Archive for November, 2012
“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified’” (Matthew 28:5).
No matter how grave our circumstances may be, the resurrection of Jesus has replaced the fear of death with the death of fear. Crucifying our fear brings a resurrection of our hopes.
“But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Romans 8:25).
Waiting is hard and fear only hastens our impatience. The more afraid we are the harder it is to wait. While “perseverance” implies patience and “eagerly” impatience, the seeming contradiction of a patient impatience is but an eagerness for the unseen things that God is still accomplishing. Don’t be afraid. Just wait.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth’” (Genesis 1:26).
We are unique and distinctive from the animals in the field; not captive to the desires and instincts that drive the natural world. God’s divine Spirit has invaded this form of ashes and dust to create supernatural possibilities for each and every life. You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14).
“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8: 26).
Have you had the experience of being so wounded by the unexpected that you literally felt weakened? A situation that you knew to be beyond human repair? Where your first thought is to pray but, strangely, you find yourself at a loss for words? The scripture teaches that the act of prayer is not bound by the words that we might offer, but in such seasons abounds all the more through the intercession of God’s Spirit.
“Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, ‘My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples’’” (Matthew 26:18).
While my own curiosity would desire to know the name of this certain man, his anonymity is a reminder that it could have been anyone. The greater question is whether our Lord could have the same confidence that any one of our homes would be a place where the celebration of God’s provision and deliverance is celebrated. Could you be counted as a certain one?
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways” (Romans 11:33)!
One of the more meaningful realities of the Christian life is that it is a continuing quest upon which one never arrives. You can only go deeper; it only grows richer; it only becomes fuller.
“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting” (Psalm 107.1).
To think of Thanksgiving only in terms of a particular Thursday of the year is to miss out on the true Spirit that is to capture our heart. Just as His lovingkindness is everlasting, so should our giving of thanks.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name” (Psalm 100:4).
Whether on the road or staying home let your heart travel to a place of thanksgiving. A grateful heart is the springboard to all other virtues. Enter His gates with thanksgiving.
“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3).
What began with all things being “handed over” to Him by the Father (Matthew 11:27) culminated with His being “handed over” to be crucified (John 19:16). The Good News is that three days later death handed him over to the glory of the resurrection. What has been handed over to us must now be handed down to others.
“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart” (John 16:5-6).
Jesus’ dismay stems from the disciples seeming lack of imagination in matters of faith. So troubled are they by his failure to live up to their Messianic expectations that they cannot even consider what, maybe, God is doing in their lives and the world. Disappointing circumstances will always change but we must never lose the curiosity of unimaginable possibilities.