I subscribe to John Piper's Desiring God Blog and receive it on a daily basis. I found today's especially meaningful given some of the things God has been teaching me during my own devotional times and in the course of our daily life here and issues we are currently dealing with.
Hope this blesses you, too!
"by John Piper
What does the blood of the eternal covenant secure for us? It secures both God's equipping of us and the successful use of that equipment to make our lives pleasing to God.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, * equip you with everything good that you may do his will, * working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13:20-21)
Christ shed the blood of the eternal covenant. By this successful redemption, he obtained the blessing of resurrection from the dead. He is now our living Lord and Shepherd.
And because of all that, God does two things:
1. He equips us with everything good that we may do his will. 2. He works in us that which is pleasing in his sight.
The "eternal covenant," secured by the blood of Christ, is the new covenant. And the new covenant promise is this: "I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts" (Jeremiah 31:33-34).
Therefore, the blood of this covenant not only secures God's equipping us to do his will, but also secures God working in us to make that equipment successful. The will of God is not just written on stone or paper as a means of grace. It is worked in us. And the effect is: We feel and think and act in ways more pleasing to God.
We are still commanded to use the equipment he gives: "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." But more importantly we are told why: "For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
If we are able to please God--if we do his good pleasure--it is because the blood-bought grace of God has moved from mere equipping, to omnipotent transforming. "
I read an interesting poem in a new book I just bought called, "The Church and Poverty in Asia" edited by Lee Wanak. The book opens with this poem.
If you want to help the poor, you must disciple the rich.
If you want to help the rich, you must understand their poverty.
If you want to help both poor and rich, you must believe in the abundance of Christ.
Focusing for a moment on the second line, "what is the poverty of the rich?" Are the rich in anyway poor? If so, in what ways are the rich poor?
What do you think?
We enjoy receiving packages. But we wanted to make you aware of a change in the postal system on the Philippine side. While we have never been assessed customs on any packages sent through the regular postal system yet, it appears from the recent email we received that that could be changing.
"Please be advised that the postal system at the present time is not a cost-effective means of receiving personal packages.
Recent changes in personnel and policies at the Central Post Office (CPO) have complicated the processing of packages arriving via the postal system. Although we (our organization we work for) have been considered exempt from customs charges for
many years, that is no longer the case, especially for personal items. While we can probably get exemptions for items
directly related to the goals of (our organization), the same is
not true for personal items. Some packages would be assessed duties and fees that would approximate the value of the contents of the packages. In addition, it takes considerable time to process such items. Please note that the stated value on the package is
of little importance to the CPO, and that they will likely open the package and assess the contents based on a price list they have
for such purposes. So the value of the item may be considerably higher than what someone paid for that item at Wal-Mart or E-Bay!
Until further notice, we recommend that you inform your family and friends that they not send packages to you through the mail. If they do, then please be prepared to pay the price!"
So for now, if you want to ship a package to us, it would be better to use the Forex shipping company. Thanks!
Malarie and Mikayla
Being humbly reminded again how deep my Father's love and watch care is, this verse from the hymn "Come Thou Fount" has been going through my head this morning.
"O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above."
Ephesians 1: 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,according to the purpose of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.