Saturday, October 30, 2010
October found us in this place. Knowing not where to turn, but only that He is the only Good worth pursuing, we leaned into the cold, into the shadows, and invited Him to expose us to the elements to bring us face to face with Him. Our hearts stripped bear as the trees around us, we stood raw and desperate before Him.
Can I tell you that God does not strip to leave us there - naked, alone, & ashamed. No. That is the way of the enemy. Our God strips to set free. He peels back calloused skin, our defenses and false identities which protect the tender places. Revealing layers of years of lies believed - about Him, about self. And in those moments, marrow exposed, your flesh warms and your heart begins to beat to the cadence of His voice.
Suddenly circumstance and disappointment bow down to the purposes of the Holy One of Israel. And lesser desires which promised to satisfy turn to stone in the presence of I Am. As you take up that promise and delight yourself in the Lord, you find the desire of you heart was Him along. Breathless and clothed in love, you stand before your Very Great Reward, overwhelmed at His faithfulness. Overwhelmed that He was in that cold swirling wind and lurking in the shadows, drawing you into this place, for this purpose. Overwhelmed that He moves Heaven and Earth for intimacy with those so insignificant. Trembling, you know what He has come for. But you lock eyes with Eternity and His Love reassures you as you place your most precious gift in His hands. Your life laid down, in a moment your life saved and found.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
I want to offer you one of the most simple ways to tangibly show the love of Christ to "the least of these". I smiled through tears as I watched this video tonight. For those of you who have never had the blessing of partnering with Compassion International and wonder how your $38 a month is actually spent, go here. Check it out!
I'll let the Word speak for itself. Indeed, He speaks loud and clear, when we keep in step with the Spirit:
13-15It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?
16-18My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit. Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?
19-21It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.
22-23But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
23-24Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
25-26Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Elizabeth Barrett Browning