ADORATION

TRIBULATION TO PRAISE

“All of life is meant to reflect the infinite value of Christ” John Piper (ref#124, p115).

FATHER, if I bring glory to CHRIST in every circumstance then my attitude should be the same in both easy and hard circumstances. I pray to choose to not let this difficult circumstance affect my countenance negatively at all.

If I am entirely void of self-love, I can be plunged into an abyss full of tribulation without exciting any emotion in myself (ref#128, p459). FATHER, give me enough confidence in You that my natural frightened, angry emotion will evaporate.

Stay my mind on You (Isa 26:3). The bride in the Song of Solomon delights in attempting to describe her divine Bridegroom (Song 5:10-16); make this my work.

Empower me to rehearse the qualities of the heavenly Bridegroom. Make it sensible to me that joy can come when I recount His excellencies which are the most important to me (ref#128, p463).   And, with the praise welling up because of such activity, push me ahead that I may exclaim, “He is superior to all attributes and qualities” Madame Guyon (ref#128, p463).

FATHER, give me a revelation of CHRIST so shocking that I focus on CHRIST and forgets my tribulation. Cause worldly thought to be silenced with the captivating love of CHIRST (ref#128, p463). May my words to CHRIST simply be, “You are altogether lovely” (Song 5:16). May I be so humbled with my relationship with CHRIST that I be unmoved in any situation.

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CONFESSION

WORKING OUT MY OWN SALVATION

…FATHER, I don’t want to go to hell. I want to be forgiven and avoid Your wrath and to go to heaven. Reconciliation with You—everybody wants that (if they’re honest with themselves) (ref#93, p28-29).

But, the important question is, “Do I want these things for my own security?” or “Do I want them because they bring me to the enjoyment of You” John Piper (ref#93, p29)?

FATHER, only You can change my nature so I’m able to concentrate on You and reject my attention to preserving myself. When You provide a new nature it sets me on the path of working out my own salvation—working out selfishness and working in ever-increasing happiness in You.

“as ‘a nail is driven out by another nail, habit is overcome by habit’” Erasmus (ref#130 p49).

“…become shares (partakers) of the divine nature….adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue…knowledge…self-control… steadfastness…godliness…brotherly affection…Christian love” (2 Pet 1:4-7 AMP).

“Wherefore, brethren, exert yourselves the more, and bend every effort to make for yourselves your divine call [into salvation] and your divine selection [for salvation] things that have been confirmed” Arthur S. Way (ref#37, p559, [2 Peter 1:10]).

SUPPLICATION

NON CHRISTIAN, Resisters

[We all have friends and family that do not want anything to do with Christianity so it is up to us to pray for their salvation. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]

FELIX-LIKE

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-4-01-20-pm“As Paul continued to insist on right relations with God and his people, about a life of moral discipline and the coming Judgment, Felix felt things getting a little too close for comfort and dismissed him….” (Acts 24:25 MSG).

FATHER, I watch ____ divert (his/her) attention from You whenever Your names comes up in conversation. I have to say affliction and prosperity have alike failed to turn ____ toward CHRIST. Tears and prayers and sermons have, so far, been wasted on (his/her) barren heart (ref#34, Dec 31st AM).

There must be something of You that ____ disapproves of otherwise (he/she) would not be hindered from acknowledging Your authority (Matt 13:57). (He/She) goes on hardening (his/her) heart when (he/she) puts CHRIST to the test for the purpose of approving Him (Heb 3:7-9). CHRIST does not meet (his/her) specifications as Messiah (Luke 9:22) because (he/she) does not yet have an experiential knowledge of Him (Heb 3:10).

Pride makes ____ critical of Your activities, FATHER. I hear (him/her) criticizing, disagreeing and correcting things of You (ref#124, p118).

Thus, I long to see (him/her) approach You with teachable humility (ref#124, p119). I long to see ____ great in Your kingdom.

“Unless you reverse your present trend of thought and become as the little children, in no case shall you enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, he who is of such a nature as to humble himself like this little child, esteeming himself small inasmuch as he is so, thus thinking truly, and because truly, therefore humbly of himself, this person is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”  Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p45-46, [Matt 18:3-4]).

SABBATH

CONCLUSIONS

“Man imitates the pattern of God’s work and rest in the sabbath cycle of days (Ex. 20:8-11) and years (Leviticus 25). The sabbath points forward to the rest that Christ achieved with his resurrection and ascension (Heb. 10:12-13), and which will be fully manifested in the consummation (Rev. 22:4-5)” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2635, “History of Salvation in the Old Testament: Preparing the Way for Christ” [Gen. 2:3]).

“So instead of wasting time on that endless quest for life, you have been invited to enter God’s rest for the rest of your life. Rest in your identity as his child. Rest in his eternal love. Rest in his powerful grace. Rest in his constant presence and faithful provision. Rest in his patience and forgiveness. Rest” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Dec. 8th).

“…the Sabbath is a way of remembering and expressing the truth that God is our creator and deliverer and sanctifier….our work neither creates, nor saves, nor sanctifies….All things are from him and through him and to him. Lest we ever forget this and begin to take our strength and thought and work too seriously, we should keep one day in seven to cease from our labors and focus on God as the source of all blessing” John Piper (ref#169).

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land…” (Isa 58:13-14 NIV).

“Is it going too far to say, that if our nation repented of its sin in this matter and returned to the old path of Sabbath observance, we would again become the leading nation of the world? In the light of this promise of Isaiah, I believe that great blessing would follow, blessing far beyond our expectations. But though the nation does not return, let us as individuals, and as a church, put this promise to the test and we shall find the Lord faithful” C.E. Hunter (ref#171).

ADORATION

CHRIST MY MEDIATOR

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-8-55-36-am…FATHER, I am a member of the fallen and rebellious human race and, by nature, hostile to You (Rom 8:7). But, CHRIST is the mediator between You and me (1 Tim 2:5). He quenched Your wrath (Rom 3:25) and changed my human heart (2 Cor 5:17).

“Christ achieved reconciliation for His people through penal substitution…. He…carried our identity …bore the curse due to us (Gal 3:13), and by His sacrificial shedding of blood made peace for us (Eph 2:16-18; Col 1:20)” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1753, “Christ the Mediator”).

 “…Jesus Christ, does not just cancel the wrath; he absorbs it and diverts it from us to himself. God’s wrath is just, and it was spent, not withdrawn John Piper (ref#93, p13-14).

I imagine JESUS as my boss taking the punishment from His boss for all my mistakes. CHRIST’s position now is a perpetual High Priest (Heb 7:24). It creates a picture in my mind of CHRIST constantly vouching for me before His FATHER—always making intercession for me (Heb 7:25). How much does He love me to do that! These thoughts give me more understanding of Scriptures describing the joy JESUS has in His work of mediating for me my entire life:

“Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight] —“ (Jude 24 AMP).

What a word picture that verse creates: at my death I’m standing beside JESUS who says to the FATHER, “Here is ____ one out of the world I have joyfully kept to be now forever with Us.”

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).

SABBATH

MOTIVES

“The reason that so many people feel it [the Sabbath] as a burden is partly that we have so much leisure, we don’t feel the need for the Sabbath rest; but more important…is the fact that not many people really enjoy what God intended us to enjoy on the Sabbath, namely, himself. Many professing Christians enjoy sports and television and secular books and magazines and recreation and hobbies and games far more than they enjoy direct interaction with God in his Word or in worship or in reading Christian books or in meditative strolls. Therefore, inevitably people whose hearts are set more on the pleasures of the world than on the enjoyment of God will feel the Sabbath command as a burden not a blessing” John Piper (ref#169).

“God hath made it our duty, by His institution, to set apart this day for a special seeking of His grace and blessing….God is ready on this day especially to bestow His blessing on them that keep it aright….a time wherein God especially loves to be sought and loves to be found” Jonathan Edwards (ref#186).

“God blessed the seventh day…as an expression of His own joyful remembrance of that day and of the rest and refreshment that He had on it….But how much more reason has Christ to bless the day of His resurrection, to delight to honor it, and to confer His grace and blessed gifts on His people on this day. It was a day whereon Christ rested and was refreshed in a literal sense. It was a day of deliverance from the chains of death, the day of His finishing that great and difficult work of redemption, which had been upon His heart from all eternity; the day of His [vindication] by the Father; the day of the beginning of His exaltation, and of the fulfillment of the promises of the Father; the day when He had eternal life, which He had purchased, put into His hands. On this day, Christ doth indeed delight to distribute gifts, blessings, joy, and happiness, and will delight to do the same to the end of the world” Jonathan Edwards (ref#186).

CONFESSION

FELLOWSHIP, NOT KNOWLEDGE

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 4.16.11 PM…FATHER, sin is idolatrous when my heart desires something other than You (ref#5, p66). “This is what sin is—dishonoring God by preferring other things over him, and acting on those preferences” John Piper (ref#93, p12). It is too easy for my life to be “shaped by the satisfaction of cravings, rather than heartfelt commitment and faithfulness” Paul David Tripp (ref#5, p67).

“Let me not strive to understand the infinite, but rather spend my strength in love. What I cannot gain by intellect, I can possess by affection…put far from me any love for the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that would keep me from the Tree of Life” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Sept 5th PM).

Without the influence of the SPIRIT, I am satisfied with something other than a close relationship with You. Simply collecting facts about You can suffice conscience. FATHER, don’t permit me to know You only on the level of being amazed with Your attributes. Let it be no more amazing myself with You but You amazing me.

SABBATH

SATURDAY NIGHT WORSHIP

“For those of you who are free in your conscience to extend your holy exercises…into Saturday night, let’s dream together of new ways to sanctify Sunday morning. Could it be that the Lord is leading you to new dimensions of prayer, or new hours of personal Bible study, or new deeds of mercy for the poor, or Sunday morning visitation to a shut-in, or perhaps a home evangelistic Bible study for neighbors who would not come to church but might come to your home” John Piper (ref#169).

ADORATION

CHRIST – MY HIGH PRIEST

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 6.17.01 AM…“O SAVIOUR OF SINNERS, Thy name is excellent, thy glory high, thy compassions unfailing, thy condescension wonderful, thy mercy tender” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p58). FATHER thank You for Your Son.

“The work of our Lord as Priest was two-fold—atonement and intercession. The one He accomplished upon the cross, the other He now transacts upon the throne” Octavius Winslow (ref#61, July 14th).

“There is one…way human beings can reach God. That way is through Christ Jesus, who is himself human” (1 Tim 2:5 NCV). “God sent him to buy freedom for us…so that he could adopt us as his very own children” (Gal 4:5 NLT). “…our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand” (Heb 10:12 NLT).

“…He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb 9:26 NKJV). “…He offered himself…as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make our consciences pure from useless acts so we may serve the living God” (Heb 9:14 NCV). “…he set us free from sin forever” (Heb 9:12 NCV).

“Christ…went into heaven…and is there now before God to help us” (Heb 9:24 NCV). “For this reason Jesus had to be made like his brothers in every way so he could be their merciful and faithful high priest…Then Jesus could bring forgiveness for their sins” (Heb 2:17 NCV). “Jesus is the kind of high priest we need. He is holy, sinless, pure, not influenced by sinners, and he is raised above the heavens” (Heb 7:26 NCV). “And now he can help those who are tempted, because he himself suffered and was tempted” (Heb 2:18 NCV). “For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses. When he lived on earth, he was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin” (Heb 4:15 NCV). “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:25 NKJV).

“Christ…is our go-between with God. His obedience and suffering were so perfect that God will not turn him away. Therefore, if we go to God through him, God will not turn us away either” John Piper (ref#92, p72).

“Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our…faith in Him]” (Heb 4:14 AMP).