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Our Daily Journey

daily journey When we worship Him in Spirit and truth, our adoration rises in a cloud of offering, a fragrance that is sweet in the Lord's nostrils. Our songs rise in a vaporous ribbon, a sacrifice of praise that He inhales as a sustaining nectar. Indeed, our very lives--everything between our morning alarm and our evening slumber--can be a pleasing aroma to Him. The fragrance of our lives tells God how much, how deeply, how authentically we love Him. Just as the hearty aromas that embraced my senses every Sunday noon bore witness to the love Mom had for her family, the aromas wafting heavenward from our lives bear witness to our level of devotion to an attentive, gracious God.

Reflections by the Pond

#678: Nurturing the Priceless Gift

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October 20, 2014

For many people the grace of Jesus begins and ends at the cross. To them, "grace" is synonymous only with "undeserved salvation." But Jesus not only demonstrated God's grace in His sacrificial act at Calvary, He behaves graciously in His relationships with those who are friends with Him through that act. For those who live next door to Jesus, every day is filled to overflowing with His grace. Jesus never is too busy, never too distracted to be a part of our sorrows or joys. His friendship is constant, never wavering. His humanness means that His part of the relationship is compassionate and tactile; His deity means that He can be this perfectly, to everyone, beyond the limitations of place or time...

#677: Time with an Old Friend

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October 13, 2014

Come along with me on a trip to our past. It will be a journey of rediscovery, one in which old familiar sites are revisited and witnessed as if through new eyes.

Let us rediscover the essence of Christ. Let us return to our hometown, and find the street on which His family has always lived. The house will not be hard to find; the porch light will be on, since He has been expecting us. We will knock on their old screen door, and when He comes to the door and greets us with inviting affection (which He most certainly will), let us sit together and listen to Jesus tell us of His life, His ways, and His timeless ideas...

#676: Unyielding Security

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October 6, 2014

Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Nehemiah 8:10

The strength and protection of earthly things are great only in respect to other things of earthly construct. But all stand in the shadow of things from above. Though his spirit may soar with the Spirit from heaven, the believer still treads the mire of this earth, so he may still be fooled into thinking that his strength may be enhanced by the strong things of his temporal home.

The only way to have true, unyielding security in this world is to be wrapped securely in the love of Christ. The only way to experience the inexpressible joy of that love is to obey the word of Christ...

#675: Standing Before the Word

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September 29, 2014

Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.
Nehemiah 8:5

The people standing before Ezra had a hunger for God's word. Would that today we had that same hunger to hear His voice.

Should we be so casual with a God so holy? Proper reverence does not forget His nearness to us—especially through His Son, our brother, Jesus Christ. The very purpose for which God sacrificed His Son was so that we would be able to draw near to Him, intimately. But He is still God, a most holy God, and, to paraphrase A. W. Tozer, when we fail to worship Him earnestly, we are most certainly worshipping ourselves...

#674: Uncommon Decency

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September 22, 2014

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Matthew 5:16

In a common world, the follower of Christ is to be uncommon. The Christian's path is challenging, for we are to thread our way through a minefield of temptations, distractions, and proffered compromises. We are not to permanently detach ourselves from this world, since it is, in Jesus' terms, a "field... white for harvest." We are always to be serving, reaching, "harvesting" those that do not yet know our Savior.

In a fallen world in which common decency has become uncommon, we are called to be different. We are called to reflect the image of Christ to those who may never have met Him...

#673: Job's Redeemer

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September 15, 2014

"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth."
Job 19:25

It is always fascinating to read of a pre-incarnate appearance of the Son of God in the Old Testament. There were, for example, the several times He showed up during the life of Abraham: by the oaks of Mamre to announce that Sarah would bear a child, to Hagar after she had been banished with her son Ishmael, to stop the knife with which Abraham was about to kill his son Isaac.

Perhaps equally fascinating are those times an Old Testament figure recognizes a need for some one or some thing that can only be fulfilled in the person of the incarnate Son of God: Jesus the Christ. The lamenting Job is such a figure...

#672: Precious Metal

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September 8, 2014

"But He knows the way I take;
When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
Job 23:10

The Prosperity Gospel assumes that when we enjoy good health, plenty of money, and are happy, these blessings prove that God is pleased with us. Conversely, when we don't enjoy these blessings, it marks God's displeasure, and/or that Satan has been given too much free rein in our lives. Trials, sickness and disease, poverty, chronic unhappiness—all are signs that something is amiss in our relationship with God.

There is an ancient Greek term for that philosophy: twaddle...

#671: Wrapped in Flesh

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September 1, 2014

I had many things to write to you, but I am not willing to write them to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face.
3 John 1:13-14

God, the Maker of all things—including electronic devices—wrapped us in flesh for a reason. He could have wrapped us in plastic and glass, but those materials are not warm and pliable to the touch. While they can be touched, they do not touch back; they do not hold, they do not cradle, they do not embrace.

God designed human beings not for efficiency, but for communion—both with Himself and others. We are not machines; we are people. And when we abandon our humanity in favor of the cold, long-distance digital realm, we have abandoned part of what God has intended for our good...

#670: Stuff Falling from the Sky

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August 25, 2014

"...that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil."
Deuteronomy 11:14

The meteorologist knows that there is a specific, natural explanation for every drop of rain and every flake of snow that falls from the sky. The naturalist can expound at length about the climatic and seasonal influences upon deciduous trees that cause them to drop their leaves every year. But the poet knows that above science is heaven—and the hand of God. The believer knows that even before He created man, God created (and thus controls) science. Science may have its rules, but God created the rules; clouds may form according to natural laws, but God created those laws...

#669: No Compromise

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August 18, 2014

But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, "What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?"
Nehemiah 2:19

Modern Israel—at least with Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister—does not care what the world thinks of them; they are going to do whatever is necessary to defend themselves. Instead of sacrificing their children to the god of public opinion, they do whatever is necessary to protect them. The nation of Israel does not care what others think. It will not compromise, just to get along, with those who hate them.

We, as Christians, need to learn that lesson; we need to stop trying to get along with the world and just stand for what we know to be right. We need to stop trying to get the world to love us. It will never love us. Get over it.

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by Dr. Radut