Archive for July, 2012

Becoming Entirely His

July 31st, 2012

Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing —James 1:4

Many of us appear to be all right in general, but there are still some areas in which we are careless and lazy; it is not a matter of sin, but the remnants of our carnal life that tend to make us careless. Carelessness is an insult to the Holy Spirit. We should have no carelessness about us either in the way we worship God, or even in the way we eat and drink.

Not only must our relationship to God be right, but the outward expression of that relationship must also be right. Ultimately, God will allow nothing to escape; every detail of our lives is under His scrutiny. God will bring us back in countless ways to the same point over and over again. And He never tires of bringing us back to that one point until we learn the lesson, because His purpose is to produce the finished product. It may be a problem arising from our impulsive nature, but again and again, with the most persistent patience, God has brought us back to that one particular point. Or the problem may be our idle and wandering thinking, or our independent nature and self-interest. Through this process, God is trying to impress upon us the one thing that is not entirely right in our lives.

We have been having a wonderful time in our studies over the revealed truth of God’s redemption, and our hearts are perfect toward Him. And His wonderful work in us makes us know that overall we are right with Him. “Let patience have its perfect work . . . .” The Holy Spirit speaking through James said, “Now let your patience become a finished product.” Beware of becoming careless over the small details of life and saying, “Oh, that will have to do for now.” Whatever it may be, God will point it out with persistence until we become entirely His.

The Teaching of Disillusionment

July 30th, 2012

Jesus did not commit Himself to them . . . , for He knew what was in man —John 2:24-25

Disillusionment means having no more misconceptions, false impressions, and false judgments in life; it means being free from these deceptions. However, though no longer deceived, our experience of disillusionment may actually leave us cynical and overly critical in our judgment of others. But the disillusionment that comes from God brings us to the point where we see people as they really are, yet without any cynicism or any stinging and bitter criticism. Many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief, or pain, stem from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts, seeing each other as we really are; we are only true to our misconceived ideas of one another. According to our thinking, everything is either delightful and good, or it is evil, malicious, and cowardly.

Refusing to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering of human life. And this is how that suffering happens— if we love someone, but do not love God, we demand total perfection and righteousness from that person, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; yet we are demanding of a human being something which he or she cannot possibly give. There is only one Being who can completely satisfy to the absolute depth of the hurting human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord is so obviously uncompromising with regard to every human relationship because He knows that every relationship that is not based on faithfulness to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no one, and never placed His faith in people, yet He was never suspicious or bitter. Our Lord’s confidence in God, and in what God’s grace could do for anyone, was so perfect that He never despaired, never giving up hope for any person. If our trust is placed in human beings, we will end up despairing of everyone.


July 30, 2012

Journal Entry-JDV

When I become aware of my capacity for following my selfish motives and desires, and my self-deception, I come face to face with my own failings….and most of the time, become more acceptable of others. Once I see my own failings, it becomes abundantly clear that I cannot point out the speck in that other person’s eye.  Perhaps the “saving grace” of being aware of my shortcomings is that I am less and less likely to point out the failings of others.

And God says…”Almost right. When you begin to understand that you can only be made right by the sacrifice of Jesus, you begin to view others through this same lens. When you quit “trying” to be a “good Christian” and begin to understand that you can only become “good” through the saving work of Christ Jesus, you begin to view others in this same light. And you begin to understand that the saving work of Jesus, is not an event, it is the daily activity of identifying with the Son of God in all you say and do. You will not be nor act “perfect”. You will become transformed over time….and occasionally when you can only identify with your own selfish thoughts  and actions, you will grow to the point where you can and will extend the love and grace of Jesus for both yourself and others.”

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
Never trusting anyone but always trusting You and hoping the best for all situations is kind of hard to keep balanced.

Yes, and you will have the tendency to fall on one side or the other. Acceptance of people and situations without complaint. Just accepting things as they are … it is what it is … that is the place from which you can see as I see, Hear as I hear and respond as I would respond … rather than react from your preconceived judgements … which are all doomed to be inaccurate and will therefore lead to bad reactions. Try Acceptance without complaint. It’s what I did. It will take practice.

OK, I’ll give it a go. But I need your help.

That’s what I’m here for.



The Way to Purity

July 26th, 2012

Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart . . . . For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man . . . —Matthew 15:18-20

Initially we trust in our ignorance, calling it innocence, and next we trust our innocence, calling it purity. Then when we hear these strong statements from our Lord, we shrink back, saying, “But I never felt any of those awful things in my heart.” We resent what He reveals. Either Jesus Christ is the supreme authority on the human heart, or He is not worth paying any attention to. Am I prepared to trust the penetration of His Word into my heart, or would I prefer to trust my own “innocent ignorance”? If I will take an honest look at myself, becoming fully aware of my so-called innocence and putting it to the test, I am very likely to have a rude awakening that what Jesus Christ said is true, and I will be appalled at the possibilities of the evil and the wrong within me. But as long as I remain under the false security of my own “innocence,” I am living in a fool’s paradise. If I have never been an openly rude and abusive person, the only reason is my own cowardice coupled with the sense of protection I receive from living a civilized life. But when I am open and completely exposed before God, I find that Jesus Christ is right in His diagnosis of me.

The only thing that truly provides protection is the redemption of Jesus Christ. If I will simply hand myself over to Him, I will never have to experience the terrible possibilities that lie within my heart. Purity is something far too deep for me to arrive at naturally. But when the Holy Spirit comes into me, He brings into the center of my personal life the very Spirit that was exhibited in the life of Jesus Christ, namely, the Holy Spirit, which is absolute unblemished purity.



July 23, 2012

Journal for Today-JDV

Lord, I am certainly glad to discover that you are in charge of purity and innocence for my life. Sometimes I feel so far from pure, I wonder if I can even be considered “OK’. I have a tendency to seek my own way in everything I do; seeking the most personal gain (or the least amount of pain) in relationships and projects…everything I do. I wonder if I can ever be a person that seeks the best for the other people in my personal and business relationships and projects.

And God says…”Your nature is not to look out for the other person first; except when you see them as an extension of yourself. Most of all your waking moments are spent trying to figure out how to find peace and joy in a life naturally focused on avoiding pain and maximizing your pleasure. It is a stress filled existence living in this way, even when you find the discipline and self-control to set “healthy” patterns for living. You will always have the heart felt void you try to fill with less pain and more pleasure; until you surrender your life and efforts to me.

Acknowledge Me in all your ways and do not rely on your own ways of doing things and I will make your paths straight. Seek first the kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and all you need will be provided. Delight yourself in Me….and I will give you the desires of your heart.


Journal DJR
Good Morning, Lord,
These are some pretty hard words. But they ring true. Life seems to be set up as a game that is impossible to win … using all the best of what we bring. It’s a great thing that you have brought your redemption and we can win the game … but only by surrendering and letting you empower us. Easier to understand the concept than actually get it done…

Yes, especially for those of you who pride yourselves on being self starters, self motivated and self empowered. You have to run a little while, or a long while before you find that you are powerless … and then my Spirit can come and empower you.

Am I Blessed Like This?

July 25th, 2012

Blessed are . . . —Matthew 5:3-11

When we first read the statements of Jesus, they seem wonderfully simple and unstartling, and they sink unnoticed into our subconscious minds. For instance, the Beatitudes initially seem to be merely soothing and beautiful precepts for overly spiritual and seemingly useless people, but of very little practical use in the rigid, fast-paced workdays of the world in which we live. We soon find, however, that the Beatitudes contain the “dynamite” of the Holy Spirit. And they “explode” when the circumstances of our lives cause them to do so. When the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance one of the Beatitudes, we say, “What a startling statement that is!” Then we must decide whether or not we will accept the tremendous spiritual upheaval that will be produced in our circumstances if we obey His words. That is the way the Spirit of God works. We do not need to be born again to apply the Sermon on the Mount literally. The literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount is as easy as child’s play. But the interpretation by the Spirit of God as He applies our Lord’s statements to our circumstances is the strict and difficult work of a saint.

The teachings of Jesus are all out of proportion when compared to our natural way of looking at things, and they come to us initially with astonishing discomfort. We gradually have to conform our walk and conversation to the precepts of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit applies them to our circumstances. The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations— it is a picture of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His unhindered way with us.



July 25, 2012

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord if I am, as the song says, to “live like that”; it seems to me that it will take a miracle. I know it requires take the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. Love my enemies, give, do not get angry with those that persecute me, be pure of heart, seek righteousness… meekness and know that heavenly rewards for insults and slander here on earth will be substantial. These are difficult, if not impossible, precepts for me to live day in and day out Lord.   And just when I think I have conquered one failing, another pops up and reminds me of how weak I really am. If I am to really, “live like that” Lord, You will need to live through me.

And God says…”That is the plan. I sent Jesus to live through you. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life…and light. His sacrifice and the work of the Holy Spirit in and through your life can make the beatitudes a reality, over time. You are so impatient, you want to experience the transformation in a year or two or three or even ten or  twenty or even fifty years. These are miniscule specks of time over the course of eternity. Trust in the Lord and let me be responsible for your transformed life. Let me own the timetables and transformation. I began the good work in you; don’t you know that I will complete it? Remember too that a work that began with love, and grace and mercy does need any of your help. You are not required to “measure up” you are simply called to surrender. Live in the freedom of that life today and every day. All you need do is surrender.”

His Nature and Our Motives

July 24th, 2012

. . . unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven —Matthew 5:20

The characteristic of a disciple is not that he does good things, but that he is good in his motives, having been made good by the supernatural grace of God. The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right-being. Jesus Christ came to place within anyone who would let Him a new heredity that would have a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus is saying, “If you are My disciple, you must be right not only in your actions, but also in your motives, your aspirations, and in the deep recesses of the thoughts of your mind.” Your motives must be so pure that God Almighty can see nothing to rebuke. Who can stand in the eternal light of God and have nothing for Him to rebuke? Only the Son of God, and Jesus Christ claims that through His redemption He can place within anyone His own nature and make that person as pure and as simple as a child. The purity that God demands is impossible unless I can be remade within, and that is exactly what Jesus has undertaken to do through His redemption.

No one can make himself pure by obeying laws. Jesus Christ does not give us rules and regulations— He gives us His teachings which are truths that can only be interpreted by His nature which He places within us. The great wonder of Jesus Christ’s salvation is that He changes our heredity. He does not change human nature— He changes its source, and thereby its motives as well.

Journal DJR
Good Morning, Lord
It is so easy to go about our day and forget that we are redeemed and have a new nature and a new way to think. It seems that this new nature and new way to think is an “option” that we have…we can exercise it … or not. And the busy-ness of our lives pushes us toward missing out on the fullness of our redeemed lives. Busy-ness and multitasking are so common. Maybe some people have figured out how to multitask and stay super busy and still consciously walk out their redeemed life … but it doesn’t work for me. I need your help.

Modern life does present different challenges than those in biblical times. But they are not more than you can handle. With my Spirit, you are equipped for whatever comes your way.

I dont want to be unappreciative, but I’ve had trouble working out my redemption and new nature in the middle of busyness and multitasking???

There is not a single formula for everyone. Your solution to the busyness of life will be different from others. That’s why you dont need to go looking in self help books or religious how to books. Even if they contain good plans that work, they are specifically for those authors. You are different. You are special and I have a special plan for you.

Well, that makes me feel good, like getting a present. But when can I unwrap it and start using it (more)? Maybe technology can be my friend on this. I’m going to set the alarm timer on my phone for 2 hours and at least every two hours I’ll unplug from what I’m doing and give a full effort to connect with you. … And I’ll wait for more instructions on how to live out this redeemed life, this precious gift that we find difficult to fully grasp.

Sanctification (2)

July 23rd, 2012

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us . . . sanctification . . . —1 Corinthians 1:30

The Life Side. The mystery of sanctification is that the perfect qualities of Jesus Christ are imparted as a gift to me, not gradually, but instantly once I enter by faith into the realization that He “became for [me] . . . sanctification . . . .” Sanctification means nothing less than the holiness of Jesus becoming mine and being exhibited in my life.

The most wonderful secret of living a holy life does not lie in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfect qualities of Jesus exhibit themselves in my human flesh. Sanctification is “Christ in you . . .” (Colossians 1:27). It is His wonderful life that is imparted to me in sanctification— imparted by faith as a sovereign gift of God’s grace. Am I willing for God to make sanctification as real in me as it is in His Word?

Sanctification means the impartation of the holy qualities of Jesus Christ to me. It is the gift of His patience, love, holiness, faith, purity, and godliness that is exhibited in and through every sanctified soul. Sanctification is not drawing from Jesus the power to be holy— it is drawing from Jesus the very holiness that was exhibited in Him, and that He now exhibits in me. Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation. Imitation is something altogether different. The perfection of everything is in Jesus Christ, and the mystery of sanctification is that all the perfect qualities of Jesus are at my disposal. Consequently, I slowly but surely begin to live a life of inexpressible order, soundness, and holiness— “. . . kept by the power of God . . .” (1 Peter 1:5).


Reprise Journal Entry-July 21, 2011

Thank you Lord for pointing out the futility of my life and efforts without You. Thank you for reminding me that it is You that began and completes the good work in me. My work is to surrender. Thank you for showing me the very narrow road and then showing me I do not have the ability to walk that narrow road.

And God says…”This is a lesson to be learned until it is ingrained into all believers; that the life of the believer can only be realized in personal defeat. My standards are absolute so that you can see the disparity and futility of trying to live the Christian life. It is not for you to “do your very best” I cannot accept your “very best”. I can only accept the purity and absolute righteousness of Jesus. This comes when you surrender and allow Him to live through you.” As Paul wrote to the Corinthians….2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”


Journal DJR
Good Morning, Lord,
Recently I’ve received compliments for the “Wisdom” that I was able to share in several situations. … But at the same time, I see “Lack of Wisdom” operating in my own personal life. Something beyond garden variety Hypocrisy seems to be going on here.

Yes, the fact that you see it and acknowledge it takes it out of the first level of hypocrisy … where Pharisees say, “do as I say, not as I do” and see no problem with it. So you’ve identified the situation, Now what?

That’s what I was going to ask you. I relate with Paul, who called himself Chief Sinner, and said, “I do what I dont want to do and dont do what I want to do….

When you arrive at those conclusions, You are ready to receive impartation of my holiness. Only then.

So why can I have wisdom for others better than for myself? Is it the Objective view that I see their stuff from a distance (objective) and on my own stuff, I’m too close to the forest to see the trees? (subjective, & easily tripped into hypocrisy)

Yes, that is another part of this issue, When you are in the battle and in the tension, you react against the stressors. When you are at a distance you can respond with wisdom after observing objectively and choosing based on the best outcomes.

So seeing and recommending wisdom for others because I see it objectively can be considered a prototype for how I can see my own stuff. Objectively will work out better. Like we have termed it, from the “Balcony View”

Yes, remember how I did it in John 5:19 … only what I saw the Father doing. I was on the balcony with him all the time. I’m saving a place for you…Come up here on my balcony, and life will really get to be exciting.

OK, I’ll do my best. But even saying that, I know I’ve failed a lot, and will probably fail more…. I need your help.

That’s what I’m here for. Come on up. I have things to show you.

Dependent on God’s Presence

July 20th, 2012

Those who wait on the Lord . . . shall walk and not faint —Isaiah 40:31

There is no thrill for us in walking, yet it is the test for all of our steady and enduring qualities. To “walk and not faint” is the highest stretch possible as a measure of strength. The word walk is used in the Bible to express the character of a person— “. . . John . . . looking at Jesus as He walked. . . said, ’Behold the Lamb of God!’ ” (John 1:35-36). There is nothing abstract or obscure in the Bible; everything is vivid and real. God does not say, “Be spiritual,” but He says, “Walk before Me. . .” (Genesis 17:1).                                                                                                                                                                                                        
When we are in an unhealthy condition either physically or emotionally, we always look for thrills in life. In our physical life this leads to our efforts to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit; in our emotional life it leads to obsessions and to the destruction of our morality; and in our spiritual life, if we insist on pursuing only thrills, on mounting up “with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), it will result in the destruction of our spirituality.

Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence. The experience the psalmist speaks of— “We will not fear, even though . . .” (Psalm 46:2)— will be ours once we are grounded on the truth of the reality of God’s presence, not just a simple awareness of it, but an understanding of the reality of it. Then we will exclaim, “He has been here all the time!” At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, “Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that.” Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.



Reprise Journal Entry-July 20, 2011-JDV

Waiting is not something I do well Lord. I cannot or perhaps simply do not grasp the sense of the everlasting in my day to day living. For some reason it seems like I am in a race to accomplish, learn, achieve or obtain. Quite often my sense of waiting seems bound up in a “hurry up” kind of living that keeps me from enjoying this day, hour or minute. Lord, please help me grasp your everlasting presence this day and help me enjoy your presence and promises more completely every hour and minute.

And God says…”You can begin to grow and appreciate the everlasting as you praise and worship Me day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute. Pray without ceasing,(that is simply..stay conscious of Me all the day) stay connected, and experience my love and peace beyond understanding. When you pray without ceasing and are connected, waiting becomes a pleasurable experience as you begin to know and appreciate the certainty of My promises and your place in them”. 

The Submission of the Believer

July 19th, 2012

You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am —John 13:13

Our Lord never insists on having authority over us. He never says, “You will submit to me.” No, He leaves us perfectly free to choose— so free, in fact, that we can spit in His face or we can put Him to death, as others have done; and yet He will never say a word. But once His life has been created in me through His redemption, I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me. It is a complete and effective domination, in which I acknowledge that “You are worthy, O Lord . . .” (Revelation 4:11). It is simply the unworthiness within me that refuses to bow down or to submit to one who is worthy. When I meet someone who is more holy than myself, and I don’t recognize his worthiness, nor obey his instructions for me, it is a sign of my own unworthiness being revealed. God teaches us by using these people who are a little better than we are; not better intellectually, but more holy. And He continues to do so until we willingly submit. Then the whole attitude of our life is one of obedience to Him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                If our Lord insisted on our obedience, He would simply become a taskmaster and cease to have any real authority. He never insists on obedience, but when we truly see Him we will instantly obey Him. Then He is easily Lord of our life, and we live in adoration of Him from morning till night. The level of my growth in grace is revealed by the way I look at obedience. We should have a much higher view of the word obedience, rescuing it from the mire of the world. Obedience is only possible between people who are equals in their relationship to each other; like the relationship between father and son, not that between master and servant. Jesus showed this relationship by saying, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). “. . . though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). The Son was obedient as our Redeemer, because He was the Son, not in order to become God’s Son.
July 18, 2011- JDV
Lord the song struck me like the lesson about Saul of Tarsus being struck by your love and grace. I have often been concerned about …”what must I do”. How must I live, react, study, obey, trust…I am often concerned about my role in our relationship; what are my responsibilities. This song and lesson seem to attack that notion.
And God says…”All the work for and in the believer is for Me to accomplish. Yours is but to surrender. And there are times when you are unable to surrender, and your
salvation must be “worked out”. Inside the stages of your life trust in Me with all your heart, and when you cannot and there will be times when you cannot, stay connected. I have begun a good work in you and I will complete it.”

The Mystery of Believing

July 18th, 2012

He said, “Who are You, Lord? —Acts 9:5

Through the miracle of redemption, Saul of Tarsus was instantly changed from a strong-willed and forceful Pharisee into a humble and devoted bondservant of the Lord Jesus.

There is nothing miraculous or mysterious about the things we can explain. We control what we are able to explain, consequently it is only natural to seek an explanation for everything. It is not natural to obey, yet it is not necessarily sinful to disobey. There can be no real disobedience, nor any moral virtue in obedience, unless a person recognizes the higher authority of the one giving the orders. If this recognition does not exist, even the one giving the orders may view the other person’s disobedience as freedom. If one rules another by saying, “You must do this,” and, “You will do that,” he breaks the human spirit, making it unfit for God. A person is simply a slave for obeying, unless behind his obedience is the recognition of a holy God.

Many people begin coming to God once they stop being religious, because there is only one master of the human heart— Jesus Christ, not religion. But “Woe is me” if after seeing Him I still will not obey (Isaiah 6:5 , also see Isaiah 6:1). Jesus will never insist that I obey, but if I don’t,I have already begun to sign the death certificate of the Son of God in my soul. When I stand face to face with Jesus Christ and say, “I will not obey,” He will never insist. But when I do this, I am backing away from the recreating power of His redemption. It makes no difference to God’s grace what an abomination I am, if I will only come to the light. But “Woe is me” if I refuse the light (seeJohn 3:19-21).


July 18, 2012

Journal Entry-JDV

Lord, thank you for helping me understand the nature of the obedience You have for me. I thought I understood it but for years, when I was  much younger, I felt like Your obedience was the stuff given me by the Cosmic  killjoy, trying to prevent me from enjoying my life to the fullest. Then, as I  got a bit older, I felt like the obedience you have for me was rooted in  religion that would turn me into one of those conservative Christian “bible  thumpers” that have all the answers before the questions are even asked, and  can only find grace for people they agreed with. But then You showed me that  the obedience you have for me has its roots in your mercy, love and grace and  is designed for me to enjoy life to the fullest. The obedience you have offers  me a way to stay connected with the God of the universe.


And God says…”Delight ourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight. One of  the reasons obedience is so important is that I know in advance what will cause  you difficulties in this life. I know what will hurt you even though you think  it offers pleasure and excitement. And sometimes you cannot even fathom the  meaning of an action because my ways are not your ways. And if I cannot count  on you to understand, much like a parent cannot often help a two year old understand  “why?” you must simply trust and obey. If I gave you my only Son, I certainly  will not withhold any good thing from you”

Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord. We were contemplating today whether Oswald’s wording, “signing your death certificate” was over dramatic and guilt producing. Was it more the language and type of preaching of the day in which this was written?

There are two sides, actually many sides of the same coin. Many views of the same issue.

It’s true and I like the way he says it in the last paragraph better, “you won’t make me obey … but if I dont, there will be consequences.” Then it’s up to us. We can miss out on the blessings if we choose to not obey…

Some come to obedience thru guilt. And some preaching uses guilt. That is not my best for you. I prefer that you come to me by knowing me and knowing that my nature is love and my intentions for you are good. Choosing obedience from that context is results in relationship between us … and that’s what I wanted from the beginning.

The Miracle of Belief

July 17th, 2012

My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom . . . —1 Corinthians 2:4

Paul was a scholar and an orator of the highest degree; he was not speaking here out of a deep sense of humility, but was saying that when he preached the gospel, he would veil the power of God if he impressed people with the excellency of his speech. Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the effectiveness of redemption, not by impressive speech, nor by wooing and persuading, but only by the sheer unaided power of God. The creative power of redemption comes through the preaching of the gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher.

Real and effective fasting by a preacher is not fasting from food, but fasting from eloquence, from impressive diction, and from everything else that might hinder the gospel of God being presented. The preacher is there as the representative of God— “. . . as though God were pleading through us . . .” (2 Corinthians 5:20). He is there to present the gospel of God. If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get close to Jesus Christ. Anything that flatters me in my preaching of the gospel will result in making me a traitor to Jesus, and I prevent the creative power of His redemption from doing its work.

And I, if I am lifted up. . . , will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).



June 17, 2012


Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord it is a lesson that requires a daily reminder; that You are at the center of anything and everything that has value in my life. I can get caught up in my daily “mission” or activities and off I go in my own direction, and then I hit a bump in the road and I look around and wonder where  I left my awareness of You. Thank you for helping me live in a greater awareness of You in all that I say and do. Please help me see You at the center of my life and at the center of everything that crosses my life and way today.

And God says…”I have come so that you might have life and life more abundantly, and I hold out my gifts to and for you every day. However, you must receive these gifts from me, aware that I hold them out for you all day, every day long. Your ability to see my gifts, and take hold of the bounty I provide comes through My power. So look to Me inside every circumstance, opportunity, trial and uncertainty, and You will find Me and the abundant life I provide. Recall that all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”  


Journal DJR
Thank you Lord, for this message. It seems clear that our job is to just SHOW UP. And all that is included in those 2 words. Our expectation, our belief, our self assessment and our God assessment. All of it. Help us to just show up today. Then we can do what you did in John 5:19 … only did what he saw the father doing…