Tag Archives: Jesus

Not Your Son… Mine

“Why don’t you come sit with me first?” A gentle reminder from the Lord is felt in my heart almost daily. There is no force or guilt involved, just a gentle expression of love from a father to his daughter. It feels silly to think I have ever turned him away. But I have.

Not today.

In the many times I have come willingly, putting him first before my day starts, I am reminded why it is so good to spend time with my father. It’s not that he’s trying to make me abide by his rules. No, he wants to bless me. Whether it’s through a revelation or a hint of his presence, I am undone by his love.

So today I was led by my devotion to read the old story of Abraham’s testing. Will he sacrifice his son for God? I have read this story a few times already and learned it in church; I know this story well. I find that when God leads us to read a story we know so well, he often wants to reveal a new reason for writing that story.

I started on verse 1 of Genesis 22 but it wasn’t until verse 12 that God showed me something. “He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was r41894a9a582f7b6c9c18d9ef97923974am, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.” Your ONLY son…hmmm, where have I heard this before? “For God so loved the world that he gave his ONLY son…” (John 3:16) There’s a connection here.

At the very moment I read those verses I was blown away. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son for him knowing that one day HE would be sacrificing his son for Abraham. This foreshadow is mind-blowing. It’s like God was wondering, is it possible for man to love me as much as I love man? God knew that Abraham’s sacrifice couldn’t save the world for eternity. Abraham’s sacrifice couldn’t wipe away the religious task of sacrificing a lamb for the atonement of our sins. It simply showed God the amount of love man could possibly hold in his heart. As destructive as sin naturally makes us, Abraham proved, for all mankind, that we are still made in God’s image and thus can selflessly love just as much as God can.

I mean, just a short while back, God had basically given up on man. He was done. To think if Noah and his family weren’t God-fearing, where would that leave us? Non-existent? Possibly. I don’t know, but I do know how the story really went. And many, many years after Abraham laid the wood and willingly put his son on the altar in submission to God, God willingly put his son on the altar made of  a wooden cross. God eternally banished the religious practice of sacrificing a lamb for the atonement of our sins with the life of his own son. Not only did Abraham prove the great love man is capable of having in his heart, he also felt God’s pain before God did. A part of me thinks, God wasn’t just testing how much Abraham feared God, God also wanted to see if his creation was worth sacrificing his own son for. Abraham’s one act of faith showed him that we are.

As I realized all this, I am more wooed by my father once again. I am so blessed. It is clear that his desire to spend time with me is not just for him, but so very much for me.

 

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Death On Purpose

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“God, you are good! God, you are GOOD! I don’t know why you’re allowing this, but I know you’re a good God in it all, and I trust you.” Cleaning the kitchen in order to distract myself from the depressing feelings, slight anxiety, and slight health struggles, I pray this over and over till I feel it. The biggest worry I’ve had in my life has been my health. Through bigger trials though, I have become much stronger in trusting God and worrying less. Lately, I’ve seem to hit a little speed bump, like as if satan has sent his annoying demons to pester me. Just enough to steal some joy and get me worrying.

I am in awe of God in these times. Every time I go through a season that has me feeling weaker, God’s voice seems to be louder and he seems to speak more often. Last week he spoke to me 3 times during my church service and twice the night before! I really needed it that night, and he knew.

Currently I’m reading through the book of Acts, having just finished the book of Luke, it seemed the obvious choice (they have the same author, and he wrote Acts write after he wrote Luke). As I was reading chapter 3 this morning, I saw Peter essentially yelling at the people after he and John, through the power of the Holy Spirit, healed the lame man. “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of Life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” Can I just say, it sounds a little like Peter had some bitter feelings, and rightly so. But in his righteous anger I see a different point being made.

As I read this it dawned on me. If God could plan, from the beginning, that His OWN son would have to die the worst death in order for a very good thing to take place, then isn’t it possible that the horrible things that happen in my life could be set in place in order for a very good thing to take place?

I mean, my goodness! How is it that I always feel like the bad things happening in my life are somehow not in God’s plans? During my trials I always, initially, feel bleak about it, like, “No good could possible come from this.” But I have learned to pray the prayer at the beginning of this post because it reminds me that God is good and allows all things in his goodness. Even death…

So I am reminded today that my crap couldn’t possibly make me feel as bleak and hopeless as the disciples and followers of Jesus felt in the 3 long days after Jesus died. To them, death had defeated the one they thought had come to deliver them, the Messiah! I can imagine trust and doubt had a showdown, and for some of them doubt was probably winning. I mean, the worst-case scenario happened. The thing Jesus was supposed to defeat, had defeated him. Or so they thought. And I imagine God was looking at them the way he looks at us when we doubt him in our trials, “Oh ye of little faith, hang on a little longer and you’ll understand.” And when they saw Jesus face-to-face, alive and well, 3 days after his death, it ALL made sense.

So I am reminded today, that this little trial I am going through was in the plans since God knew me. Though satan thinks he’s winning when he sees me struggling, God knows, and I know, that God has already won this battle and I will be even stronger when it’s done. And God will get more glory as I see his workings in it all.


What is church anyway?

I have recently started reading a blog by my new friend Eliteinchrist and through this have thought of the topic of this post. The man who blog’s behind this name has posed questions to his reader to really push them into new thoughts. He brings new light to ordinary Bible topics that can often be controversial, yet seem so black and white when presented in his blog. Though, not everyone would probably agree with him, it would take a good look into the Bible, with real research to rebut him. Which I think may be some of the reason he blog’s like this. The reader is forced to pursue the one true God themselves.
Anyway, Elite.. and I were discussing church’s and denominations and it reminded me of how Dave and I still don’t have a home church. We have been to so many church’s in our area (and further), that we have become disheartened by what we have seen. The church of today is either in great need of money because they are building a new (unecessary) addition, they orchestrate like a business, they are cold and unfriendly, or they preach enough on Sunday to get your taste buds tingling but can’t fully satisfy your appetite for the “meat” of the Bible. I know that there is no perfect church, but we aren’t asking for that anyway. We just want a church who stops playing church and has less of people and more of God. My husband started thinking maybe he should give up being a computer consultant and go to school to be a Pastor. I told him, “Great!, because we already have experience in leading worship.” So we’re all set, lol!
We had previously attended a church where the pastor was more like a teacher who really studied and researched the Bible. Every Sunday left us feeling like we’d really learned something new about God and like we couldn’t wait to hear another message next Sunday. We never left feeling guilty, but usually convicted and challenged. We’d get the feeling like we really needed to improve in an area of our lives, but we felt encouraged like we could. Anyway, he ended up leaving to be a chaplain in the army. As sad as we all were, he knew that if he stayed in his comfort and didn’t go, that much of what he preached would be hypocritical because he wouldn’t be serving God the way he told us to. I guess this seems like such a dream church, except that I actually attended this church.
I have realized though, that my constant desire to want to trust a church and pastor is a false hope. The Bible tells me to put my trust in God…and from experience I now really know why. My every effort of fully trusting a person has ended in someone feeling hurt or rejected. My rock truly is the Lord and on Him I truly make my foundation. I know he will never let me go, and this is so comforting.
So I’ve realized too, that I don’t need a church to truly grow in the Lord. Although the fellowship with other believer’s seems necessary in my walk with the Lord, the teaching I so long for is right in my bedroom. The teacher? Jesus. The setting? The presence of God. The time? The Lord waits for me. And the outcome? Leaps of growth and refreshing, and a pouring out of blessings (for both parties).


A New Law…Sort of (Part 2)

Ok, so basically…
Jesus fulfilled the law, this doesn’t mean the Ten Commandments and other OT laws. It refers to all the Mosaic law. The law that people followed for the forgiveness of their sins. The difference between the two is this…
The law that the OT people obeyed for the forgiveness of their sins was a ritual they practiced for just that. Jesus came and fulfilled all of this so we no longer have to perform these laws/rituals.
The Ten Comm. weren’t given as rules to be followed through ritual. Rather, they were given as rules to just live by daily. In all we do keep them in mind and don’t break them, is all. -Like good morals to follow, they don’t change your daily routine (except for maybe someone who is just starting their walk with Jesus).
So yes, there is freedom in Christ, as He has fulfilled the law that would require us to change our daily routine altogether.
My question then is where does tithing and tattoo’s fit in? In Leviticus it talks about men not shaving any hair on their face…hmmm? Did Christ change the rule on tithing regarding what I said in my last blog at the end? In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus says, (and I read this this morning)

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Then in the following verses he talks about some of the rules of the law and and tweaks them, but only in a stricter sense. Not in a releasing sense. But when Jesus talks about giving to others, even the coat on your back if they need it, does that tweak the tithing law? I’m thinking not, because he would have specifically said so.
As usual, any comments or questions are welcome 🙂


A New Day

So this morning I decided I need to get more serious about my relationship with Jesus. So I changed my Bible app on my phone to one that has a daily Bible plan everyday for the next year. So everyday I can read a chunk of the Bible, not just a daily verse. Which is good, because when I read the verse it’s usually in the middle of doing something and not really memorized. Usually it’s forgotten. I try to make myself feel better by telling myself that as long as I read it once, it’s in my heart somewhere and if God wants me to share that verse, He’ll bring it to my mind…Just writing that out feels so silly, because it is!
So I’m on this new adventure (hopefully a lasting one), and I’ve decided I should blog my way through the Bible. I have had, well sort of writer’s block, for the last couple of months. But reader of mine, I have not forgotten you. And today I have finally returned 🙂 Hopefully I will not disappoint you.
I haven’t fully read through today’s reading, but I’m on the 3rd (of 4) chapter. Today’s reading is Revelation 19 through Revelation 22. I’ve gotta say, I have never really read the book of Revelation, I’m really just scared. It brings up a topic that I need the Holyspirit to fill me with his presence on. I should know better, though. Anytime I take time to read God’s word, the Holyspirit shows me something and it’s not fearful at all.
So far I’ve read chapter 19 and 20, and I’ve started 21. While reading 21, though, I felt the Lord telling me to stop to write a blog. And the kids are still sleeping, so it seems I have perfect timing…none but the Lord.
This passage is about the end of the earth, and the beginning of the new one. The first verse I want to talk about is 19:6. “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters, and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.”” I couldn’t help but listen to those sounds in my head, thanks to the thunderstorms we’ve been experiencing lately. And thanks to Hollywood’s Armageddon-type movies, I can hear the roar of rushing waters. But combine these with the shouting of praises and it becomes unfathomable and my heart becomes so excited thinking I may hear this one day! And then I think of my mom, growing up, who would roll down the windows, mid winter, just to hear the jets taking off as we drove down Airport Rd. Hehe, I giggle to myself.
Then starting in verse 19 I read how the beast and the false prophet “who had performed signs on its behalf.” had been captured. The false prophet “with these signs…had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” This chapter just gets better and better.
And in chapter 20:4 we read how Christ will reign a thousand years while Satan is bound in the Abyss for a thousand years. And that all who were beheaded for Christ, who had not received the mark of the beast, will reign with Christ in those thousand years! But it says the rest of the dead won’t come to life until after the thousand years. This has really encouraged me. I already knew that the reward was amazing for being martyred, but I really had no idea it was that great!
Lastly, in chapter 21, there is a new heaven and a new earth. Basically, God will be living among us! Then in verse 7 and 8 it says something that really hit me. “7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” Well, I know I have lied without ever telling some people the truth. I have been cowardly when God has asked me to go out of my comfort zone to spread His Word. I have been some of the other things too, but have repented. Only the lies have I asked for forgiveness from God, but not all the people I’ve lied to. Hmmm. What does this mean for me? Should I go to all these people and tell them the truth of whom I can remember? I would like feedback on this one.
Regardless, while reading the whole passage, I basically decided in my heart that I shouldn’t be living as comfortable as I am. And I have been around many Christians who claim it’s OK to live comfortably, as long as your heart is right. But I know the Bible tells us we are aliens of this world. Which means that by our very thoughts and actions, uncomfortability should be our normal. Because an alien is never comfortable in a foreign land, that making excuses for being comfortable is just icing over the guilt so many Christians feel. Eventually they don’t feel guilty, because it is who they’ve become, and they get angry when anyone tells them they need to get out of their comfort zone, they feel judged.
How I came to this realization through this passage? Well I actually can’t remember. But God used this passage somehow to show me it. I hope you can learn something life-changing from it too, should you choose to read it 🙂