Week 01, 2023

Week 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, and in reflection. Below are some starting points for reflection, and I hope you find them helpful. The goal is to not rush through these and then get on with your day. Take your time and reflect throughout the week on these items. Come back often and let your heart be refreshed in the love of Christ for you.

“The shine and luster of all the attributes of God together is God’s glory. “
– Jeremiah Burroughs, Gospel Worship

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Confident Prayers

Journal Entry // November 25, 2022

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (ESV)

1 John 5:14

Confidence… toward God. John tells us that he is writing these things about the surety of our salvation and the promises of God that we may have a bold confidence toward our great God and Redeemer. We have this confidence toward God in that he has assured us of the testimony of his Son, Jesus. He has assured us that Jesus is in fact the one and only true Son of God who took upon himself all of my sin and paid for it on the cross at the cost of his blood. I can draw this confidence from the shed blood of Christ for me. My confidence rests in the finished work of Jesus, knowing that my salvation is secure.

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Easy Answers

Journal Entry // September 5, 2022

This is a light thing in the sight of the LORD. He will also give the Moabites into your hand, (ESV)

2 Kings 3:18

There are so many instances of the Lord providing miraculous answers to prayers and requests that they seem to wash over me as I read through both the Old and New Testaments. The miracles that are presented in the Word of God are plentiful enough but I seem to have lost my sense of wonder and amazement at them all. I don’t know if it’s because I have read these stories multiple times and they have become expected and therefore ordinary or if I have let a modern mindset creep into my head and bring with it a bit of skepticism and doubt. As I contemplate this thought I begin to think it is more of a lack of faith on my part. I read about these amazing miracles in the Bible and I am encouraged to see the ways that God provides for his people but then I think upon my own heart and feel that same old doubt creep in. Not that I doubt God can still provide, but I doubt that he will provide particularly for me in a specific and particular answer.

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Far More Abundantly

Journal Entry // August 29, 2022

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, (ESV)

Ephesians 3:20

My faith is so incredibly small and limited when it comes to truly understanding the power of the Spirit at work within me, the abundance of grace available through Christ, and the immeasurable riches of kindness that the Father lavishes upon me each and every day. My scope of comprehending the love of God for me and the depth of his care is so very limited by my inability to remember that the one who dwells within me is the same one who has created and continues to uphold everything that I see. He is able to do far more abundantly than I think or ask. He is more powerful, wonderful, and kind than I can imagine. I want to limit him as I think about what is possible as I place human restrictions on an eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God. I need to step back from my weak misguided fears and anxieties and look to the one who is perfect and true. The one who truly loves me. The only one who is able to not only fulfill all his promises but the One who loves me and cares for me perfectly.

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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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Holy Sharing

Journal Entry // May 5. 2021

I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.

Psalm 142:2 ESV

I need to spend more time meditating over this entire Psalm as it speaks directly into how I am feeling at the moment. There is such a simple and honest truth about the words and picture that David uses in this psalm that convey his feelings and emotions. You can feel his desperation, his anxiousness, his fear as he works through his soul.

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Eyes Lifted Up

Journal Entry // April 18, 2021

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?

Psalm 121:1 ESV

I like this picture that the Psalmist paints of eager anticipation for rescue. As I contemplate this image I remember those days of utter despair filled with anxiety and worry. My heart cry was similar after a fashion in that I too longed for rescue from the trial upon me.

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Needing His Presence

Journal Entry // March 9, 2022

And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.

Exodus 33:15 ESV

Just a few sentences prior to this verse, the writer tells us that the Lord would meet with Moses in the tent as a friend would – face to face. Yet, Moses was all too aware that he needed the presence of the Lord leading him and the people in every endeavor and at every moment. The man that talked with God as a friend pleaded with his friend to go with them or to not send them at all. I feel this disconnect at times in my life. Probably more often than I truly realize it, if I give an honest evaluation. I tend to meet fairly regularly with the Lord in the mornings and could even say there is that friendship through the Spirit. But what I tend to lack is this firmness that Moses has about depending on the Lord in each endeavor of daily life.

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Increase Our Faith

Journal Entry // March 29, 2021

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

Luke 17:5 ESV

This is the root issue with the every day struggle with sin. It is about faith. About my lack of faith in the goodness of God. There is a general lack of really truly believing all that I am reading in God’s word each and every day. Sure, I have been more diligent and more consistent with my daily reflections. Spending time meditating on God’s perfect word and working hard to apply it to my life. I think so highly of myself at times and think that I have made some progress in my walk with the Lord.

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Humble Prayers

Journal Entry // February 16, 2022

So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. And the LORD did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained.

Exodus 8:30-31 ESV

There is always so many interesting and intriguing aspects to the account of the Exodus. It brings to life the character of God and the sinfulness of man so vividly. You can read through this account as you would any story and walk away thoroughly satisfied with the tale. If this is your normal reading then you are missing so much. I miss so much most of the time, even when I’m reading it slow and contemplating what God is revealing. There is something to learn from all four main characters (Moses, Aaron, Pharaoh, God) and sometimes I’m not ready to see and learn. Then sometimes, like today, I see things that have escaped my attention through the many other readings.

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