Archive for November, 2010

By the Grace of God I Am What I Am” 11-30-2010

November 30th, 2010

By the Grace of God I Am What I Am”

November 30, 2010
By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain . . . —1 Corinthians 15:10

The way we continually talk about our own inabilities is an insult to our Creator. To complain over our incompetence is to accuse God falsely of having overlooked us. Get into the habit of examining from God’s perspective those things that sound so humble to men. You will be amazed at how unbelievably inappropriate and disrespectful they are to Him. We say things such as, “Oh, I shouldn’t claim to be sanctified; I’m not a saint.” But to say that before God means, “No, Lord, it is impossible for You to save and sanctify me; there are opportunities I have not had and so many imperfections in my brain and body; no, Lord, it isn’t possible.” That may sound wonderfully humble to others, but before God it is an attitude of defiance.

Conversely, the things that sound humble before God may sound exactly the opposite to people. To say, “Thank God, I know I am saved and sanctified,” is in God’s eyes the purest expression of humility. It means you have so completely surrendered yourself to God that you know He is true. Never worry about whether what you say sounds humble before others or not. But always be humble before God, and allow Him to be your all in all.

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

Journal DJR 11 30 10
Good morning, Lord. Today we see your Omnity. You are bigger and higher than we and when we try to totally understand your plans, it boggles our mind. Like how your grace is sufficient … and the blood of Jesus totally wipes away our sin … but yet you know everything … Are you just choosing to not look at it?

These are good things for you to think about, but not to get distraught over. Your first statement that my ways are different and higher than your ways needs to remain central … so you dont go crazy … and I will share various insights with you as we move along. A picture for you to remember is like a solid fence around a construction site with peep holes for sidewalk superintendents. I will take you to different observation holes from time to time … and more as you seek me and press in … but you will never see the whole thing until you get here. So dont worry about it. Let it be OK that you dont see and know everything … yet. There will be a time for that.

<< 1 Corinthians 13:12 >>
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

The Supremacy of Jesus Christ 11-29-2010

November 29th, 2010

The Supremacy of Jesus Christ

November 29, 2010
He will glorify Me . . . —John 16:14

The holiness movements of today 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, prayer, and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous. It did not cost the sufferings of God, nor is it stained with “the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 12:11). It is not marked or sealed by the Holy Spirit as being genuine, and it has no visual sign that causes people to exclaim with awe and wonder, “That is the work of God Almighty!” Yet the New Testament is about the work of God and nothing else.

The New Testament example of the Christian experience is that of a personal, passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other kind of so-called Christian experience is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration— no being born again into the kingdom in which Christ lives and reigns supreme. There is only the idea that He is our pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is the Savior long before He is the pattern. Today He is being portrayed 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, has come, . . . He will glorify Me . . .” (John 16:13-14). When I commit myself to the revealed truth of the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit, who then begins interpreting to me what Jesus did. The Spirit of God does in me internally all that Jesus Christ did for me externally.


November 29, 2010

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Nowadays when anyone wants to pursue a more “complex and deep” or “intellectually stimulating” spiritual discussion, I cannot get interested. The more I study and pray, the more satisfying is the simple message of Jesus.

And God says…”The Holy Spirit living inside of you that connects with My Spirit is leading you when you are connected to Me. When you are connected to Me, you are brought into love, faith, forgiveness, loving kindness, truth, hope, and peace. When you are connected to Me you know the truth and in love you live out the truth…… that Jesus is the answer, simple and pure, to everything you face. When you are connected to Me you are confident and certain of your salvation and growth, while also being aware of the grace that is necessary to cover your day to day living and natural missteps. Trust the simple truth of Jesus in everything you say and do, and convert your questions and concerns to His praise to experience the peace that passes all understanding.”

John 16:13 (The Message)

 12-15″I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver to you. 

The Focal Point of Spiritual Power 11-26-2010

November 26th, 2010

The Focal Point of Spiritual Power

November 26, 2010
. . . 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. “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.

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.


November 26, 2010

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

This is a wondrous time…..being able to sit on an airplane at 39000 feet and access worship music, create the devotional on line, and reach out to others online. Compared to other times and places, this is an awesome time and place to be a believer. Finding you in a song or translation or multimedia clip is amazingly easy. Worship music and devotionals abound. Thank you Lord for this time of media miracles, and all the wonderful tools available to me that support my worship and praise.

And God says…”Remember the lesson of the talents. Your tools and blessings are available as you leverage them to others. Remember that not everyone has access to these tools. Nor is everyone free to worship and pray as are you. Reach out to others, pray for them and help them gain access to the worship and praise tools you have available to you. Remember the more love, faith, truth and hope you give away, the more you will receive. Give and it shall be given to you, in like kind, overflowing your capacity to catch or consume.”

The Secret of Spiritual Consistency 11-25-2010

November 25th, 2010

The Secret of Spiritual Consistency

November 25, 2010
God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . —Galatians 6:14

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. 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. 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.

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


November 25, 2020

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Early this morning I woke up briefly and found a devotional on my phone about thanksgiving. This devotional reminded me to be thankful for difficult and or challenging circumstances.

And God says…”When you first prayed that I make you a man after My own heart years ago, you had no idea what that would entail. You thought I might just magically snap my fingers and make it happen without the ingredients of trials, time, patience, faith and hope. But those are essential ingredients in the life of a believer. If you are to become a man after my own heart you must go through trials and discover the joy of trusting Me while right inside of them. Nothing can touch you that I have not touched first and remember if I did not spare my own Son the cross, I could not possibly shortchange you the trials you must encounter. But while inside them, you can and have discovered the growth essential to the prayer……..Lord, make me a man after your own heart.”

Direction of Focus 11-24-2010

November 24th, 2010

Direction of Focus

November 24, 2010
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 (see Isaiah 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.

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.


November 24, 2010

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

I do not know what occurs or how it takes place, but I have come to know through experience that it is impossible to remain down and discouraged when I begin to praise God. Not for just His blessings on me, but for simply being the God of the universe. I have experienced this transformation and have begun to understand that He can change me from the inside out as I worship and praise Him even as I face the most challenging of circumstances.

And God says…”You have been told to worry about nothing but pray about everything, and you shall experience peace that passes all understanding. Praying is simply staying in contact with me not requesting this or that or asking for this blessing or that rescue. Worshiping in Spirit and in truth brings your Spirit into harmony with the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit can then minister to you.

Galatians 5:22-26 (The Message)

 22-23But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

The Distraction of Contempt 11-23-2010

November 23rd, 2010

The Distraction of Contempt

November 23, 2010
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.

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.”

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 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.


November 23, 2010

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Over and over the lesson becomes the same; whatever or however challenging the circumstance, the answer is the same, Jesus. Whether it is contempt or insults from someone, or my need to vindicate or defend myself, I can turn to Jesus and find my peace. He becomes the most simple and yet profound and comprehensive solution to all my challenges in this life.

And God says…” Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you….Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and do not rely on your own strength or initiative and He will make your paths straight. Jesus…..who is able to do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within you.”


Shallow and Profound 11-22-2010

November 22nd, 2010

Shallow and Profound

November 22, 2010
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.


November 22, 2010

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

I have begun to take others’ spiritual guidance and direction with a grain of salt….that is unless I am quickened by the Spirit of God and or their guidance is supported by the word of God. Whenever Oswald Chambers or anyone else tells me “beware” of doing this or that, I will read it, digest it and then allow the Holy Spirit of God to bring it into my consciousness. Like most things in my world, I try to hold guidance and direction in an open palm waiting for direction from the Holy Spirit. If I hear the same message over again and again, and or find the message resonating with me, I will then share it with David or another brother and we will prayerfully examine the direction and its application.

And God says…”My son, don’t believe everything you hear or read. Carefully weigh and examine what people write and tell you.  Not every Godly piece of advice or direction is for you at this particular time and not everyone who talks about God comes from God…..remember to test everything you hear with the word of God and with the Spirit of God living within you. And also remember that there is a time for everything. If you want to hear My voice and My confirmation, simply listen for Me. Knock and the door will be answered, ask and you shall receive. My sheep know my voice, listen for Me and do what I ask.”

“And know this; you are My child bought with the blood and sacrifice of Jesus. You are too valuable for Me to leave without specific direction. When you are not certain of My voice and direction, simply wait. I will never leave or forsake you.”


“When He Has Come” 11-19-2010

November 19th, 2010

“When He Has Come”

November 19, 2010
When He has come, He will convict the world of sin . . . —John 16:8

Very few of us know anything about conviction of sin. We know the experience of being disturbed because we have done wrong things. But conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit blots out every relationship on earth and makes us aware of only one— “Against You, You only, have I sinned . . .” (Psalm 51:4). When a person is convicted of sin in this way, he knows with every bit of his conscience that God would not dare to forgive him. If God did forgive him, then this person would have a stronger sense of justice than God. God does forgive, but it cost the breaking of His heart with grief in the death of Christ to enable Him to do so. The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. Once we have been convicted of sin, we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary— nothing less! The love of God is spelled out on the Cross and nowhere else. The only basis for which God can forgive me is the Cross of Christ. It is there that His conscience is satisfied.

Forgiveness doesn’t merely mean that I am saved from hell and have been made ready for heaven (no one would accept forgiveness on that level). Forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a newly created relationship which identifies me with God in Christ. The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One. He does this by putting into me a new nature, the nature of Jesus Christ.


November 19, 2010

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

How is it that I am being transformed into Jesus when I do and say things that Jesus would never do or say? When is this great transformation taking place? How can I be certain that it will actually occur? If I am to judge my own failures, it is clear that I am not transformed yet. How long do I wait? When does the metamorphosis actually happen? How long can God tolerate me in my current condition?

And God says…”I cannot tolerate even one white lie told for the benefit of the other person. I cannot tolerate the wonderful things you do for me and others and recall proudly. I cannot tolerate your random acts of kindness spoken of casually so that others may know of your charity. And I cannot tolerate you noticing another’s failures and speaking of them to yourself and others. But I can and do tolerate, love and adore Jesus. And He is who I see when I look at you. And you can be certain that you are being transformed into Jesus because I have told you it is so”

Winning into Freedom 11-18-2010

November 18th, 2010

Winning into Freedom

November 18. 2010
If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed —John 8:36

If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, “I can’t surrender,” or “I can’t be free.” But the spiritual part of our being never says “I can’t”; it simply soaks up everything around it. Our spirit hungers for more and more. It is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God, but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him. God delivers us from sin— we have to deliver ourselves from our individuality. This means offering our natural life to God and sacrificing it to Him, so He may transform it into spiritual life through our obedience.

God pays no attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual life. His plan runs right through our natural life. We must see to it that we aid and assist God, and not stand against Him by saying, “I can’t do that.” God will not discipline us; we must discipline ourselves. God will not bring our “arguments . . . and every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)— we have to do it. Don’t say, “Oh, Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts.” Don’t suffer from wandering thoughts. Stop listening to the tyranny of your individual natural life and win freedom into the spiritual life.

“If the Son makes you free . . . .” Do not substitute Savior for Son in this passage. The Savior has set us free from sin, but this is the freedom that comes from being set free from myself by the Son. It is what Paul meant in Galatians 2:20  when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ . . . .” His individuality had been broken and his spirit had been united with his Lord; not just merged into Him, but made one with Him. “. . . you shall be free indeed”— free to the very core of your being; free from the inside to the outside. We tend to rely on our own energy, instead of being energized by the power that comes from identification with Jesus.


November 18, 2010

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Whenever I read Oswald Chambers or another writer that tells me God has saved me from sin, but I am to provide my own day to day discipline after my salvation and “pull myself up from my spiritual bootstraps” I feel isolated and alone. Am I the only one that needs saving day to day to day? Can everyone else discipline themselves into growth and maturity after their salvation?

And God says…”My power is made perfect in your weakness. Where did you get the notion that salvation was an event and not a lifetime process? Your guarantee of an everlasting life occurred at the point  of your decision to surrender your life to Me, but your complete salvation and life more abundantly comes in being continuously rescued from your disconnection from me (and as my friend Brian McLaren says) and My adventures for your life. Your abundant life is a race you run, not a finish line you cross. And as you stumble and fall, and stumble and fall you will, remember Jesus came to save you every day and in every way. Drown in His ocean of grace and look back and notice how the discipline He provided produces changes in you.”

The Eternal Goal Nov 17, 2010

November 17th, 2010

By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing . . . I will bless you . . . —Genesis 22:16-17

Abraham, at this point, has reached where he is in touch with the very nature of God. He now understands the reality of God.

My goal is God Himself . . .
At any cost, dear Lord, by any road.

“At any cost . . . by any road” means submitting to God’s way of bringing us to the goal.

There is no possibility of questioning God when He speaks, if He speaks to His own nature in me. Prompt obedience is the only result. When Jesus says, “Come,” I simply come; when He says, “Let go,” I let go; when He says, “Trust God in this matter,” I trust. This work of obedience is the evidence that the nature of God is in me.

God’s revelation of Himself to me is influenced by my character, not by God’s character.

’Tis because I am ordinary,
Thy ways so often look ordinary to me.

It is through the discipline of obedience that I get to the place where Abraham was and I see who God is. God will never be real to me until I come face to face with Him in Jesus Christ. Then I will know and can boldly proclaim, “In all the world, my God, there is none but Thee, there is none but Thee.”

The promises of God are of no value to us until, through obedience, we come to understand the nature of God. We may read some things in the Bible every day for a year and they may mean nothing to us. Then, because we have been obedient to God in some small detail, we suddenly see what God means and His nature is instantly opened up to us. “All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen . . .” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Our “Yes” must be born of obedience; when by obedience we ratify a promise of God by saying, “Amen,” or, “So be it.” That promise becomes ours.

Journal DJR Nov 17,2010
Good Afternoon Lord. Kieth Green hit hard in the music today … “if you cant bring 100%, dont bother coming at all” … Wow. That’s not what we mainly hear in the contemporary Christian music. … But I notice that You said stuff like that a fair amount. And we just dont hear it. Or we are blind to it or we somehow explain it away by the other things you said about grace…. How are we to balance these things?
The answer is in the song. Just obey and you wont need to theologically confuse yourself. That is what a (well trained) child does. And I said, “come as a child”
Makes sense. I do have a tendency to over analyze and allow seeming contradictions to stumble me, when your simple answers are there all along. Thanks for hiding them in plain sight.