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“WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?”

BREAD

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:15-20 (NIV)

2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3 (NIV)

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 (NIV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:1-5 (NIV)

10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:10-13 (NIV)

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7 (NIV)

24 The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” John 10:24-30 (NIV)

7 Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:7-8 (NIV)

14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. 16 The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. Joel 3:14-16 (NIV)

6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Upon the authority of God’s Word, I declare that Christ is the answer to every baffling perplexity which plagues mankind. In Him is found the cure for care, a balm for bereavement, a healing for our hurts, and a sufficiency for our insufficiency.” Billy Graham

“When we can do nothing Jesus can do all things; let us enlist His powerful aid upon our side, and all will be well.” Charles Spurgeon

“Jesus is the One who shows us the paradoxical route to meaning in a chaotic and hostile world. It’s the paradox of the gospel: Strength is found in weakness. Control is found in dependency. Power is found in surrender….God uses the frustrations of this life and the hurt of relationships to compel us to look beyond what we can control to the God who controls all things in order to woo us to himself. As we move from control to surrender, we move from chasing the wind under the sun to embracing God above it.” Dan Allender

“Can the elder son in me come home? Can I be found as the younger son was found? How can I return when I am lost in resentment, when I am caught in jealousy, when I am imprisoned in obedience and duty lived out as slavery? It is clear that alone, by myself, I cannot find myself. More daunting than healing myself as the younger son, is healing myself as the elder son. Confronted here with the impossibility of self-redemption, I now understand Jesus’ words to Nicodemus: ‘Do not be surprised when I say; ‘You must be born from above.’’ Indeed, something has to happen that I myself cannot cause to happen. I cannot be reborn from below; that is, with my own strength, with my own mind with my own psychological insights…I can only be healed from above, from where God reaches down. What is impossible for me is possible for God. ‘With God, everything is possible’.” Henri Nouwen

“Do you know who you are? Do you know who you were designed to be? Do you know the Father’s intent for your life? You are meant to hear in your spirit the same thing Jesus heard when he came out of the waters of baptism at the beginning of his ministry: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased’….J I Packer puts it simply. ‘What is a Christian? The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God for his Father’…Our highest privilege and deepest need is to experience the holy God as our loving Father, to approach him without fear and to be assured of his fatherly care and concern.” Greg Ogden

“The Christian gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time.” Tim Keller

“Character in a saint means the disposition of Jesus Christ persistently manifested.” Oswald Chambers

“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” C. T. Studd

“Barbara, the world needs to see Jesus…As long as all they can see is you, they will never see Me.” Barbara Barker

“The popular image of Christ as ‘gentle Jesus meek and mild’ simply will not do. To be sure, He was full of love, compassion and tenderness. But He was also uninhibited in exposing error and denouncing hypocrisy. Christ was a controversialist.” John Stott

“Jesus, Thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love Thou art.” Charles Wesley

“Tomorrow’s history has already been written – at the name of Jesus, every knee must bow.” Paul Kauffman

“There’s not a thumb’s breadth of this universe about which Jesus Christ does not say, ‘It is mine.’” Abraham Kuyper

“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

“I’m seeing how robust and cogent, how versatile, sweeping and effective is the message and life of our Jesus. He fits. He is not ‘foreign’ to any person no matter their origins. His teachings work in ANY culture. His Being and Life resonates to all who hear of Him, to all who hear Him. He infuses and changes us forever.” Paula Kirby
“Jesus has forced open a door that had been locked since the death of the first man….Everything is different because He has done so.” C.S. Lewis
“We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by ‘looking unto Jesus’. Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him. Oh! Let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.” C. H. Spurgeon

“We are changed by beholding.” Hudson Taylor

HEART SAVOR

• In Christ are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
• He is my Savior, my Sufficiency, my Sanctifier and my soul’s Friend.
• I am changed by looking unto Jesus keeping the eyes of my heart solely upon Him – the Author and Perfecter of my faith. 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

A GRATEFUL HEART

BREAD

8 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8 (NIV)

17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. Psalms 7:17 (NIV)

1 We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds. Psalms 75:1 (NIV)

28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. 29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalms 118:28-29 (NIV)

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 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 3:15-17 (NIV)

15 Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-20 (NIV)

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:56-58 (NIV)

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name. Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Patience in the moment only comes from gratefulness for the moment. …. ” Ann Voskamp

“Ungrateful people live under the deception that they are always entitled to more.” Wayne Cordeiro

“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives-the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections-that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.” Henri Nouwen

“But, grateful eyes truly do see grace and goodness, even in the most difficult and unattractive packages. The Gratitude Syndrome makes you desire what you already have rather than always needing to have what you think you desire. Gratitude makes life’s horizon bright and big rather than dark and distant. It turns what you have into more than enough.” Jennifer Rothschild

“The root of joy is gratefulness … It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” David Steindl-Rast

“No amount of regret changes the past. No amount of anxiety changes the future. Any amount of grateful joy changes the present.” Ann Voskamp

“Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude.” John Henry Jowett

“Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart — transforming the disposition and the whole character. Thanksgiving must be wrought into the life as a habit—before it can become a fixed and permanent quality. An occasional burst of praise, in the midst of years of complaining, is not what is required. Songs on rare, sunshiny days; and no songs when skies are cloudy—will not make a life of gratitude. The heart must learn to sing always. This lesson is learned only when it becomes a habit which nothing can weaken. We must persist in being thankful. When we can see no reason for praise—we must believe in the divine love and goodness, and sing in the darkness. Thanksgiving has attained its rightful place in us, only when it is part of all our days and dominates all our experiences.” J. R. Miller

“A life of thankfulness releases the glory of God.” Bengt Sundberg

“There are two ways of getting out of a trial. One is to simply try to get rid of the trial, and be thankful when it is over. The other is to recognize the trial as a challenge from God to claim a larger blessing than we have ever had, and to hail it with delight as an opportunity of obtaining a larger measure of divine grace. Thus even the adversary becomes an auxiliary, and the things that seem to be against us turn out to be for the furtherance of our way. Surely, this is to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” A. B. Simpson

“It is so easy to give thanks for what one naturally chooses, but that does not cover the ‘everything’ of the text…One morning lately, in speaking of some small trouble, I quoted ‘In everything give thanks,’ and at once someone answered ‘But I cannot give thanks for everything.’ Now if our God tells us to do a thing and we say cannot, there is something wrong somewhere, for we all know the words ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me’ – that is, all things commanded. It is treason to say ‘I cannot.’ But first we should make sure that we are commanded to do this. The text says give thanks IN everything, not FOR everything. All God’s biddings are enablings. We can do that. We will do that.” Amy Carmichael

HEART SAVOR

• God desires for me to have a grateful heart in all things. This flows from a faith that knows He loves me and that He has my very best interest at heart. God is the Master at making beauty out of ashes and the uglier the “ash” the more beautiful the beauty. He takes the hardest things in my life to make the most beautiful. The pain of childbirth pales at the sight of the child and the gold doesn’t enjoy the heat but does the shine it produces. I am to bear each cross with thanksgiving looking forward for what He is producing in and through me, fixing my eyes on Jesus. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3 (NIV)
• A thankful child pleases the Father Who is the Giver of all things.
• Gratitude brings contentment.

SHAME ON SHAME FOR GOD’S PEOPLE

BREAD

25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Genesis 2:25 (NIV)

1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; 2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. Psalms 25:1-3 (NIV)

3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalms 34:3-8 (NIV)

12 “Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. 13 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, 14 and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” Isaiah 8:12-14 (NIV)

13 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. 14 My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit.” Isaiah 65:13-14 (NIV)

33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Romans 9:33 (NIV)

10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Romans 10:10-11 (NIV)

26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (NIV)

2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

BUTTER

“I used think of being shameless in only negative terms: someone with no social awareness or sense of common decorum, someone with no fear of God and no concern for others. And while that alarming aspect of our culture is growing by leaps and bounds, let’s not throw out its counterpart: Shameless—audacious, unconcealed, undisguised, transparent, unashamed. Jesus invites us into His presence without shame, without our past baggage, without the need to cover ourselves or to be someone we’re not, without the enemy’s constant taunts in our ear telling us we’re not enough, and without the self-deprecating slurs we constantly hurl at ourselves. Jesus wants us, invites us, into His presence, expectant and full of faith – full and free, healed and whole.” Susie Larson

“There is a difference between brokenness over one’s sin and living in shame for the rest of our days. A broken and contrite heart the Lord will never despise. This means one agrees with the Lord that the sin was wrong and desires not to continue on in it. It is a turning from it into the ways of the Lord through His power, for His glory, for our good. This leads to peace with God which passes all understanding not continued shame over the transgression. Guilt is Satan’s trademark and often keeps the forgiven believer paralyzed in their walk with the Lord believing themselves to be unworthy to be used in kingdom work or even approach the throne of grace through prayer. If Satan can’t keep us from being saved, he desires to keep us from being used and from feeling the comfort of God’s love and forgiveness. Believers are accepted in the Beloved.” BHY

“How often does shame keep us from audaciously running into the arms of our Father not only to receive grace just after we’ve blown it, but to dare to ask for things we could never earn, deserve, or acquire on our own?” Susie Larson

“There comes a time, in spite of our soft, modern ways, when we must be desperate in prayer, when we must wrestle, when we must be outspoken, shameless and importunate. Many of the prayers recorded in Scripture are ‘cries,’ and the Hebrew and Greek words are very strong. Despite opinions to the contrary, the Bible recognizes such a thing as storming heaven- ‘praying through.’ The fervent prayer of a righteous man is mighty in its working.” Cameron Thompson

“A man should never be ashamed to own that he is wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.” Alexander Pope

“Christ, when he blesses, blesses not in word only, but in deed. The lips of truth cannot promise more “No matter how athletic, slim, handsome or pretty, intelligent, well-read, respected, connected, funny, wealthy, or religious we are, if we anchor our worth in these things instead of in the smile of God over us, these things will eventually wreck us. The only esteem that won’t abandon us is the esteem given to us by Jesus. Because only in Jesus are we fully known and always loved, thoroughly exposed yet never rejected. Only Jesus will repeatedly forgive us when we fail Him. Only Jesus will declare His affection for us when we are at our very worst as well as at our very best. Only in Jesus can we return to that blessed Edenic state of being naked and without shame. The quest for self-esteem is, deep down, an attempt to silence negative verdicts that assault us from the outside and from within. In Jesus, the Second Adam, the negative verdicts from the outside and from within are made powerless. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Him. In Jesus, we no longer have anything to fear, prove, or hide. There’s no need to self-medicate. There’s no need to self-promote or to drop names at parties. There’s no need to compare or compete. There’s no need to wear ourselves down by chasing career or applause or respect or being able to fit into a size four. We are not called to be perfectly awesome. We are called to be imperfectly faithful, because we have been perfectly loved, liberated, and highly esteemed by the Most High. It is said that Buddha’s dying words were, ‘Strive without ceasing.’ Jesus’ dying words were, ‘It is finished.’ Give me Jesus. Our souls are glory-vacuums, fearfully and wonderfully made for an Esteem greater than self. And He esteems us much. The One who made the galaxies with His breath has said so.” Scott Sauls

HEART SAVOR

• God desires for His children to be in His Presence as Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:25 – feeling no shame because of the blood of Jesus. Believers stand whiter than snow in the righteousness of Christ.
• God’s forgiveness lead to peace not guilt and shame.
• Christians can approach the throne of grace unashamedly.

SOUL SATISFACTION

BREAD

15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. Psalms 145:15-16 (NIV)

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalms 90:14 (NIV)

1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” Isaiah 55:1-2 (NIV)

11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)

3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalms 63:3-4 (NIV)

10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NIV)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:18-23 (NIV)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV)

BUTTER

“He who is a believer in Jesus finds enough in his Lord to satisfy him now, and to content him for evermore. The believer is not the man whose days are weary for want of comfort, and whose nights are long from absence of heart-cheering thought, for he finds in Christ such a spring of joy, such a fountain of consolation, that he is content and happy. Put him in a dungeon and he will find good company; place him in a barren wilderness, he will eat the bread of heaven; drive him away from friendship, he will meet the ‘friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ Blast all his gourds, and he will find shadow beneath the Rock of Ages; sap the foundation of his earthly hopes, but his heart will still be fixed, trusting in the Lord. The heart is as insatiable as the grave till Jesus enters it, and then it is a cup full to overflowing. There is such a fullness in Christ that He alone is the believer’s all. The true saint is so completely satisfied with the all-sufficiency of Jesus that he thirsts no more – except it be for deeper draughts of the living fountain.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“I thank You, Lord, that You have so set eternity within my heart that no earthly thing can ever satisfy me wholly.” John Baillie

“You know to what extent You have already changed me, You who first healed me of the lust of vindicating myself, so that You might forgive all my remaining iniquities, and heal my diseases, and redeem my life from corruption, and crown me with loving-kindness and tender mercies, and satisfy my desire with good things.” St. Augustine

“Do not give your heart to that which does not satisfy your heart.” Abba Poemen

“The pattern in everything is this: the greater joys are obtained through struggle and difficulty and pain—things you must force yourself to do when you don’t feel like it—while brief, unsatisfying, and often destructive joys are as inviting as couch cushions….God is calling you not to indulgence but endurance.” Jon Bloom

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” C.S. Lewis

“Because I love you, I’m asking you to guard your heart from anyone or anything that can steal you away from Me. Remember, My love, this world offers a counterfeit Life that will never fulfill you. What I create for you will satisfy your soul; what the enemy offers will satisfy your flesh for a while. However, in the end the world’s way leads to destruction. If your heart wanders and you are not equipped with My Word, you will be unable to discern the difference between real faith and counterfeit religion.” Sheri Rose Shepherd

“Father, as we’re here today, please help us to rid our hearts and minds of the clutter that is within them. Our thoughts are clouded by worldly matters – things that don’t matter. Our hearts seek after things that don’t satisfy. We run after the perishable and fail to seek the imperishable. Forgive us, Father. May Your Spirit remind us of Your Presence in all of our lives- all of the time. Guide us. Let our thoughts and words and attitudes be pleasing to You. Let us imitate Christ. Give us His mind and His attitude. Strip us of our pride and self-sufficiency and may we be humble as Jesus showed Humility. In the Name of Jesus, Who humbled Himself to death, even death on the Cross, for us, we pray.” Roger Killian

HEART SAVOR

• Christ is my sufficiency, Christ is my strength. In Him is complete fullness and abundance of life both now and eternally.
• When one is filled with Christ everything else worldly received is superfluous, merely icing on the cake, a cherry on top – good, but not necessary.
• My soul finds rest in God alone.

Right Reflection 4.17.17

RIGHT REFLECTION

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)

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. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 (NIV)

9 Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Psalms 48:9 (NIV)

12 I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Psalms 77:12 (NIV)

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 119:14-16 (NIV)

27 Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders. Psalms 119:27 (NIV)

48 I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees. Psalms 119:48 (NIV)

97 Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. 98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. Psalms 119:97-99 (NIV)

148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. 149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your laws. 150 Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law. 151 Yet you are near, O LORD, and all your commands are true. 152 Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever. Psalms 119:148-152 (NIV)

4 One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. 5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. Psalms 145:4-5 (NIV)

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 (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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)

BUTTER

“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

“The rabbis spoke of the text being like a gem with seventy faces, and each time you turn the gem, the light refracts differently, giving you a reflection you haven’t seen before. And so we turn the text again and again because we keep seeing things we missed before. When you embrace the text as living and active, when you enter its story, when you keep turning the gem, you never come to the end. Inspired words have a way of getting under our skin and taking on a life of their own. They work on us. We started out reading them, but they end up reading us.” Rob Bell

“Some read the Bible to learn, and some read the Bible to hear from heaven.” Andrew Murray

“Jesus wants to do much more with our lives than simply meeting our needs and making us feel better….I am deeply motivated to know God. I want to know Him as He truly is, not through the distorted reflection of those who call themselves by His Name. And I want to make Him known to others as accurately, winsomely, clearly and compellingly as I can.” Anne Graham Lotz

“God wants us to take Him at His word, even when our circumstances tell us otherwise. You may have been burned by the broken promises of a loved one, but God never goes back on His word. You can trust Him when He says, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it’ (Luke 11:28); ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5); ‘My grace is sufficient for you’ (2 Corinthians 12:9); ‘I am working for your good’ (see Romans 8:28).” Michael Youssef

“Just as our bodies need food, so our souls need spiritual food. Without it we become malnourished and weak, susceptible to every temptation and unable to do the work God calls us to do. Where do we find this spiritual food? In the Bible, the Word of God. The Bible reveals Christ, the Bread of Life and the Water of Life…Don’t be content to skim through a chapter, merely to satisfy your conscience or because of some long-established habit…Meditate on it, memorize it, hide it in your heart so it permeates your whole being. A small portion well digested is of far greater spiritual value than a lengthy passage scanned hurriedly.” Billy Graham

“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

“God is for us. But, O my brethren, though this brings in the context, it is impossible for any human speech to bring out the depth of the meaning of how God is for us. He was for us before the worlds were made: he was for us, or else he never would have given his Son; he was for us even when he smote the only-begotten, and laid the full weight of his wrath upon him—he was for us, though he was against him; he was for us when we were ruined in the fall—he loved us notwithstanding all; he was for us when we were against him, and with a high hand were bidding him defiance: he was for us, or else he never would have brought us humbly to seek his face. He has been for us in many struggles; we have had to fight through multitudes of difficulties; we have had temptations from without and within—how could we have held on until now if he had not been with us? He is for us, let me say, with all the infinity of his heart, with all the omnipotence of his love; for us with all his boundless wisdom; arrayed in all the attributes which make him God he is for us—eternally and immutably for us; for us when the blue skies shall be rolled up like a worn out vesture; for us throughout eternity. Here, child of God, is matter enough for thought, even though you had ages to meditate upon it: God is for you; and if God be for you, who can be against you?” Charles H. Spurgeon

“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

HEART SAVOR

• As I meditate on God’s Word I am transformed by the renewing of my mind and I am able to test and approve what God’s perfect will is for my life and walk in it.
• When I neglect meditating on God’s Word I harm my own soul.
• I am to hide God’s Word in my heart making it readily available for myself and others.

The Cross 4.14.17

THE CROSS

BREAD

3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3-6 (NIV)

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. 32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Matthew 27:27-36 (NIV)

33 At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” 36 One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. 37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. 38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:33-39 (NIV)

27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!’” 31 For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:27-34 (NIV)

16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 Here they crucified him, and with him two others–one on each side and Jesus in the middle. John 19:16-18 (NIV)

31 Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Acts 2:31-32 (NIV)

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 (NIV)

BUTTER

“The cross was the goal of Jesus from the very beginning. His birth was so there would be His death. The incarnation was for our atonement. He was born to die so that we might live. And when He had accomplished the purpose He had come to fulfill, He summed it up with a single word: finished.” Greg Laurie

“‘…He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him.’ John 7:1.
But He came to be killed.
That was the purpose of His coming.
That was the reason for His Incarnation.
He took on mortality of flesh that He might prove His mortality by dying.
Why, then, these evasions?
Because He would die on the schedule of His Father, not at the pleasure of His enemies.
Because He would first finish the work He came to do.
No one would take His life from Him.
He would lay it down.” RCS

“I simply argue that the Cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles; but on a cross between two thieves; on the towns’ garbage heap; at a crossroad, so cosmopolitan they had to write his title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek… at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died. And that is what He died about. So, that is where church-men ought to be and what churchmen ought to be about.” Rev. Dr. George McLeod, Minister, Church of Scotland, 1895-1991

“The only ground on which God can forgive our sin and reinstate us to His favor is through the Cross of Christ. There is no other way! Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony at Calvary. We should never take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification in simple faith, and then forget the enormous cost to God that made all of this ours. Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. To forgive sin, while remaining a holy God, this price had to be paid. Never accept a view of the fatherhood of God if it blots out the atonement. The revealed truth of God is that without the atonement He cannot forgive – He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God through the atonement of the Cross. God’s forgiveness is possible only in the supernatural realm……Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.” Oswald Chambers

“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.” William Penn

“Being a ‘missionary’ (one who is sent) is not a matter of crossing the sea, but of seeing the cross. Hudson Taylor

“The cross, intersection of His love and my need, beam that supports the whole of a real life.” Ann Voskamp

“And if you don’t lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it: if you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, you don’t know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten. Think of that, and as Jesus lowered Himself for you, bow yourself in lowliness at His feet. A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a greater tendency to humble us than even the conscious awareness of our own guilt……Pride cannot live beneath the cross.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy Cross I cling.” Augustus Toplady

HEART SAVOR

• Jesus’ blood covers my sin.
• Jesus carried His cross and as his follower I, too, will carry a cross. 23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (NIV)
• Out of His pain comes my rejoicing – Him making beauty out of ashes on my behalf. All glory due His great Name. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)

SAFE IN THE REFUGE OF THE ROCK

BREAD

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalms 91:1-4 (NIV)

14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalms 91:14-16 (NIV)

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. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:27-31 (NIV)

27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV)

12 “May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” Ruth 2:12 (NIV)

2 He said: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior.” 2 Samuel 22:2-3 (NIV)

1 I love you, O LORD, my strength. 2 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. Psalms 18:1-2 (NIV)

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalms 40:1-2 (NIV)

9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalms 9:9-10 (NIV)

5 “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Proverbs 30:5 (NIV)

BUTTER
“What we feed our minds and hearts on will determine whether we live a life of faith or a life of fear. …The more time we spend with God and His Word, the more our faith develops and our fear diminishes….Faith in God conquers fear every time. The God who has redeemed us and cares for us is trustworthy. Our Creator God will never abandon us, and He has our best interests at heart. ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging’ (Psalm 46:1-3).” Michael Youssef

“He is near to the broken, He is close to the weary of heart. In His Name is a refuge, Safety for the weak and discarded. There is help for the hopeless, For the wounded in need. In the presence of Jesus, There is power unleashed. Call upon the Name of the Lord, He’s our Defender, our Deliverer. A Shelter in the midst of the storm, Jesus, our Savior, He is King over all the earth. I will sing of my Redeemer, Testify to the touch of His hand, Lifted me from disaster, Set my feet on a solid rock to stand. God is our Refuge, our Strength and Salvation, A Mighty Fortress is the Lord Almighty. There is no equal, no power beside Him. Forever our Champion is the Lord our God. Our Savior, He is King over all the earth.” Lyrics to Defender (Call Upon The Name Of The Lord)

“Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your Saviour, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security.” Elisabeth Elliot

“‘He is my refuge and my fortress’ (Psalm 91:2). A refuge is a place safely out of harm’s way. A fortress is a fortified building that is virtually impenetrable by conventional means. Martin Luther wrote a wonderful hymn that says, ‘A mighty fortress is our God; a bulwark never failing. Our helper He amidst the flood; of mortal ills prevailing.’ What a statement about the magnificent power and protection of God! Does God care for you and me? Can we turn to Him in trust and faith when troubles and temptations threaten to overwhelm us? Yes – a thousand times yes! What greater proof do we need than that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place?” Billy Graham

“Lord, I trust in You. I trust in Your mercy because You are merciful, I trust in Your grace, for You are gracious, I trust in Your goodness for You are good. I trust in Your strength for You are almighty, I trust in Your council for You are wise, I trust in Your compassion for You are love. I trust in the shelter of Your wings, in the shield of Your protection, in the safety of Your surrounding presence. Lord, I trust in You at all times, in all ways, and for all reasons. I trust in You, because what happens to me matters to You, and because my needs are Your concern. Lord, I trust in You, You are my heavenly Father, and I know that You would never do anything unkind or unloving to one of Your children.” Roy Lessin

“Your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love, and you are to accept it cheerfully; you are to carry the cross as your chosen badge and burden, and not to stand judging it too severely….Jesus bids you to submit your shoulder to His easy yoke. Don’t kick at it in petulance, or trample on it in vain conceit, or fall under it in despair, or run away from it in fear, but take it up like a true follower of Jesus. Jesus was a cross bearer; He leads the way in the path of sorrow. Surely you could not desire a better guide! And if He carried a cross, what nobler burden would you desire? The Via Crucis is the way of safety; don’t be afraid to tread its thorny paths…..Carry your cross, and by the power of the Spirit of God you will soon be so in love with it, that like Moses, you would not exchange the reproach of Christ for all the treasures of Egypt. Remember that Jesus carried it, and it will smell sweetly; remember that it will soon be followed by the crown, and the thought of the coming weight of glory will greatly lighten the present heaviness of trouble.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“The center of God’s will is our only safety.” Betsy ten Boom

“The word of the Lord was not ‘When I see your faith,’ but ‘when I see the blood, I will pass over you.’ O soul, if you trust Christ, the blood is on your brow today; before the eye of God there is no condemnation. Why, then, do you need to fear? You are safe, for the blood secures every soul that once is sheltered thereby. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, but if you believe not, trust where you may, you shall be damned.” Charles H. Spurgeon

HEART SAVOR

• I can rest secure in the shadow of the Almighty even though the winds blow hard. In Him my soul is safe.
• I am a child of the King and the King only does what is best for His child whether I can perceive that with human eyes or not, I believe that with all my heart.
• It is Christ’s blood that covers and protects me. I walk in the righteousness of Christ in God’s eyes therefore there is now no condemnation for me. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” (Edward Mote)