainder of the "OLD mann's" heart so that my whole heart trusts you completely. The "NEU mann" does not need to lean on his own wit and clever understanding. It's worthless without the wisdom that comes from you. Fill my heart to acknowledge you in all my ways and I will take the straight paths you set before me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wake Up To Wisdom! - Day 2 - 2 Timothy 3:1-17

"But understand this, that in these last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be...having the appearance of godliness but denying its power." (v 1&5)
In today's reading, I thought that the last part of the reading would be the part that would naturally draw my attention, since our focus at church was being in the Word. It's "useful" and "profitable". But this first section really made an impact on me. I shutter to think of my own tendency to deny the power of godliness even as I live for all the world to see that I'm a pretty decent guy. The "OLD mann" can fake it especially in these last days but the "NEU mann" won't deny the power of God at work in him, he will rather embrace it. My own confirmation verse, Luke 11:28 says, "Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it." To keep it, isn't an outward show, it's embracing the power of His Word internally. God has also been laying on my heart that the Church has really, significantly reduced the meaning and power of "fellowship". We've turned it into, "hanging out with my Christian buddies." While there's nothing wrong with this kind of social life, it can have the form of fellowship but deny the real power of Biblical Christian fellowship. Read the "one another" commands of Scripture and you'll see what I mean.
Gracious God. I beg you to help me see and embrace the power of godly living to make it authentic and effective in my own life, especially in these last days. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wake up to Wisdom! - Day 1 - Ephesians 6:10-24

"...Our struggle is not against flesh and blood..." (v.12a)
How easy it is to fall victim to the idea that my enemy is another human being! After all, it seems that there are plenty of my troubles that come from people, whether they are cutting me off in traffic, wounding my pride, or just being mean. The temptation to turn them into some sort of enemy, even for the moment, is an easy trap. The real struggle is the enemy who is aiming at my impatience, bloating my pride, or working to make me think only of myself. It's not a struggle with people but a struggle with the spiritual enemies of my eternal soul. That's why I need the armor God supplies...
  • The Belt of Truth
  • The Breastplate of Righteousness
  • Feet fitted with the Readiness of the Gospel of Peace
  • The Shield of Faith
  • The Helmet of Salvation
  • The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God
AND... Prayer... LOTS of it every day.

Father in heaven, forgive me for the times I look to blame people for my struggles with the real enemy. Fit me with your armor and help me do battle with the real enemy. In Jesus' name, Amen!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010