Posts Tagged ‘Luke 18’

What Does it Mean to be Desperate?

From Christianitytoday.com Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard FREE Community Edition on 2016-03-16

Have you ever been desperate to see something happen? I’ve been thinking lately of the good side of desperation. I suppose often when we think of the word, “desperate,” it has a negative connotation. We don’t necessarily seek to be in a state of desperation.

I’d like to share an experience I had with Dawn and Hannah a few years ago. The three of us went to an event at a church in the area. None of us had ever been to this event before and we didn’t really know what to expect, but we thought we’d give it a try. The service started with a long period of worship, which I enjoyed. Yet the people there were more emotional and more expressive than I’m used to. I felt uncomfortable in some ways because it was something different for me.

I believe now reflecting back on the time that I had an attitude, which adversely affected my ability to worship. In other words, I became cynical, and it wasn’t a good attitude by any means.

Later as I thought through my experience I felt like the Lord gently nudging me, and it hit me that these people were desperate to know God in a deeper way and to have an encounter with him. It also caused me to see that sometimes when I worship it can become a little stale, and I don’t have that sense of longing for the Lord. I don’t believe that I necessarily need to worship in the same way, but I do believe that I should be desperate to know God. I want to long to know him in a deeper and more profound way. At times I think that has been missing from my life.

I long for more. I must admit that when our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven it was a kind of wake up call. It’s like, this has to be real. I need a deeper relationship with my Lord. I can’t live one more day without him.

I’ve served in ministry for more than 30 years now, and I suppose one might think that someone in ministry shouldn’t have these issues. Yet, there’s always a danger whether we are in ministry or not of becoming pharisaical, of losing our first love. Not that I had lost my first love, but I wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I wasn’t as hungry as I was when I first came to Christ.

Being Undignified in Worship and Celebration

Levi the Exalter Angel at the prayer center in Every Home for Christ in Colorado Springs. This sculpture was named Levi in memory of the sculptor’s 19-year-old son, Levi who died suddenly in a car crash in 2010.

When people are desperate they may not always do things in the most dignified ways. We see examples of this in the Bible, and yet God rewarded their willingness to humble themselves.

In 2 Samuel 6, David was leaping and dancing before the Lord in celebration as they brought the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem. His wife, Michal, despised him when she saw him. David responded in verse 22 saying, “I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” David was willing to unabashedly worship the Lord with his whole being. How often do we worship in the same manner?

Another example in the New Testament is the blind beggar in Luke 18 who cried out to Jesus as he was going by. He cried out, “‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And those who were in front of rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!'” (Luke 18:39) Jesus stopped and healed the blind beggar. He went on to compliment him and he told him that his faith had made him well.

There are many more examples in the Bible of people who were willing to humble themselves and even take the risk of looking like a fool, and the Lord rewards their faith.

Growing to Have a Desperate Love

Thank you for praying for us, and for joining us on this journey!

Thankful to be on this journey together, and grateful for you for joining us on this journey!

I don’t think it’s easy to have this reckless abandon for the Lord. I pray that even though it’s uncomfortable that I will have this type of desperate love and desire to know and encounter the living Christ.

I’m grateful that we just celebrated His resurrection. Christ defeated death, Satan, and sin on the cross so that we might live and experience life abundantly. It’s not just life, but an abundant and rich life. Thank you, Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God calls to come before him and to rest in him

God calls to come before him in prayer

Persistence Pays Off

Over the last week I was reading through the book of Luke. The Lord nudged me about the necessity of persistent prayer, especially as I read Luke 18:1-8. The parable of the widow who would not give up is a wonderful story. It is a reminder for us not lose heart in prayer.

“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭18:1-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God’s Goodness & Mercy

I love this story of God’s goodness and mercy. A few things stand out to me as I look this passage over.

  • We are prone to lose heart in prayer.
  • Jesus’ encouragement is to be humble and to not give up.
  • Keep coming before the Lord. He is working in us, and changing us as we come before him.
  • God is a loving and just God. He hears our prayers, and he will answer.
  • Jesus argues from the lesser to the greater. If an unjust judge will answer the widow’s plea, how much more will the loving and merciful God hear our cry as we come before him.
  • Of course the answer may not always look like we’d like, but he does respond in a way that brings glory to himself and is ultimately good for us.
  • Do you believe that God wants to give you good gifts? James 1:17 also confirms that he does.

This passage lifts me up. I realize that my prayers, our prayers are not in vain. God is at work even when it seems like it’s not so.

The Sunset at Imperial Beach

The Sunset at Imperial Beach

Thank You for Your Prayers

Thank you dear friend for joining us in prayer. These last two years have been among the toughest that our family has ever faced. We see God doing some amazing things, yet it’s not been easy.  I believe your prayers sustain us as we continue on this journey. Do not lose heart, keep knocking on the door. Keep coming before our loving and just Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Rodrigo & Nancy, Dawn & Dave, Martha & Abraham (from left to right) pastors, ministers, pastors wives

Some of our pastor friends and their wives: Rodrigo & Nancy, Dawn & Dave, Martha & Abraham (from left to right)

In my discussions with my pastor friends in Tijuana, they are asking me questions about the gospel. They love the powerful message of the gospel, and they are hungry to learn more. This has me studying more about this subject.

What is the Gospel?

The question, “what is the gospel?” has led me to the book of Galatians. One of the best commentaries ever written on Galatians was penned by Martin Luther. I’m reading the, Commentary on Galatians, by Martin Luther, published by Fleming H. Revell a Division of Baker Book House, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1924, 1988.

Luther says we need to beat the gospel into our heads, because we are so prone to forget it. I enjoyed beating the gospel into my head today. It is so powerful! The great thing about studying these truths is that it strengthens my heart as well.

On pages 38 and 39 of Luther’s commentary he addresses the fact that Christ has taken our sins. Galatians 1:3-5 says,

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Dave & Dawn with pastor Leo and Gloria Nevarez (they pastor in Rosarito)

Dave & Dawn with pastor Leo and Gloria Nevarez (they pastor in Rosarito)

This is mind-blowing that the God of the universe, Jesus Christ would give himself for our sins. Wow! Christ gave himself for sinners, for those that are unworthy and those that deserve God’s wrath. He didn’t give himself for the religious, the moral, or the righteous. I don’t mean that there is no hope for them. I mean we all are in need of Christ, but if you are relying on being religious, moral or righteous to be justified before God, then you are lost.

A great example of this is the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18. The Pharisee thought he was righteous, because of what he did for God. The tax collector was repentant of his sins. He recognized his need for a savior. He said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13b)

The Accuser versus The Gospel

Luther addresses how our enemy seeks to trip us up. The devil seeks to accuse those in Christ saying, “you are a sinner, and therefore you are damned,” p. 38. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus already paid the price. He was damned for us. “Christ was not only given for other men’s sins, but also for yours,” p. 39. It is a personal salvation that we receive when we are in Christ.

There are many benefits to having received the grace of the gospel. Paul at the beginning of the passage speak of grace and peace. Those are two of the many blessings believers receive. Luther states, “there is no fear, but sweetness, joy and peace of conscience,” p. 39. If you feel condemned, if you lack peace it is most likely our enemy the devil deceiving you. Remember he is called the accuser of the brothers. He is the father of lies.

But praise be to God, Jesus defeated Satan on the cross!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org