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Spongy

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Lord Jesus, I have this need to delve deep into Bible study again, more than just my daily reading.
I've sat in this chair too long, distracted by the amusements of the computer. I feel dessicated, dry, useless, and stiff. 
I need the water of Your Word, Lord Jesus. 
You know me, Lord. I like to define words, and discover other places in the Bible where You've placed them, to help me sort out what's really there.
I want to apply the Word to my everyday life, as I rediscover those beautiful details in Scripture. 
No, I don't want the study to be all about me, but wisdom takes the truth to heart and lives it out, right? 
At the end of the day I want to lay my head on the pillow and acknowledge without a doubt the ways You moved, "transformed by the renewing of [my] mind, so that [I] may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans12:2.)
What Christian doesn't want to know Your perfect will? It's always so good …

Trying. Willing.

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Lord Jesus, sometimes I get twisted up in feelings and can't seem to think clearly.

You know that on those days I lecture myself, "Don't think with your feelings." Wrong organ.

I try to chase my heart out of the driver's seat and get my head there instead. 

That rarely succeeds. It's a little like the old Just Say No campaign. It sounds right until you really think about it. If that was going to work it would have been effective when Eve was walking through perfection and spotted that fruit.

I'm so grateful for good days, giving me a chance to think. Then I can prove—make real, live out, touch and see—Your good, acceptable and perfect will, my mind transformed by the renewing of the relationship with You.

So, Lord, help me think through those dank, emotion-driven days when I spin in strange circles, now, while I’m not there. Let me unravel what happens inside when I'm troubled by the have-nots or the should-have-beens or the could-have-dones, and my co…

Wanting. Waiting.

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Lord Jesus, teach me to pray unceasingly, expectantly, leaning forward to wait with my eyes wide open. I don't want to miss seeing what You do.
I often fall into praying for my will to be done. (So human of me.) 
Surely what I want is good, right? It feels that way. 
I can reason out that if this whatever it is were to take place, it would help. All the circumstances point to it.
Yet as I pray fervently for it to come, I'm transported through time. I'm ten, swinging my feet as I sit in the pew. I want to go play, to escape the somber grown-up world. You, my Daddy, lean forward to place a hand on my shoulder, giving me a look that firmly and lovingly says, “Wait.” 
But I want it now. 
Wait, You assure me. Wait.
Ten fades, the fifty-odd intervening years resume their weight of reality, and I read:
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18
The here-and-now can be so pe…

Joy

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Lord Jesus, this is the day You have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

That's a choice I can make. Too often I think of my circumstances as definitive. If the sky is gray, I feel down. If there's an onerous task to be done, I dread it. If someone I love is upset, I join in. But when I really think about it, I can choose joy any day. Why don't I?

Joy isn't happiness, of course.Joy is the rock solid foundation beneath the circumstances. 




That's why it makes sense when I read in Hebrews 12:2, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame”. There was no happiness in the cross. It was designed to shame a criminal to the utmost, along with excruciating pain.

Yet we know there was joy in it for You, Lord. What was that joy? 

I love Eugene Peterson's take:
Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s the…

God's Word is Good

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This morning I read Isaiah 39, the chapter where King Hezekiah shows the Babylonian ambassador all his treasure, and then hears some really bad news from the prophet Isaiah.

“Hear the word of the LORD of hosts,‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the LORD. ‘And some of your sons who will issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away, and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”Isaiah 39:5-7 NASB

If you've studied the Bible, you know the outcome. The rest of the chapters in the book of Isaiah warn of the coming time when Babylon will destroy Jerusalem. In the first chapter of the book of Daniel we see a firsthand accout of when he, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (whom you may know better as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego) are taken captive. In other words, we know that the prophecy came to pass.

But we have th…