Welcome To Daily In Christ Devotionals

Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Marriage Minute: The Three Legged Race

My wife and I were recently talking about a missionary couple in England. She was telling me a little bit about their story and the struggles and blessings they have received as missionaries. One of the things that stood out very clear in everything she shared was their commitment to one another and their ability to work together as a team. Of course, being the analogy kind of guy that I am I had to give an analogy back to her as I reflected what she was telling me. "It is kind of like they are in a three legged race and they are running in synchronicity" I shared. (I know, kinda dumb, I'll admit it)

Our conversation got me thinking about the relationship I have with Lori and the way we work together as a husband and wife. Do we run the race together with our legs tied well and our feet moving in the same direction? Or, are we constantly trying to untie our leg, run in opposite directions, and/or falling all over each other?

So today's marriage minute I wanted to share some things that a couple can do to work more like a team rather than running in different directions. It isn't all inclusive, doesn't come from some marriage guru, and is merely the things God has shown me over the years that has allowed me to experience a real blessing in my marriage.
  • Pray Together: I believe our spiritual lives need to be in unison before anything else will work properly. Pray with your spouse and your family.
  • Love the Lord together. This means worship together, read the Word with one another, go to church together...
  • Take care of your own spiritual life. When you know the love of Jesus intimately then you have a greater chance of looking like Jesus to your spouse. True love can only come from the source.
  • Adore one another. Sounds corny right... but really, who should adore you more? When you find true love in your spouse you will not be so taken by someone else and your ability to combat temptation is far greater.
  • Resist temptations... Another team killer is when we give into our temptations and find ourselves cleaning up messes rather than moving forward in our marriage. When the hook comes, don't bite it!
  • Learn and develop healthy communication skills respecting each others differences. We will never agree 100% of the time. (And that's what makes us unique)
  • Minimize Conflict. How often do we stand our ground on petty differences? Allow your spouse to have a differing opinion and feel free to express it without you becoming defensive.
  • Establish goals that point you in the same direction. Often couples will have different goals and desires for the path of the marriage and family and not know it because they have never discussed it. Don't just assume your spouse has the same desires as you. Take time discussing where you want to go in your marriage so it doesn't go in opposite directions.
These are just a few ideas to help build teamwork in your marriage. I would love to hear from you!

Daily In Christ - Marriage Minute Challenge

Take a minute today and share what you have done in your marriage to build teamwork. Leave a comment for others to read and benefit from your experiences. If you are struggling in the area of teamwork in your marriage I encourage you to go to the Lord today and tell Him your desires for your marriage. Then listen to Him and see if what you want is what He wants... Then begin to discuss them with your spouse and be open to where He leads you.

Blessings today as you devote your life and your marriage to Him.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Salvation Sunday: First-born Over All Creation

Today, as I prayerfully give thanks for the gift of salvation, I can't help but think about the object of our salvation. Jesus Christ, the first-born of all creation (Col 1:15). The Son of the Living God.

Jesus, being firstborn, doesn't imply He was the first created thing. It gives us the position in which He holds as God. "First-born over all creation" makes Him wholly and completely God. He is sovereign over all of creation. He is God.

Daily In Christ - Salvation Sunday

Today I encourage you to ponder the Biblical truth that Jesus is 100% God and Sovereign over all creation. As well as this, He came to earth as a man, lived a sinless life, and died a horrific death on the cross as an atonement for you and me.

Thank you Jesus for the gift of eternal life with you.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sovereignty Saturday: The Omniscience Of God

Over the past two Saturday's I have look at the Biblical truths surrounding the Sovereignty of God through the attributes of God. Week one was the Omnipotence of God. This is an attribute that is solely God's alone. It is the ability to have all power to accomplish anything He desires. Week two brought us Omnipresence. This is the understanding that God is in all places at all times. This week I will share about the Omniscience of God. Omniscience is another attribute unique only to God. It is the ability to know all things. Not only to know, but to have perfect knowledge.

Believing that God has all knowledge means we come to an understanding that there is nothing past, present, or future that escapes Him. Whether it be in the natural realm (Psa 147:4-5), the spiritual realm (Psa 139:7) , or buried deep inside the human heart (Psa 139:2-4), God has perfect understanding of what is going on. As one who knows all, nothing will occur without first passing through Him. In His Sovereignty comes great security for the believer. When we are harmed, He knows our pain and shows us compassion. Difficulties and trials don't take Him by surprise. When we rejoice, He is the source of our joy, and rejoices with us.

A. W. Pink (1886-1952) in his book "Divine Inspiration of The Bible" states it like this:

"The Bible gives forth no uncertain sound. It speaks with absolute assurance, dogmatism, and finality. Its promises are certain for they are promises of Him who cannot lie. Its testimony is reliable for it is the inerrant Word of the Living God. Its teachings are trustworthy for they are a communication of the Omniscient. The believer then has a sure foundation on which to rest, an impregnable rock on which to build his hopes. For his present peace and for his future prospects he has a, “Thus saith the Lord,” and that is sufficient." (emphasis added)

Daily In Christ - Sovereignty Saturday

1John 3:20 tells us that God knows all things. Today I encourage you to begin to wrap your mind around that Biblical truth. He knows your thoughts, He knows when the next natural disaster will occur, and He loves you enough to know the number of hairs on your head.

God's Omniscience gives me comfort in my walk with Him because I have a God who is all knowing. And when I put into the mix His loving nature; pure love and all knowledge is an awesome combination.

Blessings to you today as you put your trust in Him.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Freedom In Christ: Joy In The Midst Of Suffering

The title of today's post may seem like an oxymoron to many people. How is one to experience joy in the midst of suffering? It almost seems like an insult to suggest to someone to find joy in their trials and suffering... and to one who hasn't experienced the transforming power of Christ, it very well may be. In this post today I can hardly expect to tackle all of the challenges that come from suffering and how we will find the Joy of the Lord in them. So, I will continue on pursuing this topic again in future posts as the Lord leads.

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Pure Joy is exactly what Jesus offers us when we find our freedom in Him (John 15:10-11; John 17:13; 1Pet 1:8; ). We are free to experience the joy of the Lord in the midst of suffering because we understand, as followers of Christ, we are to share in his sufferings (2Cor 1:5; Phil 3:10). Now this Biblical truth may be absolutely foreign to many Christians, because most American churches don't often teach about finding our joy in Christ in the midst of trials and suffering. We live in a culture that does everything in its power to avoid suffering and pain, therefore, as Christians we often believe God is there to assist in that goal. But joy in our trials is not a new truth by any means. We are told in the book of Acts that through many trials we must enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).

So how do we find joy in the midst of suffering? I believe first and foremost we need to understand that God has a plan and purpose in all of our lives (Jer 29:11; Zech 8:15; ). Whether in success or failure, good times or bad, God is doing a work that will ultimately bring glory to Him and good for us. Secondly we are not always able to understand His ways of working (Job 42:1-3; Isa 55:8-9; Ecc 7:14). And third, we must come to the understand that God is good (Psa 100:5; Psa 118:1) and He works all things together for our good (Rom 8:28-29).

When we begin to understand that different forms of suffering in our life is inevitable, then we are able to draw near to God rather that blame Him. God does allow us to go through pain and suffering for our good and here are some reasons why. (I will use the word trials for simplicity sake)
  • Trials strengthen our faith (1Pet 1:6-7)
  • Trials are predetermined by God (1Thes 3:3; 1Pet 4:19)
  • Trials bring about perseverance (Rom 5:3)
  • Trials build endurance (Jam 1:3-4)
  • Trials defeat arrogance and bring humility (2Cor 12:7-10)
  • Trials cause us to rely on God (Psa 118:5)
  • Trials allow us to receive the crown of life (James 1:12)
When suffering and trials become a way for us to build us up in our relationship with Christ we are able to look at them differently. "So where is the joy?" you ask.

Rom 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

When we believe the Word of God to be true, when we understand that God is working for our good, when we rely on Him for our source of strength, then we are confident that God will fill us with all joy and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit.. Rom 15:13

Joy in the midst of suffering is not an immediate response in our life. It comes by being grounded in the Word and rooted in Jesus Christ. As you ponder and pray over today's post I encourage you to seek the Lord in your trials and ask Him to fill your heart with joy.

Until next week, I pray that you seek joy in Him as you face trials of many kinds.


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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Give Thanks - Delight yourself in the LORD

Psa 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

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I have heard this verse many times in my Christian walk and it was often associated with what God will do for me. "He will give you the desires of your heart!" As I wrote in last weeks Give Thanks post, often God's promises come with a premise. So instead of focusing on what God will do for me, I find it in my heart to look at the first part of the verse.

The premise in this Psalm is that we "delight ourselves in the LORD." So today I want to dive into what it means for us to delight in Him.

DELIGHT: To affect with great pleasure; to please highly; to give or afford high satisfaction or joy;

To delight in God is more than merely giving up something and begrudgingly serving him. It isn't a duty we perform because we have to. It is the unbridled pursuit in finding all joy, all happiness, and all satisfaction in Him regardless of our circumstances. To delight in God is to find everything else to be grotesque in comparison. Unlike our pursuit of earthly pleasure, there is no satisfying our delight in God. There is no over doing it. You can not pursue your delight in God too much. And when you are done at the end of the day, there is no regret, no shame, and no guilt. Unlike the desires of the flesh, our delight for God is unquenchable.

Our pursuit of delighting in God will bring us ultimate fulfillment and joy. When his joy becomes our joy there is nothing more satisfying. When we go to work, take the Joy of the Lord with us. When we go to school or even to the grocery store, if we are delighting in the Lord we will possess and inexpressible joy that is contagious to others.

Daily In Christ - Give Thanks

Today I encourage your to give thanks to God by finding all of your delight in Him. Turn away from worldly desires, lusts of the flesh, and delight solely in Jesus.

Blessings to you as you delight in HIM.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Time For Worship: Scott MacIntyre - No Fear

Since this week was the return of American Idol, I thought it appropriate to share a video from a contestant from 2009 who gives all glory to God. His name is Scott MacIntyre.

This is a song he wrote:


As the first blind finalist on “American Idol,” MacIntyre was called “an inspiration to the entire world through your commitment, through your talent” by former judge Paula Abdul. Visually impaired since birth, he started playing piano by ear at age three, began classical lessons at six, and subsequently learned to play organ, guitar, bass and drums. When the family moved to Toronto for several years, he studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Music before relocating to Arizona, where, at fourteen, the home-schooled MacIntyre was admitted into Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College and Herberger College of Fine Arts...

To learn more about Scott MacIntyre you can visit his website.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

True Life Challenge - Grace Through Humility

Jas 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

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As I think about this verse today I ask myself one question. If God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble, how is a proud person able to become humble? C. S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, puts it this way:

"There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others. The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility." - C. S. Lewis

So back to the question... how do we defeat this pride in our life that is most disliked by others? How do we conquer this unpopular vice and pursue true humility? Most people who struggle with pride, according to Lewis, are simply unconscious of it in themselves. It is a viscous circle that requires divine intervention.

The first step to true Christian humility is coming to the realization that pride is an abomination to God and separates us from Him (Pro 16:5). In addition to separation from God, it also separates us from other people. Once we identify pride in our heart, we can begin dealing with the sin and working toward becoming right with God. Jas 4:10 tells us to humble ourselves before the Lord. This requires that we profess the condition of our heart to God. The ugliness, worthlessness, and sinfulness that dwells inside of us. Admit that we are nothing apart from Jesus and we require complete dependence on Him.

Daily In Christ - True Life Challenge

Today's True Life Challenge is this. Pray Psalm 139:23-24 and ask God to reveal your heart. Then, when you have identified anything that might be grievous, ask the Lord to cleanse it from you.

Psa 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Blessings to you today as you draw close to Him.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Marriage Minute: Delight In One Another...

Pro 5:18-20 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?

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Today's Daily In Christ Marriage Minute may be a reality check for some. A time where you are reminded to prune away some sinful behaviors and rededicate your heart to the one person God gave to you for the rest of your life. For others it may simply be an affirmation of a great blessing in your life, your love and affection for your husband or wife... These verses in the book of Proverbs affirm my God given love and devotion to my wife, and my never ending commitment to my marriage.

It grieves the Lord tremendously when a couple who have devoted themselves to one another find their marriage bed tarnished because of selfishness and sin. God has designed a perfect system for us to enjoy the fruits of marriage and we spend a lot of time and effort messing it up sometimes. God said it is not good for man to be alone and made a perfect specimen for him (Gen 2:8). When we selected our spouse we did so with the intent that we would keep ourselves pure and only devoted to the one He gave us.

Daily in Christ - Marriage Minute Challenge

Do you delight in your spouse the way you did from the time you first met? Are you still exhilarated by their love or have you been drawn to other things to satisfy your desires? I encourage you to make a firm commitment to not allow the temptations of other people, the lusts of the flesh, and the impure desires of your heart have any place in your life.

I pray today that you will delight in the wife (and husband) of your youth. Ask Jesus to be your strength and source of love toward your spouse.


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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Salvation Sunday: The Importance of Repentance

When I think of Salvation the first thing that comes to mind is the act of repentance. Repent and be baptized it tells us in the book of Acts (Acts 2:38) As I think about this weeks Salvation Sunday post, I am led to the subject of repentance.

So, this week I get a little help from M. G. Easton. The Eastons' Bible Dictionary defines repentance as this:

There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance.

  1. The verb metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Mat_27:3).
  2. Metanoeo, meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge.
  3. This verb, with the cognate noun metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.

Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin (Psa 119:128; Job 42:5, Job 42:6; 2Cor 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavor after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.

The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Psa 51:4, Psa 51:9), of pollution (Psa 51:5, Psa 51:7, Psa 51:10), and of helplessness (Psa 51:11; Psa 109:21, Psa 109:22). Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Psa 51:1; Psa 130:4).

True Christian repentance is when you have identified your sinfulness before God, you have an understanding that God is merciful, a disgust for your sin, and a desire to pursue God through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Daily In Christ – Salvation Sunday Challenge

If you haven’t done so in your life, now would be a good time to REPENT!

I pray today that you can come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sovereignty Saturday: The Omnipresence Of God

Psa 139:7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

Last week I shared on the topic of the omnipotence of God. It is the ability in which He can do all things that do not conflict with His holy nature. God has the power to do anything He wants to. This week I delight in looking at the omnipresence of God. I know for me, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience… they all can seem quite confusing. However, when it comes to understanding and trusting in the Sovereignty of God, they are all characteristics that are vital to who He is.

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Omnipresence defined: The understanding that God is in all places at all times.

If God, being all powerful, can do whatever He desires, then what is to stop Him from being anywhere He desires. I know for me in my Christian walk, I have a general understanding that God has the power to go everywhere. But to put my head around the fact that He IS everywhere at the same time ALL of the time boggles the mind. This ever present God we faithfully serve isn’t like us when it comes to being somewhere. I know I am often in one place but my mind and desire is to be somewhere else. God is in all places at all times. This means that God is completely there… Not a portion of Him, not bits and pieces here and there, all of God all the time. (Figure that one out!)

So what does this omnipresence mean for you and me? First it means that He is with us when we sin (Jer 23:23-24). But more importantly, for the believer, It is comforting to know and understand that God is with us in every circumstance of our life (Psa 139:7-16). He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5). Understanding the omnipresence of God should empower us to walk confidently in our faith. He is there when we go to work and face the people we interact with who don’t know Christ. He walks with us in times of sickness and despair. He is right by our side when we are experiencing the joy of a new born baby. God is all places at all times sharing in our struggles, successes, and joys.

Daily In Christ – Sovereignty Saturday Challenge

Understanding the reality that God is in all places in all times, think for a moment what that means to you as a Christian. Does it change how you speak to others? Does it make you consider what you do when you are alone and temptations are around every corner? Does it cause you to want to give Him a second thought when you have a decision to be made?

God’s omnipresence causes me to really consider my actions and behaviors more carefully, understanding that I want to glorify Him in all I do. Nothing I do can be hidden from him. And nothing I am needing help with is a surprise to Him.

Praise God today for His ever knowing, ever present spirit.


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Friday, January 21, 2011

Freedom In Christ: Fear Not...

Over the past week there has been a lot of media coverage surrounding the senseless killing of innocent people in front of a neighborhood grocery store in Tucson, Arizona. As I have intermittently watched the coverage and listened to the people I work with discuss this event, I see a theme throughout many of the conversations. Fear...

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During this same time period I have been reading from a book that was published back in 1885. The title of the book is "DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY AND OTHER SERMONS, BY REUEN THOMAS, MINISTER OF HARVARD CHURCH, BROOKLINE"

The chapter I was reading in at the time of the shooting was:


Here is a quote from that chapter:

But there is a limit even to the worst things that a man can do. When he murders me he comes to the limit of his ability. He releases my soul from its fetters, he unbinds me from this earth, he hurries me into the spiritual world. It is an immense thing to do for me ; it may be, as far as I am personally concerned, a great blessing conferred ; as far as the doer of the deed is concerned it must be the weightiest curse, for he has done his worst on me.

The Christian view of death does not make murder any the less of a crime, it does nothing to
justify war, but it does a great deal to relieve our minds when we think upon Divine Providence. What meditative mind is there that has not been on the edge of disbelief in a Divine Providence in times of dire calamity, when human life seemed so cheap as almost to be worthless, blood poured out like water, and for what?

One of the reoccurring themes in this chapter comes from the book of Matthew. (Matt 10:28)

"Fear not them which kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do."

One of the primary functions of a person with this kind of killing capacity is to invoke fear in people. In addition to threats of terror, we are constantly bombarded with threats of economic downturns, never ending wars, and an ever present evil that is among us. All of which can cause us to respond with fear. I admit, I have times when things around me cause fear and anxiety in my life. Jesus tells us to not fear those who can kill the body...

Daily In Christ - Freedom In Christ Challenge

Jesus wants us to live free from anxiety and fear and the Bible tells us when we cast our cares on Him we are truly free. Fear can overtake us in many areas of our life and today I encourage you to cast your fears on Jesus. Leave them at the foot of the cross and trust in His Divine Providence.

I pray today that you can experience His peace in times of trouble.


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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Give Thanks: I Am Thankful For His Provision

Php 4:18-19 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

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This post was a bit difficult for me to write today. It is humbling to praise God for His bounty and provision when so many are going without. I am in a season of few financial, health, or personal difficulties and I praise God for that. Yes, we have had many struggles, and I have often wondered where God was during those times. But, right now I am truly being blessed and I can not point to any reason other than the grace of God.

As I think about the provision of God in my life I can't help but also put some thought into the people around the world who have far less than I do. There are even many in my own neighborhood who live on the streets or have very little. Living in a country of abundance, it is easy to take all that we have for granted. Our typical American family has a couple of computers, several television sets, cars, and all sorts of clothes and toys. We live in big houses and almost always have plenty of food in the refrigerator.

So when I look at a verse like this one in Philippians, I have to stop and wonder what it might mean to someone living on the streets, or someone living in an oppressed country, or to a little child starving and without water. If I walked into the streets of Haiti today and told them that my God will supply all of their needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, how would they respond?

First, I wish to clarify one thing... I am not an expert on the ways of God. God makes it extremely clear in scripture that His ways are not for me to understand fully. (Isa 55:8) So with that said, I want to share that I am thankful for His provision in my life. This post is not to answer all the questions surrounding suffering and evil in the world, it is to glorify God in the amazing bounty He has bestowed upon me and my family.

One comment I would like to share today regarding Phi 4:18-19 is this. This verse is often misapplied. God allows people to suffer and go through trials for various reasons and at different times in their life. Being in a trial or going without does not negate the promises of God. It often confirms them. Paul, when addressing the Philippians in this verse qualified the blessing with a premise. (See verses 14-18) Often God's promise comes with a premise. (2Cor 9:6-8) The premise was this, "We must be generous to others." The other misinterpretation of this verse assumes that the needs were merely physical needs, (money, food, shelter). This verse does not necessarily refer to just our physical needs, but our spiritual needs as well.

So here is what I do know about the character of God when it comes to meeting our needs. God requires us to serve Him (Mat 6:33). He knows your needs and mine (Mat 6:8). He has the abundant resources to supply every need that we have (Eph 3:20). God often allows us to suffer for a time, and when the time is over blesses us greatly (Job 42:10). Some people will suffer for a lifetime and their abundance comes in eternity. (Luke 16:19-31)

God is good, God is loving, and God shows mercy on His children. I am thankful today first and foremost for the gift of salvation. I am also thankful for the provisions of God in my life.

I pray that you will be blessed by Him as you faithfully serve.


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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

True Life Challenge: Take It To Him In Prayer

Php 4:5-6 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (esv)

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This week the Lord is speaking to me in the area of prayer. I recently had an issue arise in my life and the first thing I did was stop and pray. Within a short period of time my prayer was answered and the peace of God overwhelmed me. There has been another situation over the past 5 years that I have been praying for and it seems like nothing is happening. One day I seem to see fruit in this situation and then the next it appears to be just the opposite.

I am convinced that we need to take everything to the Lord in prayer. There is a song in which the lyrics say:

When it seams that not a friend on earth can understand,
When temptation comes to you from ev'ry hand;
When your strength is almost gone
and there's no one to care,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

I find it easier to come to the lord in these circumstances. But how much more difficult it is to keep coming when the answer doesn't come along with our petition to Him. Phil 4:6 instructs us to take everything to Him in prayer with thanksgiving. I think everything means everything in this verse.

Daily in Christ - True Life Challenge

Today's challenge is to begin to develop a fervent prayer life. Take time each day and often throughout the day to make your requests known to the Lord. Then, make it a habit to go before the throne often each day for your needs and the needs of others.

Developing a consistent prayer life is challenging. We have so many things pulling us in all sorts of directions. We often see prayer as something that seems pointless since it appears the answers never come. Or we just simply are too anxious about the concerns of life to take our requests to God.

My prayer for you today is that God will open up windows of hope in your life as you seek Him more fervently.


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Monday, January 17, 2011

Marriage Minute: Speak Gently To One Another

Mat 12:36-37 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

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As I sit down to think and pray about today's Marriage Minute, I have to look at my heart and make sure I am right before God before I can even think about what I can say to others. And oh what a humbling thing that is sometimes. This week God has encouraged and uplifted me in many areas of my life. He has also brought one area to my heart that I want to share specifically with you on today's Marriage Minute. It is the area of communication.

Jesus tells us that we will be accountable for every careless word that we speak. Good and thoughtful communication is a huge factor when comes to being intimate in your marriage. I discovered again this past week, (and I say again because I am such a work in progress) that how I speak to my wife makes an enormous difference in how we relate in other areas. Kind and encouraging words generally equates to love and intimacy. Harsh and critical words cause our relationship more strain and the closeness we may have had just a few hours earlier can be gone.

Daily In Christ - Marriage Minute Challenge

This week I challenge you to consider the words of Jesus. Even if you disagree with something your spouse is saying to you, remember that we will be held accountable for the things we say to our spouse. Be patient and speak gently... Remember, a gentle word turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Prov 15:1-2)

Sometimes it is quite difficult to speak gently when you feel you may have been offended. If you practice patience and calmness in your communication this week I am certain your spouse will see the difference in your heart.

I pray you will be strengthened as you speak kindly to your spouse this week.


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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Salvation Sunday: The Importance Of Faith

Faith - A firm conviction that produces a full acknowledgment of God's truth; a belief and hope in God and his Word in response to the message of salvation (see John 1:12). Having a certainty in what you hope for even though you may not be able to see it (see Hebrews 11:1-40). - New Believer's Bible Glossary

mp3 audio file

Faith is a fundamental characteristic in all believer's lives. It is paramount when it comes to having a relationship with Jesus Christ. A few months back I was sharing my faith in Jesus with a co-worker who was well versed on the scriptures. He grew up reading his Bible and going to church and felt like he knew God. He didn't however believe he could have a personal relationship with Him and told me it was because he lacked faith. He informed me that he wanted to know God the way I did and have a relationship, he just couldn't muster up the faith to bringing himself to believe Jesus was actually who he said he was. So what is this Christian faith and why did I have it and he didn't? That question stirred inside of me for days and I still ponder it from time to time.

Faith is a gift of God's grace. It is established and measured out by Him. (Rom 12:3) The writer of Hebrews (Heb 12:2) tells us that Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith. Faith is the only way in which we are saved. Ephesians tells us that we are saved through it, not because of it. (Eph 2:8)

Today is a good day to remember that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Many religious people think that getting right with God is the way to salvation and it must be attained through their good works. I have encountered people who think that they need to "have it all together" before God will accept them.

Daily In Christ - Salvation Sunday

Today's Salvation Sunday message is this: Jesus came to reconcile sinful man to a righteous and Holy God. There is nothing we can do to earn our way to Him and it can only be received through faith in Christ. We can not earn it and we don't have to have everything right in our life before we receive.

If you are sitting on the fence today and haven't given your life fully to Jesus Christ because you lack faith, I encourage you to respond to Him right now. Pray that He will give you a measure of faith that allows you to see Him more clearly than you have ever seen Him before.

Praise God today for giving us His Son.


For a direct link to save audio file right click here and "save as."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sovereignty Saturday: The Omnipotence Of God

The Omnipotence Of God

Omnipotence: An attribute of God alone. It is the quality of having all power (Psalm 115:3). He can do all things that do not conflict with His holy nature. God has the power to do anything He wants to.

Mat 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (esv)

Omnipotence is the attribute of God which allows Him to bring all that He wills to pass. His power and ability has no limits and no boundaries. There are many places we see this in the scriptures. God didn't have to raise His hands, He simply spoke and the universe came into existence. (Gen 1:1-3) The story of Saul's conversion in Acts 9, the hardening of Pharaohs heart (Exo 4:11; Exo 4:21), and even the time in Luke 22:22-23 when Satan wants to sift Peter like wheat and Jesus, being aware of the intentions of Satan, prays for Peter and strengthens him.

All these passages are true life situations that tell a story of the sovereignty of God. He has a glorious and mighty purpose and He has the power and authority to carry it out. In James 4:13-15 we are reminded that we do not know what tomorrow will bring us. We may make a plan to do this thing or that, but the ultimate plan is what the Lord allows to come to pass. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."

Daily In Christ - Sovereignty Saturday Challenge

Today's Sovereignty Saturday Challenge is this. Prayerfully read through the scriptures in this post today. As you read through them, ask the Lord to reveal areas of your life that you have not surrendered to His sovereign control. Finances, relationships, work or school situations, ministry opportunities. Whatever He lays on your heart I encourage you to give it over to Him.

There are so many areas we try to keep control of, and as we are reminded in James; if He wills, we will do this or that.

Blessings to you today as you surrender your life more fully to Him.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Freedom In Christ: Alive In Christ

Rom 6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (esv)

Today is another Freedom In Christ Friday. God is doing amazing things in the lives of believer's all around the world and your life is no exception. This verse from the book of Romans is a clear message to all of us that we are unified with Christ. Being one with Christ is a pretty amazing thing considering the contrast between the heart of sinful man and the love of a perfect God.

mp3 audio file

Paul tells us in the verses that precede verse 11 that we have been united in Christ's death, therefore we are also united in His life. Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, we too are raised with Him. This doesn't only refer to our eternal life after we pass on the earth. It refers to us being alive in Christ today and no longer under the bondage and wreckage of sin and death. (Rom 6:5-8)

Being alive in Christ means that we have put away the desires of our old self. The love for sin and the fulfillment of our flesh are in opposition to the new life we now possess. We are a new man. (Col 3:9-10)

Daily In Christ - Freedom In Christ Challenge

Paul tells us in verse 6 that our old self was crucified. Today's Freedom in Christ Challenge is do an assessment of your life. Has your old self truly been crucified and put to death or are you holding onto things that you just can't let go of? Old habits, unforgiveness, lust and fleshly desires can create strongholds in our life and keep us from living the fulfilling life in Christ that awaits us. Pray, seek the Holy Spirit's guidance, and work toward eliminating those things that keep you from looking more and more like Jesus.

May you look more like Jesus today than you did yesterday.


For a direct link to save audio file right click here and "save as."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Give Thanks: Tell Of All His Woundrous Works

1Ch 16:8-9 Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! (esv)

mp3 audio file

As I read through 1Chronicles today I am struck by these words in chapter 16. "Make known His deeds among the peoples; tell of His wondrous works." In our walk as Christians it is easy to give thanks to the Father for all He has done. It is something we often do when we are with our Christian friends and family. But how often do we make known all He has done for us to the people we encounter at work, school, or in our community. Opening up to non-believer's about God's wondrous works can be a vulnerable thing to do. It requires us to openly proclaim our faith in Jesus and show others that what we have received is a blessing from Him and not our own efforts.

Daily In Christ - Give Thanks

Today I encourage you to be intentional in sharing some things with non-believer's that you are thankful for. Ask God, in your morning time with Him, to open up doors of opportunity. "Proclaim them to the peoples" giving all the glory to God.

May the Lord place in your path those who need to hear a message of thanksgiving from you today.


To download the original mp3 file right click here and "save as."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Time For Worship: Amazing Love

Here is a nice version of Amazing Love by Christ Tomlin.

I think the part that touches my heart today is the line, "You my King would die for me." What a blessing it is to have a Savior who was willing to take my sins on the cross. Jesus tells us that no greater love is this than one who lays his life down for his friends... (John 15:13)


I’m forgiven because You were forsaken,
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I am alive and well, Your spirit is within me,
Because You died and rose again.
(Repeat x2)

Amazing love,
How can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
Amazing love,
I know it’s true.
It’s my joy to honor You,
In all I do, I honor You.

I’m forgiven because You were forsaken,
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I am alive and well, Your spirit is within me,
Because You died and rose again.

(Repeat chorus x2)

You are my King
Jesus You are my King
(Repeat x4)

(Repeat chorus x2)

You are my King
(Repeat x8)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

True Life Challenge: Stay Awake!

Mar 14:37 And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?

There is a story in the Gospels that I am always amazed to read. Jesus is telling His disciples that He will soon be betrayed and then takes three of them to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. He shares with James, Peter, and John that His soul is deeply grieved to the point of death. (Mark 14:34) As He is crying out to the Father for the cup that is set before Him to be removed the three men who are to keep watch fall asleep.

Every time I read this portion of scripture I can only wonder if the men who accompanied Jesus really knew in their heart who this Man truly was. And then I begin to look at my life and wonder how many times Jesus asked me to watch and pray and I simply fell asleep.

Daily In Christ - True Life Challenge

Today's challenge is quite simple. Ask the Lord today to reveal to you the times that you have "fallen asleep" on Him rather than keep watch. Not doing what God has asked of us is sin. Be still and quiet before the Lord and I am confident the Holy Spirit will remind you of some things. When He does, ask for forgiveness and make today a new start in your walk of obedience with Him.

We serve a God of grace and love. If you read further along in the story (Mark 14:32-42) you will find that He had to wake the disciples three times... three! How many times has He reminded you to be obedient? (and me) God will always allow us to turn from our sin and start fresh with Him.

May the Lord bless you as you seek to be more aware of Him and His Spirit in your life.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Marriage Minute: How Do You Speak Love?

We recently moved our office/study/everything room from the main floor of our home into the basement. In the process I had to carry many of the books that I have collected over the years and one of them caught my eye. It was a book that I picked up at a yard sale or maybe even the local thrift store. (I find lots of books that way and they are way cheaper)

If you have been a Christian for awhile you have probably heard of this book. It was a pretty famous book and made it to the NY Times bestseller list. It is Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages." Now I have a really bad habit of not reading a lot of the books I buy and this one was no exception. But after seeing the book it got me to thinking, "what is my wife's love language?" So instead of reading the book, or even opening it, I went to the website. There I found a really basic assessment and I took it. I discovered my "love language" and asked my wife to do the same. I was actually quite surprised. For many years I thought she was a physical touch/kind words kind of person but her main love languages are acts of service and quality time. We learned quite a bit about each other and had a lot of laughs in the process.

Daily In Christ - Marriage Minute Challenge

Here is this weeks Marriage Minute Challenge.

Spend a few minutes taking the love language assessment with your spouse. Once you have determined what form of love speaks to your spouse, then work on making it a priority to relate to them in this way.

May the Lord bless your marriage this week as you discover new things about one another.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Salvation Sunday - Receive The Free Gift

One of the greatest gifts a person can receive is the gift of salvation... Did I say one of the greatest? ooops, THE greatest! If you haven't received the free gift I encourage you to call out to God today and He will give you the gift of eternal life.

Rom 3:23-24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, (esv)

With the Christmas holiday just behind us I am reminded of the sharing of gifts that occurred just a few days ago. If you are anything like me, you probably remember about half of the things you gave and/or received. Unless you intentionally think about it, you probably no longer feel the warm loving feeling that you had just a short time ago. Giving gifts to others is a blessed thing. (Acts 20:35) But how much more is it when the gift is eternal?

Daily In Christ - Salvation Sunday Challenge

Today's challenge is to spend a few minutes each day praying to God to reveal who
you can share the Gift of Salvation with this new year.

I assure you that when you offer this gift to a friend, family member, co-worker, or complete stranger... you will not forget how it made you feel. Jesus is the giver of life and when you participate in the work of God you are giving the greatest gift anyone could ever receive.

My the Lord lead you to someone as you pray and seek Him.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sovereignty Saturday: Is God Over All Things?

Isa 45:7 The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the LORD who does all these. (nasb)

Is there really any question who is in control? I often times look at my life and feel like I have everything under control. And then, within the blink of an eye I realize how little I am in control of.

A close friend of mine and I were talking just yesterday about the sovereignty of God. For me there is a real mystery between the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. This verse in Isaiah speaks of the sovereignty of God. He created the light and dark. He causes good and calamity. There are two words that stand out in this verse for me today that I think require careful study and understanding. They are the words "causing" and "creating."

Often times in our desire to make God more like us, we assume that He only allows good things to happen and His hands are tied when it comes to the bad things that occur in our life. It is as if He is wanting to help us but we act as though He is surprised at our circumstances and has very little that He can do. Often we even assume He isn't trying to help at all and wonder where He is.

After much suffering, counsel, and debating with God, Job made an amazing discovery.

Job 42:2-3 "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

God is sovereign over everything. He not only causes all things to occur for our good for those called according to His purpose, (Rom 8:28-29) but He predetermines our steps (Prov 20:24) and guides us along the way.

Daily In Christ - Sovereignty of God Challenge

Ask yourself this question today, "Do I really believe God is sovereign over
all things in my life... even the difficulties and trials?"

Here are some questions to ponder as you search out this question:
  • When Jesus hand picked the twelve, did he know that Judas would betray Him? (Matt 26:21-23)
  • How did Jesus know that all of the disciples would scatter (Matt 26:31)
  • Is anything outside of the hand of the God who is able to create the heavens and the earth?
  • Did God cause the suffering of Job, the imprisonment of Joseph, the betrayal of Jesus, and other circumstances for His glory and purpose or did He respond to them after they happened?
God's sovereignty and our responsibility is not an easy thing to grasp. I am certain this post has not answered all questions about God's sovereignty. Please join me by visiting Daily In Christ every Saturday as I wrestle through the sovereignty of God. I pray that He opens your heart and mind as you dive into the Word. May God reveal His truth to you today about His awesome character.

Blessings to you as you seek His face.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Freedom In Christ: Walk In His Word

Today is my first Daily In Christ video... New thing :)
Just a way to try to mix it up a bit.
Let me know what you think...

Today I am inspired to think not only about my own freedom as an American, but my freedom in Christ as well.

Joh 8:31-36 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. "The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Often times we hear a word or phrase in Christian circles and wonder what it means. "Freedom in Christ" can be one of those kind of phrases. What does it mean to be free in Christ? Paul tells us in Romans chapter 6 that it doesn't mean we should be free to sin more, rather just the opposite. (Rom 6:1-2) Christ has set us free from the yoke of slavery and the bondage of sin. But still the question remains, "What is this freedom Jesus is talking about in John 8?"

Christian freedom is rooted in the truth of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. John 8:31-32 tells us that if we continue to abide in His word we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free. True freedom isn't about what country you live in or what activities you can participate in. True freedom comes from knowing the truth about our sin and believing that Jesus paid the ransom for that sin on the cross.

The Jewish leaders said to Jesus, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone." Oh, how we forget our past. They must have forgotten about their time in Egypt when they were slaves to Pharaoh, or when they were slaves to the Babylonians, or the Greeks, or currently the Romans. They have been enslaved for hundreds of years, but Jesus was trying to point something out that wasn't related to their physical slavery, rather their slavery to sin and legalism. Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

The freedom we receive isn't a freedom from human bondage, it is freedom from the power and dominion of sin.

Daily In Christ - Freedom In Christ Challenge

Are you walking in the freedom from sin Christ has laid out for you? Jesus says that if you continue in His Word you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Today's Daily In Christ Challenge is to
begin a daily habit of walking in His word and literally fall in love with Jesus once again... (or maybe even for the first time.)

May you gain freedom and wisdom as you choose to walk in His word.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Give Thanks: I Am Thankful For Jesus Today

Col 1:12-14 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (esv)

There are many instances in my life that I am blessed by God and then take it for granted. Being thankful can be so difficult at times because so much of what I have is generally just expected because it has been there my entire life.

Today I want to focus a moment on being thankful for the Son of God. Every morning when I arise I give very little thought to my gift of Salvation that God has granted me. I am far more interested in getting the morning cup of fresh coffee, basking in my nice hot shower, and figuring out the business of the day. And every morning I am blessed with a gift, that for the most part, I forget to be thankful for.

So today I am thankful for Jesus. He has brought me out of a life of struggle and temptations. He has healed a broken soul. He has helped me recover from years of difficulties and pain.

Daily In Christ - Give Thanks

I encourage you today to think about the things you are thankful for. If you so desire, leave a comment and publicly profess your thanksgiving to God.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Time For Worship: Jeremy Camp

This week I am featuring an amazing Christian musician Jeremy Camp. If you have never heard or read his personal testimony I encourage you to do so. He is no stranger to difficulties and struggles and the passion he has for Jesus comes out full force in his music and life...


My you feel His overwhelming presence as you worship Him.

Here is a video link to a personal testimony he did a few years back:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

True Life Challenge: Search Me Oh God...

Gen 4:7-8 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Oh, how quickly we are ruled over by sin. This message reminds me today that sin is crouching at my doorstep and its desire is to rule over me. Cain is told by God that he has the opportunity to do well, and if he does, he will be accepted by God. God knows the condition of our heart even when we aren't expressing it on our fallen face the way Cain did in the previous verses. Allowing anger and sin to rule over him, Cain could take it no longer and his anger eventually ended in the murder of his brother.

What sin might be lingering in your life today? Is it crouching at the door waiting to pounce or has it completely taken over? Once we allow sin to rule over us, our intimacy with Christ is diminished as well as our genuine fellowship with others.

Daily In Christ - True Life Challenge

Take an inventory of your heart today and see where sin might have a stronghold. As the Psalmist did, ask Jesus to search your heart and see if there is any evil way inside of you. (Psa 139:23-24)

May you see Him brighter as you walk in His glorious light.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Marriage Minute: Leave and Cleave... Becoming One Flesh

Gen 2:24
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his
mother and hold fast to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh. (esv)

What does it look like for a man and a woman to become one flesh? Have you ever heard someone say? "I don't care what happens in our life, I will live in a cardboard box if it means being with you forever." Every marriage starts out with wonderful intentions and then often times the conflicts and struggles of life cause the marriage to weaken and become fragile. Gen 2:24 tells us that a man shall leave and cleave. Leave the security, comfort, and love of his parents and hold fast to the woman he has chosen to become one flesh with.

How are you doing with that today? Generally the leaving part isn't so difficult, but the becoming one flesh certainly is. Eph 5 tells us that a man nurtures and cares for his own body and we are to love our wife as we would love ourselves. I think the same holds true for wives towards their husbands.

So in this marriage minute I want to encourage you in one thing as I am encouraged myself to do the same...

Daily In Christ - Marriage Minute Challenge:

Spend some time this week showing your spouse that they are as important to you as you are important to you! Work diligently on becoming the "one flesh" described in Gen 2:24.

May the Lord bless your marriage as you draw closer to Him...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Salvation Sunday - A Story of God's Transforming Power

Daily In Christ Devotionals - Salvation Sunday

A story of God's redeeming power from addiction.

God's love is so amazing. Peter Rivera makes a comment in his testimony, "It was hard for me to understand how Jesus could forgive such a wicked person like me." I know many of us have been there... Drug and alcohol addiction, pornography, anger and violence, sexual abuse, mental illness. There are many things we think will hold us back from the love of God.

Nothing could be further from true. Jesus will accept you, cleanse you, and make you whole if you turn your life completely over to Him. Here is a testimony to that.

If you struggle with addiction in your life I encourage you to look up a faith based life change program in your area. Even if nothing has worked for you in the past, now is the time to cry out to Jesus and take the steps which will lead to recovery.

Here are a few resources:



May you find hope and peace as you draw close to Him.

The Resolutions Of Jonathan Edwards

Being the new year I can't help but think about the resolutions that will be made by so many throughout the world. Resolutions to make new friends, get a better job, eat less and exercise more, etc... All very good goals which generally have very little fruit. I know for me, as I have mentioned previously in an earlier post, resolutions generally are something I have made in the past and then find them to be only long lost memories a few short months later.

Today I was reading a book and the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards came up. I have read these a few times before and yes, I did make a resolution to read through them weekly and try to live by many. Then time went on, I missed a week or two, and then they just seemed to disappear. (Am I the only one who has this problem?)

So today I decided to list them here for your benefit. After you read through them I encourage you camp on a couple that touch your heart and make them a resolution for this upcoming year. Regardless of your position on Edwards theology, the words he penned here are filled with much wisdom and love for the Creator.

I have decided to hold tight to a few of them myself. The ones that spoke to me today are #1, 5, 6, 14, 16, 28, 31, 37, 43, 47, 67, and 70.

These resolutions can be accessed free of charge in
"The Works of Jonathan Edwards" from ccel.org

The Resolutions


Jonathan Edwards


Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.

14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.

21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him. (Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one setting in New Haven in 1722)

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God' s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.

27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.

30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6, A faithful man who can find? may not be partly fulfilled in me.

33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.

34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.

35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.

36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.

37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.

38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord' s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.

39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.

40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.

41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.

43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God' s; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.

44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. January 12, 1723.

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12 and 13, 1723.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.

47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.

49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.

53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.

58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.

59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July 11, and July 13.

60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.

61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.

62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man: knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord. June 25 and July 13, 1723.

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. January 14 and July 13, 1723.

64. Resolved, when I find those ‹groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those breakings of soul for the longing it hath, of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton' s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.

66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what am I the better for them, and what I might have got by them.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. August 11, 1723.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. August 17, 1723.

Have a blessed New Year as you draw near to Him.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

If you are like most people you have probably given some consideration to the new year and what kind of resolutions you can now make. I was wondering myself a bit about that this week and just like last year I decided to resolve to make no new resolutions.

I have come to realize over the years that every time I make a resolution I find myself a few months and sometimes a few weeks into it just looking back and realizing I forgot to keep on going... And as I was thinking about my much needed resolutions (weight loss, more Bible reading, get out of debt, etc...) my new birth came to mind. I think the Holy Spirit led me to a thought of the story of Jesus and Nicodemus and being born again. (John 3:1-21)

Rather than focusing in on the new year, I though about my new birth and what Jesus has resolved to do for me. He has washed me from my sins, He has reconciled me to the Father, He loves me and will never abandon me. The list goes on and on of resolutions Jesus has made on my behalf and yours, and in turn all I need to do is love Him.

So here is my not a resolution, resolution. I resolve this year to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. I think as I learn to walk in this way more fully then the other things will either seem less important or Jesus will allow me to accomplish them through His grace.

Happy New Year!