Week 21, 2022

Week Twenty-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.

“Do we eagerly long for the coming of Christ? Or do we want him to wait while our love affair with the world runs its course? That is the question that tests the authenticity of faith.”
John Piper

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Week 20, 2022

Week Twenty 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.

“Jesus didn’t come to tell us the answers to the questions of life, he came to be the answer.”
Tim Keller

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Complete Destruction

Journal Entry // May 9, 2022

and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them.

Deuteronomy 7:2 ESV

This charge to the Israelites as they were about to enter the promised land is a good reminder of my daily struggle and battle with sin dwelling in my heart. I don’t think that I take the call to personal holiness as a priority at times. Sure, I know this is absolutely true in the life of a believer. We should all be moving forward with personal holiness and seeking to fight the entanglement of sin in our life, but I often feel like it is a no-win situation. I come into the battle with particular sins with an attitude that I am going to fail. And sure enough I do fail. I fail each and every time because I am fully trusting in my own strength and ability to fight this battle with sin.

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Allegience to Caesar

Journal Entry // May 8, 2022

They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

John 19:15 ESV

I have read and heard this passage so many times over the years that it loses a lot of its force because of familiarity. This is probably true of a lot of passages, but this one today really struck me hard. I find it so simple to sit back in my 21st century modernity and look upon these chief priests with judgement and contempt. I want to measure their response with a harsh line of judgement. To be fair, their response was terrible. Yet, how is my response any different sometimes? Sure, I have not publicly decried Jesus as king and declared my allegiance solely to the earthly leadership over me. But in my heart? That is quite a different matter.

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Week 19, 2022

Week Nineteen 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 wisdom of God devised a way for the love of God to deliver sinners from the wrath of God while not compromising the righteousness of God.” 
John Piper, quote from Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

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Nurturing Sin

Journal Entry // April 26, 2021

During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him,

John 13:2 ESV

Even after the heart of Judas had been deceived and he was committed to betraying Jesus, Judas spent intimate moments with Jesus. Many close fellowship times with the Lord and his fellow disciples. Known active sin being nurtured in his heart all the while spending time outwardly playing the part of follower. So much so, that the other disciples could not even conceive of the betrayal to come.

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Week 18, 2022

Week Eighteen 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.

“When God’s justice falls, we are offended because we think God owes perpetual mercy. We must not take His grace for granted. We must never lose our capacity to be amazed by grace”
― R.C. Sproul, quote from The Holiness of God

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Choosing to be Yoked

Journal Entry // April 24, 2022

So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Numbers 25:3 ESV

As I was reading this passage, I became interested in this notion that Israel had yoked himself. He was not forced into this, but freely chose to be yoked with Baal. There are some interesting definitions surround this word yoked:

  • Servitude and bondage
  • An oppressive agency
  • Wooden frame by which two animals are joined for working together
  • Device placed on the neck of a defeated person

All of these definitions draw out the image of a person that has lost their freedom. A person with a yoke is under the control of another. In this case, Israel had yoked himself to a different master and had chosen to give up their freedom in the Lord for servitude under a yoke.

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Murderous Pride

Journal Entry // April 23, 2022

And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.”

Numbers 22:29 ESV

Pride is such a deceptive and pervasive part of our hearts that left unchecked it will bring about reckless disobedience to the Word of the Lord and even possible abandonment of the faith. The story of Balaam sounds an awful lot like the story of Jonah. With Balaam there is an overwhelming sense of unchecked pride in his life. Here is a man who has been granted visions from the Lord and is allowed to prophesy in the name of the God. Here is a man that has a ministry and calling from the Lord to share the word of these visions and to be the mouthpiece of God. Yet, Balaam was a man that also struggled with pride even in the midst of the amazing revelations and good works that he was allowed to be part of.

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Week 17, 2022

Week Seventeen 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 human heart is a perpetual idol factory.
John Calvin – Quote from The Institutes of the Christian Religion I.11.8

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