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Archive for November, 2013

Leap of Faith

Sometimes the Lord calls us to take a leap of faith, while our feelings, circumstances and past disappointments scream at us “Don’t Trust God Here!” He calls to us to blindly step out like Indiana Jones. “But, Lord, look at the canyon below. There’s no way I can trust You here. It’s too much.” We cling to our fear and doubt like an old safety blanket. It’s dirty and ragged, but it’s familiar. It makes us feel safe. “If you just show up first, Lord, I’ll let go of this blanket. I’ll let go of my fear.” Instead, He asks us to step out and trust Him first, before our breakthrough can appear. The Lord’s ways can feel so backwards sometimes, but this glorious leap of faith is just what is needed to strengthen and grow us for the next season. Our perfect Father knows best.

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Greatest Joy

One day the Church will be a spotless bride. But, if you are looking for that now, you may be sadly disappointed. You will have to be the mature one first. You will have to be quick to forgive, quick to overlook offenses. You will have to continually love with no return. You will have to parent those around you. You will have to bear injustice and slander and all kinds of lies to bring justice to the Church. You will have to lay down your life, without recognition … if you want to be like Christ and help take the Church to the next level. Truly this is the greatest pain one can bear, but, also the greatest joy and triumph!

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Just Like Jesus

God is both perfectly love and He is perfectly just. He calls us to holiness and He calls us to mercy. To become like Him, is the ultimate challenge.
We are all born with strengths and weaknesses. For some of us, we are justice-based. We see injustice and our insides scream! “That’s not fair! Someone should do something!” We see a criminal get away with murder and we burn in anger. “How could this happen?!” We are lawyers, we are officers and we are judges. We just plain love the truth. And, we were born to enforce it. We are just like Jesus, when he said, “Let any one of you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone.”
Others of us love compassion. We are mercy-based people. When we see someone hurting, nothing can stop us from helping them. We just want to pray for people. We are quick to cry and quick to feel. We are nurses, we are teachers and we are pastors. We love grace and we dispense it liberally. We are just like Jesus, when he said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? Then, neither do I condemn you.”
Each side is right. One side says, “We just need the truth!” The other says,“We just need grace!” But, what we really need is BOTH. John 1:14 tells us that Jesus was full of grace AND truth. The goal is to hold onto one while not losing another. If we only value grace, we will fall victim to tolerance. And, if we only value truth, we will fall victim to religiosity. On either side of the narrow path, lies a dark ditch.
One side is the ditch of tolerance. It beckons us to compromise, calling us to see things through rose colored glasses. “Your fine and I’m fine. We are all doing fine.” Those here justify sin, they hurt themselves and they hurt others, for God’s good boundaries are to keep us safe. “Grace, grace, grace!,” it cries out for. However, here, grace turns into enablement and permission to sin. There is no absolute truth.
Now, on the other side lay another extreme where the law is supreme. It is the ditch of religiosity. The hand of rule is heavy here. Every sin is exposed and punished severely. Those who live here think themselves worthy, but in reality no one is worthy, for no one can fulfill the law. Those who pass by are given no help what so ever, only thrown stones of judgement. “Truth, truth, truth!,” it cries out for. However, truth does not rule here, but condemnation. There is no grace.
The Cross testifies of God’s mercy and The Cross testifies of God’s justice. You are sinner, who is loved. Receive your free gift and repent. Maybe, you only have a toe in a ditch. Maybe, you have fallen deep into a pit. Jesus is right there, reaching out His hand. He is ready to pull His beloved out and lead them back onto the road of becoming just like Him.

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