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Monthly Archives: March 2014

When Jesus Leaves

im sorry im leavingRemember Mary? Not Jesus’ mother Mary, but Mary Magdalene, the one who pours all her expensive perfume on Jesus’ head and people get mad at her for “wasting” it. The reason Jesus wasn’t offended that she spent all her perfume on HIM (as opposed to selling it and giving the money to the poor) is because he knew this was an act of Love. Mary knew who Jesus was and she was cherishing her time with Him. I imagine she knew she was in the presence of the Messiah and this was the only thing she could think of to do that would honor Him in that moment. As usual, Jesus saw more than the act itself; He saw the intention (the heart) behind it.

You may also remember Jesus used this opportunity to remind people that He wasn’t going to be with them much longer, so it was good that Mary was savoring the moments they had together.

There are times even when Jesus walked the earth that he sent his disciples off by themselves to minister to people around them…without Him (he wasn’t with every disciple every moment). Jesus spent copious amounts of time with them, filling them with knowledge and wisdom, and giving them experiences that would verify who HE is. He encouraged them. He prepared them. And then he sent them out.

I’m beginning to think maybe there’s a pattern to how God works in our lives. Perhaps what we think is the Spirit abandoning us, neglecting us, or ignoring us, is really just Him sending us out. In those times of awesome spiritual highs, we need to take advantage of His undeniable presence, because that is when we are going to be filled, encouraged, and equipped. But we need to DO something with all of that encouragement and equipping. If we all just stayed on the mountaintop all the time, nothing would ever get done. No one new would come to Christ, no one new would have those mountaintop experiences because there would be no one to tell them about the One who brings us there.

God graciously pours out His spirit in varying measure, for our pleasure, but ultimately for His glory…for us to be able to do the work He’s called us to do.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A Life of Worship

The thing is..I’m scared. I’m afraid I’ll lose part of myself and I’ll get sucked into a life of mediocrity.

A couple years ago one of my teams played at a Generation 4 Justice conference in the Seattle area. The main thrust of this conference was to raise awareness for human trafficking and slavery, but in the end, everything came down to living a life that is passionate. It was a challenge to rise up and to not let this life pass us by without making something of it. And by “making something of it” I do not mean, “living the American Dream”. God did not put breath in our lungs so that we could spend our days making  money, paying off debt for things we shouldn’t have purchased in the first place, blinded by our selfishness, and unaware of people around us.

This breath that is in our lungs (that He doesn’t HAVE to give us, by the way) is meant to enable a life of worship.

And so the challenge becomes, for all of us, to discern what that looks like for us, and what passions He’s placed within us to live that out. But don’t assume that the “easy” thing is the thing you’re called to. Perhaps you ARE called to stay in your city, work there with joy, raise your family to know the Lord, and be financially responsible. But maybe you’re ALSO called to use your riches to feed the hungry, tell your co-workers about the redemption found in Christ, or maybe something as bold as taking an orphan into your home. We could become a people who pour ourselves fully into serving Christ and his people… having jobs to simply facilitate that effort.

I want my life to be like this. No matter how long or short it may be.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

5 years ago

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I think the hundreds and hundreds of pages I’ve been journaling over the years have become my biggest asset. I can learn a lot about myself and about what the Lord is doing in my life (or has already done!) I’m glad I have a record of it all. Sometimes I will read something  I wrote a few years back and think to myself, wow, who the heck wrote that! She sounds really smart. Other times I think, wow, who the heck wrote that? She sounds like a total idiot.

Luckily today, when I read a journal entry from exactly five years ago, I was impressed and not mortified:

“Sometimes we act as though we’re going to earn God’s favor, or prove our faithfulness by depriving ourselves, or making bigger sacrifices, or praying, fasting, being healthier, giving more of my time, being more studious, etc. What I’ve come to realize though is that we can become a slave to those things, even though they are good on their own…and that’s a sin.

The Lord Loves us and has favor over us, and approves of us out of grace…because of Jesus, not because of anything we have done (or don’t do!)

Does that mean we should cease to seek wisdom and a contrite spirit, and right intention, and humility, and knowledge? Of course NOT! By doing these things we are living out our faith. But us becoming a slave to those things; us serving those things, is just as sinful as not doing them at all.

That’s why there needs to be a healthy balance between focusing so much on works that we push out grace, and becoming so comfortable with grace that no one can tell any difference between us and someone who has no concern for God at all.

And that is why  James reminds us that our faith without any works is dead, while Paul reminds us that we cannot be saved by our works but only through grace”.

*See James 2: 19-26 and Ephesians 2:8-10

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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