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Category Archives: Becoming Like Jesus
And tonight…when your head hits the pillow and you think of the events of the day, some of your favorite memories (whether losses or gains) will be of how obvious it is that He was with you. Continue reading
Hear me: You will not necessarily have things turn out the way you wanted or dreamed! But they will turn out the way He knows is life-giving for your heart, your mind and sense your sense of purpose You life will glorify His name. Why? Because others will gravitate to that mysterious thing that you seem to have! Part of your purpose will be helping them to let go and find that rest and sense of purpose. Continue reading
Stooping…a Beautiful, Powerful Thing…!
The Jewish leaders and Pharisees brought a woman caught in the act of adultery and quoted Scripture to prove their point and catch Jesus in the act of breaking the law of Moses. “Moses’ law says to kill her. What about it?”
Knowing they were trying to trap Him, he stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. So often we want to know what He wrote in the dirt. As I read it today, I thought… “What a distraction to focus on what He might have written.”
Instead, maybe we should think about this:
Don’t you suppose their lack of mercy toward the woman made Jesus angry as did their false accusations toward Him? He was fully God and fully man. Surely His anger was rising. You know the feeling…that fire of indignation that starts in your belly and rises up toward your tongue!
But Jesus stooped. He didn’t fight back…He stooped. When someone you care about comes to you and speaks harshly toward or about you…do you fight back, or do you stoop?
Gosh, I wish we could see it. So often, we use the same angry tools the person who is treating us poorly uses. They aren’t spiritual tools. They are foolish and futile earthly tools not meant to fight the spiritual battle we are really fighting. Ephesians 6:10-12 (Below)
But Jesus…Jesus stooped. Do you think maybe He was lowering Himself out of the line of fire, so they wouldn’t get more angry and defensive because of the righteous indignation they saw in His face? Do you think perhaps by lowering himself, avoiding eye contact, and distracting the conversation, He could have been providing them an opportunity to walk away rather than hanging on to their pride and staying, simply to avoid being the first to back down?
How many times do we show that kind of wisdom, restraint and mercy, especially when we are right and the one accusing us is oh, so wrong?
We sometimes behave like a bratty little kid whose Dad is restraining him by holding his long arm against his son’s chest. The child is punching and kicking furiously but gathering only air. Nothing he does is effective. He is so prideful and angry that he just…doesn’t see it!
How quickly we forget that it isn’t about being right or even winning the fight! It is about the redemptive work of God in the person who is fighting us and…the redemptive work of God in us.
Jesus humbled Himself so often when He could have called an army of angels or simply stared at those around Him and melted them to the ground. But…he knew that restraint and love provided the best opportunity for their redemption and now…ours.
Isn’t that what we are supposed to do for the people in our sphere?
Oh…if we could only see it…remember it in the heat of the moment and then…
John 8:7-11 (TLB)
7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, hurl the stones at her until she dies. But only he who never sinned may throw the first!”
8 Then he stooped down again and wrote some more in the dust.
9 And the Jewish leaders slipped away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until only Jesus was left in front of the crowd with the woman.
10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, sir,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT)
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
I thought about how popular the unkempt look is (even in Christian circles) and I wondered… Why is it important to look unkempt and at times…dirty? What makes it unbecoming to look sharp…even just…clean? Continue reading
READY TO BE REFRESHED…?
Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
How does it make you feel when you watch the news about ISIS, the horrible abuse of one human being to another, hear the political spin and the selfish, narcissistic divisiveness within our country?
Does it all feel impossible? Do you feel like we are living in a wasteland?
Then…what despair do you feel when you spend time with, or think of someone (or several someone’s) within your family or circle of friends who repeats the same pattern of behavior again and again? It is a pattern which always…always results in hurting herself (himself) and then…pain for others.
The losses mount up and the hopelessness sets in.
I think, in part, because so much time goes by, we begin to think that nothing is ever going to change for the better. It is always changing, of course…but it feels like all is getting worse. Of course…that is certainly true in some cases. It has certainly been true in my life. There have been some people and situations who never changed. The end was the worst possible end. It left great chunks of wasteland, where we had hoped there would finally be lush, green, rolling hills.
We live in a fallen world. There are no movie-like fairytale endings. But there is amazing God-given change and depth in the lives of those left to work through the wasteland. I have the immense joy of watching God do a new thing through our times of devastation. What a faith builder. It doesn’t happen in days…change and healing will take (is taking) years…perhaps a lifetime.
But He is doing a new thing…it is springing up…I do now perceive it! God is continuously making a way in the desert and streams in a wasteland!
What a mighty God we serve. He is a trustworthy God who loves us. If we will pray…if we will work through the pain at His feet…He truly does work the painful, exhausting, heart-wrenching events for our good and His glory. He will bring purpose in our lives that we never imagined or thought possible.
He is saying, “Work with me here. Stop hanging on to how badly you have been mistreated or hurt. Do this my way…not the angry, self-protective way the world (and your own flesh) is telling you. Pray, humble yourself. Read My word and live life with My grace and wisdom. Love the way I show you to love.”
“If you do this…
I…I…will make a way in this desert. I will provide refreshing streams in your wasteland!”
Ready to be refreshed?