Riches of Kindness

Journal Entry // June 23, 2022

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (ESV)

Romans 2:4

Gods’ kindness is meant to lead me to repentance. This is something I truthfully don’t think that often about. In all honesty, I am much like Paul’s statement here that I presume upon the amazing kindness of God in my life. His kindness that is meant to expose my falsehood and unbelief and then naturally lead me to repentance and faith, this same kindness I twist and turn to my own selfishness and allow it to puff me up with pride and arrogance. Worse than that I allow myself to see the kindness of God and view it as confirmation that the Lord is pleased with the current state of my heart and then use it as an encouragement to keep carrying on in my ways, instead of letting his kindness expose the darkness within and be drawn to the beauty of Christ.

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Wicked Incline

Journal Entry // May 4, 2022

Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds

Psalm 141:4 ESV

I am struggling with feeling trapped in this current situation of life. I know that this is where God has placed me and I know that this is surely for my best in the pursuit of delighting in Christ the Lord. I completely and most assuredly understand that this path God has set before me is for my good and his glory. But I want to turn from it and set my feet upon a path of my own choosing.

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Don’t Veer Off

Journal Entry // June 18, 2022

Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left,

Joshua 23:6 ESV

Where is it that I find the struggle with being obedient and following all that is written in the holy Word of God? For the most part, it is not outright disobedience set to go explicitly against what is commanded. Though it is true that my heart does lead me down that path at times and my mind does consciously and knowingly disobey what is explicitly commanded. Most of the time though it is far more subtle. There is this slight veering and turning aside to the left or the right from the teaching of the Bible. There is a gradual mixing of the world into my thoughts and ideas and holy things. There is justification and defensiveness for taking a slight variation on the clear word of the Lord to me.

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Week 25, 2022

Week Twenty-five of Cultivate Delight, where we are actively planning our spiritual endeavors this coming week with the goal of a consistent time spent engaging our hearts with Christ in his word, in prayer, in reflection, and in music. Below are some starting points for reflection, and I hope you find them helpful. The goal is to not just rush through these and then get on with your day. Take your time and reflect throughout the week on these items.

“God never showed his hatred of sin so much as he did in Christ. When God sent his Son into the world to die for man’s sin, he is saying, “they shall see the extent to which I hate sin in how I deal with my son.”
Jeremiah Burroughs, The Wonders of Jesus

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Search and Know

Journal Entry // May 2, 2021

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! [24] And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Psalm 139:23-24 ESV

Is this passage what I truly want the Lord to do in my life? It sounds so amazing and wonderful to ask the Lord to lead me in the way everlasting, but the steps involved in this process seem overwhelmingly difficult. The Psalmist is asking the Lord to search him and to try/test him. All so the Lord can know his heart and thoughts. In order for sin to be removed and righteousness to be developed.

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Battling Sin

Journal Entry // June 15, 2022

asking as a favor against Paul that he summon him to Jerusalem—because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way.

Acts 25:3 ESV

There will be trouble in this world. Sometimes this trouble will be the consequences of our own sin and error; sometimes this trouble will be unfairly brought against us simply because of our faith in Jesus Christ. I have found it difficult at times to discern the proper way to respond in these situations, because I am conflicted about my sin. I can see that I am being unfairly treated in a situation, but I struggle to make a defense because of my personal sin and failure that has played a part. So I find myself caught at times not wanting to defend myself and allowing the trouble or adversity to prevail as a form of punishment for my sin in general.

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Apathy and Ignorance

Journal Entry // June 13, 2022

And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.”

Acts 24:25 ESV

Here in this passage is the response of Felix to the gospel of Christ being taught before him with reasoned explanations for righteousness, self-control, and judgement. Paul articulated the truths of the gospel in such a manner that Felix understood what was being said and the implications of his decision in response. So what was Felix to do with this gospel truth? He was alarmed. He knew that the truth of the gospel had brought him to a point of decision in which he could not vacillate. He needed to accept or reject this reasoned message. Yet, Felix chose to delay. He chose to put this truth out of his mind. Felix chose to send Paul away and remove from  his sight the messenger of this critical point of decision. He chose apathy and ignorance.

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Word Sanctified

Journal Entry // April 30, 2021

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

John 17:17 ESV

Sanctify… Purify, free from sin, set apart. Just as Jesus himself was sanctified, he prays to the Father that all those that were given to him may be sanctified as well. That his followers may walk in this world just as he did. Learning obedience through suffering. Having the Father and the Son dwell within their hearts. Driving out sin and conforming our hearts and souls to steadfastly love the Creator.

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Week 24, 2022

Week Twenty-four of Cultivate Delight, where we are actively planning our spiritual endeavors this coming week with the goal of a consistent time spent engaging our hearts with Christ in his word, in prayer, in reflection, and in music. Below are some starting points for reflection, and I hope you find them helpful. The goal is to not just rush through these and then get on with your day. Take your time and reflect throughout the week on these items.

“I thought I could have leaped from earth to heaven at one spring when I first saw my sins drowned in the Redeemer’s blood.”
Charles Spurgeon

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All Good Conscience

Journal Entry // June 8,, 2022

And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.”

Acts 23:1 ESV

This statement from Paul is quite amazing when I stop and really think through what he is saying to the council and the high priest. These are the very people that had used Paul, then called Saul, to persecute the church. So when Paul says that he has lived in all good conscience, it is a sharp reminder that Paul was once one of them but now is a follower of Christ. What interests me the most is that Paul can say he has lived in all good conscience before God. Here is a former persecutor of the body of Christ who is fully aware and has embraced forgiveness. Paul now lives a transformed and redeemed life dedicated to the one he formerly hated and now follows wholeheartedly.

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