John Journal 1.6

Journal Entry Reflection: Write and reflect on what it means to be a road builder.  Where do you hinder people from meeting Jesus? Where do you help?

I guess I’ve never really thought about my ministry like the ministry of John the Baptist until now, but I like it.  I love the concept that I prepare the way for people to get to Jesus.  It does scare me though, because I know how often I have, and do prevent (or at least make it hard) for people to see past me to God.  Without a doubt the biggest barricade in my arsenal is my pride.  I’m confident that my commitment to myself turns people sour as they contemplate following Jesus unhindered.  My pride even raises up as I write, thinking “how humble and honest of me to write such a statement.”  Yuck!  I pray that the place I make smooth, straight, broad paths is in the ruthless commitment to daily rooting that pride out deep down.  I love to preach the Gospel to unbelievers and believers and smooth out the way to them understanding the love of God for them through His Son Jesus.  Let me do good road construction in that God, please!

What I Need to Pray About: Write and pray about jumping into greater places of “sandal untying” humble service.  How can God use you right now to serve others more sacrificially?

God, this message to be a servant feels so basic, yet I’m reminded … rebuked, at how often I need the call back to it.  I do, I need Your shove into sacrificial, thankless, slave-ness.  It’s really easy, well easier, God to do this for the Church, for others … gets harder to go lower and lower at home.  You have given me such an amazing wife who does so much to love and shepherd our family … and I still let her do to much of the serving to me and not enough the other way around.  God, I need to untie her sandals more, untie the sandals of my kids more, and bless them with my heart of service, beyond what I think is expected of me.  Needing Your help here God … pour on the grace!  Amen.

John Journal 1.5

Journal Entry Reflection: Write and reflect on the words grace and truth.  Where are you out of balance in your understanding of God?  Where are you out of balance in your life and ministry?

I love that grace and truth weren’t new concepts attributed to Jesus, but are rooted in the character of God.  The lovingkindness and faithfulness of Yahweh God in the Old Testament that now become expressed in the grace and truth of the Word, Jesus Christ.  So, I’ve tried to wrestle in my heart with where I’m out of balance over the past couple weeks … I asked Michelle what she thought.  She said that I probably land on the grace side, funny …  I would have said I land on the truth side.  I so love truth and theology, so love talking Gospel for life and ministry that I see myself more ready to teach than ready to serve.  But I’ve also been around those that wield truth like a club to beat on people that I’m so sensitive to not doing that.  I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, I want to believe the best about people … that is where perhaps I sometimes take too long to speak truth into their mess.  What a great grace that as I look to Jesus, His perfect grace and truth brings me to equilibrium and the honest pursuit of both of these characteristics in my life.  Thanks God!

What I Need to Pray About: Write and pray about being a person of grace and truth who displays that glory of the Son to the world.

Oh how I want people to see through me to the glory of God.  Oh how I still manifest self-boasting glory that robs You God of what is Yours and Yours alone.  You who have lavished grace upon me, unclog the pipes of my soul and let that grace be a conduit that flows through me to others … so that they get the grace and You get the glory!  You have lavished truth on me, opening my blind eyes and letting me see the cross clearly … let that truth move through my heart and mind into my mouth so I may always testify of what is true about You to the world.  Make yourself famous through me Oh God!  Amen.