Saturday, June 25, 2011

Notes to the Lord: Making the Connections

2 Timothy

8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal.

Lord Jesus--The gospel is really simple but the implications take a life time to work out. For Paul following the gospel meant chains...and arrest like a common criminal. Discipleship has a cost. Following where you lead is the call. Cost can be simple a word here and a stance taken there. Or, the cost can be life changing...moving to a new town, change of vocation.

Lord Jesus, help me to live out the full implications of your good word to what ever point you call me to.

But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

Lord Jesus--Paul here takes an expansive view of your word. Your word works in ways that I am not aware of in nooks and crannies that can only be reached by the work of your Holy Spirit. To be really honest, I don't even have a clue as to the places where your word needs to reach with healing, hope and health in this crooked little heart of mine. But, even in the middle of not knowing I will trust your word to work with power.

Hebrews 4:12 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

There is this idea that your word is active and alive in a way in which I don’t usually think of words. Your word takes on a life of its own, it applies and implies in ways that I don’t have a clue about. The strange part is that you are ultimately the one that makes the connections that I could never in a life time or two make. I trust you to build those bridges to places that only your Holy Spirit's knows I need to go.

Lord Jesus--I trust in your word for today in the situations in which I find myself. Let your word seep and finds is way into the nooks and crannies of my heart. Help me to be light in the places that you put me in ways I may not fully understand.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Notes to the Lord: A Call Remembered...

2 Timothy 2

1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

Lord Jesus--Timothy had training at the feet of Paul. As Paul was reflecting from his imprisonment, those times of teaching must have been something he rehearsed in his mind and heart. There was nothing taught in secret, nothing that needed to be hidden. The goal was to make life the school and each follower a teacher.

3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

his is the first of three metaphors that Paul uses to encourage Timothy. The soldier for a Roman was a symbol of many things. For a Roman like Paul, they were stability in the middle of a chaotic world. They were the might behind Roman law that had brought order to the Mediterranean. There was no time for anything but doing what the commander needed. Lord Jesus, you are the commanding officer. In this day that will begin all to soon, help me live a life pleasing to you.

5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.

Lord Jesus--This picture of an athlete competing is one that flashs through my mind from time to time. My life is lived out running a race. Help me run the right race, with endurance through out according to the rules.

6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

Lord Jesus--There is a seasonal element to farming. Winter is not the time to plant seeds...but knowing the time to plant and the time to expect harvest is something that you are just beginning to teach me. Lord of the Harvest bless the seed, the tender shoot and the ripening crop. It is after all your farm anyway.

Thank you for this day that will begin in just a few hours. Lead, guide and protect.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2 Timothy 1

9He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

Lord Jesus-These last few weeks you have reminded me again that grace is the source and grace is the reason. You remind me from time to time that I can not add nor can I subtract from that grace. I can only only be grateful and accept your grace.

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Lord Jesus--It was always the Father’s plan to provide a means to relationship with his creation. From the fall in the garden to the last footfall on planet Earth you have been reaching out to this twisted planet full of people.

I sometimes don’t have patience to wait for the coffee to brew...and yet your plan has been unfolding for multiple unknown millennium. Thank you for your love and grace that reaches out to me on this rainy day in a post modern world that distrusts and struggles to see beyond its self-absorbition.

11 An
d of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

Lord Jesus--On the day that Paul wrote these lines were the guards just outside the door? Did his chains rattle as he wrote? Was it house arrest or a prison door that was just out of his view as he wrote? We are not entirely sure...but we know that the circumstance did not distract him from his focus on you.

In this day that awaits me, keep my mind and heart in focus and seeing clearly the reality of your grace that I have experienced again and again. Help me to live that grace out clearly today.