Sunday, December 30, 2012

Questions about Faith

Mark 8
27 Jesus and his disciples headed out for the villages around Caesarea Philippi. As they walked, he asked, “Who do the people say I am?”
28 “Some say ‘John the Baptizer,’” they said. “Others say ‘Elijah.’ Still others say ‘one of the prophets.’”

Lord Jesus--There is the implicit assumption of the resurrection almost a re-incarnation view of it. The idea that the people from the glorious past would be brought back to life and set things right.

The past is just what it is. The past. There are no more glorious, brave or noble people available in the past than are present now. The heroes of the past have made their choices and are taken care of in your economy.

There is religious short hand going on here also...Elijah was to come back before the Messiah. The people were waiting with anticipation for God to move.

The people longed for the heavy hand of Roman oppression to end. They longed to see you work in power. I wonder sometimes if I have that longing in my heart with the same kind of desperation that they had...even if it doesn't look the way I would like it to?

29 He then asked, “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?”
Peter gave the answer: “You are the Christ, the Messiah.”

Lord Jesus--That question is what jumps out of the page at me. Who do I say that you are by my life? Do I say that you are Messiah? Or, a self-help I say that you the Anointed One of God come to transform and bring victory to those who depend on you? Or, do I harder, plan better, and see what happens.

You came to transform, to release resurrection power into lives open to your leading...not to some kind of workaholic nightmare. There are times when I actually feel as if I get it...the power and wisdom of grace. Usually they are the times when you are pushing me at the boundaries of where I feel comfortable. I can so easily slip into the impression that grace is worked for, owned and rented out.

When really, grace is lived out a step at a time, day after day you are released to work as you see fit. Simple words come to mind...the righteous walk by faith not by out your salvation with fear and trembling. It is step by step, and day by day that the Spirit continues to work in our lives. I seldom see grace, in vast panoramic views but often in bit size chunks you show what you have done and are already doing.

Give me eyes that are open to seeing your work alive in the world that surrounds me.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Seeing Eye Faith


[8.22-23] They arrived at Bethsaida. Some people brought a sightless man and begged Jesus to give him a healing touch. Taking him by the hand, he led him out of the village. He put spit in the man’s eyes, laid hands on him, and asked, “Do you see anything?” 

Lord Jesus-There are no sure fire recipes for miracles, it is never that neat.  This man was brought to you by friends who begged for his healing.  I wonder if there were Pharisees in the crowd that brought this man to you.  This person was in need and he had friends that were concerned for him.  I wonder if they had to drag him to see you? Was he tired of the quest after something that he could seemingly never have? How many tries at healing did this man have to go through before he met you, Lord Jesus?

[8.24-26] He looked up. “I see men. They look like walking trees.” So Jesus laid hands on his eyes again. 

I wonder why it took two touches to heal this man.  I don't know why people looked like trees to him after you put spit on his eyes.  Those words keep running around my mind..".I see men they look like trees."  How often do I see the movement of your Spirit but am not able to make out the real intent of it. There is some awareness of presence but not content always.  This man desperately needed a second touch from you if he was going to live a life not hemmed in by his lack.  Would his life have been improved if he had left see trees instead of people?...sure but you don't want improved you want transformation.

The man looked hard and realized that he had recovered perfect sight, saw everything in bright, twenty-twenty focus. Jesus sent him straight home, telling him, “Don’t enter the village.” 

Lord Jesus--How often have I had to come back to you again and again to be able to get a view of how life really is?  This man needed a kind of seeing eye faith that you allowed him to test out while you were right there beside him.

That is the way it is for me from time to time...I get part of the picture but miss some required elements.  So I am left with people that look like trees wondering if I am stuck in a nightmare on a dark night.  But then you are right beside me and all it really takes is a second look, a second touch and things come into focus.  You never leave me looking at people who look like trees for very long.

Lord Jesus--In this day that I will rush to very soon, lead me by the hand when all I see is distorted grace me with the touch of you healing hands in this day.

Peterson, Eugene H. (2006-06-15). The Message Remix 2.0: The Bible In contemporary Language (Kindle Locations 30811-30815). NAVPress - A. Kindle Edition.