Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Meditation on Luke 12:22-34

Meditation on Luke 12:22-34

Lord, save me from anxiety about my past, present, and future.  Help me accept what has been lost in my past and remember what has been by YOUR grace gained.  

Today let me see all you have provided and not focus on the things I lack.   Help me accept the struggles of today as part of a process leading to some greater good.  Give me the wisdom to now choose sin to win over my current problems.   Those things that most concern me let me release to you and let me live only in this present moment and be aware of this present moment.   Help me not put financial and physical well-being ahead of doing what is right and wise. 

Put in me today a hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Help me seek to have YOU rule over all aspects of my life.  Help me confess more, repent more, and follow more.  Transform my heart to make my priorities right.   Make my desires conform to YOUR desires.  Convert my heart to become like YOUR heart.  

Let me hand over the future to YOU.  Help me not worry about things that may never happen.  Help me live by faith and not fear.  Help me treasure YOUR kingdom more than I value wealth, popularity, or power.  Good Lord, be the treasure of my heart. 

Lord have mercy, Messiah have mercy, Lord have mercy.  Amen

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Praying on Isaiah 42:1-4

Meditation on Isaiah 42:1-4

"But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. "For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. "Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life."  Isaiah 43:1-4

Great Creator and redeemer, let me release my fear to YOU.  Fear of rejection and failure, fill my heart and so I ask now you remind me of YOUR great redeeming and saving love.  

YOU know my name.  You are the Good Shepherd.  I belong to YOU.  When troubles flood my life and crisis seems to be ready to consume in its flames all my strength and hope, YOU get me through and there is another day after the worst of days.  

YOU living and true LORD and God, are mine and I am yours.  Forever I am YOURS!  True God of Israel, found in the Messiah Jesus the LORD, YOU are my Savior.  My trust is in YOU alone.  

I am precious to YOU.  YOU lift me up and give to me glory and honor I do not deserve.  Help me this day, recognize how much YOU love me.  

Lord, let me see YOU more clearly, that I may love YOU more dearly, and follow YOU more nearly, day by day.  Amen

Monday, November 7, 2016

Meditation on Luke 11:1-13 - Seeking, Asking and Knocking for Spiritual Renewal

11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (ESV)

Father, of the Kingdom of heaven, eternal and unchanging in love and compassion,  may YOUR authority be acknowledged and YOUR righteous and loving kingdom rule and will be fully manifested on the earth.  

Provide for YOUR people today the physical resources we need to do YOUR will on earth this day.  Give us food on our tables and roofs over our heads.  Teach to be content with what we need rather than being consumed with our desires.  

Forgive us our sins due to the sacrifice of the Messiah Jesus, YOUR LAMB, for our sins on the cross.   In light of that great sacrifice help us become filled with mercy, grace, compassion, longsuffering, patience, and forgiveness towards those who sin against us.  Teach us to be a forgiving people. 

Holy Father, remember our weakness and frailty.  Guard us against ourselves.  Take from us the unhealthy and unholy desires that lead us to think that immoral actions rather than righteousness are the right decision to make this day.  Help us not trust in sin to save us from practical problems.  

Lord, give to us a new hunger and thirst for righteousness and for true transforming encounters with YOU.  

Lord, give us the faith to ask for healthy and holy words, actions, and attitudes.  Keep us from failing to ask because we have lost heart and doubt if YOU will answer.  Give us the trust to ask of YOU to bring YOUR kingdom to our hearts and minds. 

Teach us to seek for YOU, YOUR kingdom, and YOUR righteousness. 
Make this an inner hunger and thirst of our souls. 

Provide us the energy to knock on the door of the throne of grace and expect to gain YOUR grace in times of need.  

Daily let us keep asking, seeking, and knocking.  Grant us the perseverance to be crying out to YOU day and night for YOUR kingdom to come and will be done on earth as in heaven. 

Father, send us a great spiritual awakening and give us the power of the Holy Spirit in a new wave of effectiveness in presenting YOUR gospel to the world in love, logic, and life.  HOLY SPIRIT, now bear YOUR fruit in us!  Let us experience YOUR pouring into our hearts  YOUR love by revealing to us more and more deeply the LORD Messiah Jesus to us.  

Lord, make YOUR Church a house of prayer upon the earth.  Teach us to pray.  Help us to pray.  Fill us with a hunger to pray.  Let us trust that praying is effective because YOU hear our cries.  

We deserve nothing but defeat and shame, but now in YOUR love and compassion give us victory and glory.  Lift up YOUR people and let us effectively be light and salt in this generation bringing truth and loving holiness into the middle of this age.  

Let us be better than the church has ever been in all history.  Make us mature in our faith, balanced in our thinking, and beautiful in our lives.  

That YOU may be glorified, that we may gain good from YOU and that we may be of some good to those we touch.  

We are in a desperate time.  Good Father, awaken us, renew us, restore us, revive us, and reform us.  

Drown us with YOUR gifts of conviction and repentance.  Humble us that we may be lifted up.  Take from us our pride and provide for us a reality check, about our spiritual state.  

Lord have mercy now and help us now!


Saturday, October 8, 2016

1 Peter 2:4-8

LORD, let me come to YOU this day.  Help me seek YOUR presence and power.   Life is more difficult and confusing than I could ever imagine.   So I seek YOU now to be in YOUR presence and find YOUR peace. 

LORD Jesus, you are the cornerstone.  All the weight of God's plan is fully on YOU.  You are alive and real.  YOU are rebuilding the temple.  YOU are the temple. 

YOU have made me a living part of God's temple as well.  I am part of the spiritual house in which YOU are worshiped in Spirit and Truth.  Help me see that I am a priest.  

Receive my praise and thanksgiving as a spiritual offering this day through the perfect work of redemption YOU accomplished on the cross and resurrection.  

YOU, Lord, are good
YOU, Lord, are great
YOU, Lord, are full of grace

I stand in awe of who you are. 

I thank you for your promise that you will never leave me or forsake me.   I have immense gratitude for your commitment to having every painful thing I have ever felt be used for ultimate good. 

All that has happened has been planned and prophesied by Moses and the prophets long ago.  YOUR redemption of believers to become both temple and priests was in YOUR mind forever.  

Our destiny is to worship YOU in the promises of YOUR gospel forever and ever.   

Help me to act consistently with the reality that I am both a holy priest set apart to live and serve YOU.  

Grant me the grace to fulfill this calling in my life.  Let me make known your greatness, goodness, and grace  Reflect in me the reality of the great redemption YOU have brought to us.  

LORD, be praised forever in the light of YOUR glory.  Amen

Friday, October 7, 2016

Meditation on 1 Peter 2:1-3

1 Peter 2:1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Lord, you have given to us the living and enduring word of YOUR love found in the wonder of YOUR death on the cross for our sins and resurrection from the dead proving our hope in YOU has a good reason.  In the light of that truth about YOUR love and involvement in our lives.  Help us now respond.  

In the light of YOUR love, help us to look inward.  Let me look inward.  Show to me my hidden faults.  
Help me to put away the anger, desire for revenge, self-righteousness, the lies I tell myself, the false impressions that I give others, the two-faced nature of so many aspects of my life, my desire for what others have, with the feeling that I deserve more than what I do have, and save me from the judgment of others and the demeaning of them instead of confession of my own shortcomings.  

Lord, save us from the darkness that is in us. 

Good loving Savior and King, give to us a hunger and thirst for the gospel that we may grow strong in the work of deliverance YOU have provided for us.  Let us cry out for YOUR word and see our need of YOUR word deep inside of us.  Put in us a passion for growing, into spiritual maturity.  

LORD, YOU are good, great, and full of grace.  YOU have allowed us to see, feel, experience this reality.  We could never have attained to an awareness of it without YOUR revelation by the HOLY SPIRIT.  Help us remember the times when the reality of the gospel was most real in our lives.   Let these memories fuel a fresh desire for YOU this day. 

LORD send to us a revival, renewal, and reformation to YOUR people now!  We need fresh wind and fire that only you can provide.  

Awaken the children born in YOUR covenant who have strayed from having faith, love, and hope in YOU.  Take what they were taught as children and allow them now to become a living reality to them as adults.  Remember them and the hopes of their parents.  Have mercy.  Revive them first.  

Come now and work in our generation. 

Lord, we need YOU now.  Act NOW.  Amen

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Trusting the LORD during the storm

Isaiah 4:5 Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. 6 There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain. (ESV)

Lord, we are afraid of storms.  They remind us how powerless we are and unable to even predict what will happen next.  All of our wisdom flees us as we try to determine the future and plan for it, knowing that our plans are powerless against what will really happen.  

Storms remind us of our ignorance and the fragile nature of our efforts to control things.  We are left vulnerable.  Aware that if we have only ourselves to rely upon that there is only a little strength that we can muster in comparison to the strength of the storm.  

Lord, help us in the storms we face.  Some may be physical, some emotional. some intellectual, some in our relationships with those we love, and some in our relationship with YOU.  

You have promised a day when all the storms of this "East of Eden" life will end.  Your kingdom will come.  Your glory revealed.  YOUR presence will be so revealed to us that YOU will be our shade and shelter.  No storm can touch us when we are under YOUR full manifestation of grace and love. 

Help us now, in this present moment, remember YOUR promises and love.  Be our shelter from the storm this day.  Lift us up.  Guide us now.  Amen

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Devotions on Ephesians 1:3-11

Read Ephesians 1:3-11

"(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (4) just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love (5) He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, (6) to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (8) which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight (9) He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him (10) with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him (11) also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will," [Ephesians 1:3-11 NASB]

What truths are set forth in this passage?

What feelings do you feel when you read this passage?

What questions come to your mind when you read this passage?

How could you use this passage in a practical way in your life?  

Pray the passage back to God.

Meditation on Ephesians 1:3-14

Lord, I desire YOU to be glorified, seen as YOU really are fully appreciated in my life and in the life of YOUR people universally.  Make of us a community that worships YOU in spirit and truth.  I desire YOU to be pleased by seeing YOUR work in us.  

YOU Infinite ONE, dwell in eternity and also in our hearts.  How great YOU are!

IN the Messiah Jesus, YOU have poured out good upon us freely that we do not deserve.  Giving to us every spiritual treasure and good thing that any creature could desire from YOU.   YOU have put us in the Kingdom of heaven having chosen us in eternity to become separated to YOU in an intimate relationship in which we reflect YOUR goodness fully and are without flaw in how we reflect YOUR image. 

LORD, I thank YOU for such a great gift.  It is hard for me to understand how YOU were thinking of me and planning for me before I even existed.  I have forever been an object of YOUR interest, concern, and love.  YOU are radically and forever for me.  

LORD of Love and Promises, in choosing us eternally YOU have adopted us as your dearly beloved children in the Messiah Jesus.  The sonship of the LORD Jesus, HE now has shared with us as now we are YOUR sons as well.  All of our blessings come to us in the beloved LORD Jesus.  HE is our blessing. 

LORD, open my heart to respond to YOUR great love for me in the Messiah Jesus.  Help me feel secure in YOUR perfect plan for my life.  

LORD, YOU have bought us out of slavery to sin, death due to our wickedness, from futility, from the rebellious culture we live in, and from the domination of the dark lord in our lives by the sacrifice and  suffering YOU poured out with YOUR blood so that our salvation may be bought for and we can be forgiven all our moral transgressions.  All of this was undeserved and unearned.  YOU have suffered for our sins motivated solely by YOUR love and commitment to us.  

Lord, when I think of the forgiveness of my sins, it is a marvel to me.  Why would YOU forgive and at such great price for me to be free to have relationship with YOU.   My transgressions so terrible and YOUR tribulation so great upon the cross; how can this be?  I thank YOU Lord for YOUR forgiving me and washing me clean from all my moral filth.  

LORD, YOU have bankrupted heaven to pour on us in such great abundance and flood into our lives every great good in the Messiah Jesus to where we are drowning in the great wealth of YOUR love.  All of this was in accord with your eternal plan and purpose centered in the Messiah to bring back Eden on steroids to all of creation fully and perfectly reflecting YOUR wise reign.  LORD, now let your kingdom come to earth as it is in heaven.  

LORD, open my eyes to see more clearly the wonder of your gospel mystery revealed in Messiah Jesus.  Let me see that all things are now united in the Messiah Jesus because of HIS resurrection and ascension to the throne.  I praise YOU for your wild and wonderful purpose to save YOUR creation from rebellion and bring to it the kingdom of righteousness.  

LORD, YOU have allowed us now to freely and fully gain the inheritance of YOUR kingdom.  Heaven is ours!  All the good of the LORD Jesus we now have.  YOU have made us who were homeless and helpless; royal heirs.  We who were paupers have now become princesses and princes.  

I find myself in wonder at all YOU have said YOU have done for me.  I forget all so easily that I am rich and feel impoverished instead every day.  Open the eyes of my heart LORD that I may see more clearly the greatness and goodness of who YOU are and what YOU have done for me.   Let me see more and more clearly the depth of YOUR grace towards me.  In this pour out YOUR love through the Holy Spirit into the deepest parts of my soul.  Fill me with your love.  That the fruit that I would bear would be more and more nearly, follow YOU in my words, actions, and attitudes.   

Bless be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah.  Amen

Friday, September 2, 2016

Meditation on Psalm 25

Meditation on Psalm 25
Lord, I lift up my true self to YOU.  Help me to trust YOU!  Let me not fail in doing your kingdom work in my life.  Defeat the plans of the devil for my life.
True living LORD of Abraham, Moses, Peter, and Paul.   Let me know YOUR ways and instruct me in YOUR truth.  Let me escape the lies of my heart and the false life commandments that lead me into darkness. 
Save me now from myself. 
I trust YOU in the dark and when I have no answers.  
Remember me dear LORD in the mercy you gave on the cross when YOU paid for my sins.  Wash away and forget the many transgressions of my life because of your sacrifice for my sins.  LORD, help me live with the knowledge of the terrible impact that my moral failings have had on others.  Do not turn your steadfast love away from me for without it all my hope is gone. 
YOU are good LORD and teach me your ways.  You lead me to what is right and YOU have been more than faithful to me.  Help me be realistic about who I am and desire to be as faithful as I can be to YOU and YOUR promises.  
LORD, give me a right fear of YOU.  Pardon, my moral debt for it is great by YOUR great sacrifice on the cross.  Teach me to avoid wrong doing, wrong speaking, and wrong thinking.  LORD, thank you for calling me YOUR friend.  
Help me escape from the traps that have been set by the dark lord of evil, by the insane culture in which I live, and by my own deceived soul. 
Lord turn towards me and allow me to feel your presence.  You know the wounded condition of my heart and how my struggles seem large.  LORD, forgive my sins and renew my hope.  
Good and Great Savior, guard my soul!  I take refuge in YOU.  
Save YOUR Church out of her troubles and renew us in fresh faith and fire this day.  Amen

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Meditation on Galatians 5:16-24

Meditation on Galatians 5:16-24

Lord, today allow me to experience in my lifestyle and my existence the gift of the Holy Spirit that YOU gave me as a sign of YOUR victory on the cross and resurrection.  

Allow not just the doctrine of the Spirit be known in my mind but the reality of the actual presence of the Spirit be felt in the deepest aspects of my soul.  Let me not just have a theory of the Holy Spirit but let me have the actual experience of the Holy Spirit in my life.  Lord have mercy. 

Lord, my unbelieving, self-centered, and immoral mind would want to find satisfaction in dark desires that offer gain but only produce death.  Help me not believe the lie that I can sin to win.   Help me hear the Spirit within me that preaches the gospel of YOUR sacrifice and grace to me that opposes all this insanity.  Lord, save me from my insane unbelief.  Deliver me from my pride.  Help me accomplish the good deeds YOU desire for my life to produce.  Don't allow my life to be in vain. 

Have mercy on me and because of YOUR great grace and sacrifice upon the cross allow me to enter YOUR kingdom although I am unworthy. 
Lord, everything I need to succeed is simply in having the HOLY SPIRIT bear the fruit of love in my heart and mind.  So simple and yet so complex.  
This experience I desire.  

To have your SPIRIT flow life in me and out of me to bear fruit.  I can do nothing without you.  I am 100% dependent on YOU to bear this fruit of love in me.  Flood my life with your SPIRIT I beg YOU.  Flood YOUR church, all of us with YOUR SPIRIT now this day.  Without this we are nothing.  With this we are everything.  Teach us how to bear YOUR fruit.  Teach me how to bear YOUR fruit.  

Crucify my unbelief and it dark energy and hunger.  Crucify my unbelieving soul  Show me how to crucify the follower of Adam in me.  
Lord, help me see YOU more clearly, that I may love YOU more dearly, and follow YOU more nearly, day by day.    Amen

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Can God bring good out of bad?

5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. (ESV)

Lord, help me believe that even my lack of love, lack of loyalty, and lack of wisdom can be transformed as the evil deed of Joseph's brothers can eventually bring about good.  Help me believe that YOU are moving despite my mistakes to bring YOUR healing and help to people.  

Lord, thank you for forgiving my sins at such great cost to YOU.  Help me see the cross today as YOU see it.  

Lord, I fear the impact of my sins on others.  I have come to fear the negative impact of my sins as the greater problem, even of needing forgiveness for my guilt.  I did not see how my failures would cause such harm to others.  This harm is so great.  How can this be used for good?

Lord, help me not to be distressed and angry with myself.  Help me release this to YOU.  Trust YOU with it.  Use this to make me avoid wrong actions and words in the future or in some ways dare to speak when my silence is a sin.  How costly is the price of not doing YOUR will on earth as it is in heaven!  

Give me trusting hope that YOU will transform my transgressions into a means of bringing YOUR grace to others.  Help me trust YOU in the dark not understanding how, why, or when.   

Lord, hear my cry. 

"(23) This is what the LORD says: "Don't let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. (24) But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!" [Jeremiah 9:23-24 NLT]

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Meditation on Psalm 137 and Psalm 144

Meditation on Psalm 137

How can we sing songs of the kingdom of God when we are surrounded and dominated by an unbelieving culture and soaked in rebellious lifestyles.  To sing in the middle of this culture would seem like a mockery of our words.  The darkness is so total that it is hard to imagine that light exists.   Lord of light show us light and keep our eyes from being filled with darkness. 

Help us not forget the kingdom and righteousness of YOUR rule and reign.  Help me to remember your ways and will and in that find joy. 

Lord, dash the dark demonic forces and their plans against your people.  King Jesus, come and revive and renew us.  Let the traps of enemies of the gospel be dispersed.  

Psalm 144

Train me to battle and win for your kingdom of love and peace.  Be my sure refuge in the middle of my struggles.  Now come to me and protect me from the forces of unbelief and let many find faith through my witness.  Give me boldness to witness.  

What am I that you should consider me.  Just a mere breath.  Only a shadow compared to your greatness and glory.  

Bow down now and shake the heavens and the earth.  Let us see YOUR victory in our day.  Rescue us and destroy the lies that war against us. 

Now raise up a generation of faithful sons of the covenant.  Send repentance like an ocean to the children raised in the homes of believing parents.  Bring the prodigals home.  Change their hearts and minds to totally believe and trust in YOU.  Bring your Church to new unity, love, and truth.  Manifest your goodness, greatness, and grace through YOUR people.  Now act!  We do not deserve this but for your glory and our good, ACT NOW!  Lord we are desperate.  


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Meditation on Romans 5:1-10

Romans 5:1-10

Peace with God Through Faith

5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Lord Messiah, help me to focus on your sacrifice on the cross, your promises to Abraham, and the resurrection from the dead as a solid foundation for feeling that I have been declared righteous due to the great exchange of YOU giving me YOUR righteousness and taking upon YOURSELF, the punishment for my sins, transgressions, and immoralities.    Even when my heart most condemns me and the dark night surrounds me, let me have a peace that comes from YOU greater than all my understandings of my shortcomings and failures.  Lord, help me feel the peace you have given.  

2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

Lord, help me see that I stand by YOUR undeserved favor, YOU choosing to be on my side, and by the strength of YOUR loving committed promises alone.  To think that I will see YOU for who you are and reflect back into creation an accurate picture of YOUR greatness, goodness, and grace brings me great joy and anticipation of having my ultimate purpose fulfilled in YOU.  

3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Help me now trust that YOU are revealing YOUR greatness, grace, and goodness through me right now in my hardships and YOUR ability to keep me believing despite the hardest of times.  YOU are making my soul to be like YOUR soul, and this difficult process produces in me the joy of knowing the reality of YOUR work even how day by day in my life.   This anticipation of seeing YOU working in the middle of my struggles is not in vain, for the HOLY SPIRIT keeps pouring the revelation of God's LOVE into my true self by preaching of the Messiah Jesus dying for me and being raised from the dead.  

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 

Lord, help me see that without the HOLY SPIRT I have no love for you or faith in YOUR revelation.  I am not a pious or religious man.  Without your grace I am ungodly.  Yet, even knowing this about me, YOU chose to die for my great immoral transgressions.  

7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

Messiah died for us when we had fallen short of every common decency and measure of morality.  We can imagine perhaps one suffering to save noble souls.  But my salvation was greater than that because I was a traitor and rebel agains all that is good.  Lord how could YOU love me when I was in such a dark state without light.  

9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (ESV)

You have placed before us and given to us a forgiven past and a certain future in YOUR love and grace.  YOU have fully accepted us just as we are by your death for our sins and now we enjoy being in fellowship with you through your being resurrected to be our mediator.   Lord, let me come boldly before YOU in times of need with the assurance that I am fully loved and never condemned.  

Lord, open my eyes the infinite power of your great LOVE. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Meditation on Isaiah 40:28-31

"(28) Do you not know? Have you not heard?The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired.His understanding is inscrutable. (29) He gives strength to the weary,And to him who lacks might He increases power. (30) Though youths grow weary and tired,And vigorous young men stumble badly, (31) Yet those who wait for the LORDWill gain new strength;They will mount up with wings like eagles,They will run and not get tired,They will walk and not become weary." [Isaiah 40:28-31 NASB]

LORD, living and true I at times do not know and have not heard.  I am blind and deaf, lost in seeing nothing but my fears and dark predictions of what will be.  So give me, knowledge and let me hear the reality that exists because of YOU.  

True living LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Matthew, Peter, and Paul, you are eternal and everlasting.  YOU exist this day with me.  Help me sense your presence all around me.  

Grant me to understand at the core of my soul that you are the maker and designer of every atom of the universe.  All things visible and invisible exist due to you and continue to exist only because you sustain them.  Yet, the creation of "everything" and the constant providing of providence does not make you weary or tired.  YOUR strength and energy are without limit.  The deep complexity of both the physical universe and my soul are fully understood by YOU.   YOUR knowledge and wisdom know no limitations.  

All this is fine, but LORD YOU have now said that when I, weak and frail, am about ready to collapse that you are near me and will YOUR power to sustain me and provide me the strength I need for another day of life.  It is not me that is getting me through life.  That is a lie and pride.  It is you getting me through life.  Day by day  you carry me. 

Help me see the limits of all human strength and wisdom.  Especially let me see the limits of my strength and wisdom.  Humble me with the reality of how frail and faint I am. 

Let me trust YOU in the dark, resting in YOUR promises  to be fulfilled, and grant me the knowledge that YOU are faithful.  Renew my strength.  Provide me a revival of my abilities and energy.  Come now to me at my weakest moments.  

Lord help me know the truth about YOU and grant me ears to hear that I might have more faith.  Lord have mercy.  Amen

Monday, August 1, 2016

What is the letter and the spirit of the law?

The Letter and The Spirit of the Law

"(29) But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God." [Romans 2:29 NASB]

In this passage Paul is talking about the difference between Judaism with a focus on self-righteousness and hypocrisy as outlined in the rest of the chapter of Romans 2 and being a “true Jew” by being born again by the Holy Spirit which leads to a faith in the Messiah Jesus and a life God’s praises because of the gift of salvation in Messiah Jesus. 

"(6) But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter." [Romans 7:6 NASB]

Here Paul is contrasting justification by the law and justification by the Gospel.  In Christ Jesus we have died under the condemnation of the law but now have been raised to a newness of life in the Messiah’s resurrection and have been filled with the Holy Spirit.  The contrast again is between Judaism with a reliance on justification through their own efforts and Christian faith.   This needs to be read in context with Romans 6.

"(6) who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." [2 Corinthians 3:6 NASB]

To understand 2 Corinthians we need to also read it in the context of the passage.  It again is a contrast between Judaism and Christian faith.  This defense of Christian faith being better and needed is a significant theme in the writings of the apostolic faith found in the New Testament.  The book of Hebrews is the longest explanation of this contrast. 

Many of the first Christians were Jews and had to be shown why following the Messiah Jesus was different and better than following traditional Jewish religion.   Especially with the debate with the Judaizers (see the book of Galatians), a clear understanding of the superiority and benefits of faith in Messiah Jesus had to be demonstrated.   In this chart you can see the meaning of the passage in 2 Corinthians in context.

Old Covenant
New Covenant

Ministers of the new covenant (vs. 6)
Of the letter (vs. 6)
Of the Spirit (vs. 6)
The letter kills (vs. 6)
The Spirit gives life (vs. 6)
Ministry of death (vs. 7)
Ministry of the Spirit (vs. 8)
Written/engraved on stones (vs. 7)  

Ministry of condemnation (vs. 9)
Ministry of righteousness (vs. 9)
Glorious (vss. 7,9)
Much more glorious (vss. 8,9)
Passing away (vs. 7)
Remains (vs. 11)
Veil on Moses’ face (vs. 13)  
Great boldness of speech (vs. 12)
Veil remains in reading O.T. (vs. 14)
Veil taken away in Christ (vs. 14)
Veil lies on their heart (vs. 15)
Veil taken away when heart turned
to the Lord (vs. 16)

So we should not understand the “spirit of the law” as meaning that we are free to disobey the objective meaning of the law.  Instead, we need to see that the spiritual use of the law is to make us aware that we can never be justified by our own efforts but only be condemned (see Romans 1-3).   Because of this our justification is found in Messiah Jesus’ work alone on the cross dying for our sins and being raised to give us new life. 

The teaching of the Hebrew Bible, Moses, and the prophets can only be fulfilled by the revelation brought in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.  Without the Messiah there is no hope. 

This would lead us into also needing to understand the three  uses of the law of God.  See

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Meditation on John 4:1-42

Meditation on John 4:1-42

LORD Jesus, you know what it is to feel weary as a human being.  To stop and sit down thirsty.   Help me today to see that you understand when I am tired.  Enable me to feel that you have empathy when I am worn out.  Come to me now and renew my strength.

Lord Jesus, help me to see you are the gift of God come to refresh and give living water to my soul.   Let me experience this life giving spiritual water.  Help me not focus on the physical needs I have but on the spiritual necessity of having fellowship with YOU.  Come now to me and help me feel your presence and power.

Lord Jesus, let me now hide my shortcomings and immorality from YOU.  YOU know me in and out.  Every action, thought, word, and feeling has occurred in front of YOU.  Help me now.  Guard my heart from evil intentions.

Lord Jesus, make of me a one who will provide true worship in passion, integrity, truth, and Spirit.  Fill me Holy Spirit and open up a new level of vision that I may be led into a new level of admiration, awe, and praise.  Lord, teach me to worship.

LORD Jesus, help me more and more see that YOU are the Messiah.

Lord, help me value small things less and big things more.

Grant me the boldness this day to share my encounter with YOU with others.

Help me find nourishment in doing YOUR will.  Let this be more vital to me than the physical food I eat.  Lord change my feelings and outlook on priorities so that doing YOUR will is the most vital thing for me each day.  Let me hunger and thirst to do YOUR will on earth as it is done in heaven.

Put me into white fields of harvest.  Lead me to people ready to become disciples.  Help me reap where others have sown.  Give a great harvest to us now.  Bring many to be your disciples.  Convert the children raised in Christian homes to become true disciples.  Lord, help us now.

Lord Jesus come to me today as YOU came to the Samaritan woman and encounter me in my daily doings that I might see YOU and be changed by YOU.   Amen

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Meditation on Psalm 24 & 25

Meditation on Psalm 24 & 29
LORD, God of Israel and Creator of the whole earth.
Fill me with the righteousness of the Messiah. Help me come before YOU with bold confidence because of HIS victory over my sin.
Give me the blessing of YOUR righteousness and give me a hunger and thirst for YOU.
KING of Glory come now! Come in final judgment! Come in final restoration! Come now in revival! Be strong and mighty now and come battle for YOUR people Let us praise YOU this day!
LORD, YOUR character is without flaw. YOU are good and full of grace. YOU Are Love. Open the eyes of our heart that we may take joy in YOUR slender, greatness, purity, and strength.
LORD, all creation depends on your voice for life. Without YOUR word of power all would cease to be. Now all-powerful KING and LORD, give to us YOUR strength this day or we will cease to be.
LORD, give to us strength and peace this day. Remember we are but dust and very frail. Lead us Good Shepherd through this travail. Amen