>I Need The Gospel – Today!

>As 2010 evaporates and I anticipate 2011…as I reflect back, not only over the year, but the years; I am clobbered with the reality that is so wondrously expressed in the following prayer by SCOTTY SMITH. I want to live moment-by-moment in the awareness of the truth contained in this:

Dear Lord Jesus,

While I still believe, with all my heart, you are the only Savior, I now see how more of my heart needs more of you and more of the gospel.

There is nobody on the face of the earth that needs the gospel today, and its transforming resources, more than me, and I am SO glad to be able to acknowledge this reality. I need you today, Jesus, as much as I did in March of 1968 when you washed away all my sins and covered me with the robe of your righteousness.

You have saved me in the past, when I was justified by grace alone through faith alone; you are saving me in the present, as the Holy Spirit applies more and more of your finished work to my whole being; and you will save me in the future, when you return to finish making all things new, including ME!

Lord Jesus, though I’m never tempted to look to any other name for my justification, I am very tempted to look to other names and means for my transformation—worse of all, is when I look to me to be my own savior. But only you, Jesus, are able to save completely those who come to God through you, for you are always living to pray for us and to advocate for us (Heb 7:25). You are my righteousness, holiness and redemption, and that’s why I only boast in you today! (1 Cor. 1:30-31)

So I come to you today, Jesus, right now! Save me more fully from my fear of man, my need to be in control, my ticky-tacky pettiness. Save me from trying to be anybody’s savior. I want to get irritated far less often and to be spontaneous much more often. I want to “light up” more quickly when I hear your name, Jesus, and not be downcast, when I don’t hear my name.

That’s more than enough confession for one day… Indeed, Jesus, I must be saved, I am being saved, through your name alone. Hallelujah!

>Tozer Tip for Years End

>I do not advise that we end the year on a somber note. The march, not the dirge, has ever been the music of Christianity. If we are good students in the school of life, there is much that the years have to teach us. But the Christian is more than a student, more than a philosopher. He is a believer, and the object of his faith makes the difference, the mighty difference. Of all persons the Christian should be best prepared for whatever the New Year brings. He has dealt with life at its source. In Christ he has disposed of a thousand enemies that other men must face alone and unprepared. He can face his tomorrow cheerful and unafraid because yesterday he turned his feet into the ways of peace and today he lives in God. The man who has made God his dwelling place will always have a safe habitation.

A.W. Tozer

>Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

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“The only fear I have is to fear to get out of the will of God. Outside of the will of God, there’s nothing I want, and in the will of God there’s nothing I fear, for God has sworn to keep me in His will. If I’m out of his will that’s another matter. But if I’m in His will, He’s sworn to keep me.”

>Personal? Really?

>How do these things get started?

Here are some online definitions of “personal”:

adjective

1.

of, pertaining to, or coming as from a particular person; individual; private: a personal opinion.
2.

relating to, directed to, or intended for a particular person: a personal favor; one’s personal life; a letter marked “Personal.”
3.

intended for use by one person: a personal car.
4.

referring or directed to a particular person in a disparaging or offensive sense or manner, usually involving character, behavior, appearance, etc.: personal remarks.
5.

making personal remarks or attacks: to become personal in a dispute.
6.

done, carried out, held, etc., in person: a personal interview.
7.

pertaining to or characteristic of a person or self-conscious being: That is my personal belief.
8.

of the nature of an individual rational being.
 
So from where did the term “personal savior” come? Don’t really care, don’t want to research it, just want to eradicate it. “Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior” Really?
 
It waters the slippery slope into isolated faith, a dumbed-down Jesus who is at our beck and call to serve us…after all, He is allegedly our personal savior…  
 
End of mini-rant. Comments/observations more-than-welcome… 

>Tacky Time!

>One of the biggest blessings in the Lord moving us to Missouri was reconnecting with Johnny Williams…who I’ve known since 1978…he is now not only a see-often friend, but also my pastor…Love him and his family, and glad we get everyone together once in a while…last night it was a Mexica fiesta at their home, with a white elephant gift exchange and a “dress festively tacky” theme…rather fun:

>He Came To Us – Will We (keep) Coming to Him?

>Ah, that fleeting time between the actual CHRISTmas holiday and New Years. Laced with festivity, anticipation, maybe resolutions?

As we bathe in the afterglow of celebrating His birth, we dare not lose sight of His purpose…to give Himself as a ransom for many.

The glorious gospel is not simply how we get saved/converted/born again; the gospel is what we are supposed to live and walk in.

Here’s a reminder I find helpful…

>It Is Not Over….

>When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…

And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.

Howard Thurman

>A Prayer for Jesus’ "Birthday"

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A gem from SCOTTY SMITH:

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

     Dear Jesus, a most grateful and glorious “Happy Birthday!” to you. Though you have existed forever in joyful, intimate relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, this is the day we celebrate your coming to us and for us.

     I join myriads of my brothers and sisters, throughout the world from every age, in celebrating the day angels “Harked!”…  shepherds ran… and Mary pondered the good news of great joy which fills my heart this early morning.

     Jesus, we praise you for being born in Bethlehem, the “house of bread.” We were a famished people, binge eating at many empty buffets, “spending money on that which is not bread.”But you came as the Bread of Life, and you brought the incomparable feast of the gospel to our souls. Now we are truly satisfied… now we are finally alive and we “delight in the richest of fare.” (Isa. 55:1-3)

     We praise you for entering our world in the “town of David,” Israel’s much loved shepherd-king. But David was a mere hint and whisper of who you are.

     Jesus, only you are the Good Shepherd—the one who laid down his life for his sheep. As surely as you were born in a stable, you were destined to offer your life for us as the Lamb of God—the perfect sacrifice for our sins. And now, alive forevermore, you shepherd us with relentless engagement and perpetual kindness. We are so well cared for.

     Jesus, only you are the King of kings… reigning over and working in all things, for your glory and our good. You are the ruler of all the kings of the earth… setting them up and sitting then down at your sovereign discretion. No other kingdom, but yours, is everlasting. Knowing these things to be true, we have a peace which passes all understanding.

     You are the long-time promised and much longed for Christ—the Messiah. We don’t have to look for another, for every promise of God finds its fulfillment—its unequivocal “Yes!” in you, Jesus. The joy this gives us is immeasurable.

     You are the Lordthe Lord of all lords, very God of very God. There’s no threat to your sovereignty, of any kind.  There’s no vexation, exasperation or consternation in you. This centers and settles us, Jesus, and makes us long for the Day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that you are Lord, indeed, to the glory of God the Father.

     Happy Birthday, indeed, Jesus. You are so easy to love and so worthy to be adored. Now, help us busy ourselves today with loving and serving the people you’ve placed in our lives. So very Amen, we pray, in your matchless and merciful name.