Sunday, April 16, 2023

All Else is Loss


Philippians 3.8 NLT

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ...

There you have it. Knowing and learning to know Jesus is infinite in value. NOTHING else has any worth by comparison. 

It was this discovery that emboldened me so many years ago to discard ALL previous knowledge, ALL previous dreams and goals and schemes and ideals. Everything I held dear or true or of great value needed to be examined in the light of His truth. 

I laid them down, one after another, day after day, year after year -- laid down at the foot of the cross. 

Daily. The great exchange: my ways and my thoughts for His ways and His thoughts. 

Daily. Daily submitting to the Holy Spirit's prompting as He faithfully showed me what I was hanging onto. Gently He would help me loosen my grasp and guide me to let go, to give them up, and to lay them down.  

Done. Traded in. Counted as LOSS. Laid down at His feet, submitted to His Lordship, released completely as I awaited direction from Him. 

If He instructed me to pick them up again, I would pick them up. If not, I would leave them there forever. I wanted Him -- His holy ways, His peace, His joy, and His strength to be mine instead of false ways, false peace, false joy, false strength. 

I clearly recall that it felt like a step into the unknown. Every time. 

But looking back with the eyesight I now have I can see that it was far from unknown. The path of relinquishment and obedience has been fully disclosed by God in His word. He has told us again and again what that way would look like. He revealed that we would prosper, having righteousness, peace, and joy in abundance. His blessing was guaranteed. Best of all, He Himself would be with me, continuously present, even in the valley of death. 

My future was not unknown. On the contrary, it was full of promise from a God who is ever faithful -- a God who is Love itself. 

I will be 68 in July and my testimony is this: my cup overflows. 

Peace and joy are ever increasing. I could say that the only regrets I have are the steps of disobedience but, amazingly, His merciful hand is seen even in this as through repentance He continues to deliver me from my sin! He works all things together for good. What an amazing God and Savior!!! 

The best news of all is that He will always, always, always be faithful. 

This great news is the best news for each and every one of us! A dear man, who for over fifty years lived with fear, addiction, abuse, and sin, just gave his life to Jesus for His guidance and purposes. And somehow, through His great miraculous power, that man's life is now full of His peace and joy. Jesus will redeem all of those years and work them together for good. It is never too late for His miracle working power. 

Your future for all eternity can be known. Today. That, my friend, is great and wonderful news. And truly, nothing else compares.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Deuteronomy 6:4

 Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

Do you hear? Open your ears!

Only Jesus! Only Jesus!

Rend your hearts! Repent of all other worship. Answer to Him only.

Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

Seek Him now while He may be found!

Cry out, "O Lord, search me and know me and see if there be any wicked way in me!"

Make room AGAIN for His Lordship. Fall at His feet. Love His name only.

Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

Prostrated, weep before Him in profound awe and deepest devotion.

Then rejoice in His great Love and cry for joy!

With lifted hands, praise Him for His salvation! Jesus is Lord -- Jesus ONLY!

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Greater Joy

You have given me greater joy

than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.

Psalm 4.7  NLT

A new year is underway. Folks are regrouping, redetermining, and refocusing. Lists are made, goals are set, dreams are finding their way from intangible to hopefully tangible steps of accomplishment.

I am a list maker. A dreamer. A goal setter. All of this is more than fine and good in my world. It is pretty much a necessary aspect of careful living and successful attainment. (I say pretty much because with God all things are SO POSSIBLE!!!)

Every January finds us reviewing the previous year's successes and failures. We adjust, clean out, add to, always attempting to improve the success/failure ratio.

Here's one thing I KNOW, I LIVE, I EXPERIENCE every single year:

    Jesus -- JESUS -- gives greater joy than even 100% success! 

Knowing Him, walking with Him in His ways, having His presence in my life BY FAR supersedes -- BY FAR -- any list I've ever made, even with items checked off! Even with abundant harvests!

Time plunders. Years ravage the moments. That harvest spoils; that pleasure fades. Another list is always needed, another success, another accolade, another pat on the back. But the GREATER JOY found in Him is always available. 

Give your heart to Jesus without reserve, without condition. Trust Him for forgiveness, cleansing, and salvation. GREATER JOY than what this life offers will be yours!!!

Friday, December 30, 2022


A gift is given. Accolades are shared. 

        Warm and genuine. 

                Even profound and precious.

The moment descends upon you, bringing a warm smile. 

        And, too, a responsive tear. 

                You will cherish these words, this gift, for years to come.

In an instant your world is joy-filled,

        your world is happy.

Weeks later a tangible reminder is stumbled upon, 

        handled and touched, 

                and you smile all over again.

You realize that as quickly as the moment descended it also disappeared, 

        as all moments are wont to do, 

                relegated to a memory file somewhere 

                        to be jostled to recollection from time to time. 

Gone. Over. Completed.

Stirred by a piece of wrapping paper, 

        a reference made, 

                even the gift itself, 

                        pleasant recollections bring again a smile. 

And, often enough, a wistful tear, 

        knowing the moment has passed, 

                as all moments are wont to do.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Thankful Hearts

 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God.

Psalm 50.14  NLT

The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul.

Psalm 19.7

Psalm 50 calls the Christian to bring to God thanksgiving. 

Here is an instruction that academic communities have studied, measured, and categorized. The results of cultivating appreciation have proven to be enormously positive. As a result medical researchers have developed exercises to foster true appreciation. The clear, consistent benefits discovered as a result of practicing of thanksgiving are bountiful.

Amazing. God's Word is true! 

While I am always thrilled that studies underscore the benefits of God's Word, how much more thankful I am for the WORD itself! For untold generations Christians have trusted His Word and practiced thankfulness without the studies from Harvard or Berkeley. We are a blessed people! We walk in truth because of His great goodness and are not left waiting for scientific studies to catch up!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful thing. Bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving to Him - every day, all day

His heart in this instruction is to see His people prospering and blessed. It isn't for Him, it is for us. We are His absolute delight. 

He is not in need of our thanksgiving. He is not lacking without it. His ego does not require it. He is thoroughly deserving of it and our hearts turned toward Him is a delight to Him. But the practice of maintaining a thankful heart is of great benefit to us, His beloved. 

Our good is always at the heart of His instruction. Such instruction is not merely to benefit Him, but us. He loves us continually, always, in every way, in every instruction. 

We serve a God whose care and concern for us is boundless. If you're wondering where to start, how to bring a sacrifice of thankfulness, just begin right there. Today.