Thoughts come in the quietness. God reminds us of what is real. Because Christ is the greatest gift any of us have received, when we are not given other gifts, we are not crushed. On the other hand, when we are given other gifts besides Christ, those things do not become the pinacle of our existance. Christ is the only One who encompasses all our heart.
Most of us resent feeling small. We think we would be better of if we were, big, tall, monstrous, fearsome.
I don’t know why, but we love feeling like we are dangerous–in some way a potential hazard to the world around us; believing that if we are, we have to fear, but something we have to manage.
I guess we like to feel like we need to be cared for or protected; it’s not that the ideal picture this points to is not appealing, it’s just that we’re too well aware that this ideal is not our picture.
We want something more real than a fantasy to hold onto. We crave something to nourish our souls; and that something must be real. But, if we cannot find something or someone to nourish our souls, we will do what we can to nourish ourselves. This is senseless, and yet we do it as a means to survive. We cut off the life feed and try to keep ourselves alive on what we already have inside.
It is a mistake, but we all do it. We do it until we find another way. We do it as long as we value life–as we know it or as we want to know it–more than God. But, when we value God more than life we have both. We don’t strive to get what we need because we have taken ourselves out of the world’s keeping and put ourselves back in God’s keeping. We realize it is a matter of allegiance. The allegiance we had before was wrong. Wrong in that God was not present in it and He could not be honored by it. Wrong in that it did not have the power to work good at all.
But the new alliance we embrace now is honoring to God and marked by His presence. This is so because it has been created by Christ. Christ in His greatness joined Himself with us who are small. He showed us in the most meaningful way that we are not forgotten and we have no need to seek out love in broken places anymore. Christ made love His banner and His mission reconciliation between the One Lover and His beloved.
Christ came to our world and called us in the name of our Father. He came to join us with Himself so that we could be at peace with God again. For those who believe in the accomplishment of His mission, our sin has been settled in Christ’s penalty-bearing death and that sin once kept us in rebellion can no more rule our hearts. With hearts that are always being made softer towards God, we witness the ideal slowly emerge out of the throws of redemption. And, indeed we find that if being small is not a concern for Him, it will surely work for us!
Wikipedia: A is the first letter and a vowel in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. →Wikipedia: Can may refer to: The term ‘can’ entered the vernacular some time at the turn of the century, it was first used when beer was predominately drunk out of cans, drinkers would refer to a beer as a can eg ‘pass us a can thanks Liv’. →
God has used this song (Hero recorded by the band Abandon) and video (excerpts from the movie The Passion of the Christ) to greatly minister to me in the past few weeks. I hope you also won’t be able to see Christ’s expression of abandon for you in the same way after watching this.
I want to love God with all my heart and no exceptions. I don’t want to post my limits on where that love can take me or the way I will allow it to bear on my heart. I don’t want any part of a freedom that does not know Christ the crucified — He who purchased the fullness of this for me.
I want to remember that I love because He loved me. And if I run out of amunition for this passion, I pray that I would seek knowledge of Him that alone can possess me with critical desire for my Savior.
No matter what season you are presently in, or hoping for, this is a time that must be marked more than anything else by a hunger for the Lord; by a craving for Him that is so strong it must necessarily let go of every other thing that may stand in the way of Christ — our bridge to God the Father. When He has accomplished this for this time, we will have everything exactly in the way that we should.
Christ did not know any glory while He was before us in the flesh (being in this cloak just as we are) except in His suffering on our behalf. How can I then put off suffering for Him who gives me all mercy and withholds not one grace?
Oh, the journey! It breaks my heart and it mends it. It proves to me that God is there and His ways are for me even with all the evil in my story. I didn’t belong in His great scheme, so He came and invaded mine. And, oh, where would I be if He didn’t? Every day He gives me notice of my need for Him and His willingness to be the Governor of every mystery about me that enfolds (and would forever ensnare me except for Christ).
I could not handle my life without Him. I am not meant to be a burden-bearer, but to be yoked to the One who carries for me what would destroy me if left on my shoulders alone. I can be broken, but please, let it be my Lord who does what is necessary rather than my Enemy who offers to me not a single gain!
I want so much, but how often the wrong thing! I know hunger, cravings and lack, but given the choice I will not take the gift that is for me, I will insist on the illfitting temptation, the opportunity that was never meant to bear my name. All good things my God has engraved my name upon with His finger, but I reject them all in their perfect packaging for something more familiar — an unmarked grave that I can mark with my own hands and fill with my self-willed destiny.
What a pity that I do not trust God! I prefer to live in ignorance of truth that I might attempt to carve out my own. Yet, what a surprise that all Truth resides with Him who bears its name; I find my boundaries when I try to build my own foundations as I go against all the rules.
But no matter what trial or trevail of the soul seems to take over me, from this my whole testimony does not waver:
On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.
It is not about what I do, or what can be said of me — it is about Him and what I and others can say about Him because of what He has done for me and in me and through me despite my obvious weakness.
Remember the Lord; store up the incidents when mercy was indescribable and you knew that Christ was your life. Build up your spiritual memory bank and God will not go faint to your eyes in times to come.
Don’t run dry on thoughts of the Lord and His goodness to you when you are in a trial. You need examples in which you can supplant your mind in the midst of your struggles to be able to take captive every thought that is against God, bringing it into submission to Christ.
Do you have too much going on in your world? Many of us revel in the diversity of activities that make up our schedules even while we complain that we are so busy.
But, could it be possible that in this generation innundated by opportunity and options that we need to limit ourselves so that we can enjoy the best things in life?
I mean think about, with so many new and exciting avenues of personal contact that make us available to the world, doesn’t this mean that we should be turning up our fighting tactics for the sake of safeguarding our time, energy, emotion and interest?
To a certain extent we need to cultivate a small-world-feel for ourselves that we might not get distracted and then sidetracked from living for what is essential to living for what is simply available.
We must remember that even though we have the freedom and access to enjoy so many forms of communication and community, we strive and thrive by one thing only communion with Christ.
Do you consider yourself a loser today? Has the loss of something you have considered invaluable made you question how you will now get along?
Whether you are struggling with a new inability to trust the people in your life, or a painful distortion of your reputation or a devastating health-reversal, or a tragedy that wounds even your hope in God’s understanding, you are aware of possessing less than you had before.
Loss, unlike anything else in the legend of humanity, brings us into immediate acquaintance with the undeniable reality of our fragility. This position is uncomfortable. We wonder what will become of us when after all we’ve worked for, we have less to hold onto than we had expected.
Yet even with all we may be limply existing without, we must not fail to bring it into comparison with the greatest travesty of our lives — living without Christ; unconscious of or unconcerned with our lack of the enduring, triumphant life we may have only in Him.
We are left with a decision here — either I cling to Christ though I may still not have understanding to complement faith, or I flee from the reconciliation of the broken to the Healer because I will not base my hopes on the steadfastness of Another.
God groans with you over your loss, but even more than that He grieves for every intimacy of life that you have not yet known. This is the heart by which He prepares for you a table in the place where you can make no provision of real comfort for yourself.
No matter what we lose, we are likely to think it unnecessary — a pain we really didn’t need on top of everything else. But maybe this is the place that we learn to deal with life — beginning with where we are; when we need life the most.
As paradoxical as it may seem, there is a place where death and life intersect. Death is not without meaning, and life is not without victory over our earthly end. When we meet Christ in our loss, we meet the One who is our only Hope because He is the only One who died our death and lives in us that we may always, always know life.
The finality of loss and death and poverty were able to pin their worst sensations and nightmare-realities on Christ. On the cross that would unite the whole world to God — reconnecting the dead with the Life — Christ bid death to steal over Him and drag Him down into the grave.
But, make no mistake here, He would mean nothing to us today — not in our exaltation and surely not in our sorrow — if death had been given permission to prepare Him for His own grave. We reach out to the life that He now offers us because He who had no reason to visit the grave (Himself having no grave marked with His own name that He should occupy) came to us for the express purpose of occupying our grave, fulfilling its demand for a body, so that He might then destroy its power over us with His Resurrection.
Therefore the grave for our physical bodies holds no terror for we who are occupied by the One who has already filled its residence-occupation for us. We now, even as we live, look forward to fully knowing the gift Christ gave us in His death when our final death to sin (that passing out of this life) grants us our first full glimpse of Christ.