Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pick up your mat and walk!

I love that with Jesus, we don't need to explain ourselves, he doesn't want to hear our pity party about our past. The way people have hurt us, disappointed us, or let us down. In fact, Jesus came to crash our beat downs, misunderstandings, complaining, excuse-making parties. It's not that He is apathetic towards our situations, the Lord cares for us and comforts us in all our troubles. It's only that He knows everything about our lives already 
Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand! Psalm 139 1-6

Have you ever felt paralyzed? We're afraid of screwing it up, of misunderstanding Him, of disappointing him? Or is it a little different: Have you been hurt & scared to move on? Maybe your life hasn't turned out the way you thought it would & someone let you down and you don't know what to do "next." Maybe you aren't feeling like a "good Christian" for some sin you've been hiding lately, that cannot be hidden by the way (Your Father knows you intimately, Psalm 139)
 No matter the reason, I wonder if we are like the guy in John 5

One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

I love Jesus, "When Jesus saw him and knew(he was aware of his situation and his past) he had been ill for a long time and yet he asked anyway, "Would you like to get well?" The man laying there had to have heard about this man Jesus! The miracles, signs and wonders! Yet he still replied, "I can't sir....someone else always gets there first." Thankfully the Lord didn't join the pity party, seriously, literally says in the verse before this, "All kinds of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed lay on the porches." Now, I know these people we're truly sick and hurting & the Lord had compassion and came to heal them but I feel like a few of them may have been content laying on that porch, pleading, " We have no one to put us in the pool." Yet to this man the Lord spoke to, He commanded him, " Stand up, pick up your mat, and WALK!" 
& He did. It says he was healed instantly, picked up his mat and began walking. Some people tried to stop him(like yourself or others try to stop you too) to which he replied," The man told me, pick up your mat and walk." I love that response!! This man, who had no faith, simply responds:" I was told to get up and walk, so I did." 
Is the Lord telling you to "Pick up your mat and walk"? Did we hear the Lord the first time when he told us:
Pick up your mat and walk, you are Forgiven

Pick up your mat and walk, you have been Redeemed
Pick up your mat and walk, you are made clean by My blood
Pick up your mat and walk, leave the past in the past.
Pick up your mat and walk, into forgiveness for others 

__You can fill in the blanks with whatever the Lord is ASKING you as he asked that man, if he WANTED to be healed? Do you want to be well?  Some of us, in a way, sometimes are telling the Lord we're content in it. Whatever is hindering us from being closer to Him by refusing to pick up that mat and walk with Him. But I think some of us are done being lame (pun intended) & realize, when the Son of God is standing before you asking if you want to be free..You  just pick up your mat and walk.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

You don't love God today.

"If you loved God, you'd do/say/act/feel_____!" If I had a dime for every time that voice snuck into my head! I won't even ask you, professing Christians (sarcasm), if you have ever had the same thoughts. If we all have the same God, there is surely one Liar!

Honestly, I could get drag this out and really get into how we are wired to, spiritually and culturally fill ourselves with junk , sex, alcohol, food, praises of men, vanity, but most of all: Love. We will do almost ANYTHING to get it, from objectifying ourselves, buying more and more, chasing success and ambitions; But I'll save that for another time.

You don't love God today. Come on, you know it's true!
You probably didn't get up and pray for your "devo" time, and if you did, you might have rushed it cause you were just way too tired (you may or may not have stayed up too late last night twittergrammin' somethin) OR how about when you were not-so-patient-&-kind (Hello 1 Corinth 13, you can't even get the first two down!!) OR how about because its the holidays and you work grocery at one of the busiest "I LOVE TRADER JOE'S!!!" retail chains and all you did all day was complain about _____ . 

Yikes!! You are pretty much the worst "Christian" ever. Yes, you kind of fail at it, so, you must not love God. I know some of you may have some words to throw at me here and tell me how I should and shouldn't be doing all of those things, BUT, hear me out. I completely agree....

Our God, our Father, is HOLY and PERFECT, JUST & RIGHTEOUS & Jesus said it Himself "Only God is good!" Mk 10:18. God has said it a few times in His word, "There are none who seek me, none who do good, all have turned away." Now this isn't going to be a message about beating you down into humility; my aim is for you to be reminded that we're all in the same boat here & if you are truly a person who has been born again, you'll know it was the goodness of God that led you to repentance (changing your mind about Him/sin)

When I began to seek God out, God through this man Jesus Christ mind you ; My mom charged me with this, "He is calling you by NAME. " I'm still pretty intimidated by that, not in a bad way, but in a holy reverant...-The-God-Of-The-Universe-Knows-My-Name kinda way. When you realize the Maker of Heaven & Earth is calling you to follow Him, you may unknowingly finding yourself wrestling with thinkin you have to earn this in some way.
Yes, you are undeserving, but God is perfect in all HE does. Do you BELIEVE that? When He said, unto HIS glory(lest you boast about how you are closer to God more than the next person because you outreach minister more....), that you have been saved by GRACE alone (By His perfect, wonderful, mercy) He didn't stop there though, since God is just He had to make sure you, whom He is calling by name, were fully justified (made right) to Himself so He came to earth to do it perfectly for you. We sing,"Nothin but the blood" but lets not forget Jesus was perfectly obedient to the Father unto death for our sake! Is anybody else feelin me? Why the more and more I know the Cross, the more and more I claim to know nothing else but Christ crucified? Why the more I know I can trust the God of all creation, when I can relate to John in 1 John 4:16 when he whispers along with the Church, "We know how much God loves us, & so we put our trust in His Love."
Why, when I get up in the morning, I don't drag my feet into pray to God as if my Father hasn't been watching over every detail of my life BY HIS GRACE alone. Because, its all grace, in case you didn't get it by now. We cannot put our trust and hope in ourselves, for we have proven ourselves not so great at it, we come to the Cross and put our faith in His finished work & we rest & humbled by our God. He served us when we refused to serve Him. Now, knowing this, how can we not be drawn- adoring and madly loving a God like ours? We can't, at all, being so enlightened by Grace believe our love for God is dependant on His love for us. So now, we love Him, we rely on Him, we say no to the things that don't please Him, we repent remember Christ at our defense,  & our humility doesn't require thinking less of ourselves,but rather meditating so much on Jesus.

Loving God, only
Because He has FIRST loved me,
Bc He lifts my head, tore the veil, & draws me with loving kindness,


p.s. If you see someone strugglin with this, please, please, for the love of all that is good in the Gospel..Dont give them more things to do, Remember, " The letter(law) brings death, but the Spirit brings life." Tell them about the One who did what they couldn't & how He loves them!