What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately LXIII (63)…
Greetings My Friends~
As a simple pilgrim
following the Lord Jesus
through the rainforests and deserts of this earthly life,
I would like to humbly share
some of what God has been bubbling up in my mind/heart lately
through the Bible.
I pray that these thoughts are
cushions in your shoes,
balm to your burns,
umbrellas for the rain,
and shade to the scorching heat
as you too follow the Lord Jesus each day.
(please click on the Bible books/chapters/verses below to read the actual Scripture passages)
(January 1st–15th, 2017)
My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less…
A. The more we look at the Lord Jesus
the less we’ll be comforted by our good deeds–
no one strikes a match for light if they’re outside at noon.
B. Thank You, Lord Jesus,
for going lower than anyone has ever gone (Philippians 2:6-8)
to bring us higher than anyone could ever go (John 3:13).
C. Earning forgiveness thru good deeds
is like washing dirty white clothes in spaghetti sauce.
Good deeds are a detriment—not detergent—for getting to heaven…
Faith without works is dead,
but only faith in Christ can make us alive in the first place…
D. Father, forgive us for placing our confidence in “Egypt”—
money, looks, skills, diplomas, effort, strategy, etc—
anything but You!
E. To ransom us from sin & hell,
The Lord Jesus emptied Himself not His wallet;
God didn’t pay with cash but with Christ,
Not with bullion but blood—1 Peter 1:18-19
Citizens of Heaven, Strangers On Earth
A. Today, Christians cause trouble by
defying culture’s decrees &
not that truth is relative,
but that our Relative is the Truth.
B. Early Christians got in trouble for defying Caesar’s decrees &
declaring Jesus the only King.
This caused social trouble & turmoil.
Same for us today…
C. Great worth in the culture’s sight:
women with a wild & loud spirit.
Great worth in God’s sight:
women with a gentle & quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4).
D. Christians are to live as earth-foreigners (1 Peter 1:17):
rejecting the temptation of dual-citizenship &
always deserving deportation by the culture.
Calming Us…Or The Waves?
An anchor doesn’t makes waves disappear;
it makes the boat secure in them.
So it often is with the Lord Jesus Christ
(though He also has power over waves!).
Oh how beautifully sobering & humbling for all pastors:
Ezekiel 33:1-9 & 34:1-10.
Only in His strength can we shepherd His people…
LORD help us…
Trials Are A Testimony
A. When we suffer according to God’s will,
continuing to follow & obey the Lord Jesus
shows we’re committed to God,
not casually dating Him.
1 Peter 4:19
B. As we learn to rejoice now
in suffering for the Lord Jesus,
we will overflow with joyful celebration
when He returns!
1 Peter 4:13
C. To survive & thrive in suffering,
we must “arm ourselves with the same attitude” as Christ (1 Peter 4:1)—
trusting the Father to bring good from it.
D. In grief & trials,
great joy comes as we focus on
God’s salvation & inheritance in heaven for us:
His shielding power—
1 Peter 1:3-6
The Time Is Short
In universe’s two minute warning,
be prayerful not fearful;
dont use a no-huddle offense—
ask The Coach in prayer,
together with other Christians!,
to direct our final plays.
1 Peter 4:7
Holiness In Us Is Evidence For Him
A. By the Holy Spirit’s power,
our refraining from sin is a witness to non-Christians &
noticed by them (1 Peter 4:3-4)—
just as when we casually give in to sin…
B. Amazing aspect of the LORD sanctifying (maturing) His people:
we’re awake & conscious as He does surgery.
Oh the pain & joy of full life in Christ…
C. God chooses His people,
not because we are obedient to Him,
but so we can be obedient to Him!
1 Peter 1:1-2—Obedience & holiness matter!
D. God’s grace gives us what we don’t deserve (forgiveness)
& enables us to give God what He deserves: our obedience—
Titus 2:11-12—Both are grace.
E. Setting our hope on God’s grace
leads us to be holy & obedient to God!
1 Peter 1:13-16—A true focus on grace
should lead us to be more faithful, not less!
He Chooses Us Before We Ever Choose Him
A. We cant seek/go to God the Father
without the Lord Jesus bringing us to Him–1 Peter 3:18.
“Christ…suffered once for sins…to bring you to God.”
B. 2 Peter 1:1—Even faith in the Lord Jesus
is a gift from God to be received.
Our faith not only gives us access to His grace—
our faith is part of His grace…
Pride Is Hollowed, Humility Is Hallowed
A. Human pride shatters—Ezekiel 32:12—
because it’s fragile/delicate/hollow.
Humility from the LORD is strong—
an oak tree trunk;
it endures life’s axes.
B. Biggest danger of growing mature in Christ
is taking pride in/credit for
The same Lord Who lifts up brings low—Ezekiel 31:9-11.
C. Pride has a kind of strength,
but it will fail (Ezekiel 30:6),
like silicone “muscle” implants
that flex for a camera
but fail in calamity.
D. God forgive us
for taking credit for &ownership of
Your blessings to us.
Ezekiel 29:9—”Because you said, ‘The Nile is mine; I made it,’ I’m against you…”
E. Sometimes the LORD displays His glory among us thru punishment—
Know the LORD, not part of Him;
Know Who He is, not Who we want/think Him to be.
F. Our sinful hearts’ pride
often say implicitly
what our lips don’t say explicitly:
“I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god…”—Ezekiel 28:2
Husbands, Are You Wearing Prayer-block 60 SPF?
Christian husband, being inconsiderate to your wife &
treating her with disrespect
will hinder your prayers to God—1 Peter 3:7.
Wow—Father help us!