Daily Devotional–Work in Progress

Journaling this morning I wrote this prayer, “Thank you for waking me today to shape me and move me toward you and your perfection. I think I forget sometimes that you have started a work in me. I am guilty of just passing time and not always plugging in to what you are doing to make me holy”. I think this prayer comes from the idea revealed in Philippians 1:6 which reads;

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Sometimes I do forget that I was set apart and adopted by the Creator of Universe. That is almost to much to wrap my head around. It is so heady that sometimes I try not to meditate on it and just slip into wait for Heaven mode using my time and resources to just fuel my pleasures and comforts. I don’t think this is the right approach. As disciples we need to understand that our great God chose each of us and facilitated our reconciliation back to himself by becoming one of us and dying in our place so that would be adopted into in his family. Our response to God’s work in us should not be just sitting and waiting to see if we are moved to action. Our response should be to do what we can to be like Jesus.

I am certain that the work that will one day be complete in me is all a God work. He will complete what he started, but I do not think that fact gives me license to wait it out, doing nothing until He returns or until I meet Him in Heaven. I am challenged as this year winds down to look at my resources of time and treasure and evaluate how much of each I spent this year on this kingdom versus the Father’s Kingdom. I think if I had to give and account to Jesus today I would be embarrassed.

As a final thought. God has started a work in us. The end result is perfection. God is light and in Him there is no darkness. We are adopted children of God. On earth we fellowship with the Father through the blood of Jesus, but when we are perfected and free of this sinful body that is the flesh we will see Him face to face. I don’t live my life like what I just wrote is really true, because if I did I would be constantly seeking and yielding to the guidance and the work of the Spirit. I would abhor the sin in my life and recognize it as barrier between me and my perfect Father, and while I fully understand that God’s work in me is a work in progress, how many times will I hinder that work or disrespect that work by bending a little toward sin and evil opposed to seeking out and trying to be and do what is righteous and holy.

Heavenly Father, thank you God for your adoption and your salvation. Thank you Spirit for your indwelling and your guidance. Forgive me where my resistance to the flesh is marginal and where my pursuit of fellowship and communion with you is lacking. Forgive me for the misuse of the resources you have given me. Help me see the work that you are doing in me. I offer you praise. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Daily Devotional–Work in Progress

Journaling this morning I wrote this prayer, “Thank you for waking me today to shape me and move me toward you and your perfection. I think I forget sometimes that you have started a work in me. I am guilty of just passing time and not always plugging in to what you are doing to make me holy”. I think this prayer comes from the idea revealed in Philippians 1:6 which reads;

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Sometimes I do forget that I was set apart and adopted by the Creator of Universe. That is almost to much to wrap my head around. It is so heady that sometimes I try not to meditate on it and just slip into wait for Heaven mode using my time and resources to just fuel my pleasures and comforts. I don’t think this is the right approach. As disciples we need to understand that our great God chose each of us and facilitated our reconciliation back to himself by becoming one of us and dying in our place so that would be adopted into in his family. Our response to God’s work in us should not be just sitting and waiting to see if we are moved to action. Our response should be to do what we can to be like Jesus.

I am certain that the work that will one day be complete in me is all a God work. He will complete what he started, but I do not think that fact gives me license to wait it out, doing nothing until He returns or until I meet Him in Heaven. I am challenged as this year winds down to look at my resources of time and treasure and evaluate how much of each I spent this year on this kingdom versus the Father’s Kingdom. I think if I had to give and account to Jesus today I would be embarrassed.

As a final thought. God has started a work in us. The end result is perfection. God is light and in Him there is no darkness. We are adopted children of God. On earth we fellowship with the Father through the blood of Jesus, but when we are perfected and free of this sinful body that is the flesh we will see Him face to face. I don’t live my life like what I just wrote is really true, because if I did I would be constantly seeking and yielding to the guidance and the work of the Spirit. I would abhor the sin in my life and recognize it as barrier between me and my perfect Father, and while I fully understand that God’s work in me is a work in progress, how many times will I hinder that work or disrespect that work by bending a little toward sin and evil opposed to seeking out and trying to be and do what is righteous and holy.

Heavenly Father, thank you God for your adoption and your salvation. Thank you Spirit for your indwelling and your guidance. Forgive me where my resistance to the flesh is marginal and where my pursuit of fellowship and communion with you is lacking. Forgive me for the misuse of the resources you have given me. Help me see the work that you are doing in me. I offer you praise. In Jesus name, Amen.

Daily Devotional – Simple Faith, Simple Assurance

Do you ever struggle with assurance? Assurance as in the idea of how do we know for sure that we are saved. I know in my own walk with the Lord I have had times in my life where I really felt like I was connected with Jesus and other times when I felt like I was living in direct rebellion to what I knew to be true. I would convince myself that I was not saved because of the way I was acting. One of the most widely known verses in the Bible is John 3:16. It describes salvation coming in the form of believing in Jesus. It does not go into great detail of what it means to believe in Jesus, fortunately John wrote an additional letter to the early Christians that clarifies what believing in Jesus really means. What is great is that his clarification uses the same simple and accessible language that he used in his Gospel. Look at 1 John 5:1,

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.

He John is refining his definition of belief in Jesus. He is telling us that we have to believe that was the Christ. In this he means that we have to understand that Jesus died for our sins so that we could be reconciled back to God. He describes the result of this reconciliation in 1 John 5:13,

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

See how the result of reconciliation with God is eternal life. This idea echoes the declaration of John 3:16 where John wrote, “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

What does this mean for us as disciples? It means that we can approach our faith and our following of Jesus from a simple starting point. If we believe in Jesus as savior we can be assured of eternal life. We can also confidently approach God and fellowship with Him. This is a huge reality that we sometimes miss out on because we are worried about our salvation. The big take away for me is while there are definitely deeper things that we experience as disciples as the Spirit sanctifies and transforms us, the seed of faith is simple belief in Jesus as savior and if you find that seed in you be confident of your salvation.

Heavenly Father, thank you God for the assurance of your salvation. Father, help us walk in the reality of your love and give us a greater revelation of Jesus as the Christ. Affirm our belief in him as our savior. I pray for those not in your family today. Plant the seed of belief in them. Give us a boldness to testify about Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen.

Daily Devotional–Teaching my boy about Tron

Psalm 145:4

One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.

I took one of my sons to see the movie “Tron: Legacy” yesterday. The movie was a sequel to the movie “Tron” that I had really enjoyed when I was a kid. On the way to theater, I realized that my son hadn’t seen the original and I spent a little of ride explaining to him what had happened in the previous movie. I wanted him to be prepared for what he was about to encounter and I didn’t want him to be confused about the story. It may sound odd, but there was sense of pride I had in relating to my boy the foundational teachings of Tron. It reminded me of when I was a kid when I would ask my Dad something about his job and he would explain with great passion and detail about his work. You could tell he enjoyed teaching me.

Looking at today’s verse it reveals that my desire and the desire of  generations before me to teach the next is biblical. I am convicted that I can easily pass info down to my kids about video games, pop culture, computers, and a variety of subjects, but often times when I try and share with them about God it is challenging. Today’s verse challenges me to be more mindful and deliberate about what I am teaching, sharing, and proclaiming to my kids.

Heavenly Father, thank you for mighty works. Thank you that each breath I take is by your design and sovereign will. I pray that my testimony to the next generation would point to you. Thank you for your many blessings. I offer you praise. In Jesus name, Amen.

Daily Devotional–Teaching my boy about Tron

Psalm 145:4

One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.

I took one of my sons to see the movie “Tron: Legacy” yesterday. The movie was a sequel to the movie “Tron” that I had really enjoyed when I was a kid. On the way to theater, I realized that my son hadn’t seen the original and I spent a little of ride explaining to him what had happened in the previous movie. I wanted him to be prepared for what he was about to encounter and I didn’t want him to be confused about the story. It may sound odd, but there was sense of pride I had in relating to my boy the foundational teachings of Tron. It reminded me of when I was a kid when I would ask my Dad something about his job and he would explain with great passion and detail about his work. You could tell he enjoyed teaching me.

Looking at today’s verse it reveals that my desire and the desire of  generations before me to teach the next is biblical. I am convicted that I can easily pass info down to my kids about video games, pop culture, computers, and a variety of subjects, but often times when I try and share with them about God it is challenging. Today’s verse challenges me to be more mindful and deliberate about what I am teaching, sharing, and proclaiming to my kids.

Heavenly Father, thank you for mighty works. Thank you that each breath I take is by your design and sovereign will. I pray that my testimony to the next generation would point to you. Thank you for your many blessings. I offer you praise. In Jesus name, Amen.

Daily Devotional– Are all people God’s children?

1 John 3:1-3 (ESV)

1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Not everyone is a child of God. In our culture the idea that all humans are merely one of God’s creations is often lost in the popular spirituality and pantheism of our day that says everyone is special and that God is cool with all people. Unfortunately, the Scripture does not bear witness to that idea. The Word teaches us that by our very nature we are creatures born into rebellion against God. It teaches us that God in his love and grace chose not to destroy us but rather provides a way of reconciliation.

God came to earth in human form so that he could offer himself as a sacrifice for the rebellion of humanity. He did this so that as people believe in him and commit to following his commandments they become reconciled to him. Wonderfully, this reconciliation is not a mere affirmation of contentment between Creator and creation but it is rather an adoption between a Father and an undeserving child.

The verses today tell us about this adoption and its benefits. First, John challenges us to marvel at God’s love because he has called us his children. God has given us himself as an eternal inheritance. It is marvelous because we are so undeserving, yet he does it anyways.

Secondly, John comforts us telling us that as children we aren’t perfect like Jesus is because we are bound to this life and this broken circumstance in which we were found, but someday we will see Jesus and we will be perfect. This is key because often we fail and sin and blow it even when we try our hardest not to.

Finally, we are exhorted to do our best to honor the Father of our adoption by living a pure life emulating the purity of Jesus. I think this is the real application today. I think as disciples of Jesus and children of God we have to strive to be better than we were when we were unforgiven sinners. We have to battle temptations both internal and external that tell us that its ok to give into sin here and there because we have grace. I am guilty of abusing God’s grace. Guilty of knowing that God is faithful to forgive and cleanse me of my unrighteousness so therefore I can willfully sin. I am wrong. Christ did not die so that I may continue to sin and say I am sorry. He died so that I may be made holy and righteous. We have to live our live in the knowledge of that reality.

Father thank you for your adoption. Thank you for your plan to redeem our broken and corrupt lives. What are we if we are not connected with you through the sacrifice of Jesus and the gift of your grace? We are dying and we are lost. May our lives testify to the work you have done in us. Convict us of our sin and help us love you better. In Jesus name, Amen.