a monthly devotional journal
Issue No. 80
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephes. 5:19-20
It's our way, I suppose, inbred over millennia absent from the pristine intimacy of the Garden. There was a time, "In the beginning," when every thought and event was in perfect alignment with the mind of God. Nothing unpleasant or foreign could occur within the daily experience of the two people in residence.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day. The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Genesis 1:31; 2:7,15,18,22,25
In the beginning, being thankful was a piece of cake. Nothing bad ever happened, so gratitude came easily.
But then an element was introduced which was not in alignment-- something bathed in the cloak of innocence, yet horribly out of sync with the rest, something with dark agenda and ulterior motive.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, `You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, `You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:1-8
Suddenly, with fresh fruit juice still running down Eve's chin, things were changed. Now there would be good and evil in the couple's life; now, with only one bite of the forbidden fruit, there would be discomfort and pain and unpleasant moments woven into every day.
It's easy to be thankful for the pleasant things in our life, but read the fine print: God calls us to be thankful people always, and the fact that a long time ago unpleasantness was introduced into the world, changes nothing.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Cor. 9:11
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes. 5:16-18 (emphases added)
Like many other aspects of the Christian life, it is a developed skill. At the moment of our conversion we do not become magically thankful for unpleasant things. It takes time and practice to acquire the habit of gratitude for things which, on the surface at least, seem horribly wrong.
"I have not always found it easy to practice this duty; this I confess to my shame. When suffering extreme pain some time ago, a brother in Christ said to me, `Have you thanked God for this?' I replied that I desired to be patient, and would be thankful to recover. `But,' said he, `in everything give thanks, not after it is over, but while you are still in it, and perhaps when you are enabled to give thanks for the severe pain, it will cease.' I believe that there was much force in that good advice." Spurgeon
"Contentment with earthly goods is the mark of a saint; contentment with our spiritual state is a mark of inward blindness." Tozer
The church in which I grew up, lo so many years ago, was filled with lots of old wood, and the pews--though sculpted to fit the average Baptist posterior--were of hard, well polished, dark oak. No pads; no cushioned upholstery. Just hard--very hard wood.
You had to really work at falling asleep in those pews. Their simple discomfort was sufficient to keep the parishioner alert to every word of the pastor's sermon.
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 1 Thes. 5:6
Every day, just after lunch, between one and three o'clock, I am sorely tempted to put in some quality "think" time in the easy chair that sits just a few feet away from my desk. Once in awhile (not every day, of course) I convince myself that lying back in the soft comfort of the chair will facilitate deep thought and profound insight, when, in fact, what it really facilitates is deep and profound slumber. Five minutes, ten minutes tops, and I'm out cold.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NASB
I'm thankful for those uncomfortable things that keep me awake to God. We live in a time when personal comfort reigns supreme, falling in priority just slightly behind incredible wealth. People don't like sitting on hard pews--in fact, most people don't much enjoy sitting on pews of any material. They'd much rather be sweating across a golf course or snoring into a pillow. The idea of voluntarily sitting still for sixty minutes of religion is enough to send some people rolling about the floor in hysterics.
I'm grateful that the things of God don't come naturally, that sometimes they leave bruises, or flat indentations in my flesh from too much pressure.
After all, ask any billionaire if it was easy acquiring his or her wealth; 99.9% of them will tell you it took long, hard work. Ask a movie star if they became famous overnight and they'll tell you it actually took many years of paying their dues in obscurity. Ask anyone of high political office if it was handed to them on a platter, and they'll inform you that it took a lot of hard slogging up through the ranks (then they'll hit you up for a donation).
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:26-27
So why should religion be any different? Why should the all-powerful God of the universe settle for any less than a billionaire, a movie star, or a politician?
Comfort invariably spawns complacency, and Christians without at least a few scars or indentations are probably not trying hard enough.
"Jesus was the most disturbing person in history." Vance Havner
No one likes to play tennis with someone who is worse at the game than they, because the better player is always the one chasing after stray balls, hit badly by the less experienced opponent. Meanwhile, if you are the better player, the balls you hit rarely get returned. It's always better to be the one playing against someone more proficient at the game, so the ball gets returned.
Regardless the endeavor--be it sports, education, Bible study, or learning a trade--the prized spot is always with someone better than you.
A good mentor--though a cherished possession--rarely makes things easy for the one in his charge. The young John Mark had traveled with the apostle Paul and Barnabas in their early missionary journeys.
When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark. Acts 12:25
But while in Pamphylia, Mark left the team to return to Jerusalem, and the team leader, Paul, considered this tantamount to desertion. So later, when he and Barnabas were planning their next missionary journey, and Barnabas suggested they take John Mark along, Paul objected so severely that a rift was created between the two elders.
Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing." Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. Acts 15:36-38
Paul then went to Syria and Cilicia with a new companion, Silas, while Barnabas and Mark departed for Cyprus.
Paul was tough on the young Mark--quite possibly, too tough. But without a doubt Paul's passion for service and ministry, and his devotion to the Lord, were qualities that Mark observed and absorbed into his own life.
Mark continued in the Lord's service, later writing the first gospel, and reconciliation did take place with the apostle. Late in his life, as Paul sat in prison awaiting execution, he wrote to Timothy, another of his "sons" in the faith:
Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 2 Tim. 4:11
"Some brethren and sisters believe themselves to be perfect. But if you watch those in whom sin is said to be dead, you will find that if it is dead, it is not buried, and that it smells remarkably like other dead things which ought to be buried. It is, possibly, worse than when it was alive, for it has become alive again, in an even worse sense, with a double putridity." Spurgeon
Everyone, I'm sure, would choose to be perfect rather than imperfect, but since Adam's untimely fall, the latter condition has been our lot, so there's little we can do about it.
The apostle Paul understood the value of imperfections.
I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say. To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:5-10
Some imperfections are meant to be dealt with, toward the goal of eradication, but some are to be, rather, embraced, for their purpose of pointing us toward the perfection of Christ.
While the thought may be abhorrent to some, the Christian life is one of dependency--dependence in God for His grace and mercy, dependence in Jesus Christ for His salvation and ongoing intercession. Someone who is perfect is not dependent on anyone, for they are self-sufficient. Sort of like God:
"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?" 2 Samuel 22:31-32
Indeed. So why should I waste my time trying to compete against God, while I could, instead, rejoice in those qualities that draw me closer to His perfection.
One reason we strive so against our own imperfections is that we are painfully aware of how unpleasant they are in others. The image that snaps back at us from the mirror of their life is uncomfortable, and ignites a passion within us to extinguish once and for all those same qualities in our own.
But when we gaze upon the pristine Christ, there are no unpleasant reflections; only purity, holiness, perfection. We see nothing that might remind us of our own inadequacies; only acceptance, understanding, love.
Perfection in man would mean the death of grace. Were tomorrow to usher in the age of man's perfection, it would mean, by its very definition, that we had stepped into the age of sufficiency--and anyone who is sufficient clearly has no need for God. And, oh, what a sorry place this world would be without Him.
Happily, we need not concern ourselves with this fanciful eventuality. We are--and I'm sure will remain--imperfect, and in this state are suitable receptacles for God's limitless grace. Every inhabitant of the earth is imperfect, but the Christian enjoys a strengthening partnership with the Lord, which raises us (in essence, if not in practice) up to His level of perfection. In Him we find our sufficiency.
"He who lives to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies." Tertullian
From the moment we emerge from the womb and fill the air with our unhappy caterwauls, we declare our intention to have things go our way, thank you very much. From those earliest days--whether reaching for a nipple, or announcing the uncomfortable condition of our nappy--we begin our life selfish and demanding.
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Cor. 5:15
I recently had reason to recall a rather unpleasant episode that took place years ago, while living in Southern California. The occasion was a visit with a respected elder in the church we were attending. He and I were discussing one of my recent performances and I was complaining about the apparent lack of positive response from those sitting in the pews. I had given my best, I told him, in service to the Lord, but the people didn't seem to appreciate it. I pouted that maybe I should take my work for the Lord elsewhere, to a people who would more encouragingly respond.
To this day I thank God that, instead of laughing in my face and walking out of the room, this man of God elected to let the Spirit speak through him. For he spoke to me with the wisdom of God when he said, "You're not performing for them. You're to sing to Jesus, then let Him distribute the blessings where he wants them."
I have not forgotten that day when the Holy Spirit sat with us and gave this man the words I needed to hear at just that moment. And, to honor the memory of this man, I have not forgotten the lesson we both learned that day (for he was as moved by the wisdom coming from his mouth as I).
The true servant does not concern himself with the outcome; that is left up to the Master. And a petulant response to the result of one's service is the mark of a person who doesn't yet understand his or her place in the Kingdom. No matter what work the Lord has assigned us, whether singing or acting, or preaching or teaching, or cleaning the church bathrooms--no matter what, we do it for the Lord, trusting that He will use it to His glory.
"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, `What are you making?' Does your work say, `He has no hands'? Woe to him who says to his father, `What have you begotten?' or to his mother, `What have you brought to birth?' "This is what the LORD says--the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts." Isaiah 45:9-12
"Never was a faithful prayer lost. Some prayers have a longer voyage than others, but then they return with their richer lading at last, so that the praying soul is a gainer by waiting for an answer." William Gurnall
God's word is filled with references to His attentiveness to our prayers.
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; Psalm 34:15
In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. John 16:26-27
But nowhere does His word tell us precisely when He intends to answer our petitions--nor in what manner.
I'm grateful for those times when the Lord reminds me that I do not enjoy the privilege of dictating the terms of my prayer life. I'm grateful for those reminders that it is the one receiving the prayer that is responsible for its result.
Were the Lord to respond according to my schedule, He would instantly have abdicated His position of authority; He would, in a moment, become someone capable of being manipulated by a mere mortal. And who would choose to pray to such a god? What would be the point?
If we trust God enough to pray to Him, then we should trust Him to answer our prayers at the right time.
Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:1-5 NKJV
While we grow ever more impatient, God's timing--like every other part of Him--is impeccable. He is not influenced by our misplaced urgency; He says, rather, "Trust me."
"I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen and godless condition, absorbed in a merry meeting with my friends for the morrow or a bit of work that tickles my vanity today, a holiday or a new book, when suddenly a stab of abdominal pain that threatens serious disease, or a headline in the newspapers that threatens us all with destruction, sends this whole pack of cards tumbling down. At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happinesses look like broken toys . . . And perhaps, by God's grace, I succeed, and for a day or two become a creature consciously dependent on God and drawing its strength from the right sources. But the moment the threat is withdrawn, my whole nature leaps back to the toys . . . Thus the terrible necessity of tribulation is only too clear. God has had me for but forty-eight hours and then only by dint of taking everything else away from me. Let Him but sheathe that sword for a moment and I behave like a puppy when the hated bath is over--I shake myself as dry as I can and race off to reacquire my comfortable dirtiness, if not in the nearest manure heap, at least in the nearest flower bed. And that is why tribulations cannot cease until God either sees us remade or sees that our remaking is now hopeless." C.S. Lewis
The reason for pain is elusive--a quandary that can make the discomfort even more difficult to bear. Why are some stricken when others are not? Why are so many who are good destined to live with pain, while the bad often are not?
There are some who claim that persistent pain is always attributable to sin--that some wrong in a person's life has called down God's correcting hand. But Jesus told His disciples that that was not always the case.
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." John 9:1-3
Others will say that pain comes so that we might better understand and empathize with the pain experienced by others. But that would only explain some of the suffering that exists in the world. What about the rest?
Still others will claim that pain and suffering are stinging darts from Satan, sent to punish us for our allegiance to Christ, or to beat us into denouncing His name. But, while it's true that Satan works at our lives--and often in painful ways--understanding that he may be the source of our affliction still helps us very little in knowing what to do about it.
I'm grateful that God doesn't force me to identify the source of my--or others'--persistent pain. I'm grateful that He gives me the freedom to ignore the source of the pain to concentrate on the result. There is great liberty in knowing that from wherever pain might come, its ultimate purpose is to glorify God.
Why did Paul have a persistent `thorn in the flesh'?
... so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses ... 2 Cor. 12:9b-10a
Why do we share in Christ's sufferings?
... in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17b
Why are we told to rejoice, even though we may have to suffer "grief in all kinds of trials"?
These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:7
And why did Job not curse God when He gave Satan permission to heap unbearable sufferings on His servant?
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." Job 1:21
If we are to lift up the good and pleasant things in our life as offerings of praise and adoration, then we are to do the same with our trials through pain. But certainly no amount of gratitude or praise will soften the physical effect of pain--and that's the point. God doesn't bring trials into our life because they are pleasant; He intends the discomfort.
Learning how to bear persistent or continuous pain ultimately means coming to grip with the Lordship of Christ. If He is Lord, and I am His servant, then no matter what comes my way, it has arrived at His bidding.
"We tend to say that because a person has natural ability, he will make a good Christian. It is not a matter of our equipment, but a matter of our poverty; not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a matter of virtues, of strength of character, of knowledge, or of experience--all of that is of no avail in this concern. The only thing of value is being taken into the compelling purpose of God and being made His friends. God's friendship is with people who know their poverty. He can accomplish nothing with the person who thinks that he is of use to God." Oswald Chambers
There is surely no more obvious area where the world and the Kingdom collide.
The world says . . .: "I am the captain of my destiny."
But God says: "Jesus Christ is Lord."
The world says ...: "I don't need anyone else."
But God says: "You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."
The world says ...: "I can take care of myself."
But God says: "Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down."
The world says . . .: "Look at what I can do!"
But God says: "We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
The world says . . .: "MY way is right."
But God says: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."
The world says ...: "No one can tell me what to do."But God says: "Every knee will bow . . ."
When I think I have something that could be of use to God, I have failed to grasp His omnipotence and sovereignty; as soon as I empty myself of such presumption and pride, I then become a suitable vessel for His power.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Cor. 4:4-7
I'm reminded of my experiences in U.S. Navy boot camp, back in the late Sixties. Back then the Company Commanders were free to do just about whatever they pleased to the raw recruits. The verbal abuse flew like projectiles at a cow-chip throwing contest and, different from today, they could even physically knock you about at will. The favorite word of the Company Commander for his hapless charges was "worm." We were lowly, worthless worms. Lowest of the low. Not worth the time it took him to even utter the word.
That's the image the ill-informed have of our willingness to have God fill us with His glory rather than our own. They think that God thinks of us (or wishes us to think of ourselves) as filthy, worthless lowlifes.
But when a person has been sanctified by the blood of Christ, he or she only exchanges temporal abilities and vanities for the eternal glory and value of God. What changes is the goal--the prize.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Cor. 3:10-15
Say, for example, a man is a successful athlete. He is a perfect specimen of robust masculinity, and, as such, is a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. His gridiron exploits make him famous and he becomes rich _ not only for his value to the team, but from many product endorsements, as well. He's got it made.
Now, let's say God one day says, "That's my man. I've got plans for him in my Kingdom." So in the next game, this incredible athlete is tackled badly and, in an instant, is permanently paralyzed from the waist down. And God says, "Good. Now I can use you."
To the casual observer this would seem to be utter foolishness--a complete waste. Here was a man who had it all: he was rich, healthy and strong, and famous. With all of that he could really be valuable to the Lord's work.
But all of that--all the wealth, the fame, the physical health--every bit of it was nothing but hay and straw, and would be burned up in the final day. None of those assets and abilities--not one--were of eternal value.
But now God has this man in a wheelchair; He has humbled him. Over a period of time God sends people into this man's life to help him mature into a useful member of the Kingdom and, as a result, the once rich and successful athlete becomes a powerful witness to the youth in the country. He tells them about the love of God, and the sacrifice Jesus made for them, and many come to the Lord because of his testimony.
And every one of those souls, every child saved and brought into the Kingdom, is a small piece of silver or gold--something to last for all eternity.
When we try to do it on our own, the result is only highly combustible material. I'm grateful for those times when my efforts fail, for that failure is a necessary reminder of how much more successful I will be-- in eternal terms--when, instead, I permit God to work through me.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Tim. 4:8
"There is an old Greek story of a soldier under Antigonus who had an extremely painful disease that was likely to bring him soon to the grave. This soldier was always first in the charge, rushing into the hottest part of the fray, as the bravest of the brave. His pain prompted him to fight, that he might forget it; and he was not afraid of death, because he knew that in any case he had not long to live. Antigonus greatly admired the valor of his soldier, and discovered his malady and had him cured by one of his most eminent physicians of the day. But from that moment the warrior was absent from the front of the battle. Now he sought his ease; for, as he remarked to his companions, he had something worth living for--health, home. family, and other comforts, and he would not risk his life now as he had before. "So, when our troubles are many we are often by grace made courageous in serving our God. We feel that we have nothing to live for in this world, and we are driven, by hope of the world to come, to exhibit zeal, self-denial, and industry. But how often is it otherwise in better times! For then the joys and pleasures of this world make it hard for us to remember the world to come, and we sink into inglorious ease." Spurgeon
Let's face it: sometimes living here can be a real drag. Hassles at work, problems in the home, friends that let you down, temptations that nag and nag until you give in ... In our moments of frustration we might find ourselves crying out, with David
We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 1 Chron. 29:15
It's easy for us to feel that Christ has deserted us, and to wonder why He couldn't have lifted us off this unfriendly soil along with Him. But that attitude assumes that our sole purpose in being a Christian is to get quickly to the safety of heaven and eternal bliss.
Kingdom living really isn't about bliss--it's about loving God. And living here, on earth, instead of in heaven, is about hungering for God all the more.
Is this a little like pounding your head against a brick wall because it feels so good when you stop? No, not really. The obvious answer is that we have been left behind to serve God's purpose--to lead others to Him, to teach, to edify the body. But beyond that, yearning for God is part of the process.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:1-2
As I face the trials and unhappy consequences of living with my feet bound to this earth, I may long for the easy bliss of heaven. I may wish that there were finally an end to temptations and struggles and occasional failures; an end to awkward quarrels with my fellow man; an end, at last, to the troubling imperfections in my own life.
But these self-serving wishes are left whimpering in the shadow of the energizing joy found in loving and hungering after God. The process of becoming like Him is a great part of what it means to be a follower of Christ. To miss out on that is to miss out on the daily walks, daily communion--the daily process of Him pouring His life into mine.
Issue No. 80
[1.] Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philip. 2:9-11 (return to footnote 1)
[2.] "So, because you are lukewarm neither hot nor cold I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." Rev. 3:16-17 (return to footnote 2)
[3.] "The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, 'Who can bring me down to the ground?' Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD. Obadiah 1:3-4 (return to footnote 3)
[4.] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:35-37 (return to footnote 4)
[5.] There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12 (return to footnote 5)
[6.] It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" Romans 14:11 (return to footnote 6)
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Aspects is published monthly in both printed and e-mail editions. For a free subscription to either edition, contact us by one of the following methods:
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Winterset, IA 50273-8172.
Internet address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Back issues of Aspects are archived on the World Wide Web; go to http://dlampel.com and click on "Aspects".
Aspects is distributed free-of-charge. If, however, you wish to contribute financially toward this ministry, then we want you to know that your contribution will be an encouragement to us, and will be applied toward the expenses of postage and materials.