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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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No Trespassing

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A couple of years ago I was in West Virginia doing a concert at a homeless shelter, and there was a young guy there about 21 years old I think, we’ll call him Marshall. After the concert we were just hanging out, visiting with people, and Marshall starts telling us about a dream that he’s been having. He said he has had the same dream every night for the past few months and he doesn’t know why.

In the dream I’m always sitting in my living room, and I’m not doing anything, but this guy (I think it’s Jesus) is walking around the outside of the house. And he keeps looking into the windows but never coming inside. I keep waiting for him to come in but he just keeps looking in the windows.

Now, I’m no prophet or interpreter or anything, but the meaning of this particular dream seemed so clear to me, I had to say something.

Not that you asked for my opinion, but I think God is just waiting for you to invite Him in.

I think about Marshall and his dream from time to time because I think it has some great reminders in it. Here are just a few:

  1. God is a gentleman. He will not force His way into our lives. If He forced us to love Him it wouldn’t really be love, it would be coercion.

  2. God is not a watchdog. Sometimes we treat God as if He’s merely there for our protection. You stay outside and protect me from bad things, we say, but don’t come in here, I don’t want you messing up my house.

  3. The Safe Zone is not the Satisfying Zone. Sure it seems like the best of both worlds to have God on the parameter, in case we need Him, while we get to have our own personal space. But just like Marshall, if God is not on the inside, we aren’t really doing anything. Things might seem to be going really well and you might just be minding your own business, being a “good” person, but if God is not allowed into our lives…into every crevice of our being, nothing we do is going to fully satisfy, so we might as well be sitting doing nothing.

I could keep going, and talk about how God isn’t interested in a lukewarm relationship with us, or how we tend to think we should clean up our house before we invite Him in to stay, but I’ll save that for another post.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Trivia and Truth

I was recently asked to share with the congregation how memorizing scripture has impacted me. There are a lot of things I could have talked about; several ways the Lord has revealed himself through me spending intentional time in His Word. But when I sat down to really think about what I was going to say; hoping that the Lord would give me something worth listening to, this is what He laid on my heart to share…

“It’s not about head knowledge. it’s not about knowing who was related to who in the old testament. It’s not about trivia. It’s about knowing the character of God. It’s about being able to stand up against attacks from the enemy and say, “No! The Lord brought the Israelites out of the desert, He’ll bring me out of this desert to”. How will you know how to love your wives like Christ loves the Church if you don’t look at how He loves? How are we going to stand in reverence before the Lord if we don’t know what makes Him awesome?

We don’t fall more and more in love with people by spending less and less time with them. Likewise, if we want to be a godly, reverent people, passionately in love with Christ…we’re not going to get there by not reading His Word and not praying and not taking advantage of His presence.

It’s not a legalistic thing-don’t let it become that. Reading the Bible won’t save you…but you will know God more. And isn’t that what we’re all meant for”?

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2010 in "Debriefings", Just thinking

 

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