My Greatest Enemy

Monday, October 23, 2006  3:50 a.m.

Dear Diary,

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then we were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (II Corinthians 5:14-15). Because Christ died for us we are to live for him, and not for ourselves. Our self is our greatest enemy. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). How true this is. “For that which I do I allow not: For what I would, that do I not: but what I hate, that do I.” (Romans 7:15). My greatest enemy is me. “…the Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41). That is why Paul says in I Corinthians 15:31, “I die daily.” We must die daily to ourselves. This is hard to do, but the love of Christ, that means His love for us, causes us to do so. He loved us enough to leave his Kingship in heaven and came to earth, and die for us so we could be reconciled unto God. Because He did this for us, we should be motivated to live for Him.

Thought for Today: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24).

Wait on the Lord

Saturday, October 14, 2006  8:00 p.m.

Dear Diary,

Moses knew he was the deliverer from the beginning, but he tried to do it in his own strength. He had not been discipled by God yet. He had the vision, but God had the plan. God had to train him first; so, He sent him to feed sheep. After forty years of feeding sheep in the wilderness God called him. But instead of feeling ready, as he did at the first, he said, “Who am I, that I should go…?” (Exodus 3:11). He had to get to the place where he would not go in his own strength; but instead, would go in God’s strength. Have you had a vision and you thought you knew what God wanted you to do, only to find yourself in the wilderness feeding sheep? When you are thoroughly discouraged, that is when God calls. When you feel totally inadequate to accomplish your vision, God says, “Go!”  It is then, and only then, you are ready to go forth in God’s strength and not your own.

Thought for Today: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14).

The Gift-Giver

Tuesday, September 19, 2006  4:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

It is so easy to cling to the gift instead of the gift-giver. It is easy to hold on to the rose instead of enjoying the living bush. So quickly we forget who it is that gives us all things. God loves to give good gifts to his children. He delights in bringing us pleasure; but, we must never forget to thank Him for His gift. We are to worship the gift-giver, not the gift. Nature is a good example of this. People see God in nature and they start worshipping nature instead of the One who made the nature. That’s where pantheism comes in. It is a belief that God is everything and everyone and that everything and everyone is God. It teaches that every thing is God. They are worshipping the gift instead of the gift-giver. They are worshipping the creation instead of the creator. We must always remember, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Colossians 1:16).

Thought for Today: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever, Amen.” (Romans 1:25).

Which Blow Breaks the Stone

Tuesday, September 5, 2006  4:00a.m.

Dear Diary,

Amy Carmichael and a friend she called D.O.M., which stood for Dear Old Man, were driving past a stone quarry, and in the stone quarry they saw a stone breaker. The D.O.M. asked Amy, “Which blow breaks the stone? Thee must never say, ‘I won that soul for Christ.’ It is the first blow and the last blow, and every one in between.” (A Chance to Die). I think that sometimes this is a trap we fall into. We forget that nothing is of us, all is of God. Scripture tells us that some plant and some water. “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” (I Corinthians 3:7). So neither the planter nor the waterer can say, “I won that soul for Christ.” All is of Christ. Every blow from the first to the last  impacts, but the allotment breaker is Christ.

Thought for Today: “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” (I Corinthian 3:8).

Enthrone Christ

Tuesday, September 5, 2006   4:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

Here is a quote from Handley Moule (1841-1920) that has impacted me. “To be like Christ [is] to displace self from the inner throne, and to enthrone Him; to make not the slightest compromise with the smallest sin…” (www.goodread.com).  So, how does one dethrone self and enthrone Christ?  It is only accomplished by a daily repenting, and a daily washing; and I am convinced, it is sometimes an hourly undertaking.  Mark 12:30 says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength…”  Is Christ the center of everything you do?  Does He have your whole being, thoughts and actions. Is pleasing Him more important than pleasing yourself or others?  I believe that Romans 12:1-2 must become center and first in your life in order to dethrone self and enthrone Christ.  “I BESEECH you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2).

Thought for Today: “If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love” (Amy Carmichael, IF, p. 77).

Such Is Our Life

Tuesday, September 5, 2006   4:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

My mother uses to say, “Only one life to live will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”  How true!  Early one morning while it was still dark, Amy Carmichael laid in her bed listening to the noise of clog shoes clanging on the cobblestones outside her bedroom window. People were rushing to and fro to get to work.  That was in the 1800’s.  What happened to all those people who lived in Amy’s day that were so busy with their lives, their work, and their families?  They all died.  A hundred years has passed, and who remembers them?  They have become a faded memory.  Such is our life.  Things are not much different today.  People are still rushing to and fro in a hurry to get to their jobs, their families, and here and there.  But what does it all really matter?  Who will remember us a hundred years from now?  James 4:14 says, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”  Such is our life.  It will all come to not; it is all vanity except for what has been done for Christ.  Only that will matter in the light of eternity.

Thought for Today:  “Nothing matters but that which is eternal” (Amy Carmichael).

As Unto the Lord

Monday, August 14, 2006    6:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

Colossians 3:23 tells us, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”  This reminds me of the title of Oswald Chambers’ Devotional called, My Utmost for His Highest. We are to give God our utmost.  Few people obtain such excellence. We are too busy being caught up in our own affairs. “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19).  If we are in Christ we are to serve Him; but, He wants us to serve Him willingly with our whole heart, because we love Him, and not out of duty.  Ephesians 6:6 tells us we are to serve Him, “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;”  We are to “…obey in all things…in singleness of heart, fearing God.” (Colossians 3:22).  If we do this God will reward us.  “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Thought for Today:  “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37).

The Philistine’s Way

Monday, July 31, 2006    4:00 a.m.

Dear Diary,

David was bringing the Ark of God back to Jerusalem. “And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.” (II Samuel 6:6-7). God killed Uzzah when he touched the Ark of God because his service was unacceptable to God. God had told the children of Israel how to carry the Ark of God. It was to be carried on the shoulders of the priest. “And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.” (I Chronicles 15:15).  But instead of doing as God commanded, David put the Ark of God on a cart. That was the Philistine’s way of transporting the Ark. So Uzzah died because of David’s disobedience. David displeased God by worshipping Him in the Philistine’s way of service. When we worship and serve God, we are to come to Him by the way He tells us to come, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. I’m afraid there are all kinds of Philistine ways of worship and service in Church’s today. If we don’t worship and serve God in the way He says to worship and serve Him, He is displeased.

Thought for Today: I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1).

The Overcomer

Monday, July 31, 2006  2:45 a.m.

Dear Diary,

Jesus said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 21:6). The old was and the new shall be. Revelations 21:7 speaks of the overcomer. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:7). So, How do we overcome? Revelation 12:11 gives us the answer. “And they overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 21:11). There are three ways to overcome: The blood, the Word, and sacrifice.

  1. The Blood – “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (I Peter 1:18-19).
  2. The Word – “Then said Jesus…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32).
  3. Sacrifice – “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”(Matthew 16:25).

Thought for Today:  “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3:21). May we be overcomers through the blood, the Word, a sacrifice.