Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What do you want Me to do?

I am currently reading a book by Andrew Murray titled, With Christ in the School of Prayer. I read a chapter today that I felt was powerful and very relevant in my own life so I wanted to share some things I highlighted in this particular chapter. The chapter is titled, Prayer Must Be Definite.

"And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God." (Luke 18:40-43 ESV)

Murray's comments:

"Our prayers must be a distinct expression of definite need, not a vague appeal to His mercy or an indefinite cry for blessing....... So much of our prayer is vague and pointless. Some cry for mercy, but do not take the trouble to know exactly why they want it. Others ask to be delivered from sin, but do not name any sin from which a deliverance can be claimed. Still others pray for God's blessing on those around them and yet have no special field where they can wait and expect to see the answer. To everyone the Lord says, 'What do you really want, and what do you expect Me to do?'....... Our expressions of need, sin, love, faith, and consecration must be accompanied by an explicit statement of what we are asking for and what we expect to receive....... How many prayers are wishes sent up for a short time and then forgotten! And how many are sent up year after year as a matter of duty, while we complacently wait without the answer?"

With the Peace of Christ,

- Terry

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making Wise the Simple

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;" (Psalm 19:7 ESV)

The word "sure" found here can also be translated as "trustworthy". The testimony of the Lord through the Scriptures is worthy of your trust and can give refreshment to your thirsting soul. The moment you place your trust in the testimony of Jesus and begin to drink a nice warm cup of His refreshing word, you will find yourself enlightened. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." The truth that the testimony of Jesus grants wisdom to the simple can be clearly seen in the life of the disciples. The disciples had not gone through the advanced training of the rabbinic schools like the religious leaders of their time. But when they spoke before the religious leaders in Acts chapter 4, the leaders were astonished by their confidence in what they were proclaiming. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus."

I also believe the truth that the testimony of Jesus grants wisdom to the simple can be seen through the faith of a child. Children get it. Children have no problem believing the testimony of Jesus and even believe in a matter-of-fact, that just-makes-sense kind of way. Critics will argue that children believe because of their ignorance and naivete. Therefore they should not be indoctrinated with the testimony of Jesus. I argue differently. Perhaps we are not to view a child's mind as ignorant and naive but rather as pure and uncontaminated. Perhaps its not the testimony of Jesus, but the indoctrination of the world that leads the child astray. Jesus said it Himself, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Children get it in a way in which we are called to get it! Children have faith that we as adults strive to obtain. They believe with assurance that the testimony of Jesus is trustworthy and that is true wisdom. An eight-year-old girl expressed it well. When asked why Jesus was called the Word, she said, "Because Jesus is all God wanted to say to us."

May we find the testimony of Jesus trustworthy and once again possess the wisdom of the simple.

- Terry

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Ever been asked the question "Why should a non-believer believe"? Well, I'm sure you have. Here's what I used to say. I would say "what are the drawbacks? If I live my life more pure, avoiding such things that would get me and my family in trouble, and I treat everyone with respect and kindness, and love everybody...... then if I find out later I'm wrong.... well what was the drawback?" That's what I USED to say. But, right now, i'm finding some serious problems with that answer. While all those things are nice and maybe things we should try anyway they just aren't enough to describe my God. My God is more! He's more than some blanket "just in case" insurance policy. How weak is our faith if we only believe "just in case" its true? Let me tell you why I believe. Because The Holy Spirit poured into me and made me believe!!! I couldn't do anything about it. Trust me, I tried. I was a serious skeptic. I was a serious sinner. I didn't deserve Jesus. People had told me about Him my entire life, and still it didn't matter. The Spirit had to intercede. I think sometimes we, as humans, over think things that are more simple than we make them. To prove this I asked my 5 year old daughter this question.

Question: Why should someone believe in God?
5 YEAR OLD: So they can go to heaven! (with a duhhh type of an attitude and rolling eyes)
Question: IS there any other reason?
5 YEAR OLD: So we can live in heaven and be happy forever. And because He told us to.......

Profound isn't it? How true are those answers. How pure are those answers? Why should we believe? Because He told us to, to spend eternity in Heaven, and to be happy forever. Pretty good answers. We think we are so smart with our degrees and all. Sometimes I think kids are the ones who understand things the way they are supposed to be understood. Innocent, uncorrupted, truth hearing little things, those kiddos.
When God created me He loved me. When I sinned against Him countless times, He loved me. When He sent His Son to die for me, He loved me. And, when He filled me with His spirit, He loved me.... and I loved Him. What does He ask? Love Me, and your neighbor. Seems simple. Why do we make it so hard. There are many things I don't know. Here are some things that I do know. God deserves my love and faithfulness. He deserves more than I can give Him. He deserves more than the three times a day prayers for meals, and more than the ten minutes a day I give His word. He deserves everything. I deserve nothing. God's grace has saved me. All He asks is that I obey His word. He's a person, and longs for our hearts. Jesus, take my heart, my soul, take it all. I love you.

-Adam (aka grateful non deserving sinner)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Let's Get Personal

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1:1-2 ESV)

Do most of us today understand what it is to delight in the law of the Lord? I think we all respect the law of the Lord in some form or fashion, but do we actually find pleasure in it? Or do we find more pleasure in the counsel of the wicked? What do we meditate on day and night?

Can I get real for a second without you, the reader, getting defensive? Do you enjoy most of the garbage that the entertainment industry puts out more than you enjoy the Word of God? Do you have a greater desire to live like a celebrity or a disciple? Is the "American Dream" more appealing to you than the way of the righteous?

Don't dodge, duck, dip, dive or dodge these questions. Lets be real. I raise these questions because I know what's its like to wrestle with these misplaced desires. Can you honestly say you delight in the law of the Lord and that you meditate on it day and night? Or is your living room furniture full of seats for scoffers?

"In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways... My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times... Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors... Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!.. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it... Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways... I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes... At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules... The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces... Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day" (bits and pieces of Psalm 119)

- Terry