Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Are You the One?

Are You the One?

"And said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me’” (Matthew 10:3-6, ESV).

Dear One,

Occasionally in our walk with The Lord, we ask the question that John posed, "Are you the One?" Our faith sometimes falters especially when feeling attacked on all fronts. My sweet husband once told me that asking God this type of question was not a denial of faith but showed a hope for a response from Christ.

Mark elaborated that if my faith were totally depleted, I would not be begging for God to respond to me. Being hurt, ill, feeling alone, empty and betrayed does not mean that Christ is not the Savior. It simply means that we are living in a fallen world where His salvation is desperately needed.

Mark suggested for me to remember the times when Jesus showed up in my life.  I needed to recall His responses when I felt that He was not hearing, seeing, or caring about whatever was going on at the moment causing me to suffer and to wonder, "Where are you, Jesus? Are you the One?"

These principles still work for me today. When I am hurting and my faith feels weakened, I remember. I stop and remember when Jesus responded to my prayers. I remember the work of Christ in the lives of loved ones and friends. I remember what I have seen Jesus do.

Asking God questions is not a sign of lost faith. It is a sign of conversation and expectation.

Be Blessed,

Monday, March 16, 2015

Judgment Seat of Christ

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10, NASB).

I have heard people use this verse to suggest this scenario. All of us (Christians and non-Christians) will stand before the judgement seat of God and all of their sins will be displayed on a large screen for all to see.

This is a wrong interpretation of this verse. Saying that Christians will be judged for their sins, is nullifying the atoning work of Christ. The judgment seat in Corinth was called the bema seat. This was the place where athletes were rewarded. Christians will not be judged for their sins. Those sins have been forgiven.

In fact, Psalm 103:12 stated, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us) (NASB). Christians pass from the Great White Throne of Judgment. The judgment seat (bema seat) of Christ in Corinthians is referring to our work for the kingdom. These will be acknowledged and rewarded.

We are called to share the gospel and to complete the race. Sharing the gospel takes on many forms. However, we are not called to judge each other as to whether their way of sharing satisfies us. God equips each man or woman to share His Son according to their bent and making. Don't be concerned whether your neighbor is sharing Christ that way you are called to share Him. Be conscience, instead, of your own actions and motivations.

Share Christ as you are led and use the gifts He has given you to encourage those around you.

Be Blessed,

Monday, March 02, 2015

Thoughts on Chambers Devotion of March 2

"Rarely, but probably once, He will get us into a corner where He will hurt us with His undeviating questions, and we will realize that we do love Him far more deeply than any profession can ever show" (Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).

I had to read Chambers devotion for today a couple of times to get the clear meaning of what he was saying. Memories of the time in my life, my Peter moment, came upon me like a flood. I remember when I had to face the reality of my affection for Christ. It was about a year and a half after the kidnapping. Those days still seem a blur but one thing that I remember clearly was the pain. The wretched rawness of it much like an open wound that burns and throbs was still fresh and it could come upon me at the most inopportune junctures.

During that period, I did question the reality of my love and faith in Christ. Also, I questioned His love for my children, my husband, and me. I remember feeling isolated in those emotions and doubts. So, I tried to stay busy - busy raising my son, Michael. I tried to stay busy in ministry at church both in leading a children's choir and serving in the adult choir. I stayed busy at Michael's school helping a little girl who had reading difficulties. Being busy was my friend.

I had discovered that when I occupied much of my time, I did not have as much time to ponder my attitude toward Jesus or His attitude toward me. Denial of my emotional state was my attempt at keeping whatever sanity I had left protected. Of course, burying one's heart is never a healthy path.

Unexpectedly, a mothers of one my son's friends posed a question to me. She asked if Mark and I would still have chosen to serve Christ and attend seminary if we had known the future meant losing two of our children. To this day, I am surprised by the forceful assurance of my answer. Also, there was no hesitation in my answer. I replied that we had no choice and that loving and serving Jesus was not an option in our lives. I remember telling her that God called us not the other way around.

Later that evening as I related the conversation to Mark, I knew. I knew that despite my doubts and sometimes pitiful faith that Christ was the center of my soul. I knew that regardless the sorrows and my misunderstandings of His care and provision that I was called to trust Him, love Him, and serve Him until my last breath on this earth was completed. I have found that I am occasionally left standing and praying, "Lord, I believe. Help me in my unbelief."