Growing together in the Spirit of Jesus Christ...

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." - Hebrews 10:25 NIV

Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31, 2011 (shining with His glory)

shining with His glory

“The proper understanding of everything in
life begins with God.
No one will ever understand
the necessity of conversion
who does not know
why God created us.
He created us 'in His image'
so that we would image forth
His glory in the world.
We were made to be prisms
refracting the light of God’s glory
into all of life.
Why God should want to give us
a share in shining with His glory
is a great mystery.
Call it grace or mercy or love –
it is an unspeakable wonder.
Once we were not.
Then we existed –
for the glory of God!”
- John Piper

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30, 2011 (the wisdom of God)

the wisdom of God

“Wisdom can be none other than the eternal Son of God.
The Apostle Paul calls Him ‘the wisdom of God’
(1 Corinthians 1:24).
In Him ‘are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’
(Colossians 2:3).
If you want to get to know the God of wisdom,
study the life of Jesus Christ.
As a boy, He ‘kept increasing in wisdom and stature,
and in favor with God and men’
(Luke 2:52).
When He began His public ministry,
He taught with such penetrating perception
and amazing authority that people asked,
‘Where did this man get this wisdom,
and these miraculous powers?’
(Matthew 13:54)
He confronted the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees
with such crisp thinking that they could not answer Him
(e.g. Matthew 22:46).
They had the finest theological minds of the day,
but their mouths were stopped
before the wisdom of Jesus Christ.
God gave the world the most complete
and comprehensive demonstration of His wisdom possible
when He sent His Son to earth.”
- Richard L. Strauss

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 29, 2011 (where?)


Where do all these cables go?
In order for the computer to work properly
the cables coming from the power source
must be correctly connected.

Your “power source” is more than adequate
to provide you with anything you need
(and desire, so long as it is His will for you).

It is important to be well “grounded”
in the truth of His word and to
obediently follow His directions.

Making the right choices will
enable you to experience access
to His wisdom and understanding.

Joy and peace will follow.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.”
- Psalm 32:8 NIV

“The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the Lord are sure
and altogether righteous.
By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.”
- Psalm 19:7-9,11 NIV

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 28, 2011 (thirst and hunger)

thirst and hunger

“Do you want to increase your hunger for the Lord?
Try weaning yourself from the world's diet -
be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms
when you turn off the radio and the TV
and eliminate unnecessary activities.
Then begin feeding on the Word of God.
At first, it may seem bland and boring;
but in time, you will discover
that it satisfies in a far deeper, richer way
than those things you once thought were so filling.”
- Nancy Leigh DeMoss

“The key to Christian living is a thirst and hunger for God.
And one of the main reasons people do not understand
or experience the sovereignty of grace
and the way it works through the awakening of sovereign joy
is that their hunger and thirst for God is too small.”
- John Piper

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 27, 2011 (Luna Moth)

Luna moth
photo by Lee Keefer

Luna moths are not often seen
(more commonly seen at night),
and live only about a week to mate.
In some areas they are endangered.

This beautiful and rather large moth
reminds me of the many wondrous things
we will eventually see, as believers,
that as of now, remain unseen.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived what God
has prepared for those who love him"
- 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011 (complacency)

(self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by
unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies)

“I hate to see complacency prevail in our lives
when it's so directly contrary to the teaching of Christ.”
- Jimmy Carter

“At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps
and punish those who are complacent,
who are like wine left on its dregs, who think,
'The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.'”
– Zephaniah 1:12 NIV

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011 (he who loves me)

he who loves me

“Human things must be known to be loved;
but Divine things must be loved to be known.”
- Blaise Pascal

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them,
he is the one who loves me.
He who loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I too will love him and show myself to him."
- John 14:21 NIV

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24, 2011 (to reach the light)

to reach the light

“That which causes us trials shall yield us triumph:
and that which make our hearts ache shall fill us with gladness.
The only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve:
which could not happen unless we had commence with
error, ignorance, and imperfection.
We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light.”
- Albert Pike

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.”
- Romans 8:28 NIV

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 23, 2011 (flowers fall)

flowers fall

“All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.”
- Isaiah 40:6,8 NIV

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22, 2011 (rejoice in the hope)

rejoice in the hope

“Therefore, since we have been
justified through faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained
access by faith into this grace
in which we now stand.
And we rejoice in the hope
of the glory of God.”
- Romans 5:1,2 NIV

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21, 2011 (habitually meditate)

habitually meditate

“It often astonishes me
that I did not see
the importance of meditation upon Scripture
earlier in my Christian life.
As the outward man is not fit for work
for any length of time unless he eats,
so it is with the inner man.
What is the food for the inner man?
Not prayer, but the Word of God –
not the simple reading of the Word of God,
so that it only passes through our minds,
just as water runs through a pipe.
No, we must consider what we read,
ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts.”
- George Muller

(HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable)
is the man who walks and lives not
in the counsel of the ungodly
[following their advice, their plans and purposes],
nor stands [submissive and inactive]
in the path where sinners walk,
nor sits down [to relax and rest]
where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.
But his delight and desire
are in the law of the Lord,
and on His law
(the precepts, the instructions,
the teachings of God)
he habitually meditates
(ponders and studies)
by day and by night.
And he shall be like a tree
firmly planted [and tended]
by the streams of water,
ready to bring forth its fruit in its season;
its leaf also shall not fade or wither;
and everything he does
shall prosper [and come to maturity].”
- Psalm 1:1-3 AMP

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20, 2011 (Promises of God)

Promises of God

“God has not promised skies always blue,
flower-strewn pathways all our life through;
God has not promised sun without rain,
joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God has promised strength for the day,
rest for the labor, light for the way;
grace for the trials, help from above,
unfailing sympathy, undying love.”
- Annie J. Flint

“The Bible is full of God’s promises
to provide for us spiritually and materially,
to never forsake us,
to give us peace in times of difficult circumstances,
to cause all circumstances
to work together for our good,
and finally to bring us safely home to glory.
Not one of those promises
is dependent upon our performance.
They are all dependent on the grace of God
given to us through Jesus Christ.”
- Jerry Bridges

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 19, 2011 (pursuit of happiness)

pursuit of happiness

“One of the worst injustices the church
has perpetuated against its members
is proclaiming a message of the evil of desire.
God created us with a longing to be thrilled,
hungry for the joy of being fascinated.
Yet we have told people to stop wanting
and to stop yearning;
we’ve urged them to ignore, suppress,
or anesthetize their desire for happiness.
And, if such teachings should fail,
we have worked hard to make them feel
the sting of guilt and shame.
All this will do is drive passion underground,
so to speak, only to have it erupt
at some moment of weakness
when temptation offers a fleeting fulfillment.”
- Sam Storms

“The single most important principle
I ever discovered is this:
the goal or purpose of the Christian
is precisely the pursuit of happiness – in God.
The reason for this is that there is no greater way
to glorify God than to find in Him
the happiness that my soul so desperately craves.”
- Sam Storms

“The reason we resist God’s laws
and pursue our own sinful strategies
is because we believe that we
can do better at securing our happiness
than God can.”
- Sam Storms

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011 (to become like Christ)

to become like Christ

“Perhaps the most wonderful thing of all is this:
God lifts us not only from what we are
by nature to what Adam was in the Garden of Eden,
but to what Adam was to become in the presence of God,
and would have been had he persevered in obedience.
The gospel does not make us like Adam in his innocence –
it makes us like Christ,
in all the perfection of His reflection of God.”
- Sinclair Ferguson

“To become like Christ
is the only thing in the world worth caring for,
the thing before which every ambition of man
is folly and all lower achievement vain.”
- John Drummond

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011 (only He can quench)

only He can quench

“Do not spoil what you have
by desiring what you have not;
remember that what you now have was
once among the things you only hoped for.”
- Epicurus

“God has created each of us
with a thirst that only He can quench.
French philosopher Pascal called it
a God-shaped vacuum in our hearts
that only He can fill. Or as Augustine put it,
‘Our souls are restless until they find their rest in Thee.’
Man is perpetually seeking.
To whatever degree we don't know
the unseen and eternal realm;
we seek answers in the seen and temporal.
We look for eternal answers among temporal things.
But we discover that they cannot provide them.”
- Dan Stone

Saturday, July 16, 2011

July 16, 2011 (all things beautiful)

all things beautiful

“God has, as it were, placed Himself on display
in the art gallery of the universe.
He beckons His people, you and me,
to stand in awe as we behold
the symmetry of His attributes,
the harmony of His deeds,
the glory of His goodness,
the overwhelming and unfathomable grandeur
of His greatness; in a word, His beauty.
God is infinitely splendid and invites us to come
and bask in His beauty
that we might enjoy Him to the fullest.”
- Sam Storms

“My Father, supremely good,
beauty of all things beautiful.”
- Augustine

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15, 2011 (believe anything you want?)

believe anything you want?

“It's amazing how people can affirm that God
is a God of order and absolute precision
in everything He does in the natural world,
yet believe He unconcerned about the moral world.
The scientist in the laboratory operates on the basis
that his chemical mixtures are not going to violate
a known truth and blow the building to bits.
The astronauts who blast off into space count on
the absolute immutability and accuracy of scientific laws.
If God is a God of law and order in the natural realm,
He's not going to say, ‘Oh, just do your own thing.
Believe anything you want.’
Such inconsistency is absurd!”
- John MacArthur

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 14, 2011 (building block of society)

building block of society

“The [traditional] family
was God’s first earthly institution.
Before there was a government,
and long before God instituted the church,
He ordained marriage and the family
as the basic building block of society.
The destruction of the family
we are witnessing today is, I believe,
a harbinger of the ultimate collapse
of our entire society.
The more the family is threatened,
the more society itself is in danger of extinction.
We’re living in the last days,
and nothing shows that more graphically
than the deterioration of the family.”
- John MacArthur

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13, 2011 (all you need)

all you need

“In Christ we have a love that can never be fathomed;
a life that can never die;
a righteousness that can never be tarnished;
a peace that can never be understood;
a rest that can never be disturbed;
a joy that can never be diminished;
a hope that can never be disappointed;
a glory that can never be clouded;
a light that can never be darkened;
a happiness that can never be interrupted;
a strength that can never be enfeebled;
a purity that can never be defiled;
a beauty that can never be marred;
a wisdom that can never be baffled;
and resources that can never be exhausted.”
- Author Unknown

“As Christians, we find complete sufficiency in Christ
and His provisions for our needs.
There’s no such thing as an incomplete or deficient Christian.
Our Savior’s divine power has granted to us
everything pertaining to life and godliness.
Human wisdom offers nothing to augment that.
Every Christian receives all he and she needs
at the moment of salvation.
Each one must grow and mature,
but no necessary resource is missing.
There’s no need to search for something more.”
- John MacArthur

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12, 2011 (common grace)

common grace

“To some measure even unbelievers
benefit from God’s grace.
Theologians call that “common grace”
because it is common to all mankind.
Common grace is God’s continual care for all creation,
providing for His creatures’ needs.
Through common grace God restrains humanity
from utter debauchery and maintains order
and some sense of beauty, morality,
and goodness in society’s consciousness.”
- John MacArthur

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011 (life ablaze)

life ablaze

“The danger is that we may fail to perceive life’s greatest meaning,
fall short of its highest good,
miss its deepest and most abiding happiness,
be unable to tender the most needed service,
be unconscious of life ablaze
with the light of the Presence of God –
and be content to have it so – that is the danger:
that some day we may wake up
and find that always we have been busy
with husks and trappings of life
and have really missed life itself.
For life without God, to one who has known
the richness and joy of life with Him,
is unthinkable, impossible.
That is what one prays one’s friends may be spared –
satisfaction with a life that falls short of the best,
that has in it no tingle or thrill
that comes from a friendship with the Father.”
- Phillips Brooks

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 06, 2011 (proper illumination)

proper illumination
photo by Ronnie Benner

“God must open the eyes of our understanding
before we can truly know and rightly interpret His truth.
His truth is available only to those
with a regenerate spirit and in whom His Spirit dwells,
for only the Spirit can illumine Scripture.
Just as the physically blind cannot see the sun,
the spiritually blind cannot see the Son.
Both lack proper illumination.”
- John MacArthur

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 05, 2011 (Declaration of Dependence)

Declaration of Dependence

Yesterday we, in the United States of America,
celebrated our Declaration of Independence.

Our freedom is precious to us
but sometimes I think,
it has made us too proud of our
own self-reliance.

Everything that we have comes from God.

Whatever happened to…
”In God we trust”?

It is time to declare (or re-declare)
a Declaration of Dependence to God.

“Self-righteousness is the worst of sins because it is unbelief.
It trusts in self rather than God.
It trusts in self to determine what is right and wrong
and to determine who does what is right or wrong.
Self-righteousness claims to be both lawgiver and judge,
prerogatives that belong only to the Lord.”
- John MacArthur

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 04, 2011 (Christian freedom)

Christian freedom

“The Christian is not free to do what the Bible forbids.
Christian freedom does not entail
the right to fornicate or to steal or to lie
or to persist in an unforgiving attitude
or to do anything else the Scriptures explicitly prohibit.
And a person who lovingly points this out to you
is not a legalist for having done so!”
- Sam Storms

“Man is never more free than when he moves
consciously in the direction of God.”
- Louis Berkhof

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 03, 2011 (the honey of life)

the honey of life
photo by Lee Keefer

“Doth not all nature around me praise God?
If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe.
Doth not the thunder praise Him
as it rolls like drums
in the march of the God of armies?
Do not the mountains praise Him
when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration?
Doth not the lightning write His name in letters of fire?
Hath not the whole earth a voice?
And shall I, can I, silent be?”
- C.H. Spurgeon

“Praise is the honey of life
which a devout heart extracts from
every bloom of providence and grace.”
- C.H. Spurgeon

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 02, 2011 (hunger and thirst)

hunger and thirst

“The key to Christian living is a thirst and hunger for God.
And one of the main reasons people do not understand
or experience the sovereignty of grace
and the way it works through the awakening of sovereign joy
is that their hunger and thirst for God is too small.”
- John Piper

“The greatest enemy of hunger for God
is not poison but apple pie.
It is not the banquet of the wicked
that dulls our appetite for heaven,
but endless nibbling at the table of the world.
It is not the X-rated video,
but the prime-time dribble of triviality
we drink in every night…
For when these replace an appetite for God Himself,
the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.”
- John Piper

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 01, 2011 (false prophets)

false prophets

“There are very few errors and false doctrines
of which the beginning may not be traced up to
unsound views about the corruption of human nature.
Wrong views of the disease will always bring with them
wrong views of the remedy.
Wrong views of the corruption of human nature
will always carry with them wrong views
of the grand antidote and cure of that corruption.”
- J.C. Ryle

“Unless those who claim to be God's spokesmen
give evidence that their deepest motives
and life patterns are to honor, glory, and magnify God,
and to grow in humility, holiness, and obedience,
we can be sure that God has not called or sent them.
If they are orientated to money, prestige, recognition,
popularity, power, sexual looseness, and selfishness,
they do not belong to Jesus Christ.”
- John MacArthur