Archive for September, 2013

The “Go” of Reconciliation

September 26th, 2013

If you . . . remember that your brother has something against you . . . —Matthew 5:23

This verse says, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you . . . .” It is not saying, “If you search and find something because of your unbalanced sensitivity,” but, “If you . . . remember . . . .” In other words, if something is brought to your conscious mind by the Spirit of God— “First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:24). Never object to the intense sensitivity of the Spirit of God in you when He is instructing you down to the smallest detail.

“First be reconciled to your brother . . . .” Our Lord’s directive is simple— “First be reconciled . . . .” He says, in effect, “Go back the way you came— the way indicated to you by the conviction given to you at the altar; have an attitude in your mind and soul toward the person who has something against you that makes reconciliation as natural as breathing.” Jesus does not mention the other person— He says for you to go. It is not a matter of your rights. The true mark of the saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus.

“. . . and then come and offer your gift.” The process of reconciliation is clearly marked. First we have the heroic spirit of self-sacrifice, then the sudden restraint by the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit, and then we are stopped at the point of our conviction. This is followed by obedience to the Word of God, which builds an attitude or state of mind that places no blame on the one with whom you have been in the wrong. And finally there is the glad, simple, unhindered offering of your gift to God.




September 26, 2013 JDV

Lord, the line in the devotional by Oswald Chambers, The true mark of the saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus, tells me that surrendering my rights to myself is the right and proper step in becoming a man after your own heart.  But sometimes it is so very hard Lord. I want the right to be heard, to be defended, to be….right. Deep down I still want the right to pursue my own agenda, my own sense of right and wrong, and my wants and needs. Lord help me surrender the need to pursue my rights, and receive your love and direction.

And God says…”I cannot live through you if you will not surrender. And like many, you choose to surrender certain portions of your life, especially those that are under pressure and attack. When refining fires are burning all around you in key areas of your life, you then focus on your surrender. When things are difficult in key areas and you see the futility of your own efforts, you then surrender. It is no secret that you can hear Me more clearly, like a megaphone, when you are in pain. Practice your surrender daily and hold up those key areas before the refining fires and tribulation ignite from the sparks of holding tightly to the rights you believe are yours… Seek Me first, acknowledge Me in all your ways, and delight yourself in the Lord. Start here every day.”

The “Go” of Relationship

September 25th, 2013

Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two—Matthew 5:41 


Our Lord’s teaching can be summed up in this: the relationship that He demands for us is an impossible one unless He has done a super-natural work in us. Jesus Christ demands that His disciple does not allow even the slightest trace of resentment in his heart when faced with tyranny and injustice. No amount of enthusiasm will ever stand up to the strain that Jesus Christ will put upon His servant. Only one thing will bear the strain, and that is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Himself— a relationship that has been examined, purified, and tested until only one purpose remains and I can truly say, “I am here for God to send me where He will.” Everything else may become blurred, but this relationship with Jesus Christ must never be.

The Sermon on the Mount is not some unattainable goal; it is a statement of what will happen in me when Jesus Christ has changed my nature by putting His own nature in me. Jesus Christ is the only One who can fulfill the Sermon on the Mount.

If we are to be disciples of Jesus, we must be made disciples supernaturally. And as long as we consciously maintain the determined purpose to be His disciples, we can be sure that we are not disciples. Jesus says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. . .” (John 15:16). That is the way the grace of God begins. It is a constraint we can never escape; we can disobey it, but we can never start it or produce it ourselves. We are drawn to God by a work of His supernatural grace, and we can never trace back to find where the work began. Our Lord’s making of a disciple is supernatural. He does not build on any natural capacity of ours at all. God does not ask us to do the things that are naturally easy for us— He only asks us to do the things that we are perfectly fit to do through His grace, and that is where the cross we must bear will always come.



September 25, 2013 JDV

Lord, take me over.  Like the song says, let Your love take me over. Take my life, thoughts and who I am.  On my own, I am unable to live the life I want to live, unable to be a man after Your own heart. But I know I can become that man, and live that life if you take me over.

And God says…”I can live the life of love, peace; happiness and abundance through you, but only after you surrender your life to me; every aspect, every area, every little hidden piece of your life.  And even though you are not really sure how to do this, I can help once you are truly committed to your surrender.  Once you seek Jesus first, everything else falls into place.  Seek first the Kingdom of God. Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.  Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

The “Go” of Preparation

September 24th, 2013

If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift—Matthew 5:23-24 

It is easy for us to imagine that we will suddenly come to a point in our lives where we are fully prepared, but preparation is not suddenly accomplished. In fact, it is a process that must be steadily maintained. It is dangerous to become settled and complacent in our present level of experience. The Christian life requires preparation and more preparation.

The sense of sacrifice in the Christian life is readily appealing to a new Christian. From a human standpoint, the one thing that attracts us to Jesus Christ is our sense of the heroic, and a close examination of us by our Lord’s words suddenly puts this tide of enthusiasm to the test. “. . . go your way. First be reconciled to your brother. . . .” The “go” of preparation is to allow the Word of God to examine you closely. Your sense of heroic sacrifice is not good enough. The thing the Holy Spirit will detect in you is your nature that can never work in His service. And no one but God can detect that nature in you. Do you have anything to hide from God? If you do, then let God search you with His light. If there is sin in your life, don’t just admit it— confess it. Are you willing to obey your Lord and Master, whatever the humiliation to your right to yourself may be?

Never disregard a conviction that the Holy Spirit brings to you. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to bring it to your mind, it is the very thing He is detecting in you. You were looking for some big thing to give up, while God is telling you of some tiny thing that must go. But behind that tiny thing lies the stronghold of obstinacy, and you say, “I will not give up my right to myself”— the very thing that God intends you to give up if you are to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.



September 24, 2013 JDV

Lord, I want you to take over all aspects of my life so please help me surrender all that I am and will be to You. I know, as do You, that I hold back certain aspects of my life; little treasures that I think I need to find my own way. Jesus, help me surrender it all to You.

And God says…”Surrender is not easy. Just as soon as you determine that our connection and your happiness are tied to the surrender …of yourself, you try to rethink your position with Me.  I have given you life and life more abundantly, I promise you the desires of your heart, and if you will seek the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, all you need will be provided.  Simply surrender and let Jesus live through you.  The gifts are yours, simply accept them and let your God love you.”

The Missionary’s Goal

September 23rd, 2013

He . . . said to them, ’Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem . . . ’ —Luke 18:31

In our natural life our ambitions change as we grow, but in the Christian life the goal is given at the very beginning, and the beginning and the end are exactly the same, namely, our Lord Himself. We start with Christ and we end with Him—”. . . till we all come . . . to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . .” (Ephesians 4:13), not simply to our own idea of what the Christian life should be. The goal of the missionary is to do God’s will, not to be useful or to win the lost. A missionary is useful and he does win the lost, but that is not his goal. His goal is to do the will of his Lord.In our Lord’s life, Jerusalem was the place where He reached the culmination of His Father’s will upon the cross, and unless we go there with Jesus we will have no friendship or fellowship with Him. Nothing ever diverted our Lord on His way to Jerusalem. He never hurried through certain villages where He was persecuted, or lingered in others where He was blessed. Neither gratitude nor ingratitude turned our Lord even the slightest degree away from His purpose to go “up to Jerusalem.”“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master” (Matthew 10:24). In other words, the same things that happened to our Lord will happen to us on our way to our “Jerusalem.” There will be works of God exhibited through us, people will get blessed, and one or two will show gratitude while the rest will show total ingratitude, but nothing must divert us from going “up to [our] Jerusalem.”“. . . there they crucified Him . . .” (Luke 23:33). That is what happened when our Lord reached Jerusalem, and that event is the doorway to our salvation. The saints, however, do not end in crucifixion; by the Lord’s grace they end in glory. In the meantime our watchword should be summed up by each of us saying, “I too go ’up to Jerusalem.’ “




September 23, 2013 JDV

Lord, I know that when I am close to You, my circumstances do not matter.  When I am close to You I know that You are leading me, caring for me. When I am close to you I can be headed to my Jerusalem or to a different kind of celebration and it does not matter.  I know that You have it all under Your control, and my circumstances do not need nor can they be changed in the right way by my control.  Lord help me be connected to You today regardless of the circumstances or destination, trusting You to deliver and shape me as you make me a man after Your own heart.

And God says…” I can and will shape your days, hours and minutes, but I cannot take over your days, hours and minutes until you surrender them to Me.  I love you too much to take away your ability to choose. And you can choose Me when you surrender yourself. Seek Me first and I will direct all your paths.  Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart.  Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and I will give you all that you need for this life. “


Are You Going on With Jesus?

September 19th, 2013

You are those who have continued with Me in My trials —Luke 22:28

It is true that Jesus Christ is with us through our temptations, but are we going on with Him through His temptations? Many of us turn back from going on with Jesus from the very moment we have an experience of what He can do. Watch when God changes your circumstances to see whether you are going on with Jesus, or siding with the world, the flesh, and the devil. We wear His name, but are we going on with Him? “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66).

The temptations of Jesus continued throughout His earthly life, and they will continue throughout the life of the Son of God in us. Are we going on with Jesus in the life we are living right now?

We have the idea that we ought to shield ourselves from some of the things God brings around us. May it never be! It is God who engineers our circumstances, and whatever they may be we must see that we face them while continually abiding with Him in His temptations. They are His temptations, not temptations to us, but temptations to the life of the Son of God in us. Jesus Christ’s honor is at stake in our bodily lives. Are we remaining faithful to the Son of God in everything that attacks His life in us?

Are you going on with Jesus? The way goes through Gethsemane, through the city gate, and on “outside the camp” (Hebrews 13:13). The way is lonely and goes on until there is no longer even a trace of a footprint to follow— but only the voice saying, “FollowMe” (Matthew 4:19)

Journal DJR
This was the song I really wanted but I couldn’t find on screen lyric. But it goes well with Lecrae and the deco… so here it is. See what you think. djr

His Temptation and Ours

September 18th, 2013


We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin —Hebrews 4:15

Until we are born again, the only kind of temptation we understand is the kind mentioned in James 1:14, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” But through regeneration we are lifted into another realm where there are other temptations to face, namely, the kind of temptations our Lord faced. The temptations of Jesus had no appeal to us as unbelievers because they were not at home in our human nature. Our Lord’s temptations and ours are in different realms until we are born again and become His brothers. The temptations of Jesus are not those of a mere man, but the temptations of God as Man. Through regeneration, the Son of God is formed in us (see Galatians 4:19), and in our physical life He has the same setting that He had on earth. Satan does not tempt us just to make us do wrong things— he tempts us to make us lose what God has put into us through regeneration, namely, the possibility of being of value to God. He does not come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of shifting our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil.

Temptation means a test of the possessions held within the inner, spiritual part of our being by a power outside us and foreign to us. This makes the temptation of our Lord explainable. After Jesus’ baptism, having accepted His mission of being the One “who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) He “was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matthew 4:1) and into the testing devices of the devil. Yet He did not become weary or exhausted. He went through the temptation “without sin,” and He retained all the possessions of His spiritual nature completely intact.
September 18, 2013- JDV

Lord, thank you for the reminder that I will be tempted on a number of levels, and I am especially grateful for the reminder that I need not be diligent or concerned about the temptations. All I need focus on is my daily surrender to You, allowing Jesus to live through me.  You can move mountains, raise the dead and change the water into wine; I need not be concerned. Nor am I to try and figure it all out. I am to trust You and rely on Your strength.

And God says…”All things are possible with God. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own capabilities, discipline and or knowledge, and I will make all your paths straight. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart.  Begin this day surrendered and revisit your surrender and connection several times, and grasp the true meaning of the abundant life,  experiencing the peace that passes all understanding.”

Is There Good in Temptation?

September 17th, 2013

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man . . . —1 Corinthians 10:13

The word temptation has come to mean something bad to us today, but we tend to use the word in the wrong way. Temptation itself is not sin; it is something we are bound to face simply by virtue of being human. Not to be tempted would mean that we were already so shameful that we would be beneath contempt. Yet many of us suffer from temptations we should never have to suffer, simply because we have refused to allow God to lift us to a higher level where we would face temptations of another kind.

A person’s inner nature, what he possesses in the inner, spiritual part of his being, determines what he is tempted by on the outside. The temptation fits the true nature of the person being tempted and reveals the possibilities of his nature. Every person actually determines or sets the level of his own temptation, because temptation will come to him in accordance with the level of his controlling, inner nature.

Temptation comes to me, suggesting a possible shortcut to the realization of my highest goal— it does not direct me toward what I understand to be evil, but toward what I understand to be good. Temptation is something that confuses me for a while, and I don’t know whether something is right or wrong. When I yield to it, I have made lust a god, and the temptation itself becomes the proof that it was only my own fear that prevented me from falling into the sin earlier.

Temptation is not something we can escape; in fact, it is essential to the well-rounded life of a person. Beware of thinking that you are tempted as no one else–what you go through is the common inheritance of the human race, not something that no one has ever before endured. God does not save us from temptations–He sustains us in the midst of them (see Hebrews 2:18 and Hebrews 4:15-16).

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Praying to God in Secret

September 16th, 2013

When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place . . .  —Matthew 6:6

The primary thought in the area of religion is— keep your eyes on God, not on people. Your motivation should not be the desire to be known as a praying person. Find an inner room in which to pray where no one even knows you are praying, shut the door, and talk to God in secret. Have no motivation other than to know your Father in heaven. It is impossible to carry on your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer.

“When you pray, do not use vain repetitions . . .” (Matthew 6:7). God does not hear us because we pray earnestly— He hears us solely on the basis of redemption. God is never impressed by our earnestness. Prayer is not simply getting things from God— that is only the most elementary kind of prayer. Prayer is coming into perfect fellowship and oneness with God. If the Son of God has been formed in us through regeneration (see Galatians 4:19), then He will continue to press on beyond our common sense and will change our attitude about the things for which we pray.

“Everyone who asks receives . . .” (Matthew 7:8). We pray religious nonsense without even involving our will, and then we say that God did not answer— but in reality we have never asked for anything. Jesus said, “. . . you will ask what you desire. . .” (John 15:7). Asking means that our will must be involved. Whenever Jesus talked about prayer, He spoke with wonderful childlike simplicity. Then we respond with our critical attitude, saying, “Yes, but even Jesus said that we must ask.” But remember that we have to ask things of God that are in keeping with the God whom Jesus Christ revealed.



September 16, 2013 JDV

Father God, thank You for reminding me that prayer is how we connect in an intimate and real way. You know me better than I know myself, and You know that I absolutely need You this day. In fact, because I am so easily distracted, I need to connect with You several times during the day. And it seems that when I do, my circumstances no longer matter, because I know You are God, you love me and are in control.

And God says…”Imagine your love for your children, what you would do for them, multiply that by 100 and infinity, and you will get a small glimpse of how much I love you and want a relationship with you.  Seek an intimate connection with Me several times during your day and notice how your vision moves from the circumstances of your life into the amazing possibilities of an abundant life. Get and stay connected to Me and live in wonderful expectation. Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and I will give you everything else you need in this world.”

Going Through Spiritual Confusion

September 12th, 2013

Jesus answered and said, ’You do not know what you ask’ —Matthew 20:22

There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused. It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you.

The Shrouding of His Friendship (see Luke 11:5-8). Jesus gave the illustration here of a man who appears not to care for his friend. He was saying, in effect, that is how the heavenly Father will appear to you at times. You will think that He is an unkind friend, but remember?He is not. The time will come when everything will be explained. There seems to be a cloud on the friendship of the heart, and often even love itself has to wait in pain and tears for the blessing of fuller fellowship and oneness. When God appears to be completely shrouded, will you hang on with confidence in Him?

The Shadow on His Fatherhood (see Luke 11:11-13). Jesus said that there are times when your Father will appear as if He were an unnatural father?as if He were callous and indifferent— but remember, He is not. “Everyone who asks receives . . .” (Luke 11:10). If all you see is a shadow on the face of the Father right now, hang on to the fact that He will ultimately give you clear understanding and will fully justify Himself in everything that He has allowed into your life.

The Strangeness of His Faithfulness (see Luke 18:1-8). “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Will He find the kind of faith that counts on Him in spite of the confusion? Stand firm in faith, believing that what Jesus said is true, although in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you are asking of Him right now.

This came along with the devo today. It spoke to me so I decided to include it.

Wisdom from Oswald Chambers

Beware of isolation; beware of the idea that you have to develop a holy life alone. It is impossible to develop a holy life alone; you will develop into an oddity and a peculiarism, into something utterly unlike what God wants you to be. The only way to develop spiritually is to go into the society of God’s own children, and you will soon find how God alters your set. God does not contradict our social instincts; He alters them … OC.

Journal, DJR

Good Morning Lord,
There truly are some things in my life that I dont understand … things that I’ve asked about and haven’t received “the answer” or the solution. At least not the answer or solution that was in the form that I was looking for. Maybe I received the solution, I just didn’t recognize it because it wasn’t what I was looking for. Or maybe it’s still out there, headed my way. Your timing is certainly different than my “right now” preference. The one thing that’s been helpful is building a stronger faith that you are a good God and have plans for me … plans for good, for a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29) That makes it easier to wait. Even if I have to wait till I’m there with you, I know you are a good God and have good plans for me. Thank you Lord.

Missionary Weapons (2)

September 11th, 2013

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet —John 13:14

Ministering in Everyday Opportunities. Ministering in everyday opportunities that surround us does not mean that we select our own surroundings— it means being God’s very special choice to be available for use in any of the seemingly random surroundings which He has engineered for us. The very character we exhibit in our present surroundings is an indication of what we will be like in other surroundings.

The things Jesus did were the most menial of everyday tasks, and this is an indication that it takes all of God’s power in me to accomplish even the most common tasks in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? Towels, dishes, sandals, and all the other ordinary things in our lives reveal what we are made of more quickly than anything else. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the most menial duty as it ought to be done.

Jesus said, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (13:15). Notice the kind of people that God brings around you, and you will be humiliated once you realize that this is actually His way of revealing to you the kind of person you have been to Him. Now He says we should exhibit to those around us exactly what He has exhibited to us.

Do you find yourself responding by saying, “Oh, I will do all that once I’m out on the mission field”? Talking in this way is like trying to produce the weapons of war while in the trenches of the battlefield–you will be killed while trying to do it.

We have to go the “second mile” with God (see Matthew 5:41). Yet some of us become worn out in the first ten steps. Then we say, “Well, I’ll just wait until I get closer to the next big crisis in my life.” But if we do not steadily minister in everyday opportunities, we will do nothing when the crisis comes.


September 11, 2013

Lord thank you for the reminder that being connected to You really means being connected to others and their needs and circumstances; not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because it helps us get and stay connected to You. Help me to remember this as I engage others this day.

And God says…”Being connected to Me means being connected to others that need to see Me in You. I can demonstrate my presence through you if you simply allow Me access to your heart and mind. Be connected to Me and others and your growth, happiness and abundance will become more obvious to you. Trust in Me with all your heart and all that you need, including your connection with others will be provided.”