A few months ago, or maybe many months ago, I was asked to do the Wednesday night service teaching over Genesis 34:1-36:43
This is an tiny excerpt, my conclusion, and my call to allow change to seep into our souls.
- GOD can bring good out of EVIL.
- God is able to use the evil that people do, bringing about positive results.
- God’s has the ability to overcome any obstacle; His covenant will always advance
- God cannot be bought and his favors are not for sale. Instead, He has purchased our brokeness and our stench of death and mended us! With his blood, He has set the righteousness of His life in us, and he does not even charge us!
- God is the ultimate changer: life-changer, heart-changer, emancipator King, our God.
- We cannot pay him or ever afford to pay him. No amount of money in the entire universe would be enough to afford His mercies. We can only give him tokens of love and worship him for who HE is to us and for us.AND
- WE can change by renewing our minds and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us, transforming our attitudes, leading with love, not holding God to our humanistic expectations, not trying to fit God into our systems of accountability, and by not treating Him as a mercenary providing favors that can be bought.
- We CAN change because the Holy Spirit strengthens us with grace! We can change because we are laid down to death with Christ and we are crucified with Him. We live raised to life and seated with Christ! And, if our God is for us, nothing can stand against us, in between us or separate us! The accuser cannot condemn because GOD is the judge and He, by dying for us, paid our debts and won the victory over death’s grip! We out of spiritual debt and get to thank GOD forever for his abundant mercies.
- We can change, because we are together in this! I may be one of a few or many who do not have blood family near. You guys are my family. We are a spiritual , covenant, broken family living in a broken world, but we are bound together by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and united in faith, love, worship and the precious blood of Christ.God….He does not demand instant perfection. And Hallelujah! For He leads us little by little, making inroads of our self-centeredness and doing his work in our lives one step at at a time.
For us…sometimes the best word we can give to the Lord is “thank you.” Thank you Lord!
Release grace upon my tongue Welling up in me Kindness and tenderness Be upon me In my home Manifest Your goodness Your gentleness Through me Release wisdom upon my heart Curating me Patience and understanding Be upon me In my home Manifest Your goodness Your gentleness Through me Release yielding in my spirit Mercy filling me Peace and humility Be upon me In my home Manifest Your goodness Your gentleness Through me Under God, May we repair, restore, Mend our brokeness Every injury- tended Every failure- forgiven Every appeal- in compassion Til there is healing in our house.
I can’t even formulate the right words..all I can say is that I am truly heartbroken over the recent tragic events.I have tried to capture my feelings, to chase the argument of justice, but the words are elusive.
The heartache is deep….and because of that, all I can think of is one word.
Are we not all flesh and blood, created by God? Are we not all brothers and sisters, worthy of love, justice and freedom?
I believe so.
I have no cool meme or graphic to add. Yet, I do have prayer ,and so do you. And prayer, which will last much longer than changing our profile pictures across social media and unite more powerfully than human hands, is transforming.
We NEED prayer.
We NEED prayer….to open our eyes, to empower us to do far more and abundantly more than we could ever imagine.
We NEED compassion. The essence of the cross is COMPASSION.
We never have and never will deserve mercy. Yet, still Jesus extends it. And, so should we.
God, help me to be an extender of your love and mercy and courageous enough to speak out in the face of injustice.
Dear, CHURCH, my fellow Jesus followers,
We must reach out our hurting LGBT brother and sisters and not IGNORE, be apathetic, judgmental or persecutive. We must do our part in healing wounds that we, ourselves, have allowed to be inflicted. We must be a safe-haven, a refuge…a SANCTUARY.
For, violence and hate are not in any part of our journey. Bigoted words and jokes are not in any part of our calling. IF they are part of your calling, then you are not following in Jesus’s footsteps.
The light of the world, the lamp on the stand, the city on the hill – this is what Jesus asks of us.
Defender of the defenseless, advocator of the orphan and widow, mercy for the undeserving, grace for the adulterer, healing for the sick, freedom for the captive, forgiveness over and over and over and over and over and….THIS is Jesus, Whose compassion does not fail and Whose mercies are new every morning.
If we say we are believers and followers of Jesus, than let us not hesitate to reach out.
In an event-heavy, busy, world, in our disconnected though social media states, we must endeavor to reach out, doing our parts in our every.day.average.routine-scheduled.day.
Let us do so with great intention.
I leave you with one of my favorite hymns, written by John Fawcett, pub.1782
Blest be the tie that binds, Our hearts in Christian love; The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne, We pour our ardent prayers; Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, Our comforts, and our cares.
.We share our mutual woes, Our mutual burdens bear; And often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part, It gives us inward pain; But we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.
May we all allow the Sacred and Divine to intertwine through the whole of our lives SO that we can infuse God’s love and tender mercies in every interaction.
We don’t know her name, but Jesus did…
And, just like the world doesnt know our secret sins, our shame, the infirmities of our hearts, our bones…
He waits, among us, Jesus WITH US, and He does not sit still.
No, JESUS continues in HIS work,
All the while waiting for a touch made in faith.
As we casually bump into him,
Press into him,
Bumping, shoving, rushing…
HE walks among us and waits for that touch of faith,
Fearful , trembling, but believing.
He makes available to us the outer garments of His GRACE.
Let us bring our bodies, weak, trembling,fearful, and stricken with humanity.
Let us bring our hearts, believing, expecting, hoping, and forging a path through the chaos of distraction.
Let us bring our confessions, with great joy!
For now, we are made whole, clean, free; we are justified, vindicated, emancipated, LIBERATED.
For You, Jesus, desire mercy.
You, Jesus, delight in Mercy, abound in mercy AND
You know our names.
You know our names and YOU have made us to be a people on our knees before You so we can arise in the heavenly places BESIDE YOU.
You, Jesus, know our names.
So… we surrender.
We surrender in good faith, and the fount of our bleeding ceases as the well springs of living water rush in to mend the violence of sin.
Psalm 67: “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you”
We praise you.
Your grace is inexhaustible. Your affection is without end. Your mercy has no boundaries……
You know our name.
Surely, surely, we are blessed.
I come to you,
falling at your feet,
Fearful and trembling,
– You have every reason to condemn me.
“You harlot!” they say.
– You have every reason to condemn me,
“You sinner!” they say.
– You have every reason to condemn me,
“You leper!” they say
– What will You say?
– Will You say I stole a blessing?
– Will You say my touch has made you unclean?
– Will You call out for, murder, “OH, those righteous stones!”
– What will You say?
But I can’t care! I’m pressing forward,
All I have to do is touch Your robe!
I don’t care, I’m pressing forward,
Because standing there before me walks living hope.
And I’ll risk it all.
I’ll risk it all.
Just to hear You call my name,
Glory speaks…..and the heavens rejoice.
Glory speaks…..”Oh, the sound of HIS voice!”
You’ve called my name.
I come to you, Jesus.
Falling at your feet, Jesus.
Fearful and trembling, Jesus.
Your glory running through my bones.
Your glory; I’ve seen the face of GOD.
Your glory; I hear my name….
From the ashes, arise…
From the pit, arise.…
From infirmity, arise....
From your prison, arise…
Your faith has set you free.
Jesus is : God’s Son.
Jesus is : The Mediator between God and man.
Jesus is: The only Being to have lived a life of perfect righteousness.
Jesus is: The Slain Lamb; The Perfect Sacrifice.
Jesus is: The Atonement for the sins of the world – Once and for all!
Jesus is: ALL authority in heaven and on earth.
Jesus is: The Living and Appointed Heir of all things.
Jesus is: The Ruler over every corner of creation!
Jesus is: Supreme; He is he ultimate in glory, the ultimate in power, the ultimate in authority!
Jesus is: The Head of the body and the church, The Beginning and The End, The Firstborn of The Dead!
Jesus is alive!
Our minds cannot grasp His fullness! Our hearts cannot replicate His goodness! Our souls will not perish in His presence!
Jesus is: the very picture of Grace! He makes us alive, by His grace! Using our tiny seeds of faith, He makes us who were dead in our sin alive in His righteousness!
This is Jesus! He is the Alpha and Omega! He is the Lily of the Valley! He is the Great I Am! He is Ruler, He is Provider!
He is Comforter! He is Rapha-Healer! He is The Chain Breaker! He is the Soul Savior! He is the Death destroyer! He is the Grave Leaper, our Liberator and Emancipator!
He is the Sun of Righteousness! He is The Judge, The Advocate! He is the SIN BEARER!
He doesn’t turn away from the stench of our sins! He isn’t repulsed by the smell of death!
Death cannot arrest Jesus!
Death has no hold on His life! He gave His own life up! He laid His own life down! And He took His own life up again!
Ha ha! Jesus is The Laughter in The Face of Death! Because of Jesus, we can shout
Death! Where is your sting!
Because of Jesus , we can sing:
THE last enemy of death HAS BEEN DESTROYED!
Who is Jesus? This is Jesus! A worthy-to-be-praised JESUS! And, this is what Easter, Resurrection Sunday says of Jesus!
This is Jesus; and He has overcome.
“Great crowds came to Jesus, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, those who could not speak, and many others. They put them at Jesus’ feet, and he healed them.” – Matthew 15:30
When I read this scripture, I was immediately catapulted back into time, thrown into an image of Jesus surrounded by a great crowd of people.
All around him, people desperate for healing.
All around him, people desperate for hope.
All around him, people desperate for freedom.
Then, I imagined the people experiencing the healing ministry of Jesus, and:
I heard the cries of joy.
I saw the dances of jubilee.
I marveled at the fog cleared from eyes previously blind.
I cried at the sound of voices released into freedom.
And then, all of a sudden, I felt a question rising in my spirit.
“Who can we bring to Jesus?”
You know, it isn’t surprising that humanity hasn’t changed much since Jesus walked the earth. We still live in a humanity teeming with brokenness and completely unaware of the Divine in the chaos.
To me, it feels like walking on a tightrope at times. On one end, there is faith in humanity and on the other end, there is faith in the divinity of Christ. As novices we walk between the two sides, teetering, tottering, and sometimes falling, but all of the time crying out, “Lord, SAVE ME!”
And true to who He is, Jesus catches us, saying, ”Stop jumping on that tightrope and STAY AT MY FEET. Don’t you know that it is at My feet where faith grows, the fog is cleared, miracles happen, and freedom is released?”
So, who CAN we bring to Jesus?”
The scripture mentions that the lame, the blind, the mute, the crippled, and many others were BROUGHT to Jesus. They weren’t just brought into the general vicinity. They didn’t find themselves there by accident. No, they were PUT at his feet and then healed.
Immediately, I envision friends bringing friends.
I envision mothers and fathers bringing sick children.
I envision brothers and sisters bringing parents.
I envision friends rallying up everyone in their circle, yelling,
“Salvation is here! Salvation is here! Come and see Christ, the Messiah, He is here at last! Finally, all of our hopes are fulfilled! Salvation is here! Let’s go, all our lives are found today! Run with me, by His very touch we can be healed! He is here! Lets GO!”
And then I see this cord, this thread, weaving through everyone, binding and CONNECTING everyone together in perfect unity. And I realize that this cord, this thread is one of…
They knew each other! They were friends, relatives….simply put, they were friends.
In light of this, the the question changes. It is no longer, “Who can I bring to Jesus?” but,
“Who can I bring WITH me to Jesus?”
I leave you with this question and a prayer challenge.
1. Ask God the question, “Who can I bring with me to Jesus?”
***** Listen for 5 minutes…wait and allow the Lord to answer.
2. Begin to pray for the person or persons the Holy Spirit brings to mind.
3. Pray for genuine friendships to be cultivated.
4. Pray that God give you opportunities to share of your walk with Jesus.
6. Finally, pray that God gives you the courage to invite them to church and that He will prepare their hearts for your invitation.
Bless every new friendship of ours. Let our hearts be bound in Christian love. Let our fellowship be kindred in spirit. And, let us run with each other to the feet of Jesus, Your Son, who ministers to our EVERY need. Amen.
- Forsaken and Condemned…
- The Son of God.
- Lifted up…
- The Resurrection and The Life.
- The Brightness of God’s Glory
- The Savior of the World.
- Lamb of God…
- Unshaken on the throne
- Ruler over ALL.
- The Sure Foundation.
- The Sanctuary.
- The Sacrifice , The Ransom, The Slain Lamb –
- The Forerunner.
Tempted, Oppressed,Scourged, Bruised, Crucified and –Undefiled.Obedient, Victorious, Justified,Exalted and…Raised up on the last day.
- The Grace.
- The Love.
- The Patience.
- The Mercy.
- The Compassion.
- The Refuge.
- O Mercy Seat, O Great High Priest!
- O First Born of the dead!
- O Resurrection!
- O Finisher of Faith!
- O Eternal One!