Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Pleasing Words of Writeousness

I’m not sure when I first became aware that I love writing. I do recall that my first song-writing attempt was during the Christmas break of 75/76 when I was working on a poem for my English class. I thought that, if I must write something anyway, why not try to do it to music. I have loved writing songs ever since! 

Later I developed my writing in sermon preparations. When we moved to Merritt in 1989, I was able to begin writing a weekly column for our local paper. When the internet came onto the scene, writing emails, making posts, sharing thoughts with words, became almost unlimited in opportunity. 

Which brings me to this week where God has taught me something very special about my writing. I was processing with God the triune nature of our salvation, and accidentally typed “writeousness” instead of “righteousness”. However, I immediately found myself traveling along a surprising path regarding what my words mean to God. 

The negative side of this path was that it was lined with reminders of how people have rejected me over the years, always blaming it on something I said or did not say. The positive side of this path was God showing me how my words fit into the triunity of my salvation. 

In my justification by grace through faith, the fact that, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”,[1] applies to my words as much as anything else in my life. The way I have “become the righteousness of God” in my justification means that God receives all my words through this righteousness because of Christ. Period. There is never a time I address God with words, even the ones in my thoughts, that he even thinks of rejecting me because my words fall so short of his glory. 

In my sanctification by grace through faith, the reality that I “might become the righteousness of God” is a work in progress, even while my justification has made me fully acceptable to God in the righteousness of Christ. God can treat me as fully righteous in his sight while also teaching me, reproving me, correcting me, and training me in righteous speaking and writing,[2] always showing me how to increase and mature in expressing “no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”[3] 

And, in my coming glorification by grace through faith, I am assured that when I see the Lord Jesus Christ face to face, I will become just like him.[4] The good work God began in me will be carried on to completion.[5] All my thoughts, words, and expressions, will be as righteous as righteous can be. 

As I continued exploring with God what he was saying to me about the place of my words in relating to him, I typed “words” in the search feature on biblegateway. This verse was featured: 

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”[6] 

“Gracious” means, “beauty n. — the qualities that give pleasure to the senses.”[7] 

While I have so many examples of people speaking ugly words to me just before letting me know I was being disowned, it is also easy to consider times when people spoke words to me that felt just like this. They sounded so beautiful to my attachment-hungry heart that they fit this description of sweetness to the soul. 

That led to me looking up this verse because of the word “gracious”: 

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.[8] 

God wants me to speak like this, but also shows that my heart longs for people to speak this way to me as well, particularly when they think they have found fault with me. To hear gracious words trying to forgive, reconcile, heal, and restore, would be so uplifting no matter what adjustments and improvements were required. 

But then I came across this verse: 

“…and make an incense blended as by the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy.”[9] 

The connection between our speech and this incense is remarkable. The incense represents the prayers of God’s people, always rising to God as the most beautiful of fragrances. In the same way as our prayers are pleasing to God, our speech to one another also ascends to him, and what he wants to hear among his people is careful consideration of how to speak to one another for the building up of the body of Christ. 

Into all of this was woven the threads of beauty in this expression: 

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”[10] 

It simply stood out to me that Jesus IS the Word of God, and when he came into our world, he came as the Son of God who was FULL of grace and truth. His words were full of grace and truth, liberally seasoned with salt, because he IS the Word.

My conclusion is summarized by this expression from God’s word: 

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.[11] 

Jesus came as the Word who was full of grace and truth. Our words in the church are to be the gracious words of truth in love. God is pleased by such words whether spoken to him or one another. 

And, in the triunity of our salvation, my justification makes my words beautiful and pleasing to God as I speak. My sanctification is making my words increasingly beautiful and pleasing to God for real. My glorification will make my words absolutely beautiful and pleasing to God without any corruption from the world, the flesh, or the devil. And this encourages me to use my words for his glory today. 

I can hardly wait to see the opportunities he gives me to join him in working all things together for good.


© 2022 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)


[1] II Corinthians 5:21

[2] Based on II Timothy 3:16-17

[3] Ephesians 4:29

[4] I John 3:2

[5] Philippians 1:6

[6] Proverbs 16:24

[7] Bible Sense Lexicon

[8] Colossians 4:6

[9] Exodus 30:35

[10] John 1:14

[11] Ephesians 1:15-16

Monday, July 11, 2022

My Prayer Journal: The Mutual Blessing of God and his Child

I am going to edit my prayer-journaling into a shareable version in the hope that it will encourage someone with how to be utterly open and honest with God so he can surprise you with the blessing of hearing him speak through his word, watching him show you his work, and joining him in whatever he is doing. This morning was such an extreme contrast in how I began and ended my time with God that I am even more eager to find out who would benefit from the benefit I received. 

The context for me is waking up each day with a very painful experience of grief. I have lost some people who have been family to me. It has triggered that old fear-based propensity to figure out what to do to avoid (or reverse) such rejection. God has been training me how to replace that planning and strategizing with listening and prayer. And the way he has helped me has magnified the blessing of how God speaks through his word, shows us what he is doing, and draws us to join him in his work. 

One of the biggest lessons of late was in Jesus’ words to Peter, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”[1] That turned into an application of, “If it is my will that (anything to do with anyone about anything at all), what is that to you? You follow me!” The point being, even my plans and strategies for how to win back the people who have disowned me are none of my business. Whatever his will is for them is just that, HIS will, and of no immediate concern to me until he tells me otherwise. However, he does have something he is doing with me, and he wants me to follow him without any limitations because I am busy imagining what he should do with someone else. 

With all this as my morning intro, Father had a surprise for me as I came back to the passage I have been meditating on for a while now. 

And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”[2] 

My focus was on the unified declaration of all the angels: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” The sevenfold declaration resonates with the glorious symbolism of the book of Revelation. The “Amens” are as two witnesses giving parenthesis to the truthfulness of the sevenfold expression of praise to the Almighty. 

And so, my focus followed the spotlight to: “Blessing… be to our God forever and ever!” The definition of the Greek word translated “blessing” is: 

Blessing: blessing n. — the speech act of praying for divine favor or protection; especially with the idea that even the audience (as well as the recipient) receives a benefit from the utterance.[3] 

What began to capture my mind, heart, and soul, was this reality that the things I do in the material realm somehow affect what God experiences in the spiritual realm even though I am bound by time and he is exalted in eternity. If he hears our cries, pleas, and petitions, and answers us according to his good, acceptable and perfect will, the hearing and answering are somehow mirrored in eternity as they unfold in time. And, yes, it felt good to my brain to let my mind meditate on this! 

But what began to form in my mind was an amazing realization that my heavenly Father is “blessed” in blessing me. The “blessing” that is his forever and ever, that his children are constantly attaching to him in prayer for divine favor and protection, means that he is delighted in my confession of need for him. 

Here is how I expressed this in my prayer-journaling: 

“Father, let me rest in this, that if blessing is to be to you forever, then it is to be to you now. I am to rise up into this gracious and glorious gift of blessing your name, and trusting in you, and delighting in expressing myself to you. You do not tire of me asking you for divine favor. You do not tire of me asking you for divine protection.

“How is it that you would receive a benefit from this child asking you for your favor and protection over me and my family and my church and your kingdom throughout the world during this time of grief and sorrow? How is it that you would find something personal in me reaching up to you for help? Is it trustworthy for me to think of what it is like to be a caregiver to children?

Father, this is my mind change today, that the act of your children blessing you, expressing your worth in seeking divine favor and protection, is of MUTUAL benefit. How wonderful is that, O God!

“Father, I am letting this sink in today. You are blessed in a way that benefits you. It is good for you. I do not know how it is that you are in eternity, unbound by time, with this moment being known to you forever, and yet you are relating to me with genuine responsiveness. It is such a wonder, O God, that this timebound child with his timebound and childish expressions to you is coming with mutual benefit to me and the Almighty because that is the way the Almighty is. I have not made you this way. I have not shaped you being the way you are. You cannot change into someone else at all or ever.

“And so, Father, I enter the benefit of this thought to me. To pray to you now for your divine favor and protection is so beneficial. To pray this in relation to the people who have disowned, rejected, and falsely accused me, and consider that it is to my benefit to pray to you like this, and it is to your benefit to receive prayers like this… it is so mindbogglingly wonderful that I am going to revel in it to the glory and praise of God! Praise be to the name of God Most High for me to be taught by the Spirit in words of ultimate and perfect wisdom and knowledge and truth and love.

“O God, right now, I could suddenly picture that the Holy Spirit is smiling on me to teach me this very truth today. “Abba! Father!” he cries, and smiles! He draws me into this ultimate good of something that is of mutual benefit.

“Father, the picture that is fleetingly shown to me of the Spirit makes me want to know you like that. I have never considered the Holy Spirit with a smile on his face, and yet it is the thing I must know. The kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or what we drink, or any kind of rules about anything at all. Rather it is about “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”[4] What wonders these are! 

These thoughts of praise led me back to the personal and practical issues of life where I had to consider how the church of the Nicola Valley is doing, and what kind of letter Jesus would write us after the fashion of the ones he wrote to the seven churches of Revelation. What would he teach us, rebuke and reprove us, correct us, and train us in righteousness,[5] if only we would repent of losing our first love, and of allowing division and idolatry to poison the oneness of the body of Christ[6]? 

However, as my mind was brought back to the angels that surround the throne of God, with the reminder that they are, “all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation,”[7] I realized that these ministering spirits would be delighting in what I know today. With fear and trepidation and reverence I allowed myself to wonder if they were reading my prayer journaling over my shoulder since they can’t read my mind? 

“Is it their joy to know that I am learning something so wonderful about you, that you draw me into the blessing that is to you forever? And the Holy Spirit is smiling at me, and towards me, and with me, at the mutuality of this blessing, that the prayer for divine favor is of mutual benefit to him and to me." 

This led into a prayer that expressed my desire for God give me divine favor with the very people who have wronged me. I genuinely wanted the mutual benefit with God and me to extend into a mutual benefit to and with them. I wanted God to take the things Satan had intended for harm and division to be multiplied back to us in unity and oneness in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

“O God, you are pleased to have me pleased in asking you for this. It is your good pleasure to tell me today that it delights you to be blessed with prayers for your divine favor. And it is your timing today, while grief takes its hold on me so painfully, to not only tell me this in words, but to show it to me in pictures, and mutual mindstate about your goodness and grace.

“Father, this is just the beginning. Having these thoughts this morning is just the invitation. And yet, they are the invitation into what is happening right now, while showing me that you are inviting me into a lifetime of this, of knowing that you are delighted in me being delighted in you.

“Father, what a delight to me! And this must be a delight to you! And all because a word of Scripture has pierced my heart and mind so that I KNOW you are somehow experiencing something in relation to me that is right now. It is this moment. I do not know how that is in eternity. I do not know what the mind of God experiences when you know you are going to teach me this today, and you are already delighted to do so, and delighted with the outcome, and so pleased with me as your son even though it is all your work to do this, and yet it is so pure and real and personal and sincere and genuine on my part because of the wonders of how you have made us in your image and likeness!

“O God in heaven, I give my ‘Amen!’ with the angels’ ‘Amen!’ ‘Blessing… be to our God forever and ever! Amen!’ The mutual blessing of me asking for your divine favor and protection today, with your delight in your child asking for this, and my delight in you receiving my request and answering according to your will, is not only of mutual benefit to you and me, to you as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together, and to me as your born-again son, but you have shown me that the angels are delighted to look into these things with pleasure that what they know about you is being received and granted to me as they minister to my spirit in the spiritual realm, O God.

“What joy you give me this morning, and I want to bless others with it, and to bless you in my sharing it with others, and to bless and honor you as I leave it in your hands how you choose to show me your favor and protection.

“I ask for this blessing now for the whole body of Christ in the Nicola Valley, that you would show us divine favor in experiencing the fullest possible measure of revival and restoration. Make us one, Father, no matter how much reviving-or-removing you must do to anyone. You are God, and you have a will, and all I want is for you to do whatever it takes today to pour out your blessing on your church in the Nicola Valley and turn every heart of every child of God back to first love in Jesus’ glorious and wonderful name!”         

And now that God and I are delighted with this mutual interchange of blessing, I head into today with anticipation that God will show me what else he has in mind by turning me from the grief and strategizing that joined me as I met with him, to blessing others with the blessing I enjoy with God simply because I attached to him in his word and prayer. 

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”


© 2022 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)


[1] John 21:22 (context: John 21:20-25)

[2] Revelation 7:11-12

[3] Bible Sense Lexicon

[4] Romans 14:17

[5] As per II Timothy 3:16-17

[6] Summarizing some of the issues Jesus presented in the seven letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. It also includes a reference to Jesus’ High Priestly prayer in John 17 where it is so clear that being “one” is a non-negotiable, and anyone who deliberately causes division in the church is guilty of direct defiance of Jesus’ own prayer. Yes, it is that serious.

[7] Hebrews 1:14

Friday, July 1, 2022

An Everyone-Prayer for Everyone’s Good

Lately, I have been doing a lot of “everyone” praying. I just pray for everyone, sometimes with distinct characteristics like, family, friends, enemies, church contacts, daycare contacts, divine appointments I have had, anyone in our home church ministry ever, and everyone I have ever met in my life anytime, anywhere, anyhow, anywhy; everyone without exception, that kind of thing. It helps me to let myself want for everyone whatever God is teaching me to want for myself. 

This morning this hit hard as I was overwhelmed with sorrow and grace to feel desperation for people to know God. I found myself in Revelation 7 where we see a great multitude that no one could number standing (without fear) before the throne of God “and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”[1] 

Part of my response to this included a genuine feeling of awe and wonder that all God’s children will one day see the fulfillment of these visions from Revelation in the exact way the symbolism of Revelation introduces them. There is a feeling of childlike anticipation that the apocryphal description will be experienced in a way that we are very much surprised while being equally delighted to connect the dots from revelation to reality. 

Here are some thoughts about how that picture in Revelation 7 led me to tune my praying for everyone to express what I myself want to experience of those wonders of the divine presence. 

First, the picture of all believers “crying out with a loud voice,” made me feel a longing that my crying out to God in prayer would contribute to everyone crying out to God in prayer. What we will all cry out in praise and thanksgiving together then ought to have a growing expression of unity in the Spirit through the bond of peace[2] now so that all God’s children cry out and pray with the same desire for the glory of God and the good of his people. 

At the same time, I wanted my “crying out with a loud voice” in my soul and spirit to count for the blessing of everyone whether they realized their need to pray or not. There is a gift of grace in interceding for everyone, enemies included, and feeling a semblance of what it feels like to be becoming more like Jesus, and to enjoy the feeling of intercession as something that he delights to feel himself. 

Then, I wanted the certainty and praise of, “salvation belongs to our God”, Yahweh, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, to resonate in every soul so everyone knows that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”[3] 

And, I wanted this praise and prayer about the uniqueness of salvation as belonging to our God to result in the saving of everyone included in my everyone-praying. I do want everyone to know this for themselves, that they would have this salvation that belongs to our God alone. 

I also wanted everyone to feel that, even in this horribly scary world where hidden forces of evil are being exposed as servants of Satan, that the God of our salvation “sits on the throne,” and no one can stop him from carrying out his plans and purposes for everything. 

The reason our salvation is secure is because it is the salvation given by the God who sits on THE throne! That throne is so gloriously described in Revelation 4, along with the corresponding effect this throneroom of God has on angels, children, and creatures alike, that by chapter 7’s vision we get it, that there is no higher throne than that of Yahweh our God. 

As we picture ourselves standing among that great multitude of the redeemed, we delight to know that, 

“God has highly exalted him (Jesus) and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.[4] 

And so I could not help wanting everyone to know this now so that our confession of Jesus Christ as Lord before that holy throne of God will be equally as joyful and delightful as what we see in the vision that was given to our older brother John.

And, finally (for the moment at least), I wanted everyone to know, “the Lamb”, as John recorded it in his gospel, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”[5] I was praying that Jesus would make himself known to everyone this way, as the Lamb who laid down his life for our sins. I was praying that people would feel the cleansing from sin equally, no favoritism, no one missing out, but Jesus glorified in the taking away of our sins so we all could stand before that throne giving praise to God the Father and Jesus the Son.   

For a while now I have been going through a series of losses that have increased in intensity over the months. I have been finding a lot of comfort in Job 1 where Job was hit with all his losses. He is mentoring me through mine. 

I am particularly comforted by Job’s response to the news of his losses where he declared, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. Yahweh gave, and Yahweh has taken away; blessed be the name of Yahweh.” God’s commentary on this was that, “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”[6] 

Today I felt such comfort in the fact that Job DID fully express his grief (“then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head”[7]), but in a way that was righteous. It comforted me to think that, with Job’s example of he, “fell on the ground and worshiped,” God has received all the songs I have written of worship in grief in the same way. It was very special and comforting to attach to that. 

I suspect I will be in Revelation 7 for at least another day as I consider God’s leading to pray for everyone about the most important thing of all: to be saved from God’s judgment against our sin so we can stand in his presence without condemnation. There is absolutely no benefit to me to even secretly wish that my very worst enemy would be excluded. It is to the glory of God’s grace that I know I want God and the Lamb glorified in the salvation of… EVERYONE!


© 2022 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)


[1] Revelation 7:10

[2] Ephesians 4:3

[3] Acts 4:12

[4] Philippians 2:9-11

[5] John 1:29

[6] Job 1:21-22

[7] Job 1:20