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Desire. It’s really the driving force in all we do. It’s desire that drives our relationships. It’s desire that keeps us going through the tough times. When we lose desire we lose the will to go on. But desire is a cruel taskmaster. It often drives us down the road most easily traveled rather than the way best for us. It entices us to grab for the things that hurt rather than nurture; that poison us rather than help us. Jesus came to show us desire in its purest, most excellent way.

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It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about him. It’s not about what I can do or what I have, it’s about him and what he’s done. It’s not about you or what you’ve done or can do. It’s about him. I’m convinced that no one needs to be told they have problems or that they aren’t perfect. Even if they claim they are okay, in reality, they know better. The best way we can share the goodness of The Father isn’t by pointing out others faults, it’s about showing them a better way. One doesn’t need to be a theologian to proclaim Christ to others. In fact, often it’s the less educated in the depths of scripture that are most effective. The average person is best reached by simple facts. “Jesus loves me, this I know.” That’s all I really need to know and that is the basis of joy!


I would be disobeying the Lord if I stopped praying for you! I will always teach you how to live right. 1 Samuel 12:23

When those around us fail, the natural inclination of our human nature is to write them off as losers. It would be nice if we could say it’s different in the church, but the reality it’s not. Sometimes we ‘graciously’ offer a grace period in which we test the guilty party to see if they are sincere, but if we are honest, we look more for opportunities to condemn than notice the small steps towards restoration.

The Israelites were notorious for having the attitude of a spoiled two-year-old. Time and again they would rebel against God’s commands, repent and enjoy God’s forgiveness and restoration, only to slip back into their old habits of self-serving, idolatrous living.

After being rescued from Egyptian slavery, miraculously provided for during their trek through the wilderness, protected from enemies more powerful than they were and established in the Promised Land, the Israelites looked around at the surrounding nations and begged Samuel for a king because ‘everyone else gets a king, why can’t we?’

In spite of constant warnings of the dangers of having a human king, God finally relented and allowed them to have a king but not without stern warning. Then the Israelites realized their sin, they repented (again) and asked for prayer (could be spelled protection?).

Samuel’s response challenges our ‘normal, human way of thinking’. He promises to continue to pray for the people out of obedience to God. There almost seems to be a bit of ‘horror’ in his words. NOT praying for the people, in Samuel’s view, would be an act of disobedience to God. But he adds another twist. Samuel didn’t just promise to pray for the rebellious Israelites, he promised to teach them in the way they should go. His actions backed up his prayers. He not only interceded for them, he promised to give them the tools to keep from falling again.

Just before Jesus ascended into heaven he gave the disciples a challenge for the future. He told them to ‘make disciples of all nations.’ Discipleship is building relationship. Discipleship isn’t pointing out the failures of those in our circles; it’s giving them the tools to deal this life attack. We don’t need to be told we are bad, we know that. We need to be shown how to be better.

When the Israelites realized their failure they went to God’s man and received not only prayer for protection but a promise to teach them the ways of Jehovah God. Discipleship takes time and personal interaction. Discipleship isn’t a program but a lifestyle.

When someone you know falls, Paul says to ‘gently restore’ them (Galatians 6:1). Prayer and teaching (time) are two the best ways to restore the broken soul.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you changed everyone you touched by prayer and teaching with patience. Help us to do the same to those in need around us. In your name I pray, Amen.


I am innocent, Lord, and I will see your face! When I awake, all I want is to see you as you are. Psalm 17:15 (CEV)

Adam and Eve tried to hide among the trees with a few fig leaves hastily positioned in vital places.

Moses ran into the wilderness and opted for tending sheep rather than being ruler of the most powerful nation of the time.

David made a few choices intended to clear his situation by murdering one of his own men.

Peter hid in the shadows and pretended he didn’t know his very best friend.

Judas hung himself.

What do all these people and countless others have in common? Their sin drove them away from God. Their failures caused them to despair of life itself. These kinds of actions continue to this very day.

Even people who claim to have no relationship with or interest in God struggle to find the peace and contentment that comes from a vital, passionate, personal relationship with God. Call it sin, poor choices of whatever you want. When you live apart from God, you live without peace because true peace and contentment can only be found in him.

Too often we see sin as choices and decisions that make God angry at us. While God can’t stand sin, his anger is towards the sin, not us. When we live in sin, rather than relationship with him he has no choice but to turn his back on us.

The Psalmist longs to see the face of God. He longs for the restored relationship that will allow the love of the Father to permeate to his very soul. It’s only this passionate relationship that can soothe the pain of our waywardness and stop the bleeding of the wound hidden deep inside all of us.

The Psalmist also knows that the only way to see the face of the Father is to be innocent of all sin. “Impossible” you may say, and you would be right. None of us have any hope of innocence before God regardless of how spiritual, religious, moral or pure we are. Innocence of our soul only comes through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

Because of Jesus I echo the words of the Psalmist. I can’t wait to see your face my Father! You are all I want to see. The hope of seeing your face is all that keeps me going!

PRAYER: Father, I thank you for the innocence I have gained through your Son, Jesus Christ. Because of him I look forward to seeing you. Amen.


Although I grew up in the church, I came to a point in my life when I lost everything, including my faith. I didn’t lose faith in God or any of the great doctrines of the church. I lost faith in me. I finally came to the realization that the journeyof  faith wasn’t about my success or failure, but about grace. I’m convinced that there are many who are in the place I was in, having given up on God (and/or themselves) and believe God has given up on them. Built with Grace Ministries is about my passion to share the victory we have in Christ with those who are struggling in their walk. I welcome any opportunity to share my message at retreats, conferences, worship services or other events. If you would like to talk about how we can minister together I invite you to email me at: mdfisk@gmail.com. Further information on the ministry can be found at www.builtwithgrace.com.

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RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • The Restoration of the Son
    From our series, "Christ in the Psalms." God will bring you — body and soul — through life and death to full and everlasting pleasure, if he is your safest refuge, and your supreme treasure, and your sovereign Lord, and your trusted counselor.
  • The Son as Chief Cornerstone
    From our series, "Christ in the Psalms". We must not only accept Jesus foundationally (cornerstone) but must make him lord over our life (capstone).
  • The Divinity of the Son
    From our series, "Christ in the Psalms". God has shown himself through Jesus so we can experience joy!
  • The Exaltation of the Son
    From our series, "Christ in the Psalms: The forgiveness our High Priest Jesus grants us allows us the power to persevere.
  • The Suffering of the Son
    From our series, "Christ in the Psalms". Jesus suffered more than any man so that we could enjoy forgiveness now and life everlasting.

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