Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just What Was He Scribbling in the Sand?

I wrote this on a card some time ago, and in cleaning out my day planner and transferring to the new one, I came across it. I'd like to share:

"I have been judged by the word and driven to my knees for mercy.
Grace poured forth from my Savior's bloody hands and
He lifted my head to Him and drew me to my feet."

So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ,
that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24

Recently I was meditating on the story of the Woman caught in adultery who was brought before Jesus to be stoned. Stoning was God's idea~to remove impurities from among Israel. Jesus then stooped down and started writing in the sand.

I like to picture Jesus in those moments of confrontation that he experienced so often with the Pharisees. He remained so calm.

I want to know that composure in the face of conflict.

So after writing in the sand, Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
As we know, one by one, everyone left. The guilty woman was left alone with Jesus. No doubt she was a huge mix of emotions.

After having been caught in the act. Imagine it for a moment. Then to be drug away by angry, self~righteous men, perhaps she wasn't even half~dressed... then tossed to the dirt before the HOLY ONE. Her shame must have threatened to overwhelm her...perhaps she was close to passing out...

I am a huge fan of Michael Card. I love his song "Scribbling in the Sand" because though we don't know what Jesus was scribbling, it makes perfect sense that he would hold up the mirror of the law for the "stoners" to look into, and thus destroy any self-righteousness they had. It also would have helped the woman see, and know that the law that was about to condemn her was just, but...

Jesus was "between her and the law". Our intercessor, Mercy Personified, was there. Offering her pardon, which must have been another unbelievable moment. Who just moment's before was on the verge of death and condemnation, now was able to walk away free.

With Jesus' parting words to, "Go and leave your life of sin."

I think those words remained with her for the rest of her life. When I am vulnerable, and my emotional level is at a 10, it seems I remember everything said to me. Words sting when they are not meant to, and they can sink in deeper due to my emotional vulnerability.

Have you noticed that? When you are exposed. When you are tried in a firey furnace, you process things through your pain. You are more tender. More impressionable.

In the case of the woman caught in adultery, and in the case of me everytime I see in the mirror of God's word where I am missing the mark of pleasing Him...It is clear that:

The Law is good. Repentence is a gift. Mercy is sweet.
All are steps on the path to freedom.

Oh how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Psalm 119:97

My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times. Psalm 119:20

Why not start 2010 by reading Psalm 119 and meditating on it?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Michael Card - "Now that I've held Him in my arms"

Along with the Little Drummer Boy, this is a favorite Christmas song. I love the story of Simeon found in Luke 2:21-35. It is a trait of our Soveriegn God to establish confirmation of the TRUTH to His servants who are doing His will. Simeon stands as a witness bridging the Old Testament and the New Testament. Then there is Anna in verses 36-38 following Simeon in her testimony. God is good in establishing His word in Mary and Joseph's heart, and in establishing Truth for us who believe His testimony.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Is It Truth?

Have you noticed that there are alot of Christian cliches? Things we live by, and share with others? Have you pondered them? I have been noticing some of them are not grounded in scripture. For instance, the one I have heard the most and refuted most often is: "Jesus hung out with prostitutes". Have you ever heard that?

Where is that in scripture? Most often when I ask people that they say, "The woman at the well."  So I quickly recall the story. God sent Jesus there (we know Jesus had a meeting every morning to find out the Father's will) to talk with a woman who was ready to receive salvation. He went to the well, a place that she went to get the basic necessity of life~water. He met her there, and she received Him. After her conversion, then Jesus hung out with her~a lot. A redeemed prostitute.

He never went to the red light district.

The other passage that gets brought up is when the Pharisees accused Jesus of hanging out with sinners when he ate at Matthew's house after Matthew got saved. But again here, Jesus is sharing a meal at the house of a redeemed sinner who wants his friends to hear about salvation. He's not just "hangin' there with some buddies".

If Jesus really "hung out with prostitutes" he would be compromising His own words:

 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 (New International Version)

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

and this comes to mind:
...snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. (from the book of Jude, verse 23)

Lord, as you send us out like sheep among wolves, help us to stay true to the Truth when we are living life in You! Help us remember that we will give an account for our spoken words, help them to be pure and true. Amen!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bearing His Disgrace

And so Jesus suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us then go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Hebrews 13:12-14

Do you ever feel lonely? Have you endured insults for your convictions? Have you suffered for your obedience? Then there is good news! You are in the company of Jesus.

Jesus endured the rejection of religious leaders; He even endured their scorn, and attempts to trap him. He also was ridiculed by His own family... Have you noticed though that even when He was misunderstood and rejected, He continued to "set His face like a flint" and determined to do the will of His Father?

He told us we, as His followers, would be hated. He told us we would have a cross to carry. We can choose to pick it up daily,  or we can choose to ignore His word, and fit in; or go with the flow. Will you set your face like a flint to be obedient to Him? Will you go outside the camp, and bear the disgrace He bore?

Not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit! I pray blessings for you as you walk in obedience out of your love for Jesus.