Sunday, January 31, 2010

Κύριος Notes: We Need To Start At The Start

Matthew 7
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Lord Jesus--So often I am the one who just starts the work whatever it is without including you in the process…as if the completion of the task is the point.

The real point is always the same your heart, mind and your will enbedded in my life right smack-dab in the middle of Saratoga Springs. That is the point of this life that I am living. Seeing your will and your way worked out in the mix of my life, as confusing and challenging as it is at times.

So the beginning is not action, it is prayer. Prayer that your will can be worked out in this fractured, muddled up world that I live. Your will can be worked out within this fracture and muddled up heart of mine.

You remind me Lord Jesus, that the reason that the start of activity is prayer: is simply that you want to be included in every part of my life. That is simple yet it is not easy for me to understand that the God of all creation want to be a part of my everyday.

8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Lord Jesus--I look to you…I ask for your direction and your grace in meeting the challenges that confront me. I know that you are here right now, even when I am not consciously aware of you. I hear the promise of answers when I ask…answers and opened doors. Sometimes they are not the doors that I even knew enough to knock on, but your promise is: answers, open doors and finding when I seek.
Lord Jesus I know that you have already begun the process of opening closed doors that I have been knocking on. Help me to be faithful in the asking, the seeking and the knocking in this day.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Do I really want Justice?

Matthew 7
1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Judgment is always something that is reflexive and a mirror to my view of the world. Lord Jesus I have such blind spots that I do not want to be shown. There are so many areas that I am able to conceptualize but not actualize what I know to be your will for my life.

I end up like Moses able to see the land of promise and even smell the wind of the land of milk and honey but not quite ever get there.

3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

I can never get the plank out of my eye Lord with out the Holy Spirit’s continued direct intervention and power. Why does anyone else’s stuff even come to mind when my sight is so full of wood? Distraction…so many of my defenses in this area really boils down to slight of hand that forms my limitations of sight and insight.

Sometimes the prophetic work of the Holy Spirit is so close to home that I my eyes can’t take in the light on the log that I have been looking at front and center for so long. Until I can let go of the log that my eye has been massaging further insight becomes difficult.

6"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

So how does judging with unequal measures give what is sacred to those who have no appreciation for it, Lord? Offering opinions on things that I have no handle on is just a place where I will end up getting hurt by those who have no interest in anything except damage. It is better to keep silent and keep my ruminations to myself. Being one thing and saying another will always lead to hurt.

You know as well as I Lord, that I could never stand justice. I need unmerited, scandalous grace flowing in my life from begining to end or that log right in my sight of vision will never move.

Lord Jesus that leads me to a dangerous prayer. Guide my hand as I reach for the log each day, and may your grace flow in an unending stream...until one day the log doesn't return.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Κύριος Notes:You Have It Covered

Matthew 6

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

Lord Jesus you were there when thousands were feed by your hand. Yet there were times when you were hungry and thirsty. Life is so much more than the next meal or the clean clothes that I am sitting in right now.

If you feed people who were just in the crowd that day listening, how much more will you continue to care for those who have trusted in you for all of life’s needs?

26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single
hour to his life

Lord Jesus you care the birds who don’t doing any prudent planning, I am sure that you can take care of me through out life’s transitions. All of my concern does not really do anything, then why does anxiety dog my steps sometimes?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

Lord Jesus--Running after things that will end up in the trash does not make sense…worrying about the next step when you have faithfully lead up to this point does not make sense. You are able to lead, even when the way seems dark to me and my steps hesitate. You are still there Lord Jesus guiding my hand even when I am unaware of it. In fact, it may be in those times when I am unaware of your presence with me that you have more freedom to work. It is then that you are not bounded by my expectations and limits.

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Seeking your kingdom first, Lord Jesus is what you call me to. Help me to seek your leadership in this day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Clear Eyed Service


Psalm 7:17 (New International Version)
17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness

and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Scripture Reflection Matthew 6:22-24

22"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Lord Jesus--Focus is essential. Being clear about what surrounds me is essential. You are the one that brings clarity. My job is to walk in the light that you bring into my life. There are times when you need to open the eyes of my heart, help me to see what has been there all a long. Sometimes my eyes just are not able to see what is right in front of me. Even when I don’t understand, understanding is not the point. Obedience is what is required.

24"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Serving implies obedience, follow through and loyalty even when it is difficult. Loyalty even in those times when I don’t understand and the way is dark. Who am I loyal to? Who do I think about? How well am I following today?

Jesus help me to be clear eyed today...attuned to your call. Serving you in the middle of all that surrounds me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Treasures where?

Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. "

"Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. Nehemiah 9:5

Scripture Reflection

19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

Lord Jesus--This is one that I have to watch all the time. Where am I investing? It all surrounds simple questions: like what is the point anyway? Where am I attaching meaning? Is my talk lining up with daily walk?

20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So then Lord Jesus the question is how invested am I in my coming reward? What am I doing now to maximize impacts for your kingdom in my everyday life?

Your place is a place that is safe and secure…where if my heart is fully invested I need not worry about heart attack, or a heart that is broken beyond repair. If my heart is broken in your work it will only bring increase to your kingdom. Easy to say Lord Jesus until the tears begin to fall...then it somehow looks different.

Lord Jesus--In this day help me to focus on the truly important issues that surround be touched by what breaks your heart.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Κύριος Notes:The Spiritual Disciplines

"He is good; his love endures forever."
2 Chronicles 5:13

Scripture Reflection: Matthew 6:14-18 Fasting
16"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

Fasting like loving and giving and prayer has everything to do with who we are aiming at and who's attention we are seeking. The focus is God our Father. The example is God our Father…the point is God our Father. So being discreet does not miss the point, it enhances the point. Fasting, in the time of Christ, many times was done as a part of the ritual of grieving sometime over sin, sometimes over loss.

17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Lord Jesus you are teaching me that fasting just like prayer and giving is a spiritual process intended for the Father’s attention. The point of fasting is to focus my spirit on the point that you are aiming me toward. It is to create the conditions where change can occur.

Lord Jesus, work in my heart and life to bring about your will in this little part of planet Earth.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Κύριος Notes: Prayer continued


"Praise be to you, O LORD,
God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power,
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;you are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:10

Scripture Reflection Matthew 6:11-13

11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Lord Jesus more than any other simple fact, you taught that God cares about people. You care about my daily needs for food, and for the basics of life. You provide for those needs in ways and at times that you see best. It is not because I am bright, hardworking or resourceful, it is because of your giving hand of grace extended right down to me. You ask me to pray for my needs and to be thankful when they are met.

Lord Jesus--In the middle of it all, there are debts and trespasses…places where I mess it up. There places where I take what is given only to see it slip through my hands. Forgiveness comes from your hands Lord Jesus, as I forgive those whose debts I hold. Help me to forgive today as this day progresses.

13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' 14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Where ever you lead Lord Jesus I will follow. There are times when it feels as if the evil one is talking in my ear. I have never noticed how closely temptation, deliverance and forgiveness are all tied together. Deliverance and the abatement of temptation are all tied to my willingness and openness to forgiveness.

Lord Jesus teach me the lessons of forgiveness.

Κύριος Notes: Fasting


Psalm 7:17
17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness

and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Scripture Reflection: Matthew 6:14-18 Fasting
16"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

Fasting like loving and giving and prayer has everything to do with who we are aiming at and who we want to get the attention of. The focus is God our Father. The example is God our Father…the point is God our Father. So being discreet does not miss the point, it enhances the point. Fasting, in the time of Christ, many times was done as a part of the ritual of grieving sometimes over sin, sometimes over loss. God wants not just ritual, but more importantly he wants reality in our lives.

17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Lord Jesus you are teaching me that fasting just like prayer and giving is a spiritual process intended for the Father’s attention. The point of fasting is to focus my spirit on the point that you are aiming me toward. It is to create the conditions where change can occur.

Lord Jesus work in my heart and life as you see fit.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Continued Lessons on Prayer

Job 1:21

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

Scripture Reflection: Matthew 6

9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Lord Jesus, you taught that the beginning of prayer should be praise…acknowledgement that the very privilege of communication is a hallowed activity.

I have been actively trying to include you in my thought life…in my internal dialogue that goes on with in me. It continues to amaze me Lord Jesus that you want to be a part of my life at the most intimate level possible…my thoughts, my feelings and my actions. Pray without ceasing...means inclusion in everything. But prayer starts out with praise that you would want to be included in the first place.

10 your kingdom come,
your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

As I think of the situation on Haiti, I realize how far you kingdom is from coming. I realize the need that surrounds me here in Saratoga. It is overwhelming to think of the levels of need.
Yet in the middle of it, you are there bringing about your kingdom and working out your will. The words of Job's praise is so fitting...You give Lord Jesus and take away, my place is to praise no matter what.

Lord Jesus create in me a heart that sees beyond the present ambiguous and difficult situations to see the ways that you are working out your will.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Clear Focus


Nehemiah 9:5

"Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise."

Scripture Reflection:Matthew 6
5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

The focus of prayer is not visibility to the people that surround me. I am not praying to them. In some ways, it can get to the place where I pratice a kind of pratical atheism if I focus on the people that surround me…the congregation is not the focus. You are the focus, Lord Jesus.

Lord Jesus teach me in the ways of prayer that sees your power brought to bear on the issues that confront me.

6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Rewards and answers to prayers seem to go hand in hand. Prayer done in secret is just like giving which is done in secret. It has its reward far beyond what is seen and understood by my feeble eyes. Prayer changes the world, prayer changes the issues, and prayer changes me.

7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

You know my needs and the desires of my heart Lord Jesus. You know the places where past hurts impact my ability to accurately even see the situations that confront me. I don’t need to prattle on about my needs and issues. You know them even before I am completely aware of them and know enough to pray.

Lord Jesus teach the ways of prayer, help me to focus on what is really important in my life and in the lives of those who share this journey with me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Κύριος Notes: Falling Rain Changes The World Around It

1 Chronicles 29:12-14
12 Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.
Scripture Reflection:Matthew 6

1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Lord Jesus--So now love like rain gets some practicality to it. Giving is something that is not to be used as a way to show off, or impress the people around me. Love sees the needs and seeks to address them. But not to be seen or to use the actions as way to advance my agenda. It is simply because of Your call Lord Jesus that I need to give.

2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.

Giving needs to be discreet and back channel whenever possible. It has nothing to do with what anyone else is thinking, feeling or doing. Giving is obeying Your call on my life. Giving has everything to do with the falling rain and loving in a way that shows You in everyday life to those around me.

I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

In the end giving, much like loving has less to do with the way we feel, and than it does with obedience. It doesn’t even have all that much to do with how we feel about the needy that surround us. The needs are important but the most important part is the simple lesson that you call me to live open handed and open hearted. Whatever I am holding on to so tightly is what is between me and doing your will.

The audience that I am seeking to gain the approval of is not found in the market place or the town square or even on the internet. The audience I am living for watches from a much closer vantage point than the market place. You watch from my heart, Lord Jesus.

Lord Jesus in this day show me ways to give with your approval in mind.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Love Falling Like Rain


1 Chronicles 16:8-10
8 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;

make known among the nations what he has done.
9 Sing to him, sing praise to him;

tell of all his wonderful acts.
10 Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice

Scripture Reflection: Matthew 5

43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[
i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Lord Jesus—It is love toward people who should not be on the list that defines Your call on my life. You call me to love the people it is not easy to love, or have any affection for at all. In fact, the kind of love that you are talking about really is almost beyond feeling…it is showing the love of God demonstrated at the cross. It is a love that is sacrificial; servant-hood encrusted, and grace defined love.

46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

So if I am going to go beyond the level that I see around me in my time and place, You call for something beyond giving to get. You do not call me to reciprocal relationships but to take the risk of asymmetrical relationships. You call me to guerrilla warfare when it comes to love lived out in real life…Love demonstrated beyond enemy lines, even playing games with the whole idea of what the word enemy means. Love shown without distinction just like the rain. Rain doesn't care where it falls it shows no distincition who gets wet it only is obeying the law of gravity.

Does rain get hurt when it falls on me and I don't want to get wet? No! It doesn't care, it is only seeking to listen to what gravity is saying to it.

Lord Jesus in this day teach me the lesson of asymmetrical agape love lived out in the present tense.Let the law of love in my life be as strong as the law of gravity on rain. Let love fall like rain

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Beyond Staying Even


1 Kings 8:56
56 "Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.

Scripture Reflection:Matthew 5

38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Lord Jesus –My first reaction is always to want to get even and the best defense is an offense. That is the wisdom of the world that surrounds me this morning. In fact, the level of violence is increasing all the time around me.

I do not deal with violent people at this point in my life. In the get even situations you know me so well my reaction is predictable even to me… It is to respond verbally with something that is sarcastic and funny, cutting or cruel. Your call is to something different, something that is beyond just continuing the interchange and getting even. You ask me to not respond with the same kind of response. You ask me to absorb the response…to turn the other cheek.

40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

I live in such a litigious time Lord Jesus. People sue at the drop of the hat…over such silly issues. Your call is to something beyond counter suing. It is toward giving away more than the person was looking to take. Radical faith lived out in the everyday takes courage. You call for me to enough faith that out of the mix of the legal you can bring grace and glory to yourself.

41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

You call me to be open handed with what you have given me. So how do I do that today Lord? Where are the places that need a second mile and a gift of grace today?

Lord Jesus teach me to live an open handed lifestyle that does not miss opportunities of blessing because my hands are so tightly holding on to things that I can never take where I am going anyway.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Commited to Truth Everyday


2 Samuel 22:47
"The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!

Scripture Reflection: Matthew 5:33-36

In the background of these verse is the simple need to tell the truth without fanfare and without the need to underscore our word with oaths.

33"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' 34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.

All that this is in life, all of the things that stand up to the test of time and weathering, are there because of Your grace, Lord Jesus. My hand on the Bible or a stack of bibles should not change the level of truthfulness of my words. I am not more truthful, if I pledge an oath by this earth, or by the strength that You have given Lord Jesus, or by anything else. All of it comes from You.

36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

So when I say yes, it needs to be yes…not maybe…not if everything goes just right…but yes. Commitments made to You Jesus need to be lived out in the everyday, wash and wear world of life. In fact, that is the only place that it really makes a difference. It is not just about words and rituals…it is about reality lived out every day that my commitments make a difference. My yes to You Lord, should inform that way that I live my life every day. It should change the way I think, the way I feel and the way that I act. Make is so today.
Lord Jesus work within the confinds of this heart and this day to make my yes...a simple yes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Commitments Calling to be Kept


Ruth 4:14
"Blessed be the LORD,
who has not left you this day
without a redeemer,
and may his name
be renowned in Israel!

Scripture Reflection: Matthew 5:27-32

Lord Jesus each of these segments of the law that you site, you refer to for a reason. Murder which you just addressed was a part of the Decalogue that every child learned...and yet was unsuccessful in actualizing.

Here is another of the 10 commandments that was the bed rock of the covenant.

7"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Sexual purity is something beyond just actions, it as to do with desire. It has to do with commitment that is beyond mere actions, but the ability to be committed to a person in such a way that there is no one else, in mind, heart, affection or fantasy.

29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

In a very real way, you want me to only be able to see that one person you have given for me to be in relationship friend, lover, mate, and consoler. Any less and there is loss that can not be found anywhere else.

30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

The point here Lord? Is it really body parts dismembered? No...the point is that purity of heart, thoughts and actions is so important that it is better to go through life with loss than to be engaged in divided loyalties. Fidelity in relationship is more important they our bodies.

31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

Now you have cut off all retreat. Relationships once started must be lived out unless there is a violation of the integrity of the relationship. I am sure that you know who I am better than I know myself. I am sure that you know the reality of relationship lived out in the everyday. There are times of closeness and then there are those times of distance. In the middle life you have called me to live out relationship with covenant love demonstrated in the wash and ware world I live in.
Lord Jesus--Help me to live out the kind of marriage relationship that you would have me to...aware that you are the example of what a committed relationship is all about.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Κύριος Notes: Reconciliation and Worship


Deuteronomy 32:2-3
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!

Scripture Reflection: Matthew 5:21-26
21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

So how do people following You Jesus handle conflict? The law taught that murder was wrong. Lord Jesus, you taught that not only was murder wrong but anger needed to be dealt with at it's root. That is the rub isn't? There are so many places where anger and resentment get in the way of ongoing relationship. Where angry words spoken in a moment ruin relationships built over years.Words are important and they are part of what will call us to judgment.

So the teaching is the begin with watching what I say. Words need to be controlled in the first place. Reactions in the heat of the moment are usually wrong. A without repentance judgment is just around the corner.

23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Words and broken relationships get in the way of worship. Offerings at Your altar Lord Jesus are empty of meaning when they are given in the middle of broken relationships. It is interesting that reconciliation is of both parties of a disagreement. If there is brokenness in relationship and I am aware of it I need to fix it as much as in my ability. Even if I think I am the offended party.

25"Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Places where I have conflicts are the places where, I can have impact for You Lord Jesus. They are the places where I need your help in finding the way and the will to impact change.

In this day Lord Jesus give me the courage and the energy to be a person of Your peace who remembers in the middle of the clutch the path of reconciliation and grace.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Light, Salt and Law --Connecting the Dots


Deuteronomy 10:21

He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.

Scripture Reflection:Matthew 5
17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Lord Jesus--You came into the world to fill the law up to over flowing. What does that mean? Not just doing away with the Law and the Prophets, but they have their consummation in You and in your ministry. Not stretching a point, not pushing an analogy but fulfilling to its best and fullest meaning what the law was meant to say.

18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

It is not about legalism it is about reality. It is about grace meeting law head on and winning without a whimper. Your death fulfills the righteous demands of the law right down to the smallest detail.

19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

The resolution of the tension between faith and works is found in following your direction Lord Jesus day in and day out. Righteousness does not depend on external adherence alone but internal validation of the law...when the law is written on our hearts, we just can not miss it. The writing is a love letter of hope and of reconciliation that reaches out to me in 2010.
Light, salt and law all go together...light and salt are the expression of the impact that your direction, your law should have on our hearts...that was the missing piece that was just hard for the people to understand. It is hard for me to understand...light and salt as symbols only have meaning as they are lived out in obedience to the law. So then we all missed the point and pushed it to legalism, it was happening then it is happening now. The point is living as you would have me out the law of love.
Deuteronomy 6
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Help me to shine today, Lord Jesus.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Light


Psalm 33
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous:
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

Scripture Reflections: Matthew 5
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Light has a different function than salt, Jesus. The function of light is be clarity and allow function when it is dark. These people lived in a world that did not have a 75 watt light bulb to turn on...they had no light bulb moments.

It was a world that was controlled by the sun and the light of a candle in the darkness. They knew about the contrast of light and darkness. They knew about the darkness. It was light that gave them the cause for wonder It was the simple fact of the contrast and the clarity that would be different if the real function of the light was brought to the world. What did you mean by light of the world? The law and the prophets were the light that had been given. The work of God in there community was the light that they had been given.and to these people who did not yet have all of the light yet...still you told them to shine.

15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

In so many ways Lord Jesus your people are not a done product...we are always in the process of being transformed. It comes in waves of change but if we think that we are at the point where we are beyond change and continued new light we are deluding ourselves. Lord Jesus send the light...and help me shine brighter and clearer than I have ever shown before...shine in the night... shine in the world that surrounds...shine It is a simple message, strikingly profound. So the call is to shine in the place where we are put...shine with all that light that we have...shine!

Yesterdays light is not enough for today. We don't work on battery power...the connection to the source needs to be clear and connected for the light to continue.

16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

The reason for this clarity is not to be seen for our brilliance, but to point to the Father and to his grace and glory. Light is given to the glory of the Father and no one else.

Lord Jesus continue your work with your people.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Κύριος Notes:Salt and Light

2 Samuel 22:50
Therefore I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing praises to your name.
Scripture Reflection Matthew 5
13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

This was a sermon preached to a crowd of people who were mainly Jewish and who were looking for God's work among them. They saw the things that you did Lord Jesus and they were amazed and you had their attention. Lord Jesus they were looking for your blessing...they were looking for your teaching...they were looking for a word from God that had power in it.

So it was with this audience in front of you that you spoke of salt. The role of the people of God in the world was to be salt. Salt in the ancient world was at times was what people got paid in. It was a currency of exchange. Beyond that it was used as a basic keep food from decay It was also one of the staples of life. It was as important as flour, yeast and grain. Without salt, life would stop. Beyond that it was seasoning of the most basic type. It brought flavor.

So when you called the people of God were saying that they were the preservative, they were a staple, not an add on...they were essential to the function of the way the world worked...just like economic exchange happens at the most basic when we barter to get our needs met. The role of God's people in the culture that surrounds me today Lord Jesus is just the same? There should be a difference between my approach and the approach of the larger culture that surrounds me. Even when I am not aware of it, there is change that occurs on a very basic level when God's people interact with the culture at large...or there needs to be. We are a preservative?

But then there is this catch to the whole thought...what happens when salt isn't salty anymore? How does that happen anyway? How does salt lose its salinity? Over exposure to the elements that surround it. If I leave my salt shaker out on the picnic table first it becomes hard as rock inside and then as time goes on it just loses it taste entirely. That really is the tension that must exist in the church...a creative tension between interaction with the culture around us and the creation of culture within the church. We seem to over-compensate at either extremes of that tension. Either we are over engaged and then controlled by the culture, or we are under exposed and speaking to a culture that no longer lives except in our experience of the past. The result of over-exposure is uselessness. The result of under exposure is irrelevance. Neither advances your Kingdom in this world Lord Jesus.

Lord Jesus that is what has to take place a creation of tension...a creation of balance. Lord Jesus work in my heart to bring be to the place of balance of engagement and yet maintaining who I am called to be.