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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Quiet Time: Dig Deeper

Dig Deeper

Job 26:13-14

13 “By His breath the heavens are cleared;

His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent.

14 “Behold, these are the fringes of His ways;

And how faint a word we hear of Him!

But His mighty thunder, who can understand?”

I had a professor in college who insisted we study nothing but poetry in his class. No classic novels, no inspiring biographies, and certainly nothing written prior to the nineteenth century! My first essay garnered a low “C” grade and I soon discovered from fellow classmates that my grade was high.

So, I decided to find out what the prof wanted since obviously none of us students knew. I began by first keeping copious notes listing everything that he thought was important with the piece of poetry we were studying. Next, I highlighted every passage that he chose to camp on and wrote his key words and phrases regarding these passages in the margins. Finally, when the day came for the class to write another essay, I made sure to include the professor’s thoughts, I parroted his key words and phrases, and quoted the highlighted passages within the body of my essay. The result? I never received a grade lower than a “B” for the remainder of the class.

Of course my fellow students wanted to know how I turned things around. So, during one of our mid-class bathroom breaks I called them all together. “Listen”, I said, “This guy doesn’t care what you think. He wants you to know what he thinks. And, he wants to know, that you know. So give him what he wants and you’ll get what you need to pass the class.”

Like poetry, the bible can be tough to understand. But, that fact shouldn’t keep us from digging deeper. And it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to find out what others have discovered when we’re not sure about a passage. There are so many commentaries and bible helps available these days that there is no excuse for any of us being tripped up or confused. And, sometimes, we may find that it’s OK to simply say, “I don’t know what that means.”

The point is this: Dig deeper. Your Professor wants you to know what He knows.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Song Series: O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

Song Series: O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

Sometimes I worry that I’m not being all that God wants me to be. Sometimes I wonder if I’m as fruitful as I “should” be and I feel the need to be more - do more for Jesus.

But, then, I remember that it is God Who is at work in me both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13) and that Jesus tells me to simply abide in Him (John 15:5) and He will use me to bear fruit for Him as He sees fit. In other words, the best fruit I can produce on my own is fake fruit. It's good for looks but not much more.

I like what one pastor says on the topic of abiding and fruit bearing, he says, “You know who wants fruit a lot more than you do? God does. And you can't do one thing to get it.” The great news about abiding (remaining) in Christ is that He will not let us go until we grow. Simply submit to His embrace and trust that He is at work in you.

George Matheson, best known for the hymn, “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go,” wrote another song titled “Ignored Blessings,” in which he looks back to “the road gone by.” It was by looking back he could see that his heavenly Father had led him all the way.

O Father of light and leading,

From the top of each rising hill

Let me cast my eye on the road gone by

To mark the steps of Thy will. —Matheson

Jesus will not let us go until we grow

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quiet Time: Delightful


Read: Psalm 37

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:9

Last week our worship team focused on Psalm 34:9 and wanting what God wants us to have when He wants us to have it. Continuing along that theme I see that God wants us to find our delight (pleasure, happiness) in who He is: His character, attributes, words, deeds, and yes, His, desires and designs for our lives.

Like a child who finds pleasure in pleasing his parent, we too must develop our relationship with Jesus to the point that we are always looking for ways to please Him. When He becomes our passion, God the Father will so position our mind, will, and emotions through the power of the Holy Spirit, that the very desire of our hearts will change to that which pleases God. This in turn will fill us with the joy of the Lord and His desires will become ours (Nehemiah 8:10).

This fact I know: God will never refuse His children, that which He wants them to possess.

Here's a take away for our team: The bible says to let the joyful sing praises (James 5:13b). If we are to effectively lead praise and worship with His people, we must be joy filled.

We will never experience or express true joy until we find our enjoyment (delight) in Him; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Here's a link titled "Cat and Dog Theology" that helped me wrap my mind around the concept of delighting in God:

Here's a link to the ministry's website for Cat and Dog Theology:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Quiet Time: I Will

I Will

Read: Psalm 101

I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.

3 I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;I hate the work of those who fall away;It shall not fasten its grip on me. – Psalm 101: 2b-3

I love the part in the movie “Fireproof” where the main character trashes his computer with a baseball bat. He so wanted to turn his back on the bad stuff that he allowed into his home through the computer, that he took drastic measures to insure it got out and stayed out. I suppose just about everyone has had something that they kicked out of their life at one time or another. The psalmist had a better approach.

Between verses 1 and 5 he says “I will” at least seven times. He was committed to keeping the bad stuff out before it had a chance to get in.

That’s a good move, don’t you think?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Quiet Time: No Want

No Want

Read: Psalm 34:8-14

O fear the LORD, you His saints;

For to those who fear Him there is no want. – Psalm 34:9

I know God is in control but I’m not sure that I always like it.

You see, the thing is, I want what I want when I want it, but God often seems disinterested in my wants or my time table. He seems intent on my trusting Him – sloooooooooowly, steadily. It’s almost as if God is trying to get me to stop trying. You know what I mean, right? Like He wants me to get to the point where I want what He wants when He wants it.

I read a biography titled George Muller of Bristol. Muller was a real prayer warrior and was mightily used of God to help thousands of orphans in Great Britain during the 1800s. Muller knew what it meant to fear God and not fear want. Psalm 34:9 was one of his favorite bible verses and he often taught that, “He who would work with God must first wait on Him and wait for Him.”

I don’t think the book is in print any more (mine is an antique)

Here’s a link if you want to read more about George: More stuff about George

Prayer: God change me. I want to want what You want in my life when You want it.