Friday, February 27, 2009

Thoughts Beyond Jeff's Latest Post

I would really like to urge whoever is out there and happens to be reading this, to read Jeff's post on Love Thinketh No Evil.

I am really frustrated for a few days over the counsels given to a friend who is and has lived a whole life in an abusive environment.

It seems the counsel 'of choice' these days from Christian camp is to counsel another person to stay in abusive relationships. This advice they say comes right from the heart of Father and to prove so, they can snap out some handy dandy verses out of context to prove so. This is so heartbreaking.

Sadly due perhaps to our fallen nature, bruised wounded broken people, as vulnerable as they are, gravitate towards this type of counsel very easily, as they perceive God as on some sort of mission to teach them the lessons and life long if necessary. They twist the meaning of the Cross and the true nature and character of God while doing so. I know of people who have lived all their lives at the hands of an abuser, or for the most part of their life; meaning their view of God and their ability to connect with His heart remains severely impaired and broken year after year.

May Christ leads His people into the Truth and set them free!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Casting our Cares Upon Him

I am praying today for the courage Christ is giving me to truly examine ME, my life, and not let sin hide from His gaze (not that it ever could). But in my reasoning, I somehow seem to think that it could. I have always believed that God sovereignly orders my life, but I find myself, humbly acknowledging this, that God sovereignly orders my life and circumstances, for one good & for one purpose, to humble me so that I can truly find Jesus. The great life that He came to give seems to be only found through this process. Until I see this, and get rid of what is 'clouding' out this reality, I can't understand my own deep need for HIm.

I have been reading Romans and struggling to really 'grab' ahold of it. Paul was, in the first few chapters, trying to get them to realize that they were nothing, even tho they were Jews and well schooled in the scriptures. He knew that they needed to be 'stripped entirely' of their self righteousness and self worth in that regard, and to instead face their own desperate need of Him. (It's quite easy to think that somehow the Jews needed alot more stripping away than we ever would, hmmm) They could only be prepared to do that by understanding that the law had not worked anything into their heart that didn't now need to be stripped away, that their heart was just as depraved as others. They still believed alot of good about themselves, and they didn't understand their own need for Jesus. They couldn't come to Christ without first understanding their own depravity and desperate condition. Paul knew that because they 'had the law', they thought they were better and would have a hard time facing up to the fact that they couldn't totally see their absolute need for total dependance on Christ. Paul understood that this represented a huge big problem for them, BUT I contend that as much as it was a huge problem for them, it is just as huge for us too.

We are all deceived in our own darkened understanding, of who we truly 'think' we are. So an accurate assessment of who we are (proved by circumstances to humble) is that apart from Him, I am truly NOTHING. What Christ has for me is a great inheritance, but I cannot find this if I think I still have 'a good heart' it can only be found by being broken & humbled. This seems to be what we resist most. We still think we are somehow 'good'. So I am carefully considering why Paul was saying what He was saying to them because in fact, it is being said to me.

I encourage you also to face those things in your life whatever they may be (with joy) and allow Christ to test you and test your attitudes. Only Christ knows what it is that we are gravitating towards that makes us think 'we somehow have an edge' that 'we somehow have a superior understanding or revelation' that many don't have. This is all foolishness & worthless, just as it was for the Jews. Allow Him to test your 'darkened understanding' so that you too can sincerely humble yourself before 'his exposing light' and move forward in His grace & forgiveness ...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

There's Only So Much Room in My Heart :)

This isn't going to be a long post.

I am finding it hard these days to make room in my heart for Jesus.

It seems selfish things, bitterness and unforgiveness has somehow pursued my heart, and found
a lodging place in my heart. Because of this, it is making it very hard lately for me to experience Jesus.

I am wanting to defend my right to be bitter, upset, and angry over things I can't control and over that which Father has allowed anyhow. Things I don't think I deserve. Perhaps I don't but the reality seems to be that I do have a choice, a choice to stew over things and let it stink up my heart, or find peace in Him and offer Him my love once again.

It seems to me that God is right there with me, he sees the struggle in me at the moment, a struggle over the fact that I seem more determined to cling to hurts - then letting them go. It's so easy for me to 'feel I have the right to feel a certain way'. (My guess is that we all struggle with this one)

I was reading 1 Sam 25 early this morning. I love the picture of Abigail, coming to David, laden down with precious gifts, and bowing before Him. She wanted to ask of the Lord to be merciful and forgiving. I just love the sight of that in my mind, it seems so beautiful , Abigail bowing down before David, she was very courageous too; David's anger seemed to evaporate as he watched her, through her courage and intervention and faith, David was able to reconsider his pending actions and treat Nabal with kindness instead and be longsuffering too, even tho he had been provoked. He was such a great king.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Determined to Crucify Him

Ike's comment, pointed out in the last post, Excitement, Faith, Hope , was that Jesus enemies never discounted the authenticity of His miracles. How disappointed the pharisees must have been that they couldn't do so! In fact, Jesus even proved that He was the Messiah to them according to the pharisees' own writings!

For example, one way He did this was to heal a leper. (He healed more than one) The pharisees had it in their so called rule book that, when they would therefore examine the authenticity of a miracle, a delegate was sent forth to do so, and one miracle, that of healing a leper, when witnessed, would only be possible by the Messiah. Now that's what the pharisees' said in their own rule book. And that's why Jesus would send the healed leper back,
to 'show' himself to the pharisees. He was proving to them by their own precious rules, that He was who He said He was. But what is so revealing beyond that, is that as Ike said - since they couldn't discount the miracle - they had to resort to other methods of attacking Jesus' authenticity and questioning Who He was. This goes to show how truly deceptive & wicked their hearts were.

As well, there were many aspects of the arrest and trial, which violated and disregarded whether the arrest and trial was even valid (according to their own laws). Pilate, having washed his hands before the crowd, seemed to know that at any cost, the liars and deceivers would find a way, even illegally, to convict Jesus of Nazareth & crucify Him.


Following are some of the illegal aspects of the trial of Jesus:
  • Trials could occur only in the regular meeting places of the Sanhedrin (not in the palace of the High Priest)
  • Trials could not occur on the eve of the Sabbath or Feast Days or at night
  • A sentence of 'guilty' might only be pronounced on the day following the trial


Deut. 19:15 "One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."

Deut. 17:6 "On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness."

Mark 14:56 "Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree."

While in the court of the High Priest, He was questioned by Annas (John 18:13)and struck by a soldier (John 18:22) He was then brought to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. who sought to put Jesus to death by the false testimony of many witnesses. The witnesses brought against Him did not agree. By the law, no one could be put to death without the agreement of two or three witnesses. Although the witnesses did not agree, He was found guilty of blasphemy when He told them of His identity as the Son of God. He was sentenced to death. Jesus suffered ridicule from the palace guards, who spat on Him, beat Him and slapped Him on the face. (Mark 14:65) During the trial, Peter denies Him three times. The proceedings of Jesus' trial violated many of the laws of His society. Among some of the other broken laws were:(Bucklin)

  1. Any arrest could not be made at night.
  2. The time and date of the trial were illegal because it took place at night and on the eve of the Sabbath. This time precluded any chance for the required adjournment to the next day in the event of a conviction.
  3. The Sanhedrin was without authority to instigate charges. It was only supposed to investigate charges brought before it. In Jesus' trial, the court itself formulated the charges.
  4. The charges against Jesus were changed during the trial. He was initially charged with blasphemy based upon His statement that He would be able to destroy and rebuild the Temple of God within three days, as well as His claim to be the Son of God. When He was brought before Pilate, the charge was that Jesus was a King and did not advocate paying taxes to the Romans.
  5. As stated above, the requirement of two witnesses in agreement to merit the death penalty was not met.
  6. The court did not meet in the regular meeting place of the Sanhedrin, as required by Jewish law.
  7. Christ was not permitted a defense. Under Jewish law, an exhaustive search into the facts presented by the witnesses should have occurred.
  8. The Sanhedrin pronounced the death sentence. Under law, the Sanhedrin were not allowed to convict and put the death sentence into effect. (John 18:31)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Excitement, Faith, Hope

I was reading Mark 6:53-56 this morning.

And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore. And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.

I tried to imagine the level of excitement that was stirred among the crowd. It says, 'when they were come out of the ship,
straightway they recognized him. '

All Jesus did was get off the boat. He didn't organize any services, or provide any announcements of His coming or arrival date, no preparations, no upcoming big events . He just got off the boat to go to the people.

The people immediately recognized Him, {despite what Isaiah said, that there was no beauty that we should desire Him, that He was despised and and rejected of men, a man acquainted with sorrows.} Yet these people recognized the beauty of the Son of God immediately upon his arrival. They appreciated who He was. The only explanation I can think of for the reaction of these people to Jesus' arrival was that they convicted of Jesus divinity, convicted of their own sin, aware of His Holiness. It seems that these were the true preparations that had taken place prior to His arrival - their hearts were moved and sensitive to His holiness.

The people ran throughout the whole region, and brought the sick to the where they heard He was or would be, the direction or town perhaps He was on route to. Imagine how quickly the news would have spread by person to person, village to village. Imagine the excitement as the people hustled and bustled, bursting force in news to one another of His arrival! "He's here, He's just got off the boat. I heard He's headed in the direction of ... " Faith and hope would have leapt tremendously in their hearts as they relayed the information of his coming and whereabouts.

They quickly moved the sick along the streets and direction of His coming so that they might simply touch the hem of His garment. They truly believed in Him, that He was the Son of God and that He was a vessel of God's love & compassion for all humanity and for the sick and suffering. They believed in Him, that the hopes of being made whole were possible through this Man.

I imagine people took little thought to the demands of the present, and quickly tended to things as need be, and made themselves instead available for 'receiving the Son of God' with much joy and faith in their hearts.

"And as many as touched Him, were made whole."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

On Feeding & Being Fed

I was just thinking this morning of the miracle of the loaves & fishes.

Thinking that the disciples seemed to be focused on 'how much' they had
instead of the BREAD that they truly possessed.

It's all too easy to do this, isn't it? To always be comparing and evaluating, calculating
things out. And it seems religion teaches us all quite well to focus
on how much we have rather than the QUALITY of the Bread which we truly
possess which is Christ.

It's a very humbling process for us, just as it must have been for these disciples,
to come to truly understand Christ, the true Bread which comes down from heaven. That
it isn't about how much we have any longer but it's simply about being willing to share what we have with others so that they will be blessed & it will be multiplied to them (not us.)

I might add more thoughts to this as I think about it....