…FATHER, You know I can be surrounded by Christians—fit right in—hold my own in doing good yet possess no evidences of godliness—outwardly, yes, but inwardly, no.
“There is a condition that leads to…final condemnation—a condition of religious experience and Christian surroundings but no genuine fruit” Dan Cummings (ref#141, p1, “A Fearful Warning and A Joy-filled Promise,” Sept 24, 2006).
O GOD, can I describe myself as a chameleon? One color for doing good; another color for doing bad? Feeling good about doing good; and feeling good about doing bad; living as I please?
“The unregenerate don’t fight sin—not in the sense that their ‘inner man’ is devastated by it…” Dan Cummings (ref#141, p6, “A Fearful Warning and A Joy-filled Promise,” Sept 24, 2006).
So, LORD, my test is to check myself to see how I feel inwardly about sinning:
“The test is, Do we love the law? Do we hate our failure? Do we cry out in dismay over our sinful condition? Do we look to Christ and his righteousness? Do we fly to the cross? Do we confess and repent and renounce Satan and set our faces to go forward with Jesus on the Calvary road” John Piper, Who Is This Divided Man [Part 1] Dan Cummings (ref#141, p7, “A Fearful Warning and A Joy-filled Promise,” Sept 24, 2006).
“The head must be bowed low to the dust to admit that we are no better than what Jesus had to become for us” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p77).
FATHER, let me daily review my total inability to help myself. You do not help me occasionally, like picking up a just-learning-to-walk child when he falls, no, I am in the troughs of an enemy who labors day and night to devour me (1 Pet 5:8). I need to envision myself daily in the middle of a ring of fire needing You to reach Your hand down and pluck me out.
“The bedrock in Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possession; weakness, not strength of will; infirmity of character, not goodness; a sense of absolute poverty, not decisions for Christ…(Matt 5:3)” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p90).
“If we grow down in humility and up in worship—leave off all sin and the diverting pleasures of this world and persevere because we desire Christ supremely—we could not fathom doing anything to grieve One so infinitely glorious—One who saves to the uttermost and ever lives to intercede one as vile as me” Dan Cummings (ref#141, April 9, 2006).
SCRIPTURE WRITTEN SO I MIGHT KNOW GOD
…FATHER, You, a GOD who needs nothing from me, puts at my disposal word-pictures that I might acquaint myself with Your majesty and love. You reveal Yourself through the Bible.
“…when we understand the words used, the historical background, and the cultural conventions of the writer and his readers, we are well on our way to grasping the thoughts that are being conveyed” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p844, “Understanding the Word of God”).
Without the SPIRIT’s help I will read the Bible from my vantage point, looking for facts that will help me know and achieve what I want. So, FATHER, I desire the SPIRIT to generate in me a passion for You.
May I seek You as I read noting Your attributes so I might strengthen my trust and love for You “not reading the Bible looking for information like an academic subject or trivia or doctrines, but a Person…” Dan Cummings (ref#141, Basking In the Light of the Glory of Christ, (sermon notes) Jan 1, 2005).
THE SIN OF FRETTING
“Worry is a window into the unregenerate soul [Matt 6:32]—worry is the evidence that satisfaction is being sought apart from God—the soul is searching for satisfaction in idols, the fear that an idol may not be available—worry is the evidence of what one is pursuing, of laying up treasure on earth” Dan Cummings (ref#141, “For the Love of Christ,” Jan 22nd, 2006).
FATHER, I know that all fretting and worry is caused by calculating without You (ref#7, July 4th). I also know letting the enemy’s thoughts take root in my head is disastrous but they seem to get planted before I realize. I have to experience Your intervention or I will spin in circles reviewing in my head all the carnal and evil suggestions that are there.
“…don’t take the pressure of forethought upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything else that worries us” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 23rd).
In all situations You put in my path the ending is more important than the beginning. My mistake is being at the beginning of a situation and wanting to see a swift and good ending, but You control the situation; I need not be concerned about the outcome.
FATHER, show me the blessings of leaning—leaning on You as the situation unfolds and caring only about Your will in the situation, not a comfortable outcome for me. Worrying is unbelief.