Archive for March, 2015


Alarm sounds.  5 a.m.  Snooze.  6 a.m.  Pray for the mechanic.  Get up.  Too late; no gym today.  Where is my notebook?  Where is my notebook?  Where is my notebook?  Find notebook.  Study the Bible.  Read Matthew Henry’s take.  Thank God for the man who gave Matthew Henry to me.  Pray for him.  Write.  Type.  Start coffee.  Give massage.  Offer breakfast.  Kiss the mechanic goodbye.  Shower.  Do any of these clothes even fit me?

Addie draws my picture as I hurriedly dry my too long tresses.

  Everyone needs a haircut.  Everyone needs a dental appointment.  Two need doctor visits.  The insurance adjuster is coming to an empty driveway tomorrow if I do not call him.  The car I injured rushing to and fro is going on a fieldtrip to the History Museum.  Should I pack lunches?  Mom needs the house key.  Is there any possible way to get a run in today?

 “Look at me, Mom, I’m drawing you!”

 I need to pray.  Maybe I should just fast.  Do I look like I have time to eat anyway?  Fasting it is.  The dog pees at my feet.  There’s a food fight in the kitchen.  No one is dressed for school.

“Mom, look! I’m trying to see what you look like!”

Did I answer that email?  The phone is ringing.  Said dog chewed through the “cordless” phone cord.  Ironic. Get the phone on the fax machine, Mia!  Is that going to make my house burn down?  Answer three texts.

“Here’s your picture, Mommy.”

Crumpled, Addie’s rendition is a more beautiful me; the one she sees.  Give thanks.  Get dressed, brush your hair, and brush your teeth, girls!  Eat breakfast.  What happened to fasting?  Shoot!  How does a person forget that?  Tomorrow.  Teach math.  Run two miles.  Pray.  Thank God for the husband who loves, the children who interrupt, the legs that are able, the new friends he gave, the needs the friends have, the pastor with tremendous grace, the cold on my face, the trees that surround, the rest of the day’s adventure. Yell in upon return, “Are yinz done with math?”

“Yes, mom.”

Smallest girl’s paper is blank.  Help her.  Go over math.  Recite books of the Bible.  Read the Bible.  Read History.  Read Aesop’s fables.  Read a martyr.  Read a poem.  Offer language lesson.  Make lunch.  Answer language questions.  Give phonics.  Give spelling words.

 “Everyone read a chapter of your fiction books while I’m gone.”

 Deposit money.  Take lunch to the mechanic.  Pay bills.  Deposit more money.  Grab milk, bread, and art supplies.  Do not forget to stop for wine.  Get wine.  Deliver art supplies. Vacuum.  What’s for dinner?  We’ll be at Girl Scouts.  Fill crock pot.  View calendar.  Girl Scouts is cancelled.  Gather miscellaneous toys.

 “Put your toys away, girls.”

 Pray talk.

 “Do you guys want to swim?”

 Gather swimming gear.  Go swimming.  Everyone is hungry.  Offer snacks.  Read storybooks.  Call insurance man.  Finish dinner.  Look over the book I’m reviewing.  Pray for grace.  Play blocks.  Discover a sonogram picture stuffed in among my volunteer papers.

“Who got this out, girls?  Please put it back.”

 Consider said sonogram picture.

Life.  Life moves.  My life is a book.  There is such great adventure here.  Mystery, tragedy, comedy, and action all dancing together gracefully, clumsily, angrily, wearily, lovingly, happily.  Too many ily’s to mention. The interludes are grace.  The interruptions are the voices of little lives needing.  They charge in upon the frenzy of my madness and they bring me back to life.  So the ones to whom God gave life through me are the ones who give it back abundantly.

Stop.  Remember how good God is.

Give thanks.  Give thanks.  Give thanks.  Give thanks.  Give thanks.  Give thanks.  Give thanks.  Give thanks.  Give thanks.  Give thanks.

As if an even ten could truly touch the deficit I’ve so drastically incurred.

Confess.  Confess.  Confess.  Repent.  Give thanks. Repeat.



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Paul told the Colossians who they were: Christ’s.  He told them who Christ was: all.  He told them who he was: their advocate.  Only afterward he begins to refute the falseness of what others were teaching them. He begins with a “therefore.”

 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. ~Colossians 2:6-7

Therefore; because of this reason.  What reason?  Because of who they are, who Christ is, and who Paul is, do thus and so.

Paul’s fulcrum is not his obvious authority.  It is not his pristine religious background, his knowledge, his rightness, or even his miraculous example of a changed life.  Paul’s fulcrum – his starting and ending point upon which his case for Christ’s sufficiency in the life of his fellow believers is Christ’s sufficiency itself.

Now here’s an interesting concept.  According to Paul’s example, refuting heresy in the church does not base itself upon insufficient things.  It cannot.  How could so many miss this?  We do.  This means that no matter who is refuting, correcting, or debunking Satan’s lies – whether they be apostle, pastor, teacher, or pope –  the basis is the same.  It is the position and authority of Christ to which a gospel instructor must point.

Man abuses authority.  His position is insufficient.  No matter how high and noble, man’s religion will never be religious enough.  His religious piety is insufficient.  Man’s knowledge gives way to pride.  His knowledge is insufficient.  Man’s right doing and right saying is always imperfect.  Man’s righteousness is insufficient.   Even a man who has a miraculous conversion and great example of God’s providential hand on his life has nowhere to go but back to Christ himself.  Man’s experience is insufficient.

Nothing in man convinces man to repent and believe the truth.  This – the power – is found in Christ alone.  Paul knows.  It keeps him humble.  Paul rides his doctrinal amendments in on the shirt tails of the trustworthiness of Christ’s work in them, in the world, and in himself.

Therefore, he does not say, “As you received me, so walk like me.”  He says, “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.”  Many a minister mistakes one for the other.  While it is true enough that a minister must make the most of himself and walk worthy – his example ought to be worth following – yet, the cornerstone of correction is Christ.

Herein Paul begins.  He has reassured them of their faith.  He has pointed to Christ.  He has personally opened his heart candidly to them.  Now, he tells them to “walk” in Christ the very same way they received Christ.

And how was that?

In faith.  He is telling his students that what they already know is all they need to know.  Hey guys – what’s new is not true and what’s true is not new.  Don’t fall for the emergent ideas.  They are false.  Stick with the program here, fellas.  Christ.  Christ is your tree of life.  Christ is your foundation.  He is the roots.  He is the center.  He is the Truth.  He is the fulcrum for all else.  Do not add to him, rather, draw from him.

Oh, yeah, and be thankful.  Abundantly, excessively, unmistakably thankfulAbound with thanksgiving.  He tells us why:

Christ is fully God come in the flesh; he is the head of every authority and you are full of him.  Are you going to let earthly authorities override his Word?  You are among the chosen because he has circumcised your hearts.  You died with him when you were baptized.  You were raised with him by his awesome power.  He brought you back to life!  You!  Even you who sinned so severely! He forgave you.  He cancelled your debt.  He fulfilled the law for you.  He won victoriously for you!

Remember?  Be thankful.  You are loved.

Genius.  Paul wins on so many levels.  He knows how to speak to people because he knows how not to.  He’d been there and done that pre-conversion.

Do you want to be an effective corrector?  Come as Paul, not Saul.  One pointed to Christ, the other, man.

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Paul opened his letter to the Colossians with encouragement about who they were and who Christ was.  Before he goes any further into the conflicts they were facing and the error they were embracing, Paul makes sure that they understand who he is, too.  Gospel ministers, do not miss this.  There is a direct correlation between effectiveness in correction and personal transparency.  Who wants to listen to someone they do not know anything about?  Crickets. Tell people who you are, what you’ve been through, where you fail, and how you’ve overcome.

In addition to his brief initial introduction, Paul now adds some important details.  He tells the Colossians, whom he had never met, just what kind of minister he was.  His speech coupled with his example indicated that he was a servant of God who was suffering, rejoicing, diligent, and concerned.

These were not matters of happenstance for Paul.  These were all things he chose to do because of his love for the church.  Choosing empowers.  The one who chooses to embrace suffering escapes self-induced victimization.  He chose to suffer.  He could have compromised.  He chose to rejoice.  He could have despaired.  He chose to work hard and spend himself fully.  He could have done just enough to get by.  He chose to concern himself deeply with others.  He could have considered himself and his own needs far more often than theirs.

But, no.  Paul, like Jesus, was exactly who he said he was.  Thank God for gospel ministers who are willing to do whatever it takes to love and serve the church like Jesus Christ.

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, ~Colossians 1:24

Paul suffered.  The purpose was the growth of the church.  Here, we learn that our personal suffering is not vain.  Better still, we learn that it is necessary for church growth.  Where Christians are persecuted, the body thrives.  Perhaps someone should let the megachurch industry in on this little gem.  It is our suffering, not our prosperity, that brings about authentic church growth.

How does it do so?

It does not “complete” Christ’s work by atoning for sin.  He did that.  It is done.  But, when we suffer, the people to whom we are called to preach will see his suffering in ours.  Our suffering displays his love fresh and in the flesh to the world – just as his did.  In other words, when we suffer they see his suffering in real time.  Live.  Get your popcorn and pull up a chair live.  Front row seats.  You wanna know what it looks like to lay down you life?  You wanna know what Jesus was willing to do for your sake?  Watch.  Watch me.  Watch me not compromise.  Watch me endure the scorn and shame of the gospel willingly.  Watch me rejoice while I do it.  Watch me work until I’m spent with no personal earthly benefit.  Watch me get mistreated, punished, and unjustly rewarded for it.  Watch me stumble.  Watch me fall.  Watch me not quit.  Watch me care more about you as I hurt.  Watch me cling to Christ when nothing makes any sense.  Watch me persevere.  Watch me die with peace.

That is how we “fill up” Christ’s afflictions.  They are not lacking in efficacy; they are lacking in real time in the flesh on earth present-ness.  Fortunately, we are here and now and we can display suffering like unto his for the sake of his church.

Paul rejoiced.  He knew the value and purpose of what he suffered.  He knew why he suffered.  He didn’t need to concern himself with understanding the details or get depressed wondering why people mistreated him so fiercely everywhere he went.  He relied on the truth and focused on the goal – the salvation of the world around him.

Paul attitude was full of Holy Spirit dispensed wisdom.  It made him both diligent and concerned for the church.  He used Christ’s energy because his was always completely spent.  Paul spared no personal expense.  Most of us never get to a place where we tap into Christ’s energy because we aren’t willing to use up all of our own for his sake.

But Paul did.  He loved God’s people like Jesus loved them.  He “struggled” greatly for the encouragement of men and women he’d never met.  Notice he wasn’t struggling so that they would not suffer.  He was struggling so that they might be encouraged and have unity when they suffered.  Ministers, take note.

What must that say about the value of encouragement in the church?  Paul tells us why encouragement and unity are so important.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments ~Colossians 2:1-4

Here’s the progression: encouragement -> unity -> assurance -> truth

Assurance of what?  God’s truth.  Christ.  Wisdom.  Knowledge.  Paul knows that the best safeguard against being deceived by the lies of the Enemy is to know the truth; understand the truth.  His remedy?  Encourage those who need better understanding.

Christians, do not be surprised when you are called to suffer – and suffer greatly.  You have the unique opportunity to exemplify Christ in the flesh.  Choose to lay down your life for the building up of others.  Rejoicing in pain is a miraculous encouragement for those facing the same.  Follow an encouraging leader.  Be an encourager.  Stay unified with your brothers and sisters.  Study together.  Pray together.  Work together.  Serve together.

“God really means for the body of Christ, the church, to experience some of the suffering He experienced so that when we proclaim the Cross as the way to life, people will see the marks of the Cross in us and feels the love of the Cross from us.” ~John Piper, Desiring God

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In her magnificent blue ball gown, Cinderella stood larger than life smack dab in the middle of New York City.  She was the first image we saw on the ubiquitous big screen advertisements near Time Square.

“Look how big she is!  Get a picture for the girls!”

While visiting a friend on Long Island, we decided to take a brief detour into the city before heading back home.  The last time we had been there together was on our honeymoon.  We ate gyros bigger than our faces and then hopped on a bus tour just to be silly.  We spent the day goofing around like the carefree twenty year-olds we’d been then.

“Welcome to New York City, the wealthiest city on earth…the most sought after shopping…the second largest library…the tallest building…the most beautiful models…the most talented performers…the most expensive condo…the most intricate architecture…”

As we passed landmark after landmark, the guide did not fail to paint each one better than the last.

We entered Greenwich Village.

“Over to the left is Grace Church, the most beautiful church in the world.”

I stopped.  I saw the church sitting sound, quiet, quaint amid the chaos.  She was beautiful; a haven of sorts constantly waiting to welcome with her elegant simplicity.  In that moment, I saw the stark contrast: man’s ignorance despite God’s immense, immense grace and beauty.

We stopped to shop in Chinatown and visited the World Trade Center memorials.  Five days later, it is not the big screens or the good food or the bustling people or the Chinese trinkets or the unique living spaces or the designer clothing that remain.  The image of that church alone is what lingers long in my mind.

After taking the girls to see the new Cinderella movie last night, I know why.  We all know the story of the girl who once was beautiful, loved, and adored but became the unfortunate orphan made to do all the dirty work; the rightful heir who was made into a slave by the evil ambition and fierce jealousy of those who hated her simply because of who she was.  Yet, after many years of difficult, humbling, harsh treatment she emerges as the most beautiful maiden the kingdom has ever seen.

“Why is it always the same story?”  asks my soon to be ten year-old daughter as we read the Bible together.

“What do you mean?”

“Every time it is the same.  There is always a good leader and a bad leader comes and gets jealous and tries to get rid of the good one.”

Ah.  The dilemma of good and evil.  Shall we ever escape its repetition?

We shall!  As Cinderella walked out to meet her king, so shall we.  Yet, Cinderella escaped before she left the place of humiliation and demoralization.  At the very end of Disney’s new old story, Cinderella does something profound.  Three simple words proved her character and the very reason why she was chosen.  Just as she turned to leave her lifelong prison, she uttered kindly, “I forgive you” to those who had done the unimaginable to her.

At the end of our story, we, too shall walk out of the most difficult life we could have imagined – that is, our own – and we, too, will be met by Our King if we prove faithful.  Not only he, but also the cheering fanfare of the most expensive and beautiful church there ever was or ever will be – that is, His people in all of their vast diversity.

If there were only one thing to see in New York City, I would will it to be Grace Church.  If there were only one movie clip to watch from Cinderella, I would choose to see her walk out in white to a million warm welcomers.  That way, I could put them together and somehow imagine just what it will be like when I, an often worn and ragged servant wandering among a sea of people, goes to be with my King to live happily ever after.

Until then, perhaps, we all ought to take Cinderella’s advice.

Have courage.  Be kind.  Forgive those who do not deserve it.  For that, friends, is how God’s beloved children experience true freedom.

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The church in Colosse was dealing with cultic influence and practices including asceticism, mysticism, worship of angels, and legalism.  Just like today, many religious leaders among the true people of God were teaching, preaching, and practicing a false gospel of salvation through Christ and rather than Christ alone.

Some of “extra” requirements were abstainence of certain food and drink and idolatry.  Observance of these things were being substituted and viewed as true sanctification.  These men taught the Christians that if they proved pious externally and used their appointed channels for mediation to get to God, then they would be saved.  Christ himself was not enough.

Paul wrote to refute these false ideas and replace them with the truths that 1.Christ is sufficient and our only mediator and 2. internal, not external, purity leads to wholeness and true sanctification.

Many people in the church today are deceived by these same false teachings of external piety, idolatrous mediation, and asceticism.  For people like us and people like the Colossians, old habits die hard.  If I have spent my life believing that it’s coming to church or skipping meat or wearing a long skirt or praying on a necklace or being moral or doing good deeds or praying to saints or teaching Sunday school or, or, or, or, rather than living day by day in Christ by faith worshiping in everything I put my hand to do that saves me and makes me holy, it’s going to take some kind of example to undo what I have always done; what I have always believed; what I have always trusted in in place of Jesus Christ.  If I have been taught to abstain from certain foods and certain drinks and I feel superior to other sinners because of my abstinence, it is going to take some serious study and honesty with the scriptures before I really begin to recognize my sin.  More than that, it is going to take someone who cares a whole awful lot to talk with me and show me my error in love.  Why?

Because self-righteous religion always demands others’ do all of exactly what I prescribe.  It is bondage to man made rules and regulations and men do not stop oppressing until someone or something stronger makes them.  Conversely, Christ-led relationship simply calls others to do exactly what He prescribes in the scriptures.  No power can out wrestle the Holy Spirit’s work in a man’s heart.

Paul is wise to begin with prayer.  He knows these things are hard to understand and even harder to change.  He does not go in with guns blazing.  He goes in with lips thanking.  Directly following his introduction, he gives thanks for these people.  He reminds them who they are in Christ.  He tells them how constant he is and always has been in prayer for them.  He wants them to understand that he understands.  He knows the key to their hearts and minds will not be found in more regulatory rule lists.

Therefore, Paul opens with encouragement.  The Colossians had more than their fill of bad leaders demanding and commanding them on what to do and not do.  Although he, if anyone, had the authority, Paul is not about to go there.  Instead, he goes somewhere far better – Christ.

In his opening statements, Paul is pointing to something unmistakable.  The focus he uses to draw his struggling, swindled, sorely mistaken brothers and sisters in?

You are in Christ.

You are in Christ.

You are in Christ.

The platform he builds from is one with which they would not want to argue.  It is like he’s saying, “Hey guys, I know you and guess what.?  You’re his.”

The next rung?  Do this, do this, do this?  Don’t do that, don’t do that, don’t do that? NO!

Christ is…

Christ is…

Christ is…

He tells them who they are to be submitted to – really.  Not men.  Not angels.  Not rules.  Not food.  Not drink.  Christ.  And here’s who he is…

Jesus.  He is exactly what God looks like.  He is the visible proof of our invisible God.  He is the firstborn, not that he was created, but that he is heir of all things.  He is creator of all things.  He is ruler of all things.  He is owner of all things.  He is above all things.  He is sustaniner of all things.  He is head of the church.  He is the beginning.  He has power over all things.  He is all that God is.  He is the firstborn of the dead which makes him your principle hope, joy, future, resurrection.  He is your peace with God.  He is your reconciliation with man.  He is your Savior.

Yes, Paul comes back to his people.  As he began, “You are in Christ” and filled in the blanks with “Christ is…,” he finishes his opening statements with “You are in Christ.”  Paul did not fail to add the needed disclaimer “if.”   If you continue in faith, he says.  Paul proves that this discourse is not a blanket statement of universalism telling any and all that they are saved.  No.  Make no mistake, this is for those who hold on to the true gospel with both hands and honest hearts.

What wisdom!  What importance there must be in reassuring and reminding God’s people of who they are in light of who He is!

The only way to draw struggling, swindled, sorely mistaken brothers and sisters in is through Christ.  Show them his beauty.  Show them his grace.  Show them his love.  Show them his concern.  Show them his Word.  If you have any inclination to do such things, do the gospel a favor and stop showing them your man-made preferences.  Show them the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

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Without objectives – defined goals one seeks to accomplish – we stagger; we stagnate; growth often stands still.  As the old adage goes, “He who aims at nothing hits it every time.”

That said, our culture promotes a lot of false ideas about what we ought to be striving for.  If we do not know what we want or where we’re going, they will be sure to tell us.  But what should we be striving towards?  What is worthy of spending our most precious commodity – time – on obtaining?

Paul informs us rightly in the opening chapter of Colossians.  He prays for the church.  He wants his brothers and sisters to obtain these things: to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, to have all spiritual wisdom, and to have all spiritual understanding.

These three things are tremendous blessings in a believer’s life.  He tells us that they lead to even better things such as walking worthy of the Lord, being pleasing to God, bearing fruit, doing good works, increasing in knowledge, being strengthened with the power of God’s might, having endurance and patience with joy, and giving thanks to the Father.

What Christian does not want to be found doing these things?  Isn’t this what we are all striving for?  Paul knows.  He appeals to their desire to be holy as a platform for what he is about to teach.

These are the things that every good church leader desires be true of his students.  From Paul’s prayer requests, we see great wisdom and love for the church.  As I consider his requests, I search for his example.  How exactly did Paul put flesh on the bones of these prayers?  How did he go about snatching the hearts of his beloved brothers and sisters in such a way that made it possible for what he was about to say to stick?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that wrong ideas and false beliefs die hard.  When one seeks to change them, a lot depends on how he enters the room.  Paul knew.  He grabbed the hearts of men he had not even met by his entrance.  He began his letter to a people he did not personally pastor and gained their trust by conveying imperatives initially.  He told them what we all must tell new disciples if we seek to be effective and desire that they stay long enough to listen to the truth God has given us to teach.

1. Who I am

2. Who you are

3. Who God is

Paul opens by telling his readers who he is.  He associates himself with one of his best students, Timothy, and offers respect to him.  It is a comfort for new students to know that a teacher is respectful of those he has already taught.  Paul gives public honor to Timothy and proves his own humility in so doing.

Paul reminds his students who God is.  He is Our Father.  He is the Father of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.  He reminds them of their future hope and glory in heaven.  Paul’s emphasis on who God is is reassuring.  He isn’t there to ramble on about rules like the heretics were already doing in Colosse.  He was there to talk about Our Father – the good One; the worthy One.  This is how he bids them come and listen.  It is a comfort to know we are serving a good God.  Paul is wise to remind his students who they serve and why it is in their best interest to do so.

Paul spends most of his opening statements on reminding the Colossians who they are.  Oh, how quickly we forget!  Paul knows.  He understands his disciples’ weakness.  Before he goes any further in deep discourse on who God is, he recognizes how essential this piece of the puzzle really is.  Therefore, he reminds and reassures.  He reminds and reassures.  He reminds and reassures.  Good leaders, take note.

As Paul opens giving thanks for them, he reassures these people by confirming his love for them.  He is thankful for them.  He is thankful for the opportunity to serve them.  They are not a trifle or a trouble to him.  He reassures them that he is honored and privileged to be their teacher.  This is essential for sufferers.

He reassures them also by reminding them of the future hope they have in heaven.  This is essential for sufferers.

Finally, he reassures them by reminding them of the gospel and their response to it.  He reminds them that they received it.  He reminds them that they are bearing fruit.  He reminds them that their teacher, Epaphras, is both faithful and proud of their spiritual growth.  This is essential for sufferers.

Who would not listen to a leader like this?  This is a father loving his children.  This is a father seeing his children deceived, suffering, struggling, and stumbling and saying I know you.  I love you.  I’m thankful I have you.  I have heard good of you.  I am proud of you and others are, too.  Now, I need to tell you some more about the God we love.  He is so good to us all…

That is how you open correction.  This is how the Holy Spirit uses men to open hearts to the truth.

Humility.  Respect.  Honor.  Reassurance.  Thanksgiving.  Love.


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My time with the garage floor begets thoughts on God.  One hour of near solitude working toward spotlessness awakens the same desire for my own foundation.

Spotlessness.  Christ’s promise to cleanse repeats in my mind.  The Word is his chosen tool used to remove every spot and wrinkle and present me holy and clean.  Knowing it is by his sacrificial love towards me that my purity has been made possible, a wave of renewal pours over me mid-mopping.  For once, I feel the gratitude I owe.  I speak aloud, “I love you.  I’m sorry for how rarely I tell you that.  Forgive me.”

The day gives way to business and busyness once again.  The week gives way to its end.  I rise and I fall like the ocean as she searches somehow for a lull in the crashing highs and lows.  After another round I come to shore.  I come to him.  I open again the Word as he wields it to wash.  I wonder at his wisdom.

Remnants remain from last night’s study.  “You were made to be profoundly effective.”

I do not feel effective.  Then again, neither did Jeremiah – the weeping prophet.  Spiritual results are not always obvious.  They are not always known.  God hides his mystery to induce faith; trust; belief; fear.

Continue.  Continue mopping.  Continue teaching.  Continue praying.  Continue learning.  Continue serving.  Continue forgiving.  Continue loving.

Sometimes I feel unable.  I am not.  It is a lie.  I open Colossians.  He is sufficient.

I wait.  I listen.  I pray for peace; wisdom; insight; courage.

His voice finds me and calms the rage of my sea.  The familiarity wholly comforts me.  I know him.  He is a God who was pleased to crush his one and only son.  What if all that crushes me is all that is meant to please him?  What if the things I try to pray away are the very things he is mysteriously using to prove me true and make me effective?  Surely he is sovereign.  I will overcome despair by his love.

He is sufficient.

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God…” ~2 Corinthians 3:5

“One of the great tenets of Scripture is the claim that Jesus Christ is completely sufficient for all matters of life and godliness.  He is sufficient for creation, salvation, sanctification, and glorification.  So pure is He that there is no blemish, stain, spot of sin, defilement, lying, deception, corruption, error, or imperfection.

So complete is He that there is no other God besides Him.  He is the only begotten Son; all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Him; the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him; He is heir of all things; He created all things and all things were made by Him, through Him, and for Him; He upholds all things by the word of His power; He is the firstborn of all creation; He is the exact representation of God.

He is the only Mediator between God and man; He is the Sun that enlightens; the Physician that heals; the Wall of Fire that defends; the Friend that comforts; the Pearl that enriches; the Ark that supports; and the Rock to sustain under the heaviest of pressures; He is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high; He is better than the angels; better than Moses; better than Aaron; better than Joshua; better than Melchizedek; better than all the prophets; greater than Satan; and stronger than death.

He has no beginning and no end; He is the spotless Lamb of God; he is our Peace; He is our Hope; He is our Life;  he is the living and the true Way; He is the Strength of Israel; He is the Root and Offspring of David; He is the Bright and Morning Star; He is Faithful and True; He is the Author and Finisher of our faith; He is the Captain of our salvation; he is the Champion; He is the Elect One; He is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He is the Righteous Servant.

He is the Lord of Hosts, the Redeemer – the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth.  He is the Man of Sorrows.  He is the Light; He is the Son of Man; He is the Vine; He is Bread of Life; He is the Door; He is Lord; He is Prophet, Priest, and King; He is our Sabbath rest; He is our Righteousness; He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. He is the Chief Shepherd; He is the God of Hosts; He is the Lord of the nations; He is the Lion of Judah; the Living Word; the Rock of Salvation; the Eternal Spirit; He is the Ancient of Days; Creator and Comforter; Messiah; and He is the Great I AM.”  -John MacArthur


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