Journal Entry // July 17, 2022
Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. (ESV)1 Samuel 12:24
This is the charge that Samuel gave to Saul and the people as he installed Saul as king of Israel. This is Samuel’s instruction for them to stay in the good and right way. And what is this instruction from Samuel? Single-minded devotion to the Lord and his commandments. There is no room in this life for the double-mindedness of a wayward heart. Our hearts should be singularly focused on the Lord in every aspect and circumstance of life. Our single-minded devotion is characterized by a healthy holy fear of the Lord leading us to serve him with all our heart. Our motivation, our affection, our underlying heart engagement with every action we perform should be firmly grounded in a love for Christ.
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Journal Entry // April 13, 2022
We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.  But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”Numbers 11:5-6 ESV
Am I looking back over my past and longing for those days gone by and not giving praise and thanks to God for the blessings in front of me? Unfortunately, this is more true than I care to really think about. The Israelites had been miraculously brought out of the land of slavery and hardship where they were mistreated and abused. They were given great signs and wonders to announce the presence of God among them. They were even given miraculous bread (manna) to eat every single day. This was a constant reminder of God’s presence and blessing upon them each and every morning. Yet, the people were not satisfied and began to grumble. They grumbled at the miraculous because it became routine.
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Week six 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. This week we are focusing on how can glorify God. May we take time this week to give praise and glory to our great God!
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Journal Entry // February 21, 2021
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”Psalm 50:23 ESV
A sacrifice of thanksgiving. This is not the first time I have read this phrase in the last month or so. I think I have probably journaled about it previously as well. It is an interesting phrase that the Psalmist uses to emphasize his point about what we bring to God in worship. We tend to think that what is most important is the outward expression of our worship or the object we bring in particular. I want to bring my sacrifice to the Lord in a manner that I deem appropriate.
This may look like:
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• Daily reading the Bible, praying
• Going to church
• Giving of my financial resources
• Giving of my time and energy
• Giving up personal enjoyments
Journal Entry // January 1, 2022
But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD ‘s table may be despised.Malachi 1:6-7 ESV
This is a difficult word from the Lord speaking to the priests offering sacrifices on the altar to the Lord. The thrust of the message is that the offerings were offensive to the Lord because the sacrifice was purported to be worthy choices from the flock, but were given from the defective and sick. This was so offensive that the Lord calls into question that their gift to him should not even be given to their governor or local official. These polluted offerings demonstrate how much the priests despised the Lord’s name. And this is present in my heart as well.
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Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
Rejoice… Pray… Give Thanks…
Always… Without Ceasing… All Circumstances
Every moment of every day with every single breath of my life, God’s will for me is to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. This has not been the pattern of my life at all. I can see the increasing occurrence of them in my heart as the Spirit continues to move within me, but they have not been with these adjectives.
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