Check Out Our Website

Monday, November 30, 2015

Just a thought: A Home for the Father

Leaves nip playfully
At each other
As they scamper across the yard
Without a thought
Dancing to the wind’s melody.

I watch
Wistfully wondering
When I last
So unconsciously
Moved with the music
Of God’s calling.

I fall to my knees.

Is. 66:1-2
Thus says the Lord:
"Heaven is My throne,
and earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
For all those things My hand has made,
and all those things exist,"
says the Lord.
"But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and who trembles at My word."

A few weeks ago we hosted a couple in our home.  Roy and I were both excited as we prepared for their stay.  We cleaned their room, added fresh linen and shook out the curtains. We dusted behind, underneath, even in little nooks and crannies. The bathroom sparkled and new soaps were put out. We laid a basket on the bed with towels, washcloths, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Roy added shaving needs & Popular Mechanic as I put in chocolates, water, their favorite snacks and small welcome gifts. We were assured when they arrived they would be comfortable and cozy.

The Lord is asking us “Where is My place of rest?” and I had to stop to ask myself what I have done to welcome Him?  Just as we find out what makes our friends feel comfortable in our homes, we much also learn about heaven to welcome our Father with a home-like atmosphere.  Did I lay the chocolate on the bed, clean the bathroom, and change the sheets? In other words, have I cleaned up my life, watched the way I’ve spoken to others, the language I’ve used?  Have I offered a hand in love for no other reason than it is what Christ would do?  Have I set aside foolish thoughts and set my mind on Heaven.  Have I made my life to be an invitation for Jesus to abide with me? 

When Jesus said “on earth as it is in Heaven”, He was telling us that He longs for places on earth that reminds Him of heaven and where He feels at home. Bill Johnson says, “Prayer and radical obedience make such places possible. Everything we do, from raising healthy families to preaching the Gospel, from praying for the sick to leading people to Christ, is all done to complete this glorious assignment: Pray and obey until this world looks, thinks and acts like His world.” There is no amount of cleaning, no gifts; nothing we can build that will impress God. He created the entire universe.

It seems though that there is one thing Isaiah shares with us that will attract His favor: “On this one will I look (esteem or respect)…Him who is poor and of a contrite spirit and who trembles at My word.” Fear and Awe of the Word. Showing true reverence.

In John 14:23, Jesus replies, "All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them." I read that this is one of the few place in the Bible where the plural pronoun is used to describe God.  So, in other words, when we open up to His Word, seek to be reverent, develop a sense of awe and begin to tremble as we breathe it in, the Triune God Himself will come into our lives, willing to make His home with us. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Just a thought: A Transformed Life

Luke 7:36-38 Mary of Bethany

Esth 1:6 “In the King’s Palace….There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; and the couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of alabaster, turquoise and white and black marble”.

She heard of Him on the streets, but how could she get to Him? No-one would let her, a town harlot, close to such a man. She looked at herself in the mirror. What a mess. Who would receive her? But this was not an option. She had to find a way. He was the only One who could save her.

I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve looked in that same mirror.  I’ve witnessed that same face gazing back at me; searching for someone or something to fill the void. I spent years running away from God. Though there were circumstances that led me to that point, I also knew it wasn’t what I wanted or needed. One day, I had enough and I turned back to the One who loved me most.  It wasn’t easy to break away from that lifestyle and I grieved the friends and family I left behind, nevertheless there was imminent death in staying.   CeCe Winans says, “You don’t know the cost of the oil in my Alabaster Box.” I beat myself up for wasting all those years…but Jesus was waiting with open arms and forgiveness.  That image in the mirror was altered that very day.

Mary knew if she could just get to where Jesus was she could turn her life around. She gathered her cloak around her and grabbed her Alabaster Box. Night after night she poured her worth into that incredibly beautiful vessel.  It was valued at a year’s wages, yet it would be worth it to know freedom from this pain; to be of significance to someone. Mary of Bethany ran to the home of the Pharisee where she heard He was having dinner. She stopped, taking a deep breath. Fear gripped her. She stood at the entrance until she got the strength to burst in, race across the room and fall at His feet. Shame flushed her face as she heard the whispers around her and humbled, she lowered her head to pour out everything she had from her treasured box. Her tears rained down as she kissed His feet and dried them with her hair. His affection wrapped around her as He forgave her and bid her to go in peace. She raised up to see eyes that burned with joy at her sacrifice and she turned to leave…a life transformed. Her empty jar filled once again; this time with hope, faith and love.

Sometimes we just need to pour ourselves out until there is nothing left but an empty vessel, get low enough to grab His feet and allow Jesus to fill us back up again; that we can become like the woman with the jars of oil…and never run out of His Spirit to share.