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March 2021

Sufficiency

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All our efficiency without His sufficiency is only a deficiency. — Vance Havner

Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
“Bring them here,” he said. Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. (Matthew 14:16-20, NLT)

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God. (2 Corinthians 3:4-5, ESV)

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38, NIV)

[Jesus] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)


Decisions

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Along with daily decisions, there are defining decisions. We only make a few defining decisions in life, and then we spend the rest of our lives managing them. Maybe you’ve made some bad decisions that have gotten you to where you don’t want to be. The good news is that you’re only one defining decision away from a totally different life. — Mark Batterson

And I command you today: Love God, your God. Walk in his ways. Keep his commandments, regulations, and rules so that you will live, really live, live exuberantly, blessed by God, your God, in the land you are about to enter and possess. But I warn you: If you have a change of heart, refuse to listen obediently, and willfully go off to serve and worship other gods, you will most certainly die. (Deuteronomy 30:16-17, MSG)

Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.                                 — C.S. Lewis

Choose today whom you will serve. (Joshua 24:15, NLT)


Early

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O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land. (Psalm 63:1, KJV)

Jim [Elliot] set his alarm every night to waken him in time for prayer and study of the Bible. “None of it gets to be ‘old stuff,’” he wrote, “for it is Christ in print, the Living Word. We wouldn’t think of rising in the morning without a face-wash, but we often neglect that purgative cleansing of the Word of the Lord. It wakes us up to our responsibility.” — Elisabeth Elliot

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. (Proverbs 8:17, KJV)

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35, NIV)


Letter

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I am my neighbor’s Bible;
He reads me when we meet;
Today he reads me in my home;
Tomorrow in the street.
He may be relative or friend,
Or slight acquaintance be;
He may not even know my name;
Yet he is reading me. —Unknown

Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3, MSG)

The living Christian is the world’s Bible. — Theodor Christlieb

We are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:20, NLT)

Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. (Matthew 10:40, NLT)


All

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Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power. (John 13:3, NIV)

All that belongs to the Father is mine. (John 16:15, NIV)

He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:2-3, NIV)

For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:6, NIV)

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:18, NIV)

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32, NIV)


Fluorescent Green—Angelic

IMG_0159Every day is a messenger from God.

            — Russian Proverb

I met an angel today.

The early morning air was crisp, the sun radiant, the colors vivid and the path frozen. I was on my mountain bike—first time on the trails this season and it was great. I was crawling up the hills, flying down the slopes and feeling God’s pleasure. Thankful.

As I ground my way up another incline I was smiling, sweating, panting, talking to myself, praying to Jesus, and thinking about the heroes of the faith like Enoch, Noah, Moses, David, Mary, Peter, and the Apostle Paul. They all walked with God, and I want to walk with God too. With each push of the pedal my mind and heart whirled . . . Am I walking with you God? I want to. I’m trying to, but am I? How can I walk with you?

And then it happened, I met an angel, a messenger from God.

I was chugging around a sharp corner near the top of yet another glorious hill when I encountered a very large man (I mean NFL linebacker large) wearing a white, long-sleeved shirt with the words BLESSED MAN emblazoned across the front in fluorescent green lettering. He was tromping down the hill, I was gasping up the hill, and as we squeezed past one another he said in a loud voice, “Keep it up!”

And that was it. I heard from God.

At the angelic exhortation, “Keep it up!” my mind went to Paul’s words in Philippians 3:13-14:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

My goal is to walk with God. I am reading the Scriptures daily, praying constantly, guarding my heart, leaning into loving others and obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and in the words, “keep it up!” I clearly heard Jesus say, “press on” in your walk with God.

And then there were those words, BLESSED MAN, which led me to Psalm 1 where it says, “Blessed is the man who walks . . . [and delights] in the law of the Lord” (NKJV). The “law of the Lord” is the Word of God and in John 1 it says that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The Word of God is Jesus! And my question, "How can I walk with you?" was answered, “Blessed is the man … whose delight is in Jesus.”

I met an angel on the trail today and I heard from God.

It was a great ride and a beautiful morningthe blue sky majestic, the snow-capped mountains brilliant, and the rustic sagebrush soothing, but of all the sights I saw this morning the one that stands out the most is fluorescent green.