Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Romans 5:10

  I am reconciled to God.
  "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." NKJV
  "For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son." JCB

  I've been thinking a bit how there is a very human tendency within me that is trying to make God smaller, more, well, human. It's backwards. Humankind is made in His image! I should have a stronger tendency to try and be more like Him!

  I've also been thinking some more on the Adam and Eve story in Genesis 3:21 where God clothed their shame in being naked with animal skins. It was the very first sacrifice of blood to cover sin.
  The sin wasn't being naked. The sin was being ashamed of the beautiful bodies God had given them; bodies He had made in His image. (Now that's given me something else to ponder on because it might be worth thinking about what was in the apple they ate.)

  Prior to that, they walked and talked with Him in the garden of Eden. Delightfully innocent. Delightfully delighting in being with God. They didn't know good. They didn't know evil. There was no scale of measure, of worth. There was simply being.
  Was the knowledge of good and evil contained in one thing and one thing only...learning of judgement? Take away judgement and the knowledge of either vanishes. I's a big thought that has me reflecting on my own tendencies for judging.
  Forgive me Lord.

  What would it be like? To be free from the sins that keep us apart from Him? 
  To walk with God Abba Father, chattering away like when I am with my grandchildren, delighting in their delight and curiosity about everything. How counting one-two-three-four-five toes over and over and over was an endless source of amusement for someone fourteen months old.

  Innocence has a way of vanishing into the mist.
  It makes me sad how quickly it goes, how quickly the world's judgements makes sure it's gone.
  Yet, it is one of the gifts of reconciliation. The restoration of innocence through forgiveness and grace. Innocence can love freely, unabashedly. Innocence doesn't regard skin colour or clothes as markers of status. Innocence is standing tall and free from the charges laid against me by the world. Innocence restored births the ability to set others free from the charges I have laid against them through judgement. Which takes me back to forgiveness and grace...
  Because I have been reconciled to God and have within that relationship the opportunity to learn how to live shame-less and judgement free.
  Thank You, Jesus, for Your sacrifice that enables a salt 'n pepper haired, middle aged woman feel, once again, the simple, awe filled, amazed, delight and joy of a child. Happy dance, here I come!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Affirmation #225

  I have received an unshakeable kingdom. Hebrews 12:28
  "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." NKJV
  "Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe." JCB

  Reverence: a profound adoring awed respect. It's an old word not heard much any more. It's definitely not one that has crossed my path in a long time yet reverence is part of my own faith. It's kneeling or standing silently before God, humbled and filled, worshipping Him through the language of my soul because, sometimes, words aren't enough. Sometimes there is no place for making a joyful noise. Sometimes there is no place for prayer. Sometimes there is only being present with Him, in the now of an eternal moment.
  Reverence is about coming to the foot of the Cross with grateful humility and an awareness of our own insignificant significance. What I mean by that is being aware of human frailty and our wayward natures. It's knowing God will forgive us because He has a place in His Kingdom, His heart, for every single soul that lived, lives, or will live. In that we are significant to Him, to His plan.
  We are His Kingdom's treasury.
  It's up to us to make the choice to reside there or not.

  My own understanding of a Kingdom is limited by trying to define it through what I know about kingdoms. Castles and moats, ramparts, borders, knights in shining armor, handsome princes, maidens fair, and dragons make up most of the fairy tale and historic kingdoms I am most familiar with. Then there is the happily ever after...yup, a fairy tale for sure! At least while we dwell on earth where there be real dragons.
  Yet, in earthly sorrows and poverty of spirit, there is found the priceless jewels of joy and comfort and assurance.
  So, can I wrap my head around God's Kingdom? No. Nor do I have to but I am filled with grateful, awe stuck wonder and amazement because His love, His Kingdom, stretches far beyond the moon and back. Even though I struggle to love Him back or to live through His incalculable love, He is changing me because I want, more than anything, to be changed, to slay the dragons.
  God's Kingdom is built on Christ, the Cornerstone carved by love. It's unlike any cornerstone the world has ever seen. Christ who is our solid, grounding foundation and the highest pinnacle of hope at the same time. Who will help us persevere until the dragons breathe their last. Whose death opened the gateway to life in His Father's Kingdom. A life that, even though it is in the here and now, extends beyond our mortal bodies and mortal understanding.
  Words cannot begin to describe...

Monday, 19 March 2018

I Have Received Mercy. 1 Peter 2:10

  For he called you out of darkness into his wonderful light...(2:9)
 "Who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." NKJV
  "Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God's people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God's mercy." JCB

  Mercy : compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.

  I've spent a long while thinking about the times when mercy has been the farthest thing from my heart; when the thirst for vengeance and retribution has clouded my soul with darkness and bitterness. Yet, I can also reflect and give thanks because when I lifted these things to the Light, the Light wasn't long in helping me let go of these toxic feelings by letting love and compassion in.
  Repentance, forgiveness and grace: mercy in action.
  The biggest stumbling block has been finding the ability to forgive myself for the choices I made, the harsh words I spoke in the heat of the moment. A big part of this has been finding forgiveness for believing the lies that buried the truth of who Christ is and how He sees me.
  The devil is good at reinforcing his lies. It's what is called a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we think we are unworthy, the devil is more than happy to show us just how unworthy we are. If we believe  negative things about someone else, the devil will gladly show us just how right we are because we go looking for things to prove or justify that "truth".

  We don't even need to say it out loud.

  This is a tough one when I think of the number of times in a day my mind thinks an uncharitable thought about someone else.
  "Boy, she's gotten fat!"
  "I wish he'd stop complaining so much!"
  "Man, that guy's an idiot for driving so close to my car!"
  "Why can't they shut their yappy dog up!"

  This could be a long list.
  Forgive me, Lord, for allowing judgement and negativity into my thoughts.
  I have a question though. Does pity come from a place of judgement? Of superiority?
  Lord, I want to do better.
  Because You have shown me "better" in action every time I look at You. Because You showed me mercy and love even when I lived apart from You. Because You keep on showing me, teaching me, these wonderful things. Because You opened Your merciful arms, welcoming me home just as I was, dressed in rags and covered by the stains of the world. (Luke 15:11-32)