Archive for the ‘HighQuest’ Category

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4-15-11 HighQuest Colossians 1:3-12

April 21, 2011

The passage I read was Colossians 1:3-12

You can find that passage here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+1%3A3-12&version=NIV

The verse that most stood out to me:

10 “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,”


As I reflect:

Me and my wife agreed on several things about this passage. 1 – the sentences are very long. Lol 2 – Paul is good at building people up to break them down and then build them up even more. 3 – the breaking down part of Paul’s message here, is also an edification and prayer for growth. We will be focusing on #3 for the reflection time.

Paul says in the 2nd paragraph that he continually asks God to fill them with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that they may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way. That’s where we placed our reflection time. How does one please the Lord?

I know without faith it is impossible to please the Lord. So Paul’s next portion of the sentence and prayer should automatically include faith. He goes on to say “bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God”. This can be simplified as “bearing fruit in good works and continuing to learn in our walk is a good way to please our Lord”. I think (as simple as that sounds) it is important to remember by whose strength this is done. The previous verse says, “God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,”. Which is to say that we don’t simply run out the front door now and start doing whatever we consider to be good works so that we may please the Lord. Instead, we must study prayerfully that the Holy Spirit would teach us and grant us the wisdom to properly use what is learned to do God’s will. The Spirit gives this wisdom. Then in verse 11 it says, “being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,”. Which is to say that not only do we need wisdom and knowledge from the Holy Spirit, but we also need strength to endure and be patient. Again this implies that we aren’t simply born with a natural ability and understanding to run out into the world and do as the Lord wills. It requires study, reflection, prayer, patience, and a great deal more as discussed in the word (all of which is given from His Holy Spirit if we but seek and ask of right motive). The end of this portion of scripture has Paul giving “joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you” and I think that is something for us to take from this as well. We should communicate a gratefulness and a joy that He by His Holy Spirit has answered us in providing the things needed to do His will. It’s not supposed to look like or be a heavy yoke, but a joyous one where we can partake in a greater good and a greater inheritance. God doesn’t force us to please Him, it’s an opportunity that we are allowed should we desire it. I desire to please God and so I must daily bear fruit in every good work and give thanks to Him who empowered and allowed every good work to be done.

My response to the Lord:

Holy Father, I thank you for your Holy Spirit here abiding in us. I thank you that you provide all of the knowledge and wisdom needed to do your will. I know you are strengthening me because strengthening isn’t comfortable and for the same reason I know that you are building my patience. I am thankful to be a part of that great plan that you have set in motion and I look forward to sharing in the inheritance that is to follow this life, that I may spend eternity with the You. Until that time Father, I pray you be pleased with my good works and that you receive all the glory due your name. In Jesus name, amen.

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04-14-11 HighQuest Isaiah 5:1-7

April 18, 2011


The passage I read was Isaiah 5:1-7

You can find that passage here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+5%3A1-7&version=NIV

The verse that most stood out to me:

Is verse 7 (which really summarizes the passage too). “The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.”

My wife said verse 6 stood out to her because she can see the wasteland that is the unbelieving world today.

As I reflect:

Though this passage seems to be about Israel, that’s only surface value. We can take directly from this the character of God in relation to our fruitfulness because we are adopted children and are also part of His Israelite chosen people being discussed in this passage. For this reason we can learn how the Lord relates to our fruitfulness (or lack thereof) with but one difference between now and the time period of Isaiah’s writing. That difference is of course the redeeming work on the cross. On this side of the cross, we cannot take forgiveness and the mercy and grace of God and use it as an excuse to continue in our wicked ways. When we come to salvation, we make a choice to give our lives in service and in friendship to our Messiah. That choice if genuine will bear good fruit. One cannot have a genuine encounter with the Lord and take nothing from it. A genuine encounter has repercussions. In the case of the saved, those repercussions are good fruit demonstrated through an ever growing new heart and relationship empowered by the Holy Spirit.

God’s character is shown here as wrathful, and I think it’s a side of character that we too often reserve only for the unsaved in our constant reliance on mercy. This is a mistake by the common day Christian. God will hold us accountable for our fruit or our lack of fruit. If you refuse to grow after given opportunity after opportunity, there does eventually come a point where (like the lukewarm are spit out) you will be cut off and trampled for lack of a genuine salvation in you. For just as faith without works is dead, so is a supposed Christian without evidence of salvation. God has laid out the blueprint for us and He has certainly put in the time and efforts for the harvest. Will you be one of the faithful few who produce good fruit and are harvested or will you bear bad or no fruit and be cut off and thrown into the fire?

This to me is one of many passages that can serve as a daily reminder of the reverent respect and fear we are to have before the Lord. It also serves as a driving force in allowing for my faith to produce good fruit and for me to live in such a way that it is evident that I am engrafted into the vine of the Most High.

My response to the Lord:

Elohim, I am most thankful for the redemptive work through your son (both on the cross and in the resurrection). I am also thankful for your Holy Spirit here with me to help me carry out all the plans you have for me. Father, I ask humbly that you would help me in this life as I desire to be more fruitful for you and multiply your harvest. For this reason, I ask you to multiply my efforts that I would bear much fruit in my service to you. Above all Lord, I pray your will be done always. I am forever yours. Amen.

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04-13-11 HighQuest Philippians 1:1-11

April 17, 2011


The passage I read was Philippians 1:1-11

You can find that passage here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+1%3A1-11&version=NIV

The verse that most stood out to me:

It was difficult to chose a verse that “most” stood out to me but far more difficult to summarize the passage as a whole.That being said, verse 6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Verse 9-11 also stood out though…. Well… the whole thing kinda stood out. Lol.

As I reflect:

God will complete the work He began in us, just as we do not start a project or job we greatly care about and love without also see it through to the completion.We will be completed one day when our Messiah returns for us.Until then the process of being molded and worked with for the completion continues.

Paul prays for these people who loved him so greatly as to stand by his side when he was accused that they might abound in love.This people; these saints; these followers of Christ over flowed in love for each other and for Paul and yet to pray for more love in them says to me that we are never “there”.There will never be a point in our lives when we can say, “well I’ve made it to that place where I love people enough.”There is no “loving people enough.”We can always grow in love.We can also always grow in fruits of righteousness, but like love this is something that God must grow in us, that we may become sincere (righteous inside) and without offense.

My response to the Lord:

My God, I know that this was a short study, but in no way was it any less meaningful simply because I typed fewer words.I know that you will be faithful to complete the work you have begun in me.In the process of you doing so, may you grant me abundantly more and constantly increasing love for others.May you produce fruits of righteousness (both inner and outer) in my life that I may give glory to your.In Jesus name I pray.Amen.

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04-12-11 HighQuest Ephesians 5:3-14

April 15, 2011


The passage I read was Ephesians 5:3-14

You can find that passage here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5:3-14&version=NIV

The verse that most stood out to me:

11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

My wife said verse 8 spoke to her most. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” She said it reminded her of coming to Christ as a child and being pure.

My son said verse 4 spoke to him most. “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or course joking which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”

As I reflect:

This passage seems to me to be all about conduct becoming of a Christian and what needs to be done if conduct is otherwise. How can one live a pure and holy life by the power of the Holy Spirit if they are walking in darkness apart from the Holy Spirit? We all sin, yes, but to walk in sin or live in sin is completely different than the redeemed children of God slipping up. I think it’s important to note that the redemptive work on the cross was fully enough to save me and that Paul in no way is telling the “saints” (us) that if we should slip then we will lose our salvation. That is not the idea here. However, it is clear that we are not to choose an impure atmosphere and impure actions and sin in general as the norm. Sin was once the natural life we lived, but now we have taken hold of our supernatural Savior and we no longer abide by the flesh. Our flesh is no longer the norm, but rather the exception. Now that’s all easily said, but doing???? It’s no wonder we need God to guide through every step of this relationship. And I am thankful to have brothers that God works and speaks through in my life to help keep me on track and accountable for my actions that growth again would not be the exception but rather the norm. Likewise, in this passage we see that as followers of Christ, if there is a fellow believer who is walking in the darkness of sin, we are to bring it into the light. There are however guidelines beyond this passage on how that must be done. The greatest of those guidelines is that it be done out of love and not condemnation.

In verse 6, it says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” And verse 7 goes on to say, “Therefore do not be partners with them.” So much could be said about just this portion of the passage alone. I have many times met or come across people who professed Christianity as their “label”. I have worked with many that thought simply saying they are a Christian or that they were raised Christian made them an actual Christian. But those were empty words. And you can tell by the fruit. They bore bad fruit. They were sexually immoral and impure, storing up all sorts of treasure on earth and longing for even more. They engaged and still do to this day, in obscene, foolish, coarse, immoral talking and joking that is out of place for any follower of the Most High. I therefore no longer am partners with them. Am I called to witness? Yes. Am I called to love them? Yes. Am I called to stoop to their level and join them in living a sinful life? No. I am not to go hang with my buddies who portray a life of the enemy of God. I am to love and witness to them and then leave their presence or allow them to leave mine. May a seed be planted or watered by the Holy Spirit but it is God who saves and not me and so I leave trusting that God is working. The passage goes on to talk about knowing what pleases the Lord. I hope and pray daily for those that call themselves Christians but don’t yet understand what a life pleasing to God is and thus live in complete disobedience to His word, will one day cease to slumber and awake in the light that is Christ. I hope and pray that their eyes will be opened and their hearts changed before the day of their eternal judgment. And I will remain an obedient, loving, and faithful witness and ambassador of my God that they may see what it is to live for Christ and perhaps it will draw them nearer to truth. Awake from slumber of future brother of mine…

My response to the Lord:

Lord, I know that I was once like those that I now witness to. I am eternally thankful that you sent your messenger to awaken me from my slumber in the dark. I am thankful that you rescued me from the fake person I had become at that point when you reached in and took out my old heart of stone and blackness and replaced it with a new heart. Now that your Holy Spirit abides in me and me in You, shine through me into that very same darkness that once consumed me so that others may also be drawn into your light. Lord, I pray your will above all. Change hearts, renew minds, open the deaf ears, and speak through your found children into the many that are still lost. In Jesus’ name.

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04-05-11 HighQuest Matthew 7:15-23

April 10, 2011


The passage I read was Matthew 7:15-23

You can find that passage here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7:15-23&version=NIV

My attempt to summarize the passage:

You can’t just ask to go to heaven and then go. Faith without works is like a song you can’t sing. There must be evidence of salvation. That evidence is fruit. One can tell another by the type of fruit they bear. We are to watch for the type of fruit others bear so that we are not lead astray by false prophets. Likewise we are to bear good fruit by doing the will of the Father.

As I reflect:

False prophets wear sheep’s clothing. This means that they don’t appear as evil. They don’t have the outward appearance of one that would cause us to be cautious around or have to distrust what they say. That is why they are so dangerous. Jesus gives us a way to tell who is false (as in not actually serving God despite their words mis-leading otherwise) verses who is a true disciple. The method is simple. Just like telling what type of plant or tree or bush something is. We look to what it produces. The fruit, the leaf, the budding tips. These things provide us identification of the plant life. Likewise Jesus says to look at one’s life and see if the fruit they produce is a fruit that matches up with the word of God or not. For example, if someone says they are a follower of Christ, but lives in such a way that is in contradiction to that professed belief, then they are likely not a follower of Christ. Pretty simple huh? Additionally do not worry about what to do or say when you recognize a wolf in sheep’s skin for the Lord here says they will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Be wise and watchful. That’s the first part of this passage.

The second part of the passage goes a little deeper into the separation of false and true disciples. Jesus goes on to explain that not all who say, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of Heaven. He distinguishes a false follower and true follower by who does the will of the Father who is in Heaven. He goes on to mention several Works that are commonly thought to be Christian and powerful spiritually but again he does not give credit to those deeds as a ticket to enter into Heaven. We cannot get to heaven by our good works. We cannot live a life as fake followers of God even performing miracles but not actually doing the will of the Father and then expect to get in to an eternal resting place with our Lord. Obviously, to know one’s will (in this case God’s will) we must seek out what that person desires. God gives us his commands and His desires through the many authors of the Bible. This is His written word and thus to do His will, we must spend time meditating on the word to first understand His will and then we must physically and spiritually apply it daily to our lives and to the lives of those we come in contact with. Christianity is clearly not a spectator religion, but rather an active relationship with evidence of salvation being produced in our lives. Do you have evidence? If you were charged today with “being a Christian” in the eternal courts of the Most High, would the Prosecution have enough evidence to convict you of the charge?

My response to the Lord:

Lord God, oh that we may have an everlasting evidence of your great work in and through us. I can leave no good mark on this world but that which you leave through me. Surely there are a great number of false professed followers of Christ and leaders of your word. Lord help me to have open eyes that may see through their crafty lies which sound so delightful when not compared to the truth of your word. Father I pray for wisdom to know always when someone speaks in contradiction to what you have taught. Offer me also wisdom that I never speak in such a manner as to communicate wrongly your Gospel truths. Rather I pray Lord, that when I teach what you have taught, that it be you who again teaches. Use this vessel you have given as you will. Your will be done. In the name of Jesus I pray.

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04-05-11 HighQuest John 15:12-17

April 10, 2011

The passage I read was John 15:12-17

You can find that passage here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%2015:12-17&version=NIV

My attempt to summarize the passage:

This passage all boils down to love. What can’t be summarized is what self sacrificing love really is and what it’s purpose is. For that you’ll just have to read and reflect on the truth of this passage yourselves.

As I reflect:

This starts off with what is a pretty tall order. Jesus says we are to love each other as He loved us. Now, how did Jesus display his love for us? That’s right, He was beaten, wiped with shards of bone and rock, had his beard ripped from his face, had long thorns driven beneath the skin around his crown, and after having the majority of the flesh on His back shredded in agonizing pain, He then carried the majority of His own cross through a city and up a small mountain where he had nails driven through His flesh before He was then raised in the air and dropped several feet into the hole that would hold our cross up as he reaped fully the physical and spiritual punishment for our sin. Then while hanging there receiving our shame and pain, He forgave us because we didn’t realize what we were doing. This is unconditional self sacrificing love. It is the type of love we are commanded to have among each other. Do you have it? Can you say that you love anyone in your life so much that you would go through that to save them from an eternal separation from God? Would you lay down your life for one of your children? Perhaps I could answer yes to that. How bout for a different family member? Perhaps. How bout for a friend? Would you lay down your life for a friend? This is the command.

Then Jesus goes on to say that He no longer calls us servants but “I have called you friends”. So I ask myself, “are you willing to lay down your life for the Lord’s use just as Jesus in obedience laid down His life for us?” Are you willing to die to your old self and allow God full control of your life? Have you given Him full Lordship that you might bear good fruit that will last? The passage here also tells me that I didn’t chose Jesus, but He chose me and appointed me to that I might go and bear fruit that will last and so that whatever I ask in Jesus’ name, the Father will give me. I’d say laying down one’s own life (though a tall order) is but a small price to pay to have a fulfilling relationship with the living Creator and be worked through and empowered by His Holy Spirit. Now I am left to consider….. How do I love others in this same way? Sure, I can lay down my life for God, but for other friends? I know I could for my wife or any one of my kids as well, but how do I live the action of unconditional self sacrificing love for my friends? What bout for total strangers? This is where the real reflection comes I think.

I am left to be conscious of how to serve others but more importantly, I must consciously be attentive to my motive for such service. I don’t want to serve others out of sense of duty, but out of love. It may not be a switch that I just turn on and off, but perhaps through prayer and conscious focus on the subject the Lord will grant the growth of my heart to love others as I ought. I cannot imagine the ability being a human one that I alone may obtain and so it must be from God that one obtains such a love for others as to be willing to lay down their own life. May God grant this agape love in me that I may better reflect the light of His Son deep into the world, piercing every dark place with the powerful love of God. In this way may the fruit I bear be long lasting and effective.

My response to the Lord:

Yahweh, how can one respond after meditating on your love. I am thankful, though that word hardly encompasses how I feel about what you have done for me. The love that you displayed for me…I struggle with how to love others in this way. I am not so loving and self sacrificing that I can do what you have done for me. I want to, but I cannot do it without you. I need you to teach me how and create in me and mold this unconditional love of others. Please work through me how you desire and place in me your agape love for others. I ask this that I may better abide in your will. May I receive freely in your mighty name. Amen.

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04-05-11 HighQuest John 15:1-11

April 8, 2011


The passage I read was john 15:1-11

You can find that passage here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+15:1-11&version=NIV

The verse that most stood out to me:

8 This is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

I also really like verse 2 which says, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

As I reflect:

To me, this stands out as a black and white passage (for or against Him).There is simply no room for grey in the statements being made.One is either for Christ or against Him; abiding in Him or not abiding in Him.I absolutely love the analogy of the vine and the fruit.This type of analogy was used often in history for several reasons but is perhaps most powerful and effective here.As I reflect, I see a few things being said here and I would break down the passage in this way.If you are a follower of Christ by word, then by action you ought also be obedient to His word and remain in Him.A result of this is bearing good fruit and a great deal of it.On the other hand, If you are not a true follower of Christ, then you will not abide in Him and as a result you will be separated and burned.This is a pretty clear analogy if you ask me.It makes perfect since.It also shows that Jesus wants us to grow and follow/do what He has told us to.It doesn’t get much plainer than that.I love how Jesus speaks of “pruning” here.As Christian in fellowship with other Christians we often hear about “iron sharpening iron”, but it seems more rare now days to hear of God’s direct work on our lives and this if nothing else is an analogy of that reaching into us and doing a great work today.We are being pruned.I can’t think of that as a pleasant experience.Pruning doesn’t feel good, but give it a season or two and note the ample difference in growth once pruning has been accepted and new fruit is seen.May we keep our lives open to the pruning of the Holy Spirit as the work of God is being made complete in us.

My response to the Lord:

Most High, may my actions speak more to my words in life and may all that I am glorify you.You are worthy of all honor and praise.Today I have received a message that reminds me of my adoption into a new family and my engrafting into a great and mighty vine.On my own, apart from you, I was and would still be nothing.Ever thankful is my soul that you have chosen me to bear fruit.By the power of your Holy Spirit may I never fail to produce good fruit as an evidence of the saving work you are doing on and in me and my family.I thank you Jesus for pruning me.I thank you for chiseling away every iniquity.I thank you Father for molding and making perfect my imperfection for your will.I invite you to never cease your great work in me for the sake of furthering your kingdom.In Jesus name.

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