Not of This World

Journal Entry // May 7, 2022

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

John 18:36 ESV

“My kingdom is not of this world.” This is the truth that should be shaping my understanding of this present world and my place in it. The kingdom of God is not of this world. To be sure, the Lord is bringing his kingdom into this world but his kingdom is not of this world. Then why do I continually try to build my own kingdom in this world? Why do I set my every thought and emotion upon the things of this world without even a moment of pondering the vastness of God’s kingdom above. This world seduces me into the continual lie that everything I see has been and always will be. The lie that there is nothing else. The lie that I should enjoy the offerings of the world, because when I die there is nothing else. And I continually believe this lie. I too easily forget that the Kingdom of God is not of this world.

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Weaned Child

Journal Entry // April 25, 2021

But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Psalm 131:2 ESV

A calm and quiet soul is one that is at rest in the loving providence and care of Almighty God. This soul understands the fear of the Lord and in wisdom chooses to be calm and quiet. This soul does not eat the bread of anxious toil, but has decided to be humbly reliant upon his good good Father. To be like a weaned child with is mother.

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Knowing and Known

Journal Entry // April 22, 2021

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,

John 10:14 ESV

There are a lot of interesting phrases and insight that Jesus gives in this section of the Gospel, but the one that stood out to me this morning was his knowing of his sheep. This is not a general knowing like he states elsewhere about knowing what’s in the heart of man. This is a deep intimate knowledge of a person. And it’s reciprocal. We know Jesus deeply as we follow him and obey our good shepherd.

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Displaying Glory

Journal Entry// April 21, 2021

Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

John 9:3 ESV

We always want to know and understand the deeper meaning to our present situation, especially when God has placed us in difficult situations lined with trials, adversity, pain, suffering, lowliness, and weakness. It goes against our desires to be placed in a state of humility. When these situations arise, we naturally assume that something is wrong. This must be a punishment or a response from the Lord to sin in our heart or lack of faith and understanding within us.

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Trust and Obey

As we were singing this hymn during worship a few Sundays ago, I was moved in my heart by these words of trusting and obeying. It seems so simple and logical. It’s the simplicity of the message that is so attractive. Jesus doesn’t call us to do unimaginable acts of service to prove our love and devotion to God. He calls us to a life of simple, humble trust and obedience. This is our demonstration of love. Our act of obedience. So simple, yet we fail so often. Read through these verses and think through the call of faith in your own life. Let these words rouse your spirit and affections toward Christ. Then sing along with the video below and renew your passion for trusting and obeying Christ alone.

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Week 12, 2022

Week twelve 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.

This week we are focusing on the law of God by reflecting on being content with the goodness of God.

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It Is Well With My Soul

In 1873, Horatio Spafford’s wife and four daughters were on a boat trip travelling from the United States to Europe. The ship they were on collided with another ship and went down. His wife survived but all four of his daughters died in the wreckage. Spafford left soon afterward on a different boat taking the same long journey across the ocean to reunite with his wife. As he traversed the same route that his family had taken previously, I am sure thoughts of his daughters weighed heavy upon his heart and mind. This is the song he wrote on that trip. As you read through these verses, try to picture yourself in his place. Better yet, as you read through these verses, think through a hardship or tragedy that you have been through in your life. Let these words of Horatio speak to your heart and reveal the love and compassion of our Savior.

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Everything In Jesus

Journal Entry // November 23, 2021

whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies-in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:11 ESV

Why do we do what we do? This is the question at the heart of my each and every action. My motivation is a key element to understanding myself. Not just understanding myself the way the world uses that phrase today though. Today the world is immersed in self-help & self-care, which is purely selfish at it’s foundation and against what Peter is talking about here. Understanding myself is meant to delve into my motivations to reveal where I am living, trusting, and believing in myself instead of God alone. The measurement against my motivation is simple: is God glorified through Jesus Christ.

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Sure Contentment

Journal Entry // November 11, 2021

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5 ESV

Be content… This is the life lesson that God has been teaching me these last couple of years. Well, at least one of the lessons. An important lesson that I have struggled to grasp hold of in a deep meaningful way. I can look back over the last ten years of life and see how discontented I truly was with everything. I can now see how the love of money was quietly weaving itself into my everyday thoughts. I can see a bit more clearly how I was living a double minded life. Trying to serve Christ as best I could, but also wanting the things of this world.

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Bountiful Love

Journal Entry // January 24, 2021

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13:5-6 ESV

Remember… Remember all that the Lord has done for me. Remember his steadfast love. Remember his salvation. Remember how bountiful his dealing with me has been. These are the keys to the sorrow in my heart and the grayness in my soul. These feelings tell me that God is far from me and has forgotten me and is hiding his face from me. But these feelings lie to me. My flesh tells me these lies to draw my heart away from Christ. To keep my sorrow and worry in the forefront of my eye’s perception and my heart’s understanding.

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