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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Flourishing Plants

Journal Entry // March 27, 2021

They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God.

Psalm 92:13 ESV

I think I am identifying with these plant analogies because I have been working in our garden the last couple of weeks. The more I really think on this picture the more I am amazed at the glorious truth of the gospel working in my life. I am sitting at my table looking out the window over my recently planted garden and there are a few thoughts that spring into mind.

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Sure Footed

Journal Entry // December 19, 2021

GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.

Habakkuk 3:19 ESV

This message from Habakkuk moves from questioning God with complaints about his purposes in this world to humble reliance upon the grace and mercy of the Lord. This last portion of the message is always so encouraging to me. Habakkuk begins this portion by listing off the different struggles that threaten life in his day. Fig trees not blossoming, no fruit on the vine, no olives, no harvest from the field, the flock and herd are no more. These are the personal disasters of my life pilling up on one on another. So that not only does today bring challenge and trouble, but the future is now in doubt as well. I feel this with Habakkuk and I understand and experience this worry with him – an anxiousness for the future.

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Hopeful Waiting

Journal Entry // February 13, 2021

And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.

Psalm 39:7 ESV

And what is this hope that David is waiting on? It is not the type of hope that we use in our modern day vernacular. It is not this wishful hope that we have no idea if it will come to pass. It is not hoping that I win the lottery or hoping that it doesn’t rain next weekend. No, this hope in the Lord is a surety that what God has promised will come to pass. That even in the darkest of moments when it looks like his promise is failing, we can trust that the Lord will surely bring about what he has promised.

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Confident Reward

Journal Entry // November 6, 2021

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

Hebrews 10:35 ESV

Remember, remember… All the great and wonderful ways the Lord has not only blessed me, but rescued me, and sustained me. After reminding his readers that they have joyfully watched as their possessions were taken from them, endured hard struggles and suffering, having been publicly exposed to shame and ridicule – the writer tells them the result of all these things, which is the building up of their confidence. A confidence not in themselves but in the Lord, which is of immense eternal value.

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Soul Anchor

Journal Entry // November 2, 2021

so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. [19] We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,

Hebrews 6:18-19 ESV

A sure and steadfast anchor of the soul… Hope. When I think of the word hope, I don’t immediately think about the surety of the thing hoped for. I use this word more casually and with no assurance. I hope it doesn’t rain today. I hope my favorite team wins the game. I hope I pass the test. This is not the hope offered here in this passage. It is not a wishful expectation to have my desire fulfilled. This hope from God is sure and steadfast. So much so that we are to anchor our soul to this hope.

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