Dale Cresap's blog

Daily Journaling Devotionals

Heavenly Gems in Daily Bites: CWG Ministries Life-Engaging Blogs

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

move on?

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Do you think of loyalty as a highly rated virtue? Many will pride themselves on how many years they have belonged to a particular church. Do you think it is possible to have a distorted sense of loyalty? Obedience to me is a higher principle. There is no virtue is remaining committed to something when I am calling you to move on. My word uses the clear imagery of a walk and a journey with me, running the race set before you as my follower. This implies a moving and dynamic relationship. Yet do not think of this only in terms of church affiliation. I can call you to move on even as you remain in the fellowship where I have placed you. 

intervention

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Do you hate it when people interfere in your life? You would prefer to solve your problems on your own, but there are some problems that are too big for you to solve on your own. The next best thing is for you to seek help by your own initiative, but what if you lack the willpower or humility or moral resolve to do that? If your friends love you they will intervene in your life without your request or permission. Woe unto the world because of offenses, but it is more important to remain on the path that leads to life, so this is an extreme case in which it is worth it to take the risk. Blessed are those who are not offended with those who correct them unto righteousness. 

Should or want?

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Do you do what you should do or what you want to do? There is a human tendency to do what you want to do and explain it in terms of supporting reasons and arguments to make it sound like what you should do. Perhaps this involves more effort than is really necessary. Why do you go to church? Can you come up with reasons why you should whether you want to or not? How effective is this in encouraging your friends to join you? David was glad when his friends said let us go to the house of the Lord. The heart has reasons it cannot explain, but they are still valid. If my Spirit draws your heart to fellowship, it is reason enough.

broccoli

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Do you know that broccoli is good for you? Do you eat it? You can make a diligent study of the beneficial effects of broccoli but that doesn’t help unless and until you actually eat it. In like manner you will obtain the same benefit from eating broccoli as the one who is knowledgeable, even if you are totally uninformed. Blessed are those who keep my commandments. Some will make diligent study of them and yet not apply them. Others will follow them intuitively, as though they were written on their hearts. These are not the only categories, but they provide a contrast for illustration. Like eating broccoli, my commandments only benefit you if you follow them. 

gifts

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Have you ever received a gift of low value; something that was given to you because the owner had no further use for it? This is hardly a gesture of thoughtfulness or generosity. You may have wished that they threw their discards away rather than giving them to you. Beware that you do not do this to others. What sort of gifts do you receive from me? The question of cost and sacrifice may not be directly comparable to those who are on a budget, but I gave you one gift of incomparable sacrifice. The other things I give you are not discards. They are thoughtful beyond your ability to comprehend. They are uniquely crafted for you by the one who made you and knows you better than you know yourself.

Perfection?

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You know that all persons have sinned and fallen short of my glory. This condition is scalable to all human institutions. If there are no perfect persons, then there are no perfect families, churches, or governments. Do you see this as readily apparent with regard to governments? It applies at all stages in between. Therefore you can cease your search for a perfect family or church, or the comparison of yours to others. Yet this is not a cause for cynicism, condemnation, or unrighteous judgment. For these are institutions that I have created and use for my purposes in this world in spite of their flaws, even as I use individuals such as yourself in spite of yours.

church

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Have you ever compared your co-workers on your job with your fellow believers in church? How do they compare? You would expect the co-workers to have an advantage because they went through a selection process to be hired and must meet performance goals to remain employed. The church is open to whosoever will come, and has no such requirements. Do the results look like what you would expect? Yet there is a divine mystery in the makeup of my church. For I do more than assemble a workforce. I am fitting members into a body, and not just any body. It is my own body. Keep this in mind when you look around at church.

church body

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What is a church? You may refer to a building as a church but you know that it is really comprised of people. Yet not just any group of people is a church. Those who gather together to watch the same thing are spectators. Those who gather together to work together are a team, and every church should be a team, but not every team is a church. It is not enough to be in agreement on doctrine and practice for you can have this and still be effectively isolated from each other. I have called my church a body, with me as the head. The members of a body are so involved with each other that they share a common life. This is what makes a church. 

truce

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Do you think of a white flag as a flag of surrender? It would be more accurately described as a flag of truce. It is universally recognized as a declaration of a suspension of hostilities to discuss terms of peace. It would be a violation to act in a threatening manner under such a flag. Can you see the advantages of conducting yourself in this manner at all times? You don’t have to carry a white flag, but you can refuse to be hostile or threatening even to those you disagree with. You can be open to civil discussion and eager to find ways to be reconciled to your brother. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are my children. 

honor?

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Have you ever been rejected for your faith by those closest to you, or had them reject the work I am doing in you? The same thing happened to me, and I said that a prophet is not without honor, except among his own people. If this happened to me then how much more should you expect the same thing, even though this is the most painful rejection of all? Does it occur to you that this can work both ways? Are you willing to accept my work in those close to you? Are you willing to receive ministry from your children and brothers and sisters even though you saw them growing up? Can you acknowledge the work I have done in them? 

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