Monday, January 28, 2013

A Good Cry

In John 11:35 Jesus comes to see his good friend Lazarus, who is dead.  Now Jesus is not surprised by this, cuz, well, he’s Jesus.  Still, when he gets to the grave it says in John 11:35, Jesus wept.  Not just cried, he wept.  Sometimes as a Christian we think everything is supposed to be always perfect, and we have to appear like everything is wonderful. You know, squeaky clean Christian with no problems.  If something goes wrong in your life then you just don’t have enough faith.  This isn’t true at all.  Paul had plenty of faith, and we might perceive that much of his life was spent in persecution. 

Jesus here shows us a glimpse into his humanity, that is, he felt pain.  Jesus wept.  Wept isn’t like He got a bit misty.  I can think of just a few times in my life where I truly wept.  That sobbing kind of release that comes from deep with in your soul.  Listen, if Jesus is allowed to cry, well then, so are you.  Our ability to weep is a gift from God, to express and let out the sadness.  If we hold sadness in, it can get all messed up.  So Jesus let it out.  He wept.  Wept, right in front of everyone too.  “But people might think there is something wrong with me?”  Yeah, or maybe, and they will stand with you, cause they remember a time when they also wept.   

Now God has commanded us to rejoice in all things, and His command is true.  So follow Christ on this path now…He didn’t stay all weeping forever.  It doesn’t say he wept, and then a few verses later, he was still weeping, and then at the last supper, he broke down and cried about Lazarus…So go ahead, and have a good cry, let it all out, have at some weeping.   Not everything is always rice crispie treats and milk.  Remember that God is the author of the answer, the Holy Spirit is your comforter, and that you are human.  Weep.  And then stop weeping.  Be healed, and get back to the Joy of the Lord.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cut to the Chase

I like the end of a great book, when something outstanding is suddenly revealed.  Something we’ve been building to through the entire work.  Paul gives us one of these in Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:19 “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in His mighty power.”  Whoop there it is.  Okay, let’s take a closer look.  There are two places to be strong here.  First, be strong “In the Lord”, and second, “Be strong” in His power.  Some times we get the idea that being a Christian means being weak or wimpy.  The world even says that God is just a crutch for the weak.  But God has a different take on this, he says to be strong.  He wants you to be strong.  Why do we need strength?  Well, cuz it’s a crazy world with a real enemy, and people around you whose sin sometimes gets on you… AND sometimes you feel weak.  Temptation comes along and you fall.  God wants you to be tough!  God wants you to win today, in your business, your projects, your family, your ministry, your life. Not only does he want you to win, he gives you the tools you need to win.  Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  His mighty power overcame death and sin, and it raised Christ from the dead.  That same power dwells in you.  Expect the unexpected.  Believe the supernatural.  Walk in the magnificent glorious unending power of God, stand firm in Him.  Keep at it!  All of this strength enables you to be strong enough to overcome temptation, trial, or that unloveable teasing person in your life that God wants you to love anyways.  J Be strong.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dr. Destiny

I like to talk about direction and destiny.  Have you noticed this?  J  I also enjoy classic rice crispie treats, but now is neither the time and place.  As for destiny, vision, purpose, it is often in my meditation.  I’m quite inspired in my study today thinking about how the strong winds of life sometimes blow us off course.  Calamity has us adjusting our rutter and lowering our sails to catch our bearings.  This is normal, but now that the winds have died down, what do we do?  On the other end of a  life changing event… well, what now?   

After Jesus dies and resurrects he finds some of his disciples fishing.  Come on fellas.  Jesus death was a life altering event.  Even though he told them straight up it was going to happen, that it needed to happen, and what would happen afterwards, they had gone a bit off course.  Well if the men who spent years next to Jesus got off course, you might too.  But what now?  Jesus sits down with Peter by the fire for a fish breakfast, and he asks Peter..”Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”  Now Peter’s original name was Simon, and Jesus changed it to Peter.  Simon has kind of become the guy he used to be, not the guy Jesus had called him to be.  So calling him Simon was a message all by itself.  Jesus was saying, “Hey, where’s that guy I’ve been training, because you’ve gone back to the comfortable who you were, not who you are.” 

Peter answers Jesus, “yes Lord, you know that I love you.”  So Jesus says, “Feed my lambs.”  Now this same question happens three times.  Jesus wasn’t worried about his farm here, the lambs he meant are the children of God.  The food here is the word of God.  The point is that Jesus wants Peter doing what he’s called him to do, to serve God, and Jesus was saying if you love me… do this.  So your boat got a bit off course, so what?  It happens.  But now it’s time to get them sails back out, get out your map, (the bible), and hit the open seas for Jesus.  You ready?  Your purpose beckons.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pastor Jason Anderson - "Getting our Hopes Up"

Okay, so it's been awhile, but I finished a new devotional.  (the positive side)  Ready for some more hope?  Well, here we are at another New Year, and our minds are all clicking along at light speed thinking about what this year holds.  So with that in mind I wanted to take a moment to encourage you to get your hopes nice and high. 

Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.”  (NIV)

The inner sanctuary behind the curtain is where God’s spirit dwelled in the Mosaic Tabernacle.  Now this all takes place in our heart, as God has made us His dwelling place.  So in our hearts it is our hopes that lead the way in to see God.   It makes sense, I go in to worship and pray as I stir up the hope for God’s mighty hand to move in my life.  The scripture also says that hope is an anchor for our soul. Sometimes our soul could use a little anchoring.  If my soul is like a boat, sometimes my emotions try and get me off course.  Sometimes fear or doubt could have us wondering where God is in our lives.  When a storm hits, an anchor is just what the boat needs to keep it steady.  I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I do know that the Hope of Jesus, the hope he brings, well that hope has us trusting in God, relaxing in the inner sanctuary… now listen to Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful!”  So for 2013, if your hope is a cup of coffee, make it a venti.  Take hold of that hope!  Put all of your hope in God.  Get your hope big and hopping.