Showing posts from July, 2018
We have an Advocate, One who not only pleads our case before the great Judge, but One who also consoles us. And we often find ourselves in need of this merciful Defender. At any point we are susceptible to the wanderings and failings of our earthly nature. To the honest man, sin comes far too easily. To the proud man, it is non-existent. And to the guilt-laden one, it is always present - like a morning fog. With some, sin remains in the forefront, a gray reminder of our failing. With some, it is artfully hidden, covered by a feigned life. Yet, all of us need this Advocate our Lawyer.

John, the aging apostle, wrote,

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.

Sin easily entangles; it weaves that tangled web around our freedom. And at any point we are vulnerable to its attack, though never at its mercy. At any point we may sin. But …

O how I long for it; hunger and thirst after it. Yet oh how it evokes in me the most paralyzing fear. Nothing terrifies me more than being exposed, having my inner feelings and thoughts made available for viewing by those around me - even those close to me. 

Those of you familiar with rejection will grasp what I am saying. You want to play the lead role, you long for the approval, the acceptance, the closeness and connection. But what if you forget the lines, or even worse, say the wrong lines? What if you pour out the deepest parts of your heart, share the values and convictions you esteem, unwrap that which is precious to you, to the world and the world says, "Meh"? Even worse, what if you open the door to your innermost to those closest to you, those who "owe" it to love you and you are met with cold response?

Intimacy has a way of shutting itself down. If we let it.

Jesus was familiar with rejection. He suffered under the slung slurs of those in authority…
The Seventh Man

It's been said that it's insanity to think that we can continue in the same patterns of behavior and expect our lives to yield something different and new. But we do that, don't we? Often unaware of our behavior which has been formed through years of habit, we continue on. So, we find ourselves seeking that which we truly need through a relationship, an addiction, or resolutions that quickly fade. In some ways, and some days, it almost feel like we are stuck in a pit; at at times, we are.

I love the story in the book of John, the fourth chapter, about a woman Jesus meets at a well. She was searching, looking for life and freedom, and refreshing. And on the day she encountered Jesus, she would find it.

A little backstory will help in understanding the significance of this encounter between the Lord and the lady. Jesus was Jewish, a rabbi. The woman was Samaritan and, well, a woman. The custom was, actually the strongly imposed cultural demand was that Jews and …
One Day

Will there be crying in heaven?

Yes. But not for long. Tears will not last. Death, the end of life and the pain of loss, the death of dreams and the killing of hope, the rage of disappointment, will be no more. Mourning over the fallen state or loss of a loved one will be no more. No more grief or regret or wishing we had done or not done this or that. No more guilt or sorrow over "last night" or yesterday's sins.

No more crying. Nothing to make us cry! No pain, no body aches or diseases, no layoffs or depression. No more struggle with this old nature! No longer will we feel the sting of hurt from others. All will be right. No more taxes, no more death, no more government corruption. And no more news channels to bring us bad news. No more worries.

Our final tears will be shed on the precipice of an eternity of perfect joy. Not because all is well, but because, like a tender father who leans down to tend to the hurt of a child that has fallen of their bike, our Father…
Manasseh's Turn

How far does your forgiveness reach? Where is the line drawn on the limits of your love? At what point, at what sin do you draw the line and proclaim, "Too far, you've gone too far!"? If we were to query the Almighty, what would His response to these questions be? Where is His line of forgiveness drawn? With lying? How about stealing or cheating? Surely adultery pushes the limit. Murder? Yes, that's it, surely the Lord's love must reach its limit at the murder of innocents. Right? Try this, think of the worst that humanity has to offer (or has offered) and ask yourself this, would God forgive that?

I recently read the story of Manasseh, one of Judah's kings; one of Judah's most evil kings. As the king of God's chosen people, he should have lead the people into right acts and good deeds; proper worship. But instead, he lead them in the ways of the pagan nations that were in the land before them. He lead them with even more wickedness …