Sunday, March 27, 2016


2nd Corinthians 10:5

“We destroy arguments and every lofty
opinion raised against the knowledge of God,
and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”

Doug touched on this a lot this week. Our thought life is what leads to action. There was a quote I tried to scribble down but I probably hacked it, here's what I remember of it. “Sow a thought and you'll reap an action, sow an action and you'll reap a habit, sow a habit and you'll reap a character, sow a character and you'll reap a destiny.” My thought life is important. It's easy for my mind to wander to to extremes, temptation to sin, or feeling insecure and guilty. It's a destructive circle. This thought life leads to sin and isolation, because when I'm isolated from God, I become Isolated from everyone else. However I don't have to live in that circle. This verse says we can destroy those arguments and lofty opinions. How? Take every thought captive.

Yeah I have heard it a thousand times but what does it really mean to take every thought captive? Being intentional is something that has been brought to my attention by Meghan earlier this week. And the more I think about it, the more that seems to be the answer. What are some ways I can be intentional in my thought life?

If I am tired and hungry I am already setting myself up for failure. When I'm tired and hungry my mind wanders, I zone out a lot more in this state than at other times. If I can avoid being tired and hungry that will help. If I can't avoid it I can pray. And it truly does help a lot to just spend a few moments in prayer.

What am I dwelling on when I'm not zoning out? What am I putting in? We have heard the term GIGO a lot while we've been here can you guess what it means? Garbage In Garbage Out. Whatever I dwell on or put in I will get out. If I dwell on romantic fantasy, I will probably end up with the first guy that looks my way. If I dwell on my failures I will likely get depressed. If I dwell on God's presence, I will be convicted, repentant, cleansed, healed, at peace, full of love, and overjoyed.

I might say it is not that simple, I might make excuses for myself. Excuses like “there's no way I could remember to do that all day,” or like “That's not really possible, every thought, trying to do that would be setting myself up for failure.” I still don't know about every thought. However by being intentional with my thoughts I can become more intentional with my actions. I want to be more intentional in knowing God is present. I want to spend more time just soaking Him up.
But how do I do this?

Practice being in God's presence

Today I will write on my wrist “Worship Him, He is present.”

A Man Disciplined For Battle.

2nd Samuel 11:11-13

“Uriah said to David, 'The Ark and Israel and Judah well in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.'

Then David said to Uriah, 'Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.' so Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.

And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk. And in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.”

With all that Pastor Art has talked about today, I can only think about the two extremes.

One of the verses from today Proverbs 25:28 makes me think of David at the beginning of this chapter.

We know the story pretty well, David started down the wrong path when he stayed back instead of going out to battle. By being idle.

I think this is where I get in trouble. When I don't go do something I should. Most often it happens when I avoid having a conversation that I know that I should have. Over a year ago I should have set better boundaries with my ex. Today it's bringing my feelings to the light when someone agitates or hurts me. This comes from a lack of self control. Like the man in proverbs 25:28 I left myself open to attack. And I am finally hopefully coming near the end of the healing process of the ways I compromised last year. And I'm only beginning the process, or at best midway into, learning how to communicate emotions effectively.

Other ways I struggle is putting of work when I don't feel like doing it, that is letting my emotions govern my thoughts, which Doug has pointed out is not healthy.

This week and this story really shows me that before coming to ignite I was in a place like David. Though I was still walking in faith, barely, I was letting decay my self control and discipline.

I was staying back from battle, or going places I shouldn't have been. I was walking in darkness.

Being here I have been given something Pastor Art has talked about today. Accountability. I am incredibly thankful for this. And I hope that I am becoming more like the other character in our text. Uriah. Uriah had self control, because before he came to Jerusalem. He had purposed in his heart to be a man disciplined for battle.

We are about to go home, some of us don't like hearing that. We don't like to hear it because some of us have people who knew us before ignite. I have people who knew me as a compromised David. Were my compromises huge? No. But here's the thing, any compromise is dangerous. Any time I compromise I lack self control. But like Uriah I need to have my mind on the battle and my fellow soldiers. So when I get home I need to purpose in my heart now to speak up when God calls me to. I will be keeping my mind on the spiritual battle I'm fighting, and on my Guatemala Team mates. Because when I was plucked away from home I was walking the edge, and honestly was not regularly in quiet time and the Word. I was barely attentive at church and I was in an ungodly work place, with secular friends. God plucked me out of a Bathsheba situation. And I praise God because He has been doing things at home, so the dynamic is not exactly the same. However I still have challenges to face. I could go on but here is my point. I want to purpose now to be disciplined at home as well as here. I want to be like Uriah with my mind on the battle.

Purpose in my heart to continue in disciplines I have practiced here.

I will give Dana a full account of my ten days at home when we return for field time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What Is Most Precious?

Psalm 119:11

“I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.”

When I see the word stored in this verse, I think of how precious in the sight of the writer God's word must be. In other translations it says Hid instead. To think of it like something so precious you must hide it away so it doesn't get lost or stolen, like a diamond or precious jewel. Why was it so precious to the psalmist? In the second half of our verse we see why. “that I might not sin against you.” God's word was precious to him, because God was precious to him. The psalmist loved God so much that his greatest desire was to have a relationship with God unhindered by sin.

I feel deeply this. I want so badly for there to be no barrier between me and God. However the more of God's word I know, the more I find myself a sinner. Now this knowledge could almost drive me further away from God, if not viewed in light of the gospel in which case it sets me free. The more I see my weakness I can either choose to run from God and ignore it, or I can choose to run to God for grace.

And as I consider that this weeks theme is discipline, I am reminded that our team building this week is committing Psalm 1 to memory. And as I want to be closer to God I think about how I have not been very disciplined in memorizing the memory verses as of the last few weeks. Ok I thinks it's application time


Store up God's word in my heart.


This week I will write down on not cards psalm 1, and our memory verse so that I can practice memorizing it, instead of just putting it on the back burner.

I Do Not Run Aimlessly

1st Corinthians 9:24-27
“Do you not know
that in a race all the runners run,
but only one receives the prize?
So run that you may obtain it.

Every athlete exercises self control in all things.
They do it to receive a perishable wreath,
but we an imperishable.

So I do not run aimlessly;
I do not box as one beating the air.

But I discipline my body
and keep it under control.
Lest after preaching to others
I myself should be disqualified.”

This chapter began with Paul defending his apostleship. Moved into how he has laid down his rights and become all things to all men that by all means he may save some. And the verse just previous to this passage says this “I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in it's blessings.”

Therefore I can conclude that this passage is speaking to work of the ministry. Paul was running to obtain a prize. What is the prize, I think it is to hear well done thou good and faithful servant at the end of our days.

“So run that you may obtain it.” How are we to run? This scripture goes on to tell us, that an athlete exercises self control in all things. So with self control in all things is how we are to run.

In ministry there are a lot of things that may not be sin, but perhaps should be avoided and it takes great self control to do so. One that comes to mind is spending time alone with the opposite gender. Even if you are doing nothing wrong, and are not tempted in any way by this. It opens the door to speculations. Then there are things that are sins that seem more minor, like, “white lies” or gossip. Lies are walking in darkness rather than light. And gossip is, though considered minor, one of the most destructive sins. It literally tears apart the church. These are all things to exercise self control in. Self control of itself is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. So then by being disciplined in spending time in prayer, the word, and worship, self control will be a natural result.

“I do not run aimlessly” If when running a race you leave the track you are going to be disqualified. When you run a race there is a very direct path to follow. God has a very direct path for my life. And I may not know the course of it in full, but in every race where you should and should not run is marked out clearly, usually by signs or officials pointing you the right way. God does the same, His general will is laid out clearly in His word. And His specific will is often shown us clearly step by step, sometimes through a sermon, or teaching, or friend or event.
“I do not box as one beating the air.”

I do not fight without a reason, I have an enemy, he seeks to devour and destroy me. And he seeks to destroy every one of my relationships. I must become skilled in knowing applying God's word in my life if I am to fight against him.
“But I discipline my body and keep it under control.”

If I lose control of my own body and fall, I will likely lose the race. This is I believe is referring to falling into sin.

“Lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

And sadly there are many great men in ministry that have fallen into devastating sins, that wrecked their ministry. And unfortunately many times when this happens it can be hard, not impossible but hard for them to return to the same office in that ministry.

“They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”

What is this imperishable wreath?

To be honest I am not sure what Paul is specifically speaking to. I will say for me what I want more than anything is to be in the center of God's will. And in revelation it says that the 24 elders in the throne room of God will have golden crowns to cast down at God's throne. Let me just say I don't know if we all get crowns and if we do, I know I don't deserve one. As I have read in a book, God calls us to a work, then enables us to do it, then rewards us for what He enabled us to do. However as my pastor says, “I want to have a crown so that I may cast it down at the throne of my God to worship Him.”

I know already that I have failed in so many ways. However, I also know that God has called me here. And that He is growing me, closer to Him and preparing me for the next six months of field time.

Run with intention and self control.

I need God. Tonight I will find a quiet place to pray and worship God alone.


1st Timothy 4:8

“for while bodily training is of some value,

godliness is of value in every way,

as it holds promise for the present life

and also for the life to come.”

Yesterday we hiked Agua, it was 13 thousand feet at the top, and about a 17 mile walk. Bodily training certainly seemed of value on that hike. I stretched whenever we stopped and tried not to let myself sit. But I don't think that is what got me up the mountain. There was a lot of prayer on the way up and down that mountain, for safety of our group and for strength. Strength for myself. I was feeling pretty good most of the way up, but I didn't know when I would hit a wall. God walked me up that mountain, I kept having scripture after scripture come to mind, and song after song. I wasn't sure I understood discipline before hiking that mountain, but it seems a bit clearer now. I wanted to keep walking, I didn't want to give up. Why? Because I really wanted to make it to the top. That was the reward for me. Even though it was cloudy and rainy, I don't know why, but it was still worth it. And that was what I was praying for as I hiked that trail, God please let me make it to the top, Please let me have a fast enough pace to make it. I am so thankful I made it.

I want to be godly, my motivation is twofold. Because it benefits me in the here and now. To have a disciplined prayer and devotional life brings me closer to God. And as I grow closer to Him, I have more peace, hope, and joy to face every trial. I am transformed from the inside out, this benefits my friendships, my work life, and my family life. Because as I am right in my Vertical relationship with God I become right in my relationships with people. I will not say I fully understand what is going to happen in the judgment of the righteous. I do not think by any means that we must earn salvation by some outward appearance or work. However like I already said Belief in Christ transforms us from the inside out as the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and works in and through us. The bible speaks of rewards. I like how I have heard it said before, God calls us to a work, then enables us to do it, and then rewards us for the work He enabled us to do. Like I said I do not understand it fully, but there will be rewards for us in heaven. But most of all what I look forward to is seeing my God face to face. To know even as I am known.

But what is godliness? Godliness is personified in the person of Jesus Christ seemingly. In 1st timothy 3:16 it says

“Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on by the world,
taken up in glory.”
This verse is definitely about Jesus.
So then to be godly is to be like Jesus.

To be honest I have been slowly falling apart, I have been getting behind on a lot of things and just not feeling or doing well. I am tired and worn out. I do not feel I have been very godly. Last night Chris announced that he wanted to start praying in the mornings at 6:15 am, for our time at home and for our countries, and country teams etc. I was incredibly encouraged by this because I have been a bit stressed about these things and having a group time to pray about them helps a lot. However in order to be a part of it I would have to wake up early. This ended up being the biggest blessing, I was able to have a longer quiet time. I want to be more disciplined in my quiet times, because the best way to become more like Jesus is being near to Him.

Train in godliness.

Be more disciplined in waking up early for prayer and devotions. I will wake up at 5 am each morning this week to get plenty of time with God.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

He Has Made Me His Own.

Philippians 3:12-13

“Not that I have already obtained this
or am already perfect,
but I press on to make it my own,
because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.
But one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect.” Paul is referring to the resurrection of the dead. How he must have longed for that even as the psalmist did when he said “I will be satisfied when I awake in your likeness”. How I long for that. Everyday I fall short as I live in this body, a body that is never satisfied, that is always longing for the wrong things. “but I press on to make it my own,”

Where does Paul get this energy to press on? It's easy for me to just look at any circumstance unpleasing to me and want to give up. The reason Paul presses on is one of the most precious pieces of scripture I think I have read, “because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” I cannot say those words enough, I cannot say enough about this. Jesus wants me, He wants me, He has made me His own. He bought me with His own blood, His own life. Jesus has Died for me to make me His own, and has sealed me with His precious Spirit, as I am being sanctified until someday I awake in His likeness. He loves me that much.

In a way pressing on seems to be walking in the belief that He truly has made me His own. And I think a lot of the time I can fall into the belief that I am not His. Now I know for a fact I am saved and His, but when I fall into sin yet again I can come to believe that God has disowned me in a sense. I feel I can't come to Him and ask for grace and forgiveness. I feel I don't deserve to lead a group prayer, or speak in a bible study, or be a part of an outreach. It's ok to grieve over sin, but sometimes I stay there way to long, to the point that I become ineffective. To the point I let it drive me from God instead of coming to Him. Yet in spite of everything I need to remember this truth. That Christ Jesus has made me His own.

Again Paul says “Brothers I do not consider that I have made it my own,” And then goes on to say “But one thing I do:”. Want to be like Paul, it only takes one thing. “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” How wonderful, many times I carry yesterdays with me. When In reality God wants me to hand them over to Him, to just let them go. Next is to keep our minds focused on what is ahead. Hope of heaven for one, and for another a patient expectation, a seeking out of what Jesus has for us each day. God has a call on my life, He wants to do a work in me, and work in others lives through me. This is convicting for me as well as encouraging, during my time here I have gotten a bit worn out. I have begun to get comfortable and am not seeking out what God wants to do in my heart as much as when I first got here. This is the dangerous place to be, I say so often I want to be closer to God, but what am I doing to seek Him out?


Walk in the knowledge of belonging to Jesus, and press onto knowing Him more.

Each day until Friday this week I will ask God what He wants to show me, and what He wants to do in or around me.

Am I Willing?

Philippians 3:11
“that by any means possible
I may attain
the resurrection from the dead.”

Am I willing to follow Christ so completely as this. Paul just laid out how he wishes to share in Christ' sufferings, how he wants to become like Christ in His death. Why? as I ended my IBS yesterday and as it goes on in a fashion to say in this verse. Because quite simply, you cannot experience resurrection power if you have never died. I think this thought is shown in another verse “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13

Paul is simply laying out another important portion of the Gospel. You must reckon the old man dead to live life anew. Set aside in your mind that if an opportunity arises for the flesh you walk away from it. Avoid any situation that would make occasion for the flesh. If your bent is alcohol don't go into a bar, or out to the bowling lanes with the guys on Friday night. If your bent is sensuality apart from morality, don't be alone in a room with someone. If your bent is reckless spending, don't go to the mall without an accountability partner. Leave no occasion to the flesh.

By any means possible die to self. This can only be done by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And as we learned in be filled now all you have to do for that is admittedly say “truth Lord” When he reveals sin in your heart, and let the blood of Jesus wash you clean. Then you give way to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Die to self.

I will fast from coffee until Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

To See A Man At His Death Is To Truly Know Him.

Philippians 3:10

“That I may know him (Christ)

and the power of his resurrection,

and may share in his sufferings,

becoming like him in his death,”

I think I, like most people, would easily agree with the first lines of this verse. Knowing Christ and His resurrection power, to that I would say a hearty amen! Then it goes onto to say “And share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” Firstly I actually really have to break this down. Sometimes I get so used to hearing verses I don't think about them. And as I wrote out this verse, I realized I did not really understand what this meant. To Share in Christ sufferings. This was easy for me to grasp, Christ was rejected, despised, and killed. But becoming like Him in his death what does that mean? What was Christ like in His death? Firstly he was quiet and willing. As a lamb is lead to the slaughter so was He. Secondly He was patient, enduring the pain. Thirdly He did not think of Himself but others when He said to one of the disciples “behold your mother” (Mary) Being the oldest and knowing He would die he passed the responsibility to care for His mother Mary to His disciple. Fourthly He was forgiving of His murderers. Fifthly He was listening, as He heard the request of a dying sinner on the cross next to Him. Sixthly He was alone, as He cried out “My father, my father, why hast thou forsaken me.” Although praise God He has promised to never leave us. And lastly, He really did die.

So what did Paul mean when he said “That I may...share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” That I may display the character of Christ in His final hours. That I may quietly and willingly walk the path God has for me. To be patient enduring the pain. To be thinking of others rather than myself. To give forgiveness even to those who do me great injustice. To be listening to and comforting others around me even as I experience great pain. To follow God even when I cannot feel Him near. To consider myself dead.

Because quite simply, you cannot experience resurrection power if you have never died.


Display the character of Jesus by dying to self.


Tonight I will ask God for Patience.

Reviling Like Poop.

Philippians 3:9

“and be found in him, (Christ)

not having a righteousness of my own

that comes from the law,

but that which comes through faith in Christ,

the righteousness that comes from God that depends on faith”

In the previous verse Paul has said he has counted all things as “rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ,” then it moves into our verse “and be found in him,”. The word Rubbish there literally mean poop. Paul counts every worldly thing as disgusting and worthless. Every sinful desire, every fleshly work, and dead works of the Jewish law, he has counted a loss if they keep him from knowing, gaining, and being found in Christ. Indeed anything that keeps us from abiding in faith in Christ should revile us in the same way that poop does. When you see sin, greed, or dead works for what they really are, and what they really do it can leave a sick feeling in your stomach. Even the things that tempt me daily when put in the right perspective lose their appeal. I think here Paul is referring to dead works more than anything else based on verses earlier in the chapter (see verses 3-6) and in context with the next portion of the verse as well. “Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,” How tragic it is if anyone would be deceived into thinking that works apart from faith could save them. Yet it happens daily. It should outrage us as Christians when others say you have to do such and such in order to be saved. Now we know also from the book of James that Faith without works is dead, so then how can these two seemingly contradictory statements be unified? Perhaps if we look at Ephesians 2:8-10 we will get a clearer view,

“For by Grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Salvation is by grace, grace is not only forgiveness of sins, but also God's restoration and sanctification of us, and this only comes through faith, and even that faith is a gift of God. For “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

So here is the thing, if you are working to be saved that is just not how it works. However when you hear the gospel and believe in Jesus to save you, the Holy Spirit fills you, and because of a changed heart the natural outcome is good works. It is the outworking of an inward change.

So all that to clarify the difference between dead works and serving the living God.
“but that which comes through faith in Christ,
the righteousness that comes from God that depends on faith”

The moment we believe and receive Christ we are considered Righteous in God's eyes because of our faith in the finished work of Christ. What Paul is now speaking of is justification. Justification is a long word but in this context it can be taken to mean just as if I'd never sinned. Our sin is no longer seen only the righteousness of Christ. God because of our faith views us as His own Son.

So what does all of this have to do with our week's theme of sacrifice? Perhaps like Naaman we are simply to sacrifice our pride and believe Christ' sacrifice was enough. To be humble and simply admit our need to be washed of our sin and our inability to save ourselves. This is where Paul lived, trusting in the righteousness of Christ for salvation. This is where we are to live daily.


Daily trust on the Jesus.


Today I will make a note of remembering that God sees Jesus righteousness when I pray in faith for forgiveness.

Surpassing Worth.

Philippians 3:8

“Indeed, I count everything as loss

because of the surpassing worth

of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

For his sake

I have suffered the loss of all things

and count them as rubbish,

in order that I may gain Christ.”

I truly love this verse. “The surpassing worth of Knowing... Jesus.” This is what stands out to me most. This is indeed what our lives are all about. We were created in the image of God, to be in relationship with God. Nothing more terrible could have happened than when sin entered our hearts and the world. Nothing could have broken and blinded us more. Nothing could have been more tragic. Nothing could have been worse. God made something so beautiful and so good, perfect relationship with Him. He made His masterpiece of creation and gave it to us, He walked and talked with us. Then like a painting by an amazing artist being torn, sin entered. Our hearts were torn from His. God is life, without Him there is only death, and that's what we chose in the garden of Eden. But the story does not end there.

God chose us again, He mended the torn painting, by letting His son be torn, bloodied, beaten, and killed. But can death undo that which is life? Jesus being one with God was life, and having no sin in Himself was perfect and Holy so that death had no claim on Him. So He died and rose again that we might know Him. It is the surpassing worth, worth that surpasses the value of everything else, so much so that everything else compared to knowing Him is like poop. “My Lord.” The way Paul says this is wonderful, it is so personal and intimate. Yes He is our Lord, but He is also my Lord.

Paul suffered, he really did. He suffered losing home, friends, respect from peers, and I am sure he gained a lot of aching bones from the times he had been beaten, shipwrecked etc. However all the respect that came from being a pharisee, the comfort, the food etc, all of it was vanity, empty, pointless compared to a life, or rather the truth life of being in communion with God.

I recounted last night at chapel how I had picked some things back up that I had laid down at the beginning of ignite, and how I wanted to press on to the goal. How I want to lay those things down again. Why? Because as I picked them back up I found myself becoming more and more disconnected from God. This is the goal I press onto, deeper relationship with God. Because nothing can surpass, nothing can come close to what it's like to know Jesus and walk in fellowship with Him. I have not yet suffered deeply, but if I do and I have Christ beside me it will be worth it.

Let go of rubbish.

Tonight I will ask God to show me what I need to let go of still.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Stop Living On The Doorstep Of Hell.

Matthew 18:15

“If your brother sins against you,

go and tell him his fault,

between you and him alone.

If he listens to you,

you have gained your brother.”

This verse goes against my very nature. My sin nature obviously. I'd rather pretend nothing happened than go and tell someone they did something to hurt me. I don't want to put strain on the relationship, I don't want drama. When it's something small this isn't really much of an issue I think, most times people just forget and move on. However when someone is actively manipulating and hurting you this becomes a problem. The cause of this is plain and simple, fear. I am an over thinker, I think about every possible outcome it seems, except the good ones. And I find myself in all of this to be the biggest coward ever to have lived. I know all the scriptures of God being on my side when I do the right thing, yet this fear still overpowers me daily.

“If your brother sins” It is important to judge according to God's word in these matters. Because I'm an emotional being prone to always thinking that someone else is in the wrong, I could easily destroy a relationship by always trying to get my own way, with the excuse that “they hurt me.”

“go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.” Whatever you do, do not make a public scene of things. Yet another place where I fail considerably, I try to address things in the moment that they happen, which is normally in a group of people. That instantly slanders the one being rebuked. Taking the time to seek them out and address the matter without an audience shows honor and love to the one you are rebuking. It keeps them from going on the defensive right away and removes peer pressure and fear.

“If he listens to you” There is no guarantee that he will listen to you, as it goes on in the scripture with each step of confronting the brother in sin, he may choose to listen, or he may not. He may turn nasty on you, say hurtful things etc. This is where the fear of course lies, we all fear being rejected and hurt. However “to consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their affect on myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.” ~Thomas Merton. As much as it is important to reconcile with others, and as real as the danger is of developing bitterness in your heart is, it's actually not about you.

Jesus was others minded when He came and died for us, and rose again. He was others minded when He called us to repent. He was others minded when He was Kind to us in the midst of our depravity. When you go to tell a brother of his fault it should be because you are minded of him and not yourself. When a brother continually sins against you, he is wandering from God and getting off course. We all need accountability, and if we do not give that we are robbing each other of true fellowship.

So yes he may not listen, yes he may reject you, but what if he does listen? Then you “have gained your brother,” not only that but being able to talk things out tends to make friendships even stronger than before. When we are strong together, we are better equipped for the work of the ministry. Indeed if there is division in a government, or army, it will be destroyed. United we stand, divided we fall.

So in all reality it is not about you, or at the very least it is not only about you. So before confronting a brother always ask, is it sin? Is what I'm going to say going to benefit him? Is how I'm going to say it honoring him and God?

Stop living on the doorstep of hell.

Tonight before bed I will pray for courage to do speak when God asks me to.

So Good, Rejoice.

2 Corinthians 13:11

“Finally brothers, rejoice.

Aim for restoration,

comfort one another,

agree with one another,

live in peace,

and the God of love and peace

will be with you.”

There is so much richness in this verse so let's start at the beginning.“Finally brothers, rejoice.” How lovely is it that this verse starts with a command to rejoice. What is he saying to rejoice about? Paul before this list of exhortations is talking about coming on his third visit to the church in Corinth, however it does not seem that is what he is talking about. No I would suppose that Paul is saying to rejoice in the Lord. And as random as it seems it really isn't because the joy of the Lord is to be our strength. This should be constantly at the forefront of our minds, that God has reconciled us to Him. That we are going to heaven. That we are in relationship with Jesus. That we have Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Even through the toughest trial none of these things will change, God loves you. We have no excuse not to have joy. That being said, joy does not mean an absence of sorrow, or sadness. You can be sad and have joy at the same time. Does it make sense. Not really, but there are many things in the world that no one understands fully. The fact is that we do experience both at the same time, we know that by experience whether it makes sense or not. Lets move on shall we.

“Aim for restoration,” Paul in verse 2 said some at Corinth who were in sin on his last visit that he would not spare them. I assume he means if they are still in sin. He goes on to say test yourselves to see if you be in the faith, and in verse 9 he says that “Your restoration is what we pray for.” This whole chapter seems to be filled with warnings about disobedience to God. Then the next command is swiftly written, “Comfort one another” I can imagine those frail in their faith feeling defeated by sin hearing the words to examine themselves. Perhaps feeling they've come up short one time too many and feeling unable to continue. Perhaps Paul is asking them to encourage one another not to give up hope in Christ and victory over their sin. Perhaps also for those strong in faith living in obedience since in general we all need encouragement during trial or persecution. Either way I love that command to comfort one another.

Next we are to “agree with one another,” This does not mean an all inclusive tolerance of every person and his or her sins. Rather it is that we are all to agree with one another under the word of God. And not to pick pointless battles which cause strife and division. It is submitting your will to one another as you plan a group project, or a day of outreach, or a bible study. It is being humble when someone rebukes you of sin. It is fine to be steadfast but make sure you are not just being stiff necked. When you want to be disagreeable take a moment to pray and see if God would instead have you agree.

“Live in peace,” Live your life in peace with God first and foremost, others second, and the government last. It is yet another short and sweet but rich command, living in peace is so preferable to living in contention. Why wouldn't we want to live in peace? The way to do this is very simple, confess your sins before God, and receive His forgiveness through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross. Next “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.” 1st peter 5:7 And “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 As you have peace in God it flows into every part of your life, including your relationships. Not to say you will never have fights or never have someone leave you, but rather having given everything to God you will be able to calmly view any situation with a peaceful perspective. Knowing that God holds all things in His hands.

Perhaps this is what is meant in the next portion of of Scripture, “and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

Rejoice, aim, comfort, agree, and live in peace with God and others.

I will look for ways to comfort my classmates, to encourage them to to be closer to God today.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Be Not Wise In Your Own Eyes.

Romans 12:16

“Live in harmony with one another.

Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.

Never be wise in your own sight.”

Harmony, it seems like a pretty word and I don't know the root of it. I would think of harmony in music, or to harmonize. Live in harmony, let the sounds of your lives harmonize together, complementing one another and making a beautiful sound. In a sense, so interact with your brothers and sisters in Christ that your lives become a song of worship that others love to listen to, that indeed it is hard for them to pull their attention away from, and that inspires them to join the song.

To make music together requires sacrifice, you have to sing in one key. You have have to sing the same notes. It's not jazz, it's not random, you have to submit your passions to the script of music. you can't go off and do your own thing it's not a solo. That being said there will be times when it's more a spontaneous jam session, times where everyone will be allowed to sing loudly and full of exuberant joy.

Live in harmony with one another, make music to the Lord with how you live. That being said there are a few things we are instructed to do that will help us stay on key.

“Do not be haughty” Don't be proud and arrogant. It's easy to form clicks in general, that is human nature. However it is pretty sad that in church settings we can in a sense have the popular crowd, sadder yet is if we look down on people not in our group. There can be groups with pious pride, who wear all the christian designer clothes, watch the newest christian movies, but never seem to talk with anyone outside their group. Who only ever seem to talk with those who share similar interest and hobbies. Am I saying, enjoying christian movies or branded clothes or music is bad? no, “but associate with the lowly.” Simply beware of only gravitating towards those like yourself, and make sure to associate with the quiet people, the ones that may look a bit odd. They may be different but that's good, God likes to use relationships with those different from us to shape and grow our character.

“Never be wise in your own sight.” When I use my own wisdom, things do not go very well. I usually end up hurting someone or being hurt. I love that this sentence starts with the word Never. It makes things much more simple. How awful would it be if it said sometimes. I would be left trying to figure out when to use God's wisdom instead of my own. How much heartache I'd have to go through. This instruction also falls in with not being haughty or proud. Everyone naturally does what they think is best in their own sight. The problem is our sight is rather limited. There is only one who can see clearly and infinitely, that is God. So be wise in His sight. But if after knowing God's will we choose what we think is best, that is ultimate foolishness and pride. What could be more proud than thinking you know better than God? And what could be more foolish since God wants what is best for all involved? So never be wise in your own sight.

Live in such a way my life compliments my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Tomorrow I will look for ways to compliment my class mates.

No Darkness At All.

1st John 1:5-7

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His son cleanses us from all sin.”

God is light, I am a slow learner so I have to really break these things down. I love this image though, really can there be any darkness in light? No. What does light do? It exposes, and makes visible all things. On a sunny day you can pick out so many details in all the beauty of creation. Light also makes visible things you want to avoid, like while driving. It makes it so a surgeon can see clearly during surgery. Light is amazing, it is pure energy, and no one can fully understand how it travels. We need it so much that if we don't have it we get depressed.

God is light, He exposes what is in our lives good and bad. He is the source of life, of energy from which everything is sustained. He is our joy without him we are purposeless.

God is light, isn't that amazing to think about.

Now if you walk where the light is, and darkness is the absence of light, it is impossible to walk in darkness and light. It is impossible to walk with God and not see our sin. As we walk with God He exposes sin in our life and we then either choose to accept that truth and confess our sins to God and each other, or reject and ignore that truth hiding it away in darkness.

Now lets look at the attributes of darkness. Darkness hides, obscures, frightens, and confuses. Have you tried to read a book in the dark? Or walk through the woods on a cloudy night. When we are walking in darkness hoping no one can see what's happening, the scary thing is neither can we. It is dangerous because for all you know you may be about to walk off a cliff. So it is when we try to hide our sins, to pretend everything is fine. When we hide from God and pull away from Him because of sin, we pull away from the only One Who can help us see a way out. We hide it from our brothers and sisters, which not only weakens us but them. But as we bring things to the light we “Have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His son cleanses us from all our sin.”
And we find encouragement in each others struggles knowing we aren't alone.

Confess sin before God and when appropriate man.

I make myself available to talk with any of you if you need to talk or pray. And I also give Team Guatemala girls permission to ask me what's really going on if I seem down, and I have to answer them truthfully.

Happy Servants.

Luke 12:37-40

“Blessed are those servants whom the master find awake when he comes.
Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them.
If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants!
But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into.
You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

First off how amazing is the blessing for the servant who is faithfully watching and waiting for the master. Earlier this week we saw how a servant may work all day and be asked to serve their master dinner before being allowed to eat his own, and that this is by no means unfair. The awesome part is even though we are unworthy servants, and we have only done our duty, even though we may not be thanked by others around us, or at this time. Someday Jesus says there will be a time for rest. He will say well done thou good and faithful servant. The instruction is also very clear. Be awake. Stay awake, don't become distracted by the cares of this world. Don't look to the right or the left but straight ahead towards the goal. Don't fall asleep, don't get comfortable. And that's my tendency, that's what I'll do, that's what any natural man will do. I will let myself get comfortable in my sin. I'll let myself get comfortable with working for my comfort instead of to bless others. I have definitely made the mistake of sleeping on the job, it is hard not to. I get so physically drained and hit from every direction, family problems, temptations, friends walking away from Christ. I don't stop believing in God or anything like that, but I can curl up in a fetal position and admit defeat. I honestly feel it a lot, the temptation to go to sleep, physically even, when I feel overwhelmed. It is pretty easy for others to tell when I'm like this. Part of me doesn't want them to know, but I suck at hiding it and I am too tired to care, and I ignore them so they won't ask.

Then there is the other extreme, the times where I say no I'm going to fight, but it's still more than I can handle and I break.

There's is only one way to stay awake, realize it is too much to handle, and then realize you don't have to. Give it to God. If you are consumed with God's presence, you will not fall asleep, and you will be faithfully serving him.

You will be ready, and this comes with a warning. Be ready because you do not know when Jesus is coming back. After this text Peter asks if this parable is for everyone. Jesus confirms by telling another parable of a faithful and unfaithful manager. The faithful one is blessed. But the unfaithful thinking his master is delayed acts incredibly evilly. Beating the servants and drinking wine to get drunk. His end is to be cut to pieces and beaten.

Am I abusive to those around me? Not physically, not even verbally perhaps, but do I neglect to show them love and encourage them in their walk with Christ?

Do I drink, or come under the influence of substances? No I have never had strong drink or come under the influence of drugs in my life, but have I used the gifts and abilities God gave me for my own gain? To get what I want?

On a smaller scale this all comes back to me serving self over God, it comes down to not being aware that my master is coming soon. This is serious business. It's scary, and makes me want to run from God, ignore His voice so I'm not as responsible for my actions. Then I become dull, unable to hear or see, I fall asleep and am unconscious of God in a sense. Something I am learning is when I want to ignore my problems, when I want to run from God that's when I need to press into Him. It's the only escape. I need to serve Him, not self. Here I am repeating myself. Must mean it's time to end this IBS.

Press into God when you want to run.

When I am struggling during morning devotions this week I will take time to pray and ask God what is going on in my heart, and ask for strength to deal with it.

No Longer...

John 15:15

“No longer do I call you servants,

for the servant does not know what his master is doing;

but I have called you friends,

for all

that I have heard from my Father

I have made known to you.”

We have an interesting position before God, and God uses the many different relationships in culture and society, or in creation to help us understand it as parts instead of a whole. We are His beloved, but not only that. We are His unprofitable servants, but not only that. We are His brother or sister, but not only that. And how wonderful to know we are His friend. I think God must have to break it down that way because we probably wouldn't be able to grasp it as a whole. And why does He call us friend? The reason is wonderful. Because He has told us everything He heard from His Father, not some, but all.

Who do you tell your deepest thoughts and plans to? You're friend. Who do you tell what your Heavenly Father is doing in your life? Your friends right.

But more than just calling them friends, I think Jesus is really being a friend, because He didn't hold back the truth. Am I being a friend in this area of my life? I hate to say it, but this is an area I struggle with, again I really don't like to make others uncomfortable. And sometimes telling the truth does that. But good friends now how to speak truth into your life in a way that does not threaten, or put us on the defense. I only know this because I have been lucky enough to have one or two friends who could do this. I wish I could remember where the verse is, I think it is a proverbs, or psalms, but I think it applies here so I will quote it as best I can from memory, “The rebuke of a friend is better than the kisses of an enemy.”

The rebuke of Jesus is better than the kisses of the devil. An enemy will pretend to be your friend in order to destroy you. But a friend will tell you the truth even if it means looking like an enemy.

So a friend will tell you what he is doing, and he will tell you the truth.

A friend will also choose you. How many friendship have you had last where someone would be you're acquaintance and it stops there? Why? They did not really want to know you, even if you choose a friend that friend may never respond and choose you. In verse 16 Jesus says He chose His disciples. And Jesus chose us, that is a huge comfort. But as the disciples had make the choice so do we. You can see this if you contrast Peter and Judas Iscariot. Judas responded, but it was with betrayal. Peter try to follow Jesus and ended up denying Him. Judas gave up and hung himself. Peter Went back to fishing, but Jesus called Him again and Peter responded. I think everyone here has responded, or else you would not be at ignite. Looking back at verse 13 we see the ultimate form of friendship and love. Is it marriage? No. Jesus says that a friend lays down his life for his friends, and that this is the greatest form of love. Every day as friend with Jesus we are to lay down our lives, even as he laid down His life for us. Not only that but in verse 12 he commanded us to love each other with the same love with which He loved us. We are to Continually lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

There are so many other ways to describe friendship, it is a wonderful and intimate thing we have with Jesus. We are His servants, but we are also servants known and loved so well by our master that He calls us friends. I must note there is one condition to this friendship, that is to do whatsoever Jesus commands us. It says in another place of the bible The work of God is to believe on the one Whom He has sent. But in context Jesus is commanding us to love as He loved. We cannot do this ourselves, it is a supernatural love that comes when we believe, confess, repent, and are filled with the Holy Spirit.


Love My Brothers and Sisters as Christ Loved me.


Today I will show love to my room mates by doing one act of service for them of their choosing.

Private Fellowship Turns Public.

Amos 3:3

“Do two walk together,
unless they have agreed to meet.”

This is the first question in a series of rhetorical questions. Most if not all having an obvious no as the answer. The last question is the latter half of verse six “Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?” This text is speaking to the punishment of Israel, but it does stir the mind to think of unity. The version I have is ESV and I have never heard it said quite like this before. The first thing I draw from this verse is communication, they have agreed to meet. In order to have unity you must have good communication. I think of our team commitment, in order to have unity we had to talk things out. Can I say that was probably the most difficult team building for me? I knew the one thing we were all passionate about is God and His word. And I know that when people feel strongly about something, they have a natural tendency to divide. I see this across the church today. How many different denominations there are, and how fiercely one group can fight against another over God's word. When God's word is meant to bring us into submission to each other under God. I thank God that nothing nasty was said during the creation of our team commitment. I thank God the leadership had the wisdom to put us through such an exercise. I am thankful for the very reason that the thing I feared, division, would likely have happened had we not been asked to create a team commitment. As we have agreed to meet in one mind, one love, one Spirit, and one Purpose, we are able to walk forward together in humility.

As important as it is to take this in our relationships with each other, it is exceedingly more important in our relationship with God. And that's what this verse is really speaking to me more than anything. Unless we have unity with God we cannot have unity with each other. I have to bring my own mind under the mind of Christ. I need to abide in His love. I must submit my soul to His Spirit. Only then will I see clearly His purposes. Only then may I walk in humble obedience to Him and my siblings in Christ.

Just as in our friendships communication is key, so it is the same in our relationship with God.

There are three main forms of communication I have been learning to grow in, prayer, reading the word, and worship. Each one of these has been powerful to me, particularly when listening. This is an area I really struggle in. Things that have been helping are writing out my prayers, and changing up where I pray, or worship, also taking time to practice these things alone. Yet I still struggle, when it comes down to it, even helpful tools like writing out prayers and changing scenery will only help if my heart is in the right position before God. I can so easily ask God a question and not be patient enough to wait for a response. In a sense I can just as much use those tools to ignore God rather than listen to Him. This brings me a to a place of confession, and repentance. And I become more mindful of those times of reading praying and worshiping.

As I carve out that time to listen to God and submit to Him, and have fellowship with Him, there comes an overflow into my other relationships. And those things done in solitary, flow into being done publicly. This builds unity as well.

By having alone time with God and submitting to Him, grow in unity with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Tonight I will share my testimony with my room mates, and if they are willing have a time of public prayer and worship with them.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Servants Are To Forgive.

Matthew 20:26-28

“So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denari, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying 'pay what you owe.'”

I know this story well, but I never before thought of the servant aspect of it. If we are indeed God's servants we need to treat each other with the same grace that our master treats us with. I like that God uses parables, this concept would be harder to grasp without such a story.

I want to make sure I forgive with all my heart. That's a tough business sometimes. And my mom used to liken it to me this way, be ready to forgive others when they apologize to you. So I asked her what if my heart is not right at that time, how will I forgive them. She told me I'm God's child and God will like a Father taking His child on a trip does not give them the ticket until they need to hand it to the conductor of the train. I have heard a story of a women of faith, who met with the murderer of some of her family members. He asked her forgiveness, she tells that she stuck out her hand woodenly to shake his, and as he took hold she felt a rush of warmness flow through her whole body, And with a smile and total honesty she was able to say “I Forgive you brother, with my whole heart!”

She was obedient in action, and in that moment God met the need in her heart with His love for that man.

Forgiveness is an action as much as it is an attitude of the heart. It's choosing to say you don't owe me anything. It's choosing to see that person as God sees them. As we are obedient in that God meets us.

But sometimes you may never have someone ask forgiveness, why? They have no idea that they have in any way hurt you. This is where Matthew 18 comes into play, you need to talk out those things.

This is in fact where I struggle most. I will let things hide in the depths of my heart more often than not. I hate to bring up any sort of wrong. I hate to confront people even if it is with the truth. So I have a tendency to hide when I've been hurt and try to ignore it.

I beg you'd pray for me in this area of my life. Because I really need it.

I also have trouble distinguishing if I need to talk them or just let it go, as I tend to be overly sensitive.

All I know is I need to forgive others the way I've been forgiven. I need to not hold their debts over them, heaven help me if I do. As I look to the example of forgiveness I've been given, I cannot help but feel convicted, and encouraged to love others.


A servant must be able to work with others servants and must therefore put away any bitterness towards them by whatever means necessary.


Tomorrow in my devotions I will ask God to reveal to me who I need to forgive, I will forgive them by saying aloud that I forgive them by name. Then I will seek if God wishes to have me do anything further.

5 Things

Luke 17:7-10

“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and recline at table'? Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink'? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'”

“Thing upon thing.

Not thanked.

Not charging the overseer with being unfair or harsh.

Not prideful.

Christianity 101.” ~Pastor G.

I have had a lot of days like this. I'll be honest I have forgotten to eat meals on days like this. And I will also be honest in saying there's a part of that doesn't want to have days like this any more.

I think that must be because I try to do this in my own strength a lot. Or because I have forgotten the fruit that was yielded. Because I feel the aches and pains in my body but not the joy in my heart. And that there should settle that I did it in my own strength too many times, because if I don't feel the joy I wasn't serving in the strength of Holy Spirit.

But now I let my mind search for days when I have done this and felt full joy. I think of when we went to Esquintla on Saturday. We woke early, I brought along a sandwich and water. People shared their snacks with me for which I was thankful. It was hot dusty, my throat felt parched much of the time, and my eyes were stinging by the end of it. But that is not the memory that stands out to me. What is fully ingrained in my memory, are faces and names and smiles. Monica, a little girl who smiled and was very inviting to everyone. I remember hearing the BuildinGuate Team we were with talking about how Monica was asking about someone on their team who had not been back for a while. This little girl was concerned not with her own troubles but with what was going on with the BuildinGuate team. Next I remember Javier, and a boy who's name I could not hear properly or pronounce. When I asked him to write it he spelled it Iertc I think. I remember Javier Drawing picture after picture and wondered how he was getting so many papers, but he was so excited to draw. I still see the tree and some of the flowers he drew, and in one of the pictures a ring, which he told me en espanol es anillo.

I remember Iertc, who worked steadily on one picture for most the time that Javier ran back and forth grabbing markers and paper. It was a house with a path and flowers 3 windows and a door. The colors he chose after drawing his outline were bright, and though it was not hyper realism at all, the amount of time and work he put into it made it beautiful. I remember Meeting an older woman by the name Francisca, She had two little boys with her, we walked passed her and I greeted her with the typical Buenas Tardes, but her gaze held mine as I was about to turn away, so I gave her my full attention and introduced myself. What I remember clearly about her was her smile, it was incredibly warm and welcoming. A smile, such a small thing and yet it left such an impact. There are many more memories of playing with the kids and being drawn on with markers. I smile when I remember them. Why do I say all of this? Thing upon thing, that day was long without much comfort, but I felt complete joy, I did not feel I needed to be thanked by the end of it, I almost felt the size of lunch was unfair once or twice but that was more my own doing because I dropped one of my pieces of ham, and by the end of it I did not feel a worthy servant. There was still so much to do, and I wished I could do more, I walked away feeling like the one blessed, Feeling I had not given so much as I had taken. I felt and unprofitable servant.

Then we got back and our team building was feeding each other. That was honestly where I started having less of a servant heart, and I really did not like that team building. I hate letting people do things for me when they probably don't want to. Especially something I can for myself. To me it was a humiliating experience, and I am thankful Autumn was so gracious about it. Somehow we got through it. A meal was had, and despite all the mistakes I made and the mess I made, I feel we grew closer through it.

And that was the point.

God does not need us to serve. He can do the job ten times better without me. But He wants to do something in me, not just through me. There was so much more to do in Esquintla, so much that I know I am not a worthy servant. And the amount God did in me that day was far more than what He did through me. I think a big part of that was all the prayer before going that day. So when those long days come, I must remember the joy of the Lord is my strength, or else all I will remember is the soreness and pain in my body.


Don't do thing upon thing in your own strength, but let the Joy of the LORD be your strength.


During my devotions tomorrow I will make a point to ask for God to fill me will His strength and joy. For a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit.

Servants Follow.

John 12:26

“If anyone serves me,

he must follow me;

and where I am,

there will my servant be also.

If anyone serves me,

the Father will honor him.”

If, the word that is hardest for me to hear. I don't like ifs especially ones that are dependent on my actions. The fear of failing and never reaching the goal is constant, but that fear is not from God. However think of the condition for serving Jesus, “he must follow me.” Jesus is deeply troubled in Spirit at this point, His hour has come. He asks if He should ask the Father to save Him from this hour, yet He knew that for this hour He had come into the world. With this in mind think of where Jesus would be asking them to follow Him. A servant must die to self in order to follow Jesus and quite often physical death. Well that is what we must do to follow Him. But I realize as I look at this scripture something else. To serve Jesus we must walk close with Him. This is the secret to not getting so caught up in ministry that we miss the point.
We must die to self daily, that may come by walking closer in our devotions, and by being more transparent with God. As I read in Be Filled Now all God desires is for us to confess and allow Him to work in us by submitting to His word and saying “Truth LORD.” “For if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1st John 1:9
If you want to serve Jesus you must walk closely with Him, for only then will you know the desires of His heart, and how He will want you to serve Him. The heart of a servant that God desires I feel is like the women who washed Jesus feet. Her desire was to love Jesus, and with her tears and hair she washed His feet. Oh that our desire would be like hers. What an incredible heart, contrite of her sins, and seeking to love and give to Jesus. Or like Mary who sat at Jesus feet and listened. She just wanted to soak in Jesus words, and listen to Him.
I have empty hands, I have nothing that God needs, and in fact find myself needing from Him. As I receive I want to give, and I want to receive more. I want more of God every day. I feel a deep thirst for Him. I hate feeling numb. And instead of ignoring it I ask God to break me again. I don't want to get comfortable I want to get closer.
“If anyone serves me, he must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.”

You can tell a servant of Jesus by looking at there life, you can see the glow in there eyes. They are with Jesus. Every morning they are up earliest. During worship they are excited, surrendered and soulful. In their speech they are gracious. Perhaps the best way to know when someone is a servant of God is that they are so close to Him they act just like Him.

“If anyone serves me, the Father will honor Him.”

Here is a promise and a wonderful one at that, if you serve Jesus the Father will honor you. Not only Is Jesus calling you to walk closely with Him, and die to self daily, but living that way gains honor from God our heavenly Father. What more can we want. And what a joy we can have as a servant of Jesus.


Walk closer to God through quiet time and dying to self.


Tomorrow I will get up at 5:30 to have more time to pray and seek Jesus.