Blog Archive

Monday, March 31, 2008

Heaven’s Currency

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." (Leviticus 17:11 NKJV)

If the currency we’re given to spend on Earth is time, the currency of Heaven is the life of the soul (Hebrew nephesh) contained in blood. Every human will give Heaven a reckoning for how the soul’s lifeblood was spent (Genesis 9:5). The price to redeem my life was the soul’s lifeblood of the very Son of God (1 Peter 1:18-19), and Heaven accepts no substitute (Hebrews 9:22). The greatest commandment (Deuteronomy 6:5) is to love God with all my nephesh — all the life of my soul.

Precious Lord, You’ve purchased my soul with the lifeblood of Your soul. Let me not hesitate to pour out every drop of my soul in love for You as a living sacrifice.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

God’s Currency

"Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. (Isaiah 55:1-2 NKJV)

God’s currency is called Time. He gives exactly the same amount to every man each day — though not the same number of days. While I don’t know the number of my days, I know the number of my hours. Each day’s currency can be spent on what will bring no lasting satisfaction with the passing of days. Or, it may be spent on the abundance graciously offered, in which my soul will delight today and be satisfied with forever.

Oh my Lord, make me wise on how I spend my limited hours. Draw me ever more closely into relationships with You and with others in my life. Please enable me to delight in the abundance You’ve made available.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Response to Sin

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world ... since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11 NKJV)

God’s Word does not ask me to do what is natural, but what will require His enabling. It’s far easier to curse the world’s immorality and overlook blatant sin in those I love most, but the opposite is directed. It is folly to attempt conviction of sin as only the Holy Spirit can. I must instead be willing to keep a clean house where I reside lest my Lord’s name be dishonored. And if I am truly among those "who are spiritual," I will speak to fellow sinners with gentleness, with an eye on restoration (Galatians 6:1).

Lord, please give me patience with Your work in the world, and please give me the gentle spirit of Jesus if indisputable sin crosses my path.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Kingdom Power

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power . . . For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. (1 Corinthians 2:4; 4:20 NKJV)

"The pen is mightier than the sword" if guided by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, in accordance with His Own Word. Whatever eloquence I may happen to convey, my words have no ability to affect others. I must lay down who I am, who I want to be, and even who I think He wants me to be — every day. I must push aside all the distractions that clamor for my attention. I must be still and wait for Him if He is to direct each of my steps, each of my words. I must say "yes" without hesitation when He says "Go!"

Please enable all this in me, Lord. For Yours is the kingdom, my God. Yours is the power, my Lord. Yours alone is all the glory, my King.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kingdom Laborer

I [Paul] planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:6-9 NKJV)

Farming and construction are both hard labor without prominence that makes for dirty hands. Browsing seed catalogs and drawing blueprints are fun. Eating homegrown tomatoes off the vine and moving into new rooms are worthy pleasures. The in between part is least fun and requires the most attention. If I want to enjoy the reward I must labor faithfully in whatever place I’m assigned. Hot sun, calloused hands, and a sore back may tempt me to give less than my all. But if I work closely with my Master, He will direct me, spur me on, or give me rest as I need each one.

Lord of the Harvest, disciple me to be Your fruitful laborer.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kisses from Heaven

"His lips are lilies, Dripping liquid myrrh. . . His mouth is most sweet, Yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, And this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!"
"Where has your beloved gone, O fairest among women? Where has your beloved turned aside, That we may seek him with you?" (Song of Solomon 5:13; 5:16-6:1 NKJV)

If the Bible is a love letter from my Beloved (and each word a kiss from Him) — if the surest taste of His lips is found in this treasure — how could I find anything but exquisite pleasure in His Word? How could I have greater desire for anything in this world? In the graphic language of Song of Solomon is found a description from the very Word of God of this life’s greatest pleasure. Is that pleasure the romantic love of a man and woman? Or is it intimacy with Him Who is the Lover of my human soul? Is my delight in His love so evident — not only in my words but also in my life — that others are drawn to seek Him?

Lord, please work in me to make my love for you highly contagious.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Heaven Revealed

But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. ... But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10,14 NKJV)

Eternal life does not begin when I go to Heaven. Eternal life began when I became Christ’s and was made a citizen of Heaven. Rights of citizenship became mine immediately, even while still I tread the foreign soil with which I am more familiar. Here is the battle of the mind: will I live as if I belong to the world I visit, or will I live as if I possess eternal life and know my true home? My home need not be an unfamiliar place, for "God has revealed" these things — He has already shown me what I cannot see as a natural man, and what I cannot help but see as I walk closely with Him.

My God, how good You are to not make me wait as long as I think I do.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Foolishness of the Cross

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." . . . "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:18-19,31 NKJV)

The Old Testament ark represented the presence of God’s glory and power. When it came to be with him, David gave praise "with all his might," gave offerings to God, then gave blessing and food to "the whole multitude of Israel, both the women and the men." Israel’s most glorious and powerful man was then called an inglorious fool by one he loved.

Lord, please make me know the New Testament glory and power of the cross so well that I praise You as eagerly in trials as I do on Resurrection Sunday. Please make me so unaware of both esteem and scorn that I bless others rather than seek honor. Please give me the ability to glory only in You.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Death’s Sting

Resurrection Sunday, 2008

And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! ... If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable... So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" ... Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:17,19,54-55,57 NKJV)

What does anyone fear more than death? Jesus Himself, Almighty God made flesh, pleaded with His Father to take away the cup of death, that He might not taste its bitterness. Then in the supreme example of obedience, He said "not My will, but Yours be done." The Lord Jesus Christ drank the bitter cup of death that I might be spared its poison. The only death I will ever taste is the daily death of self, freely laying down my will as my beloved Master did. It is in this death that I know His life. It is in His life that I am set free from both fear of death and all lesser fears. It is in freedom from fear that my faith knows victory each day!

All thanks be to You, Abba God!

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wrestling with God

Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!" (Genesis 32:24-26 NKJV)

The place where God meets to wrestle is always a defining moment. Before the wrestling is fear and anguish for what lies ahead. Once the wrestling commences it does not end until seen through to the end, until I am broken, until I prevail to obtain the blessing God had in hand as He waited for me to reach the place I could receive it. After each wrestling I am changed, I am able to witness Him move on my behalf — and I cannot help but see more of Who He has been all along. The heavy matter I carried is no longer my burden. It came off my shoulders as I wrestled.

Please give me strength and endurance to wrestle with You until You bless me.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Insidious Pride

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. (Romans 15:1-2 NKJV)

Pride is like an insidious cancer that defies riddance. My virtue seems proof of spirituality until the Holy Spirit reveals it as self-serving. The Lord says the solution is to be other-serving, working for what truly pleases and builds up my neighbor rather than myself. Jesus said the greatest person in His kingdom is the lowest servant. If He is my King, I may not show myself worthy of any esteem, but instead show others worthy of my esteem in my thought, feeling, word, action. If I aspire to glorify God, the stench of pride must be obliterated from wherever it hides.

In all I am Lord, let me serve You by serving others and not Self.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Terrifying God of Moses, Aaron and Samuel

The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! ... Let them praise Your great and [terrifying] name—He is holy ... Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called upon His name; They called upon the LORD, and He answered them. He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar; They kept His testimonies and the ordinance He gave them. You answered them, O LORD our God; You were to them God-Who-Forgives, Though You took vengeance on their deeds. (Psalm 99:6-8 NKJV)

The same God Who is named Friend and Comforter is also named Great (gadol) and Terrifying (yare). Though I may draw near and know His love, I do well to remember that even His greatest and most exalted saints of history experienced His vengeance on their personal sin and gratefully knew Him as God-Who-Forgives.

What a wondrous and fearsome God You are! How much I love You for Your mercy and compassion!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Beam and a Speck

Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. . . Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. (Romans 14:19 NKJV)

I am so grateful when the Lord works a change in my heart that becomes manifest in my life. It always feels wonderful to be able to see that another layer of crud has been cleaned away by the blood, the fire, and the water. In my eager joy I’ve too often wanted to turn around and give someone else a good scrubbing, too. Only the Spirit can do the real cleansing work that starts on the inside. God might use me in such work. But not before I’ve cooperated with Him to get the entire beam out of my eye, so that with great empathy I may perhaps be His tool to ever so gently help with the speck in the eye of another and bring that soul peace.

Lord, thank You for loving me enough to not leave me as You found me.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Wildflower and the Rock

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. . . put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:11,14 NKJV)

Time grows short. My life is but a fading wildflower on the earth. Yet even a wildflower can make its permanent mark when it becomes a fossil preserved in rock. The flower is no longer seen, but it makes beautiful the rock upon which it pressed itself. My Rock is the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is no time to linger in sleep and comforts of the flesh when He is not yet fully manifest in the lives of those around me. Such comforts should simply give me the physical strength to love whatever people perchance across my path, and to glorify my God.

Lord Jesus, please let me use all I have and am to glorify You as pleases You.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Humility and Wisdom

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another . . . Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. (Romans 12:10,16 NKJV)

At every turn is the humble person who is my neighbor. The slow driver in the fast lane. My three year-old. The other person in the discussion who just doesn’t get it (maybe even my spouse). I’d rather be kind or give preference or not be wise with an exalted person. I’d rather think about high things than about the dishes, about the six year-old’s tenth drawing today, about the ramblings of another. If I aspire to be a great Christian I’ll be like Christ, giving preference to even the humble. If I aspire to wisdom I’ll think on the simple things.

Jesus, please help me be more like You today.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Perfect Will of God

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2 NKJV)

The Holy Spirit is the most gentle Master, never forcing my compliance with God’s will. However often I wrestle with Him to learn His will and perform it, I always find this less painful than resisting His will. His love for me provides absolute assurance that my greatest pleasure is found in His good, acceptable, perfect will rather than in mine. Why would I ever fail to seek His will? Why wouldn’t I do it without the least hesitation? Because I’m still so far from being like Jesus. (heavy sigh)

Thank You, Lord, for being so patient with me. Thank you for loving, blessing, and accepting me as I am.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Depth of Riches

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36 NKJV)

Even after knowing my husband for nineteen years, I still discover new things about him, and am always delighted when I do. The longer we are together – the more of who he is, that was there all along but I never knew – the more I love him. This is so much more true for the divine Lover of my soul, my Lord and Beloved, in Whom are infinite treasures waiting to be discovered. His mercies are new each morning, and simply knowing Him tops the list. I don’t find them as His counselor, but as His faithful friend and lover.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Lord of lords

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV)

To confess is to testify of something as true because it is true. To confess is not to make an unfounded claim for personal motive. I confess the Lord Jesus because He is truly Lord; He is my Master, my Owner, my Sovereign; He has won my love, my willing submission, my very life. The New Testament refers to my King as "Lord" over 700 times. It calls Him "Savior" some two dozen times. I cannot see how it is possible—if I am in Christ and have been saved—to know Him as my Savior and not know Him as my Lord. He is surely a more fitting Master of my life than I am.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Zeal According to Knowledge

For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:2-3 NKJV)

We laugh at the notion of bowing before a graven idol of wood or metal. Yet it does not seem unnatural to paint a room with posters of Hollywood idols, to worship from afar. It does not seem unnatural to spend hours gazing at a screen filled with images of strangers (whether T.V. or internet), and shape our lives according to their words. It does not seem unnatural to paint an image of God and His righteousness that suits our personal theology, without sufficient understanding from the words of His autobiography (the Bible) Who He is — without spending adequate time having a real relationship with Him in devotional prayer. Whatever face is put on our misplaced zeal, righteousness is found only in knowledge — not knowing about God, but knowing God.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vessel for Honor

Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? (Romans 9:18-21 NKJV)

How is it that He chose me? When I see anyone with a heart hardened toward God, I can only point and say, "There — but for the grace of God — go I." When my Maker created so many vessels of wrath (verses 22-23), there was no rationale for Him to choose me as one of the vessels of mercy. If He has thus spared my life, how can I expect anything more? Truly, His blessings to me are already abundant beyond all I could hope, and I have no room to complain for anything I think I lack. If I would indeed ask Him for more, surely it is only for the privilege to give Him glory for His love and mercy.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Almighty Love

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NKJV)

At the very core of every human being is the need for love — to be highly valued by another above physical needs and riches and power; to be shown compassion; to be known and permitted to know another. The embodiment of purest love is found in Christ Jesus our Lord, God Himself come to earth as Man so we could know love. To those who are His Own, God grants love so great that it "passes knowledge" yet makes itself known — love so almighty that it is overcome by no other power. This love is blissfully mine when I seek Him with all my heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Blessed with All Things

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32 NKJV)

"All things" may sometimes mean suffering, but it always means blessing. Unlike people, who present the lesser gifts first and work our way up to the grand finale, God gave me His best gift first. He sent His precious baby Boy — His Lamb — to be cruelly rejected, abused, and crucified to take my place on death row. I am overcome with gratitude just to have been set free. To daily walk with and know my Lord and Savior is an honor of which I am unworthy. For God to go even further and be willing to give me "all things" so that such blessings may be used to glorify Him is high privilege and great pleasure I can only begin to appreciate on Earth.

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Fullest Measure of Blessing

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:28-29 NKJV)

"All things" work for my good. Is there a greater promise to sustain me in "tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" My assurance is found in my faith that my God is absolute goodness, love, and wisdom. And this is His purpose in "all things": that I be conformed to the image of His Son. For the more I am like Christ, the more fully I have the ability to see the Father, and the greater my blessing.

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Saturday, March 8, 2008


. . . you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." . . . we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:15-18 NKJV)

The Almighty God, Judge and Creator of the earth, gives to those He has purchased the right to call Him not just "Father" (Hebrew Ab), but also Abba—"Papa." He wants a close relationship with me that I might know His fullest blessing, and that He might carry me through my deepest sorrow. I indeed share with Jesus an inheritance of both glory and suffering. Jesus will always have the greatest glory, for all glory I receive is to exalt Him. Whatever my inheritance of suffering, the suffering of Jesus is also greatest—the burden of my sin He bore to exalt me.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Spiritually Minded

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (Romans 8:6-7 NKJV)

Spiritual life in a physical body of flesh can be tortuous; I know spiritual life but still wait for the redemption of a carnal body (v. 23). My soul longs for freedom from the weight of flesh and the sin that clings to the flesh. Yet the miracle of eternal life dwelling in my physical body brings Him greater glory. Fullness of life and peace will be mine for eternity, while I have such a short time to give glory to my Savior and Lord on Earth. Each minute to minute decision to choose the spiritual pleasures and reject physical indulgences (anger, lust, selfishness – whatever) shows Him superior to all other pleasure - and therefore gives Him glory.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and . (Romans 8:1-2 NKJV)

Each July 4 is an exuberant celebration of freedom. 232 years ago we secured by shed blood our liberty from the crown of Britain’s law and oppression. How much greater is the liberty purchased 1978 years ago at Calvary!

I have been set free from the oppression and condemnation of sin – as has every other person who is in Christ. If God no longer condemns those in Christ, who are we to condemn one another?

And this is how I know I am in Christ: I consistently walk according to the Spirit and His will rather than according to the flesh and my will.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Amazing Grace

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of ? (Romans 7:23-24 NKJV)

I thank God! It is through Jesus Christ our Lord that I know the amazing grace that saved a wretch like me and is even now making me increasingly free. A slave who has been set free is legally free, but how long does it take to stop thinking and believing and acting like a slave? Thank You, Father, for giving so freely of Your Holy Spirit available through Your Son Jesus. Thank You for giving me in my mind greater freedom each day, to match the freedom that is already a reality but which can be so hard to live as a reality. Thank You, Jesus, for preparing a home for me where I will someday be fully free from sin’s presence. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for tolerating the sin in my members of flesh, in which You graciously come to dwell.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

United with Christ

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection. (Romans 6:4-5 NKJV)

There is no greater bliss than true unity. The physical union we will one day experience with Christ is spiritual union for now - union through His Holy Spirit in his life and resurrection. We do not wait for heaven to receive eternal life - we will one day enter heaven because we already have eternal life. The way by which I share Christ’s eternal life is union with His death and resurrection. His cross is now empty and stands before me that I myself may daily be placed upon it, dying to my will and living for His.

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Monday, March 3, 2008


... for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them ... (Romans 2:14-15 NKJV)

It is both frightening and reassuring to know that God judges us by motive rather than accomplishment. When I think of my many failings, I am so grateful that God is looking at the inside rather than the outside. When I see all in my heart that is still not right, I am amazed that God loves me as He does. When I feel His love and understand the mercy He shows me, I am humbled and overwhelmed by how very much I find I love Him.

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Impossible Dream

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom
which cannot be shaken, let us have grace,
by which we may serve God acceptably
with reverence and godly fear.
~ Hebrews 12:28 (NKJV)

"The Impossible Dream"
from MAN OF LA MANCHA (1972)
music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star