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Dale Cresap's blog

Dale is a Certified CWG Facilitator posting daily devotional blogs of two-way journaling. (What is two-way journaling?) Enjoy and be encouraged!

open doors

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Have you ever held a door open for someone else or had them hold one for you? This is a small act of common courtesy but it doesn’t happen in isolation. It is expected that the person for whom the door is held will move through without delay. It is considered rude to take your time while someone else is holding the door. Do you know that I hold doors open for you? Believers use this same language to describe life opportunities that I make available to you. In these cases a timely response is appropriate because the opportunities may be fleeting. It is rude for you to dawdle while I hold the door open. 

struggles

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What pattern of development do you expect in your life as a Christian? Continual linear improvement? A school curriculum is a developed plan for learning in a methodical progression. Yet hasn’t your own experience included setbacks and unexpected delays and turns? This is all a part of my plan, for I told my followers to lay down their lives to follow me. You attended school for education but I have a greater goal in your life that you may be transformed into my likeness. Consider those whom you admire as being spiritually mature. Ask them if there were struggles along the way. I have a special plan for each of my followers and a special curriculum to prepare you for it, but there are some similarities and common elements. 

incentives

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Do you expect to be rewarded for doing things right and punished for doing things wrong? This is the normal incentive structure for positive and negative reinforcement and is useful for training and instruction. Is your commitment to doing right rather than wrong strong enough to do so even if you are punished for doing right and rewarded for doing evil? My prophets were persecuted and killed for declaring my words faithfully. A real reward structure was still in place for them, but at a higher level than those around them could see. Are you motivated by a reward structure at a high enough level to do right even if you are persecuted by those around you that don’t see it? Let your light so shine before men. 

Elijah

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The last promise of the Old Testament is that Elijah will come and turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the fathers to the children. After many silent years John the Baptist came and so it was only natural that he was asked if he was Elijah. He said clearly that he was not and only claimed to be a voice crying in the wilderness. Yet when I was asked the same question about John I said that he was Elijah. So which of us was right about the identity of John? I was, of course. Do you suppose that his humility was a factor in my additional statement that among those born of women there was none greater than John? 

infrastructure

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You understand infrastructure to be the supporting resources of society. You need roads and utilities – water supply and an electrical grid. You are used to having these things and may only notice when they are out of service. I told a parable of wine and wineskins. Do you see the wineskins as being the infrastructure of the church? You need a place to meet and some level of organization for a church to function, but the essence of the church is wine, not wineskins. Consider and implement your supporting resources in such a way that they are really supporting and not existing for their own sake. Be ready to adopt new wineskins when I am serving new wine. 

Treasure?

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Do you have a theology of rewards, or do you think that there is no distinction between those who are saved? What do you think of my admonition to lay up treasure in heaven? I make a clear distinction between laying up treasure in this world and laying up treasure in heaven, and that they are not the same type of treasure. If you save money in this world you will have a more comfortable retirement. This passage of scripture clearly implies that it is beneficial for you to lay up treasure in heaven. Even if you do not know exactly what it looks like, can you see that it is a worthwhile thing to do? 

they may be one

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In one of my last encounters with my disciples I prayed for the church before it existed. I acknowledged that my followers were not of this world, even as I was not, and sanctified them, and commissioned them, sending them on in my name. I did not pray for them alone, but also for those who would believe through their words. I prayed that they would be one, not as second class citizens who had a diminished connection being one step further removed from the source, but one in every measure of unity, of glory, and perfection in my presence. This was my desire for all who would follow me. What greater ideal could I proclaim for my church? 

reason to split?

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What do you think would be a good reason for dividing a church? Doctrinal differences held in good conscience by both sides? Is this a good reason and the most common one for church splits? At the very beginning of church history Paul had to admonish the Corinthians who claimed to follow him, or Apollos, or Christ. Don’t you see this same pattern today, that the main reason for church splits is about personalities rather than doctrines? The Body of Christ is a transcendent single entity. If you are able to discern the Body of Christ you will be able to look past the people that comprise it. 

volunteer

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You know from what you understand of my nature that I am an absolute sovereign. I can act in any way I want. Yet what pattern do you see in scripture? How often do I act entirely on my own and how often is there a person involved in the process? I am relational by nature. How often have you seen me move unilaterally? Someone feels compelled to pray before there is a revival. Someone usually prays and lays on hands before healings occur. Someone seeks me and responds in obedience before my power is manifested. In my sovereignty this is how I choose to act. How should you respond once you see this pattern clearly revealed? Step forward and volunteer to be the one through whom I act. 

not alone

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In the beginning I said that it was not good for man to be alone. This is still true. Solitary confinement is considered a harsh treatment even among those who are already in jail. You were made for community and companionship and will suffer if deprived of this contact. Are you selective in choosing whom you will associate with? This is a luxury of those who have many opportunities. In this case your selections can be narrow. I would have you to seek the company of those outside your normal comfort zone. This will be beneficial to you and blessed are those who do it of their own initiative, without being forced by necessity. 

 

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