Monday, October 27, 2008

Wait a Minute or Two

Waiting has become a national irritation; perhaps it is one of yours as well.

Lines in banks or in stores, late friends or family members, sitting in the “waiting” room too long past the appointment time, spouse issues too many to mention; waiting grates and pushes against our sense of what is “right”.

Waiting is a BIG thing for our God as well. The meaningful difference between how we tend to see waiting from how God sees waiting is that He sees waiting as a good thing. No, not that waiting itself is a good thing, but that waiting indicates a good thing.

Just moments before He left His friends, Jesus told them to wait:

And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait…

Not that waiting is tough enough by itself but Jesus asked His friends to wait around in the very city where He was horribly treated and crucified just days before. The religious and political rancor was at extreme high; the danger was palpable!

…wait for what the Father had promised. “Which.” He said, “you heard from Me; for John baptized you with water but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now”.

So that which “the Father” had promised was going to be delivered but there was evidently a prerequisite to the receipt of the gift. Clearly, the Father could have delivered the promised gift in any manner He chose. For some reason He chose to deliver it to those who “waited”.

There is a scripture that is probably very familiar to us; familiar to our minds perhaps but far too unfamiliar in practice.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired and vigorous young men stumble and badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:29-31

Once again waiting seems to be the path to the promised benefits. Waiting is the ultimate illustration of our faith!

The psalmist knew this depth of this display of faith:

To Thee I lift up my eyes, O Thou who art enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master. As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes look to the Lord our God until He shall be gracious to us!
Psalm 123:1-2

Before ending this discussion it is important to address two levels of waiting. The first is waiting for some specific relief, a specific blessing or a special need. The second is where we begin to touch the essence of the inscrutable God, the presence of waiting for whatever He has in mind for us.

Waiting takes time. Time is the only thing that we have that once spent cannot be replaced. It is the greatest, most personal thing that we can offer.

When Thou didst awesome things which we did not expect, Thou didst come down, the mountains quaked at Thy presence.

For from of old they have not heard not perceived by ear, neither has eye seen a God besides Thee Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him
. Isaiah 64:3&4

Purpose yourself to wait!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Higher, Wider, Deeper and More

Seven different churches were addressed in the first pages of the Book of Revelation. Seven different churches all with different issues that displeased our God!

Seven different times, God’s message to these dysfunctional churches was to “overcome”. With the “over-coming” came promised blessings and providence.

What is it about over-coming that God so enjoys?

Making a decision to turn your life over to God by accepting Jesus and His sacrifice is the pinnacle of decisions. No other decision that we ever make will create a celebration in the heavenly realms.

The next level of decisions is the level of decision wherein we place our trust outside of what we see and know. This is the place of “over-coming”. At these times, we often don’t feel like overcoming; we don’t much feel like anything spiritually enriching. In times like this, we are lost in our own despair or scattered in our own plans and schemes.

Many times we have “settled” for far less than God’s desire for us. It is in these times that the tender mercies of our God call us to “over-come”.

So, today just perhaps there are seven people who God is calling to this place of overcoming. Are you one of His beloved?

Monday, October 13, 2008

God Reveals You Personal Value

Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other people in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43:4

There have never been enough people, even all of those born since the beginning of time, that would be sufficient for the exchange for even just one person (Me?)!

It took Jesus. That was the ONLY way!

Enough said? Let your praises be heard even in the far reaches of Heaven!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fruit That Lasts

What follows is a very difficult question. Take some time to consider, to contemplate and to face the truth of your real answer.

The question:

What difference does Jesus Make in your life?

Notice; the question is NOT what difference does Jesus make in your death, but what difference He makes in your life! Another point to the question is: what difference does He make in your life today, not at some future hoped for point.

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly”. John 10:10

There is a big difference between the words “may” and “will”. The gift has been given, it is our responsibility to pick it up and to put it to use.

Scripture says, “ the fruit of the (Holy) Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”. Galatians 5:22-23

A obviously stupid question is, if you walked up to an fruit tree and found nothing there would you consider there to be something wrong? Of course, so let me ask you, “what is wrong?” Why are the fruits borne by the Holy Spirit not evident in our lives?

So, are you content where you are or is there a yearning for a deeper life?

Jesus came to provide it.