Archive for the 'Word of the Day' Category

20
Jan
11

God’s Plan for You

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14

I think about this passage a lot.  I often think God can’t possibly have dreams and ideas for my life better than mine.  He can’t possibly know my deepest desires better than my shallow and fleeting wants and he surly does not know what path I would need to travel to fulfill these profound longings.  So I often take it on myself to force reality to conform to my hopes and dreams.  It is only during times of confusion and utter defeat that I relinquish my death grip on these desires and am reminded by this passage that he has had better plans for me since 500 B.C. when this book was penned and even before.

However his plans for our life always come in the context of captivity and bondage, from the brokenness and despair of living in our own Babloyn.  He says that in our often self imposed captivity we will find him, and presumably discover more of his plan for our life only when we do two things:

1. PRAY – come to him in the quiet, and begin to talk.

&

2.  SEEK – Not just pretend, but seek him with all our heart.

Here is to praying and seeking God with all our heart that we may see the plans he has for our lives.

 

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19
Nov
10

time and focus (part II)

There is another dynamic at work in the process of growth. In relationships, “quality time only comes out of a quantity of time.” Not the easiest truth for soon to be lawyers, but a genuine fact of people is that you cannot sit down for five minutes and expect those isolated minutes to yield a quality relationship. Spending an evening with a friend may result in five quality minutes. Relationships are built through a quantity of time, provided you capture and explore the quality moments that get sprinkled in.

So where does this leave us? Growth takes effort and relationships take time. Time and Focus are our two most precious assets in law school; mainly because they feel so scarce and so over taxed. Time and Focus are easy when hanging out with friends you enjoy and while engaged in activities you love, but are hard to muster on a daily basis.

Consider your time and focus as they relate to your spiritual life. Are you contributing the inputs required and are you getting the results.  If so- wonderful!! If not- ask God for further desire. As was stated in part I,  “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

Alternative example: At the gym, getting past a lifting plateau is tough.  You have to push the weight to what feels like an exponentially greater degree to break into a new level.  Lifting the same weight you did last week will not get you through the plateau, there must be greater focus to change the status quo.

18
Nov
10

Time and Focus (part 1)

time and focus (part I)

Internationally acclaimed violinist Midori still practices 5-6 hours each day and is quoted saying, “It is not really the hours, but the quality of the work that needs to be done. I see with students, that they play and they call it practice, but they are not listening and not watching. If you have your textbook open, it doesn’t mean you are studying.” Many of us law students understand this truth. Sitting at your computer with open books does not increase your understanding- purposeful examination of the concepts and cases are what drive valuable studying. Our struggle is often to find the will to push, the will to want to learn one more subject, the will to look-up what we do not understand rather than gloss over the details.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

I sometimes pray that God will give me the desire to want to grow deeper with him. The desire to desire. Growth takes effort and passive existence will not do. Thankfully for me, God is our resource for the will as well as the effort.  “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

to be continued . . .

17
Nov
10

Thankfulness

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love. 
. . . he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.”
Psalm 103:8, 10
In this season of Thanksgiving, it is good to remember what we have to be thankful for.  When it is difficult to find things to be thankful for, it is especially helpful to take the Lord’s perspective.  Instead of telling ourselves: “I don’t deserve this difficulty.”  “Why is life so hard on me?”  “I have a right to be treated better than this.”  or even “I’ve earned this through my own accord.”  Take a second look.  We are only here because of God.  We would not have breath in our lungs if it were not for the Lord.  Far beyond that and out of God’s incredible love for us, God sent his only Son to die for OUR sins.  We deserve far worse than we recieve.  God has been nothing but good and faithful to us, even when we are not good or faithful to Him.  Take the Lord’s perspective this Thanksgiving.  Then, remember to thank Him.
16
Nov
10

“God I Promise . . .”

John 13: 36-38

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.

I’m not sure if you guys fall into this, but I find myself often attempting to make promises or bargains with God, when even I doubt I will
follow through on them. I know this is silly intellectually but don’t get to see it this blatantly illustrated. I think in this case Peter really did believe he would lay down his life for Christ but a mix of fear in the moment and reliance upon self got the better of him that very night. This should be a call to humility but also exciting in that God still used Peter in such incredible ways to start the church. God’s love and use for us is not dependent upon our batting percentage when he he sends us opportunities and through our failures he teaches us new things, and even pure motives in self-reliance can lead to embarrassing sinful situations. With finals approaching and holding value based measurements I think it’s important to remember we’re not here to make promises to God or earn things for God, but rather live life in dependance on him seeking to make the most of the opportunities we’re given.

– Mitchell

 

15
Nov
10

Obedience

1 Samuel 15:22.  “Does the lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrafices as much as obeying his commands? Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice.”  In other words, obeying the Lord is more important than worshiping Him.  Which makes sense because if we obey the Lord, we will be worshiping him according to His commandments. The whole point of worship is to express gratitude to God because He saved us from our transgression of His law. So why would He delight in worship that is in violation of His law?  Jesus said, “if you love me keep my commandments.” Love is the motive, and obedience is the action. Love bears fruit of obedience.  Does a mother delight in her boy who crosses a busy street to pick her flowers? In the same way, how much more does our Father, who knows the eternal consequences of our disobedience, delight in our worship that is not accordance to His commandments?
12
Nov
10

Being an Effective Modern Messenger

A Christian media consultant named Phil Cooke came and spoke at the undergrad’s Chapel this week and gave an excellent message about the importance of presenting the good news of Christ that we have received to others in a way that they can understand.   In essence, packaging the Truth in a well-conceived PR campaign and presentation.

But this got me thinking: what are we communicating as Christians?  What depths are we drawing from?  Are we sharing a life giving message to everyone around us-through our words, actions, and lives…or are we trying to give our friends, family, and neighbors water from a dry well-seeking only to appeal to them?

Psalm 1 is one of my favorite scriptures because it describes the type of men we should aspire to be-the kind of men God delights in, and the kind of men that have something meaningful to offer to the people around them:

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever he does prospers.” –Psalm 1:1-3

When we spend time with God in prayer and in His word, his Truth, his character, his heart, and his wisdom is poured into us so that our lives can yield fruit and bring what we’ve received from God to those who are around us.

Once we have our source right, then we can examine the delivery.  For that, we can look at what Jesus said when He sent out the 12: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.  Be on your guard….  But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it.  At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:16-20).  It was God who gave Moses the words to say before Pharaoh and his nation, it was God who gave the judges and the prophets the words to say, and it is God who will give us the words to say that are poignant and relevant to those around us…we need only ask Him and spend time with Him.

Like every worthwhile pursuit in life, the fear of the LORD is the first step we need to take-we cannot pour into others’ lives without first receiving from God.

-Jonathan

Sola scriptura, Sola fide, Sola gratia, Solo Christo, Soli Deo gloria




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Wednesday Jan 26th 2011
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