Wednesday, August 8, 2012

10 days

I will be married in 10 days. Next Saturday I will no longer be single. Sarah, my fiance, will no longer live by herself. Instead, we will both enter into the holiest of covenants between men. Marriage is a remarkable statement of the nature of God in salvation. I hope that Sarah and I bring him much glory in how we live out the covenant. To God be the glory, -joe

Thursday, January 5, 2012

daily meditation: salt to taste

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Colossians 4:6
Have you ever tried something that lacked salt and seemed bland, then added a dash to bring the flavor out? In the same way, don't make your life and words flavorless.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

daily meditation: real famine

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,
    “when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
    but of hearing the words of the LORD.
They shall wander from sea to sea,
    and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD,
    but they shall not find it.
Amos 8:11-12

A great famine has come. Will we be the storehouses of Egypt or the barren wasteland of Canaan? Store up the Word for yourselves so that when the hungry come, you can dispense freely.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

daily meditation: hardly a prophet

Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, "I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'
Amos 7:14-15
Untrained and outmatched, yet speaking truth. It is the foolish in the world who are chosen to shame the wise. The Spirit is the only maker of prophets.


Monday, January 2, 2012

daily meditation: mercy for the remnant

Hate evil, and love good,
    and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,
    will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Amos 5:15
What shall bring mercy to the remnant (those faithful sheep)? Hate evil. Love good. Establish justice. Make it true of the Church, both local and global.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

daily meditation: blessed are the peacemakers

"Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
     but those who plan peace have joy."
Proverbs 12:20

We have been given the ministry of reconciliation as ambassadors of Christ. As one of my pastors, Larry McCall, has often said, Christians must "wage peace."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

daily meditation: change the heart, change the man

"A wise man's heart inclines him to the right,
     but a fool's heart to the left."
Ecclesiastes 10:2

How are Christians able to make godly decisions in times of distress, pressure, and myriad of choices? God has given them a new heart. That new heart is wise.

Monday, November 21, 2011

daily meditation: he keeps us

"I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness;
     I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
     a light for the nations"
Isaiah 42:6
He keeps us from falling away from grace for a reason; we are to be a light to the nations. He calls us in righteousness so that we may live to make his holiness known.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

daily meditation: the bread and wine

Proverbs 9:4-6

"Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
     To him who lacks sense she says,
"Come, eat of my bread
     and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways, and live,
     and walk in the way of insight."

If we are called to eat of the bread and drink of the wine that wisdom has prepared in order that we may live, then let us go get it from the one who gave it. Namely, Jesus. He is the bread. He is the wine.

James says if anyone lacks wisdom he should ask for it and it will be given. I assure you, it is given. Wisdom, in all its greatness, is wrapped up in the person and works of Jesus Christ. Eat of him. Drink of him. And, then, live.


Monday, October 24, 2011

daily meditation: slow seduction and a quick fall

Proverbs 7:21-23

"With much seductive speech she persuades him;
     with her smooth talk she compels him.
All at once he follows her,
     as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast
     till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
     he does not know that it will cost him his life.

Too often we think that temptation happens only in the instant before our sin. In reality, temptation seduces us slowly, feeding us small lies and empty promises over days, weeks, months, and years. It is this slow seduction that makes our fall seem so sudden.

Beware the steady voice of the adulteress. She calls daily in the streets. Shut your ears to her words so that none of them can get it. Fill yourself, instead, with sweet Gospel truths so that you can "say no to ungodliness and worldly passion."


Thursday, October 20, 2011

big-bellied promises

God has made promises which, in the end, will stand tall and erect over all the commands he has given us. He will not allow his word to fail. And this...this (in the words of John Bunyan) is one of the absolute, will-not-fail, big-bellied promises of God. It contains within its belly all the conditional promises based on our obedience. It holds them because Christ accomplished them for us so that this one mighty covenant would stand:

"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
(John 6:37-40 ESV)

My constant failures cause me to doubt, but this gives me hope.


Friday, February 25, 2011

daily meditation: by the blood

"For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross."

Those that deny the necessity of Christ's blood have misunderstood the Gospel. He shed his blood so that we could be reconciled to God. Without it we don't get to be called sons and daughters of God. Don't gloss over it.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

daily meditation: new heart

The gospel in the book of Ezekiel:

"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

And he does that when we believe. Rips it out. Replaces it. By his death and resurrection we die and rise again.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

daily meditation: the crucifixion

From John's account:

"After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said ( to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."

It is finished, my friends. Completed and done. Rest in the finished work of Christ.