The One Thing I Seek

Our church has daily Bible readings during Advent and today’s reading was Psalm 27:1-4. David shares about a very challenging time in his life. He speaks of the wicked advancing against him (v. 2) who wish to consume him. He tells of an army (v. 3) which surrounds and besieges him. He even refers to all-out war against him. Obviously, David was not having a good day, but he was!

via http://www.creationswap.com/jcdesign
via http://www.creationswap.com/jcdesign

He only asks God for one things during this time of testing, He says that there is only One Thing I Seek. He wants to dwell in God’s house, gaze on the beauty, and seek Him. He does not ask for defenders and revenge on his enemies. He does not even ask for deliverance from his trials. He asks to dwell, look, and seek. These are all very passive stances for a man of action, such as David, to take. Instead of rushing into battle, David wants to stay, look, and watch for God.

I am reminded of how quick I am to immediately ask for God to take things off of me. I am one of the first to cry “holy foul” when things do not go my way. Perhaps, my life could be fuller and more complete, if, during my toughest moments, I would stay, look, and watch for what God is doing in me and in my situation.

Just a thought…

Soli Deo Gloria!

About Confidence in Where You Are

Matthew 3:9 NLT – Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.

This is a great warning for the Christian church today. Christians walk around

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today as if they have a “get out of jail free” card. I have lost track of how many times I have heard a Christian brother or sister (when caught in an indiscretion) state that it might have been wrong, but there were others who were far worse. I have heard it a lot, because I have said it a time or two myself.

We cannot afford to grow complacent and put our spirits and minds on automatic.

We cannot afford to grow complacent and put our spirits and minds on automatic. We must constantly “strive towards the prize” or “press on towards the mark.” It is when we get into the valley that we are most likely to be attacked by  the enemy. When we are high on the hill with vision of miles around and struggling for each and every step, we draw close to God. We are dependent on him for survival. We need His guidance and protection. It is when we are in those deep and inviting valleys, where the walking is easy, when we find out how dangerous complacency can be. We let down our guard.

Here’s to being dependent on God while struggling up a hill or down in the valley!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Mile Marker: The Tip of the Iceberg

Deuteronomy 29:5 NLT – “For forty years I led you through the wilderness, yet your clothes and sandals did not wear out.”

If you are anything like me, reading through Deuteronomy can take the wind out of your sails!  If you have not read Deuteronomy 28:57 yet, I would not start my morning devotions with it.  There are a lot of rules and a lot of laws covered in those chapters.  But, when you essentially read between the lines of some of the passages, great truths leap out at you.  Such a truth is Deuteronomy 29:5!

Moses is reminding the people about the time that they wandered forty years in the wilderness.  He had led them through the hardest time in any of their recent memories.  All of those people of Israel who has escaped captivity from Egypt were dead, except for the two faithful spies and Moses.  The Wilderness was the latest and most memorable test the current people had experienced.  It was their Waterloo, their Pearl Harbor, or to take a page from recent history, their 9/11 or Katrina.  They did not look back fondly at that time.  Nobody was running around screaming to go back to wandering in the wilderness.  They had done that, and had the t-shirt!  While Moses has now run down all of the requirements that God has set for the people and reminded them of the punishment that they would endure if they did not listen, he prepares them to cross over into the reward that was promised to their ancestors.  Frustrated beyond belief, he looks at the people and in verse 4 screams at them that they still did not understand everything God had done for them, will do for them, and is currently doing for them.  He goes on in verse 5 to say even when you were being punished by wandering the wilderness for forty years your clothes did not wear out, your shoes did not wear out.  Even then, God was taking care of them.

God is teaching the Israelites then and teaching us now that caring for others is a big job.  When we just meet someone’s current needs, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.  Truly caring for others and wanting to help them requires helping realize how they got to this place.  It means showing them that even when times were hardest, God was still looking out for them.  It means showing them that it might take just as long to get out of a situation as it did to get into the situation.  That is how much God cares for us!  That is how much God loves us!  Not just the tip, but all the way to the bottom!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Understanding God’s Environment

Psalm 36:6 – Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,  your justice like the ocean depths.  You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.

I have never been a great lover of nature.  While I appreciate the beauty and majesty of creation around me, I cannot help but only see dirt.  I do not like the beach because of sand.  It just gets everywhere.

I am thankful in these moments that God did not just stop with dirt and sand.  He made beautiful mountains, deep oceans, breath-taking landscapes, and gorgeous flowers.  And, He made it all for us.

While I am wondering about the beauty of nature, I always come around to thinking about how it is a reflection of God’s very own nature.  The psalmist shares that God’s righteousness, His idea of right living, is like a might mountain.  His idea of what we should be and how we we should act is a tall, strong, immovable symbol.  His justice is likened to the unfathomable depths of the ocean.  How he cares and the lengths that He is willing to go for you and me are of the deepest ever known.

To the early perspective, a mountain would be the tallest thing, the largest thing around their world.  An ocean, well an ocean would be the deepest place that would have ever seen.  They would not have had the equipment to scale the tallest mountains or explore the deepest oceans.  It was beyond their reach.  It was other to them.

I believe we need a little of that otherness in our understanding of God.  Who God is and what God can do is beyond what we know and understand.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Walking in His "Majestic" Presence: Week 4

Note to reader: This is a single part of a multi-sectioned devotional series surrounding the transMission album, “Majestic.”  All of the devotionals will be filed under the category marked “Walking in His ‘Majestic’ Presence.”

Gift from Heaven

Play track 4 of “Majestic” entitled “Melody of Love.”  You can stream it live here.

“I have a song that Jesus gave me”

I have heard people say that they prefer to give gifts than to receive them.  I hear stories about the looks on people’s faces and the joy that it brings them.  I may be the only person to admit this but I like getting presents.  I like the look in my own eyes and I like the joy it brings me!  Don’t get me wrong!  I enjoy giving gifts, but I like getting them as well.  What I don’t like doing is telling people what I want!  It makes me feel weird.  This puts me in a difficult position.  I like getting presents, but I do not like telling people what I want.  So, guess what I want already!  My wife says that I am difficult to buy things for.  She is probably right.

If I can be honest with you, one of the reasons that I cannot tell people what I want is because I usually do not know myself!  I do not have a list of things I want or need running through my head.  I am horrible when I go shopping!  I look at something and if I need it I’ll get it.  If I don’t, I sometimes get it just in case I might need it.  You could almost say that I do not know what I need or what is best for me.

1 Corinthians 12:7  – A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Scripture tells us that God has given everyone a gift(s).  He decides what gifts he gives to what people.  The important thing to remember is that our gifts were given to help each other.

And with my life I sing Your melody

Our lives should “sing out” with our gifts.  When our gifts are used together, we hear “Heaven’s harmony” that was “sent from above”. Since we are given a specific gift, we are meant to depend on each other, to work with each other.  Let’s face it!  The world would be a very boring place if everyone was like me.  It would be a very good-looking place, but boring nonetheless.  Soloists are great, but give me a choir any day.  Everyone loves a hero, but what the world needs is a team, the body of Christ supporting each other with their gifts for the benefit of all!

So, my thought is this…

The true gift from God is not the gifts that He has given us, as great as they are.  The true gift from God is our ability to work together to further His kingdom.

So, with your life, will you join me in singing the melody of love?

Walking in His “Majestic” Presence: Week 4

Note to reader: This is a single part of a multi-sectioned devotional series surrounding the transMission album, “Majestic.”  All of the devotionals will be filed under the category marked “Walking in His ‘Majestic’ Presence.”

Gift from Heaven

Play track 4 of “Majestic” entitled “Melody of Love.”  You can stream it live here.

“I have a song that Jesus gave me”

I have heard people say that they prefer to give gifts than to receive them.  I hear stories about the looks on people’s faces and the joy that it brings them.  I may be the only person to admit this but I like getting presents.  I like the look in my own eyes and I like the joy it brings me!  Don’t get me wrong!  I enjoy giving gifts, but I like getting them as well.  What I don’t like doing is telling people what I want!  It makes me feel weird.  This puts me in a difficult position.  I like getting presents, but I do not like telling people what I want.  So, guess what I want already!  My wife says that I am difficult to buy things for.  She is probably right.

If I can be honest with you, one of the reasons that I cannot tell people what I want is because I usually do not know myself!  I do not have a list of things I want or need running through my head.  I am horrible when I go shopping!  I look at something and if I need it I’ll get it.  If I don’t, I sometimes get it just in case I might need it.  You could almost say that I do not know what I need or what is best for me.

1 Corinthians 12:7  – A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Scripture tells us that God has given everyone a gift(s).  He decides what gifts he gives to what people.  The important thing to remember is that our gifts were given to help each other.

And with my life I sing Your melody

Our lives should “sing out” with our gifts.  When our gifts are used together, we hear “Heaven’s harmony” that was “sent from above”. Since we are given a specific gift, we are meant to depend on each other, to work with each other.  Let’s face it!  The world would be a very boring place if everyone was like me.  It would be a very good-looking place, but boring nonetheless.  Soloists are great, but give me a choir any day.  Everyone loves a hero, but what the world needs is a team, the body of Christ supporting each other with their gifts for the benefit of all!

So, my thought is this…

The true gift from God is not the gifts that He has given us, as great as they are.  The true gift from God is our ability to work together to further His kingdom.

So, with your life, will you join me in singing the melody of love?