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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Week 32, 2022

Week Thirty-two 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.

“The happiness which the Lord Jesus procured for believers, includes a perfect freedom from sin, and all afflictive evils, their just consequence, and the fruition of righteousness, peace and joy, in which the kingdom of God consists.”
– William Bridge (1600-1670)

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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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Week 31, 2022

Week Thirty-one 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.

“It is not enough to receive the truth that we might be saved, but we must receive the love of the truth if ever we would be saved.”
– Jeremiah Burroughs, Gospel Worship

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Week 30, 2022

Week Thirty 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.

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Mask of Fidelity

Journal Entry // July 19, 2022

Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow before the LORD your God.” (ESV)

1 Samuel 15:30

If I ever need a picture of what it looks like to put on the mask of fidelity to hide the ugliness of willful sin, this is the picture that should be fresh in my mind. The story of Saul in 1 Samuel 15 is almost a sympathetic one as I read through its pages. I marvel at how easily Saul is misled or misunderstands the command of God to devote the Amalekites to complete destruction. I shake my head at how Saul could ever think that he’s completely destroying when he freely admits that he spared the best and the king as well. I want to read in disbelief that a man called by God and confirmed to be king through all these amazing moments, could so easily neglect a command of God and believe that he was actually being faithful. Then I remember… I do this each and every day.

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From, Through, To

Journal Entry // July 15, 2022

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (ESV)

Romans 11:36

All things… Not just the things we can see. Not just the things we want to ascribe. Not just the immeasurable number of natural phenomena that are beyond human control. All things. There is nothing in all of life that is exempt from this description of God’s sovereign control. From the most distant atom in the farthest galaxy, to the sun rising upon the earth again and again, to the seeming moments of coincidence and randomness. Nothing is outside the perfect loving hand of the Creator. For each and every moment, each and every circumstance is from him and through him and to him. Why? For his glory alone!

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Week 29, 2022

Week Twenty-nine 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.

“Original sin, though perfectly pardoned, is yet imperfectly purged. At the point of salvation, we are purged from the death of sin but not from the disease of it.”
― Ralph Brownrig, Repentance and Prayer

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Humble Acceptance

Journal Entry // July 14, 2022

So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him.” (ESV)

1 Samuel 3:18

The humility of Eli is a tremendous example of what it means to understand the magnificence and sovereignty of the Lord. In the moment of hearing the judgement of God against him and his family, Eli dies not turn bitter or angry. He does not blame shift and deflect to the failings of others. He does not rationalize and try to make excuses. No, he simply acknowledges that the Lord God is sovereign over all. Eli humbles himself before the wisdom of God. He may not like the “bad” circumstances and adversity that is about to be brought into his life, but his answer is to trust in the goodness of God.

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Near and Present

Journal Entry // May 7, 2021

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Psalm 145:18 ESV

The Lord is near. He is not far away from me that it requires him to delay in hearing me. He is here with me even now in this moment. As I call upon him in truth. His truth. His word of truth spoken through the lives of faithful men and women through the ages. His word kept pure and holy. His true word.

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