Abounding & Sufficient

Journal Entry // August 11, 2022

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 9:8

There is a lot going on in this short verse found in a discussion about generosity and giving with thankfulness. The fullness of God is what Paul is reiterating and emphasizing so that we don’t miss the point. That point being that our God is the Lord Almighty and he is the giver of all good things. Look at the fullness Paul describes: ALL grace abound, ALL sufficiency, in ALL things, at ALL times, EVERY good work. This is not the way we often think about our current situation and the provisions that God has given us. We often grumble and complain and bemoan the circumstances and situations that we are in. We often look at other people and see how richly God has blessed them as opposed to our meagerness. We don’t really take this verse to heart and truly understand that God is able to make all grace abound to us. All grace. Not just a few drops, but an overwhelming flood of grace that will bring us to our knees in thanksgiving and praise.

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Gentle Trust

Journal Entry // August 9, 2022

But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.” (ESV)

2 Samuel 15:26

This is a moving picture of faith and trust in the providence and grace of God moving in the life of David. It’s difficult to really see the rationale for David fleeing Absalom and departing the city, but I understand his desire to not engage in conflict with his son. What I do understand in this passage is that David’s heart is bent on serving the Lord as best he can. David is making decisions based on how best to honor the Lord and be obedient to his calling and God’s Word. Throughout this chapter of his preparation to leave, you can see the care and love he has for all those in his household and the sadness he has in knowing all the hardships they will suffer alongside him on this journey. Yet with all of this on his mind, David simply cares to be obedient and humble before the Lord. He wants to follow the path laid out before him in humble acceptance of God’s good mercy to him. Whether it be for his benefit or not, David simply wants the Lord to do, “what seems good to him.”

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Unveiled Repentance

Journal Entry // August 7, 2022

David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. (ESV)

2 Samuel 12:13

True humble repentance is what I am reading in this passage of Nathan confronting David about his sin. David listens to Nathan as he tells the story of the rich man taking the lamb of the poor person without any regard or compassion for what that lamb meant to the man and his family. David is rightfully upset with the man and vows to bring justice upon this man for what he has done. Nathan then speaks the message of the Lord to David and shows him that he is this man who has sinned. David listens to all the Lord says to him through the prophet and uttered this simple response, “I have sinned against the Lord.” David offered no excuses, no deflection, no rationalizing, and no defense. There was none to give. David’s eyes had been open to the depth of his sin. The veil of deception that he had placed over his heart had been lifted and David could clearly see the ugliness of the sin presented before him. In humility, David understood his failure. Not just his failure to protect and honor Uriah and Bathsheba, but his failure to honor Christ. David knew his only response was to acknowledge that his sin was against the Lord.

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Displeasing the Lord

Journal Entry // August 6, 2022

And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD. (ESV)

2 Samuel 11:27

The life of David is so rich in demonstrating the frailty and weakness of human flesh. Just as I was journaling yesterday about our lives being as jars of clay, the life of David is an excellent picture showing 2 Corinthians 4:7 in action. David is so amazingly faithful and zealous for the glory of God and is earnest in his pursuit of seeking the face of Christ in all things. So it stands out when David fails to honor God with all of his heart and his weakness is exposed for us all to see. We learn a lot about faith through the life of David and there is a lot in this single chapter dealing with Bathsheba and Uriah. For me today, the focus is on God’s displeasure with David. How did David move from pleasing the Lord to displeasing and what is the lesson I can take to heart as I walk this same path as David on a daily basis.

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Jars of Humility

Journal Entry // August 5, 2022

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 4:7

These jars of clay, a representation of the frailty and weakness of our bodies, have within them the most precious and costly treasure, the knowledge of the glory of God in Christ. Our bodies, which are prone to corruption and the effects of sin, are the chosen storage vessels of this most important and beautiful message. My weakness is on display all the time. This simple jar of clay is so fragile of a vessel for the Spirit of God to abide. Yet, God chooses to unite himself with his children and inhabit the heart of these weak and frail jars of clay. This naturally leads us to ask the question, “Why?” The answer is simple enough. The display of God’s strength and surpassing power is on display in the lives of these weak and frail jars of clay. The weakness of my flesh allows for the power of Christ to be at work and on display daily in my life as he pours out grace and mercy into my heart and works this same grace and mercy through me into the lives of others.

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Holy Freedom

Journal Entry // August 4, 2022

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 3:17

Freedom… The Spirit brings freedom to the lives of those where he abides. What is this freedom that the Spirit brings? It is freedom from the slavery of sin. It is freedom from guilt and shame. Where the Spirit resides, there is now no condemnation for that person. The Spirit brings the glory of God to live in the hearts of men and women enabling them to say no to sin and yes to obedience. For this is truly the freedom of which is mentioned here. The freedom to obey the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Freedom to choose the good and reject the evil. Freedom to live a life of humility and obedience to the Lord. Freedom to love God and love people in righteousness and purity.

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Glad and Generous

Journal Entry // May 10, 2021

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

Acts 2:46 ESV

I am so very tired of this struggle. I am so tired of feeling down and miserable. I just want God to make an instantaneous change in my heart and put it into alignment with him. Why do I have to fight and struggle each and every moment? Why do I continue to see the light of Christ shining within my heart and soul, but then hide back in the shadows. The shadows of disobedience that still lurk within. These shadows call out to me. They lie to me. They whisper into my head those words that entrap me once again. I am so easily persuaded to be led off the good and right path.

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Humble Inquiry

Journal Entry // August 2, 2022

And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” (ESV)

2 Samuel 5:19

When trouble presented itself to David, the phrase we generally read as David’s response is, “and David inquired of the Lord.” The basic instinct of David’s life was to take measure of the circumstances around him and then inquire of the Lord to determine the next steps of faithfulness. We can readily see in his life that errors and sin crept in when he did not follow this pattern (Abigail & Nabal, Bathsheba & Uriah) of first seeking the face of God and inquiring as to the path of righteousness. David often battled his fears and doubts by seeking guidance and deliverance from the Lord. This is the pattern that we should all seek to emulate in our lives. We need our first reaction to be steeped in humility and seek the presence of the Lord. We need our first and every action to be dependence upon the salvation of Almighty God.

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Humble Trials

Journal Entry // August 1, 2022

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. (ESV)

2 Corinthians 1:9

Faith, hope, trust, dependence, humility, meekness… These are the marks of the believer that follows Jesus by taking up his cross daily. In this journey of faith, there is a continual process of teaching by our Father that reinforces our understanding of our need for humility and reliance upon Jesus. Pride is the central consuming characteristic that is antithetical to all things holy. Pride is the root of our downfall and what keeps us from the comfort that only Christ can bring. Pride taints every area of our life and drives a wedge in our relationship with Jesus. Our Father brings suffering, adversity, trials, and difficulties to not only show us the depth of our sinful pride but to make us rely only on the one true holy God. Our difficulties are here to drive out pride and humble us. Simply to bring us to our knees and seek repentance through faith and to set our hope on Christ alone.

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Resurrection Reminder

Journal Entry // July 30, 2022

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (ESV)

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore… because of our victory through Christ and the hoped for surety of the resurrection of Christ and those he has chosen, Paul gives us this encouragement to stand firm through all the days of life. We are not striving toward some lofty goal that may never be realized. No, the goal has already been secured and the resurrection of Christ is our perpetual sign of victory achieved. With our victory secured, we can focus our full attention on the journey toward Christ in heaven. Steadfast, immovable, always abounding – these are the pictures of a life with focused intentionality on walking faithfully and working hard for the glory of Christ. Every moment we experience is yet another opportunity to experience God’s good pleasure. Adversity, trials, struggles, persecution, and suffering are all the opportunities to live out the fruit of this verse. Our character is proven in these difficult moments. Our humility is strengthened in these trials. We better understand our dependence upon the Lord when he strips everything else away and proves to us that Jesus is all we ever really need. So take these moments and be steadfast. Don’t just bear with the difficulty and suffer through it. No, these are the times to draw close to Jesus and experience peace and joy on a spiritual level, deep within our heart and soul.

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