Jesus King – His Way Right Away!

Instead of Burger King’s slogan “Your Way Right Away,”  I’ll take Jesus King – His Way Right Away!

The Way

My way is a crooked line.
His way is straight by the Vine.
My way is self serving.
His way is give to God and then to others.
Now that’s the way you get to livin’

My way, there’s no hope just dark and despair,
His way, the Son shines bright, my soul He repairs.
My way is left incomplete.
His way says it is finished, see His hands and His feet.

My way says at birth life begins.
His way says put it to death to find life in the end.
My way, good works tries to quench the thirst.
His way, its filthy rags; when Christ is not first.

What Garment do You Wear?

I wear a garment of perfectionism. Why do I wear it? I know that no one is perfect. Why would I put myself through that torture? What do I believe about myself?

I am my worst judge, I put myself in the courtroom everyday, “You didn’t do this right!” “Did you see so and so do it better!” “Why can’t you add up to that!” “Get it together or they are going to find you out sooner or later!” “Do you really think you can do that!” “B+ is not good enough!” The thoughts scream at me no matter what I do. This garment does me no good. It is really a very heavy garment that weighs me down. Its extremely difficult to wear. I continue to wear it and then someone says “oh wow! You did that very well!” And the judge shuts up for just a minute, long enough for me to take another step forward, and then the judge is at it again.

The Lord had another wardrobe in mind that is lighter, and cooler. A garment that may not be the fanciest by man’s standards but is by far the richest. My wardrobe of guilt and shame and perfection and anxiety and frustration have been replaced with love, compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, and discipline. God had this wardrobe picked out for me all along and I chose another wardrobe. I have shed the old heavy garment, but I admit it still hangs in the closet. It is not gone for good, but I am working on at least keeping that door shut. He who began a good work in me will see it through until the day of completion. Philippians 1:6
Until then, I press on. It’s not what I think, it’s not what anyone thinks, it’s what God thinks. I am His and He is mine. Its not about what I can do, it’s about what He can do through me.

Thank you Lord! Put the judge in me at rest and take my garment of perfectionism and cast it into the furthest sea. Open up the blinds so that that the real me in You will be seen. Clothe me with your righteousness.

Colossians 3:12 (The Msg)
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

The Redemption Story in 4 part harmony

As I listen to sacred choral music of the Renaissance period and read Isaiah 52:7(see at bottom of the page), it is fitting. The music has a soaring sound as if traveling from the top of a mountain and raining down on those below. Technically speaking the bass and soprano are on the outer parts of choral voicing. It has an encompassing, surrounding effect. The frequency that these voices create in and of themselves serve that purpose. The basses lay a firm foundation while the lofty sopranos have a lifting effect. They both surround the tenor and alto filling out the chord and complimenting. Music can make its most dramatic and full effect when its all working together. Random sounds and chaos don’t create a very nice sound.

This is how I hear it……..

The basses sing, “How lovely is our Savior that entered mankind walking the lowly path. How blessed are the feet of Jesus that walked in our place.

He brought good news when up to that point the news was tragic. Jesus died in our place laying the foundation but the story doesn’t end there.

The sopranos sing, “HE IS RISEN! HE REIGNS! This is the good news of salvation!”

The basses sing, Jesus’ sacrifice is our firm foundation!”  

The sopranos declare,  “His resurection is our hope and salvation.”

The alto and tenors sing, “Let us receive this blessed gift! He surround us, and we will follow His lead.”

What a glorious sound when we all together sing:

The bass, soprano, alto and tenor sing, We are His hands and feet bringing good news to a tragic world. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news! OUR GOD REIGNS! OUR GOD REIGNS! FOREVER HE REIGNS!”

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

A Pebble that Shines for Him

Do you ever feel like God is not there? Does his presense sometimes seem far away? I have felt this at times. One time in particular, I was feeling depressed. I continued to pray and read the scriptures, but I was getting these thoughts like “There is no God listening to you.” I knew this was not the case, but the feelings of being alone still were there. “Where are you God?” “Why can’t I feel your presence?” Notice one common word, “feel”, “felt”, “feelings”. I knew I couldn’t put my faith in my feelings.
I stumbled on Romans 11 where the apostle Paul tells of the branches being grafted into the tree. I read “The Message” translation and one verse stood out that said, “You do not uphold the root, the ROOT upholds you.” I thought about how it’s not what I do or how I feel that makes me a Christian instead it’s what Christ has done in me and is continuing to do in me and in all circumstances.
I went out to go walk on the bayou in our neighborhood that we recently moved into. My neighbor kept telling me I should go see it. I kept putting it off, but I finally went out and did it. As I was walking down the pebble paved walkway, I began to look ahead and in the pebbles some of them were glistening beautifully and some even brighter. My eyes gravitated towards the shinning pebbles. It was beautiful! As I kept walking, I crossed under a tree; the pebbles stopped glistening. The thought at that moment occurred to me that it was not the pebbles themselves that were glistening but the bigger LIGHT above shinning on the pebbles reflecting that bigger LIGHT. God was saying, “I am here! I have always been here! I am upholiding you!” God will never leave us or forsake us. Even when we have crossed under a cloud, He is still there. We can’t put faith in a feeling. Feelings are feelings and that is all. Let the truth of Jesus govern above all else. Let Him shine and radiate through your life.

Romans 1:20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

At the brink of disaster, He grabbed me!

Here I am an empty vessel. I thirst, I hunger, my longings never cease. I want and I need. Its a constant crave cycle. I need to be filled up, emptiness will never do. Oh, I try to fill it up with nostalgia, with family, and fun, approval, even going to church. These things I know will never fully satisfy. My trust can’t be put in anyone of these single things. These things are all good, but they won’t leave me fully satisfied. This I know to be true with my entire being, because I have tasted the Water of Life; it wasn’t by my own might or power. I did nothing, accept dive into His arms – spirit to Spirit. When I knew I had no hope and I was at the brink of disaster, I didn’t stop and analyze the statistics and weigh my options. I had no other option. I knew this to be true; spirit to Spirit. I jumped. In mid air I went from death to life. He caught me and made me fully alive. I am filled up spirit into His Spirit. I am His and He is mine, not by might not by power but by His Spirit! This old nature is still to be wrestled with, and until I reach glory, I have to jump into His arms daily spirt into His Spirit!

Make me spiritually alive. Fill me up dear Savior!
Amen!

Quit Trying! Start Trusting!

“Don’t be a quitter!” “Quitters never win!” We hear this all the time. We have this will power within us that just won’t stop! I always find I want credit for something, anything.
I even take this “will” into christian service and spiritual life sometimes. I say things like “I want to do more for you Lord!” “I want to do big things for you Lord!” This is not a bad desire–most certainly not, but I was finding that I was getting burdened down with feeling like I’m not doing enough. Deep down, I think God would be more proud of me if I did more for Him. No! No and No! I can’t add or take away from what Jesus has already done.”Quitters never win?” For crying out loud, Jesus has already won! What I’m saying here is not that will doesn’t matter and that we shouldn’t stay in the spiritual fight. What I am saying is are you trying and willing over what God is trying to do in and through you? God is not more pleased with Billy Graham’s christian service than he is with the janitor down at the local grocery store and his service. If we are hindering the will of God, even if it’s in effort to do more for God, we need to quit! I don’t mean quit being a Christian or quit serving the Lord but truly step aside and say, I quit trying Lord. I quit trying on my own power. I’m powerless but you have all the power. I’m weak, but you are strong. Apart from you I can do nothing. The Father in heaven said, “This is my son in whom I’m well pleased.” God is pleased with us through His son and the atonement not because of anything I do or say or don’t do or don’t say. I cannot add or take away from what is finished through the work of Christ Jesus. Praise God! What a relief! I can’t handle that burden. It’s too heavy. I can’t! I quit! I quit trying to carry that burden! I quit trying to do it all on my own! I quit trying to be the best preacher/teacher. I quit trying to please God through my actions and my words. I quit trying to gain brownie points in Heaven. I quit complaining or comparing myself on not having the same big opportunities of Christian service that maybe some of my fellow brothers or sisters have. I quit trying to get credit!
It’s easy to fall into the trap of an over zealous faith at times like the apostle Peter. How many times do we try to show God how strong we are or how competent we are or how good we are in our behavior, service, etc? Oh, how bad we want credit.
God doesn’t look at this and collect points and check marks. He sees Jesus in whom he is well pleased.
The only reason God can look at us is because of Jesus! Thank you Jesus! You lifted me out of this mess. I surrender.
Now it doesn’t stop there. I quit trying, but I can’t stop trusting. Here’s where it gets good. Isn’t it logical that the One who created you is the One who knows what’s best for you? So trusting should be a great relief compared to trying.
I will to do your will, Lord! I step aside so that I don’t hinder your work through me. I surrender. I am your empty vessel. I quit trying. I decide to trust.
We must walk in the spirit!
Start today! Quit trying! Start trusting!

I am Weak but He is Strong!

Oh, how weak we are. We try to pull our own weight struggling with this little nothing of muscle we have. We try and we fail again and again. What great relief it is to hear and acknowledge there is an Almighty power in charge of it all. He has the power to pull all the weight and never grow tired. It’s such a relief to just let myself be weak so that His strength can be shown perfect. Why fight it? We are fighting something we can’t conquer on our own. The world and society see weakness as a very different thing than God sees it. The world sees it as a stumbling block that keeps us from success, reputation or status. The biggest thing that keeps us from communion with God is pride and what feeds pride is our illusion of greatness and power. We are voluntarily blocking the One whose power can move mountains, can heal wounded hearts and who is omnipotent in every way. Nothing is impossible with God!
We need not be obsessed in the idea of equality. I find that this is becoming an idol in our post modern era. Jesus certainly didn’t come to provide equality for all. He humbled himself and became a servant, willingly obedient, motivated out of love. This glorifies God. See Philippians 2:6.
Jesus chose the way of weakness in love to save us. He humbled himself, and took on the sins of man. He was humiliated, mocked, beaten, cursed, and He did it as proof of His unfathomable love for us. Philip Yancey said in his book The Jesus I Never Knew, “Power, no matter how well-intentioned, tends to cause suffering.(When we choose power in and of itself, It is destructive) Love, being vulnerable, absorbs it. In a point of convergence on a hill called Calvary, God renounced the one for the sake of the other.” In the Beatitudes Jesus clearly said the weak are blessed. Why? I would say because the moment we admit our weakness and renounce power is the moment His strength and power can increases opening up the floodgates of blessing and joy.
Love is the only answer to conquer evil. Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” Are we doing that? It will involve renouncing power for the sake of the other. The only way to trump and triumph over evil is to surrender in love, and as Jesus rose from the grave and conquered evil so does the lives of the people we touch through the work of the Spirit. They will rise up from this spiritually dead life and will be transformed into new life through Jesus!
As a Christian we are supposed to help heal the broken hearted in Jesus name. Are we not broken ourselves? How does the broken help the broken? This is where it all starts making sense. No one is perfect. Our hurts, injustices and disadvantages are used to bring Glory to God. Jesus is the link between one broken soul to another broken soul. If we pretend to have it all together we hinder the very power of the cross of Christ to break through and breathe new life!

STEP OUT IN FAITH – Take the news of the cross of Jesus to the ends of the earth even in weakness and always in love!

“Thy Word Have I Hid In My Heart

Why do we put precious valuables in safes? Why do we put alarms on our houses? Why do we lock our cars? We do all these things to keep from harm or danger; for protection.

When I make efforts to read scripture and study it, memorize it, I’m hiding His word in my heart. I’m locking it in a safe with a standing guard. We make great efforts to guard our material things, how much more do we guard our hearts?

Who/what are we guarding against? We have 3 enemies of the soul: the world, the flesh, and the devil.

The world –We are instructed not to love the things of this world 1John 2:15. Worldly wisdom is contradictory to heavenly wisdom. When we become Christians we are to leave these worldly idols behind and follow Christ.

The flesh– The bible says, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jeremiah 17:9. Our flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit and the spirit what is contrary to the flesh. Galatians 5:17. It’s in opposition.

The devil– Scripture says, “Stay alert! Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

We know the enemies and we are given a way to protect against this danger. After we have repented and first trusted in Jesus we must continue to guard our hearts lest we fall.
We took the first step when we trusted Jesus and he gave us living water. Now we must continue to hide his word in our hearts by reading what he has revealed in his word and through prayer.

Today and everyday “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 Lock his word in your heart and make Jesus the standing guard of your life. If God is for us who can be against us!