Daily Diary – 4/24/18

Why I Write These:

These are written in honor of my grandfather, Leon Milton Buttermore, who has a memory that I am envious of, and I hope that by doing this I am able to be the kind of man who starts to treasure the things given him.

Daily Highlights:

Godly thought of the day:

Numbers 20:8 says: “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.”

I am starting to realize more and more how much God sometimes gives us things he doesn’t intend for us to use. Sometimes having sometimes does not mean God blesses that thing.

Take for example the Lord commanding Moses to take this staff with him to perform this miracle. It’s completely irrelevant. The Lord doesn’t order Moses to use the staff. He merely commands Moses to speak. So why? Why command him to take something that will ultimately be his undoing when he sins and strikes the rock with the staff?

I can only think that God sometimes actually leads us into testing? I know the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness for temptation in Matthew 4. I also know that we are to take joy in our trials and that we are not to prize our possessions. I mean, we could tie a lot of passages in here. But I think the simple warning from Scripture here is to remember that it’s not the things we think are effective habits of righteousness that are powerful here, but it is God’s word that is important. This means we must be good listeners in each and every situation. We must seek the Lord constantly and not seek him thinking that he has some formulaic, magical solution that is always the same. If Moses had listened here, his story would be different.

How might my story be different if I truly learn to listen to both the Lord and other people? I’ll never know, but I do know that I need to listen. It’s important!

Favorite meeting of the day:

Cole Penick and lunch at Slim’s. Hands down. I can’t imagine someone who knows how to encourage me more than he does. He just gets me. He’s able to take my random musings and ramblings and organize them. I’m frankly not sure how he does that, but it is good, good stuff. I’m so thankful for that brother in Christ. So much of what I had been wrestling with emotionally just felt lifted through our conversation. To tell you how I felt before that conversation and after it is hard to express in words.

Hardest part of my day:

Tuesdays have been hard lately. Just getting really tired in the afternoon and not being as productive at work as I’d like to be. I need to start buckling down and be productive in my work. The Lord has given it to me and I should joyously rise to it. Yes, maybe I’m a little short on sleep on Tuesdays. But that’s not an excuse to laze about or not joyously get it done. I need to be proactive towards work. Sometimes it is easy to forget that during a day.

Favorite moment of the day:

Getting to see Andrew and Rebecca Goode. Always fun to see them. I feel very near to them, even though I rarely see them. I see them growing so much and they’re going to go be faithful laborers in the harvest. What a testimony to what the Lord does in lives.

What was the weather like today?:

B-E-A-UTIFUL. That’s something Jonathan Hislop used to say when we played NCAA football games. Whenever we had a good play, he’d say that. I think I’d describe God’s work with the weather that way today.

Most unfaithful moment of my day:

Just work. I felt that I was a bit lackadaisical with it today. Especially the afternoon. My goal is to have a productive Tuesday next week. I also think that sometimes I have a hard time switching from ministry in the morning to work after that. I want to keep doing ministry, but right now I have two jobs in my life and one of them pays the bills and is also a chance for good Gospel conversations. So I should not look on it lowly. It is here for a reason and I need to check my attitude on that.

What am I currently reading?:

Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 20 & 21

Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp – No reading for this today.

Church History by Eusebius – No reading for this today.

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch – No reading for this today.

No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? by David F. Wells – He just highlighted the results of what the pursuing the inner self as the grand accomplishment of man has highlighted. He notes that we find the inner self unable to handle the grandeur of God and Scripture and so we strip it down to allow it to fit in whatever form it can remain. But in the process we lose it.

He also says that the pursuit of the inner self causes us to lose interest in the outside world. We monasticize our faith. But we ultimately find that if we retreat from the public sphere to indulge in our privatized faith the sins of the world will follow us there. And we are not safe. It is only through a heart and mind engaged in objective truth that is actively engaging with all around it that we find hearts and minds that are distinctive and brilliantly alight with the hope of the Gospel.

He also noted that the pursuit of the self tempts us to engage in thoughts that the inner self is somehow perfectable. We get consumed with tweaking and modifying it so that it will shine out brightly in our lives. This, though, is anti-Gospel messaging and so we should encourage those seeking the faith to see it as something found outside themselves, that is larger than themselves, and holds truth above them, and by thus pursuing these things we will help them find an inner dialogue quieted, conformed, and sanctified to peaceful delight in the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

On the Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther – No reading for this today.

What was for dinner?:

Green Indian curry. Rebecca made it. Had some cookies and cider afterwards. A nice evening.

Song of the day:

Shine by Newsboys – After leaving lunch with Cole, I just really felt a levity from my previous mood and found myself remembering how good what I possess is.  And this song, as much as any, embodies the joy that is in the Gospel.     

Quote of the day:

“It is through diligent obedience to the word of God, done rapidly and without delay that the Gospel most transforms lives and saves people.” — Andrew and Rebecca Goode

I am paraphrasing what they said, but this sums up the general gist of something I really like. I don’t know I’ve ever digested it quite this way, and liked it. It is Christians who are transformed by the word of God, allow it to quickly and radically redefine their lives, and go forth and proclaim that same Gospel that change lives. We get so stuck sometimes, and that is plug on the Gospel. Let’s uncork the lid, and allow people to think we’re a bit crazy. After all, maybe we are. 😉

Prayer of the day:

Lord, make me go crazy for you! Help me to hear your word, obey it, and then proclaim it to all who may be near me. Help me to trust you that you use obedience as a center for the effectiveness of the ministry of your people. You demonstrate your power and glory through changed lives that go forth and brightly blaze as a city on a hill, a light that cannot be put out. Lord, thank you for good friends that are encouragements in my life. I do not need or even deserve these things. Yet in your bounty, you give them to me as real, tangible expressions of your love. This is a wonderful trait of yours that you did not leave us alone. You did not leave us alone as a race when you sent Jesus Christ, and you did not leave us alone when he left. You sent the Holy Spirit to lead us into truth and into communities of believers that are such vivid portrayals of the immense and unfathomable love you possess for us! Help me, Lord, to remember that what I get is just a foretaste of what you’re ready to give out in our eternal inheritance. Oh, Lord! Get me excited for that.               

Amen.

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