What Have You Heard?

In Mark 5 the woman with the issue of blood heard something, something so wonderful that it caused her to believe she could have what she had been searching for, for more than 12 years. She had used up all of her money and still was no better after all the doctors gave her no hope.

What did she hear?

I Mark 7 a mother heard something that encouraged her that her child could be rescued from a life of demon possession. A life most likely to be spent causing fear to others, suffering to her family and possibly periods of extended isolation.  But what she heard changed everything.

What did she hear?

Job 42:5. Job heard with his ear but hadn’t seen with his eye the Lord. Now flash back, Job 1:5, Job is offering sacrifices because  “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts” 

Job was continually offering sacrifices daily because he feared that his sons had sinned. He did so because that was the course of action necessary by law to cover the sinful and avoid judgement from God. If sacrifices were not offered then the soul that sinned must die.

What had he heard?

Job got the “thing he feared most”, suffering.

The women got the thing they needed, healing.

What have you heard?

Do we fear suffering like Job? Or do we trust the goodness of Jesus? So be in unto you according to your faith.

 20150722_201301

Advertisements

The Paradoxical Kingdom of Upsidedownness….

(Is that a word?)

We give to receive.

We die to live.

We scatter to increase.

We serve to be great.

Everything about this Kingdom seems to be backwards. Everything that is except the current doctrines that teach that we must do good to get good, and if we do bad we get bad. I’ve struggled with this notion for a while now, that we, just like the world, must do all the right things in order to receive the benefits of a good life. Work hard and you get to the top, be lazy and get left behind.

Jesus had a different idea when He demonstrated His love by dying for us while we were still sinners. What did that demonstrate to us? …Love… Our salvation is not contingent upon our working, or ability to be working. It is solely dependent upon Jesus and His finished work at the cross. When Jesus said “it is finished” He really meant it. All we need, all we will ever desire, and all that will ever be asked of us from the Father has been finished in Christ’s perfect work at the cross.

This makes the legalist go crazy. They begin throwing out sins, and scenarios about sin that men do every day. They begin to pick apart the lifestyles of people and demand those people give account of their actions. I believe that makes Jesus’s  heart sad. He did not come to the world to condemn the world but that through Him the world might be saved.

Legalism demands the list of what is legal and what is not legal and then holds itself (and often others), to an impossible set of rules that no man can actually keep on His own.  Jesus sets us free from all the rules (EVERY SINGLE ONE!) with only one command left, to love. And then teaches that the love which has been commanded is only possible by dependence upon Him. (Gal 5, John 15).

Jesus has so much faith in the power of love to transform a human heart, and make it soft and loving; that He is patient. He knows that this upside down Kingdom requires a different MO than all others. Every religion in the world is hinged upon the follower’s actions, except Christianity, which is founded upon the premise that man is without strength and needs a Savior.

If we die to live, give to receive, and scatter to increase, then why are we taught work to get a reward of heaven? Christ teaches us to rest. Rest in what He has done and expect the impossible. Trust His sacrifice was good enough, and sit at His feet long enough to have a heart change. This is the way of Jesus. The next time someone tries to dislodge you from this truth, be like Taylor Swift and “Shake it off!” .

Paul taught in Galations 1 that those who teach any other doctrine to you besides grace in Christ should be accursed. Don’t be deceived by words that get you looking back at your own life, and your own performance. Begin looking at Jesus life, and His performance. Be patient with yourself and trust the process.

Just like it takes a minute to grow some veggies in a garden, it takes a while for the seed of the Kingdom to germinate and grow up into fruit of the Spirit. Believe that all your resting in Him is doing something. Just keep looking unto Jesus the author and Finisher of your faith. One day you will see. When the pressure is on, the fruit will come out and you will know you’ve been changed.

IMG_2366

Trust who?!

In this world of chaos and cruelty we learn from a very early age that not everyone is trustworthy. Some of us didn’t even have parents that were trustworthy. So how do we decide who to trust and when to trust them? And how do we know who is really worthy of the heart we guard so deeply? Not to mention how do we overcome the times in the past when trust has been broken and we have to learn to let go and trust again?

I will be the first to tell you it’s not easy to trust again after trust is broken. And I have not mastered the art of forgiveness as of yet. However, I do have a story; one of a young woman whose trust was horribly broken by her parents.  It is still sometimes too painful to share the details but the point is that I have had to learn to trust over again. And it wasn’t easy at all. I am still learning.

I know the pain that pricks a tender heart when broken trust stings you. I know the uncertainty, and indecision of a wounded soul longing to just let go and yet not being able to. My husband has had to endure so much at my hand, bless his heart. But through many an attempt, and many a failure, I have begun to learn how to let go of the past and look forward with anticipation of good things to come rather than what bad thing may be next.

Proverbs tells us to “trust in the Lord with all our hearts”. This is a very, very painful adventure for a heart that doesn’t even trust the ones she can see. How will she trust the unseen? It is also compounded by much pressure from legalistic teaching that God must be appeased by our good deeds and He is watching our every move to crush us when we fail.

(Caution: Ludicrously good news coming!!!)

But I have hugely good news for you! God is not angry! He is not even a little disappointed! Jesus so fulfilled every ordinance in the Law (the ones that demanded punishment for sin) on our behalf, that we are free. Free to love God, free to hate God, free to trust or mistrust God. So free indeed that God Himself guards our freedom by being the shepherd at the gate watching over our lives.

This is good news for us! Jesus was so perfect, and His sacrifice so complete that God sees only beauty when He sees us (even when we just committed sin!).  Because of Jesus sacrifice for us, we now live before God as if we are Jesus. We are perfect, righteous, forgiven, and beloved of God. We get all the good because Jesus got all the bad.

Now what does that have to do with trust? It’s simple. If we understand that all the promises of God are in yes, and amen in Christ through us to the glory of God, then we understand that we get a yes every time we pray and ask for God to keep His promises! And it’s not because of our behaviors or actions, it’s because of Christ Jesus and His sacrifice!!!. The best part is God cannot lie, and He does not change. He keeps His WORD!

Today be encouraged that if anyone is worthy of your trust it is God through Jesus. If He said it He will do it, If He promised, He will make good! There may not be another person you ever meet, your whole life long, that is trust worthy. But rest completely assured and at peace that Jesus is that man.  He is trust worthy. He does what He said He will do!

IMG_20150708_075837_resized