Archive for August, 2009

Defining Tragic Moments

Opening the Clouds

Seasons Change

“Into every life a little rain must fall.”

 Well, if we were to define that rain as a hurricane I would agree… it seems the average life has major tragedies almost yearly. The Psalmist David said, “many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers them out of them all” (Ps 34:19).

 I believe deliverance is sometimes confused with avoidance.

 We must never avoid our problems or explain them away.  This is a cruel world that hands us more than we can handle at times and if it were not for God’s mercy and grace, I would have been a statistic rather than an overcoming Child of God. If we desire deliverance we must give God the opportunity to move… He enjoys transforming tragedy into the testimony.

 Tragedy often defines the important moments in our lives…

 Seasons come and go, but its the tragedies that so often create the emerging testimony within the seasons we experience. Its a wonderful joy to watch a person be healed of cancer, but the afflicting disease takes an enormous toll on the body for weeks, months and sometimes years before the healing comes.

 Jesus sees our pain, gathers our tears and comforts our hearts so that deliverance on whatever level can emerge from the midst of struggle.

 The testimony is like the blossom on the rose bush that appears to speak of glory, while the bush itself hides thorns and pain. Let me state clearly that I believe we must help folks find hope in the crucible of pain. Pain is a rather odd gift that God uses to help us evaluate our experience with wisdom and counsel. Pain actually allows us to set values and share emotionally with others.

 My father used to say, “you must not judge until you walk a mile in the other man’s shoes”. So true… in that the only person who can define any tragic moment is the person who walks through it in the pursuit of a testimony.

Pressing Forward

We often find ourselves in the awkward position where our strength is not enough and where our wisdom falls incredibly short. So what do the righteous do in the face of real opposition? The Bible clearly says we are not of those that shrink back, but we press forward even to the saving of the soul (Heb. 10:35-36).

 This passage tells us of our greatest need… “endurance”.

 Endurance is a big word, but we all know its meaning… “staying power”. Are you; am I, one of those Christians who gives up easily? My heart finds no endurance in hype and it will not respond to meaningless rules… do this or do that! I must be trained in righteousness and discipled by a deep fellowship in the Truth.

 Jesus wants to set me free from weak and feeble mind sets (Jn 8:30-36).

 In this verse we read about the effect of our pressing into the challenges of our faith… our soul gets saved. I think this literally means that my mind gets stubborn and unless I discipline myself, I will consistently “shrink” when I’m supposed to “press in”.

We have need of endurance training!

 The objective of endurance training is to develop the energy production that meets the demand called for by the event before us. Someone once told me that endurance cannot be measured until our challenge becomes recognized as a challenge. I think we find ourselves giving up before we even know we are in the race.

 The Apostle Paul said run the race as one who wins… who gets the prize (1 Cor 9:24). He was encouraging us to set our minds on the rewards that are gained. When we have done the will of God, we receive the promise.

 I want the promise, don’t you?

 The promise is the reward of my believing. I am often looking at the struggle like a deer looking at headlights, when I should be a valiant warrior taking aim at my enemy. I can endure to the end and receive like our Victorios King… Jesus. He endured the cross, won the race and overcame the battle so that I might be equipped to embrace the promise.

He Named Us

Real Character

What U Talkin' bout?

“…I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph 3:14-15).

 One of the characteristics of a family is natural blood and the uniqueness of something called DNA. Its what makes the blue eyes; blue, and the brown hair; brown. One family might have several tall children and anyone from the outside can say, “I see that you reflect your Daddy’s genes”.

 There is a spiritual equivalent to DNA.

 Being birthed by the Spirit of God into Christ implants the spiritual DNA of God into our blood line as New Creatures. This Kingdom “blood transfusion” does more than just transform our behavior… it gives us a new name and a real identity with the Father.

 Its the family blood line of God by the Spirit of Adoption (Rom 8:15).

 By the Holy Spirit; the very life of Christ, carrying the spiritual DNA of Father abides within us as true sons. This reality is what the Apostle Paul is hinting at when he says “the family… is named”.

 Think about this for a moment… to be “named” is not a meaningless task. It actually carries our identity… our sense of connectedness to “family”, father & mother and our relational confidence.

 Who are we really?

 As parents, we name our children before we know them… at the moments just after their birth we look into our family blood line and we pull from our history a name that tells a story.

 My daughter was named after her grandmother and we had no desire to change her name simply because she is now taller than her grandmother… its something deeper. Its her connection to our blood… we “named” her as our own.

We named her to give her a foundation for incredible destiny… based on identity!

 God has by new birth changed our name and “named” us with His family identity. As His child I am priviledged to carry the name He has given me and reflect all the purpose He has destined for me. The life is in the blood… and its the blood that gives me His name.

A Walk of Faith

I love to watch the wheels turn when people of faith gather for fellowship. There are those that find faith easy and those that have to really stretch. Some will search for it with great expectation, others will wait for it and hope it drops out of the sky. Perhaps the most important thing is that the heart must become open to it. My sense is that at times we try way to hard.

 When a person places their hope in Christ and begins hearing the Truth for themselves, faith arises and that is when we finally “get it”. Baa-bing! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17). It really is that simple. Like one of those “ah-ha” moments that we have all experienced at one time or another.

 This is the basis of revelation knowledge… its God revealing Himself to us as we look into the very face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6).

The Apostle Paul prays in Scripture (Eph. 1:17-18) about a release of the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Just look into His eyes. The eyes of your understanding will be enlightened. Every vision of Christ offers another facet of Glory and grace.

  These words make all the difference, “by faith we understand…” (Heb. 11:3).

 We will know and understand when our hearts can willingly say ”Lord Your face will I seek” (Ps 27:8).  The Prophet Jeremiah said God can be found by those who seek for Him with “all of their heart” (Jer 29:13). Everyday in God must become a quest from the heart, because it is a walk of faith.

A Secret and A Song

Offering the Song

Praise to Our King

Our ability to walk in a way that pleases God and demonstrates the good works He expects is directly connected to our belief in the Gospel and our “new creation” identity in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

Secrets are revealed Truth that offer pleasure!

 The Apostle Paul calls us to live from a different set of values… motives that communicate clearly the Truth of the Gospel (Eph. 2:8-10). He knew that it was God “who was at work”; that the supernatural pattern of grace, always produces good fruit. What God has done in us enables our life to resemble Him before others.

I want to look like Jesus!

 Perhaps nothing is more exciting than those first opportunities to do the will of the Father; for no other reason than to release what we have been freely given. The testimony is pure and roles sweatly off our lips; God is good, and His mercy falls like spring rain.

 Let God receive the glory.

 You walk away having offered grace, a gift without strings. No packaging, no process, no religious box and no expectation… just a secret and a song to lift the heart of an unsuspecting seeker. La la-la you sing as you go on about your day; living to please the One you love. Sometimes it’s just that simple.

Living to please God – is life’s great reward!