Friday, January 27, 2012

Who Will Help Me?


John 5:2-15, NASB

I've been crippled for thirty-eight long years,
    but I desperately want to walk.
Many look at me with disinterest,
    not having the patience or time to talk.

An angel visits the pool called Bethesda,
    stirring the waters each time.
The first one to step into those waters,
    a healing is what they would find.

As for me, my fate would be challenged,
    always, others would step before me.
I’m left imprisoned by this dead body,
    yet longing to finally walk free.

One day Jesus came to Jerusalem,
    and saw me lying there.
He asks if I want to be healed,
    His words revealed that He cared.

I told Him that there’s no one here,
    to put me in the pool.

I didn’t know that Jesus, was the One,
    to change what sickness ruled.

He looked at me and said these words,
    pick up your bed and walk.
Immediately, I stood up healed,
    my body freed to talk.

I did not know who Jesus was,
    but Jesus did know me.
He saw me in my crippled state,
    hoping to be free.

He told me, go and sin no more,
    I believed His words were true.
Because He shared these words I heard,
    far worse can happen to you.

Poem by MTJ

Lord Jesus,

So often we are waiting, hovering around our very own Pool of Bethesda; we want someone to help us in the crippled state our lives are in. Some of us, don't even recognize You. You speak and it's just another voice we hear. But right now, I pray that Your words speak healing to crippled, broken, and sick lives. Speak Your words of life Dear Lord! May we hear Your voice and rise up to the obstacles we face in this life. May we walk by faith, in the truth of Your everlasting Light. As the songwriter says, "We need a word from You Jesus...we need to hear from You...if we don't hear from You, what will we do?" We cry out for a word because the love of God is in our heart. Thank You Jesus for meeting our needs, healing our lives, and giving us grace. Amen.


Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays


References:
  1. Jesus heals the crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda, image courtesy of Fire Press
  2. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
  3. King James Version, The Crusade Analytical Study Edition, Crusade Bible Publishers, Inc., PO Box 90011, Nashville, Tennessee 37209
  4. New King James Version, by Nelson Bibles, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., PO Box 141000, Nashville, Tennessee, ISBN-13: 978-0840713704
  5. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hearing

Overwhelmed with the emotions…
    of sorrow and grief.
Unaccustomed to crying…
    but still no relief.
Who will hear...
    my impassioned plea?
The silence is deafening…
    the stress will not cease.

I cry out to God…
    but He says not a word.
I give You my all…
    please say that You've heard.
Then in my silence…
    God says to me.
I've heard every word…
    I've heard every plea.

Compose yourself child…
    and listen to me.
I've given you life…
    a gift that came free.
A free gift for you…
    but it came at a cost.
Your life was condemned…
    your soul was once lost.

I sent my Son Jesus…
    to stand in your place.
He died on the cross…
    so you would have grace.
Up there He hung…
    His blood streaming down.
That you one day would wear…
    an eternal crown.

Know that I hear…
    every word that you say.
But will you listen…
    to Me on this day?
Choose you this day…
    whom you will serve.
If God be God…
    then His voice you have heard.

Walk in My grace…
    and the newness of life.
In the midst of the chaos…
    of sin and of strife.
Stand firm in the faith…
    in Christ you are free.
Walk in the grace…
    of true liberty.

poem by MTJ


Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).

Friday, January 13, 2012

He’s Still The Sovereign God…My Provider

Abraham and Isaac Climbing Mount Moriah, image courtesy of rootsoffaith.org
Abraham and Isaac Climbing Mount Moriah, image courtesy of rootsoffaith.org

The other night, I was praying and as it often happens (no, I didn’t fall asleep), the Holy Spirit reminded me that God is:
  1. Sovereign
  2. The Lord Who Provides
I began to think about this dynamic in which God gives grace:

Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose:He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says,GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.’”1

God gives grace, independently of me; it’s His choosing! And yet, in His choosing, He provides grace to complete me.

Abraham referred to God as “Jehovah-jireh”, because God provided a substitute for Isaac. It occurred to me that as God provides, He substitutes grace in the place of what I want. It’s incumbent upon me to humbly surrender to His purpose and will for me.

In my mind, I may be scaling my own Mount Moriah, thinking I am obeying God’s command. When I arrive at the summit, the place where my prayers meet God’s grace, I discover that it’s not my prayer that changes God, but God’s grace which is purposed to change me.

Abraham was never the same after this Mount Moriah experience.

Do I scale Mount Moriah expecting God to provide or am I intent on completing my agenda?

I’ll never see grace as God’s provision through the blinded eyes of my own arrogance.

Throughout scripture, we can find instances of men and women who humbled themselves before the mighty hand of God and experienced the outpouring of His grace.

Instead of telling God what I want, I will ask Him: What shall I do?

I’ll expect God to provide His grace in my time of need.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.2

Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).Spiritual Sundays
Footnotes:
  1. James 4:5-6, NASB
  2. Hebrews 4:16, NASB
References:
  1. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, By James B. Strong, S.T.D, LL.D., Riverside Book and Bible House, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126
  2. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
  3. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  4. Matthew Henry's Commentary, McDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia 22101, ISBN 0-917006-21-6

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year (2012 - A Year with Purpose)


For many, the New Year is a time for both reflections and refocusing. For some, it will mean a commitment to:
  1. Lose weight.
  2. Exercise
  3. Spend more time with family
  4. Travel
  5. Take a class
  6. Make some type of lifestyle change
In every instance, there is a call from our inner voice to “Do this!

We choose to obey that voice because we have an understanding of the purpose in what we hear.

So often I ask myself…
Will God hear me?
Does God hear me?

But I often forget He asks Do You Hear Me?

It’s amazing how obedient creation is to God, yet… Why don't I obey Him?

And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.1

God spoke, calling light into existence.

Light obeyed and submitted to the authority of God’s word…

Light illuminated the earth.

Light has a defined purpose; to illuminate.

What is my purpose?

How can I obey and submit to the authority of Christ without knowing my purpose?

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.2

What is my purpose in Christ?

The purpose of the Christian is to illuminate Christ to a world darkened by sin.

…not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;3

How do I illuminate Christ?

I illuminate Christ by demonstrating the mind of Christ in my life, particularly when it comes to choosing the interests of others over my own self-interests. Demonstrating the attributes of Christ will illuminate Him in my life. Attributes such as love, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, self-control, joy, and peace will aid my God-given purpose to illuminate Christ.

As we usher in the dawn of a New Year, let’s all remember our true purpose for being here.

Let’s be the light of Christ for a world in need of vision.

Spiritual SundaysNote: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).


Footnotes:
  1. Genesis 1:3, NIV
  2. Matthew 5;15-16, NIV
  3. Philippians 2:4-6, NIV
References:
  1. New King James Version, by Nelson Bibles, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., PO Box 141000, Nashville, Tennessee, ISBN-13: 978-0840713704
  2. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  3. The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896