Saturday, May 21, 2011

Could He really love me?

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Romans 8:35)

My response:

-Shall staying up too late (yet again)?
-Shall sleeping in too long (yet again)?
-Shall saying things you wish you hadn't (yet again)?
-Shall the surprisingly unattractive overflow of your heart?
-Shall your inability to keep a clean house?
-Shall your inability to write a book, an a blog?
-Shall your lack of exercise?
-Shall your financial state?

No! None of these are able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus atoned for me once and for all time. I must confess and repent (1John 1:9), but I do not need to "go outside the camp". I do not need to rip my clothes, mess up my hair, and cover my face. (Lev. 13:45)

There is no guilt here. Not because I have not sinned, but because I am "in Christ Jesus"!
Ahhh...what a beautiful difference a Savior makes.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wake up

"Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise! Here comes my betrayer!" (Jesus-Mark 14:41&42)

I think at some point, when our spiritual eyes are really opened, we will kick ourselves for not taking the opportunity to pray God's power into so many situations.

We were too busy 'sleeping'-sometimes with our eyes wide open...fixed on a flat screen. Sometimes day dreaming from thought to thought-if not page to page of the latest catalogue (that has arrived conveniently at our doorstep...designed to walk us out of the realities of the moment and into the land of want and desire).

Don't get me wrong, rest is commanded-sleep is a necessity! Just be aware of it's various forms-of it's seduction. It's escapism. It's consequences.

"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come upon you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man." (Proverbs 6:10&11)

I think we forget to factor in spiritual poverty-don't underestimate spiritual poverty.
Conversations that never happened. A mind stayed on 'stuff'...the next deal, the next meal, the next show, the next game, the next distraction.

The answer-of course-is not busyness. The answer is to WAKE UP realize 'the hour has come'. Look around you! Jesus is being betrayed all over the place. 'rise, here comes the enemy'...and he is hoping you'll sleep right through...everything!

After asking his disciples to "watch and pray", the text in the gospel of Mark goes on to say: 'When Jesus came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy, they did not know what to say to him.'. (Mark 14:40)

Those last 9 words haunt me the most: 'they did not know what to say to him'.
Savior and Lord! Wake us up while there is still time!

What might be accomplished if we truly prayed without ceasing. (There are certainly an unceasing number of things to lift up to Him in this broken place.)
And Oh the things we would have to say to Him, when he comes back!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"She did what she could"

It's been a while since I've posted anything. I haven't felt like writing. I've still been Seeking Him Desperately...but just not publicly. Today, though, I felt the nudge to do it. I've been reading Mark. There's so much I want to share with you about Mark 14-but I'm gonna resist the urge to give you all the peripheral stuff-I'm gonna dive right into what hit me today.

In Mark 14, (you could go read it real quick if you want, I can wait. You've waited long enough for me;), Jesus is eating at the house of "Simon the Leper", and a woman comes in and takes this super expensive jar of perfume and breaks the jar and pours it on His head. The study notes assure me that this is a "common custom at feasts", and that "the woman's action expressed her deep devotion to Jesus".

So, I get that it's not as crazy as it sounds, but I'm thinking it would still take great courage to perform this act of devotion without being given permission, or being asked to do so. Which she obviously wasn't, by the response she gets after she does it. She probably already felt self-conscious, and then scripture tells us she was harshly rebuked, and everybody started saying how that was such a waste of perfume, and how it could have been sold for more than a years wages and the money given to the poor.

She must have felt so embarrassed. She probably started to doubt her own actions, and the burning desire she'd had to honor Jesus. After all,
Who did she think she was?
And did Jesus think she was a fool too?
Maybe she was just a stupid stupid girl.

And then! In comes her knight in shining armour! What every woman longs for in a man. A protector. Someone who totally understands her. Someone who actually knew the motives of everyone in the room! (a guy who actually can read minds) He openly honors her while subtly putting everyone else in their place. He called her actions beautiful.

This seemingly impulsive act that she had just been second guessing, was defined by Jesus as not only beautiful, but of lasting significance. (she was known, she was valued, she was loved)

Think about it: She had felt lead to do something for God.
She had risked embarrassment and scorn.
She endured (momentary) embarrassment and scorn.
And, as a result: She was given a place in the story of Jesus that continues on centuries after her death.

Something to remember the next time you feel lead to do something for God.

But here's my favorite part. Listen to what Jesus says in verse 8:

"She did what she could."
Jesus said this on the heels of telling her accusers, "You can help (the poor) anytime you want".
See, people like to talk. They like to say what should be done...what they could do...what they will do-or-what they can't do, about this messy broken world.
But Jesus commends this woman because,
she did what she could.
So, what could you do? Wait-don't talk about it-actually do it.
"For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power"
(1 Cor. 4:20)