Saturday, April 30, 2011

TETELESTAI!

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
-John 19:30

It's thought-provoking...

After 30 years of life and 3 years of intensive ministry, after rejection and beating, the final words of Christ while hanging on the cross are "it is finished."

This seems so...despondent, so fatal, so final.


HOWEVER,
in the Greek, these three words are a single word,
a single cry of VICTORY!

IT IS FINISHED!!!
THE PENALTY OF SIN HAS BEEN PAID FOR!!
MAN'S PATH TO GOD HAS BEEN PAVED AND OPENED!!

These are not three little words.
They are one huge exclamation of joy!

My New Testament professor wrote this for one of our online sessions a few weeks ago. I love it! Jesus wasn't giving up, he wasn't giving in, this wasn't the end. It is finished...Christ won over all :)

By His wounds we are healed.

PRAISE HIM!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Swimming the English Channel

Yesterday in my Christian Leadership class, the professor told us a story that I loved:

56 people have successfully swam the English Channel, though THOUSANDS of people have tried it. If you try to swim the channel and "register" your swim (which is the only way to get credit if you make it), then you are supplied with a small boat just in case you get tired, can't go on anymore, and give up.

The reason it's so hard to swim the English Channel is because the water is extremely cold and it's not the cleanest, but more than that- there is a point where the current is very strong, where you might have to just swim against the current for two or three hours just to not be thrown backwards.

Knowing this...

Imagine that everyone on Earth were in the ocean. That means that Olympic swimmers AND people who can barely even dog-paddle in the shallow end of a swimming pool are both there. The goal is to swim from California to Hawaii. Because there's so many people in the ocean, there are no small boats to pick people up for when they can't go on any longer. It's all on you-every man for himself.

To reach Hawaii, you would have to swim 2506 miles. No break, no stopping, no food or drink stops to revive yourself on the way. Now, Michael Phelps might last two or three more hours than the average person, but eventually he won't be able to swim anymore either. All these people need a Rescuer.

Now, can you imagine if a man on a boat came over and told you that he is here to save you, to give you rest from your long journey, to help carry you over to the other side...can you just imagine if you told him,

"No, thanks. I got this. I can do it on my own."

It's absolutely ridiculous! But how often do we do this to our Savior?



He is waiting for you. If He feels far away, try taking a step towards Him.

"He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there, He is pleased even with their stumbles."
-C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Even more so, how many times does the Lord ask you to take a step out of the boat onto the water with Him, and you tell Him right back, "No, Lord, I'm comfortable where I am, I don't need to go walk on water or do anything else because I'm scared about what You have for me next. Don't take me away from my security blanket, my comfort zone."

Get out of the boat. Reach for Him. He's waiting and can't wait for you to come back.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jesus Cracks Me UP!

I am sitting here literally GIGGLING. I'm listening to a podcast by Francis Chan, my favorite speaker, and he is teaching on a story about Peter, John, and Jesus. Here's the biblical text:

John 21

(Jesus said to Peter)... 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”


Here, Jesus is trying to get Peter to mature, to grow up, to open his ears to what Jesus was about to reveal to Him, and what does Peter say?

"Well if that's how I'm gonna die, how is John gonna go?"

Then Jesus says, "Peter...honey, worry about yourself. You are responsible for you and how YOU follow me."


This cracks me UP!!! Here is three men who are probably in their thirties... And Peter looks to "the disciple whom Jesus loved" and totally misses the point that Jesus was trying to make. I laugh because I babysit and work with kids a lot and I see this so often. Sometimes I just have to tell the tattletale to take care of themselves and not to pay attention to what the other kids are doing. But how often do we do this?


I'm a girl, obviously. I play the comparison game. I wish I could look like a certain person. I wonder if people would treat me differently if I had a better personality or better looks or have more intelligence or common sense or people skills... I think girls do this so much that it just becomes natural. It's automatic thinking.

But I think we do it spiritually, too. We say: well, God is doing a lot in their life, so I wonder what I'm doing wrong. Why didn't He call ME to this certain ministry? Why does everyone and their mother know exactly their purpose in this life while it feels like I just have light for this one step that I'm on?


It doesn't matter. You are responsible for YOU. Jesus, our heavenly babysitter and children's ministry volunteer, cares about what YOU do for Him, how YOU react to His call, and what YOU do with what He gives to YOU.

It's not all about you. But you need to quit worrying about what everyone else is called to, is doing with their life, and what they look like. There's a purpose in it all, and He always redeems it. :) It's between you and the Lord.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lord You Are Good and Your Mercy Endureth Forever!

The Lord is wildly pursuing my heart and totally refining me! I've been asking Him to do so for so long and it is so awesome that in His timing, He is teaching me so much. It's not the easiest thing in the world to have the dark corners of my heart exposed, but I am loving it because He is at work. I love the way C.S. Lewis talks about this:

"If you let Me, I'll make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that's what you're in for. Nothing less or other than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you don't, understand that I'm going to see this job through. Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest until you are literally perfect. This I do and will do. But I will not do anything less."

When we FINALLY give ourselves completely over to the Lord, He is ready with huge hands to scrape out all the dross from our hearts. It's not easy to let go of control because it's one of the things we hold on to the most. It's not easy to see all the ugliness of ourselves. But when all the ugliness is removed, there is that much more room for the beauty of what the Lord has for us next :) He is SO good.