Band-Aids on Bullet Wounds

Jeremiah 6:14 “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”

I am committed to not put band-aids on bullet wounds; but instead, to have the courage to listen, empathize, diagnose, and treat the wound.

God works in the midst of wounds… “Suffering is God’s medicine of choice to wake us from our slumbering self-sufficiency and turn us to heightened Christ-sufficiency.” – Martin Luther

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God’s Character – a help in times of trouble…

“God is too wise to make a mistake, too loving to be unkind, and too powerful for His purposes to be thwarted.”

During times of difficult circumstances, I’ve found comfort in being reminded of the character of God: His Wisdom, His Love, and His Sovereignty. This quote is my favorite, and is on my office wall.

And, it has been used by many… Where did it come from? Likely an expansion of an old Samuel Medley hymn. Religious leaders Robert Ketcham or Charles Spurgeon did not come up with the phrase. The earliest source for the phrase is a book of hymns by Samuel Medley from the late 1700s — you can read it yourself right here. In the hymn Medley quotes or writes (which is unclear), “too loving to be unkind” is replaced by “too good to be unkind”:

In all his holy, sovereign will, He is, I daily find, Too wise to be mistaken, still Too good to be unkind.

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Who is in my Incubator?

Do you have a Redemptive presence in the world? Who is in your spiritual incubator? Who are you prayerfully moving toward in order to be Salt and Light in their life? #Outreach

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A Servant?

There is only one way to become a servant, or slave, as the Bible describes it: by relinquishing. A slave has no rights, owns no property, is completely controlled by his master. The moment I pretend to be someone or lay claim to something, I cease to be a servant. I cannot become an acceptable servant until I have experienced the self-denial of Philippians 2:5-8, and I cannot experience that until I am willing to follow the One who denied Himself everything in order to give us everything.

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Washing Feet – like Jesus

From John 13 we learn that on the night Jesus was betrayed, he washed his disciples feet – an act of service, love, and covering them where they failed. He washed the feet of one who would betray, one who would deny, and one who would doubt Him. Then he asked us to do likewise. So, who is the backstabbing, denying doubter that I need to serve, love and cover this day?

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A Prayer for Wisdom – based on James 3

Our only wise God, we pray that you will make us “pure” in our moral lives and in the purity of our devotion to you.  With all our hearts we desire this first-named characteristic of wisdom – the foundational element of wisdom from above. 

We pray that you will further fill us with heaven’s wisdom, making us “peace loving”. Give us your shalom, and help us promote peace with our brothers and sisters.

God, we entreat you to make us “considerate” so we will gently make allowances for the weaknesses of others and will be reasonable and kind in all our dealings with difficult people.

Make us “submissive” so we will submit to reason, abandon unthinking stubbornness, and be open to the changing of our minds when we are wrong.

Lord, Heavens wisdom is “full of mercy and good fruit”, compassion that brings merciful action. Help us to go beyond pity and sentiment so that we do merciful acts, becoming the hands of Christ.

Grant us the wisdom to be “impartial”, unwavering in respect to Biblical principle, so that our lives will exude fairness.

Finally, make us “sincere”, clear-eyed, honest, forthright, without masks – so others will perceive the wisdom of Christ in us.

Lord, give us wisdom from heaven. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

 

 

James 3:13–18 (NIV84)

 Two Kinds of Wisdom

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

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A Puritan Prayer for Purification…

A Puritan Prayer…

Lord Jesus, I sin. Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it, never be content with myself, never think I can reach a point of perfection. Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable, to live for You and not for self, to copy Your words, acts, spirit, to be transformed into Your likeness, to be consecrated wholly to You, to live entirely to Your glory.

Deliver me from attachment to things unclean, from wrong associations, from the predominance of evil passions, from the sugar of sin as well as its gap; that with self-loathing, deep contrition, earnest heart searching I may come to You, cast myself on You, trust in You, cry to You, be delivered by You.

O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that all things are shadows, but You are substance, all things are quicksands, but You are mountain, all things are shifting, but You are anchor, all things are ignorance, but You are wisdom.anchor

If my life is to be a crucible amid burning heat, so be it, but You sit at the furnace mouth to watch the ore that nothing be lost. If I sin willfully, grievously, tormentedly, in grace take away my mourning and give me music; remove my sackcloth and clothe me with beauty; still my sighs and fill my mouth with song, then give me summer weather as a Christian. Amen.

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