devotional

Consecration by Jonathan Edwards

jonathan edwardsI claim no right to myself—no right to this understanding, this will, these affections that are in me; neither do I have any right to this body or its members—no right to this tongue, to these hands, feet, ears, or eyes.

I have given myself clear away and not retained anything of my own. I have been to God this morning and told Him I have given myself wholly to Him. I have given every power, so that for the future I claim no right to myself in any respect. I have expressly promised Him, for by His grace I will not fail. I take Him as my whole portion and felicity, looking upon nothing else as any part of my happiness. His law is the constant rule of my obedience.

I will fight with all my might against the world, the flesh, and the devil to the end of my life. I will adhere to the faith of the Gospel, however hazardous and difficult the profession and practice of it may be.

I receive the blessed Spirit as my Teacher, Sanctifier, and only Comforter, and cherish all admonitions to enlighten, purify, confirm, comfort, and assist me. This I have done.

I pray God, for the sake of others, to look upon this as a self-dedication, and receive me as His own. Henceforth, I am not to act in any respect as my own. I shall act as my own if I ever make use of any of my powers to do anything that is not to the glory of God, or to fail to make the glorifying of Him my whole and entire business.

If I murmur in the least at afflictions; if I am in any way uncharitable; if I revenge my own case; if I do anything purely to please myself, or omit anything because it is a great denial; if I trust to myself; if I take any praise for any good which Christ does by me; or if I am in any way proud, I shall act as my own and not God’s. I purpose to be absolutely His.

—Jonathan Edwards

Hostile

Hostile is the focus in my prayer and Bible study time today. As I begin reading in Isaiah, it is obvious that things — actually PEOPLE– just aren’t right with God. And we know the challenge that Isaiah has before him, don’t we? Here are my “first thoughts” in bullet point form.

First, recognize the spiritual destruction all around you.
Second, be sure you understand your own spiritual condition, checking yours against the complacency and corruption.
Third, examine the rewards of choosing God over idols, complacency, culture that is contrary to His teachings, selfishness, and just plain pride.
Fourth, get ready to speak forth the Word of the Lord with confidence and boldness.

Ok, let’s START there. It IS only day ONE of this prayer season, after all!!

Crying Out

We may walk by them all the time. People that have a blank expression and are not communicating their hurts and pains. When we read about the “Good Samaritan” in the Bible, the obvious moral of the story is to help others when they are in need. And to notice them. And to invest in them. And to come back and check on them later. Not many actually cry out or sound like they need you — but they do. They are all around you! It may surprise you who they are — but look into their eyes — just slow down a little and use your God-given gifts to minister the LOVE of JESUS. Do it TODAY.

2008 Thanksgiving Year of the “Social”

I have to agree with a lot of the favorite tech things that Greg Atkinson wrote about on his blog post. In 2008 there are three services in particular that bounced to the top for me.

Facebook

Twitter

Ustream.tv

The reason is this — making the connection — with a LOT of other people I haven’t talked to or communicated with in a long time. And you know what? I still like them!! 😉

God created us to love Him and to love others. One small way to BEGIN to love someone is to connect, interact, communicate, pray, and have conversations. In MY conversations, I want to bring hope and inspiration and to be transparent.

But when it’s all said and done

Notes about Worry

Here’s a very brief excerpt of the message notes from the September 21, 2008 message on WORRY:

Perhaps they will be a help to you or a friend you have. Remember, ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE with God!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

…Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Matthew 6:25

STOP THE STRANGLE-HOLD OF WORRY

1)    I WILL DO WHAT GOD ASKS ME TO DO.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

•    Think on the right things.
•    Do what is wise.

2)    I WILL GIVE GOD WHAT I CANNOT DO.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

3)    NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, I WILL TRUST GOD.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself… Matthew 6:33-34

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Enough Said!

When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.
Proverbs 29:2 (NLT)

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
Proverbs 29:2 (ESV)

When good people run things, everyone is glad, but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans.
Proverbs 29:2 (MSG)

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
Proverbs 29:2 (NKJV)

When the [uncompromisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh.
Proverbs 29:2 (AMP)

Dual Storms Threaten United States

August 29, 2008.

Two storms are threatening the US. An emergency condition has been declared in Louisanna and everyone is thinking about the Katrina. Katrina devastated New Orleans, in fact it will NEVER be the same.

Hurricane Gustav. Tropical storm Hannah. And today I heard that if they take certain paths gas prices could soar to $5.00 per gallon in just days!

Threatening weather, threats in our safety, threats to our economy, fears in our relationships. Where do we find hope in all this? I have learned that the truths of the Bible and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can lead to an inner strength that others may not understand.

In a storm, you don’t just survive until tomorrow or wait until another day passes. The critical times may be minute-by-minute or one may need strength NOW! Here’s a passage of scripture that ALWAYS encourages me … perhaps another might draw strength from it right NOW as well.

Mark 4:38-41 — 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”  41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?” — ESV

Please pray for those in harms way while these storms rage on. And pray for people’s hearts once again to be stirred to compassion if needed in the aftermath of possible devastation.