Friday, March 9, 2012


I'm aware of my humanity, my frailty, my depravity.
Though I'm also aware of God's calling, His will and His Word, I still choose to live in this prison of flesh. I still choose sin over sanctification. I still choose indulgence over inspiration. I choose selfishness over servanthood. Though I am aware of all the good that is attached to obedience, devotion and piety, I choose less. Though I try to discipline my flesh to obey the Spirit in me, my flesh still wins.

This battle reminds me of Paul's great battle in Romans 7.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

And again, this reminds me of Jesus great promise of freedom.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." - John 8:32 & 36

Only Jesus can set me free. One day I will be free indeed.
One day I will stand before my Savior, released from this prison of flesh and restored fully in glorious freedom. Until that day, I will take each occasion of sin as a prompt to celebrate the promise of deliverance. I will consider each temptation a reminder of my dependance on Him. I will let every victory draw me into gratitude and worship. I will let every defeat draw me into confession and praise.

I will choose freedom.

Monday, March 5, 2012

the praying pastor

1 Timothy 2:1-3 NIV84

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

In light of God's great mercy toward Paul, Timothy and those He has called to pastor our first priority is to pray. We can all identify preaching pastors, compassionate pastors, passionate pastors, encouraging pastors and especially busy pastors. However, how many pastors could we honestly say are first-thought-of as praying pastors?
Paul's instruction to Timothy is that prayer not only good and pleases our Savior, but also grants us peace and steadiness to be holy. Prayer is the essential ingredient of the pastoral life. Without prayer I have no peace, I have no power toward holiness and I do not please the Lord.
The praying pastor is effective because he is dedicated to petitioning, praising, interceding, and thanking God with rhythm and regularity. His church (the people of course) are blessed because he is committed to bringing their needs along with his to God on prayer. This pleases God and He is pleased to respond.
I want to be known as a praying pastor. I don't want to be thought of most as a busy pastor, a cleaver pastor or a fun pastor. I want to be known for prayer and I want those God has entrusted to my care to find comfort in this truth.

Father, deepen my passion for prayer. Help me develop better rhythms of prayer and habits of prayer. I want my ministry to please you. Amen.