Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Fearful Fleeing

"Then all the disciples deserted him and fled."
Matthew 26:56b

I can't get past this part in the text. I'm trying hard to understand it because I want to know and understand human nature better. Why did the disciples desert Jesus? Why did they flee? Were they afraid that they'd be arrested too? Surely, they knew the men weren't coming for them because only Jesus was arrested. What was going through their minds when they were fleeing the scene? Where did they go? According to John 18 (verse 12), two of the disciples followed Jesus at a distance, but I feel safe to say they weren't following out of faithfulness, they were following out of fearful curiosity (Matthew 26:58)
How often do we flee when fear enters the scene? Do we return to follow Jesus only out of curiosity to see what He'll do? Or do we return to follow Him because we know it's the only way to defeat the fear?

The disciples knew the power Jesus had and they knew he had done nothing wrong. Fear, confusion, and panic caused the disciples to flee the scene and desert Jesus. After all they had been through together, they left the Son of God.

Jesus knows the true meaning of loneliness. He knows what it feels like to be betrayed and heartbroken. His closest confidants left him, and while one went in to the courts to watch the trial, the other denied Jesus not once but three times.

While I still cannot comprehend the decisions the disciples made in this scene, I do know that my Savior would never make those same choices. Jesus not only faced fear, but took it upon himself so that we would never have to be eternally imprisoned by it. Jesus remains faithful, stands by our sides, defends us, and never leaves us. Even though we have the tendency to flee, to be curious, and to deny, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior will remain with us forever and always.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Face of an Angel

"Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs
among the people." --Acts 6:8

"...These men began to argue with Stephen, but they could not stand up against his wisdom
or the Spirit by whom he spoke."--Acts 6:10

"All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw
that his face was like the face of an angel." --Acts 6:15



Imagine being full of God's grace and power. It would definitely intimidate and cause others to feel anxious and unsettled as it did to the Sanhedrin in this case. What's even worse for those who are uncomfortable in the presence of the Spirit and who try to take down the power of God is that they can't. With grace and power comes wisdom.

My favorite part about this whole story is that when they put Stephen up on trial, up on display really-as if to prove to people his evil intentions, which there weren't any of course-Stephen looked like an angel. They all recognized that. They were looking at him so intently as if their stares would prove his guilt; but instead, all they saw was a face of an angel. How awesome! Even when you are not looking for God, God is looking at you.

I wonder how much more ill-at-ease they felt after realizing they had an angel on trial. A lot, I'm sure is the answer because after Stephen speaks, they stone him. The word of God spoken in the Spirit will always make people feel uncomfortable because it is a double-edged sword of truth. God's word will cut. It will penetrate, and you can either fall to your knees in surrender while allowing your old self to die, or you can run and grow hard to the wound of truth (that will continue to penetrate), persecuting those who own its healing powers.

Next time you feel uncomfortable, look to the Spirit for guidance and seek God's face. Ask Him to reveal to you the truth. Surrender to His will and find peace. God is good, holy, powerful, and righteous.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

If It's the Lord's, It Lasts


"Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures."
Psalm 119:89-90

Everything that is of the Lord lasts. I once heard a pastor say that if the Lord blesses it, man cannot take it away. How comforting it is to know that what God promises, He gives, and what He gives, lasts forever!

I need to know that there's something in my life that is solid, that is everlasting. So often I am standing on shaky ground. So often the world around me crashes. So often I stumble and fall. But my God is solid: "Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD is the Rock eternal" (Isaiah 26:4).

I cannot trust in man or machine. They don't last. I can trust in the LORD. He alone is unfailing. He alone is faithful. He alone is good. Even things that come to perfection on this earth have limits, but His commands are boundless (Psalm 119:96).

Oh, LORD, open my heart to hear your words. Open my eyes to see your divine goodness. For all things truly serve you. Give me the strength and the courage to be someone who boldly serves you always. Thank you for being my Rock eternal. Thank you for your everlasting covenant of love. Help me to hold on to what lasts and let go of what doesn't, and like the psalmist says, "Save me, for I am yours." Praise be to You forever. Amen.



Monday, May 24, 2010

Words of Wisdom VI

Something to think about...

"Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible; the ninety-nine will read the Christian."

--Dwight L. Moody


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Opened Doors--a prayer

"...the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me."
2 Corinthians 2:12b

Based on 2 Corinthians 2:5-6:7 (NLT)...

Father in heaven, forgiveness can only be done with Christ's help (2 Cor. 2:10), and it must be done so that Satan doesn't have another way to take me down (2 Cor. 2:11). To forgive is just a small part of living a Christ-like life. It is a door we must open in order to allow Your love to cross the threshold, and it is a sweet aroma emanating from a Christ-centered heart. How I desire to be sweet perfume to all those I encounter (2 Cor. 2 :15)!

May my life be a letter recommending You to those who don't know You personally, and may I be a readable letter showing all the good You do for me (2 Cor. 3:2). Lord God, the only qualifications I ever need comes from You (2 Cor. 3:5).

May Your glory be revealed through me always! Continue to remove the veils that cover this glory (2 Cor. 3:16-18). I want to see and reflect it. I turn to You, Father, and desire your glorious image. Please keep Satan away from me and from blinding my mind (2 Cor. 4:4). I want Your glory to shine in my heart and be the power of my life (2 Cor. 4:6-7).

I want to be able to live in the face of death so that the life of Jesus may be evident in me (2 Cor. 4:10-12). May I never miss the open doors of opportunity. Help me, O Jesus, to fix my eyes on thing that cannot be seen (2 Cor. 4:18), so that I may live by believing (2 Cor. 5:7) and live by desiring to please You and You alone (2 Cor. 5:9). May I cease, then, to live for myself (2 Cor. 5:15).

Today is most definitely a new day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2) and full of opportunities. May I prove myself, God Almighty, by Your power working in me (2 Cor. 6:6-7). Amen.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Walls

The LORD determined to tear down the wall around the Daughter of Zion. He stretched out a measuring line and did not withhold his hand from destroying. He made ramparts and walls lament; together they wasted away.

Lamentations 2:8


When we become aware of a wall (or walls) in our lives that blocks out the Light and Love of God, we can begin work on tearing that wall down. What's so wonderful about God is that He's there to help, and He doesn't just chip away at the wall, He takes a sledgehammer to it.

The LORD detests that which separates us from Him, "Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." (Exodus 34:14) We cannot build an intimate relationship with God when we have other structures in the way. There is room only for one god, the Holy God of Israel.

There is a time for everything under heaven "a time to tear down and a time to build." (Ecclesiastes 3:3) Is it time to tear down that wall and let the God of heaven and earth in? His power is unfathomable, His goodness unmeasurable. May the LORD bless you and keep you and build for you a wall like you have never seen before of His power, might, and glory.