Archive for December, 2014


December 31st, 2014

You shall not go out with haste,…for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. —Isaiah 52:12

Security from Yesterday. “…God requires an account of what is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15). At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.
Security for Tomorrow. “…the Lord will go before you….” This is a gracious revelation— that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our “rear guard.” And God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.
Security for Today. “You shall not go out with haste….” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.



December 12 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this devotional is very timely as I take stock of 2014 and look out at the future of 2015. However, there is something here that doesn’t quite ring true. If Jesus paid the price for our sins and transgressions, then why should we recall them and our yesterdays as if we need to be held accountable?  What can we be held accountable for, if Jesus paid the price? Is this one more of those “bait and switch” teachings? Jesus paid it all now it is up to me to live it out and be held to account for not doing so according to some measuring guide?

And God says…”I said I will remember your sins no more. They are as far as the east from the west. I do not recall past, present or future sins. When I look at the accounting, I see Jesus, and how you allowed My Spirit to live through you. There is no measurement, only yes and no. As you have been fond of saying, “God does not grade on the curve”. So let go of the past, present and future, and look to the new year as an opportunity to step out in a vision and faith so large, that the only way to live it is to be totally surrendered to Me. Seek first the kingdom of God and everything else you require will be provided. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart. Do not get confused by the enemy contemplating your failures and missteps. Focus on Jesus and by the strength and faith of Jesus, allow your vision, hopes and dreams to become real. Acknowledge Me in all our ways and I will make your paths straight.”

Deserter or Disciple?

December 29th, 2014

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. —John 6:66

When God, by His Spirit through His Word, gives you a clear vision of His will, you must “walk in the light” of that vision (1 John 1:7). Even though your mind and soul may be thrilled by it, if you don’t “walk in the light” of it you will sink to a level of bondage never envisioned by our Lord. Mentally disobeying the “heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19) will make you a slave to ideas and views that are completely foreign to Jesus Christ. Don’t look at someone else and say, “Well, if he can have those views and prosper, why can’t I?” You have to “walk in the light” of the vision that has been given to you. Don’t compare yourself with others or judge them— that is between God and them.
When you find that one of your favorite and strongly held views clashes with the “heavenly vision,” do not begin to debate it. If you do, a sense of property and personal right will emerge in you— things on which Jesus placed no value. He was against these things as being the root of everything foreign to Himself— “…for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).
If we don’t see and understand this, it is because we are ignoring the underlying principles of our Lord’s teaching.Our tendency is to lie back and bask in the memory of the wonderful experience we had when God revealed His will to us. But if a New Testament standard is revealed to us by the light of God, and we don’t try to measure up, or even feel inclined to do so, then we begin to backslide. It means your conscience does not respond to the truth. You can never be the same after the unveiling of a truth. That moment marks you as one who either continues on with even more devotion as a disciple of Jesus Christ, or as one who turns to go back as a deserter.

December 29 2014

Journal Entry form Today-JDV

Lord, sometimes I think Oswald Chambers was simply a spiritual “drill instructor”, focused on guiding his students to a preparedness that would help them sustain their energy and hope in a difficult struggle. However, I often read his devotionals and think, “How could that have come from the Spirit?”  Now he is writing about how we regress if we do not follow the vision; that we “back slide” unless we demonstrate more focus and discipline. That sounds way too much like, “God’s done His part now I must do my part”.   But You have been teaching us that there is only one part; Your part.   Jesus has already done it all, we are simply to surrender and trust You. The discipline and focus may follow immediately, or not, but You are the answer to all of our questions. We have but to surrender to You and allow You to bring about our transformation and the discipline and focus that follow.

You have been teaching us about how we regress if we rely on our own strength and discipline.  How do I reconcile Your teaching on surrender and Chambers’ focus on personal discipline and focus?

And God says…”Since time memoriam humans have taken My desire for a relationship and turned it into something else entirely. In the garden, Adam and Eve had their own ideas about our relationship. Abraham could not wait for the vision to materialize, and the wandering Israelites wanted rules. Peter wanted to build tents for Elijah, Moses and Jesus in the garden. It seems that “Good Christians” always want to “do something”. And a great many spiritual leaders cannot wait for the transformation and actions of the Spirit to take place and as humans you continue to try and create caveats, rules, and quid pro quo circumstances. Recall that Jesus only gave you two commandments; love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

“Chambers just like many, many other “spiritual leaders” wants to help accelerate spiritual growth and discipline. However, when you first trust in the Lord and do not rely on your own understandings….and ways and means, including self-discipline and focus, I make your paths straight.  Your discipline and focus will come not as the result of your efforts but as a result of your surrender to Me.  And make no mistake, discipline and focus are key elements of your growth; however they must, and will, come from the Spirit as a result of your daily, hourly and minute by minute relationship and surrender to Jesus.”



His Birth and Our New Birth

December 25th, 2014

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” —Matthew 1:23

His Birth in History. “…that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35). Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He did not emerge out of history; He came into history from the outside. Jesus Christ is not the best human being the human race can boast of— He is a Being for whom the human race can take no credit at all. He is not man becoming God, but God Incarnate— God coming into human flesh from outside it. His life is the highest and the holiest entering through the most humble of doors. Our Lord’s birth was an advent— the appearance of God in human form.
His Birth in Me. “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you…” (Galatians 4:19). Just as our Lord came into human history from outside it, He must also come into me from outside. Have I allowed my personal human life to become a “Bethlehem” for the Son of God? I cannot enter the realm of the kingdom of God unless I am born again from above by a birth totally unlike physical birth. “You must be born again” (John 3:7). This is not a command, but a fact based on the authority of God. The evidence of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that “Christ is formed” in me. And once “Christ is formed” in me, His nature immediately begins to work through me.
God Evident in the Flesh. This is what is made so profoundly possible for you and for me through the redemption of man by Jesus Christ.

December 25 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Good morning Lord and Happy Birthday. This devotional and  song remind me that while your birthday is a day to celebrate, I cannot forget why You came to earth. You were born to die so that I could live, and you live in me. Thank You Lord.

And God says…”Many were, and are, looking for a king like David or Solomon. And instead I sent a baby. Many were looking for a miracle to keep Jesus from the cross. Instead, He suffered painful and agonizing beatings, was mocked and died on the cross. Then I raised Him up. These are all reasons to celebrate and recognize Jesus now living inside of you. When you celebrate the birth of Jesus today, remember to celebrate His mission and His living sacrifice as well.” 

The Hidden Life

December 24th, 2014

…your life is hidden with Christ in God. —Colossians 3:3

The Spirit of God testifies to and confirms the simple, but almighty, security of the life that “is hidden with Christ in God.” Paul continually brought this out in his New Testament letters. We talk as if living a sanctified life were the most uncertain and insecure thing we could do. Yet it is the most secure thing possible, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. The most dangerous and unsure thing is to try to live without God. For one who is born again, it is easier to live in a right-standing relationship with God than it is to go wrong, provided we heed God’s warnings and “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7).When we think of being delivered from sin, being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), and “walk[ing] in the light,” we picture the peak of a great mountain. We see it as very high and wonderful, but we say, “Oh, I could never live up there!” However, when we do get there through God’s grace, we find it is not a mountain peak at all, but a plateau with plenty of room to live and to grow. “You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip” (Psalm 18:36).When you really see Jesus, I defy you to doubt Him. If you see Him when He says, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:27), I defy you to worry. It is virtually impossible to doubt when He is there. Every time you are in personal contact with Jesus, His words are real to you. “My peace I give to you…” (John 14:27)— a peace which brings an unconstrained confidence and covers you completely, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. “…your life is hidden with Christ in God,” and the peace of Jesus Christ that cannot be disturbed has been imparted to you._______________________________________________________________December 24 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Good morning Lord, thank you for this devotional and song that reminds us that You are here with us, and that “You are the one that conquers giants, calls out kings, you close the mouths of lions and tell the dead to breathe.”  You can do anything Lord, and You take the time to remind me that You are still doing these things on our behalf.

And God says…”Reread this portion of the devotional…”When you really see Jesus, I defy you to doubt Him. If you see Him when He says, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:27), I defy you to worry. It is virtually impossible to doubt when He is there. Every time you are in personal contact with Jesus, His words are real to you. “My peace I give to you…” (John 14:27)— a peace which brings an unconstrained confidence and covers you completely, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. “…your life is hidden with Christ in God,” and the peace of Jesus Christ that cannot be disturbed has been imparted to you.”

This is the message you have been learning for months and years; the most important part of your spiritual life is your connection to and with Me.  Our intimate, daily, hourly relationship allows you to live knowing that I am the great I am and that when you seek Me first, I am able to meet all your needs. When you delight yourself in the Lord I can give you the desires of your heart.”

“I came to earth to help  demonstrate and solidify our intimate relationship through Jesus, the Messiah.”

Sharing in the Atonement

December 23rd, 2014

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

The gospel of Jesus Christ always forces a decision of our will. Have I accepted God’s verdict on sin as judged on the Cross of Christ? Do I have even the slightest interest in the death of Jesus? Do I want to be identified with His death— to be completely dead to all interest in sin, worldliness, and self? Do I long to be so closely identified with Jesus that I am of no value for anything except Him and His purposes? The great privilege of discipleship is that I can commit myself under the banner of His Cross, and that means death to sin. You must get alone with Jesus and either decide to tell Him that you do not want sin to die out in you, or that at any cost you want to be identified with His death. When you act in confident faith in what our Lord did on the cross, a supernatural identification with His death takes place immediately. And you will come to know through a higher knowledge that your old life was “crucified with Him” (Romans 6:6). The proof that your old life is dead, having been “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20), is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you now enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ.

Every once in a while our Lord gives us a glimpse of what we would be like if it were not for Him. This is a confirmation of what He said— “…without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). That is why the underlying foundation of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus. We mistake the joy of our first introduction into God’s kingdom as His purpose for getting us there. Yet God’s purpose in getting us into His kingdom is that we may realize all that identification with Jesus Christ means.


December 23 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this devotional and song remind me about the power of surrender and connection to You.  When we are surrendered and connected to You, we are able to live the abundant life You provided.  Over the past few days and weeks You have been reminding me that when I surrender my own ideas and notions about how to live and prosper and turn everything over to You; the easy parts as well as the hard parts, the non spiritual and the spiritual, change occurs. Help me to live life surrendered and connected to You. Help me learn to live life with you in a way that I am totally surrendered, connected and dependent on You in all my ways.

And God says…”In day to day living, you have a tendency to think that you can handle certain aspects of your life….you think “I got this”; especially if it is a small thing or a “daily normal living activity” that you have lived out thousands of times. But what if you changed your thinking, and lived totally “on the edge”. What if I gave you a way to live totally dependent on Me in every aspect of your life, so you do not have to wait on dire circumstances or difficulties to feel very close to Me? What if you found a way to life surrendered and connected in every way?”

“I want a relationship with you; a daily living, connected, walking and talking relationship. So instead of waiting till your circumstances are so dire and potentially disastrous to trust Me completely, why don’t you take on more than you can chew every day?  What if you take on more than you ever dreamed? Why not dream a dream so large that it requires you to surrender and be connected to me in every aspect of your life?  If you step out into a dream or vision that I give you that is so large it can only be attained by surrender and trusting Me, you may not need those trying and difficult circumstances that have driven you closer to Me. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding and I will make your paths straight.”

The Focus Of Our Message

December 19th, 2014

I did not come to bring peace but a sword. —Matthew 10:34

Never be sympathetic with a person whose situation causes you to conclude that God is dealing harshly with him. God can be more tender than we can conceive, and every once in a while He gives us the opportunity to deal firmly with someone so that He may be viewed as the tender One. If a person cannot go to God, it is because he has something secret which he does not intend to give up— he may admit his sin, but would no more give up that thing than he could fly under his own power. It is impossible to deal sympathetically with people like that. We must reach down deep in their lives to the root of the problem, which will cause hostility and resentment toward the message. People want the blessing of God, but they can’t stand something that pierces right through to the heart of the matter.

If you are sensitive to God’s way, your message as His servant will be merciless and insistent, cutting to the very root. Otherwise, there will be no healing. We must drive the message home so forcefully that a person cannot possibly hide, but must apply its truth. Deal with people where they are, until they begin to realize their true need. Then hold high the standard of Jesus for their lives. Their response may be, “We can never be that.” Then drive it home with, “Jesus Christ says you must.” “But how can we be?” “You can’t, unless you have a new Spirit” (see Luke 11:13).

There must be a sense of need created before your message is of any use. Thousands of people in this world profess to be happy without God. But if we could be truly happy and moral without Jesus, then why did He come? He came because that kind of happiness and peace is only superficial. Jesus Christ came to “bring…a sword” through every kind of peace that is not based on a personal relationship with Himself.



December 19 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, I believe your word is like a sword, and it often cuts us, and those we interact with to the quick. Your word points out my need for a Savior, and your Spirit convicts non-believers, but I can find no scripture that tells me I should be rude or heavy handed. When Chambers says I must deal with those that offer strong opposition so that I …will cause hostility and resentment toward the message, I am not sure.

And God says…”Let Me deliver the message to those you come in contact with. Do not have any preconceived ideas about how or what you say or do. Just let Me live through you, through our connection; and allow Me to deliver the message that is needed. Most often you will not even be aware that you are a living, breathing testimony of Jesus. On your most effective days, you will not even be aware that your message was sent by My Spirit, through our connection and received by another. Jesus only gave you two commandments; love your God with all your heart, mind and spirit, and love your neighbor as yourself. As long as your communication is based on these two commandments, you need not be concerned about anything else.”

Test of Faithfulness

December 18th, 2014

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God… —Romans 8:28

It is only a faithful person who truly believes that God sovereignly controls his circumstances. We take our circumstances for granted, saying God is in control, but not really believing it. We act as if the things that happen were completely controlled by people. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith— the Lord Jesus Christ. God may cause our circumstances to suddenly fall apart, which may bring the realization of our unfaithfulness to Him for not recognizing that He had ordained the situation. We never saw what He was trying to accomplish, and that exact event will never be repeated in our life. This is where the test of our faithfulness comes. If we will just learn to worship God even during the difficult circumstances, He will change them for the better very quickly if He so chooses.Being faithful to Jesus Christ is the most difficult thing we try to do today. We will be faithful to our work, to serving others, or to anything else; just don’t ask us to be faithful to Jesus Christ. Many Christians become very impatient when we talk about faithfulness to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more deliberately by Christian workers than by the world. We treat God as if He were a machine designed only to bless us, and we think of Jesus as just another one of the workers.

The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son.


December 18 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

God, the first thought that comes to mind when I think of being tested is my inability to “keep the faith”. And I ask myself why in the world would You test me in the first place, when you already know my inability to stand against formidable challenges? I say and do the wrong things more often than I say and do the right things. When I read a devotional about how you test us Lord, I feel confused, because you already know that I will fail tests of faith; that I am frightened of pink slips, a dwindling bank account, and difficult diagnosis and prognoses. You already know that I want to avoid  pain and the difficulties of life. Why would you want to test and exposé me for the failure that I am?

And God says…”Of course you fail tests of faith.  Every man does.  Look at Elijah, Moses, David, Peter,  Paul and others. I do not test so that I can see your strength and faithfulness; I test you so that you can see your need of a Savior…in all areas of your life. Left to your own devices you will choose the easy path, the one without trials and difficult circumstances. Left to your own devices, you will not choose the difficult paths, and as a result you will not grow in your faith. And to be grown in your faith does not mean that you will one day be able to handle more and more difficult circumstances, on your own, it means you will grow to the point of surrendering the circumstances to Me at your very earliest opportunity. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and I will provide everything else you need. Acknowledge Me in all your ways, and I will make your paths straight.  Delight yourself in the Lord, and I will give you the desires of your heart.  Remind yourself of the many times I have interceded on your behalf, or of the times that your worst fears did not come true….remind yourself of how I go before you, and that I do not test you to determine your weakness or strength, I test you so that you will grow to the point of looking and finding strength in your surrenders to Jesus.”

” And as you recall your growth and strength that has come from your surrenders to Me…….as the song says…Just say Amen.”

Redemption— Creating the Need it Satisfies

December 17th, 2014

The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him… —1 Corinthians 2:14

The gospel of God creates the sense of need for the gospel. Is the gospel hidden to those who are servants already? No, Paul said, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe…” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). The majority of people think of themselves as being completely moral, and have no sense of need for the gospel. It is God who creates this sense of need in a human being, but that person remains totally unaware of his need until God makes Himself evident. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7). But God cannot give until a man asks. It is not that He wants to withhold something from us, but that is the plan He has established for the way of redemption. Through our asking, God puts His process in motion, creating something in us that was nonexistent until we asked. The inner reality of redemption is that it creates all the time. And as redemption creates the life of God in us, it also creates the things which belong to that life. The only thing that can possibly satisfy the need is what created the need. This is the meaning of redemption— it creates and it satisfies.Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32). When we preach our own experiences, people may be interested, but it awakens no real sense of need. But once Jesus Christ is “lifted up,” the Spirit of God creates an awareness of the need for Him. The creative power of the redemption of God works in the souls of men only through the preaching of the gospel. It is never the sharing of personal experiences that saves people, but the truth of redemption. “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).________________________________________________________December 17 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, at first it seems as if Oswald Chambers is once again writing about how things must be done in order to receive your redemption and the power of the Holy Spirit from that redemption. He says we must ask before You will respond; that the power of redemption can only come alive in us as we ask.  But your word told me yesterday (Romans 8:26-28 MSG) that I did not need to know how or what to pray for, that You would do that for me. Should I ask You for specific things in this life? If You already know my needs, then why am I to ask? And when you do not respond to my prayers, when it seems as if You have taken a holiday, what am I to do?  Keep asking until you respond? Or leave my request on Your altar believing You will respond when it is good for me?

And God says…”First of all understand that redemption means you are forgiven, holy, justified, free, adopted, and reconciled. And because you are forgiven, holy, justified, free, adopted and reconciled, I can respond to you as I would one of My children.”

“Chambers was making his students and you aware that the nature of redemption is that you begin to understand that the power for human transformation and grace for daily living comes from God. And asking in prayer is simply your confirmation of your knowledge that I am your source. I am your source for redemption and everything else in your life.”

“However, you may ask for things that could not possibly serve you well. In fact, many of your blessings have come from the prayers I did not answer. Many of your blessings have come from those prayers that I did answer. Your prayer requests acknowledge that I am your God, and you recognize that you can do no good thing apart from Me.  While I know and hear your needs, I cannot answer any prayer that is not for your ultimate good.  And when I do not respond in the time frame you believe is important, it is because I know time like you cannot know time, I know your needs and happiness because I am God and I created you. I can and will and do more for your well-being than you can possibly comprehend. Trust in Me with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding, and I will make your paths straight. Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart.”

Wrestling Before God

December 16th, 2014

Take up the whole armor of God…praying always… —Ephesians 6:13,18

You must learn to wrestle against the things that hinder your communication with God, and wrestle in prayer for other people; but to wrestle with God in prayer is unscriptural. If you ever do wrestle with God, you will be crippled for the rest of your life. If you grab hold of God and wrestle with Him, as Jacob did, simply because He is working in a way that doesn’t meet with your approval, you force Him to put you out of joint (see Genesis 32:24-25). Don’t become a cripple by wrestling with the ways of God, but be someone who wrestles before God with the things of this world, because “we are more than conquerors through Him…” (Romans 8:37). Wrestling before God makes an impact in His kingdom. If you ask me to pray for you, and I am not complete in Christ, my prayer accomplishes nothing. But if I am complete in Christ, my prayer brings victory all the time. Prayer is effective only when there is completeness— “take up the whole armor of God….”Always make a distinction between God’s perfect will and His permissive will, which He uses to accomplish His divine purpose for our lives. God’s perfect will is unchangeable. It is with His permissive will, or the various things that He allows into our lives, that we must wrestle before Him. It is our reaction to these things allowed by His permissive will that enables us to come to the point of seeing His perfect will for us. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God…” (Romans 8:28)— to those who remain true to God’s perfect will— His calling in Christ Jesus. God’s permissive will is the testing He uses to reveal His true sons and daughters. We should not be spineless and automatically say, “Yes, it is the Lord’s will.” We don’t have to fight or wrestle with God, but we must wrestle before God with things. Beware of lazily giving up. Instead, put up a glorious fight and you will find yourself empowered with His strength.


December 12 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, how can I tell if I am engaged in a glorious fight, as Chambers says, or if I am wrestling with circumstances that you have given me for my refining and shaping? Lord I try to wrestle against everything that can or does cause pain, uncertainty, fear or anguish. How can I know when I am wrestling with the right things? How can I know when to put up a glorious fight or to simply accept your perfect or permissive will? The whole permissive will versus perfect will discussion is one that I have difficulty fully understanding as well.

And God says…”Read the verse the way Eugene Peterson translated it… Romans 8:26-28 ……, “God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

“You do not necessarily need to naturally make a decision about what to fight or accept, because you believe one thing is God’s will for your life and another is not. You need not fight against a thought, action, movement or enemy because you believe they are battles against My kingdom.  Your certainty that a battle is worth fighting is not the key to making that decision.  Your view of the potential outcome does not dictate whether or not you choose to fight a battle. I am God, there is no reason to fight against things that cannot hurt Me, and I do not need help in fighting battles. However, you can be in such close relationship with Me that there is never any doubt about what battles you are to fight. “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.  Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health; your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.”


“Approved to God”

December 15th, 2014

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15

If you cannot express yourself well on each of your beliefs, work and study until you can. If you don’t, other people may miss out on the blessings that come from knowing the truth. Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else. But you must be willing to go through God’s winepress where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle, experiment, and rehearse your words to express God’s truth clearly. Then the time will come when that very expression will become God’s wine of strength to someone else. But if you are not diligent and say, “I’m not going to study and struggle to express this truth in my own words; I’ll just borrow my words from someone else,” then the words will be of no value to you or to others. Try to state to yourself what you believe to be the absolute truth of God, and you will be allowing God the opportunity to pass it on through you to someone else.Always make it a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study. The author or speaker from whom you learn the most is not the one who teaches you something you didn’t know before, but the one who helps you take a truth with which you have quietly struggled, give it expression, and speak it clearly and boldly.


December 15 2014

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, when we are connected You are reminding me who I am to You, and I can share this in ways I could not otherwise, regardless of my preparation and study. And I know that when you see me you do not look on me with approval or disapproval, there is no judgment, because when you look at me you see Jesus. Thank You for reminding me that it is not a question of study or diligence, it is once again a question of connection and relationship; everything else follows.

And God says…”Acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will make your paths straight. When you read about the Prodigal Son, you recall that the son was not forced to prepare himself, or change his ways, in fact the father would not even give him time to confess his wrongdoing before he embraced him. Connection and relationship with you is what I desire from you. And when we are connected and in relationship, the Spirit of God will speak for you, Jesus living inside of you will be visible to others as you are being transformed. Never worry about being good enough or if I will approve of you or what you say and do. Simply be connected and in relationship with Me and let Me take care of everything else, including your diligence, study and preparation. Seek first the Kingdom of God and everything else you need will be provided. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”