8/28/18 | A Broken Spirit

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Psalm 51:16 – 17 NLT

Sometimes, I think we believe that the easiest way to gain favor with God, or to relieve our guilty conscience, is to offer some sort of sacrifice or offering, either of our time, energy, or finances. By spending time at church, or donating goods to the poor, we hope to gain God’s pleasure over us and expel any hard feelings regarding our failures.

But although we are asked to do those things as we become more like Christ, that is not in itself what God desires. What good would such gifts or offerings do him? He is God of all. He does not need stuff from us.

Look at it this way,

I believe we can still break God’s heart to this day. When we put our work, our family, our friends, our worry, our comfort, our entertainment, even our ministry, before God. When we put our one on one relationship with God on the back burner, I believe it hurts God’s heart. (Crystal Dill, The Mark of Moses)

The only thing God doesn’t have is our heart. What he wants more than anything is for us to give it to him. What he desires from us is a broken spirit. This means that we realize how we’ve grieved God with our sin, and in turn it grieves us deeply because what we truly desire is a relationship with him. And so we come to him broken and filled with regret. But what is so beautiful is that he will not reject a broken spirit.

He draws near to those who mourn over their sin. Those who know that they need God. Those who know that it’s not by works alone but by faith in Christ that they can be made right.

Those who are broken in spirit, he will not reject. Put the pretenses aside. If you are mournful over your sin and you simply want to be close to God again, then go to him directly to be reconciled. For that is what he desires.

8/14/18 | Mustard Seed Faith

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.
Matthew 17:20 NLT

This idea of having faith as small as a mustard seed has always been a bit difficult for me – it’s actually caused a little bit of stress because I know I don’t have enough faith to move a mountain. If it takes faith as small as a mustard seed to do that, then I’m in real trouble. I must have faith as small as…a molecule or something.

But Jay E. Adams has an interesting insight into this passage that got me excited. He wrote:

Don’t you see what He meant? He was saying ‘You don’t need anything more. Even the faith that you have is enough to work wonders if you will only exercise it in obedience.’

I see now that it’s not on our shoulders to move the mountains. It’s on God’s. He only asks that we trust him and put what faith we have into obedience.

What if you put your small offering of faith, even if it’s as small as a mustard seed, into obedience to Christ? What if you trusted God enough to use what little faith you have? What if you planted it in the soil of God’s care – how might you see it grow? What if, a year from now, it was no longer that tiny seed, but a growing and thriving plant that was established in God? God can move mountains, if only you have faith to watch how he’ll move.

What could God do with your faith today? What could he do in your job, your family, your finances, your marriage? Maybe today’s the day you plant that little mustard seed.

8/7/18 | Daily Bread

“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Matthew 6:11 NLT

It was our first few months in Colorado, and although it was difficult for me, it was a world of pain for my husband, Luke. He had a boss that tore him to pieces daily.

It was so hard to watch. So hard to control my anger.

On top of it, we had two vehicles with phantom issues. We had no one to help us and no money for a mechanic, so it was on Luke’s shoulders to fix them.

I had my own stresses to contend with as well. We went through so much change in such a short amount of time.

This was the first time in my life I started getting up with the sun to desperately seek God. We had a spare bedroom in our apartment, and it became a safe place for me. One of the first verses that jumped out to me during that time was give us this day our daily bread. I badly needed Jesus to know what was going on and that I was relying on him. It was he alone that could give me enough to get me through each day.

What that new routine did was something really cool – it opened my eyes to see how he was working. As he worked and provided all that I needed each day, I increasingly gained confidence in him and his ability to provide. I began to trust him.

Just think about this: This is one of the lines that Jesus himself instructs us to pray – give us this day our daily bread. Think on that this week, and take it into consideration in all that comes up.