Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
the first moment when the realization hit me that i actually felt alone was sudden and unmistakable and seemed to press so hard against my heart that i felt it might actually crush it. i realize how i try to keep myself busy to ignore these feelings, or try and box them into this emotional indifference and ignore it. somehow though, it is making sense in a single moment of clarity, how small, weak, insufficient, rebellious, and to the deepest parts of my heart how unlike God I really am. He is nothing like me and at this moment and in the state my heart is in, it so easy to see how much i don't reflect my maker. how could I ever actually want God by myself? He is nothing like me, we have nothing in common. I am broken, He is whole. I am alone, He is love. At my very core I am selfish and evil, He is perfection and purity. Reaching past words, He pulls me close. He had to come after me, because I would have never found Him if left alone.
Then I see how He completes me, and how more than ever I need Him now. He is completion by himself, but left a massive hole and an unmistakable and unquenchable desire for closeness that can only be filled by Himself. Doesn't that make sense though? If I'm made in His image, but am still empty then I must be filled. Truly I understand at this moment that I really am just the vase that holds the flower, or the cup that holds the water, or the sails that catch the wind. Any of those things by themselves are useless. Their contents bring the worth. But like the wick of a candle, I need the flame from an outside source. A candle can't light itself. A candle is worth nothing but the wax it is unless it burns, then it brings light.
He sees me as I will be. I already am to Him. I am His child, His finished product, His very image when He looks on me with love. Patience is easier when you know what's ahead, and I think He does. Yet, He painstakingly fine tunes me at every moment and every turn, removing unyielding fruit and desire as I keep my faith pointing home.
Faith is all we have, but quite simply all we need.
Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels! (Eph 3:10 MSG)
Friday, June 24, 2011
I know it to be so true.
Our God isn't structured the way we understand. He is many qualities, but we don't understand them all. His order is above ours.
God is mysterious, but loving. Peaceful, but just.
It is as if He has given us just enough of Himself that we can handle.
Some people search deeper, while others trust that have gone before them.
I say everyone's view is slanted. It's only natural.
To know God on an intimate level reaches past words.
People try to translate that which cannot be explained and soon you run into Christian jargon and what was once holy and sacred becomes commonplace among friends.
Fortunately God can handle this, in my opinion.
I put this out there to say this is something that has been on display in human hearts forever. (Israelite to the Southern Baptists)It is much easier to follow rules -and be at peace with yourself for not breaking them, than it is to seek out a God who might or might not lead you down a road with suffering and shame (for His name). Basically I believe that structure leads to security in our eyes. Security equals not experiencing pain.
We weren't designed for pain. BUT we weren't designed for sin either.
When the problem entered
it changed everything.
The church, in my eyes, has tried their best to structure God into rules and slogans that we can take with us. We have taken what is unsearchable and undeniably mysterious and made it plain and understandable. The essence of the relationship with Christ is personal. Your church should foster that personal growth through its gatherings. That should be its first priority.
That personal growth then leads you to say: reach out to the poor and needy, run to the weary and broken-hearted, and love like you never could imagine--- all because the Spirit is alive and moves in you.
There is no love in rules. God stepped past the limits of rules when He stepped into our dimension of time on this dirt that we call our Earth. He completely changed our philosophy and understanding in one fell swoop.
Christ liberated us from rules and religion.
When did believing in Christ become associated with a political party? I don't think Jesus did that.
-Just as He had no part in the Holy Wars of old, or the lynchings in the South.
Hatred and love never mingle.
We are missing the point if we think following rules or attending a certain church has any significance on our eternity.
God moves in all sorts of ways. He can handle our denominations.
He is everywhere in between.
It is essential to use doctrine to understand about God. It is detrimental to our spiritual health to use doctrine as the end-all, be-all of our understanding of God's work in our everyday life.
God is bigger than our doctrine, our understanding.
Don't sell yourself short of experiencing life in God by following steps men have taken. Search for yourself. Jesus made that way possible. Your life is unique and so is your walk with Christ. You'll be surprised as to what you'll find.
He's my king.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
Sunday, October 3, 2010
This is part of an assessment I am being graded on. I hope there are no grammatical errors. But I thought this stuff was just too good not to share. It is stuff I have picked up on the past few years and I am finally starting to piece everything together. Note, this isn't sexist in nature. When I talk about man and woman, I think it goes both ways.
Humanity was created, in part, to rule the Earth. We are also representatives of God’s image. (Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. Gen 1:26-27)
Humans were to be, in essence, regulators and caretakers of the earth, but also naturally conquerors and rulers over all the Earth. In that sense, you see one image of God reflected in man.
Calvin states in his commentary of Genesis, “In the very order of the creation the paternal solicitude of God for man is conspicuous, because he furnished the world with all things needful, and even with an immense profusion of wealth, before he formed man. Thus man was rich before he was born. But if God had such care for us before we existed, he will by no means leave us destitute of food and of other necessaries of life, now that we are placed in the world.” God shows His rightful place in the Heavens, while allowing us that place on this Earth. In that aspect we are His representatives.
All the while, He shows that the man is incomplete as He creates the woman to walk with man through this life. It is just an echo of the longing in man to be a part of something larger than himself.
Augustine takes this thought of the image of God deeper and contends that our soul is reflective of the Trinity as it is in three parts – the intellect, the memory, and the will.
However in our fallen state, the image of God is but a shadow in our lives. As a result of sin, we are not inclined naturally to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Fallen man does not want God in any way, and would not be able to find Him if it weren’t for His prevalent grace reaching past the initial wants of our hearts into stirring our souls as we find that there are deeper needs that need to be met that are incapable of being met without God intervening. He illuminates the deepest desires of our souls, helps us recognize His place of authority over our lives, then meets that need as we choose freely to follow Him and place Him as the Supreme Authority of our lives.
Even though humanity has failed to live up to God’s standards, He has created us for love. He outworked His perfect love completely in His Son’s perfect sacrifice on the cross.
Luke points out to us in the book of Acts that Israel’s sacrifices were not always pure. This is just one example of the need for Christ’s intervention.
Hebrews shows that “Though He was [God’s] Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. After He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.” (Heb 5:8-9) It is important to see that God doesn’t judge from afar, but stepped into our world to win our hearts and souls. Christ was the perfect sacrifice after He learned our struggles. His entering into our world shows us that He understands every struggle and trial we go through because He experienced them Himself, yet without falling. Hebrews 4:15-16 clarifies this thought further saying, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.
1 Timothy 2:5 lights the way for us to hold fast to the confession that Christ has made a way for us through His perfect sacrifice. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, a man, Christ Jesus.”
We see that Christ came to restore creation and to bring us hope. Colossians 3:10 tells us “… the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator. Ephesians 4 also speaks of our renewal.
Through this we see that we are still a work in progress; groaning to get back to the original state of purity and being the image of the perfect God. We understand that perfection is waiting based on the fact that we hurt now. We wouldn’t know pain if joy wasn’t possible, which leads me to believe that in perfection, there is no pain. However, through Jesus’ example, the Godly pain is what makes us perfect.
"the road marked with suffering"