Archive for August, 2011

My Joy . . . Your Joy”

August 31st, 2011
August 31, 2011

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full —John 15:11
What was the joy that Jesus had? Joy should not be confused with happiness. In fact, it is an insult to Jesus Christ to use the word happiness in connection with Him. The joy of Jesus was His absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice to His Father— the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do— “. . . who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross . . .” (Hebrews 12:2). “I delight to do Your will, O my God . . .” (Psalm 40:8). Jesus prayed that our joy might continue fulfilling itself until it becomes the same joy as His. Have I allowed Jesus Christ to introduce His joy to me?
Living a full and overflowing life does not rest in bodily health, in circumstances, nor even in seeing God’s work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the same fellowship and oneness with Him that Jesus Himself enjoyed. But the first thing that will hinder this joy is the subtle irritability caused by giving too much thought to our circumstances. Jesus said, “. . . the cares of this world, . . . choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). And before we even realize what has happened, we are caught up in our cares. All that God has done for us is merely the threshold— He wants us to come to the place where we will be His witnesses and proclaim who Jesus is.
Have the right relationship with God, finding your joy there, and out of you “will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Be a fountain through which Jesus can pour His “living water.” Stop being hypocritical and proud, aware only of yourself, and live “your life . . . hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). A person who has the right relationship with God lives a life as natural as breathing wherever he goes. The lives that have been the greatest blessing to you are the lives of those people who themselves were unaware of having been a blessing.
August 31, 2011
Journal Entry for Today-JDV
Lord, thank you for this lesson that reminds us that our circumstances matter, not at all. Doing your will regardless of our circumstance shall put us in a state of joy. Most of us are chasing joy, or are simply trying to chase the fear of our circumstances away. Over time it is finally starting to sink in Lord, that if we seek you and seek to do Your will, we will find joy, and a peace that passes all understanding, as you meet all our needs ….
And God says…” Yes that is the story. Jesus is the water that quenches your thirst. He is the bread that satisfies your hunger. Seek Him, and be saved from the notion that you be concerned about your needs. You will still have needs, but you will also have the absolute certainty that I am meeting all your needs, all the time, according to My riches in Glory. Trust in Me with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding (or circumstances) and I will make your paths straight”.

Usefulness or Relationship?

August 30th, 2011

Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven —Luke 10:20

Jesus Christ is saying here, “Don’t rejoice in your successful service for Me, but rejoice because of your right relationship with Me.” The trap you may fall into in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service— rejoicing in the fact that God has used you. Yet you will never be able to measure fully what God will do through you if you have a right-standing relationship with Jesus Christ. If you keep your relationship right with Him, then regardless of your circumstances or whoever you encounter each day, He will continue to pour “rivers of living water” through you (John 7:38). And it is actually by His mercy that He does not let you know it. Once you have the right relationship with God through salvation and sanctification, remember that whatever your circumstances may be, you have been placed in them by God. And God uses the reaction of your life to your circumstances to fulfill His purpose, as long as you continue to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7).

Our tendency today is to put the emphasis on service. Beware of the people who make their request for help on the basis of someone’s usefulness. If you make usefulness the test, then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure who ever lived. For the saint, direction and guidance come from God Himself, not some measure of that saint’s usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. All that our Lord gives His attention to in a person’s life is that person’s relationship with God— something of great value to His Father. Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory . . .” (Hebrews 2:10).

Aug 30 2011   Journal  DJR

Good Morning Lord

It’s become so clear to me that my righteousness is as filthy rags … and that all that is good in me is You.   Oswald’s last line … that all that you give attention to in my life is our relationship … seems right but I have a question.   What about all the places where you say a man’s works and fruits will be judged?   Isn’t it important what I do and produce in your kingdom and in the world?

Yes, it is important and of value but I dont focus on it and you shouldn’t either.  It would be putting the cart before the horse.   If you produce “results” by setting goals for the results and pushing forward toward those goals (the way of the world) … then you will achieve some results.   But our relationship will get left behind.   That is not what I want and I dont value those type of results.

What I want is relationship and then the vision and goalsetting can come out of that … as a result of the relationship.   So the relationship is primary, not an add-on or an afterthought.   So it is what I focus on.   You should too.  It’s more efficient.  You take fewer laps around the mountain and thru the desert that way.

The Unsurpassed Intimacy of Tested Faith

August 29th, 2011

August 29, 2011
Jesus said to her, ’Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’ —John 11:40

Every time you venture out in your life of faith, you will find something in your circumstances that, from a commonsense standpoint, will flatly contradict your faith. But common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense. In fact, they are as different as the natural life and the spiritual. Can you trust Jesus Christ where your common sense cannot trust Him? Can you venture out with courage on the words of Jesus Christ, while the realities of your commonsense life continue to shout, “It’s all a lie”? When you are on the mountaintop, it’s easy to say, “Oh yes, I believe God can do it,” but you have to come down from the mountain to the demon-possessed valley and face the realities that scoff at your Mount-of-Transfiguration belief (see Luke 9:28-42). Every time my theology becomes clear to my own mind, I encounter something that contradicts it. As soon as I say, “I believe ’God shall supply all [my] need,’ ” the testing of my faith begins (Philippians 4:19). When my strength runs dry and my vision is blinded, will I endure this trial of my faith victoriously or will I turn back in defeat?

Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict. What is challenging your faith right now? The test will either prove your faith right, or it will kill it. Jesus said, “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” Matthew 11:6). The ultimate thing is confidence in Jesus. “We have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end . . .” (Hebrews 3:14). Believe steadfastly on Him and everything that challenges you will strengthen your faith. There is continual testing in the life of faith up to the point of our physical death, which is the last great test. Faith is absolute trust in God— trust that could never imagine that He would forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5-6).


August 29, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Thank you Lord for reminding me that the battle inside of me is regular and normal; that the push and pull between my faith and common sense is a constant. Somehow I got the idea that once I was a fully committed or “mature” believer the struggle would be over. Thank you for showing me that the test of faith is in the way we life right in the middle of the struggle, and the greater the struggles, the greater opportunity for a faith based life.  We can in fact step out of the boat and walk on the water right in the middle of the storms, when we live in faith we can step out even when  (or especially) it is storming all around us.

And God says…”You can find peace, hope, faith and trust right in the middle of trials. You can find Me right in the middle of the storms. Trust in Me with all your heart and I will …give you the peace that passes all understanding (or common sense) right where you are. Praying to have your storms removed or trials eradicated is inconsistent with choosing to live and grow in faith. Which will you choose; to live without trails and trust your common sense, or to grow in your faith? When you choose faith you learn that the trials are regular and normal, they are a part of your life on earth. And you learn that they can be a very big part of the testing and building of your faith.”

Sacrifice and Friendship

August 25th, 2011

August 25, 2011
I have called you friends . . . —John 15:15

We will never know the joy of self-sacrifice until we surrender in every detail of our lives. Yet self-surrender is the most difficult thing for us to do. We make it conditional by saying, “I’ll surrender if . . . !” Or we approach it by saying, “I suppose I have to devote my life to God.” We will never find the joy of self-sacrifice in either of these ways.

But as soon as we do totally surrender, abandoning ourselves to Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives us a taste of His joy. The ultimate goal of self-sacrifice is to lay down our lives for our Friend (see John 15:13-14). When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, our greatest desire is to lay down our lives for Jesus. Yet the thought of self-sacrifice never even crosses our minds, because sacrifice is the Holy Spirit’s ultimate expression of love.

Our Lord is our example of a life of self-sacrifice, and He perfectly exemplified Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do Your will, O my God . . . .” He endured tremendous personal sacrifice, yet with overflowing joy. Have I ever yielded myself in absolute submission to Jesus Christ? If He is not the One to whom I am looking for direction and guidance, then there is no benefit in my sacrifice. But when my sacrifice is made with my eyes focused on Him, slowly but surely His molding influence becomes evident in my life (see Hebrews 12:1-2).

Beware of letting your natural desires hinder your walk in love before God. One of the cruelest ways to kill natural love is through the rejection that results from having built the love on natural desires. But the one true desire of a saint is the Lord Jesus. Love for God is not something sentimental or emotional— for a saint to love as God loves is the most practical thing imaginable.

“I have called you friends. . . .” Our friendship with Jesus is based on the new life He created in us, which has no resemblance or attraction to our old life but only to the life of God. It is a life that is completely humble, pure, and devoted to God.


August 25, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, I really appreciate the reminder that You do call me friend.  I appreciate that reminder along with the scriptural reminders (thank God for memory verses) that remind me that You love me and want the very best for me. But Lord, when I am right in the middle of another series of trials and tribulations, I can forget that You are my friend.  Sometimes when I feel abandoned by friends and or family, and/or challenged by the economy, it can feel like You have other friends to watch out for besides me.  One of my constant prayers seems to be just calling out to You, “abba Father”, along with the prayer, “I believe, but help me in my unbelief”.

And God says…”You are My friend, but your natural ways and means are not My ways and means.  I am molding and shaping you. You can no longer use your circumstances and or situations as indicators of My friendship and blessings. You cannot use your natural eyes to see the supernatural work I am doing in and around your life.  You must trust Me and believe Me when I say I will never leave you or forsake you. When I said I will meet all your needs, I meant ALL your needs, even your need for faith and the strength to believe when everything around you screams something different.  Be reminded that your faith grows from hearing My promises in My word. Reacll these promises…”

Is 54:17 “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their Righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord

Josh 1:9 “Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Mat 7:11 If you then, being sinful, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?

Ps 18:32 It is God that provides me with strength, and makes my way perfect.

The Spiritual Search

August 24th, 2011

August 24,  2011
What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? —Matthew 7:9

The illustration of prayer that our Lord used here is one of a good child who is asking for something good. We talk about prayer as if God hears us regardless of what our relationship is to Him (see Matthew 5:45). Never say that it is not God’s will to give you what you ask. Don’t faint and give up, but find out the reason you have not received; increase the intensity of your search and examine the evidence. Is your relationship right with your spouse, your children, and your fellow students? Are you a “good child” in those relationships? Do you have to say to the Lord, “I have been irritable and cross, but I still want spiritual blessings”? You cannot receive and will have to do without them until you have the attitude of a “good child.”

We mistake defiance for devotion, arguing with God instead of surrendering. We refuse to look at the evidence that clearly indicates where we are wrong. Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want, while refusing to pay someone what I owe him? Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone who belongs to me? Have I refused to forgive someone, and have I been unkind to that person? Have I been living as God’s child among my relatives and friends? (see Matthew 7:12).

I am a child of God only by being born again, and as His child I am good only as I “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7). For most of us, prayer simply becomes some trivial religious expression, a matter of mystical and emotional fellowship with God. We are all good at producing spiritual fog that blinds our sight. But if we will search out and examine the evidence, we will see very clearly what is wrong— a friendship, an unpaid debt, or an improper attitude. There is no use praying unless we are living as children of God. Then Jesus says, regarding His children, “Everyone who asks receives . . .” (Matthew 7:8).


August 24, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, every once in a while Oswald Chambers writes a devotional that confuses me.  This one tells us that God will answer our prayers if we are “good children” and unless we are “good”, You have no obligation to keep Your promise to meet our needs.  I chose this song because it tells us that You love us anyway, regardless of the fact that we lie, have been Judas and the man from the crowd shouting, “crucify.”

And God says…”Some believe that you come to me in faith, but right after your decision to surrender to Me, you must  clean yourself up and be “good” enough. It is not the way. As Paul said in his letter to the Romans… 5.. 1-2By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. 6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway.”

“You will never be “good enough” to receive my blessings. However Jesus is always “good enough”. I  answer your prayers always, with one of three blessings; 1)  yes, right now… or 2) be patient and wait for a time, and  finally 3)  I have something much better in mind. My blessings are based on the sacrifice of Jesus, and the grace and mercy that accompanies your surrender to Him”.

Aug 24th  DJR Journal

Good Morning Lord,

I agree with my brother, the idea that we will have to do without (blessings) until we become a good child … does not square with my experience.   I have recieved many blessings as a huge sinner or while in a prodigal phase.   As a matter of fact, the blessings while prodigal, are an impetus to surrender and return to better acting, being a good child, as Oswald says.    So I dont know how exactly to reconcile the different truths…  It is also true that there is sowing and reaping … I have seen that.    But I have also seen blessing come on top of not-so-good sowing.   And sometimes there has been what I thought was some pretty good seed sown that didn’t produce that great a harvest.   I’m glad I dont have to have this all sorted out.   It could give me a headache like a French Existential Philosopher.    I am happy to rest in my brothers bottom  line …. Paraphrased …. If we have 2 ingredients:  The sacrifice of Jesus and our surrender …  We will be OK and dont have to have all the other questions figured out.

I would like to learn more about this, how the universal truths superimpose, one over another …..

You are right, there are truths that are in place, like gravity, that I put the Universe together with.   But they I can over ride one concept with another … My ways are higher than your ways.  Even the physical laws can supercede one another like magnetism can supersede gravity etc.   A couple of trump cards that I have that regularly over ride lower truths are my love for you – as proved by Jesus sacrifice, and my hate for sin – as proved by Jesus sacrifice.    If you read the new testament you will see that unworthy people were actually the only ones that got the blessings.   The worthy ones, the Pharisees,   got nothing.   The only blessing that a person good and perfect in their own eyes can get is the blessing of Surrender, which my Holy Spirit can aid in achieving.     The problem is that perfect people rarely pray for that particular gift.     Remember, even Surrender is a gift.   Seek it.

Prayer— Battle in “The Secret Place”

August 23rd, 2011

August 23, 2011
When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly —Matthew 6:6

Jesus did not say, “Dream about your Father who is in the secret place,” but He said, “. . . pray to your Father who is in the secret place. . . .” Prayer is an effort of the will. After we have entered our secret place and shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray. We cannot seem to get our minds into good working order, and the first thing we have to fight is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is overcoming this problem of our idle and wandering thinking. We have to learn to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful, deliberate prayer.

We must have a specially selected place for prayer, but once we get there this plague of wandering thoughts begins, as we begin to think to ourselves, “This needs to be done, and I have to do that today.” Jesus says to “shut your door.” Having a secret stillness before God means deliberately shutting the door on our emotions and remembering Him. God is in secret, and He sees us from “the secret place”— He does not see us as other people do, or as we see ourselves. When we truly live in “the secret place,” it becomes impossible for us to doubt God. We become more sure of Him than of anyone or anything else. Enter into “the secret place,” and you will find that God was right in the middle of your everyday circumstances all the time. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless you learn to open the door of your life completely and let God in from your first waking moment of each new day, you will be working on the wrong level throughout the day. But if you will swing the door of your life fully open and “pray to your Father who is in the secret place,” every public thing in your life will be marked with the lasting imprint of the presence of God.


August 23, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

God, I do not seem to have difficulty finding a private place and praying. Staying focused on You does not seem overly difficult lately either. What is unsettling is the notion that You seem to have abandoned the notion of answering my prayers.  Over and over I am offering up prayer after prayer with the same request (s), and it seems the answer is always “wait or ….I have something better in mind”.

And God says…”You are right; I do answer your prayers with those two answers. ..”Wait ….or I have something better in mind”. You are anxious and question my responses to your specific short term requests because you tire of waiting, and want my blessing for your own plans and projects.”

“When you consider the magnitude of the everlasting and the eternal, and faithfully trust Me to meet all your needs in this context, you may begin to understand that right at this moment, you are right where you want and need to be. Rest and be at peace with your prayer requests knowing that I will meet all your needs according to my riches in glory, according to My eternal timetable;  providing what is the absolute best for you….. from my perspective.”

“Trust in Me with all your heart and do not rely on your understanding or perspective at all…and I will make your paths straight. Seek first My kingdom, which is Jesus, and I will provide everything else you need or require”.

I Indeed . . . But He”

August 22nd, 2011

August 22, 2011

I indeed baptize you with water . . . but He . . . will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire —Matthew 3:11

Have I ever come to the point in my life where I can say, “I indeed . . . but He . . .”? Until that moment comes, I will never know what the baptism of the Holy Spirit means. I indeed am at the end, and I cannot do anything more— but He begins right there— He does the things that no one else can ever do. Am I prepared for His coming? Jesus cannot come and do His work in me as long as there is anything blocking the way, whether it is something good or bad. When He comes to me, am I prepared for Him to drag every wrong thing I have ever done into the light? That is exactly where He comes. Wherever I know I am unclean is where He will put His feet and stand, and wherever I think I am clean is where He will remove His feet and walk away.

Repentance does not cause a sense of sin— it causes a sense of inexpressible unworthiness. When I repent, I realize that I am absolutely helpless, and I know that through and through I am not worthy even to carry His sandals. Have I repented like that, or do I have a lingering thought of possibly trying to defend my actions? The reason God cannot come into my life is that I am not at the point of complete repentance.

“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” John is not speaking here of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience, but as a work performed by Jesus Christ. “He will baptize you . . . .” The only experience that those who are baptized with the Holy Spirit are ever conscious of is the experience of sensing their absolute unworthiness.

I indeed” was this in the past, “but He” came and something miraculous happened. Get to the end of yourself where you can do nothing, but where He does everything.


August 22, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

This is dad’s birthday. He would have been 83 today. For me and perhaps for others in my family it is a day for reflection.  It is a day to consider history; how it rolled out for my dad, and how it rolled for me with him. And the Holy Spirit reminds me that all things work for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

And God says…”One of the most difficult lessons is the lesson of surrender; whether a good or bad, positive or negative experience. It can be an ongoing lesson.  You cannot interpret the lesson or result based on bow the outcome impacts you or others. It is up to Me to interpret. To you death is a bad thing, but to My saints waiting on a believer to join us, it is very good. To many, sickness and injury is a very bad thing, but they cannot see the growth and strength that is to come. Try to stay “on the edge” in a mind and in circumstances whereby you must trust God. When you begin to trust your own resources, surrender is most difficult.“

Have You Ever Been Speechless with Sorrow?

August 18th, 2011
August 18, 2011

When he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich —Luke 18:23
The rich young ruler went away from Jesus speechless with sorrow, having nothing to say in response to Jesus’ words. He had no doubt about what Jesus had said or what it meant, and it produced in him a sorrow with no words with which to respond. Have you ever been there? Has God’s Word ever come to you, pointing out an area of your life, requiring you to yield it to Him? Maybe He has pointed out certain personal qualities, desires, and interests, or possibly relationships of your heart and mind. If so, then you have often been speechless with sorrow. The Lord will not go after you, and He will not plead with you. But every time He meets you at the place where He has pointed, He will simply repeat His words, saying, “If you really mean what you say, these are the conditions.”
“Sell all that you have . . .” (Luke 18:22). In other words, rid yourself before God of everything that might be considered a possession until you are a mere conscious human being standing before Him, and then give God that. That is where the battle is truly fought— in the realm of your will before God. Are you more devoted to your idea of what Jesus wants than to Jesus Himself? If so, you are likely to hear one of His harsh and unyielding statements that will produce sorrow in you. What Jesus says is difficult— it is only easy when it is heard by those who have His nature in them. Beware of allowing anything to soften the hard words of Jesus Christ.
I can be so rich in my own poverty, or in the awareness of the fact that I am nobody, that I will never be a disciple of Jesus. Or I can be so rich in the awareness that I am somebody that I will never be a disciple. Am I willing to be destitute and poor even in my sense of awareness of my destitution and poverty? If not, that is why I become discouraged. Discouragement is disillusioned self-love, and self-love may be love for my devotion to Jesus— not love for Jesus Himself.
August 18, 2011
Journal Entry for Today-JDV
Lord, I think I beginning to understand how to hear your voice more clearly with Your power and strength to follow Your direction. I think I can grasp the sliver of reality about how to actually hear your voice, and be eager to be obedient…with the courage and strength to be obedient. It also appears that I am learning how and why to quickly get off the broken road and back on track when I am more human than I had imagined. …Thank You for these lessons and your Spirit that allows me the understanding.
And God says…”Walking by faith takes practice. And the day to day troubles of this life are designed to help you practice and grow that faith. When you were a very young believer, you thought your life could be more comfortable if you simply stayed on the right path and were obedient. So you struggled with obedience and growth so that I might “bless you’ in your righteousness, or at the very least, not punish you for your disobedience. Now you are learning that I love you enough to leave you inside of the shaping and molding of difficult times. And you are learning that the circumstances really do not matter when you are connected to Jesus, and allow Him to live through you. When you are connected you are able to walk by faith, living with joy and a peace that passes all understanding.”
Aug 18th

Good morning Lord,

That last line of Oswald’s caught my attention.  Could that be me?   Can I be more in love with the idea of relationship with you than really in love with you?   I suppose I could.  Actually it’s easier to be in love with an idea of a person than really the person.   That way I can pick and choose … and avoid the messy parts or as Oswald suggests, the parts I dont like.

You’ve got it pretty clear.  Now just live with this realization.   It is a good self check to ask yourself.   Are you walking with me or an idea about me?  Are you in relationship with me or just an idea about relationship with me?

Are You Discouraged or Devoted?

August 17th, 2011

August 17, 2011

Jesus . . . said to him, ’You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have . . . and come, follow Me.’ But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich —Luke 18:22-23

Have you ever heard the Master say something very difficult to you? If you haven’t, I question whether you have ever heard Him say anything at all. Jesus says a tremendous amount to us that we listen to, but do not actually hear. And once we do hear Him, His words are harsh and unyielding.

Jesus did not show the least concern that this rich young ruler should do what He told him, nor did Jesus make any attempt to keep this man with Him. He simply said to him, “Sell all that you have . . . and come, follow Me.” Our Lord never pleaded with him; He never tried to lure him— He simply spoke the strictest words that human ears have ever heard, and then left him alone.

Have I ever heard Jesus say something difficult and unyielding to me? Has He said something personally to me to which I have deliberately listened— not something I can explain for the sake of others, but something I have heard Him say directly to me? This man understood what Jesus said. He heard it clearly, realizing the full impact of its meaning, and it broke his heart. He did not go away as a defiant person, but as one who was sorrowful and discouraged. He had come to Jesus on fire with zeal and determination, but the words of Jesus simply froze him. Instead of producing enthusiastic devotion to Jesus, they produced heartbreaking discouragement. And Jesus did not go after him, but let him go. Our Lord knows perfectly well that once His word is truly heard, it will bear fruit sooner or later. What is so terrible is that some of us prevent His words from bearing fruit in our present life. I wonder what we will say when we finally make up our minds to be devoted to Him on that particular point? One thing is certain— He will never throw our past failures back in our faces.


August 17, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

I have denied you and doubted, and you love me anyway. I have refused to hear your loving voice, and rejected your soft and clear direction. And You love me anyway. The notion that you love me regardless of what I might say or do is mind boggling. I thought I had to “measure up”.  And as I consider this amazing truth, my love for you and desire to follow you becomes firmly imbedded in my heart and soul.  Just considering this truth somehow transforms me…again and again.

And God says…”I knew the rich young ruler would be stopped in his tracks over my answer to his question;  just as you are often stopped in your tracks by my direction. However, both you and the rich young ruler have life more abundantly when you choose to follow Me. You can live a transformed life. When you hold onto your notions of money, what is sufficient and required for your life you, in affect are saying, “God, I will follow my own notions and my natural inclinations.” When you do this you decide NOT to receive My supernatural abundance and grace. Trust in Me with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding and I will make your paths straight. Seek first My Kingdome, which is Jesus, and all these things will be added unto you.

Does He Know Me . . . ?

August 16th, 2011

August 16, 2011

He calls his own . . . by name . . . —John 10:3

When I have sadly misunderstood Him? (see John 20:11-18).

It is possible to know all about doctrine and still not know Jesus. A person’s soul is in grave danger when the knowledge of doctrine surpasses Jesus, avoiding intimate touch with Him. Why was Mary weeping? Doctrine meant no more to her than the grass under her feet. In fact, any Pharisee could have made a fool of Mary doctrinally, but one thing they could never ridicule was the fact that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her (see Luke 8:2); yet His blessings were nothing to her in comparison with knowing Jesus Himself. “. . . she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. . . . Jesus said to her, ’Mary!’ ” (John 20:14, 16). Once He called Mary by her name, she immediately knew that she had a personal history with the One who spoke. “She turned and said to Him, ’Rabboni!’ ” (John 20:16).

When I have stubbornly doubted? (see John 20:24-29). Have I been doubting something about Jesus— maybe an experience to which others testify, but which I have not yet experienced? The other disciples said to Thomas, “We have seen the Lord” (John 20:25). But Thomas doubted, saying, “Unless I see . . . I will not believe” (John 20:25). Thomas needed the personal touch of Jesus. When His touches will come we never know, but when they do come they are indescribably precious. “Thomas . . . said to Him, ’My Lord and my God!’ ” (John 20:28).

When I have selfishly denied Him? (see John 21:15-17). Peter denied Jesus Christ with oaths and curses (see Matthew 26:69-75), and yet after His resurrection Jesus appeared to Peter alone. Jesus restored Peter in private, and then He restored him publicly before the others. And Peter said to Him, “Lord . . . You know that I love You” (John 21:17).

Do I have a personal history with Jesus Christ? The one true sign of discipleship is intimate oneness with Him— a knowledge of Jesus that nothing can shake.


August 16, 2011

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, I have misunderstood, doubted and denied you. I have misunderstood, doubted and denied You in the middle of crisis and trials that seem too immediate and overwhelming.  I misunderstood your promise to give me strength inside of the trial; instead I kept looking for you to remove the trial. And when all my circumstances look hopeless, I do not always sing your praises. Sometimes I even ask, “why me?”

Inside of challenges, I know the right thing to do is to acknowledge you as my Lord and master, but I choose another response instead. Lord please help me to always choose You, even if I do not understand, and am ready to doubt and deny You.

And God says…”It is normal to misunderstand, doubt and deny Me. It is the human condition. However, you can transcend the human condition by surrendering your weakness for My strength.  It takes a supernatural condition provided by the Holy Spirit to accept, trust and believe when all around you screams… “Run, hide the sky is falling”. Seek Me and see Me and everything else will come into the right focus.”  When you seek and see Me, the sky may fall but deep down you know that I will either catch the falling sky or provide another way of salvation.”