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.
Continue reading “Jars of Humility”
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.
Continue reading “Humble Inquiry”
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.
Continue reading “Humble Trials”
Journal Entry // July 26, 2022
Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand! (ESV)1 Samuel 25:33
Here we see one of the more important aspects of David’s character on display. David was named as a man after God’s own heart and I often misunderstand what this really means. David’s heart was humble before the Lord. What I mean by that is that David didn’t always make the right decision or choose the path of righteousness, but the one thing he did very well was listen to the counsel of God. In this particular case, David was offended by the way Nabal had treated his representatives and himself by extension. David’s pride was wounded and he was embarrassed before his band of brothers. In his wounded pride, he had decided to strike out against Nabal and slaughter all the males in his company. David’s wounded pride was taking revenge to a stark level. David had let his outward appearance before the men lead him to make a decision that was steeped in bloodguilt.
Continue reading “David’s Soft Heart”
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!
Continue reading “From, Through, To”
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.
Continue reading “Humble Acceptance”
Journal Entry // June 27, 2022
Continue reading “Weakening Faith”
He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. (ESV)Romans 4:19
Journal Entry // June 6, 2022
And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’Acts 22:8 ESV
The church and the people of God, the believers and followers of Jesus are the ambassadors of Christ himself. Each and every person who calls on the name of the Lord is of vital importance. More than that, they are in essence e bodily representation of Jesus himself. The Holy Spirit has come to inhabit and dwell within the heart of each and every person that holds fast to Christ himself for salvation. Each and every person is important, valuable, and distinct. In this verse, we see Jesus not only identifying with those who Saul was persecuting, but was actually the one receiving the persecution.
Continue reading “Who Are You?”
Journal Entry // June 4, 2022
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.Acts 20:24 ESV
These last few weeks, I have been overly concerned with the current state of my life. For the past 2+ years, God has kept me and my family in a state of unrest, anxiety, struggle, and perplexity. It has been a time of upheaval and transition as the Lord seems to be clearing the stage from our previous life and preparing us for a new stage of life and ministry. I have struggled a lot during this time in different ways, but lately there has been a more intense battle with depression and apathy. As I was reading and thinking through my time in Joshua and Acts, I was intrigued by these words of Paul. This statement of humility and selflessness. A man who understands his mission and calling from Jesus. And it brought into sharp focus that I am not living with this righteous perspective.
Continue reading “Finish the Course”
Journal Entry // May 12, 2022
And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.Deuteronomy 8:2 ESV
What’s the purpose of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years after being brought of the slavery of Egypt by a great and powerful showing of God’s mighty right hand? I’m sure the answer is multifaceted if you do an in-depth study, but a good summation of the wilderness wandering is here in this passage. The Lord used the 40-year wandering in the wilderness to humble the Israelites. To test their heart’s desire for obedience. To know what was in their heart. This feels so familiar to me because the Lord is truly leading me through my own wilderness in order to humble me.
Continue reading “Heart Test”