Archive for November, 2009


November 30th, 2009
 Music and video for today:
“His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:10


The way we continually talk about our own inability is an insult to the Creator. The deploring of our own incompetence is a slander against God for having overlooked us. Get into the habit of examining in the sight of God the things that sound humble before men, and you will be amazed at how staggeringly impertinent they are. “Oh, I shouldn’t like to say I am sanctified; I’m not a saint.” Say that before God; and it means – “No, Lord, it is impossible for You to save and sanctify me; there are chances I have not had; so many imperfections in my brain and body; no, Lord, it isn’t possible.” That may sound wonderfully humble before men, but before God it is an attitude of defiance.Again, the things that sound humble before God may sound the opposite before men.

To say Thank God, I know I am saved and sanctified is in the sight of God the acme of humility, it means you have so completely abandoned yourself to God that you know He is true.

It is a slippery slope to boast, but we are to boast in what God has done in our lives, it seems. If we are too humble we diminish the power of God and it is a slander to God. If we boast and get caught up in ourselves and how much we have changed, or grown or………then we think too much of ourselves. Many of us live in a false humily not wanting to show off the power of God, because we are afraid that others might misunderstand. How do we stay on the right path? Stay connected to God through Jesus Christ, every hour of every day. He will lead us to the right standing……And let us not resort to false humility out of default and insult the sacrifice of the cross……JDV

 Never bother your head as to whether what you say sounds humble before men or not, but always be humble before God, and let Him be all in all.

There is only one relationship that matters, and that is your personal relationship to a personal Redeemer and Lord. Let everything else go, but maintain that at all costs, and God will fulfil His purpose through your life. One individual life may be of priceless value to God’s purposes, and yours may be that life.

We must remember that God will respond to our faith and it is impossible to please Him apart from faith…….If He made us a Saint, and He did, then we are Saints through Christ and He will provide the power for us to live as Saints as we stay connected to Him…..JDV 


November 30th, 2009


“He shall glorify Me.” John 16:14

Music and video for today:

The pietistic movements of to-day have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them; there is nothing about them that needs the Death of Jesus Christ; all that is required is a pious atmosphere, and prayer and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous, it did not cost the passion of God, it is not dyed in the blood of the Lamb, not stamped with the hall-mark of the Holy Ghost; it has not that mark on it which makes men say, as they look with awe and wonder – “That is the work of God Almighty.” That and nothing else is what the New Testament talks about.

The type of Christian experience in the New Testament is that of personal passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other type of Christian experience, so called, is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration, no being born again into the Kingdom in which Christ lives, but only the idea that He is our Pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is Saviour long before He is Pattern. To-day He is being despatched as the Figurehead of a Religion, a mere Example. He is that, but He is infinitely more; He is salvation itself, He is the Gospel of God.

Jesus said, “When He the Spirit of truth is come . . . He shall glorify Me.” When I commit myself to the revelation made in the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit Who begins to interpret to me what Jesus did and does in me subjectively all that Jesus Christ did for me objectively.

The Riches of the Destitute

November 29th, 2009

November 28, 2009 The Riches of the Destitute

Music and video:

 . . . being justified freely by His grace . . . —Romans 3:24The gospel of the grace of God awakens an intense longing in human souls and an equally intense resentment, because the truth that it reveals is not palatable or easy to swallow. There is a certain pride in people that causes them to give and give, but to come and accept a gift is another thing. I will give my life to martyrdom; I will dedicate my life to service— I will do anything. But do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God through our own efforts. We must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest spiritual blessing we receive is when we come to the knowledge that we are destitute. Until we get there, our Lord is powerless. He can do nothing for us as long as we think we are sufficient in and of ourselves. We must enter into His kingdom through the door of destitution. As long as we are “rich,” particularly in the area of pride or independence, God can do nothing for us. It is only when we get hungry spiritually that we receive the Holy Spirit. The gift of the essential nature of God is placed and made effective in us by the Holy Spirit. He imparts to us the quickening life of Jesus, making us truly alive. He takes that which was “beyond” us and places it “within” us. And immediately, once “the beyond” has come “within,” it rises up to “the above,” and we are lifted into the kingdom where Jesus lives and reigns (see John 3:5 ).

The Consecration of Spiritual Power

November 27th, 2009
November 27, 2009
The Consecration of Spiritual Power

Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, . The word “consecration” literally means “to associate with the sacred“. A synonym for consecration is to sanctify..Wekipedia

. . . by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world —Galatians 6:14

If I dwell on the Cross of Christ, I do not simply become inwardly devout and solely interested in my own holiness— I become strongly focused on Jesus Christ’s interests.

This transformation occurs inside of believers becasue of the work of Jesus on the cross, and has nothing to do with our work or accomplishments. We become transformed by the power of the Spirit of God simply by focusing on the cross and staying connected to the person of Jesus. jdv

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:19-20).

Our Lord was not a recluse nor a fanatical holy man practicing self-denial. He did not physically cut Himself off from society, but He was inwardly disconnected all the time. He was not aloof, but He lived in another world.

Was this because Jesus was the ultimate practitioner of the “Balcony View” or Objective View?  Perhaps what He cut Himself off from was the subjective, view with its visceral tension and reactions.    Perhaps the other world he lived in was simply on the balcony with his Father.   ….I only do what I see the Father doing…jn 5:19              What a great aspiration for us as well!!!  djr

In fact, He was so much in the common everyday world that the religious people of His day accused Him of being a glutton and a drunkard. Yet our Lord never allowed anything to interfere with His consecration of spiritual power.

It is not genuine consecration to think that we can refuse to be used of God now in order to store up our spiritual power for later use. That is a hopeless mistake. The Spirit of God has set a great many people free from their sin, yet they are experiencing no fullness in their lives— no true sense of freedom. The kind of religious life we see around the world today is entirely different from the vigorous holiness of the life of Jesus Christ. “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” ( John 17:15 ). We are to be in the world but not of it— to be separated internally, not externally (seeJohn 17:16 ).

We must never allow anything to interfere with the consecration of our spiritual power. Consecration (being dedicated to God’s service) is our part; sanctification (being set apart from sin and being made holy) is God’s part. We must make a deliberate determination to be interested only in what God is interested. The way to make that determination, when faced with a perplexing problem, is to ask yourself, “Is this the kind of thing in which Jesus Christ is interested, or is it something in which the spirit that is diametrically opposed to Jesus is interested?”

The Focal Point of Spiritual Power

November 26th, 2009
November 26, 2009
. . . except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . —Galatians 6:14

If you want to know the power of God (that is, the resurrection life of Jesus) in your human flesh, you must dwell on the tragedy of God. Break away from your personal concern over your own spiritual condition, and with a completely open spirit consider the tragedy of God. Instantly the power of God will be in you.

I find myself really drawn to this type of guarantee.  It’s almost magical or vending machine like.   Perhaps that is the reason that God has not seen fit to activate this mechanism in me more– Magic and Vending Machine not being the right reason.    Maybe I haven’t focused correctly on the tragedy of God, as Oswald suggests.   As I do that, even now, it does shrink the size of my problems that I was thinking of before starting this reading.   The challenge, it seems, is to stay in that place all the time.  Conscious of God’s Tragedy —djr

“Look to Me. . .” (Isaiah 45:22). Pay attention to the external Source and the internal power will be there. We lose power because we don’t focus on the right thing. The effect of the Cross is salvation, sanctification, healing, etc., but we are not to preach any of these. We are to preach “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” ( 1 Corinthians 2:2 ). The proclaiming of Jesus will do its own work. Concentrate on God’s focal point in your preaching, and even if your listeners seem to pay it no attention, they will never be the same again. If I share my own words, they are of no more importance than your words are to me. But if we share the truth of God with one another, we will encounter it again and again. We have to focus on the great point of spiritual power— the Cross. If we stay in contact with that center of power, its energy is released in our lives. In holiness movements and spiritual experience meetings, the focus tends to be put not on the Cross of Christ but on the effects of the Cross.

Once again Oswald reminds us that there is supernatural power for us in the cross and the sacrifice of our God. He reminds us that we stay connected to God’s  power by staying focused on the cross, NOT the effects of the cross. The effects, the results, and all the outcomes are controlled and manifest by the power of the living God when we simply focus on His sacrifice. We do not focus on our circumstance, the overwhelming and what looks like impending “train wreck” of our lives, we focus on Jesus at the cross.

When we do this, God is able to work supernatually in our lives. The cross is the foundation of our faith and our lives, day to day:

1 Cor 2:2 (Phi) …It was my determination to concentrate entirely on Jesus Christ himself and the fact of his death upon the cross.


  • A.W. Tozer: “The old cross is a symbol of death. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again in newness of life. God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It always stands at the far side of the cross.”…….JD
  • The feebleness of the church is being criticized today, and the criticism is justified. One reason for the feebleness is that there has not been this focus on the true center of spiritual power. We have not dwelt enough on the tragedy of Calvary or on the meaning of redemption.

    Perhaps we have not focused enough on the cross of Christ and the redemptive powers therein…..It seems that staying connected to God begins and ends here, everyday, every morning as we gather our manna for the day. …JD

    The Secret of Spiritual Consistency

    November 25th, 2009

    God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . —Galatians 6:14

    Music for today:

    When a person is newly born again, he seems inconsistent due to his unrelated emotions and the state of the external things or circumstances in his life.

    When we are immature believers we are often moved by our circumstances. We can let the circumstances dictate our feelings of being connected to God. We can let external things dictate our walk….JD

    The apostle Paul had a strong and steady underlying consistency in his life. Consequently, he could let his external life change without internal distress because he was rooted and grounded in God.

    Can we say that our circumstances do not change our internal distress? Perhaps our internal visceral tension tells us that we are not connected to the cross, perhaps our tension reminds us that we need to be led to the cross. The place for all our answers..We have agreed in our study that visceral tension and emotions such as fear, anger, jealousy, and others can represent “idiot lights” on our dashboard of life to remind us to reconnect with the Spirit of God…It is not so much that we have been disconnected from God because that is not possible, it is that we have taken over from God and we stopped accepting His gift of the cross in that circumstance…JD


    Most of us are not consistent spiritually because we are more concerned about being consistent externally. In the external expression of things, Paul lived in the basement, while his critics lived on the upper level. And these two levels do not begin to touch each other. But Paul’s consistency was down deep in the fundamentals. The great basis of his consistency was the agony of God in the redemption of the world, namely, the Cross of Christ.

    The cross of Christ provides the answer to every question that is formed in our lives. It is the underlying answer for all things….JD

    State your beliefs to yourself again. Get back to the foundation of the Cross of Christ, doing away with any belief not based on it. In secular history the Cross is an infinitesimally small thing, but from the biblical perspective it is of more importance than all the empires of the world. If we get away from dwelling on the tragedy of God on the Cross in our preaching, our preaching produces nothing. It will not transmit the energy of God to man; it may be interesting, but it will have no power. However, when we preach the Cross, the energy of God is released. “. . .

    Could it be that when we “live the cross” day by day, hour by hour the energy of God is also released? When we live the cross, we are transformed and we become a living Gospel?..Could it be that when we “live the cross” we are transformed and energized by God to energize and transform the lives of others.?……perhaps the prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assissi is significant here..”Spread the gospel at all times, and use words only when necessary.” JD

    it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. . . . we preach Christ crucified . . .” ( 1 Corinthians 1:21, 23 ).

    Direction of Focus

    November 24th, 2009
    November 24, 2009
    Direction of Focus
    Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters . . . , so our eyes look to the Lord our God . . . —Psalm 123:2

    This verse is a description of total reliance on God. Just as the eyes of a servant are riveted on his master, our eyes should be directed to and focused on God. This is how knowledge of His countenance is gained and how God reveals Himself to us (seeIsaiah 53:1  ). Our spiritual strength begins to be drained when we stop lifting our eyes to Him. Our stamina is sapped, not so much through external troubles surrounding us but through problems in our thinking. We wrongfully think, “I suppose I’ve been stretching myself a little too much, standing too tall and trying to look like God instead of being an ordinary humble person.” We have to realize that no effort can be too high.

    We can never stretch ourselves too thin when we keep our eyes on the Lord. Peter could walk on water when he looked to Jesus. We serve an awesome God that can accomplish anything. When we are connected to Him it is He that does the “stretching” and nothing is a “stretch for our God. We get tired and spread ourselves too thin when we operate out of our own strength. jd

    For example, you came to a crisis in your life, took a stand for God, and even had the witness of the Spirit as a confirmation that what you did was right. But now, maybe weeks or years have gone by, and you are slowly coming to the conclusion— “Well, maybe what I did showed too much pride or was superficial. Was I taking a stand a bit too high for me?” Your “rational” friends come and say, “Don’t be silly. We knew when you first talked about this spiritual awakening that it was a passing impulse, that you couldn’t hold up under the strain. And anyway, God doesn’t expect you to endure.” You respond by saying, “Well, I suppose I was expecting too much.” That sounds humble to say, but it means that your reliance on God is gone, and you are now relying on worldly opinion. The danger comes when, no longer relying on God, you neglect to focus your eyes on Him. Only when God brings you to a sudden stop will you realize that you have been the loser. Whenever there is a spiritual drain in your life, correct it immediately. Realize that something has been coming between you and God, and change or remove it at once.

    We have been learning that the primary focus for the believer is “being connected” to God through Jesus. Our “dashboard” lights called fear, anger, jealousy, pride, anxiety all (and more) tell us that we are no longer directly connected in that particular area (and in that circumstance) of our lives and that we are to return immediately to the intimate relationship we have known.

    When we “seek first His kingdom” everything else falls into place….jd

    I can do all things through Christ Jesus that strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13

    The Distraction of Contempt

    November 23rd, 2009
    November 23, 2009
    The Distraction of Contempt
    Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt —Psalm 123:3

    What we must beware of is not damage to our belief in God but damage to our Christian disposition or state of mind. “Take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” ( Malachi 2:16 ). Our state of mind is powerful in its effects. It can be the enemy that penetrates right into our soul and distracts our mind from God. There are certain attitudes we should never dare to indulge. If we do, we will find they have distracted us from faith in God. Until we get back into a quiet mood before Him, our faith is of no value, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is what rules our lives.

    Once we understand etiher in a specific area or in general that we have come to the end of ourselves, the end of our own ingenuity, our own ceativity, our own righteousness, we then come to the quiet place with the Lord…..

    We can test our motives with the question ‘Who does it serve?” We have but two commandments from our Lord and our question can be” does it serve God or others?” This question can be the litmus test for our distraction, or the contempt for and of our distraction…..jd

    Beware of “the cares of this world . . .” ( Mark 4:19 ). They are the very things that produce the wrong attitudes in our soul. It is incredible what enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention away from God. Refuse to be swamped by “the cares of this world.”

    The cares of his world, or our own view of the “train wreck waiting to happen” often provides the circumstance so we take our lives or the situation back from the Lord, we remove it from the cross and try to intercede”. Our God works in ways we cannot understand and often waits until or past the time of the circumstance that would indicate a “train wreck” for our lives. We must wait on Him. In this way our faith becomes established and rooted in the truth and not the circumstance. We can focus on the cross and on what He has done in the past….. jd

    Another thing that distracts us is our passion for vindication. St. Augustine prayed, “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.” Such a need for constant vindication destroys our soul’s faith in God. Don’t say, “I must explain myself,” or, “I must get people to understand.” Our Lord never explained anything— He left the misunderstandings or misconceptions of others to correct themselves.

    When we require vindication, it seems we are doing the same thing as promoting ourselves. Although in the defensive posture it is nonetheless “me defending me to the world”. How is it different from “me promoting me” to the world? It is still all about me. I have not come to the end of myself…jd

    When we discern that other people are not growing spiritually and allow that discernment to turn to criticism, we block our fellowship with God. God never gives us discernment so that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.

    We have a tendancy to look back on our learning and spiritual growth and in a lot of ways say, “I am certainly glad I am not like the conservative, Pharasitical Christians that do…X”…This is once again setting oursleves apart and promoting ourselves….We are to love them, serve them and acknowledge the circumstance without criticism of the individuals. …..jd    …. same goes for those walking in more liberty than ourselves… djr

    November 22, 2009 Shallow and Profound

    November 22nd, 2009

    Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,do all to the glory of God —1 Corinthians 10:31

    Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.

    To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher . . .” ( Matthew 10:24 ).

    We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

    Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.


    JD   This may be the best place to write our initial impressions.   Just write in the edit panel. This would be the equivalent of having the facing page left blank for journalling , which would not be too bad an idea for any devo book.     KISS.

    …..this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are…... This was the kicker for me today.   I find myself judging people that I meet.   Like at this travel convention, I notice that many people complain a lot.   It’s a narrow line between just observing that from the balcony….. and judging them or looking down on them.    I think we are on the right track to just “accept without complaint” AND WITHOUT JUDGEMENT.    They just are how they are, God has allowed me to see it for what it is.   So just leave it alone.    Certainly dont want to get like the Pharisee who said, “Oh God, thank you that I’m not like that sinner…..”

    I can actually feel it and catch myself when I have a judging thought.    Thank you Lord that the dashboard is still working.  I’ll keep bringing that nasty piece of carnality to the cross where it belongs.  Thanks…..DJR

    Nov 21 It is Finished

    November 21st, 2009

    I have finished the work which You have given Me to do —John 17:4

    The death of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment in history of the very mind and intent of God. There is no place for seeing Jesus Christ as a martyr. His death was not something that happened to Him— something that might have been prevented. His death was the very reason He came.

    Never build your case for forgiveness on the idea that God is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us. That contradicts the revealed truth of God in Jesus Christ. It makes the Cross unnecessary, and the redemption “much ado about nothing.” God forgives sin only because of the death of Christ. God could forgive people in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted as Savior because of His death. “We see Jesus . . . for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor . . .” ( Hebrews 2:9 ). The greatest note of triumph ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ— “It is finished!” ( John 19:30 ). That is the final word in the redemption of humankind.

    Anything that lessens or completely obliterates the holiness of God, through a false view of His love, contradicts the truth of God as revealed by Jesus Christ. Never allow yourself to believe that Jesus Christ stands with us, and against God, out of pity and compassion, or that He became a curse for us out of sympathy for us. Jesus Christ became a curse for us by divine decree. Our part in realizing the tremendous meaning of His curse is the conviction of sin. Conviction is given to us as a gift of shame and repentance; it is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the sin in people, and Calvary is the measure of His hatred…..Perhaps it is the independence from God that we demonstrate when we “sin”. I wonder if the difinition of sin could be less the violation of a moral code or shameful act (although sin could be both); it is first and foremost being disconnected from God by choosing our own path or action instead of trusting God. Whenever we “disobey” God we are simply choosing to have our own way much like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Having our own way in any area of our lives is disobedience in that area, and we can be certain that when we choose our own way, God will let us have our own way. We can take action and be our own “god” or let God take the action. Have our own way or let the God of the universe direct our paths? Let me see……..I can let the God of the universe, maker of heaven and earth, the God who died for me direct my life or I can make the choices for my life.  When it is laid out like that, it seems an easy decision.