I Am Unworthy

“I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant.”

~ Genesis 32:10

This was the sum of Jacob’s prayer when he considered all that the Lord God had done for him. Jacob had been the recipient of his father’s blessing and all the riches and favor of God fell upon him. His prayerful response to this outpouring of God’s benevolence upon his life left him with a keen sense of his own unworthiness of God’s kindness and faithfulness to him. It is when we comprehend with our whole being the true nature of our own unworthiness before God of His kindness and faithfulness to His servants that we come to really understand and truly experience His grace in our humbled life.

~ apl

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I Will Be With You

“Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

~ Genesis 31:3

At this point in Jacob’s life he realized he wasn’t where the Lord wanted him to be. He was living with Laban and Laban’s family instead of with his father, Isaac, and other relatives. So, the Lord tells Jacob to go back to the land of his fathers. And then the Lord promises Jacob, “and I will be with you”.

Being in God’s will for our life fosters His presence with us. When we are where God wants us to be, we will find our closest experiences with Him. For Jacob, God wanted him back with his own family. For us, the place God usually wants us to be is spiritually close to Him. James 4:8 tells us, “Draw near to God and He’ll draw near to you”.

May we obey His voice that we too might know His promise, “I will be with you”.

~ apl

The Bible, The Believer’s Ship

The Bible could be likened to the Believer’s ship:

It’s cover is like the hull which contains the whole.

It’s binder then is like the mast which holds it upright and together.

It’s pages are like the sails which catch the Spirit’s blowing.

It’s words are like our rudder which guide us to peaceful seas.

It’s Author, our Compass who shows us the way.

It’s Christ, our Captain who steers us to glory.

~ apl

Highly Exalted

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

~ Philippians 2:9-11

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, thank You for exalting Your Beloved Son. He is worthy of all glory, honor and praise. May more people come to confess Jesus Christ as their Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Our Ailing Souls

“And as many as touched Him were made well.”

~ Mark 6:56b

Jesus’ earthly ministry was filled with times of wonderful and miraculous healings. People from far and wide would flock to Jesus simply to “touch the hem of His garment” that they might know the healing power of Christ. And as many as touched Him were made well. Yet, when we take the deeper and more spiritual application of this passage, and we speak in terms of Christ’s power to heal us of sin, that great spiritual malady, where are the multitudes seeking His divine salve for our ailing souls? May we always remember Jesus does not only heal the body, but the soul. The full manifestation of His power is it’s efficacy over sin and death. Therefore, let us flock to Christ to remedy our spirit, to touch Him, and be made well.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Oh Great Divine Physician, come and touch the hearts of Thy people that we might know Your wonderful power and love in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Chinks & Crevices

“[Biblical] meditation is a help to knowledge; thereby your knowledge is raised. Thereby your memory is strengthened. Thereby your hearts are warmed. Thereby you will be freed from sinful thoughts. Thereby your hearts will be tuned to every duty. Thereby you will grow in grace. Thereby you will fill up all the chinks and crevices of your lives, and know how to spend your spare time, and improve that for God. Thereby you will draw good out of evil. And thereby you will converse with God, have communion with God, and enjoy God. And I pray, is not here profit enough to sweeten the voyage of your thoughts in meditation?”

~ William Bridge

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, cause me to swim in the depth of Thy word that my thoughts, words and deeds would be controlled by the principles and precepts found therein. In Jesus name, amen.

Endless Possibilities

“[F]or with God all things are possible.”

~ Mark 10:27b

This verse is the summum bonum of the Christian’s hope. Hidden deep in the truth of these seven little words is the greatest treasures of the Lord. Here lies the key that unlocks the power, glory and love of the living God – with Him all things are possible! There is no trial too great nor petition too small that God cannot affect. Nothing stays His hand. No need goes unnoticed. With God every concern can be comforted, every affliction assuaged, and every trepidation tamed. The real question is: Do we believe it? Does our faith carry us to the sure arms of a strong God with whom all things are possible? Do you rest in the assurance of this truth as one who belongs to Him? May we experience the hope, grace and love of the God of all things.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Jesus, may I take my every care and concern to You for in You lies all the grace, power and majesty of God to guide and strengthen m all my days. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Walking In His Ways

“Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; The righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.”

~ Hosea 14:9

The Christian is called to be wise in the ways of the Lord. We are to exercise understanding – that is – we are to possess a working knowledge of God’s ways as presented in the Scriptures. Likewise, Believers ought to exhibit prudence in life and character. What is prudence? It’s living in the present with an eye toward showing consideration and thought for the future. The sinful lack this care and concern. Sadly, many wander aimlessly with little to no true purpose or plan. The transgressor stumbles in the ways of the Lord. To them, God’s ways are a hinderance not a help. But the righteous, those to desire to be in and follow God’s will, shall walk in the wisdom and prudence of the Lord.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, show me the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Help me to live in Your wisdom, looking ahead in my life with full assurance of Your presence and control. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Only Sin To Give

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

When I was a young boy, I loved trading baseball cards. My friends and I couldn’t wait to ride our bicycles down to the local convenient store, head over to the candy and snack isle, find just the right pack of cards, buy them, only to rip them open, toss the rectangle piece of gum in our mouth, and start swapping those magical cardboard treasures. I can recall the happiness and satisfaction many of my childhood days brought trading simple baseball cards.

This passage in 2 Corinthians 5 speaks to another kind of trade, a swapping of sorts; to what theologians call double imputation. In the drama of redemption, Jesus doesn’t merely take upon Himself our sin, He gives us His righteousness. In other words, our sins are imputed (meaning they are accounted towards) to Christ, while His goodness, His righteous is imputed, or accounted, to us. We trade our sin for His goodness. This is the gracious trade-off in salvation.

Now when I traded those baseball cards as a youngster, I was always trying to get a good deal. I wanted to trade up. Each one of us, as we sat in those circles of intense negotiations, desired to trade our cards for better ones. But when Jesus Christ traded His righteousness for our sin, He certainly got a raw deal. While we get His goodness, He inherited, through imputation, our sin. Because of His great love, Jesus willingly traded with those who only have our sin to give.

And this alone should give all those who are trusting in Christ for our salvation pause. Here is the foundation of our reconciliation to God! Here is the sum and substance of Christ’s redeeming work on our behalf! He took our sin and traded that for His own righteousness. This should stir our hearts as nothing else. It should move the sinner to love, worship, and praise Him who traded everything glorious with those who had only sin to give Him in return.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Dear Jesus, thank you for trading Your righteousness for my sin. Nothing but divine love and heavenly grace would allow You do such a wonderful thing for me. May I live faithfully in Your righteousness all my days. In Jesus name, amen.