September 5, 2016

Psalms 51 - 
Generous in love-- God, give grace!  Hugh in mercy wipe out my bad record.  Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry.  I know how bad I’ve been, my sins are staring me down.  
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time...what you’re after is truth from the inside out.  Enter me then, conceive a new, true life...God, make a fresh start with me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life...

Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!  Unbutton my lips, dear God; I’ll let loose with your praise... going through the motions, doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you...    

I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.  Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.  

Make Zion the place you delight in, repair Jerusalem’s broken down walls.  Then you’ll get real worship from us, acts of worship small and large.                 

1 & 2 Timothy; Titus - 
What is the place for human leadership?  It has to be second place...Ego-centered ego-prominent leadership betrays the Master.  

The best leadership in spiritual communities formed in the name of Jesus is inconspicuous, not calling attention to itself but not sacrificing anything in the way of conviction and firmness either.

I Timothy 1 - 
Paul requests that Timothy stay in Ephesus “so that the teaching stays on track...

The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love-- love uncontaminated by self-interest & counterfeit faith, a life open to God.  Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip.  They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven’t the remotest ideas of what they’re holding forth with such imposing eloquence...

It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it & to whom you say it are as important as what you say...  

I am so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work.  He went out on a limb, you know in trusting me with this ministry.  The only credentials I brought to it were invective and witch hunts and arrogance.  But I was treated mercifully because I didn’t know what I was doing, didn’t know why I was doing it against.  

Grace, mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me.  And all because of Jesus.... Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.  I’m proof....

I’m passing this work on to you, my son, Timothy.  The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this.  All those prayers are coming together now so you will also do this well, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on your faith and yourself.  After all, this is a fight we’re in.  There are some, you know, who by relaxing their grip and thinking anything goes have made a thorough mess of their faith.