31 Days: The God Who is Abundant With His Children

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The God Who Is Abundant With His Children

I think every mom could tell you that one of the most difficult traits to “cure” your toddler of is selfishness.  They always want their toys, their food, their way, “mine mine mine”, etc.

One of the constant reminders I give to one of my sons (no need for name calling) is “share your toys” and when I see the act of generosity take root in his little heart – even for a second – I comment him for that.  When that generosity spills forth from his life – from our lives – we are shorting something of our heavenly Father to the world.  We bear his image of abundance.

When David calls on God to act according to his character – he doesn’t just ask for mercy – which of course would be plenty  – but David begs God that he would act according to his abundant mercy.  To his overflowing, spilling out all over the place, no room left for any more, bursting at the seams mercy.

And you know what – God answers David’s prayer.  He gives him this abundant mercy – extravagant mercy – generous mercy that he was asking for.  And that’s what He did for us.  God chose to radically and abundantly show us truly amazing mercy in the gift of Jesus.  The one who birthed the stars was born of a virgin – in a stinky stall.  All for sinners who would reject Him.

Oh, Father help me to be mindful of this outpouring the next time I’m tempted to be less than generous.

Psalm 51:!

For further reading: James 1:17, Matthew 7:9-11

“You can never love without giving.” – Amy Carmichael

31 Hymns: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

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When I Survey

This is bar far one of my husband’s favorite hymns. It tells a story of his conversion and his growing in Christ while in high school.  I love hearing him tell how Christ saved him.

And one of the stanzas coincides nicely with a Pauline theme that was found in Philippians 3 this morning in our small group study of it at church.  Always love how God gets your attention over and over again.  He is ever gracious and patient with us (as I also was reminded of again in my reading in 2 Peter via She Reads Truth.)

He is good to remind us of our need and gift of the Gospel.


W&BT #1: Name Above All Names (week 6)

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This was another impactful chapter from Begg and Ferguson’s book Name Above All Names.  I have learned that what I am experiencing in life helps determine how I will read a book – this one is no diferent.  Here are some highlights from the “Suffering Servant” chapter:

1.  Isaiah 53: “He carried our sorows” – Sin plays a harsh role in this world.  Our sorrows are born from the sin in this world.  But, we don’t need to carry them all by ourselves.  We have communities: friends, blog readers (y’all), pastors, family members (some), but most of all we have a willing Jesus who already has born all of our sorrows and will continue to do so until He returns – (then we won’t have any because we’ll be perfect) – as He intercedes for us next to the throne of the Father.  This is such a reassuring thought!

2.  “How is it possible for the purpose of God to be at the heart of all this?  How can Isaiah say – however reverently – that God is in control of it all, that it “was the will of the Lord to crush Him” (pg 140).  This is an important doctrinal lesson to know and believe. If you can’t believe this fact – that God the Father was in charge of the darkest moment of history – then why would you believe that God is in charge of the darkest moments of your life?

3.  “Our Lord’s outward posture here is expressive of the passion within” (pg 144).  Though this quote is not talking about musical worship – I think the same principle applies.  If we are passionate about God within – won’t we come to worship and participate in worship in an outward manner?  That may mean different things like singing with a smile on our faces – singing loudly and expressively.  It may mean getting on our knees or lifting our hands as far they can go and not caring about who sees (and also not being distracted by those who choose to worship in this manner).  It may mean lifting our hands in prayer giving up our private worship to the God who sees.  It will look different for different people – but we are all worshipers.

4.  “All three persons would always be involved in everything God was doing.  The Father would plan salvation, the Son would come to procure it, and the Spirit would be sent to apply it” (pg 144).  Another important doctrine is the one of the Trinity.  We can’t forget one of the persons of the Trinity in the work of salvation.  I’ve learned a lot of this from Dr. Bruce Ware, a professor at SBTS, a gentle, humble, and brilliant father, husband, professor, and author.  Our prayer life will change when we learn and love this doctrine.  Our prayers of thanksgiving will change when we know and live this doctrine.  Our corporate will worship will change when we see the magnificence of all the persons of the Trinity.

5.  “My soul is overwhelmed” (pg 146).  Jesus was a vulnerable Savior.  He didn’t hide His true feelings.  He was real with the disciples at the hardest moment of His life (up to this point).  He wasn’t pithy or unreal with His disciples.  He said He was overwhelmed.  He ultimately knows that it is the will of His Father to crush Him – but He doesn’t hide His emotions (real, true, honest, not sinful) from those around Him.  This is part of what makes Him the perfect Suffering Servant.

6.  “It is this theology of the cross that we find here.  God grant that in seeing Christ as the Suffering Servant we will be done once and for all with the superficial triumphalism that sadly emanates from too many Christian organizations and churches” (pg 155).  How are you real and vulnerable with those in your church?  How do you show compassion and true life with those in your church?  Does everyone think you have it all together?  I hope not.  Because we are all sinners and have damaged lives but who are greatly redeemed by a compassioned Savior.  Let us not diminish the work of Christ on the cross by having others think we have it all together.

Join me next week as we finish up the book!  It’s been a great one for me!

Book Review: Scandalous by D. A. Carson

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This weekend I had my second opportunity to hear Dr. Carson preach in person.  What a privilege.  Especially after coming off of finishing this book on the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus.

Ok, now granted it was my Easter reading and I am just now finishing it, but I finished it nonetheless.  And it was good – just longer chapters (so I can’t just breeze through one) and theological material (so I don’t breeze through that either.  But rich.

This book it pretty much sermons that Carson has preached on the cross – it will bring new insights to the power of the cross for you with which you can use to live the empowered Christian life.  Enjoy it.  Don’t fly through it – savor it.

“It is in Jesus’ death, in His destruction, and in His resurrection three days later , that Jesus meets our needs and reconciles us to God, becoming the temple, the supreme meeting place between God and sinners.  To use Paul’s language, we do not simply preach Christ; rather we preach Christ crucified.” pg 23

“…Paul is convinced that the root problem is our rebellion against God, our fascination with idolatry, our grotesque de-godding of God.” pg 43-44

“Paul insists that if you rightly read the OT, you will discover that these very writings, rightly understood, point forward to , testify to, anticipate, and prophesy what has culminated in Christ.” pg 52

“The rapid pace of life often squeezes what is important out to the periphery: the urgent displaces the important, the digital replaces the personal.” pg 77


Book 2 of 52: Death by Love (Mark Driscoll)

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This is a strong statement: Death by Love will always be in my top 3 books about the cross of Christ.  There: I said it.  If a non-believer asked me for a book to read: I would offer this.  Powerful, applicable, doctrinally sound, passionate & empathetic.  Gospel.

Mark, in only a way he can, writes profound letters to people he has had conversations with over the years in ministry, telling them how the Cross of Christ covered and remedied their need for a Savior.  Ransom, revelation, redemption, righteousness, reconciliation – and more.  He doesn’t gloss over their sin, he doesn’t make the cross warm and fuzzy.  He inserts the cross of Christ where God did: into the mess of our lives.

He not only writes letters, but then he also gives doctrinally-sound answers to many of the questions raised about the cross.  And he gives books at the end that will help further your understanding about these truths on the cross.

“You can only overcome sin by an ongoing trust in Jesus and reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit.” – 59

“The heart of repentance is changing your mind about who is god in your life.  You must stop trying to manage your sin but put it to death before it puts you to death” – 65, 66

This statement brings to mind my favorite part of Genesis.  Chapter 15.

“Furthermore, every covenant has a head, and that person is primarily responsible to ensure that the terms of the covenant are kept.” – 82

Please. Read. This. Book.