CONFESSION

CONQUERORS

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-4-22-02-pm“…To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son” (Rev 21:6-7 ESV).

FATHER, I confess I have a tendency to be slothful because I am a Christian. You have elected me since the foundations of the world (Eph 1:4), and You have provided me with knowledge of the assurance of my salvation (1 John 5:13). These truths make me secure—drawing me toward rest and laziness.

I am not alone in my apathetic tendencies. The Pharisees and Sadducees thought they were chosen because their father was Abraham (Luke 3:8). But, John the Baptist told them, “…God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Luke 3:8-9 ESV).

FATHER, Your orders to every church mentioned in Revelation was to conquer (Rev 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:26; 3:5; 3:12; 3:21). If I crave and get nothing it is because I am a sluggard (Prov 13:4). But if I am diligent I will be richly supplied (Prov 13:4). My flesh seeks rest without You. But true rest is the conquering work I do by Your side.

Remind me that naps and mindless activities You do not take pleasure in. Now is the time to work, for soon my work on this earth will be done.

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ADORATION

REGENERATION

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-4-13-20-pm “Ever-flowing Fountain of love,

words fail me;

I cannot forget You,

You who promised

to remember me;

when I teetered on the edge of destruction,

You rescued me and

relieved me beyond my fondest hopes…” Thomas a’Kempis (ref#147, p140).

Your rescue, FATHER, You call “regeneration”—the part where You act alone to bring me my spiritual new birth (Titus 3:4-7). “This new birth is viewed by Scripture as something that God does within us in order to enable us to believe” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p703).

You work in my heart in ways I could not comprehend but the result was that You enabled me to believe You, to seek You, and to trust You (ref#63, p708).

“The new birth is no mere turning over a new leaf, but is the inception and reception of a new life. It is no mere reformation but a Complete transformation. In short, the new birth is a miracle, the result of the supernatural operation of God. It is radical, revolutionary, lasting” Arthur W. Pink (ref#152, p91).

FATHER, Your Son enables me to live a new life. I now can identify myself completely with Him. “…My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress…” You, FATHER (Gal 2:20 MSG). With joy I throw away my needs for fame to proclaim Your excellencies (1 Pet 2:9).

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

HEAVEN HAS BEGUN

4/27/12

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-4-09-42-pmFATHER, as I was reading for the umpteenth time the story of King Saul bringing back from battle King Agag of the Amalekites and all the best livestock when he was suppose to devote everything to destruction (1 Sam 15:1-23), I wondered if I still do the same—sacrifice to You instead of obey. Has my time with You in reading and writing spiritual subjects just retooling the same old thoughts? Am I going in circles sacrificing instead of obeying? I could be using the writing time sitting at Your feet—worshipping and thanking You but instead I continue writing, saying writing keeps me close to You.

I laughed today as I had my Bonnie’s Resource Manual, Vol 1 and 2 (ref#218) out, that I compiled back in 1997, looking for some info to send to a friend. What a good song and scripture and chord sets collection. Since I don’t have time to use it, I thought maybe GOD would let me take it to heaven.

What a marvelously wonderful thought—taking my Resource Manual to heaven. I have complied and written all my life; in heaven I would have an eternity to use my writing as a resource to praise GOD! Write it now for me—use it in heaven for GOD. Create now, express in heaven.

Who knows what heaven will be like but it would give me endless joy to express back to GOD all that He has prompted me to write here on earth. Here on earth I create words to bring GOD joy in heaven. If so, heaven has begun for me.

SABBATH

REST IN GOD – KEEPING THE SABBATH HOLY

A good summary of the biblical principles of keeping the Sabbath holy is posted on the sabbathtruth.com web site (see the post below). I’d recommend this site for further study.

“…While this list of Bible principles on keeping the Sabbath holy is not comprehensive, it should help you as you search the Bible to learn how to be like Jesus and “do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22

  • The Sabbath is a day to cease our creating, working with the creation, and appreciate what God has done in the world and is doing in us. Genesis 2
  • The Sabbath is a time to lay our burdens down and rest. We should not do any servile work on the Sabbath. This includes our entire family, even our servants and beasts of burden and strangers who live among us. Jeremiah 17; Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5
  • The Sabbath is an holy convocation. We should meet and worship with others. Leviticus 23
  • We should be reverent and show God that we love, honor, and respect His authority. Psalm 89:7, Habakkuk 2:20
  • The Sabbath should be a day of delight and rejoicing, a day which we forsake our thoughts and words for God’s thoughts and words. Isaiah 56, 58
  • The Sabbath is a time of healing. Matthew 12, Mark 1, 3, Luke 13, 14
  • We are not to buy or sell on the Sabbath. Nehemiah 13
  • The Sabbath is a time to do good and visit and comfort the sick. We should do spiritual work on the Sabbath, serving others. John 5
  • The Sabbath is a time of prayer. Acts 16:13
  • The Sabbath is a time to reason with others about spiritual principles, and for ministers to teach the word of God. Acts 17:2, 18:4, 11
  • Elaborate food preparation is to be done on the day before the Sabbath so that there is no baking or heavy cooking on the Sabbath. Exodus 16
  • The Sabbath is a time for Singing. Ephesians 5:19-20, Colossians 3:16, Psalms 92 is called the ‘Sabbath Psalm’” (ref#173).

SUPPLICATION

GENERAL SICKNESS

[The majority of our prayers concern physical health. We all know someone who is dealing with the pain of sickness. Here is an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

GOD GLORIFIED IN SICKNESS

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-4-57-19-pm…FATHER, embolden ____’s faith so she finds peace in believing that this sickness that disappoints (him/her) is due to the limitations of (his/her) human sight—that You have better plans than (he/she) can see (ref#66, p57). Inspire (him/her) to realize that even in Your plans for Your Son, You did not deliver Him from the cross but glorified Yourself through His suffering (ref#66, p61).

Favor ____ by impressing upon (him/her) the fact that You have moved (him/her) away from Your work so that (he/she) might be able to concentrate exclusively and entirely on You. In (his/her) work (his/her) great desire was to glorify You; now in (his/her) rest (he/she) has the opportunity to glorify You. Thank You, FATHER, for selecting the best means for ____ to advance Your glory (ref#61, Aug 16th).

LORD, (he/she) whom You love is ill (John 11:3). FATHER, how You love and guard Your suffering patient. Impress on ____ that as (he/she) is languishing and weak (he/she) is more inclined and able to hang on to You. And You will not forsake (him/her) (Heb 13:5).

THANKSGIVING

I AM IN THE TRAIN OF JESUS THE CONQUEROR

“…thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory]…” (2 Cor 2:14 AMP).

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-4-45-56-pmFATHER, I am on earth for one purpose—to be a captive. “We are here to exhibit one thing—the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ”  Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 24th). I thank You, FATHER, for triumphing over me through CHRIST. He defeats my fallen, evil nature. Contrary to earthly living where to be in the train of a finite man would be the most miserable, but being conquered and being made to walk behind CHRIST is my most glorious lot JFB Commentary (ref#17, [2 Cor 2:14]).

“Paul regarded himself as a trophy of God’s victorious power in Christ. His Almighty conqueror was leading him about, through all the world, a sample of His triumphant power…to subdue and to save” JFB Commentary (ref#17, [2 Cor 2:14]).

It is my joy that You took me, a rebel and changed me to a captive. Being CHRIST’s captive is my position now in life (ref#7, Oct 24th). I have no joy that is not connected with CHRIST—no success which I can not trace to Him (ref#16, [2 Cor 2:14]).

“…I am in the train of a conqueror, and it does not matter what the difficulties are, I am always led in triumph” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 24th). FATHER, I thank You that I have been captured making me able to display the victory of CHRIST.

CONFESSION

THOUGH I COMMIT EVIL, I MUST CONTINUE FOLLOWING THE LORD

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-4-38-58-pm…FATHER, even though I am steeped in sin, there is no reason I should not continue to walk beside You. When the Israelites were steeped in sin—even sin that they knew full well was sin, and yet they continued in it—the prophet Samuel encouraged them with these words:

“…’Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.  For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name…” (1 Sam 12:20,22 NASB).

Thank You LORD, for not abandoning me. You never think of abandoning me because, in so doing, it would dishonor Your name. It is only me, Your silly, prideful creature, who thinks You might abandon me because of my sin. You have dealt with sin; it is no longer an issue with You. But, it is with me.

For me, repentance for sin is necessary. It is a way to escape so iniquity shall not be my ruin. I am to tell the truth about my sin so a proper diagnosis can be achieved. Sin is all about reminding me who I am: a creature constantly needing His Creator.

Oh FATHER, hear my confession. Let me not slip into the bog of wallowing in my sin and spinning my feet trying to work at eradicating it. It’s not about me and my ugly sin. It’s about following You because of Your greatness. I desire quickly to climb back on the path to follow You.

“O Lord, forbid that I would be so foolish as to be a lover of wages more than a lover of underserved rewards. Make me feel the sweetness of being shown mercy. Work childlikeness deeply into my soul, and make me find my joy and my rest in Your free gift of grace” John Piper (ref#124, p61).

ADORATION

THE VERIFICATION OF THINGS BY THE SPIRIT

“May thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to thee” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p73).

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-4-29-34-pmFATHER, I comprehend the Word and Your witness of CHRIST only by revelation. Christianity is only understood through revelation. You are higher than I so it stands to reason You must reveal Yourself to me; I cannot find You on my own.

It does me no good to gather facts and make my decision on what I gather. The scientific method of discovery does not work in pursuing Christianity.

FATHER, teach me that You impress Yourself on me with my senses, not by passing facts through my mind. When I put a piece of chocolate in my mouth I sense the taste of it. When I look at a flower I perceive its color (ref#56, p1677 “The Authentication of Scripture”). When Your SPIRIT apprehends I understand Your Word spoken or read.

May I never forget that I have, and always will have on this earth, a darkened mind—one that can’t comprehend spiritual matters. I need Your SPIRIT to reveal spiritual affairs. Come SPIRIT and bear witness in my heart.

“The Spirit shines in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6),…also the light of His glory in the teaching of Holy Scripture”  The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1677 “The Authentication of Scripture”).

And, too, FATHER, remind me that even though Christianity is You revealing Yourself, You do not impart new information about Yourself through the SPIRIT. There is nothing You want me to comprehend other than what is in Your Word.

“The Spirit’s witness to Scripture…is not a matter of imparting new information, but of enlightening…darkened minds to discern divinity through sensing its unique impact…” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1677 “The Authentication of Scripture”).

FATHER, send Your SPIRIT in a way as direct and immediate as the way tastes and colors impress themselves on my senses (ref#56, p1677 “The Authentication of Scripture”).

Praise to You, SPIRIT. I love Your enlightening.

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

REAL OR FAUX CHRISTIAN

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-4-21-43-pmNOTE: This post is directed to all my sisters and brothers that have at least at one point in their life questioned their salvation. If you sit in the pew and never question GOD’s saving grace to you then I would question your Christianity. The enemy only puts stumbling blocks in the path of believers.

7/17/2016

A thought has become clear enough that I can form the words into questions: Am I puling myself up to GOD with my bootstraps? Does my attempt to draw close to Him come solely from my effort? Am I more a faux Christian than real? This line of thought began a few days ago while reading this quote:

“…the very nature of love…is always active…the real trouble with the person who is seated there in his study reading beautiful…books about love and who feels that he is…a fine Christian is this: What is really happening to that person is that he is simply in love with himself, because he appreciates these elevating thoughts” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p116).

I earmarked page 116 and went back to it later and seriously asked GOD if I was sinning in this way. (I really do love to create at my desk and do not enjoy so much being active out in the madding crowd.) At that time He convinced me that I was okay, but now in my reading today I am again asking. The questions reoccurred as I read:

“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God:

The quickening of conscience by His holiness

The nourishment of mind with His truth

The purifying of imagination by His beauty

The opening of the heart to His love

The surrender of the will to His purpose” Will Metzger (ref#79, p156).

“Yes, Yes,” I thought, “I want to submit all of me to GOD.” I want to, but am I? Is it really happening? Or am I only wishing it so? Am I just sitting at my desk dreaming I’m a good Christian?

Is GOD quickening my conscience by His holiness? Is He nourishing my mind by His truth? Is He purifying my imagination by His beauty? Is He opening my heart by His love? Is He…or am I pretending He is—do I just finding joy in dreaming that I’m like that?

My thoughts continue. I have a precious 1984 vision of me worshipping GOD with abandon burned in my mind and I have been seeking its fulfillment ever since. Am I allowing Him, in His time, to bring it about or am I attempting to self-fulfill it on my own?

These past few day the questions drive me further and further from my FATHER into my own conclusions that I really am, all these years, been a faux Christian! I have made a case for my failure as a lover of GOD. But…

But, the disappointment of it all drove me back to the beginning. What am I living for? What am I seeking? I sat in my prayer closet this Sabbath afternoon and wept while writing—my pen expressing my heart:

“I want to find the fulfillment of flat-out expressions of wonder toward GOD—of absolutely letting my heart define, to its capacity, the joy of being adopted by GOD. What a longing I have to exalt Him uninhibitedly—to possess total concentration on the object of my worship and make habits of various ways to magnify the TRIUNE GOD Who for some reason, chose, before the foundations of the world, to plant His very nature in me.

“This alone is all I live for—all I covet. There is no plan B or other options; I will entertain nothing else. This is the only prayer for myself—that I might find contentment with continual praise.

“And, FATHER, this is a prayer You will answer for You have put the desire in my heart (no matter what my thoughts tell me), and You, in Your time, will bring to fruition that request.

“JESUS, I shadow You—may I routinely confess my sin so I am prepared to let You infuse my brain with practical ideas of holiness. I now tell myself to be fervent, diligent and disciplined—keeping my body armed and ready for a sudden deployment to praise. Here I am—LORD, here—show me, show me righteousness that I might respond with abandon.”

I am not a faux Christian!

SABBATH

HOW THE SABBATH SHOULD BE KEPT BY BISHOP J. B. RYLE

“Ryle was a 19th-century Anglican pastor. He was born in 1816. When he died in 1900, he was relatively unknown outside the Anglican Church in Britain. But since Ryle’s death, his books have slowly grown in popularity. Writing a tribute to Ryle in 2002, J.I. Packer noted that Ryle’s books had sold more than 12 million copies and had been translated into at least a dozen languages; the numbers continue to climb….1 “A hundred years later,” wrote his biographer, “we can see that there were few more influential evangelicals in the Victorian era than Bishop Ryle.”2 Ryle was a contemporary of Charles H. Spurgeon, Dwight L. Moody, George Mueller, and Hudson Taylor. When Ryle was 15, Charles Darwin graduated from Cambridge. His was the age of Dickens, the American Civil War, and a British Empire on which the sun never set” William P. Farley (ref#203).

“I propose,…to show the manner in which the Sabbath ought to be kept….My desire is simply to state what appears to be in the mind of God as revealed in Holy Scripture…One plain rule about the Sabbath is that it must be kept as a day of rest. All work of every kind ought to cease as far as possible, both of body and mind….Whatever, in short, is necessary to preserve and maintain life, whether of ourselves, or of the creatures, or to do good to the souls of men, may be done on the Sabbath Day without sin” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“The other great rule about the Sabbath is, that it must be kept holy. It is not to be a carnal, sensual rest, like that of the worshippers of the golden calf, who ‘sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play’ (Exodus 32:6). It is to be emphatically a holy rest. It is to be a rest in which, as far as possible, the affairs of the soul may be attended to” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“I see no harm in a quiet walk on a Sunday, provided always that it does not take the place of going to public worship, and is really quiet, and like that of Isaac (Gen 24:63). I read of our Lord and His disciples walking through the cornfields on the Sabbath Day. All I say is, beware that you do not turn liberty into license—beware that you do not injure the souls of others in seeking relaxation for yourself—and beware that you never forget you have a soul as well as a body” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“I do not tell anyone that he ought to pray all day, or read his Bible all day, or go to church all day, or meditate all day, without…cessation, on a Sunday. All I say is, that the Sunday rest should be a holy rest. God ought to be kept in view; God’s Word ought to be studied; God’s House ought to be attended; the soul’s business ought to be specially considered; and I say that everything which prevents the day being kept holy in this way, ought as far as possible to be avoided” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).

“I want every Christian to be a happy man: I wish him to have ‘joy and peace in believing,’ and to ‘rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ I want everyone to regard Sunday as the brightest, cheerfulest day of all the seven…” Bishop J. C. Ryle (ref#167).