Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Blessing in the least obvious place

"Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is!"
Mark Twain
"Bethlehem in the land of Judah, you are by no means least among the leaders of Judah. A leader will come from you. He will shepherd my people Israel." Matthew 2:6

".....The shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about." They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph with the baby, who was lying in a manger. " Luke 2:15,16
The hidden places, the forgotten and depised places.....the place of humility. Is this what I envisioned? This is Jesus, is it not? His garmet is humility and His glory is revealed through humility. And so He calls me to come up...... to the lowest place.
Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless.
Blessed are those who mourn.
Blessed are those who are gentle.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God's approval.
Blessed are those who show mercy.
Blessed are those whose thoughts are pure.
Blessed are those who make peace.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing what God approves of.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, lie, and say all kinds of evil things about you because of me. The prophets who lived before you were persecuted in these ways.

"If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continually. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it. For what profit will a person have if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Indeed, what can a person give in exchange for his life? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes with the holy angels in his Father's glory." Mark 8:34-38
How heartbreaking to think that my mistrust, my unbelief is no more than scorn or shame. My refusal to receive his words and offer to life and admit that in him alone we find all that we need dishonors him as the giver of all life. Living in trust means that I trust in him so much that I am willing to face and endure the shame myself.

"We can’t play it safer than Jesus did. No servant is greater than His master (John 15:20). If obedience cost Jesus His whole life, it will cost us nothing less."
(Watchmen for the Nations)

My desire to control my life with my ideas, my agenda, and my way of getting there only keeps me in bondage to fear.....the way of self is the path to death. My desire to fit snuggly into man's ideas, man's agenda and man's way of getting there only keeps me in bondage to sin....the way of humanity is the path to death.
"Fear is certain evidence that I'm moving out of my own wisdom and expectations, instead of moving out of trust and security in the Father's watchfulness over and care for my life.....Jesus rules to the extent that I let go."
( Wayne Jacobson)
On the other hand......."The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. "Proverbs 14:27
My Child,
The kingdom of heaven belongs to you.
You will be comforted.
You will inherit the earth.
You will be satisfied.
You will be treated mercifully.
You will see God.
You will be called God's child.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to You!
Rejoice and be glad because you have a great reward in heaven!
Love Your Daddy
Such a wonderful promise from you Father. Wooing me to life.What more could a girl ask for?
"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7:1
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!" Phillipians 2:5-8

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
I must come to a place where I embrace the whole journey, not just the promises I have in you but the pain and fellowship of your sufferings. I in you as you are in me.

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