Tuesday's slice of bread

A weekly post premised on this: Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord (Prov. 16:20)

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Location: Florence, Kentucky, United States

married to my best friend, writer, teacher, avid reader, occasional poet, volunteer

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Immortal While Incarnate

Immortal while incarnate,
Christ Jesus the Lord.
Immortal while incarnate,
Due by all to be adored.

Immortal while incarnate,
Fully God, fully man.
Immortal while incarnate,
Life fully lived He understands.

Immortal while incarnate,
Tempted in all ways yet ....
Immortal while incarnate,
Yet without sin, temptation met.

Immortal while incarnate,
Truly dying on the cross.
Immortal while incarnate,
Such sorrow for sinners lost.

Immortal while incarnate,
Triumphant He would be.
Immortal while incarnate,
Life and death for me.

Immortal while incarnate,
The sinless Son of God.
Immortal while incarnate,
Lord of glory on sinful sod.

Immortal while incarnate,
Giving life to lifeless men.
Immortal while incarnate,
And soon to come again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Treasure in Jars of Clay, based on 2 Corinthians 4:7

We have this treasure in jars of clay--
Common,
Breakable,
Replaceable,
Interchangeable--
Because what matters is
What we hold, not
Who we are and
Let the Potter create us and
Trust the Owner to use us and
Simply serve as chosen to,
Rejoicing to be His.

Contentment Comes

Contentment comes from
Joyfully embracing the circumstances
God has ordained for you
Instead of wishing to experience
The circumstances others seem to be enjoying;
Look upward, not outward,
Rejoicing in Him who rightly chooses
You and where He places you and
The time in which He places you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Some Thoughts about Giving Thanks

What motivates us? Psalm 26:7: "Proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling of all your wondrous deeds."

What encourages us? Psalm 50:23: "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me, to the one who orders his way rightly, I will show the salvation of God!"

What occupies missionaries? Psalm 57:9: "I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises among the nations."

What amazes us? Psalm 28:7:  "The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank him."

What warns us? Romans 1:21: "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God, or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened."

There are commands to give thanks which are sometimes hard to fulfill, such as Ephesians 5:20: "Give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," and 1 Thessalonians 5:18: "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

But these ought to always come readily if you are in Christ:

Romans 6:17: "But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed."

1 Corinthians 15:57: "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

2 Corinthians 9:15: "Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!"

Colossians 3:17: "And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him"

And one I come back to pretty much every day:

Philippians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Considering How Little Perspective We Really Have

Scripture says we are but vapors.
One could say, "Here today and gone today."
We vanish like the mist of night,
When the sun rises in its power.
We think we have tomorrow
When we may not have another breath.
We think we have power
Yet let the electricity go out and we know otherwise.
We not only lack power but patience.
We think more highly of ourselves without realizing what we are.
We think we need more self-esteem.
Scripture tells us otherwise.
Scripture tells us not to thing more highly of ourselves but to think more highly of others--counter-intuitive if ever anything were.
Yet look at Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who made Himself of no reputation, who sought only and always the Father's will, even to death on a cross.
Are any of us as humble as He was or calls us to be?

Philippians 2:1-8: "Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Holy Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

God Is Ever

God is ever
Present;
God is ever
Righteous;
God is ever
Gracious;
God is ever
Merciful;
God is ever
Just;
God is ever
Holy;
God is ever
Father;
God is ever
Son;
God is ever
Spirit;
God is ever
One;
God is ever
Unchanging.
Therefore
His Word--
The 66 books we call the Bible--
Is unchanging,
Ever reliable,
Even the parts which challenge
Rather than comfort--
Ever and evermore.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"That from Childhood You Have Known"

In Paul's second letter to Timothy, we learn this about Timothy: "that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." This leads to those well-known words: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (3:15-17).

What might those sacred writings have been? We get a glimpse from Paul's letter to the Romans: "For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that with perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (15:4).

When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, in what we know as chapter 10, verses 1-12, we read a lengthy admonition with examples as to what to learn from the failures of the Israelites.

When Paul wrote of Timothy's knowledge of the sacred writings, clearly he meant the Old Testament. Now we have both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Suppose, like Timothy, we have known the Scriptures--the 66 books which make up the Bible--from our childhood? Some of us have been fortunate, then, that our Lord has seen fit to use that knowledge to bring us His saving grace for many years.

When I was a child, He did this for me. But I wrestled with a lack of assurance. I "went forward" times without number and threw countless sticks on fires at Bible camps. I went to so many vacation Bible schools, church camps, even a Christian college, unsure.

Somewhere in there it occurred to me that I was still to some extent relying on my own actions/works and not fully on what Christ had done. It was only then that I began to experience assurance. It was not a matter of emotion, but reliance on what the Scriptures say. There are times of emotion, yes--joy--but those are not times I expect or rely on to confirm my salvation.

As Paul was inspired to write to Timothy: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).

There was some thought that, having assurance  of salvation, one could go on spiritual "cruise control" through the rest of life. This is far from biblical.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote that we are to "work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (2:12b-13); and in his letter to the Ephesians, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (2:10).

In his second letter, Peter provides us with a structure/direction for spiritual growth: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins" (1:2-9).

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Immutable, Eternal, Holy Sovereign

Immutable, eternal, holy Sovereign,
What can we, changeable, temporal, sinful persons do
But submissively worship You?

Repenting of the sins we know,
Repenting of the sins You know, which we are not aware of yet--
Sins for which Your Son died,
We will not hide.

We cannot hide for You are
All present and
All wise and
All just and
All worthy and
So much more that
Forever will not be long enough
To fully know You.

We can only present our sinful selves
As we ask for
Your holy grace,
Grace we have seen in
Your incarnate Son.

We are all debtors; our sins are clear to You.

We come as beggars to the home of the King,
Immutable, eternal, holy.

We come pleading for what we do not deserve.

And whatever You determine, whether justice or grace,
We offer our praise, for that is what You are worthy of.