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Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Rugged Cross not the Shiny Gold Cross

The rugged cross not gold cross
Read Galatians 6

Come near to God and He will come near to you.  James 4:8

Sinners on the cross

There was no description of Jesus cross – what it looked like or type of wood. What we do know is the cross was rugged, unfinished, and heavy. Jesus was not a criminal but was accused of blasphemy. Though His death was unjust it atone all sins.

Hanging people on a cross would be considered grisly today. Yet this ancient practice was a common way to degrade and allow lawbreakers to rot in public. It was nothing alluring about the cross or punishment. 

Rugged cross not Gold cross

Over time society glamorized the rugged cross transforming it into gold and silver ornaments worn around necks. Celebrities adorn the crucifix with diamonds and other fancy stones as a sign of status. Others engrave images over human anatomy and T-shirts. It is worn in solidarity of the Christian faith. 

A King on a Cross

Jesus bearing his own cross was horrific torture; there was no beauty in being crucified. It was meant as a form of punishment. The cross was not meant to be a symbol or fashion statement.

  •       Pilate took Jesus and scourged him – John 19:1
  •         They put a crown of thorns on His head – Matthew 27:29
  •         They spat on Him – Matthew 27:30
  •         Jesus carried his cross to Golgotha John 19:17
  •         Simon a Cyrenian was compelled to bear Jesus cross  Mark 15:21

Bear and share the burden

Jesus’ death was horrific. Jesus bore our sins on the tree that we might live for righteousness – by his stripes we are healed 1 Peter 2:24. Since that day of crucifixion and resurrection Christians and non-Christians choose to wear crosses to pay homage of that day opposed to bearing crosses as Christ directed.  Paul reminded the Galatians to bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ… for each one shall bear his own load Galatians 6:2-5.

Foolish People

Jesus intent was for each of us to bear one another’s burdens – become our brother’s keeper.  But foolish people changed it to wearing a cross around their necks.  Until the crude, rugged cross and Jesus crucifixion is truly understood adorning a cross means nothing.
To die from self and live for him is the true meaning of bearing and wearing a cross. It is the rugged cross and not the shiny gold cross that God want us to emulate.

Father God,
Help us to remember the reason for the cross – the crucifixion. Help us to bear one another’s burdens not just wear a cross.  As servants learn to glorify you in everything we do.  In Jesus name Amen.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Caught in the Act: God sees all

Who Love Birthday cake?
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and lay bare before the eyes of Him who we must give account.  Hebrews 4:13

God sees all
There is no hiding from God. Everything is in plain sight. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord know it completely Psalm 139:4. He knows when we slumber, rise, and sit. God is watching constantly. If man could fathom the thought that God is capable of doing all these things it should keep man from sin and mistake? But for some reason people trick themselves in believing they cannot be caught in the act.

February and birthday cakes
When I was child, February was love supreme. I counted the days leading up to that majestic moment. Not because of Valentine’s Day – it was my birthday month! It was not gifts or parties that brought excitement but moist, tasty, buttery, creamy birthday cake – a decadent display of eatable art. There was no need for party favors, traditional singing or blowing out candles I wanted to cut the cake. 
It's My Party
One year my antsy cake fixation got the best of me. Despite many warnings of “don’t touch the cake” I concocted a plain to steal a taste of “my” birthday cake!  A few quick swipes of icing led to gouging two fingers deep into the vanilla cake. My craving was satisfied. The evidence was covered with more icing. Since mom did not see me everything was all right. But I soon realized mothers – just like God can see all.

No hiding from God
David reminds us there is no place to hide from God.  Where can I go from your Spirit where can I flee from your presence? Psalm 139:7 Yet society justifies their actions in a childlike manner based on the fact they were not caught in the act. Wake up!  Do you not realize God never sleeps – He sees all and knows all?   

Fooling God
God knows everything about us – mind, heart, and soul.  He knows our personalities, concealed fantasies, and hidden motives. As the saying goes – “you can fool some of the people some of the time” but no one can pull the wool over God’s eyes. His word is more than letters on a page; they live. For the unbelievers who doubt they can never get caught, God’s word reminds us that they are alive and active. It is sharper than any double-edged sword; it penetrates even to dividing souls and spirit. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart Hebrews 4:12.
Just as I learned there was no great escape from mom’s wrath there is no escaping God. How good and sweet it would be if everyone were free of sin based on the mere fact that every word, action and deed is witnessed by God. Lord help your children to do nothing which would cause them to hide from you.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What’s in your hand? God gave you something

What if they do not believe me or listen to me. Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” A staff, he replied. Exodus 4:1-2

Questioning God

God has blessed me yet I question my abilities. Words of wisdom flow from my mind to finger tips.  They transmit over the world-wide-web. Wrestling with God – pardon your servant, Lord I am an unlikely messenger. Never been eloquent, to me I am slow and ill-equipped. Satan has mastered to unlock my Pandora’s Box fueling doubt and inadequate abilities.

What has God placed in your hands?

Sunday’s sermon focused on Exodus chapter four and what God had placed in Moses hand – a staff.  Like Moses many of us find ourselves questioning God and not using our gifts. “We sit on our hands and don’t realize what God has placed in them.” Instead of moving as God required Moses pointed out his imperfections – stuttering – and why he was the imperfect messenger. Oppose to trusting and following God’s lead he found reasons to recede.

My gift is writing – thoughts ebb and flow daily. But I see inefficiencies. This self inflected judging turned into a horror movie causing paralyses in the membrane. I find myself stranded on an island of despair wanting to quit. My conscious reinforce my theory - “No one cares about what you write, you are wasting your time stop writing.”

What has God placed in your hand? What stumbling blocks have you set in your way? Transform the mind, stop sitting on your hands and begin to press forward in God’s vision for you.

  •  If it is Prophesying – prophesy
  • If it is Serving – serve
  • If it is Teaching – teach
  • If it is Encouraging – encourage
  • If it is Giving – give generously

God is bigger than your problem

The Preacher’s words prodded me – God is bigger than the quandary so often played in my mind. I realized my quest for perfection is not needed. God has provided everything – the visions, people, as well as supplies to complete all assignments. There should be no worries.

Regardless of weakness and disabilities there is nothing impossible for God. Moses was reminded “Who gave human beings their mouth who gives them sight” Exodus 4:11-12.  As for me – the imperfect servant – Sunday’s sermon reassured God is with me, He will guide me. I am fully equipped. I just need to believe!


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