Tuesday, February 28, 2012

For Them

Psalm 9:10  And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.  (ESV)

Justice (the purpose for which God established His rule - v. 7) includes the idea of God's care for those seemingly  forgotten by society (the needy and the poor - v. 18). God does not forget the cry of the afflicted (v. 12). 

God has not forgotten you. You who weep. You who cry out in anguish over the loss of a child, perhaps yet unborn (hope stolen), or a husband lost, fallen in battle, perhaps in some far away land. How can I do less than to feel God's heart for these afflicted, poor, forgotten, broken, abused hopeless. God forbid that I should be like the nations who are "but men" (v. 20). But I have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16).

Oh God, move me with a heart of compassion for all those who weep and mourn. May my heart never turn away from one who is hurting. Break my heart for the hopeless. This is mine in Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:5) - a heart of humility. Let my heart break for what breaks Yours. Lord I give You my heart, my soul. I live for You alone. You alone are good. You gave Your Son to free me from selfishness. And so I give You all of me, for Your kingdom. God bless a mother who has just received news in Ohio that her child is dead.

In Jesus' name... So be it in me,

Friday, February 24, 2012

No Fear

Psalm 7:8-11a  The LORD judges the people;
judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness
and according to the integrity that is in me.
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
and may you establish the righteous -
you who test the minds and hearts,
O righteous God!
My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge,  (ESV)

Look at the confidence with which David here is able to approach God. Even inviting God to judge him. We know that David was not a perfect man. And yet somehow he is able to approach God with confidence, even knowing that He is a righteous judge. David has been wronged here - unfairly accused and so he cries out to the just judge for vindication.

In Christ I can surely approach the righteous judge with confidence that I am upright in heart - for I am clothed in the robes of the righteousness of Christ Himself. What God has given me, no one can take away. This is a mystery - a sinner, yet righteous (ref.: Luther)! My shield is with God. I need not fear, I am a child of the King.

Come, Lord Jesus! Deliver Your justice on the earth. Let the righteousness of Your kingdom reign. Come Holy Spirit, direct my life. I submit, Holy Father to Your goodness and mercy. Your hesed endures forever. I am Yours and You are mine. I am my beloved's and He is mine. Your kingdom come... here, now.

In Jesus' name - in my world,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Are You Looking?

Luke 23:51b  and he was looking for the kingdom of God.  (ESV)

Joseph was looking for the kingdom of God (or waiting). Joseph is mentioned here in all four gospels (but is otherwise unknown - ESV Study Bible, p. 2011). It seems reasonable to presume that he may have been well known in the early church.

 Are you looking for the kingdom of God? Are you willing? Are you waiting? Are you receptive to spiritual things - the work of the Spirit. Are you looking for the work that God is doing in and around you - the kingdom in your midst (Lk. 17:21)?

Today I will look for the kingdom. I will wait on Your action, Your leading. This morning I am praying Your kingdom come, in my midst.

In Jesus' name - Amen,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In the Interim...

Luke 19:13b  'Engage in business until I come.'  (ESV)

Well that's pretty straightforward. Jesus told this parable because He was nearing Jerusalem and eschatological expectancy was building - "they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately" (v. 1). Like the twelve didn't understand that Jesus came to Jerusalem to die (18:34), the crowds didn't understand that Jesus came to bring (initiate) the kingdom, not consummate it.

Do business 'til I come. That's really the whole point of this parable. Seeing this in retrospect is actually an advantage to us. We know that Jesus didn't come to overthrow Roman rule. The kingdom of God is already present in the advent of Jesus. But until the "not yet" comes we are to engage in the King's business until He returns. Brad, today, use your time, treasure and talents for the furtherance of His kingdom here on earth - in your sphere of influence: 'I give you authority!' (Luke 10:19).

Holy Spirit speak clearly to me today - convict my heart. Father God, my creator, give me strength to act - for obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam. 5:22). Jesus my Lord, teach me, guide my life - Jesus is Lord!

In the name of the King - King Jesus!