Archive for June, 2015

Do It Now!

June 30th, 2015

Agree with your adversary quickly… —Matthew 5:25

In this verse, Jesus Christ laid down a very important principle by saying, “Do what you know you must do— now. Do it quickly. If you don’t, an inevitable process will begin to work ‘till you have paid the last penny’ (Matthew 5:26) in pain, agony, and distress.”
God’s laws are unchangeable and there is no escape from them. The teachings of Jesus always penetrate right to the heart of our being.Wanting to make sure that my adversary gives me all my rights is a natural thing. But Jesus says that it is a matter of inescapable and eternal importance to me that I pay my adversary what I owe him. From our Lord’s standpoint it doesn’t matter whether I am cheated or not, but what does matter is that I don’t cheat someone else.
Am I insisting on having my own rights, or am I paying what I owe from Jesus Christ’s standpoint?Do it quickly— bring yourself to judgment now. In moral and spiritual matters, you must act immediately. If you don’t, the inevitable, relentless process will begin to work. God is determined to have His child as pure, clean, and white as driven snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will allow His Spirit to use whatever process it may take to bring us to obedience. The fact that we insist on proving that we are right is almost always a clear indication that we have some point of disobedience. No wonder the Spirit of God so strongly urges us to stay steadfastly in the light! (see John 3:19-21).

“Agree with your adversary quickly….” Have you suddenly reached a certain place in your relationship with someone, only to find that you have anger in your heart? Confess it quickly— make it right before God. Be reconciled to that person— do it now!



June 30 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Good morning Lord. This devotional struck home. In a conversation with a colleague yesterday, I made certain that I asserted my rights. I suspect that there is/was nothing wrong with setting and communicating boundaries to colleagues, friends and family, but I felt a bit conflicted and convicted after reading this devotional. Asserting my right “to be right” seems to be part and parcel of simply setting and reinforcing boundaries Lord.  Am I to be a “Harvey Milquetoast” and let others steal my rights? Don’t I have to “stand up for my rights?”

And God says…”Certainly you can stand up for your rights.  It is a part of your culture, your DNA. In fact you are about to celebrate a holiday that recognizes and remembers a fight for the rights of your citizens. But this scripture and lesson are designed to remind you that whenever you are engaged in a fight for your rights, make certain that your “fight” is a byproduct of surrendering your rights to Me. This devotional is about doing what is required to stay out of confusion, conflict, and court so that you will be free… and you can stay out of jail. But jail is not the issue. Many of my disciples have found themselves in jail because of their love of God. The caution here is that you not go to jail because of love of yourself and your rights.”

“”Your rights” in our relationship start with giving up your rights. Surrender your rights to be right, to be in charge, in control. Seek first the kingdom of God, and I will provide everything else you require, including protection of your “rights”. If God is for you who can stand against you? Acknowledge Me in all our ways; do not rely on your own position on issues and conflicts, and I will make your paths straight.”

The Strictest Discipline

June 29th, 2015

If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. —Matthew 5:30

Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off his right hand, but that “if your right hand causes you to sin” in your walk with Him, then it is better to “cut it off.” There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but Jesus says that if it hinders you in following His precepts, then “cut it off.” The principle taught here is the strictest discipline or lesson that ever hit humankind.When God changes you through regeneration, giving you new life through spiritual rebirth, your life initially has the characteristic of being maimed.
There are a hundred and one things that you dare not do— things that would be sin for you, and would be recognized as sin by those who really know you. But the unspiritual people around you will say, “What’s so wrong with doing that? How absurd you are!” There has never yet been a saint who has not lived a maimed life initially. Yet it is better to enter into life maimed but lovely in God’s sight than to appear lovely to man’s eyes but lame to God’s. At first, Jesus Christ through His Spirit has to restrain you from doing a great many things that may be perfectly right for everyone else but not right for you. Yet, see that you don’t use your restrictions to criticize someone else.


The Christian life is a maimed life initially, but in Matthew 5:48 Jesus gave us the picture of a perfectly well-rounded life— “You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”


June 29 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this is a very difficult teaching: That we are to consider cutting off an arm or to poke out an eye in order to keep us from doing the wrong things. This sounds like a metaphor that I want to avoid reading and studying. It seems too harsh, too legalistic to be a part of what God has been teaching us.

And God says…”Recall Romans 8:1 …there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Before the time of Christ and woven within the culture during His time on earth, there was law and judgments to cut off the right hand and or gouge out the right eye as payment for wrong doing. Here Jesus tells you that if whatever gets in the way of your relationship with Christ must be cut off and thrown into Gehenna…(the place for dumping defiled objects of the Jewish faith).”

“Whatever gets between you and surrender, connection, curiosity and spirit led obedience must be eliminated. During your mornings when you seek to surrender and be strongly connected, do you leave the music up loud? Do you try to pray when people are all around you talking to you? You eliminated your distractions so that you could be surrendered and intimately connected to Me“

“There is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. When you are a child of God, I cannot see your sin, I can only see Jesus. But whatever gets between your surrender, connection, curiosity and obedience must be eliminated so that you can live allowing the very Spirit of God to live through you. This is why I say it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven. His money gets in the way of his surrender and connection. His self-sufficiency can get in the way.  Family obligations can get in the way, as can church service, and church “busy-ness”. This lesson is about removing whatever is in the way of your surrender and connection to Jesus.”

“Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and do not rely on your own understanding and He will make your paths straight. And when you are not strong enough to do this, simply surrender, and allow Jesus to do it for you, while providing all the grace required to fill the gaps created and left by your humanity.”

Receiving Yourself in the Fires of Sorrow

June 25th, 2015

…what shall I say? “Father, save Me from this hour”? But for this purpose I came to this hour. “Father, glorify Your name.” —John 12:27-28

As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow. Our Lord received Himself, accepting His position and realizing His purpose, in the midst of the fire of sorrow. He was saved not from the hour, but out of the hour.We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to accept and receive ourselves in its fires. If we try to evade sorrow, refusing to deal with it, we are foolish. Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life, and there is no use in saying it should not be. Sin, sorrow, and suffering are, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.

Sorrow removes a great deal of a person’s shallowness, but it does not always make that person better. Suffering either gives me to myself or it destroys me. You cannot find or receive yourself through success, because you lose your head over pride. And you cannot receive yourself through the monotony of your daily life, because you give in to complaining. The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be this way is immaterial. The fact is that it is true in the Scriptures and in human experience. You can always recognize who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, and you know that you can go to him in your moment of trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you. But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, having no respect or time for you, only turning you away. If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.


June 25 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, thank you for the reminder about sorrows and suffering, and how we “get” to go through them. David and I talk and pray about how we try to avoid our human nature, and the sorrows and suffering that accompany our lives. But it seems that we cannot avoid the sorrows and suffering, can we? You do not save us from our difficulty You save us out of them. Is this the case? That You use our sorrows and suffering as the refining fires of our lives? It seems that You do not keep us from the sorrows and suffering, You make us stronger, more Christ like as a result of them.

And God says…”As a believer, everything that occurs in your life must pass by My review. As Paul said and Eugene translated Romans 8:28 (Message) … 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.”

“And James wrote …”Do not try to get out of your trials too early, let them have their perfect result. Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways, and I will make your paths straight. When you are surrendered and connected to Me, you are certain of the result, even though the outcomes may not be what you prayed for. Do not seek your own way, your ways are too limiting for Me. Open up and allow Me to be the Lord of your life, let me select the outcomes and trust Me to meet all your needs. Seek first the Kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and I will provide everything else that you need. Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your changed heart. And I will light your way only a step at a time, so that your faith may be strengthened one step to the next.”

Reconciling Yourself to the Fact of Sin

June 24th, 2015

This is your hour, and the power of darkness. —Luke 22:53

Not being reconciled to the fact of sin— not recognizing it and refusing to deal with it— produces all the disasters in life. You may talk about the lofty virtues of human nature, but there is something in human nature that will mockingly laugh in the face of every principle you have. If you refuse to agree with the fact that there is wickedness and selfishness, something downright hateful and wrong, in human beings, when it attacks your life, instead of reconciling yourself to it, you will compromise with it and say that it is of no use to battle against it.
Have you taken this “hour, and the power of darkness” into account, or do you have a view of yourself which includes no recognition of sin whatsoever? In your human relationships and friendships, have you reconciled yourself to the fact of sin? If not, just around the next corner you will find yourself trapped and you will compromise with it. But if you will reconcile yourself to the fact of sin, you will realize the danger immediately and say, “Yes, I see what this sin would mean.”
The recognition of sin does not destroy the basis of friendship— it simply establishes a mutual respect for the fact that the basis of sinful life is disastrous. Always beware of any assessment of life which does not recognize the fact that there is sin.Jesus Christ never trusted human nature, yet He was never cynical nor suspicious, because He had absolute trust in what He could do for human nature. The pure man or woman is the one who is shielded from harm, not the innocent person. The so-called innocent man or woman is never safe. Men and women have no business trying to be innocent; God demands that they be pure and virtuous. Innocence is the characteristic of a child. Any person is deserving of blame if he is unwilling to reconcile himself to the fact of sin.

June 24 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, once again I wanted to “push back” on Chambers’ devotional as he said we should reconcile ourselves to sin, but then it occurred to me that he was saying we needed to acknowledge our inherent sin nature and our ability to “get it wrong” almost all the time when we operate in our own power.  And yes I do agree with this, and the scriptures do as well. Even with the very best of intentions, and on my very best days… on my own I will “get it wrong”. And as Chambers says, if I acknowledge this fact, I can get it right by acknowledging as the song today says… that Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world, and by recognizing that the battle is the Lord’s and it is already won.

And God says…”That is right. When you recognize that even at your most religious and pious self, you are the human condition, you will being to understand and start with the surrender of yourself, connection to Me while you live in curiosity and wonder about how I am going to move in your life and your circumstance. Paul got it right when he struggled with his sin nature in Romans 7.  Go reread this chapter; it tells of Paul’s sinful condition and how Jesus has already saved us from this problem. Acknowledge Me in all your ways, do not rely on your own understanding and I will make your paths straight. Seek first the kingdom of God, which is Jesus, and I provide everything else you need, including the innocence of a child, even when and especially when you are not worthy of innocence. You see He that is within you…Jesus, is worthy, and this is who I see when I see you.”

“Acquainted With Grief”

June 23rd, 2015

He is…a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. —Isaiah 53:3

We are not “acquainted with grief” in the same way our Lord was acquainted with it. We endure it and live through it, but we do not become intimate with it. At the beginning of our lives we do not bring ourselves to the point of dealing with the reality of sin. We look at life through the eyes of reason and say that if a person will control his instincts, and educate himself, he can produce a life that will slowly evolve into the life of God. But as we continue on through life, we find the presence of something which we have not yet taken into account, namely, sin— and it upsets all of our thinking and our plans. Sin has made the foundation of our thinking unpredictable, uncontrollable, and irrational.We have to recognize that sin is a fact of life, not just a shortcoming. Sin is blatant mutiny against God, and either sin or God must die in my life. The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue— if sin rules in me, God’s life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed. There is nothing more fundamental than that. The culmination of sin was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and what was true in the history of God on earth will also be true in your history and in mine— that is, sin will kill the life of God in us. We must mentally bring ourselves to terms with this fact of sin. It is the only explanation why Jesus Christ came to earth, and it is the explanation of the grief and sorrow of life.


June 23 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Good Morning God. It looks like this is one of those devotionals where I am going to “push back” on Oswald Chambers. When he says…”Sin is blatant mutiny against God, and either sin or God must die in my life.” He seems to be countering what Paul said in Romans 7. Paul tells us that our spiritual lives and our nature are transformed by Jesus over time. And over time that sin will be eradicated in our lives, by the power and person of Jesus Christ. And that sin has died in our lives, because of Jesus and His sacrifice, not because of any good thing we accomplish.  Paul tells us that it is not a battle we fight, because Jesus has already won the fight. Which is it God? Is there a fight I must wage? Must I struggle every day and try to become a better Christian through my own efforts, or a combined effort of Jesus and me?

And God says…” The sacrifice of Jesus is and was complete, it requires no additions or support or fight from you. The only fight you must wage is a fight to be surrendered and connected to Jesus. You fight distractions, the idea that you can accomplish certain good things on your own, the idea that you can work to become a better Christian or servant to God and the distractions of the immediate. When you are in harmony with Jesus, by your surrender and connection, you know where you stand, you can sense your oneness with Jesus and you know His Spirit is working all things out for your good. The sacrifice of Jesus for all your sin; past, present and future was and is complete in the cross. And this gift neither demands nor requires any help from you. You are unable to grit your teeth and work harder and harder to become a better person. It simply does not work that way. Your requirement is your surrender, and to allow Jesus to live through you.

As Paul said, Romans 7……… 21 It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  22 I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned;  23-25 but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.

So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”

Now go celebrate your freedom through surrender, connection, curiosity and the obedience you can achieve though the Holy Spirit.”

The Unchanging Law of Judgment

June 22nd, 2015

With what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. —Matthew 7:2

This statement is not some haphazard theory, but it is an eternal law of God. Whatever judgment you give will be the very way you are judged. There is a difference between retaliation and retribution. Jesus said that the basis of life is retribution— “with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” If you have been shrewd in finding out the shortcomings of others, remember that will be exactly how you will be measured. The way you pay is the way life will pay you back. This eternal law works from God’s throne down to us (see Psalm 18:25-26).Romans 2:1 applies it in even a more definite way by saying that the one who criticizes another is guilty of the very same thing. God looks not only at the act itself, but also at the possibility of committing it, which He sees by looking at our hearts. To begin with, we do not believe the statements of the Bible. For instance, do we really believe the statement that says we criticize in others the very things we are guilty of ourselves? The reason we see hypocrisy, deceit, and a lack of genuineness in others is that they are all in our own hearts. The greatest characteristic of a saint is humility, as evidenced by being able to say honestly and humbly, “Yes, all those, as well as other evils, would have been exhibited in me if it were not for the grace of God. Therefore, I have no right to judge.”Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). He went on to say, in effect, “If you do judge, you will be judged in exactly the same way.” Who of us would dare to stand before God and say, “My God, judge me as I have judged others”? We have judged others as sinners— if God should judge us in the same way, we would be condemned to hell. Yet God judges us on the basis of the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ._________________________________________________________________June 22 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, thank you for the reminder in this devotional. Sometimes we can feel oh so smug wrapped around our feelings of “rightness”. You have been teaching David and me that “sin management” is not something to spend our time and energy addressing; that when we focus on Jesus, and surrender, get connected and remain curious, that You will change our lives and our behavior in Your time and ways. We can forget all about the time effort and energy we used to invest in “sin management”. You simply remake us in Your image. However, You did not teach us to judge others that are still wrapped up in the whole issue of sin management. And sometimes, we talk as if are superior and above it all. Please forgive us, take our tendency to judge away and continue to make us men after Your own heart.

And God says…”Human nature has a natural tendency to want to be validated. Humans want to be right, appear to be right, while seeking to minimize pain and maximize pleasure. It is difficult for humans to see themselves as needing a Savior; a Savior for eternal life, AND a Savior for day to day living. You want to take charge of your lives, be in control and avoid criticism and the judgement of others. And a natural way to accomplish this is to be the one that does the judging. This approach runs rampant in churches, with nations and patriotism, even in neighborhoods. For natural validation, Humans feel and believe that their race, religion, families, neighborhoods, schools, cities, states, and countries are better than others. But if you will seek first the Kingdom Of God, which is Jesus, I will give you all the validation you need. Before you look askew at other people, nations, denominations, churches, music, preachers, teachers, and doctrine, check your own surrender and connection with Jesus. Acknowledge Me in all your ways and I will make your paths straight. Jesus gave you but two commandments: love your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.”


Keep Recognizing Jesus

June 18th, 2015

Peter…walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid… —Matthew 14:29-30

The wind really was boisterous and the waves really were high, but Peter didn’t see them at first. He didn’t consider them at all; he simply recognized his Lord, stepped out in recognition of Him, and “walked on the water.” Then he began to take those things around him into account, and instantly, down he went. Why couldn’t our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves, as well as on top of them? He could have, yet neither could be done without Peter’s continuing recognition of the Lord Jesus.We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self-consideration enters our lives and down we go. If you are truly recognizing your Lord, you have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers your circumstances. The things surrounding you are real, but when you look at them you are immediately overwhelmed, and even unable to recognize Jesus. Then comes His rebuke, “…why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31). Let your actual circumstances be what they may, but keep recognizing Jesus, maintaining complete reliance upon Him.If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, “Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?” Be reckless immediately— totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything— by casting your all upon Him. You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him. You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness— being willing to risk your all.


June 18 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Good morning God. David and I have talked and prayed over the ability to step out of the boat many, many times. We have asked You and each other how to develop that kind of faith…how to keep our eyes on Jesus and not on our circumstances. We have also asked if our storms and difficult circumstances are essential tools you must always use to help us grow. It seems like we hear you the most clear when we are struggling with our storms. However, we would rather the waters be calm, and our trials be easy…but that does not seem the way of it.

And God says…” when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. When all your needs are met, all the time, do you listen as closely for Me? Why do you think it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom? Because he does not look to Me for all his needs; all the time. Many of his needs are managed by his wealth and confidence in his wealth. He hires people to step out on the waves (take risks for him). Does this mean I want my children to be poor, destitute and at risk all the time? No…I blessed Solomon, Abraham, Job, and many others. But they too faced their own oceans and waves. Your trials, storms and fiery trials are elements I use to make you a man after My own heart. Acknowledge Me in all your ways, let Me be God of your life, in every area, and I will make your paths straight. And you will walk upon the waves in Oceans deep.”

Beware of Criticizing Others

June 17th, 2015

Judge not, that you be not judged. —Matthew 7:1

Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, “Don’t.” The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.There is no escaping the penetrating search of my life by Jesus. If I see the little speck in your eye, it means that I have a plank of timber in my own (see Matthew 7:3-5). Every wrong thing that I see in you, God finds in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-24). Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.



June 17 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Lord, this was really a good lesson for David and me today. We examined our motives for criticism and judgement; essentially wanting our own way or deciding that our own ways are superior to others’ ways.  Or we decide that we can interpret Your will or Your scriptures so that we are equipped and morally or spiritually correct in judging another. But once again You reached out and taught us that our ways are not Your ways. And that even our attempts to be “Christ like” cannot work for us. We are simply to be surrendered and connected to You and allow You to engage others through us. Jesus gave us but two commandments; love You with all our heart, mind and soul; and to love our brothers as ourselves.

And God says…”The human condition includes the need to be right, feel right, seek things that feel good, to be in control, and one of the ways humans seek control is to judge others. The church has a sordid history in this area, as do the humans that make up the church. As you try to understand the inquisition, indulgences, the Crusades, and banishments; where are the two commandments I gave you in those actions? All humans have the need to feel better about themselves and their own behavior, so you often prefer comparisons and judgments of others to surrender of your will and notions of right and wrong to Me. Do you criticize your pastor because he or she does not preach or comfort like you think they should? How to you view and speak about those in your church that do not enjoy the freedoms that I have given you? Acknowledge Me in all your ways, and do not rely on your own understanding or interpretations and I will make your paths straight.  Surrender your will, inclinations, judgements….Yourself to Me, and then live a connected and abundant life.”

“Will You Lay Down Your Life?”

June 16th, 2015

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends….I have called you friends… —John 15:13, 15

Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him. Peter said to the Lord, “I will lay down my life for Your sake,” and he meant it (John 13:37). He had a magnificent sense of the heroic. For us to be incapable of making this same statement Peter made would be a bad thing— our sense of duty is only fully realized through our sense of heroism. Has the Lord ever asked you, “Will you lay down your life for My sake?” (John 13:38). It is much easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling of God. We are not made for the bright-shining moments of life, but we have to walk in the light of them in our everyday ways. There was only one bright-shining moment in the life of Jesus, and that was on the Mount of Transfiguration. It was there that He emptied Himself of His glory for the second time, and then came down into the demon-possessed valley (seeMark 9:1-29). For thirty-three years Jesus laid down His life to do the will of His Father. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). Yet it is contrary to our human nature to do so.

If I am a friend of Jesus, I must deliberately and carefully lay down my life for Him. It is a difficult thing to do, and thank God that it is. Salvation is easy for us, because it cost God so much. But the exhibiting of salvation in my life is difficult. God saves a person, fills him with the Holy Spirit, and then says, in effect, “Now you work it out in your life, and be faithful to Me, even though the nature of everything around you is to cause you to be unfaithful.” And Jesus says to us, “…I have called you friends….” Remain faithful to your Friend, and remember that His honor is at stake in your bodily life.


Journal DJR
Good Morning Lord,
You know that I have been “in process” for a while now. The process of realization that I’ve been lied to. I’ve been lied to by my country … I’ve been lied to by my church. Some things that I’ve believed as facts, are being revealed as lies. So, since I’ve learned the value of curiosity over the last few years, I’m trying to just stay curious. If all these things I’ve believed are not true… What else might not be true? What will be the next “truth” to unravel? Dont get me wrong, I’m not devastated, In fact, this adventure has some excitement to it. I agree with Socrates, when he said, The unexamined life is not worth living. I understand that this type of examination will either drive me closer or further from You. So far it is driving me closer, but I’ve seen friends who responded differently. I am really thankful for my friend and our safe space at CO2. I am getting it that you are OK and even glad that I am examining all things and I won’t be kicked out for being a heretic.

Yes, I desire all my kids to examine their beliefs in a healthy way. As you keep coming to me, I will help you sort the true from the false and what you have left will be pure gold. You can trust me. I will never leave you or forsake you. You cannot fully trust any human or institution … because they are all fallible. Even if they want to give you their purest and best, they are still fallible. So come to me and I will help you. I will sort you out and help you sort out your beliefs. Remember that not everything that is true is important for you to dwell on. I will guide you in that as well. Remember also that the things that you were told were not all devious lies. Some of them were just the best that those people had at the time.

I’m not sure which is easier to accept with curiosity… a purposeful lie or an ignorant lie. Initially the purposeful lie has more emotion attached. Anger and a desire for retribution, “justice” and all. Ignorant lies seem easier to forgive. But after a bit of reflection, they both blend together as things to stay curious about, to see what else you will reveal and what else will happen next. Thank you so much for the refuge that Curiosity has become for me.

Get Moving! (2)

June 15th, 2015

Also…add to your faith… —2 Peter 1:5

In the matter of drudgery. Peter said in this passage that we have become “partakers of the divine nature” and that we should now be “giving all diligence,” concentrating on forming godly habits (2 Peter 1:4-5). We are to “add” to our lives all that character means. No one is born either naturally or supernaturally with character; it must be developed. Nor are we born with habits— we have to form godly habits on the basis of the new life God has placed within us. We are not meant to be seen as God’s perfect, bright-shining examples, but to be seen as the everyday essence of ordinary life exhibiting the miracle of His grace. Drudgery is the test of genuine character. The greatest hindrance in our spiritual life is that we will only look for big things to do. Yet, “Jesus…took a towel and…began to wash the disciples’ feet…” (John 13:3-5).We all have those times when there are no flashes of light and no apparent thrill to life, where we experience nothing but the daily routine with its common everyday tasks. The routine of life is actually God’s way of saving us between our times of great inspiration which come from Him. Don’t always expect God to give you His thrilling moments, but learn to live in those common times of the drudgery of life by the power of God.It is difficult for us to do the “adding” that Peter mentioned here. We say we do not expect God to take us to heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we do! I must realize that my obedience even in the smallest detail of life has all of the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it. If I will do my duty, not for duty’s sake but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience all of the magnificent grace of God is mine through the glorious atonement by the Cross of Christ. ___________________________________________________________________

June 15 2015

Journal Entry for Today-JDV

Good morning Lord. Thank you for the encouragement provided by Peter when he said that everything that we need to live a life pleasing to You is given us through our intimate relationship with Jesus. I cannot add character, consistent integrity, or self-discipline through my own diligence but these traits can be added through my connection to Jesus. Once again You remind and confirm that we are bound to fail unless we are connected to the One that invites us to You.

2 Peter 1:4-9The Message (MSG) 3-4 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God.

 And God says…” Seek first the kingdom of God…which is Jesus…acknowledge Me in all your ways, and do not rely on your own character, integrity or self-discipline, or other devices, and I will make your paths straight.  I am the vine, you are the branch, apart from Me you can do no good thing.  Concentrate on being connected to Jesus, remain curious about how We will work all your circumstances for your good, and know that even your ability to be obedient comes from Me.  Delight yourself in the Lord and I will give you the desires of your heart. “