Thursday, February 23, 2017

Consuming our Lord

John 6:54
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life...

Well this was certainly a controversial statement when Jesus uttered it and remains so even now. The reaction initially thinned out His following significantly because many just could not fathom such a statement. The early church suffered persecution for many reasons, including these words. Jesus was not suggesting a theology of cannibalism; He was making a statement, that for me, begins to emphasize our need to injest Christ into the depths of our being.

We are told that we need to abide in Him, we are told that He is in us, if we believe in Him, and we in Him. He has sent the Spirit of God to instruct and begin the process of sanctification. Yet, it is this Christ who is supremely capable, due to His incarnation, to understand the lives we lead and heal our brokenness and sin. To learn about Christ and develop solely an external understanding of who He is, without a relationship of the heart, leaves us wanting and incomplete. We have no chance at the real joy He has promised to us.

This brings me to communion. Now I wouldn't want to wax on the debate of transubstantiation or con-transubstantiation, but I do believe that the process of taking the bread and the juice, in whatever way and at whatever interval, is more than just a chance to remember and recognize the Lord, more than just a few moments of communication with Him on a Sunday. I have come to look at it as an injestion of Christ into my depths, into the parts of me that are broken and sinful. I find that I have come to believe that it represents the true relationship with Him, a genuine abiding into the heart.

Now I have work to do during those moments of receiving Him. Sometimes, I am guilty of taking communion without focusing. It is more, I think, than an opportunity to say thank you, it is a chance to welcome Him, to provide total access to Him, to celebrate His presence where once there was just an empty space. Awaking each day with the clear understanding that He has tabernacled within our hearts brings a very different set of goals and desires. We are being changed into those like Christ. We need never do that without His presence in us. He abides when He is welcomed.

It is where He belongs! We are His!

Praise God! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ludicrous 14:2

Now I hope you didn't grab your Bible and look for a book which doesn't exist there, but I am having some fun with the following non-scriptural statement that many folks erroneously make:

"God will never place you in a situation that you cannot handle!"

Well, it is true that God loves you, that He is involved every second in the lives of each of His created and that He is completely sovereign and familiar with our lives. However, when one looks at the above statement, it clearly does not express the reality of our relationship with Him.

He is in control. He is the one driving your life through pages He created long before you became a person. He is aware of the many difficult realities that face each of us in this lifetime; yet, our purpose is to enjoy, learn about and be blessed into an actual relationship with the very God who created the universe. We were created to glorify Him, to be in obedience to Him, and here is the catch, to depend upon Him.

Does He allow for situations to occur which we are incapable of handling? Why of course He does! Were we able to use our own strength to plow through problems, to pull up our bootstraps and fix ourselves, to just put God aside and say, I've got this one, Lord, we would not need Him. Eventually in life, that time or times will occur when we realize that we are too weak to stand up, too helpless to proceed and too fragile to be on our own.

God, as you can see, wants us to be dependent upon Him for this is the only way to truth, real peace and forgiveness. We are naturally cursed by our sin and He has graciously sent His son to pay for that roadblock. Now we just need to realize that in Him lies our ability to cope with life as aliens on this planet.

Seeking to go it alone is... Ludicrous!

Praise our God!!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I am the way, the truth and the life...No one....

John 14: 6.

This is a truly troubling scripture for many people and a very comforting one to others. The key, here, is the determiner: THE. Jesus is closing the options for finding God and communing with Him to one. He isn't saying that He is a way, a truth or a life... 

I will confess that many years ago I was totally turned off by what I saw as the exclusivity of the Christian faith. That, coupled with the teaching of predestination, were road-blocks that I set up to even listen to the gospel message and spend time in the word. When someone posts on Facebook or other social media the question:"Can non Christians get to Heaven?" the focus turns back to the very words of Jesus.

At this moment in time, I find myself convinced that Jesus' death on the cross accomplished, among other things, payment for the sins of mankind against God. He provided propitiation, He balance the books, He broke down the barrier created by the original turning away from the God of creation.

In that sense, acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ became open to all people. It was, and is sufficient for all, effective for some. He calls upon all mankind to come to Him and be His children. So, while Christ has limited the pathway to heaven, He has not limited the number of those who can walk it.

The true limitation rests with us. We have the freedom to choose, both a blessing and a curse. Our sinful natures make it most natural for us to hide from God, run from God, ignore God and feel that we do not need Him. Nothing could be more harmful, dangerous of eternally damaging.

Therein lies the importance of sharing the Good News. God has sent God to save us from God. God loved us to the extent that He was willing to offer forgiveness without it being earned to His created who were still in sin. Now He patiently waits for His Church to become complete, for those who would choose Christ to do so. 

We do not know when the trumpet will sound. We do not know when all who hear it will find their knees and declare Jesus Christ to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is THE way, THE truth and THE life. His arms are open and is heart if immense.

Please do not walk away from His love! Ask Him to be the Lord of your Life, today.

Praise our God!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sometimes in life God will allow you...

... to experience a bigger than life Goliath so that you get to experience a bigger than Goliath God. Tony Evans

I love  quotes! They are short but can say very much in a small space. Tony Evans is great but one of many folks who just have the ability to capture something important in a brief statement.

We all want God to be too small. We want to have Him over there on the shelf so that we can grab Him if we need Him. Some even refuse to acknowledge that there is a creator God. They are so self-deluded that they have placed themselves in the position of sovereignty over their own lives.

When life's problems and suffering finally comes into our lives, we either try our best to tough it out or just fold up in a fetal position and try to wait.  Some folks deal with much more than others and that's really hard to understand.

First and foremost it is important to remember that God is in control. He is also Holy and therefore really doesn't need to explain things to us, His created. He doesn't need to justify anything, and this is tough to understand. 

What God has done is to provide one way to deal with life, its ups and downs and its need for purpose. He has sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to experience all that we experience, to give up His own life out of love for us, to rise again and become a very real part of the lives of those who choose to accept Him.

Frankly, I have no idea how a person who does not know Jesus can cope with the brokenness of this world and this life.  What this Jesus does is enter our broken existence and heal us into those who would take that live and share it outward to others in small but truly significant ways. We become through Jesus, images of Christ wishing to share the love that has been graciously given to us.

We are, therefore, truly worthwhile. Truly loved. Truly in the open hands of the One who has written our names there on His palms. Bigger than out problems. Bigger than death, itself. Bigger than, yes, any Goliath.

He is waiting. He is loving. He is capable of completely caring for every life that He has created.

Praise our God!