Foolish and Weak

Journal Entry // July 18, 2022

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; (ESV)

1 Corinthians 1:27

As I am reflecting on this passage in Romans, I keep coming back to this verse and the implications it has on my thoughts about my goals and what I think I deserve in this life. The very reason God has chosen me is that I am foolish and weak in the eyes of the world. This doesn’t necessarily mean I am actually foolish or actually weak, but in the eyes of the world around me that is exactly what I am. My wisdom that comes from the Lord is as foolishness to this world. The humility and dependence that Jesus is teaching me is seen as nothing but weakness to the world. God chose to instill within me these qualities that are scoffed at by the world. He instills these qualities to shame those who claim to be wise and strong in the world… for the glory of God alone.

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Word Sanctified

Journal Entry // April 30, 2021

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

John 17:17 ESV

Sanctify… Purify, free from sin, set apart. Just as Jesus himself was sanctified, he prays to the Father that all those that were given to him may be sanctified as well. That his followers may walk in this world just as he did. Learning obedience through suffering. Having the Father and the Son dwell within their hearts. Driving out sin and conforming our hearts and souls to steadfastly love the Creator.

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All Good Conscience

Journal Entry // June 8,, 2022

And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.”

Acts 23:1 ESV

This statement from Paul is quite amazing when I stop and really think through what he is saying to the council and the high priest. These are the very people that had used Paul, then called Saul, to persecute the church. So when Paul says that he has lived in all good conscience, it is a sharp reminder that Paul was once one of them but now is a follower of Christ. What interests me the most is that Paul can say he has lived in all good conscience before God. Here is a former persecutor of the body of Christ who is fully aware and has embraced forgiveness. Paul now lives a transformed and redeemed life dedicated to the one he formerly hated and now follows wholeheartedly.

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Who Are You?

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.

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Burning Jericho

Journal Entry // May 31, 2022

So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel.

Joshua 6:23 ESV

As I was reading through this section of Joshua that tells the story of the Fall of Jericho, I was struck by the vision of Rahab and her family standing outside the camp of the Israelites and watching their home and their city being burned and destroyed. This a tremendous story of faith, obedience, and suffering. Truly, I am called to this same faithful obedience in face of danger and heartache.

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Steeping in the Word

Journal Entry // April 20, 2022

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, [32] and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32 ESV

We are always looking for the steps to success in this life. Rules or ideas that will bring happiness and joy or success and wealth if we just follow them. There are a thousand books written every year claiming to know the secret to success and the pathway to riches and happiness. We all want this life to be easy and we all want this life to be simple. Here Jesus tells me that the Christian life is a simple formula: abide in his word –> true disciple –> know the truth –> set free. It also seems so simple and easy doesn’t it? It’s the most simple message that is seemingly so very difficult to follow. My heart is a lot like the people who Jesus is speaking to. His words are difficult to hear as they cut through all the clutter of my mind and penetrate straight to my heart and pierce my pride.

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Light of Life

Journal Entry // April 20, 2021

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 ESV

As I contemplate this passage, I am reminded of how I have always really focused on Jesus being the light of the world. This beacon of hope in a dark world that I am drawn to like a moth to a flame. I still feel that is a good, helpful, and appropriate analogy. But there seems to be something more this time in my reading and thinking. As the Lord has been working to reveal the darkness in my heart, the light of life doesn’t just draw me toward himself but reveals what was once hidden in the darkness.

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Seeing the Father

Journal Entry // April 16, 2022

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

John 5:19 ESV

I have been thinking a lot over the last few days about the way I perceive a difference between the Father and the Son. When I sit down to read through God’s word on a regular basis, I follow my plan of reading two chapters from the Old Testament and one chapter from the New Testament. In my reading there is oftentimes a simple comparison between how things were handled in the OT and the NT. Like today… I read in Numbers about the Lord telling the congregation to stone the person who had been caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath. I then read in the John about the leaders being at odds with Jesus because he was healing on the Sabbath. It is so easy to read these accounts and draw a line between the Father and the Son in this instance, yet Jesus tells me here that the Son only does what he see his Father doing. He only ever does whatever the Father does.

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Healthy Eyes

Journal Entry // March 20, 2022

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.

Luke 11:34 ESV

How I view the circumstances of my life and the world around me through the lens of the gospel is what this passage is getting at. My eye direcst and guides me through this world and as such, it informs and directs not only the content of what I allow to penetrate my body and mind but how I view these things from a spiritual perspective. It is essential that my eye is healthy. This allows my entire body to be full of light. To be full of the gospel of Christ. When my eye leads me astray and I begin to view the things around me from a worldly perspective, the darkness grows and swells within me.

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Hour Watch

Journal Entry // February 9, 2022

And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?

Matthew 26:40 ESV

Oftentimes I identify with Peter on so many levels. Sometimes I can see myself in his enthusiasm and brashness. Other times I see my own weakness in his failings and mistakes. In this passage Jesus has just told all the disciples that they would all fall away. Peter, leading the way, makes a boisterous commitment to stay by his side, even if that means death. Jesus, in his sorrow, pulls away from the crowd and separates his disciples, taking Peter, James, and John with him to watch and pray.

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