Good for His Promises

Do you keep your promises? Are you good for your Word? 

We can all appreciate a person who takes his/her promises to be critical and essential.When they give you their word, it as if they are truly pledging themself. They are not just offering empty words.

Advent is one of those reminders that God keeps His Word. He did not just pledge His promises, but He pledged Himself.  There are hundreds of prophecies in the OT regarding the coming of the Messiah.

We are told He would be born of a virgin, born in Bethlehem,  born of the line of Abraham, and an heir to David.  God kept his Word and every one of these came true. It truly is a miracle.  The odds of one men fulfilling 3 or 4 of these promises is astronomical.

God also made some other great promises in these prophecies.

The One coming would heal the broken-hearted. (Isaiah 61)

  • He would be as a Wonderful Counselor, and Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)
  • He will show us the path of life, and lead us into the joy of his presence (Psalm 16)
  • The Spirit of the Lord would be upon Him, and He would lead forth in justice.
  • The Messiah would give light to the nations, open the eyes of the blind, bring prisoners out of darkness, set the captives free.
  • He would be crushed for our sin, and offer forgiveness and bring us perfect peace.
  • God has faithfully looked over his word through the ages.

He has never broken a single promise!! He will not end that streak today – or any time soon. His promises are still good today!

In the midst of all the shattered dreams of 2020, where do you need to hold on to the promises of God? Have you let unbelief drift in and begin to crowd your heart. It becomes a slow, exhausting stranglehold of death to your heart and soul.

You must resist it. You must admit it.  We must repent of our unbelief and turn from it. And remember the promises of God.

Prayer:

Father, I come before your throne in the name of Jesus.  I humble myself before you in dependency and faith. I choose to come back to the place of faith this day. Forgive me for doubt and unbelief. I have let my heart and mind become crowded with silent whispers against you. I have doubted your were there, that you were able, that you cared for me. I remember today that you are a God who has never lied or never broken a promise while I am a simple broken and sinful human being who has broken hundreds of promises.

Forgive me Lord for not trusting you. I repent of my Doubt and Unbelief. 

Lord I believe. Help my unbelief.  I renounce a spirit of unbelief, and command it to flee from life. Lord fill me with Your Spirit, and release faith into my heart. believe that you are God and there is no other. I will trust in you. Amen.

Today:

  • What promise of God in scripture do you need to remember today? Write it down, read it aloud a few times. Remember it. Pray it back to God and display it in a place you will see it for the next several days (Bathroom mirror, refrigerator, car dashboard). 
  • Is there a promise you need to keep to someone in your life – spouse, parent, child, friend, sibling, etc. Be faithful.

*** These Advent Devotionals are coordinating with Paul David Tripp’s book “O Come Let us Adore Him,” a 25 day Christmas/Advent Devotional Experience. Please find his book online or at a book seller near you.

A Willing Savior for Unwilling Sinners

Thank God Jesus was willing to give His life. A Willing Savior came for unwilling sinners. Paul David Tripp does an amazing job today in his devotional “O Come Let Us Adore Him, Dec. 2) in describing our unwillingness as a sinful people who want our own way.

Here is how he describes our unwillingness:

  • We are often unwilling to do what God says if it doesn’t make sense to us.
  • We are unwilling to be inconvenienced for others.
  • We are unwilling to wait for God and his timing.
  • We are often unwilling to be open and honest.
  • We are unwilling to consider the rebuke of a close friend.
  • We struggle to be willing to say no to temptation and sin.
  • We are often unwilling to admit our sin and that we are wrong.
  • We are unwilling to serve and give generously.

Here is how Jesus is Willing compared to our unwilling nature:

  • Jesus was willing to leave the splendor of heaven to enter our broken world.
  • Jesus was willing to take on human flesh in all its frailty.
  • He willing to humbly be born in a stable and go through dependency of childhood.
  • He was willing to expose himself to hardships of life in a fallen world.
  • He was willing to submit to Father’s will at every point.
  • He was willing to serve instead of being served.
  • He was willing to be misunderstood, mistreated, to endure rejection and gross injustice.
  • He was willing to suffer public mockery, physical torture, the pain of His Father’s rejection, and death on a cross!

The Entire story of Salvation and Redemption hinges on the ETERNAL WILLINGNESS of Jesus to give Himself up completely for us. Unwilling servants such as us have no hope without the willing Savior Jesus Christ.

His promises continue. And He is still willing today:

  • He is willing to love you completely and fully on your worst day.
  • He is willing to forgive you again and again.
  • He is willing to be patient with you as you grow and mature.
  • He is willing to fight for you.
  • He is willing to teach you.
  • He is willing to supply all of your needs.
  • He is willing to guide you, strengthen you, and empower you.
  • He is willing to protect you, help you, and bless you.
  • He is willing to bring you home to heaven, ensuring safe passage from this life into the next life – where heaven is your final and eternal home.

Thank God that Jesus has been and remains so willing to be committed to unwilling rebels such as us. (Today’s blog is a basic summary of PDT’s Devotional from Dec. 2 in the book “O Come Let Us Adore Him.”)

Prayer: (Take a minute to slow down. Take deep breaths and focus on the willingness of Jesus to do all and give it all for you. Just thank Him for willingly loving, serving, and giving his life for you. When ready, choose willingly to come before Jesus Christ and the Father in prayer)

Father I willingly come to your throne today in the name of Jesus, the one who willingly laid down everything for me (Pause a moment).

I fully know that I am often unwilling in my response to you. I still hold on to my will. I still believe I know what is best. I still want to please my flesh. My unwillingness to surrender never leads to abundance but takes me further away from the fullness of Jesus Christ. Father I repent for my stubborn nature and heart. I am rebellious by nature.

Lord I bring my unwilling nature to the cross of Jesus this morning where I might consider myself dead. I have died with Jesus Christ, and I ask my will could be crucified with Christ. I trust that I am dead in Christ, and the life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God. Forgive me for my unwillingness Lord. Bring me to the place where my heart cry is, “Not my will, but thine be done.” I choose you Jesus. I know your will is better than mine. Holy Spirit forgive me for quenching and grieving you so often with an unwilling spirit. I repent and I can only show gratitude that Jesus has not given up on me at any point. Thank you Jesus that you are always willing to serve me, save me, help me and change.

Lord make me willing to lay my life down. Lord make me willing to surrender everything to you. I lay my life at your feet and declare I am helpless with you Lord. I need you to step in and save me from myself. Lord make me willing. I offer my life to you as fully as I can today and invite Jesus to be Lord over me, in me and through me. In Jesus name. Amen!

Today:

  • Where do you find yourself most unwilling to surrender and walk in obedience. If there are one or two areas, be open and honest and talk with God about them.
  • Take a step and share your sin (unwillingness) with a trusted friend of mentor. Confess this sin, repent, and have them pray for your healing (James 5).
  • What are some steps today that you are willing to take to please and serve Jesus. Lean in to those and obey. We can continue to grow in willingness by leaning even more into the areas we are experiencing grace as we continue to seek for grace in our areas of struggle.
  • Remind yourself today that you serve a Willing Savior, not a reluctant and faithless one. Trust that His willingness will always be greater than yours.

Who Would Write This Story?

If you read Paul David Tripp’s (PDT – get used to his initials) thoughts from Day one in in the devotional “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” he speaks of the incredible nature of the story of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Wow! It really is a wild and crazy story.

Sometimes I will watch a movie scene and think, “That could never happen. That is ridiculous. How did he blow through every intersection in NYC at 90 MPH and hit every green light and not ram into the side of one car? Or how did 2 of them fight and shoot their way of a building surrounded by 50 armed men? All kinds of crazy stuff that couldn’t really happen.

What about Jesus? The God Man coming to earth in the form of a child. Tripp said, “This story is so miraculous in every way that it could only have come out of the mind of God in eternity before the foundations of the earth were laid down by his mighty hand. It points to the divine imagination and screams the power of the divine hand. No man could write this plot and if he did, no man could expedite what he had written” (December 1, O Come Let Us Adore Him, Paul David Tripp)

Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Tyler Perry, or the Makers of the Marvel Universe could not dream up much less pull of such a story and plot. Make no mistake, the story of Baby Jesus is a miracle. It is sweet. It is inviting. Yet it is not an everyday event we should become used to. We should be reminded that everything about this story is a MIRACLE. It is SUPERNATURAL. It is OTHERWORLDLY.

Our Father in Heaven wants this story to connect with our story in an ever increasing way. So, do you believe in Miracles? Do you believe in the God of Miracles? Can Jesus still show up in your life in ways that are naturally supernatural? Can he change hearts, lives, circumstances? Can he change us?

This is the reason He came! We needed rescue, redemption, reconciliation and transformation. Are you ready for change?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe everything about your birth and life on earth was a miracle. You came as the sinless Son of God to live among among broken and sinful people like me to reach out and rescue, to forgive and to heal, to transform and to change. O God, I am the one most in need of change today. I always want those around me to change. I love to blame others for my problems. I remember that I am my own worst problem, and that You are my only true solution. So I commit this Advent to you – to examine, to seek and search, to humble myself, and to listen. I want to find you. I was to experience the Presence of Jesus in the power of the Spirit. I trust you Lord with Your work in my heart and life.

Today:

  • Spend 2 minutes on your knees or lying on your face before God. Present yourself in silence to Him humbling offering yourself to Him, inviting the Spirit to speak to you and change you.
  • Where do you want to see change in your heart in this season? Let this continually be a part of your conversation to God over these days of Advent.
  • Can you reach out and bless someone that you often complain about? Instead of wanting them to change, can you change your response and thoughts today with God’s help and serve them, pray for them, or encourage them!

Welcome – A little About Me

Hey there. I am David. I love connecting with people through speaking, writing, and sharing insights in conversation. I am learning to be a good listener as well. I am learning to ask better questions of myself and others. I always want to keep growing and learning.

So starting this blog is somewhat a help to me – to discipline to get some of my thoughts down on paper, or screen. To let myself think, be impacted, and then put it into words. I truly help it will bless others as well. I would love to hear back from you – your thoughts, your comments, and even some questions (although I cannot promise to always answer every deep tough question that comes along.) I will try to answer but some questions would take a chapter in a book or a long conversation.

So come join me in learning to walk in the way of Jesus.

Advent Devo – O Come Let Us Adore Him

O Come Let Us Adore Him! I invite you to do just that with me over this Advent and Christmas season. Advent is the season in the church calendar leading up to Christmas. Advent means “arrival” or “coming”. It speaks to the Arrival of Jesus coming to earth as child, who would become a man, who would give his life for the sin of the world. He Came! Praise God, but He will also come again. And He still comes – into our lives with ever fresh movement by His Spirit. Advent was meant to be a season to prepare for Christmas, but truly to prepare for the Presence of Christ. So let’s prepare our hearts together. Each day, I invite you to join me by reading from Paul David Tripp’s Advent Devotional “O Come Let Us Adore Him.” Then I will share some other comments, thoughts, inspirations, prayers, and challenges to help us keep seeking, searching, and preparing our hearts for Jesus!

And I also want to hear your comments, thoughts, and inspirations. In a desire to help people love and follow Jesus, I invite you this Advent to prepare your heart with me. Slow down! Think! Examine your heart! Confess your sins! And let Jesus fully have His way in your life and heart. Let’s get ready for more than Christmas. Let’s get ready for a fresh arrival of Jesus to come alive in our lives. O Come Let us Adore Him.

And enjoy this song. God bless and Merry Christ… ummm, I mean Happy Advent!

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