Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Notes the Lord:Mercy is More Important Than the Rules

Matthew 12
Lord of the Sabbath 1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."

Lord Jesus--You were there on that 7th day of creation and you knew the need for rest. You were the agent by which creation came into being. It is such a strange observation that these men were making to the Lord of all creation. Calling the You to be accountable when you were there during the first sabbath. Thank you for you patience with these men and with me, when I can't see the big picture and I am lost in the trees and looking for the forest.

3He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.

Lord Jesus--You used this as a teaching moment in their lives, even if there were not open to the lesson. One of their heroes was David. He broke the law when necessity left no other route. Do let me get lost in the details and miss the real message.

5Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?

The message to these leaders was that there was no intent on the part of the disciples to do anything other than meet the need of the moment, just like the priest do every Sabbath.

6I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. 7If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

Lord Jesus--There is such a need for mercy. I need Your mercy everyday, and I need to show Your mercy to those who are around me. You don't look for rituals to be observed so much as a heart of mercy to be demonstrated everyday.
In this day Lord that will start around me in just a few hours help me to show mercy and to accept Your mercy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Pulling Together

Scripture Reflection Matthew 11:25-29

25At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

Lord Jesus--It is not always the people that should hear your call that ultimately follow. It was to regular people that you revealed yourself in glory as miracle maker, as giver of life and sight. The religiously educated saw the miracles and yet missed their significance. It was the people who were supposed to understand and be able to hear the call of God that missed it.

Coming to the place where I see and understand your work in my life is something that is not just rational, but there is also an element of the Father's active participation in the process. Every time that I open your word and hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me, it is an act of Divine intention and grace.

27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Lord Jesus--Continue your work within my heart. Show me the Father continue your work Lord Jesus in revealing yourself in my life.
Come as a rest to the weary
Come as a balm to the sore
Come as a dew to my dryness
Fill me with joy evermore

Come Holy Spirit, I need you now
Come, Sweet Spirit, I pray
Come in your strength and your power
Come in your own gentle way
Brian Duncan

Without the power of You Holy Spirit actively at work in my heart and my life, these are just words on a page. But the mysterious thing is whenever I come to this quiet place, you are here. Here in the middle of the night. You are here when I simply come, knowing that I desperately need you to work.

28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Lord Jesus--The invitation that you gave is not restrictive. You invited everyone, even the people from the towns where all you miracles were done that had rejected you. With the invitation comes the need to accept your partnership in the journey. Thank you for the fact that I am not alone, that you are on this journey with me. You accept me as I am and ask me to partner with you and learn as I go. Sometimes the learning process is not pretty, Lord. But still you partner with me.

Lord Jesus in this day that will start in just a few hours, open my eyes to the reality of your presence with me. Help me to pull with you today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Don't Let Me Miss You

Scripture Reflections Matthew 11:20-24

20Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21"Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.

Lord Jesus--Some of those healed people from these towns may have been in the crowd that was listening to your words. They may have been heart broken by the response of their neighbors. Sadness must have been in the hearts of those who had felt your touch and yet their neighbors and relative were still untouched by the by the miracles that were surrounding them.

Am I missing miracles that you are doing around me? What are you doing in Saratoga Springs? Remind my heart this morning of your grace experienced, and of miracles already experienced.

23And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."

Lord Jesus--Sodom was destroyed and there were no miracles performed to initiate revival, and yet Capernaum has experienced so much. So where does that leave me this morning Lord Jesus? I have experienced so much of the movement of Your Spirit and yet...

You remind me that the movement of the Spirit of God in my heart and life calls to me and needs to motivate my restive soul. The people of Capernaum were no different than I am...they were busy, involved people trying to make a living and a life for themselves. They missed right in front of their eyes what the prophets and the men and women of God in the past had been longing for.

Thank you Lord for the movement of Your Spirit that I see in the nooks and crannies of my life and the lives of those that surround me...I see you at work in the lives of those who are called by you to this group you are calling together right in front of my eyes. Lord Jesus give me the vision that can see you at work all around me.

The movement of Your Spirit does not always hit the newspapers nor are you always found where the TV and radio preachers point me to...but in holy places like a dinner with friends who sincerely want to raise their children and to live their lives like Jesus would.

Lord Jesus continue your work in my life! Don't let me miss even a moment of your Spirit's work and impact.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Notes to the Lord:The Dance

Scripture Reflections Matthew 11:16-19
16"To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: 17" 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn.'

Lord Jesus--So much of the time I am like a child...I always want something other than what I have been given. So often, I have Attention Deficient Disorder of the soul. I am quick to lose the beat ...and to start another song ...or just not play at all at the times when I am called. But you call me to the dance that surrounds me...the dance and the steps that you would love for me to learn. Why is it so hard for me to learn?

18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' 19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."

Lord Jesus--It was the same in the generation that you ministered in. They struggled to dance even though they heard your music. They did not fully identify with John and thought that he was a bit out of step with his culture and his relevance was in question. He was too much the ascetic, his example and his diet was more than the people could handle. But when you came to them they found fault with Your presentation, you were too close to were at their dinners and parties and did not play the "Rabbi" role well from their point of view. They wanted to find a reason to find fault, a reason to not believe.

You are so right... wisdom is known by her children. Some of these same people to whom Your were preaching and ministering would in just a few short years see their children died in the sack of Jerusalem. Literally true...wisdom was known by the children of these very people to whom you were speaking.

So what is the application Lord Jesus to me? What are you asking of me? To listen to Your call follow the steps even when my feet want to move in a different direction. When I fail to listen, I just plain fail. The music of Your dance surrounds me, you ask me to let it move me with grace. You call me to the dance.

Lord Jesus in this day that will begin in a bit, help me to dance Your dance with grace and courage, even when I might want to run, help me to stick to the song with endurance and determination.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Role and Call

Scripture Reflections--Matthew 11:7-15
7As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces.

Lord Jesus--The People followed John into the Judean desert for many reasons. Some followed because of the spectacle. A man who was standing against a system that left no place for a man of God to be but in the desert. Some followed because that sensed that there was going to be a change which they longed for. They could connect with the power of John's message, they could understand that John was a man of God...they may have even surmised that he was just the leading edge of a change that would sweep across their world.

9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is the one about whom it is written: " 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'[c] 11I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Lord Jesus--You were pointing people to the real mission of John, his job given to him by God was one of a revivalist, a person who pointed people back to the work of God. That work was not about temple building or palaces populated with people wearing fine clothes, but obedience, heart change and being willing to stand toe to toe with a corrupt system and call it to accountability.

You remind me this morning of the heart call of Your Kingdom to my encrusted heart. A call to obedience that springs not from any other motivation than to do what you have called me to do.These are words of high praise you gave to the person who stood at the close of the old covenant while heralding in the new. Yet anyone who participates in the kingdom of God...who has given their heart to you, and actively seeks your direction has gone farther than John could go.

12From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. 13For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15He who has ears, let him hear.

John was the climax, the crescendo of the old covenant and all the work that had gone into its progression and advance. John was the Prophet's prophet...all the rest as great as they were did not fulfill the role of messenger before the Messiah. In a way they all stood behind John...

Lord Jesus--John had a role to fulfill he was the one who went before you and announced your coming. He prepared the hearts of the people for the continued outpouring that would come in your ministry. As his disciples were leaving you affirmed John's completion of his mission...this was your "Well done good and faithful servant" to John who was questioning his own work in a prison cell in Herod's dungeon.

Lord Jesus--Help me to be faithful to the role that you have given me to fulfill in this day I long to obey from the heart. Give me the courage and endurance to listen and obey today.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Note the Lord: Life Lines

Scripture Reflection-Matthew 11:1-6
1After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. 2When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"

Lord Jesus--There is pain behind these words coming from John in Herod's prison. He had put his hope in You and had trusted his mission was completed. Now in the dark dank prison cell with the walls surrounding him and the chains rattling on his feet, he wondered if he was wrong. Questions like: Did I really hear that voice from heaven saying...affirming Jesus as God's Son? Or was it thunder like everyone else thought it was...

These were hard times for John and painful questions to ask and to hear. I am sure that John must have wondered if he should have just kept quiet about Herod and his choices in wives. All these thoughts and more must have rattled around John's mind.

4Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."

Lord Jesus--I am glad for what wasn't forwarded back to John. You did not chide John for his questions and for his thoughts of failure as he sat there in the dark. You just pointed John toward the light...

You pointed John toward the Prophet Isaiah and words that would have been familiar to John.

Isaiah 61:1

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners

I wonder if John started to quote Isaiah 61 to himself as he sat in his prison cell after his friend left him alone to his thoughts. I wonder if Isaiah's words rang in his ears as he was taken away to the executioner's axe. They were words of light...a life line to a man alone in the dark.

Come to think of it that is what you do with me at times, you point me toward the light. Just at the right time a word or two of scripture comes through just when I need it. Sometimes I notice it...and then sometimes it just flies right over my ducked head.

Lord Jesus in this day, point me toward the light.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Following in Big Things and Small

Scripture Reflection:Matthew 10: 37-42
37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;

Lord Jesus-- You want first place in my heart. Family does not come first, they come second. You are the one that should be my first thought in the morning and my last thought before sleeps finds me. The web of relationships that radiate out from my life should be impacted by the relationship that I have with You. Forgive me Lord when relationships become functional and fractured.

38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Lord Jesus--You want first place in my direction. Moving toward You in this life is moving toward the cross...toward a life that is found in You.

Implications generate out from that center. You remind me that control is in Your hands not mine. You nudge me toward the fact that there are more lessons about finding and losing that I will need to learn. Or just the simple fact that I need to keep moving toward You...toward the cross one step at a time..."keep your feet moving, Kurt."

40"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward.

Lord Jesus--You remind me that rewards and receptions are linked. Who are the people who I have received because that have come from you? I can think of the names and the faces...people who have imprinted themselves on my heart and mind. People who have contributed to my spiritual formation. Some by the books they have written...some by the sermons they have preached...some because of the relationships that have been establish over a life time.

Thank you Lord Jesus for those people You have brought into my life. But there is also a promise is amazing to me that as I have received them, I participate in their reward. It is a blessing that I receive now and later on. You continue to call me to receive those You bring into my if they were coming from You. It doesn't always look that way Lord...forgive me when I miss it.

42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

Lord Jesus it is encouraging to me that even little things will not be forgotten. In this coming day help me to follow you in the big things and in the small things.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Choices and Change

Scripture Reflections: Matthew 10:32-36 32"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

Lord Jesus--There is intention in the dualism that you describe here. I must choose to be a part of your kingdom. There may come a time when it not easy to make that confession. My brothers and sisters in other countries are paying that price of owning your kingdom's call. Help me Lord Jesus when it is my turn, to acknowledge you with all that is with in me.

34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn " 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - 36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'

Lord Jesus--You are the one who was heralded as the
prince of peace, and yet here you are saying that a part of your mission is to create division. Division that requires a choice. I have friends that think that this is just not the way that God would work...require a choice...and exclude anyone.

But that is the plain sense of what you are saying. Some will be lost because of wrong choices they have made. The demand for choice extends right down to the family level. The very fabric of society will be frayed by your intervention. There is choice and change that is required I can not avoid it, and in my best moments I embrace it without reserve.

In the middle of this training for the sending out of the twelve it is almost as if You skipped to the time when You would not be with them for good. You wanted them to know that division was some of what would happen and that it was normal in a world that is fractured and fallen.

Lord Jesus--In this day that will start soon, lead me in the ways of choice and change that are centered on you. Help me to see Your hand and Your direction in my path, let me hear Your steps beside me in my walk today.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Fear

Scripture Reflection Matthew 10:28-31

28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Lord Jesus--Holy fear is not something that we think or reflect about much in this age. There are things that should be feared that you remind me of them. People in this life time can kill the body, and thousands of horror films have been made to show everyone exactly how. But evil men can only do so much...they are not to be fear, as evil as they can be. Stalin, Hitler and the rest were epic the the depths to which they allowed themselves to fall.

So what do you mean when you tell me to fear you? Fear you because you are the one who holds my eternal destiny in Your decision making. You are the One who lived to die for my sin. You are the One who reminds me that even in the darkness, light will shine. Even in the darkest place on planet earth, words of power and grace will be given with clarity at my time of need.

29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Lord Jesus--If you are concerned about the death of sparrows and know of their passing, and you know about the hairs on my head...a decreasing number to keep track of...You know about the darkness that is about in the world I live. Darkness that is deep and wide at times is alive and well on planet Earth, but I am not alone. Nor am I sent here thoughtlessly. You have a plan and I am just a part of the picture that you are looking to bring to life. The reality is that you faced the darkness, and won. The very worst that evil had to offer was thrown at you but dakrness and death could not hold you.

Help me in this day to live my life with the picture that you have in mind for my life, help me to fit into the context, to accept the reality of where you have placed me. Help me to look for the light.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Standing Firm

Scripture Reflections Matthew 10: 21-27

21"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Lord Jesus--Following you is not easy, nor is it simple. The message of the gospel can cause divisions that run deep in families and in communities. It is not easy to follow Your call Lord Jesus. Sometimes it is just standing firm in the middle of difficult settings and being genuine is all that You are asking of me.

23When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Lord Jesus--This little line has been one of the major strategies of your church over time. Persecution has been the push of the gospel from the very beginning. Remind me of this when it gets difficult.

24"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!
26"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

Lord Jesus--You remind me that I am in good company in those times when I am identified with you. There is no reason to fear no matter what comes my way. You are with me and You will bring Your light with You. Dark places will shine with new light. In the middle of the darkness that can gather around me at times, You continue to speak to Your people.

In this coming day Lord Jesus that will dawn in just a few hours, help me to hear You even in the dark and trust that You will speak with clarity.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Notes to the Lord: Vulnerable and Usable

Scripture Reflections:Matthew 10:16-20
16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

Lord Jesus--You do the sending and it is to places where I would never think that I would end up. I think I get the sheep part among times it feels more like being a guppy swimming among sharks but the teeth are just as big...the dangers just as real. In the middle of a world that is structured so that I am the end of the food chain it requires that I have a level of street smartness about me.

One translation puts it..."therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Wise in the sense of knowing when it is best to just be silent and when it is essential to speak...knowing in all of it that I am not an eagle with talons that can rip and tear apart prey...I am called be a dove the symbol of peace in the middle of a war torn world.

17"Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.

Lord Jesus--These are times when I am aware of the need for a level of guardedness even in the middle of clear vulnerability. The offense of the cross has become clearer in these days...when acceptance and tolerance have been turned on their heads. If I disagree with a lifestyle choice it does not mean I am just means I disagree.

19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

In those times that may be coming sooner than I would like to think, there will be no need to worry about message. It will be given at the time when it is needed. There will be no need for extensive or intensive sermon preparation, in the middle of persecution the Spirit of God will be active in a way that is unusually and powerful. Even so come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Lord Jesus in this day help me to be open to your leading to be vulnerable for those moments of grace and to be settled in your leading in this day.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Notes to the Lord: Hospitality Expected

Scripture Reflections Matthew 10:11-15

11"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.

Lord Jesus--Therewas a tradition of hospitality in Your time. Help me to create that same kind of hospitable sense in the interaction of my life...that people feel a sense of welcome in their interactions with me. That was what You sent the disciples looking for when they were on Your mission.

Would my home be a home that could sustain the peace that comes from Your hand Jesus? ...Only because of Your mercy extended to me.

Lord Jesus--Someone said to me the other day that they only hoped at some point they would be worthy of heaven...I get it. Heaven is some place that is going to be the shock of a life time. I am fully convinced that I will not fit in, I am sure that I will do the socially unacceptable thing there just like I do here. least to begin with.

But the worthy part...the thing is I will never, never be worthy of heavens gates. Not by any stretch of the word "worthy." It is only because of Your amazing grace, Your scandalous grace because of your sacrifice for me that I will get in the front door of heaven.

14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Harsh words, but they are framed with the context of miracles happening at the hands of the disciples...dead people breathing again, leprous hands and feet replaced, sick people restored to health. In the middle of such an outpouring of God's Spirit rejection becomes a statement.

Lord Jesus the prayer of my heart is to see the Spirit of God move with such grace and power that a lack of welcome would again be a statement not so much against an individual, or a church as against the movement of God Spirit of God. Do it again Lord Jesus in this place and in this age. Move with power and grace.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Notes to the Lord:Getting Ready For the Journey

Scripture Reflection:Matthew 10:5-9
5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.'

Lord Jesus--I wonder what your thoughts were as you sent this motley crew out into a needy world. They did not have all the fact they really had so few. They knew what they had learned at your feet. Lessons about the reality of grace and the need to focus on relationships instead of legalities.

They had seen that relationships and people are more important than keeping the sabbath day observances. They watched as you struggled with the fact that meeting the needs of the people put you at odds with the very people that they thought you should be connected with...the religious leadership.

It was such a simple message that you sent them out with...a really short sermon. And yet the words which may be just the smallest snippet of the whole sermon was dead on...the Kingdom is near. Just as true today...

I also suspect that the message was also tied up with the miracles that you gave them authority to perform. The message was in the words and in the simple fact that these rabbis in training were able to do what even the elite of the religious establishment could not pull off.

8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Lord Jesus--I wonder what your thoughts would be on the national health care debate that is the current buzz right now. I am sure that you didn't ask for an insurance card or co-pay when you sent out your disciples. You were not looking to set up a medical practice or a exorcism practice. It rattles my sensibilities to realize that Judas was a part of the mix in raising the dead and cleansing those with leprosy. He saw so much and yet lost his soul.

9Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

Lord Jesus--It is interesting what you told them not to bring. There is no need for packing in provisions for ministry, no need for hording or being compulsive about needs yet unexperienced. The mission should meet the need if it is where you are directing and calling.

This is the part that catches me at times, it is beyond my ability to control or manage. It is the essence of faith, to step where I am not sure what the results will be when my foot hits the ground. Faith is trusting even if the footfall ends up being a fall on the face, that you will use each step to Your honor and glory.

In this day that will begin in just a few hours, Lord Jesus give me the strength to trust you for the journey today.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Notes to the Lord: More of Eternity On My Mind

Scripture Reflections:Hebrews 12
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,

Lord Jesus--This morning I am thinking of that crowd that is gathered just beyond the sight of these eyes. Just beyond the horizon that shade me from the things eternal. There are people in that crowd who I can almost hear…their encouraging words from their vantage point. They know in full what I know only in part….Jesus, they see face to face what I see only through a mirror dimly.

The crowd grows as time goes on and as my race continues…former mentors have taken their place in cloud of people who are cheering on my laboring feet and legs on this journey.

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,

Lord Jesus--There comes the time to put side the things that have engaged my attention in the past and focus with clarity on the race before me…on the things that really matter. So much else can get in the way of who you are calling me to be, they're not necessarily sin…just things that are not worth the time or the effort. If eternity is the focus it does seem to make that car in the drive way seem less important…or whatever the next thing happens to be.

Then there is sin…funny thing is that it just keeps changing as I continue on in this journey. Just when I get the steps of the dance down they change the music on me. That’s it…the evil one wants me to dance to sin’s tune and waist the precious energy that I have on things that will never satisfy in the first place.

and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

There are times when I wish that my race could have taken a different course…I don’t know how….maybe closer to the beach, or with less winter or maybe...with more hours in the day. But those things are not the point. The race that I am called to is the one that is beneath my feet right now. The steps that are right in front of me are the ones that You have called me to.

Perseverance never comes cheap. It is never found on sale at the dollar store down the street. It comes at the cost of lesser things…like: present comfort, expedience, and quick fixes. Have I forgotten the needed lessons that can only be taught by perseverance?

2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,

Lord Jesus give me the eyes of a runner that only has one the middle of this race help me to keep my eyes on the finish line. You are the one who sets the course and knows what the turns and twists of the course are before I get there. Help me to keep focused on you…on what you would have accomplished with these fleeting moments of my life. Let the agenda be set not by me and what seems to be the important thing of the moment, but the agenda that is yours.

who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

A part of the joy that was set before you Lord Jesus was the redemption of humanity that was desperate for salvation even through they did not know it. A part of that joy was the knowledge that you were living up to the call of the Father and of the reason that you left heaven in the first place.

3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Lord Jesus--Here I am again...It always comes down to the personal. What is my response going to be Lord Jesus in this day that is right before me. Help me to see beyond the present potholes to the road to Kingdom Come which is where this race is leading.