November 20 / Proverbs 20 / Luke 7

Luke 7:48

“Your sins are forgiven.”

All your wrongs are completely pardoned, restoring intimate relationship with our Maker…

IF you confess & turn away from them. Not meaning you will never slip up in the flesh, but you have truly turned away from what damages relationship.

Do you live in this freedom?

Or do you still live as though you must pay?

Living in guilt toward God is your own fault, not His, not anybody else’s.

Tell Him about it, be done with it, & He does not hold it against you.  Usually we hold it against us.

Usually we hold it against us.

Proverbs 20:27

The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.


They are what drive us.  They are related to desire.  What we really want in the hidden recesses of our heart.  This propels us day to day, making the choices we make.  We may not even know our own deep motives ourselves.

But God does.

And when we open to Him, and converse candidly with Him without pretense, He sheds His light on us that we may see who we really are.  We find out what is actually driving us.

Most of us do not go to these hidden places where God wants to meets us and heal us.  Teresa of Avila wrote about this via the metaphor of our soul as a castle, The Interior Castle.   She envisioned it made entirely out of diamond or clear crystal, something very precious, and having many rooms.  Most seem content to hang around the outside of the castle, in the courtyard focused on “external matters”, but never entering.

The door of entry to this castle is prayer and reflection.

Not long ago a very learned man told me that souls who do not practice prayer are like people with paralyzed or crippled bodies; even though they have hands and feet they cannot give orders to these hands and feet.  Thus there are souls so ill and so accustomed to being involved in external matters that there is no remedy, nor does it seem they can enter within themselves.  They are now so use to dealing with the insects and vermin that are in the wall surrounding the castle that they have become almost like them.  And though they have so rich a nature and the power to converse with none other but God, there is no remedy.  If these souls do not strive to understand and cure their great misery, they will be changed into statues of salt, unable to turn their heads to look at themselves, just as Lot’s wife was changed for having turned her head.

And on prayer, she writes:

A prayer in which a person is not aware of whom he is speaking to, what he is asking, who it is who is asking and of whom, I do not call prayer however much the lips move.  Sometimes it will be so without this reflection, provided that the soul has these reflections at other times.  Nonetheless, those who have the habit of speaking before God’s majesty as though they were speaking to a slave, without being careful to see how they are speaking, but saying whatever comes to their heads and whatever they have learned from saying at other times, in my opinion are not praying.  Please God, may no Christian pray in this way.

What is your motive in prayer?

To connect relationally with God?

What is your motivation in work, ministry, your family, life?

To feel good?

Positive results?

To please God?


To help others pay attention to God?

To help others pay attention to you?

Love for God?

Love for people?









November 19 / Proverbs 19 / Luke 6

Proverbs 19:2

One who moves too hurriedly misses the way.

Speeding through life, you miss the BEAUTY & MESSAGE of the present moment.  I bought a book a while back with a title that says it well > “Too Busy Not To Pray: Slowing Down To Be With God”.

This is one of those things you never regret, like spending quality time with your kids.  When was the last time you heard someone say late in life, “Yeah if just hadn’t spent so much time with my children as they were growing up, I really could’ve gotten a lot more done! Oh to do it over…” [?]

S  L  O  W     D    O    W    N       H u r r y.  i s.  k i l l i n g.  u s.    

B  E.   W  I  T  H.   G  O  D.

Luke 6:12

Jesus went up into a mountain to pray, and He spent all nite in prayer to God.

Oh look, what a coincidence, the gospel reading fits perfectly with the Proverb for the day. God is weird, in the best way…

Jesus could have been the busiest man ever, he had whole towns after Him for what He could give them.  But He always took time to slow down & be with His Father, to just pray to Him.  

We think we are too busy to sit & pray. What a joke. What a victory of deceit for the evil one.

Remember, whenever you say “I don’t have time for something” what you’re really saying is “I value something else more.”











November 18 / Proverbs 18 / Luke 5

Proverbs 18:9

A person who doesn’t work hard is just like someone who destroys things.

We say that what we do matters. This is a big reason we call this ministry The Ripple Effect.  Because everything we do matters and has an effect on those around us, whether we see it or not.

And conversely, what we don’t do matters as well, and has an effect on people.

For example, when the Spirit brings someone to mind, someone we need to reach out to in order to encourage, and we ignore that prompting, it has its ripple effect.  Perhaps that person is quite low, and a good word would have had a tremendously positive effect on their spirit.  Yet we went about our day, not obeying that little voice, and that person sinks even lower into discouragement.

It’s not that it’s totally on us to accept responsibility for another’s well being, but look at the blessing to both that was lost!  Our laziness causes us to miss out on so much that God has to offer.

Not using a talent toward the “healing of the nations” is, in reality, a “robbing of the nations.”

None of us should be thought of as anything less than the potential to change the world.  -Killswitch Engage

Holding back in some way is the same as stealing from others.

Luke 5:11,28

They abandoned everything and followed Him.

And he abandoned everything, got up, and followed Him.

Luke 5:36-39

It’s amazing how many people “prefer the old way” of doing things and like to throw Jesus’ name on it.

We preach against the very thing we say we are preaching sometimes.

According to the New Testament, there are no more hierarchies, no sacred spaces, no special days, no things we aren’t allowed to eat, no rules that we HAVE TO follow…

Jesus did not come to add something on to what everybody was already doing, to put new wine into old wineskins.  He came to put new wine into new wineskins.

He came as the fulfillment, the transcendent replacement, of the Law, the Temple, of Israel!

He IS Law.  He IS Temple.  He IS Israel!

We no longer follow the Law, worship at the Temple, look to Israel for who knows what.

We follow Jesus, worship at Jesus, look to Jesus for EVERYTHING.

At our best sometimes, we focus on following Jesus, more than Jesus Himself..

November 17 / Proverbs 17 / Luke 4


Proverbs 17:19

Whoever loves to argue loves to sin.

People with a lot of drama in their lives invite said drama themselves, most of the time.

Law of attraction.  Laws of the universe.

If you love arguing, then you love strife.

Very rarely, if ever, is someone else the problem.  If you step up and just accept that you are the problem, it is actually quite empowering, for then you can change.  Your life changes, even if your circumstances do not.  Until you admit that you must be the change you want to see in the world, nothing progresses.

You can keep on complaining about everybody…see what that does for you…

Luke 4:1-13

Jesus is tempted by the devil.

One of the most common and compelling temptations is, “Do this good thing without consulting God first.”*

Scripture tells us that Jesus did and said only what He heard from His Father.

Think of all the good He could’ve done.

He could have founded the most amazing hospital ever.

He could have started quite a joy-filled orphanage.

But Father knows best.  Humbly, He did what He was commissioned to do.  And He stayed tuned in well enough to hear it clearly.

It seems to have turned out pretty well.

There’s a million good things we can do.  But what do you hear the Father asking of you?

Are you listening?

*We are here of course not talking about those daily acts of goodness that are presented in front of you-loving your neighbor before you. More, the big undertakings, like starting some group, organization, things that will take much of your energy, time, margin. It is important to ask why you are doing so. Calling or craving? Or maybe both! Which is cool.

November 16 / Proverbs 16 / Luke 3

Proverbs 16:2

All one’s ways are pure in one’s own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.

Why do you do what you do?  Anything you do…?

What is in your heart toward someone when talking with them, when acting toward them?

Even while doing something nice for someone, it is most important what is in your heart toward them at that time.

Luke 3:22

YHWH told Jesus, “I’m delighted in you.”

Therefore, YHWH delights in us because of what Christ accomplished.  We are worthy and approved of by God Himself, not because of anything we’ve accomplished ourselves or had to earn, but because of what God declared.

Therefore, living as tho you are unworthy of God’s love denies who He is, who you are, and leads to sin…always.

You are cherished by God.  No one can take that away from you.

We are becoming more like Jesus everyday that we seek Him.  It feels as tho we experience the delight of God more and more as we are conformed closer and closer to the image of Jesus.


*Something to chew on (bonus)

Chun-An shared last nite something he came across:  that many say love is the great motivator.  But it’s not.  It’s longing.

What do you long for?

November 15 / Proverbs 15 / Luke 2

Proverbs 15:7

Wise people use their words to spread knowledge.

Do you do this?  Do you spread truth and goodness with every interaction?

Proverbs 15:22

Plans fail without good advice, but they succeed with the advice of many others.

I am beyond blessed with a plethora of wise counsel in my life.  If I make a dumb decision, it is sooo my own fault for not consulting the wise, godly people I have around me.

The devil loves it when you isolate yourself.  That’s when you’re weak and stupid.

Luke 2:19,51

Mary is such a wonderful example for us.  How can you not love this woman?

She treasured these things and pondered them in her heart.

That’s so it, right?  Do you find yourself doing your “One Minute Devotional” then quickly moving on?  Or maybe you do the “Zero Minutes With God” gift edition devotional…That’s a pretty crappy publication…I saw it once…

Treasure everything from God.  Treasure His word.  Ponder it in your heart all day.  He gives life thru His word.

Taking ten or twenty minutes everyday to just sit and think of God is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

Luke 2:52

Jesus grew wiser as He grew taller, gaining favor both with God and with people.

We are made to grow, to create, to gain wisdom, to know God more everyday–not to remain stagnant.  Or one of my favorite lines, to “tread water in a sea of mediocrity.”  We were made for so much more!

Are you growing in some intentional way everyday?

November 14 / Proverbs 14 / Luke 1


Proverbs 14:9

Fools don’t care if they sin, but honest people work at being right.

You are in a very dangerous place if your heart is hardened to any sin.  If there’s anything you’ve grown accustomed to and stopped fighting, take a step back and look at it again through God’s eyes.  We are not made to just live with certain sins, to walk through life with a limp of undefeated disease.

We are more than conquerors through Christ.

He likes you and desires for you to live in victory, release, peace, and freedom.

We do not believe for one second it is His will that you live in failure. To live alongside that which robs you of joy and abundance.


Luke [overview]

 Luke, the longest book in the NT is the most comprehensive & precise of the Gospels. The combined books of Luke & Acts
constitute 28 percent of the NT, making Luke the most prolific of its contributors (2,138 verses; Paul wrote 2,033). Not only
was this gospel carefully recorded & documented, but it was also written in the most refined Greek in the NT- only the
Epistle to the Hebrews is comparable. Luke’s large vocabulary & great breadth of expressions & constructions give his
work a literary richness & beauty that make his gospel the favorite of many. Luke alone contains the four beautiful hymns
commonly known as the Magnificat of Mary (1:46-55), the Benedictus of Zacharias (1:67-79), the Gloria in Excelsis of the heavenly host (2:14), and the Nunc Dimittis of Simeon (2:28-32).


-from Talk Thru The Bible


 Luke 1:68-79

Jesus has dealt with and defeated our enemies–the cosmic forces that would seek to keep us from full fellowship with God.

His power is now our power for the taking and relying upon.

His kingdom can and will reign thru us who appropriate His resurrection power in this world now in order to usher in what He started two millennia ago.

As stated above, the only reason to live in defeat is choice–choice to ignore God’s redemption and victory, our refusal to rely upon that which is all powerful and all loving.

Choose to live in the victory that has been won for you already.










November 13 / Proverbs 13 / Mark 16


Proverbs 13:4

The desire of the lazy is strong, but they get nothing, but desire of those who work hard will be satisfied.

This is true of the spiritual life.

We have as much of God as we want to have and dedicate time to.  We are as filled with the Holy Spirit as we choose to be.

If you’re time with God consists of reading a “One-Minute Devotional” while on the can, then that is what your spiritual life will reflect…

However, if you make concentrated time to focus on Him during your best hour of the day, if you make it a point to think about Him every moment, you will reap the tremendous benefits that even the honest attempt at those practices bring!

Mark 16:7

He is going ahead of you to Galilee.  You’ll see Him there, just like He told you.

Jesus is the ultimate keeper of His word!

I mean He tells these dudes (in 14:28) “Yeah I’m going to be killed this weekend, but after I defeat death and Satan, I’ll rise up and hook up with you all in Galilee.”

[Record Scratch] WHAT???  Who does this?

No one.

Except Jesus the Messiah.

Think about this for a moment today, or for many moments today…

What if I tell you, “So I’m gonna be killed in a car wreck this weekend, but no worries, I plan kicking death in the throat for a few days, then let’s meet up at Boogie Burger, say, Monday for lunch? I’m guessing I’ll be famished.”

ONE–You’ll think me crazy.

TWO–You go to my grave site, only to see it opened and a dude there in shiny white saying, “He went ahead to Boogie Burger just like he said he would.”

THREE–After freaking out for a good thirty-four minutes, you actually go to Boogie Burger if, for nothing else, out of sheer the-opposite-of-morbid curiosity and actually see me there totally annihilating a Buffalo Breaded Bird with bleu cheese.  And would you not listen uber intently to every single word I had to say about my weekend? About EVERYTHING! Everyday!

FOUR–Yes, you would, because I have control over death and the universe.

We can trust Jesus.  That’s what we’re really trying to say here.

You can hear the stories from people, like some did after the resurrection, but when you actually encounter Him via the Holy Spirit, you are a changed person and you share it with everybody authentically because you don’t just believe it, you KNOW it is all true.

It is one thing to hear the message and quite something else to meet the risen Lord personally.

-Warren Wiersbe

November 12 / Proverbs 12 / Mark 15

Proverbs 12:15-16

Fools think they are right, but the wise listen to advice.

Proverbs 12:23

Wise people keep what they know to themselves, but fools can’t keep from showing how foolish they are.

Proverbs 12:25

Worry is a heavy load, but a kind word cheers you up.

Encourage 3 people everyday.  Make the world a better place with this simplest of actions.  Intentionally express your appreciation for someone this day.  Far too many times we think of what somebody means to us, yet hold back from expressing it for some reason.

To know you are seen and appreciated is one of the greatest and most life-giving of experiences.

Mark 15:38

The Temple veil was torn in two from top to bottom.

The barriers we put up between people of different races, nationalities, economic conditions, and other external distinctions are torn apart, rendered useless, in Jesus Christ, as surely as the curtain in the Temple was torn from top to bottom.

-from The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible

Jesus fulfilled the promise of YHWH to bless all the nations of the earth thru Israel.  Access to the presence of God has been paid for all people He has made.  It is no longer our sin that keeps us from God, for that has been decisively dealt with.  Rather it is our decision to trust in ourselves that keeps us from the full, joyful access to the presence of God in heaven

The Holy of Holies, which the priest could enter only once a year, was the ultimate symbol of God’s dwelling place.  God’s rending of the veil meant that He was now available apart from the Temple system, and that the old Temple order stood judged and abolished.

-from The IVP Bible Background Commentary

Do you see how we still require people to depend on someone to enter the Holy of Holies for us?  And to worship at the Temple?  And to follow the Law?  Even, dare we say it, the Bible?

Do you see how small this is?  How limiting?

We follow Jesus Christ.  The living person who is the revelation of God, who it all was pointing to.

He gives life and freedom, unlike any of those other things.  We need the Bible as our guide, but do not ever exchange it for the larger than life person of Jesus Himself.  We are called Christians, not Bibleians, or Churchians.  The term someone used was “Churchianity.”

Now, following Christ, you will then naturally want to dig into His words, as well as spend time communing and sharpening with others who are following Him.  And when you follow Jesus first, this will be freeing and life giving to the nth degree!

Again, Scripture and other believers help us from making up our own version of Jesus and following that concoction, but we must remember, always, to seek after and pursue and rest in the actual person Jesus.  He gives us life.  He is the Vine to which we are to be connected if we want life.  He did not say Scripture is the Vine, or people are the Vine, or church is the Vine.  In fact He told some religious leaders that they were mistakenly looking for life in the Scriptures when Life itself was standing right before them!  C’mon people!!!

We all want to be known, seen, heard, cherished, and loved unconditionally.  If you’re human, you want this.  You crave this. Yes, you do.  And this comes perfectly from only one Source, and that is God thru Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  And it’s pure awesomeness…!

November 11 / Proverbs 11 / Mark 14


Proverbs 11:2

It is wise to be humble.

Working with the kindergarten thru second grade kids in Sunday School one day, we were talking about humility.  One of the main points we tried to convey to them was that we are all on the same level, all having disadvantages and opportunities provided for us.  God does not love me more than anyone else, even those who reject Him, for we are both (all) made in His image, are we not?

We all have the same access and opportunity to be close to God.  No one has a better or quicker way to God, for it is all thru Jesus and what He accomplished.  It is nothing we can attain ourselves.  So how can you possibly think you are better than anyone else?

Maybe you have taken advantage of what God has provided to live the abundant life.  If we are not watchful, we can start to feel, and then act, as tho we are superior, forgetting who got us there.

Any one of the other 7 billion people on the planet can also take advantage of the life God has provided, because Jesus made the same offer to each one of them.  You’re no better or more loved than anyone of them, just more joyful for accepting what someone else provided that you in no way on your own could have done.

Mark 14:36

“Daddy, Father, all things are possible for you.  Please take this extreme suffering away from me.  But-not what I want.  But what you want.”

This is probably the most honest and mature prayer ever.

God can do anything.  So why not ask to take away the bad and give the good?

Many times He does just that…if we only but ask Him.

However, if He does not answer that prayer affirmatively, the maturity is in trusting that He is infinitely good and knows what He is doing.  Then we comply, doing the good that is right in front of us to do, only ultimately wanting what He wants because we know it is best, no matter how it may look to us.  This is another level of trust that will bring forth immense joy and abundance of life.

Look where Jesus’ suffering took Him.  The Father knew what He was doing, tho it looked bleak and awful…

Oh the joy of ACCEPTANCE.