Monday, March, 11, 2019
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.” Romans 2:4
I grew up in Roman Catholicism and I also have a pervasive critic in my mind. I don’t blame Catholicism, though in my experience the church sought to control through guilt. Maybe that contributed to my internal critic which guilts me. I easily see and critique what is out of place, disordered, broken, needs fixing, and just plain wrong. Internally, the critic responds to me with self-judgment that sounds like this: “You aren’t doing enough, you didn’t do it right, if you don’t get it right, you are not valuable.”
Repentance, in this distorted view is about penance and punishment for not measuring up. But, God does not operate this way through the love of Jesus. Rather, he extends mercy and kindness to all – for all have sinned and not measured up (Rom 3:23). Unlike the non-resourceful critical one in my mind, God extends kindness and grace. He patiently encourages us with kindness to turn from our false and sinful ways and bring our brokenness and our humanity to Him. Why?
Because God love you, that’s why. And because God knows He is the source of healing and wholeness and life and joy – AND HE WANTS ALL OF THAT FOR HIS CHILDREN!
Today, as you start your week, will you welcome the loving kindness of God for you? Breath in His grace and your security in His love, and let the joy of the Lord fill you as you follow Him on your journey.
Saturday March 9, 2019
“I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.”
According to social psychologist and researcher Brene’ Brown, we are lonelier than ever. Social media, cell phones, technology and the capacity to travel have not brought us together, but created a world of loneliness and superficial connections.
What a marvelous reality that the Savior of the world did not save from a distance, but came to be with us, to dwell as a man among men, eat with sinners, become known to friends, and go to weddings. It was very personal and very much a ministry of presence with Jesus.
And even as Jesus physically departs to return to his Father, he promises not only to not leave us alone, as orphans (exposed, in danger, fending for self), but to give us the Holy Spirit. In Paul’s letter to Timothy he says: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment” (2Tim1:7).
We are not alone – and we are not made to be alone. Take a moment and BREATH – breath in the reality that the Spirit of the Living God is in you, for you and loves you. Let him meet you in your loneliness. Now choose to meet others, to be present in love with others – let’s not leave one another as orphans, but love as we have been loved.
Friday, March 8, 2019
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
So the question comes: “Who are you?” The answer may be a 60 second elevator speech that paints a positive picture. Like a Facebook post that hides the bruises and blemishes of life and tells a fantastic fable.
Truly being known however is much more than a positively spun, superficial, vulnerability avoiding cover for reality. In fact, King David seemingly admits in Psalm 139 that he doesn’t know himself all that well. He takes the bold step to ask God to reveal his inner being to him – that he might be led deeper still into the everlasting way. That way is a way of knowing and being known by God and others (John 17:3; 1John 1:6-7).
Knowing ourselves, owning our reality – the good, the bad and the broken are critical to turning toward God (repentance), walking in the light, and receiving the depth of grace and unconditional love he has for us in abundance.
Are you willing today to ask God to reveal you to you? And in seeing yourself, I encourage you to remember He already sees it all and He welcomes you into His love because He loves you deeply. Take the risk of press into that life giving love today.
Thursday, March 4, 2019
Acts 3:19-20 say:
“Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…”
So long as I hold onto the things of this world and the demands that my fleshly desires be satisfied, I will be moving away from the satisfying presence of the Lord. And I’ll likely know this is the case because of the presence of anger, frustration, anxiety or frustration, at a minimum.
The call to repent and turn is not a call to dissatisfaction, but an invitation to move into the satisfying presence of God and welcome all the love and joyful security He offers in Christ.
Which way are you moving now?
Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Today marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 day season of preparation leading us to Resurrection Sunday. The “Lenten season” has for centuries been a time of prayer and repentance.
I want to give us some daily encouragement these 40 days and together prayer for one another. So please take a few minutes each day to check back here, pray and be encouraged.
Repentance is the idea of undergoing change or turning from one thing to another. To take hold of something new and let go of something unprofitable. Jesus said,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
This was Jesus invitation to his kingdom, a kingdom of life, hope, radical beauty, love and overflowing joy. Conversely, he described the world as lusts and possessions that are passing away (1 John 2:15).
Today, consider what you have your grip on. What of this world might you need to let go of, opening your hand, that you might turn and welcome his invitation to receive love, hope and the joy of eternal security in his kingdom?
Througt the resurrection, Jesus purchased abundant life and joy for you – let him take hold of you today and enjoy being a child of the King..