Category Archives: Daily Meditations

December 29 / Proverbs 29

Proverbs 29:1

Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

Those who think they need no help are the ones in need of the most help.

Proverbs 29:11

Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.

There’s quite a difference between venting and seeking wise counsel. Brain studies have shown that mere venting is actually detrimental to dealing with issues. All it does is tell your body to relive a bad experience and add to your anger. But seeking advice or prayer is a different matter. That is the pursuit of healing, not a feeble attempt to feel better for a moment.

December 28 / Proverbs 28 / John 21

Proverbs 28:26

Those who trust in themselves are foolish, but those who walk in wisdom will be kept safe.

What I believe is of the utmost importance in these days of our insanely noisy culture of distraction from what is truly important, are encounters with God in solitude, quiet, and listening.  It is in this place of meditative silence that the many voices competing for our attention are finally able to be turned down. This does not come at once, but with practice.

How can we hear someone except to be quiet and listen for two seconds? The same goes with listening to God. How can we hear Him unless we quiet ourselves and the voices around us so as to actually hear Him who is always speaking to us?

God is spirit, and must be worshipped and communicated with in spirit and in truth.

We don’t expect to see God with our bodily eyes-simply because we can sense only what is spatio-temporally limited. We can’t see God by some sort of intellectual vision, because cognition depends on a sensory infrastructure which cannot contain divinity. It is only at the level of spirit that God is visible. For us to see God we have to leave behind the world of sense, enter the region of unknowing and allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide.”If we have known Christ Jesus according to the flesh, then we know him thus no longer” (2 Corinthians 5:16).

-from Toward God by Michael Casey

This has absolutely, unequivocally been my experience.

John 21:21-22

“Master, what about him?”

“…what’s that got to do with you? Follow me!”

Yet another distraction from where our hearts should be. When you find yourself wondering if mega-churches are on the right path or if other denominations have the correct doctrine and practices, imagine Jesus Himself asking you, “What’s that got to do with you following Me?”

I’ve noticed this Christmas season, for whatever reason, that we humans have quite an intense affinity for talking about others and their shortcomings. Why? Well, when we’re discussing that topic, the pressure is off of us, isn’t it? We don’t have to think or talk about our own shortcomings or areas of needed growth. Unless of course we have no need for growth. Then I guess we can talk about people all day long…

But seriously, what if we, as Christ followers, made an agreement with ourselves that we will not speak negatively of others, at all. If nothing else, we will remain silent, not giving in to fueling the fires of gossip. I’ve tried this a couple times this week, and it went well, tho feeling slightly awkward at first-just not responding at all-but the convo stopped. It had nowhere to go due to the cut-off of supply line.

If nothing else, before responding, imagine Jesus asking you, “What does that have to do with you following Me?”

December 27 / Proverbs 27 / John 20

Proverbs 27:6

The slap of a friend can be trusted to help you, but the kisses of an enemy are nothing but lies.

We can totally trust the constructive criticism from someone who genuinely cares about us and sees us accurately. It is ego and pride that get in our way from benefitting from this good thing. Think of how much more quickly we could improve or learn life lessons if we just set our pride and our fear of not being seen well aside. We don’t need more flattery, we need honest assessments if we really want to go to the next level of living life well.

Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other.

You do not gain wisdom in isolation. This is why we must meet together. This is why it is imperative to stay in close contact with one another. It is to improve each other. The more contact, the more we grow. Even Arnold had a workout partner.

John 20:30-31

Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which aren’t written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that the Messiah, the Son of God, is none other than Jesus; and that, with this faith, you may have life in His name.

Here John writes for us the why of His gospel account. He wrote what he wrote so that we can see that Jesus really was the Messiah and therefore believe it. But not only that. He wrote all this so that by believing it, we would have the eternal kind of life available to us in His name.

It’s not enough to just believe, but not act upon or follow. I can believe that eating natural foods will improve the health and well being of my body, but still eat fast food everyday.

The point is more participation. Absorption of this truth into our heart and brain so that it permeates everything we do, say, and think. Every moment of our life passing through the filter that says Jesus is the source of Life that really is Life. It replaces our old filter of the world’s weak and stupid philosophies of pleasing self, of scarcity thinking, of fear.

As Christ followers, we operate out of the abundance from His Life flowing into ours to overflowing. That overflow touches the world, and all those who come into contact with us are blessed by Him. But only if we are taking the time to fill up from Him. Otherwise we are on our own. When operating on my own power, I imagine God saying to me, “Well, good luck. Let me know how that turns out for you. I’m always here if you need me (and hint: YOU DO NEED ME!!!).”

December 25-26 / Proverbs 25-26 / John 18-19

Proverbs 25:12

The combination of a wise correction and a listening ear is pure gold.

Proverbs 26:7

Wisdom spoken by someone who is not living or acting on what they say, generally falls useless on its listeners’ ears, even if it is truth. The fat personal trainer giving nutritional and exercise counsel, even if scientifically accurate, is laughed at.  May this challenge us to first live God’s ways before advising others to do so. This does not mean we have to be perfect, of course, but words spoken from a heart taking them seriously and acting upon them, will be well received, even if not agreed with. Don’t be that guy who becomes known as the dude who is always telling everybody what they should do. As has been said, “Don’t should all over people.”

John 18:4

Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to Him. He went out to meet them.

He knew He was going to be abandoned, mocked, tortured, and killed, and we went voluntarily to meet His betrayer anyway. What a man! What a man of love. Always looking at the greater good and glory ahead rather than narrowly focused on the pain of the moment, yet still doubtlessly feeling it in His humanity.

Oh how often I hold back, fearing some rejection or just the possibility of love or sacrifice not being returned. It’s passages such as this that gently remind me of how far off the mark of Christ I am, yet inspire me press onward, to grow in the likeness of Him. That is the voice of our Holy Spirit, gently reminding us, pressing us onward.

I pray that I will meet people where they are, even if I know they will reject or even hurt me. For this is the cosmic power of the universe in Logos.

John 19:30

Jesus fulfilled all the prophesies, and accomplished all He set out and was suppose to do. At the moment of His death He gave His Spirit which was to replace His physical body on earth. Through a work impossible for any other human, He gave over what is to fill us and be Him in the world. May we appreciate this sacrificial and powerful accomplishment.

The more open we are to Him, the more surrendered and submitted, the more Jesus is here on earth.

What do you need to remove in order for Jesus to more fully reign on earth through you?

December 24 / Proverbs 24 / John 17

Proverbs 24:3

It takes wisdom to have a good family, and it takes understanding to make it strong.

Nothing great comes without great effort. Great effort must be made in understanding others if your goal is to have peaceful relationships, a loving family, or shalom. Ministry is loving and even studying people so as to better care for and serve them. We bring awareness to one another in order to strengthen our intentionality. That, I believe, is the point and power of awareness. Once you recognize a pattern or habit, you can then be more intentional in addressing and healing the brokeness that will now be clearly visible to you. Here lies the immense value of being that mirror to each other. “Hey, did you notice that whenever you talk about ‘So and So’, that your demeanor changes and you show anger?” If someone is a good enough friend to detect, as well as challenge us in this way, we should embrace it! Thank you! Now I can be much more intentional in growing in this area you brought awareness to. “Also, did you know you have basil in your teeth?” Thank you!

John 17:24

“Father, I want the ones you’ve given me to be with me where I am. I want them to see my glory, the glory which you’ve given me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

This chapter gives us the longest and most intimate prayer by Jesus we have recorded for us. For some reason, this chapter in particular always hearkens me to the last verse of John’s gospel where he states that if everything Jesus did was written down, the world could not hold the amount of books that would be required for this monumental task. Therefore, the tiny fraction of what Jesus did that is contained in these canonical gospel accounts is of the highest importance to us. It deserves our utmost attention. And in all four accounts, we have just one personal prayer of any considerable length by Jesus to His Father. So every part of it is of vital importance.

What then did He pray for?

Throughout the prayer He prays that we experience God’s love and Presence. Jesus desires that we be where He is-in the loving and constant Presence of YHWH. That is to say, the manifest Presence of God. Yes, He is omnipresent, but Jesus wants us to live into the divine, comforting Presence by experiencing it, acknowledging it. That is the manifest Presence as opposed to the mere omnipresence. It is not just the cold fact that God is everywhere, but rather He is for us, loving us at every moment, ready to walk with you every moment. This is where Jesus lived while on earth and it is where He desires that we would live.

I like how Greg Boyd reminds himself of this by often proclaiming, “I have never been more loved than I am right now at this very moment.” And you can say that at any given moment of your life. God is for you right now.

Jesus says to each of us, “I want you to be with Me. I desire for us to experience life together in the Divine Embrace.” How comforting is that? There is no better place to be. God’s part is just being there, always ready and willing to walk with us through any and all nuances of our life. Our part is simply to acknowledge it and live into what He is offering every moment.

December 22-23 / Proverbs 22-23 / John 15-16

Proverbs 22:3

“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

” Watch and pray so that you do not enter into temptation,” Jesus said.  Plan ahead on facing temptation but not entering into it. Off- the-spot training is crucial in this life so that when we are on the spot, we are not taken by surprise. C.S. Lewis wrote that prudence is taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it.

Proverbs 23:9

Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.”

Some people are not willing to listen. Some people are not ready to hear truth. It is not our job to convince and convict. That is up to Holy Spirit. We do not cast our pearls before swine, but rather give truth when prompted by the Spirit and trust and rest in that divine work. There is nothing to argue or stress about because we cannot change someone’s heart ourselves anyway.

John 15:22

“If I hadn’t come and spoken to them, they wouldn’t be guilty of sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin.”

Revelation increases moral responsibility. Those to whom Jesus revealed Himself and yet still rejected Him were no longer guilty of a sin of ignorance. Now they were without excuse. The light of revelation had revealed their own sin, and they did not want to face it or do anything about it. What truth have you heard and not acted upon?

John 16:33

“Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

This morning, while in solitude at St. Meinrad Monastery,  I asked God what  this actually meant. What I heard Him say was, “I never lived for the world for one minute. Every moment I lived for my Heavenly Father.” In this sense He conquered the world by living in it but never for it. This is at least one aspect of what His overcoming of the world means to us. We too overcome when we have that change of vision and see this world and its ways for what it is. Then we are free to live for what is higher, for what ultimately matters and brings abundance and capacity to be a healing agent for those in front of us.