July 28 Mystery

Photo by Scott Foster

Photo by Scott Foster


2 Chronicles 21:1-23:21; Romans 11:13-36; Psalm 22:1-18; Proverbs 20:7

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:33-36

Unanswered questions?
Dangling prayers?
No need to worry
or give in to care
for the One who is greater–
KNOWS.
He hears and responds
with mercy and grace
in His time,
in His ways.

Lord God, we kneel before you and bow our heads in worship and in praise. Thank you for your mystery, your majesty, for being greater than the greatest among us. What encouragement in knowing You are aware of every situation. You hear every heart’s cry. Thank you, Lord, for being Immanuel–God with us–and for your love and mercy that never ends. Lead us this day to walk in your ways, to the glory of you holy name, Amen!

July 26 Heart Talk

Image by Reinhardt Komanapalli

Image by Reinhardt Komanapalli


2 Chronicles 17:1-18:34; Romans 9:22-10:13; Psalm 20:1-9; Proverbs 20:2-3

“Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: “The man who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'”…or ‘Who will descend into the deep?'” But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all you who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 9:5-13

Lest there be any doubt or confusion about
the faith
Scripture clearly says
“Believe, confess”
not “do” and “do some more”.
For it is not in “doing”
that we become the Children of God.
Jesus did it all for us,
the “doing” and the “dying”
and the “rising”
from the dust.

We gloriously get to “do”
the thanking and the praising
and the living in response
to His good gift
of faith
He placed in our hearts
and mouths.

Lord God, we confess that you are Lord of Lord and King of kings, the giver of all good things–especially the gift of faith. May we bold to confess our faith in Jesus in word and deed. For His sake, we pray, Amen!

July 25 True Riches

Image by Rich Aguilar

Image by Rich Aguilar


2 Chronicles 14:1-16:4; Romans 9:1-21; Psalm 19:1-14; Proverbs 20:1

“The law of the Lord is perfect
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is pure
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and dripping of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your
servant warned;
in keeping them there is
great reward.”
Psalm 19:7-11

Out in the open
for all to see
not under lock and key
like riches
that can be bought
by those who can
afford them,
Your Word freely given,
freely shared
with the world
has the power to do
what gold and silver
fail–
to lift my soul
from the deepest pit,
make light
the heavy burden
of sin and guilt.

Jesus,
The Word
made flesh
fulfilled the law’s
demands,
then did what I could not
do–
save myself,
make myself clean,
make myself pure,
make myself righteous,
become wise.

He is altogether
pure,
wise,
righteous
and clean.

Faith in Him
in His forgiveness,
in His redeeming love
is all the treasure I need.
He is my life and great reward.
Thank you, Jesus!

July 24 Deep Down

Photo by Ben Parker

Photo by Ben Parker


2 Chronicles 11:1-13:22; Romans 8:22-39; Psalm 18:37-50; Proverbs 19:27-29

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time, not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but he Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according with God’s will.” Romans 8:22-27

Seeping from the deep
within my soul
the aches and pains of sin,
the filmy, gauzy separation
that keeps me dark within.
Spirit search me,
shine your Light,
dispel the hidden rot.
Keep me not
from your Presence.
Spirit intercede for me.

May repentant words
spill forth from my mouth,
my ears receive their hope
of sins forgiven.
Instead of groans,
songs of praise
bubble up to Heaven.

Thank you Jesus.
Thank you Spirit.
Thank you Father God!
Amen.

“Where the wound is and the hurting,
Pour in oil and cleansing wine.
Let your cross, its pow’r asserting,
Touch my life with grace divine.
Ev’ry bitter cup make sweet,
Bread of comfort let me eat.
For you won my soul’s salvation
By your death for ev’ry nation.”
~ Johann Heermann 1585-1647

July 23 Turn Me, Lord

Image by Doug Shelton

Image by Doug Shelton


2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19; Romans 8:9-21; Psalm 18:16-36; Proverbs 19:26

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.”
Psalm 18:16-17, 27-28

Turner of darkness
turn me back to You.
Pull me out of the deep
and revive me, O God.
Restore to me the joy of
your Salvation.
Kindle anew the fire
of my heart’s devotion.
Turn me gently,
back to You.

July 22 Holy Real Estate

Image by Stephen Corbett

Image by Stephen Corbett


2 Chronicles 6:12-18:10; Romans 7:14-8:8; Psalms 18:1-15; Proverbs 19:24-25

Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord…Then, the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him, “I have heard your prayers and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:11-16

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own for you were bought with a price, so glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“For we are the temple of the living God as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them and I will be their God and they shall be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16

House hunting is not for the faint of heart. Our most recent list of must-haves included: 2 car garage, 2 bathrooms, 4 bedrooms, finished family room, fireplace, dishwasher, self-cleaning oven, and a well-kept landscaped yard within the city limits to name a few. After looking at many, many houses we had to reassess our list, re-prioritize, make some concessions. We did at last find a house we could make into a home that would meet our family’s needs.

Solomon acquired the solemn task of making God a home from his father, King David. Thankfully, David kept great notes of all the detailed information that the Lord specified regarding His future temple. Solomon faithfully followed the blueprints and created a magnificent Holy piece of Real Estate.

Though the temple was perfect, Solomon and the people he governed were not. Sin and rebellion followed. The grand temple was destroyed. God packed up and left. Or so it seemed….

God did not, however, stop listening to the prayers of repentance. He continued to forgive and restore and preserve the faithful. He ultimately sent His only son, Jesus, who radically changed the housing market once and for all on the Cross. By his death and resurrection Christ redefined His Father’s Home.

Through Water and the Word in Baptism, He creates his home in the believer’s heart. Christ’s righteousness adorns this home and fills it with light. God grant that we treat your home with utmost respect and care. May we not abuse it or pollute it or neglect to fill it with Your Word. May we meet you there daily in prayer and praise. And when our sins mess it up, let us confess our sins and let Your righteousness cleanse it and make it new again. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

July 21 Monday Montage

Image by Brandon Johnson

Image by Brandon Johnson

2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17;  Romans 6:1-23;  Psalm 16:1-11;  Proverbs 19:20-21

“Solomon, son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom for the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great. ”  2 Chronicles 1:1

 

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  Romans 6:3-4

 

“Lord you have assigned me my portion and my cup;  you have made my lot secure.  You have made known to me the path of life and you will fill me with joy in your presence.”  Psalm 16:5,11

 

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  Proverbs 19:21

 

Snapshots of our God

in His Holy Word,

Leading the world

through

earthen vessels

to bring glory to Him.

Life through death,

Baptism raises up

people free to live

under grace,

to listen, to heed

their Savior’s voice,

no longer driven

by sin’s whims.

Deeply secure

in God’s provision

for body and soul,

joy is ever present

as He is ever present.

Design our plans

to match yours, O God,

so that Your will be done

on earth as it is

in Heaven.

Thank you for this Monday montage–a picture Your Holy ways, Your truths, Your life in ours, O Lord.  Grant that we live this day for You.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.