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Be Awed By God 6.21.17

BE AWED BY GOD

BREAD

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalms 19:1-4 (NIV)

1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. Psalms 24:1-2 (NIV)

3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalms 8:3-4 (NIV)

25 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. Isaiah 40:25-28 (NIV)

9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. 11 From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. Isaiah 46:9-11 (NIV)

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9 (NIV)

1 Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6 (NIV)

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36 (NIV)

BUTTER

“More spiritual progress can be made in one short moment of speechless silence in the awesome presence of God than in years of mere study.” A.W. Tozer

“Praising God lifts us above our trials and reminds us of how He overcomes them….Our praise reminds us of Who God is. As we worship Him, the threats and burdens that weigh us down grow smaller and He grows bigger. The thought of an exalted God Who is entirely on our side is an awesome inspiration….Praise is based on Who He is. And He is Who He is all the time.” Chris Tiegreen

“A measureless God begins to upend our sense of personal awesomeness.” Jen Wilken

“I cannot imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the Presence of God. Those who have once tasted the Shekinah of God in daily experience can never again live satisfied without the practice of the presence of God.” Brother Lawrence

“The pervasive sinfulness of human beings becomes evident when contrasted with the radiant holiness of God.” Richard J. Foster

“The Potter’s plan is to display His artistry, but if a piece of clay isn’t allowing His craftsmanship, He’ll contrive some pretty drastic measures. He’ll press it into a ball and start over. He’ll take the same clay and use a different approach. His goal is beauty, and He will stop at nothings to achieve it…Consider the heart of the Potter – His ultimate goal, His tender care, His exquisite artistry. Then apply His heart to your present circumstances.” Chris Tiegreen

“Isaiah’s words remind me that God is God and I am not. He has no rivals and there is none like Him. He is the One who is utterly holy; the One who reigns and rules; who sees the beginning from the end; who knows me inside and out, yet still chooses to love me unconditionally. As I meditate on God’s immeasurable attributes I am forced to ask, ‘How should the knowledge that God is _________ change the way I live today?’” Donna Evans

“Any discussion of how God is not like us must begin with an acknowledgment that we are measurable and he is not. God is infinite, unbound by limits. He defies measurement of any kind. His limitlessness underlies all of his attributes.” Jen Wilkin

“God is indeed the Sovereign of all things, the One to whom all creatures are accountable and whom all should glorify. He is under no obligation to repay anyone, for no one has ever given Him anything. Paul concluded, For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. God is the first Cause, the effective Cause, and the final Cause of everything. His deep ways are beyond man’s discovering; beyond man’s knowing, beyond man’s counseling, and beyond man’s giving. “All things” come from Him and by means of Him and are for Him and His glory. Therefore, To Him be the glory forever! Amen. God is the only proper One to magnify. The all-sovereign God deserves the praise of all His creatures.” Bible Knowledge Commentary

“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8).’ The opening lines of the book of Revelation declare to us a God unlimited by time, so much so that he determines its beginning and its end. His eternal nature is written large and often across the pages of Scripture. The Bible begins with a time stamp, “in the beginning,” and then spends 66 books describing the God who decrees seasons and times but is not bound by them in the least. Free to act within time as he wills, he exists outside of it. He is simultaneously the God of the past, present and future, ending time to his perfect will, unfettered by its constraints. The past holds for him no missed opportunity. The present holds for him no anxiety. The future holds for him no uncertainty. He was, and is, and is to come.” Jen Wilkin

HEART SAVOR

• God is limitless. We cannot put Him in the box by definition. He is beyond and above all and He is in control. He is never off His throne and neither is His eye off me (and all others for that matter). He is gracious and loving and good and is always, always for me.
• The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer; my God is my Rock in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, Who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
• The heavens declare God’s glory even more should we.

Dependent 6.19.17

DEPENDENT

BREAD

22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NIV)

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin– 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Romans 6:6-7 (NIV)

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15:5-6 (NIV)

4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 6 “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 1:4-8 (NIV)

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalms 139:13-16 (NIV)

25 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:25-26 (NIV)

BUTTER

“The Gospel is a message about God. It tells us who he is, what his character is, what his standards are and what he requires of us, his creatures. It tells us that we owe our very existence to him…the gospel starts by teaching us that we, as creatures, are absolutely dependent on God, and that he as Creator, has an absolute claim on us. The gospel is a message about sin. It tells us how we have fallen short of God’s standard; how we have become guilty, filthy and helpless in sin, and now stand under the wrath of God…the gospel is a message about Christ. Christ is the Son of God incarnate; Christ is the Lamb of God, who died for sin; Christ is the risen Lord; Christ is the perfect Savior…The gospel is a summons to faith and repentance. All who hear the gospel are summoned by God to repent and believe”. J.I. Packer

“Anxiety comes from strain, and strain is caused by too complete a dependence on ourselves.” Thomas Merton

“The more we depend on God, the more dependable we find He is.” Cliff Richard

“The work of a true convert is not done. He (and she) finds a great work to do and great wants to be supplied. He (and she) still sees himself/herself to be a poor, empty, helpless creature who still stands in great and continual need of God’s help. He/she well knows that without God he/she can do nothing. After a true conversion, the soul is increasingly aware of its own impotence and emptiness. It is still aware of its universal dependence on God for everything. A true convert is aware that his grace is very imperfect and that he/she is very far from having all that he/she desires. Through conversion, new desires are produced in him/her that he/she never had before…So he/she still has plenty of business at the throne of grace: if fact, his/her business there increases rather than diminishes.” Jonathan Edwards

“We need to keep reminding ourselves that without the Lord we can do nothing. It needs to become a habit of mind with each of us to tell the Lord as we tackle each task, ‘I can’t do this without your help, please help me’, and then to expect to be helped because we have admitted our helplessness, given up self-reliance and are now looking to Him.” J. I. Packer

“Now when a man has learned through the commandments to recognize his helplessness and is distressed about how he might satisfy the law…and then being truly humbled and reduced to nothing in his own eyes, he finds in himself nothing whereby he may be justified and saved. Here the second part of Scripture comes to our aid, namely, the promises of God which declare the glory of God, saying, ‘If you wish to fulfill the law….come, believe in Christ in whom grace, righteousness, peace, liberty, and all things are promised to you. If you believe you shall have all things; if you do not believe, you shall lack all things’.” Martin Luther

“We are the workmanship of God. He wants to regenerate us through our relationship with Jesus in the supernatural community of the Church. Then, He gives us the spiritual gifts and tools we’ll need to do the good works that he’s already prepared for us to do.” Chip Ingram

“When you give up your illusions of control or helplessness and accept your need for God, all that God has opens to you.” Marjorie Thompson

“A farmer is helpless to grow grain; all he can do is provide the right conditions for the growing of grain. He cultivates the ground, he plants the seed, he waters the plants, and then the natural forces of the earth take over and up comes the grain. This is the way it is with the Spiritual Disciplines – they are a way of sowing to the Spirit. The Disciplines are God’s way of getting us into the ground; they put us where He can work within us and transform us. By themselves the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done. They are God’s means of grace. The inner righteousness we seek is not something that is poured on our heads. God has ordained the Disciplines of the spiritual life as the means by which we place ourselves where He can bless us.” Richard J. Foster

“It is the Spirit’s way first to strip us of our own righteousness and strength, to show us our nakedness and nothingness, to fill us with godly sorrow for sin, and then lead us to Jesus for pardon, sanctification, and justification. Christ being the Vine, we must first be planted in Him, and draw nourishment and strength from Him by faith. Then it is fulfilled, ‘They shall feed and lie down’ on His pasture, ‘and none shall make them afraid,’ Zephaniah 3:13. Then we shall be able to bring forth good fruits, and obtain victories; for it is God Himself that thus makes us perfect in every good work, and prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“Let us work as if success depended upon ourselves alone, but with heartfelt conviction that we are doing nothing, and God everything.” St. Ignatius Loyola

“On Him then reckon, to Him look, on Him depend: and be assured that if you walk with Him, look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you. An older brother, who has known the Lord for forty-four years, who writes this, says for your encouragement that He has never failed him. In the greatest difficulties, in the heaviest trials, in the deepest poverty and necessities, He has never failed me; but because I was enabled by His grace to trust in Him, He has always appeared for my help. I delight in speaking well of His Name.” George Mueller

HEART SAVOR

• I am dependent on God for my salvation and sanctification.
• God is always dependable – always. We can trust Him with our lives.
• Anxiety rises when I seek to do things in my own strength rather than in the strength of the Holy Spirit Who dwells within me as a believer in Jesus.

WHO HAS LISTENED TO HEAR AND HEED HIS WORD?

BREAD

18 But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? Jeremiah 23:18 (NIV)

28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the LORD. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:28-29 (NIV)

10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV)

21 “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! 22 For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.’” Jeremiah7:21-24 (NIV)

12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Too many Christians mark their Bibles, but their Bibles never mark them!” W. Wiersbe

“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” A.W. Tozer

“I arise today Through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak to me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me, From snares of devils, From temptations of vices, From every one who shall wish me ill, Afar and anear, Alone and in a multitude.” St. Patrick

“Service to God is as uniquely differing among believers as our fingerprints. God has specifically designed good works for each life that we may walk in them through His power and for His glory and our good. These works encompass all areas from peeling potatoes to running a country to changing a diaper to caring for the elderly to holding a door – it matters not what the task is but that we are faithful to walk in it. We cannot do all things for all people. Jesus Himself did not feed every hungry soul nor heal every hurting one as He walked this dusty earth. We are all limited by our physical bodies yet through His power we are all equipped to do what we are called to do and the body of Christ suffers –as well as we ourselves – when we remain unfaithful to the task. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply and it equates to the abundant life which Jesus came to give us. Don’t be misled, service out of love for God is that component which makes for greatness in a life because the God’s Word attests to that.” BHY

“Herod wanted to be the king of his own life, but he really was a slave. He ended up being not the King of the Jews but the king of fools. Herod ended up on the ash heap of history like dictators before and after him, reminding us that those who live wicked lives eventually will reap what they sow. Adolf Hitler went into his bunker and shot himself as his nation crumbled around him. Saddam Hussein was found hiding in a hole and was eventually executed by his own people. Muammar Gaddafi was hunted down by his own people, beaten, and shot to death. All those who blaspheme God, fight with God, or try to stop the work of God eventually will fail. Yet God’s Word ultimately will prevail.” Greg Laurie

“The transformation process is not easy — it demands daily study of God’s Word and time spent in prayer. We must hide His Word in our hearts and constantly draw on the power of the Holy Spirit.” Michael Youssef
“Because here’s the thing—I don’t need someone to stand at a podium and tell me how to be a good mother in five alliterated points. I don’t need a complimentary monogrammed water bottle reminding me that I’m valuable. I don’t need a rousing speech that makes me want to do more and be better, as though grace has no place in sanctification. I don’t need a soul-coddling self-esteem boost, as though my sin is never an issue. I NEED THE GOSPEL. I need someone to open the Bible in front of me and 7,200 other women and tell us what the text meant when it was written. I need to listen to men and women explain the depths of our sin and the greatness of a God who provided His own Son as payment for our sin. I need the hard verses explained in a way that acknowledges that women have brains and can handle tough exposition. I need to know that this Jesus upon whom I’ve staked my life and my eternity is going to be my hope and my perseverance when trials come. I need to know that all that has been lost in this life will be restored in heaven. I need to know that when suffering settles all over us and it looks like evil is winning, that God is still on His throne and that all wrongs will be set right. I need truth that is hard to swallow but deeply nourishing. I need direction in graciously embracing our unwelcome strangeness in a rapidly self-destructing culture. I need to be encouraged that plodding along in anonymity can be precious in God’s sight. I need to hear that the Bible is about God. I need to be gently rebuked because I have refused to see the Church as Christ sees her. I need to be reassured that the gospel that reconciles me to God can also reconcile me to others. I need to be reminded that God can use the Church to heal church hurt and that emotional vulnerability is a self-sacrificing thing. I NEEDED THE GOSPEL, AND I GOT THE GOSPEL. The gospel isn’t just for salvation. It’s for sanctification, too. Once we move away from the centrality of Scripture, we move away from knowing God as He has revealed Himself to us, and then we’ve lost everything that matters. Glenna Marshall, The Gospel Coalition Women’s 16 Takeaways

HEART SAVOR

• The Bible is my guide for all of life.
• God illumines His Word by His Spirit within me as I seek to be a discerner and applier of His Truth.
• God’s Words are not merely idle words – as Moses stated – they are to be our life. 45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 47 They are not just idle words for you–they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 32:45-47 (NIV)

PEACE – THE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

BREAD

17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17 (NIV)

10 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Psalms 85:10 (NIV)

165 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalms 119:165 (NIV)

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)

3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Romans 14:17-18 (NIV)

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18 (NIV)

7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11 (NIV)

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of God.” Alexander Maclaren

“Grace remits sin and peace quiets the conscience. Sin and conscience torment us, but Christ has overcome these fiends now and forever. Only Christians possess this victorious knowledge given from above. These two terms, grace and peace, constitute Christianity. Grace involves the remission of sins, peace and a happy conscience. Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the law…the fact is the more a person seeks credit for himself by his own efforts, the deeper he goes into debt. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God. In actual living, however it is not so easy to persuade oneself that by grace alone, in opposition to every other means, we obtain the forgiveness of our sins and peace with God.” Martin Luther

“His love is unfailing, His Word unchangeable, His power ever the same; therefore the heart that trusts Him is kept in ‘perfect peace’…I know He tries me only to increase my faith, and that it is all in love. Well, if He is glorified, I am content.” Hudson Taylor

“Hudson Taylor was an object lesson in quietness. He drew from the bank of heaven every farthing of his daily income – ‘My peace I give unto you.’ Whatever did not agitate the Saviour or ruffle His spirit, was not to agitate him. The serenity of the Lord Jesus concerning any matter, and at its most critical moment, was his ideal and practical possession. He knew nothing of rush or hurry, or quivering nerves or vexation of spirit. He knew that there is a peace passing all understanding and that he could not do without it…Christ his reason for peace, his power for calm. Dwelling in Christ, he drew upon His very being and resources, in the midst of and concerning the matters in question. And this he did by an attitude of faith as simple as it was continuous.” Dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor

“All the commandments of God are commandments of love tending to our real good and great happiness; far from being grievous to those who have faith and love, the practice thereof is life and peace. The world may think it a grievous burden; but this is a great mistake indeed. Sin is grievous. In hatred, envy, anger, revenge, pride, there is nothing but torment and slavery; but in love there is a sweet rest and pleasure. Thus a sinner always punishes himself, and is robbed of great peace and blessing, by transgressing the commandments of God.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“Peace is not found when you get into perfect circumstances. Peace is found because Jesus Christ, the Price of Peace, has gotten into you. Joy is the perfect partner to peace and is found in the same way as peace. Joy is never found in what you have or what you do, but in who you have living in you.” Roy Lessin

“However, faith has its trials, as well as its answers. It is not to be imagined that the man of faith, having pushed out from the shore of circumstances, finds it all smooth and easy sailing. By no means. Again and again, he is called to encounter rough sea and stormy skies; but it is all graciously designed to lead him into deeper and more matured experience of what God is to the heart that confides in Him. Were the sky always without a cloud and the ocean without a ripple, the believer would not know so well that God with Whom he has to do; for alas, we know how prone that heart is to mistake the peace of circumstances for the peace of God. When everything is going on smoothly and pleasantly—our property safe, our business prosperous, our children carrying themselves agreeably, our residence comfortable, our health excellent—everything in short, just to our mind, how apt we are to mistake the peace which reposes upon such circumstances for that peace which flows from the realized presence of Christ.” C.H. Mackintosh

“Before you can (know you are right with God) you must not only be troubled for your sins of your life, but also for the sins of your best duties and performances…before you can be at peace with God, there must be a deep conviction before you can be brought out of your self-righteousness; it is the last idol taken out of your heart. The pride of our heart will not let us submit to the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But if you never felt that you had no righteousness of your own or if you never felt the deficiency of your own righteousness, you cannot come to Jesus Christ.” George Whitefield

“Now when a man has learned through the commandments to recognize his helplessness and is distressed about how he might satisfy the law…and then being truly humbled and reduced to nothing in his own eyes, he finds in himself nothing whereby he may be justified and saved. Here the second part of Scripture comes to our aid, namely, the promises of God which declare the glory of God, saying, ‘If you wish to fulfill the law….come, believe in Christ in whom grace, righteousness, peace, liberty, and all things are promised to you. If you believe you shall have all things; if you do not believe, you shall lack all things’.” Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty

HEART SAVOR
• Perfect peace presents not through circumstance but through the presence of Jesus – The Prince of Peace.
• Believers are clothed in Christ’s righteousness bringing much peace.
• Sin is grievous whereas righteousness brings forth peace.

GOD COMMANDS JUSTICE

BREAD

12 O house of David, this is what the LORD says: “Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done– burn with no one to quench it.” Jeremiah 21:12 (NIV)

28 For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; 29 the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. Psalms 37:28-29 (NIV)

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)

5 The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful. Proverbs 12:5 (NIV)

15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. Proverbs 21:15 (NIV)

3 This is what the LORD says: “Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. 5 But if you do not obey these commands, declares the LORD, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin.” Jeremiah 22:3-5 (NIV)

15 “Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. 16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 22:15-16 (NIV)

18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” Matthew 12:18 (NIV)

18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18 (NIV)

17 Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:11-16 (NIV)

BUTTER

“The wheels of God’s justice may grind slowly, but they grind surely.” Greg Laurie

“Nature reveals the existence of God, but how little it tells of His character. Nature manifests His natural attributes—His power, His wisdom, His immutability, etc.; but what does nature say to us of His moral attributes—His justice, His holiness, His grace, His love? Nature, as such knows no mercy and shows no pity. If a blind saint unwittingly steps over the edge of a precipice he meets with the same fate as if a vile murderer had been hurled over it. If I break nature’s laws, no matter how sincere may be my subsequent repentance, there is no escaping the penalty. Nature conceals as well as reveals God.” A. W. Pink

“Sin is the dare of God’s justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love.” John Bunyan

“Duplicity is abominable with God, and hypocrisy His soul hateth….To hold with the hare and run with the hounds, is a dastard’s policy. In the common matters of daily life, a double-minded man is despised, but in religion he is loathsome to the last degree….How should divine justice spare the sinner, who knows the right, approves it, and professes to follow it, and all the while lives the evil, and gives it dominion in his heart?” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Disciples live with not only renouncing their own rights, but even renouncing their own righteousness. They get no credit themselves for what they do and sacrifice. The only righteousness they can have is in hungering and thirsting for it. They will have neither their own righteousness nor God’s righteousness on earth. At all times they look forward to God’s future righteousness, but they cannot bring it about by themselves. Those who follow Jesus will be hungry and thirsty along the way. They are filled with longing for forgiveness of all sins and for complete renewal; they long for the renewal of the earth and for God’s perfect justice.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Micah then told the nation (O man means any person in Israel) exactly what God did desire from them. God did not want them to be related to Him in only a ritualistic way. God wanted them to be related inwardly—to obey Him because they desired to, not because it was a burden on them. That relationship, which is good (beneficial), involves three things: that individuals (a) act justly (be fair in their dealings with others), (b) love mercy (ḥesed̠, ‘loyal love’; i.e., carry through on their commitments to meet other’s needs), and (c) walk humbly with… God (fellowship with Him in modesty, without arrogance). ‘Humbly’ translates the verb ṣāna (which occurs only here in the OT); it means to be modest. The Lord had already told them of these demands (Deut. 10:12, 18). Doing justice ‘is a way of loving mercy, which in turn is a manifestation of walking humbly with God’ (James Luther Mays, Micah: A Commentary)” Bible Knowledge Commentary

“Does my life and conduct correspond to my high calling as a Christian? Am I actuated by the love of Christ instead of worldly ambition? Do I prefer God’s honor to my own and justice to gain? When I look to myself, I feel such a burden of sin that no other hope of salvation is left me but in the mercy of Christ alone.” Gregory VII – Hildebrand

HEART SAVOR

• Justice is one of God’s attributes which He loves and which is rooted in His character. He desires justice to be emulated by His children as well.
• I am not only to do justice but to seek it. This is part of my high calling as a believer in Jesus.
• My actions are to stem from a right attitude of the heart which is only doable through the power of the Holy Spirit within me. Fleshly obedience sans the heart will eventually fail me.

MARVELOUS MEDITATION

BREAD

1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalms 1:1-3 (NIV)

148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. Psalms 119:148 (NIV)

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Psalms 119:9-16 (NIV)

14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14 (NIV)

7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:7-8 (NIV)

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV)

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17 (NIV)

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:16 (NIV)

BUTTER

“As we habitually hide God’s Word in our hearts, claim those special verses that seem to have our names on them, ponder and picture them, and turn them into unceasing praise and prayer, we will practice the presence of Gog – and He will transform us into agents of audacious boldness for His gory.” Robert J. Morgan

“Meditation is a lost art today, and Christian people suffer grievously from their ignorance of the practice. Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God.” J. I. Packer

“Like water flowing through a fountain or oil through a machine, Scripture should be constantly circulating through our minds.” Robert J. Morgan

“We must be aware of the various ways sin pulls us to wrong thoughts about God, righteousness, grace, ourselves and sin itself. Only the truth of God’s word and meditation in prayer can reveal the deceitfulness of sin. Sin works against God. Sin will either deceive us into thinking God is a cruel taskmaster, or, if that will not work, will deceive us into thinking He is like a doting grandfather who really does not care what we do. Sin affects every Christian’s view of God and leads us to worship idols, figments of our own imaginations, and not the true God. Sin will deceive us concerning grace. We will either be deceived into thinking it is too good to be true, or we will buy into cheap grace and think that ethics are unimportant.” Dr. Bob Flayhart

“Meditation is…..allowing the Holy Spirit to take the written word and apply it as the living word to the inner being.” Campbell McAlpine

“Meditation is holding the Word of God in the mind until it has affected every area of one’s life and character.” Andrew Murray

“On my own, I can make nothing of importance happen. I can help no one. But if I abide in Christ, if I present myself before God’s Spirit for searching and filling, if I study and ponder the Scriptures and live my life in brokenness before a grace-dispensing community, I can transcend my inadequacy, I can find myself as I worship. I can struggle on behalf of others with the energy of Christ powerfully working in me.” Larry Crabb

“I realize that I am not used to the image of God throwing a party. It seems to contradict the solemnity and seriousness I have always attached to God. But when I think about the ways in which Jesus describes God’s Kingdom, a joyful banquet is often at its center…This invitation to a meal is an invitation to intimacy with God…Celebration belongs to God’s Kingdom. God not only offers forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing, but wants to lift up these gifts as a source of joy for all who witness them.” Henri Nouwen

“The only way to change your life is to change your mind, and that requires changing the lordship and leadership of your heart.” Robert J. Morgan

HEART SAVOR

• I am to meditate – dwell on – think about – the truth of God’s Word and carefully make sure I apply these truths to my life. Truth is to flow from my mind to my heart to my hands.
• God’s Word is powerful, alive and effective. It changes lives as we take what we know to be true and allow it to permeate our beings.
• I am to be diligent in meditating upon His Word.

WISELY AND WINSOMELY PROCLAIM TRUTH

BREAD

7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15 (NIV)

5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)

2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:2-5 (NIV)

19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:19-24 (NIV)

15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:15-17 (NIV)

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” John 17:13-19 (NIV)

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Psalms 119:9-16 (NIV)

165 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalms 119:165 (NIV)

BUTTER

“We need a generation of Christians who have troubled spirits and the willingness to engage a conflicted culture with the proclamation of truth despite the range of responses they will see.” Mark L. Bailey

“Apologetics can be thought of as having two components. On the one hand it concerns the countering of objections to the Christian faith, and on the other it concerns setting out the attractiveness of the gospel. It thus has a negative and a positive aspect. Negatively it means being able to handle objections to Christianity which one encounters in the media, the shopping mall, and elsewhere. It means being able to give effective responses to hard questions people ask about Christianity. Sometimes those objections are spurious; sometime they are real problems, which discourage those individuals from coming to a living faith in Christ. Trained Christians can make a difference here, by helping them see that the problem is not as serious as they may have thought. Positively, apologetics is setting out the full wonder of the gospel of salvation. It is like unpacking a series of wonderful gifts, and marveling at their beauty. Helping people understand the full glory of what the gospel offers often means taking the trouble to explain central Christian ideas to people who may recognize the words but not the reality they represent. Words such as ‘grace’ and ‘redemption’ come easily from Christian workers’ lips, but believers need to explain what they mean and what they offer to an increasingly unchurched culture.” Alister McGrath, British Theologian

“Carrying God’s gracious offer involves human beings whom God has brought to Himself and then uses as His heralds. They share God’s message of salvation because He will save everyone who calls on His name.” Bible Knowledge Commentary

“Never before has any civilization openly made available to its populace such a smorgasbord of realities. Never before has a communications system like the contemporary mass media made information about religion – all religions – available to so many people. Never before has a society allowed its people to become consumers of belief, and allowed belief – all beliefs – to become merchandise.” Journalist Walter Truett Anderson

“The loss of God’s centrality in the life of today’s church is common and lamentable. It is this loss that allows us to transform worship into entertainment, gospel preaching into marketing, believing into technique, being good into feeling good about ourselves, and faithfulness into being successful. As a result, God, Christ and the Bible have come to mean too little to us and rest too inconsequentially upon us.” The Cambridge Declaration

“In an age bereft of courageous leadership, declining biblical literacy, and rising cultural accommodation, a faithful voice from the gospel center is needed- a voice that prophetically speaks the ancient text to our contemporary context.” The National Gospel Coalition

“We live in a conflicted culture. But we should not turn tail and run. And we should not bury our head in the sand. Christianity is a confrontational faith. It challenges human nature, it challenges sin, and it challenges what one believes about the future. As a result, our culture hates Christianity. In the face of hatred and scorn, we need to do what Paul did: wisely and winsomely proclaim the truth.” Mark L. Bailey

“He (Paul) must confront men with the truth about God – Creator, Provider, Lord of history, Judge of all – and His command to repent. He must confront them with the truth about man, and his moral bankruptcy in the sight of God. And above all he must confront them with Jesus Christ in His resurrection power, His authority to execute judgment, and His redeeming love by which He delivers men and women from their estrangement and rebellion, and creates them anew in the knowledge of their creator.” F. F. Bruce

“Let us note how far from satisfactory is the state of those who are content with sound doctrinal opinions, and orthodox correct views of the Gospel, while in their daily life they give way to ill-temper, ill-nature, malice, envy, quarrelling, squabbling, bickering, surliness, passion, snappish language, and crossness of word and manner. Such persons, whether they know it or not, are daily proclaiming that they are not Christ’s disciples. It is nonsense to talk about justification, and regeneration, and election, and conversion, and the uselessness of works, unless people can see in us practical Christian love.” John Charles Ryle

“Participate with God and proclaim the Gospel, not because you have a low-grade sense of guilt that you ought to act, but do them because you have a high-grade sense of grace that makes you want to act. Do them because you know that you were once impoverished in your sin, a slave to Satan, orphaned from God, and alone in this world. Yet God reached down his mercy-filled hand into your sin-soaked heart and through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son on a blood-stained cross, He lifted you up to new life by His alluring love. You now have nothing to fear and nothing to lose because you are robed in the riches of Christ and safe in the security of Christ.” David Platt

“Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am. Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus, No language my rapture can tell; I know that the light of His presence With me doth continually dwell. I think of my blessed Redeemer, I think of Him all the day long: I sing, for I cannot be silent; His love is the theme of my song. I know I shall see in His beauty The King in whose law I delight; Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps, And giveth me songs in the night. I know there’s a crown that is waiting In yonder bright mansion for me, And soon, with the spirits made perfect, At home with the Lord I shall be.” Frances J. Crosby

“So let us not stay silent with this gospel. Let’s not allow fear in our culture to muzzle our faith in Christ. And let’s not enable indecision to rule our lives. Let’s not permit delay to characterize our days. We don’t have to ask what the will of God is; He has made it clear. He wants His people to provide for the poor, to value the unborn, to care for orphans and widows, to rescue people from slavery, to defend marriage, to war against sexual immorality in all its forms in every area of our lives, to love our neighbors as ourselves regardless of their ethnicity, to practice faith regardless of the risk, and to proclaim the gospel to all nations. Of these things we are sure.” David Platt

“So let me encourage you to make the most of every opportunity to share this Good News… Our Christian testimony, as Peter reminded his readers, is that, ‘we have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of the dead’. Who else has the answer to the frailty of life, the reality of death and the certainty of judgment than Jesus, who by His death destroyed him who holds the power of death and frees those whose lives are enslaved by the fear of death?” Alistair Begg

HEART SAVOR

• The gospel is very good news and it is meant to be shared both wisely and winsomely. “It is only the fear of God that can deliver us from the fear of man.” John Witherspoon.
• God’s Word is Truth and I am to know it. It is Truth that sets me free. 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (NIV)
• I am to be wise in the way I live, making the most of every opportunity – for His glory and my good.