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.

For Your Good

“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good…”

~ Genesis 50:20

The story of Joseph’s rise to prominence in Egypt is filled with unlikely twists and turns. It begins when Joseph receives the covenant blessing of Jacob indicating his rise as the leader of God’s people, Israel. But because of the jealously and hatred of his brothers again him, Joseph’s life would take an unexpected turn towards violence, suffering, slavery and attempted murder.

Though his brother’s sought Joseph’s demise, he remained faithful to the Lord, and as a result, God favored and blessed him, even in a foreign land. Joseph rose to great power in Egypt. So that after the death of their father, and during a terrible famine, Joseph’s brothers went up to Egypt to plead for Joseph’s help. And oddly enough, Joseph was in the perfect place to assist.

What Joseph’s brother meant for evil against their brother, God meant for good. Their jealousy drove them to want to kill Joseph, to drive him away, and to prevent him from taking his rightful place as their leader. Yet God preserved Joseph and used him mightily despite them. Joseph remained faithful to God through it all and the Lord blessed him for it.

Sometimes everything can seem to be working against you. It can feel like God has let you go and the world is winning. Still remember, even in our darkest hour, God can bring good out of it. He can bring good out of pain, sorrow, and affliction. Maybe today you are in the pit of life, and like Joseph, with little reason to hope. Yet, be faithful; trust in the Lord. For what others mean for evil against you, your good and faithful God can mean ultimately for your good.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, when I feel the evils of this world pressing in on me and I can’t seem to grasp the meaning of it all, help me to know with a blessed assurance I’m still in Your hand and my goodness is You goal. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Faithfulness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

The idea of the word faithfulness, as used here, seems to be that of fidelity. It denotes the believer who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit will be earnest and dependable in their words and promises. Our yea will be our yea, and our nea will be our nea. A Christian can be trusted and confided in. A closer relationship with God in Christ stirs up greater and greater faith. The Christian will grow in faith and show that faithfulness as a husband, wife, neighbor, and friend. Faithfulness in the life of Christ’s people shows our love and devotion to Him and our desire to be faithful as He is faithful to us.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, help me to be a faithful Christian; one others can confide in and depend on so that Jesus is glorified in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Goodness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

~ Galatians 5:22-23

The spiritual fruit of goodness could be said to be a continuation of the fruit of kindness. While kindness is a disposition of heart and character, goodness is the tangible results of kindness. Goodness is kindness in action. It is where the believer acts on behalf of the benefit and well-being of others. Jesus would tell His followers, “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you” (Mt. 5:44). Show goodness in all circumstances, even difficult ones. The Apostle Paul would put it this way, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21)

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, help me to see and seek out opportunities to do good to others. May the fruit of goodness be evident in my life each and every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.