Wednesday, March 28, 2018

At His Feet

One day I was reading the story about Mary anointing Jesus’ feet. Suddenly God opened my eyes to see something I hadn’t noticed before.

There are three times when Mary of Bethany is mentioned (once in Luke and twice in John). In each story, of three very different situations, she had the same posture before Jesus.

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.-Luke 10:38-39

“When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’” -John 11:32

“Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” -John 12:2-3

Jesus commended Mary as a woman who had chosen the best part. And she found it at Jesus' feet. 

Perhaps Mary's posture helped her have a humble, listening heart. Or perhaps her heart prompted her humble, seeking posture. Either way, I think her life is a beautiful picture for us.

Whatever our circumstances, may we draw near to Jesus, kneel down, and look up - to His eyes, His face, His love and grace. 


At Your Feet

At your feet I sit,
Listening to your voice,
Receiving your truth, words of life.
No better place to be,
So amazed that you’re here with me.

At your feet I fall
When pain and sorrows overwhelm,
When tears flow unchecked,
Pouring out my heart to you,
And knowing you weep too.

At your feet I kneel
In humble adoration, extravagant worship,
Expressing my love for you.
Gazing upon your face,
Wrapped in your sweet fragrance.

At your feet help me stay,
In every season,
Sweet or sorrowful, divine or mundane,
Remembering who I am and who you are -
Jesus, my ever-present, gracious Savior.

(by Joanna K. Harris) 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Basics

The last few months have been an interesting and difficult season. I've experienced good things, hardships, unexpected blessings, sorrow, needs, victories, painful lessons, grace....

Through all of it, there's been something my mom has kept reminding me over and over -

"God is sovereign, and He is good."

This is the simple declaration of truth that we stand on, and truth that carries us through every season.

It's basic. It's theology 101.

God is sovereign - He is in control of everything.

God is good - He always has our best in mind, and He doesn't make mistakes.

To some perhaps these concepts are difficult to understand or to explain. For others, it may be hard to believe these truths. But for most of us, I think the problem is more basic. Our challenge is to apply our belief of these truths to each day of our lives.

When I get lost for the third time in one day, do I remember God is still in control of my journey and even my mistakes?
When I pray and pray for a friend in need but don't see the answer, do I trust God is still good?
When I don't know what my life will look like one week from now, do I rest in knowing God is still in control?
When something unexpectedly nice happens, do I thank God because I know it's an expression of His goodness to me?
When I fight battles no one else sees, do I find comfort in knowing God is still in control?
When I pray for provision and it hasn't come yet, do I remember God is still good?

Whether life is great, awful, crazy or some mixture of all three, I believe these two basic truths are ones we can apply every day, in every situation.

These two truths will...
 - humble us
 - comfort us
 - strengthen us
 - protect us
 - refresh us

God is sovereign. God is good.

If you ever struggle with applying these truths to everyday life, here's a helpful quote I heard last week:

"Interpret everything that happens in your life in light of the cross."

The cross is God's definitive declaration of His love, His grace, His power, His goodness, His faithfulness, and His sovereignty (and much more).

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness,  hich stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
–Colossians 2:13-15

Jesus didn’t simply die on the cross. His sacrificial death accomplished more than we will ever fathom on this earth. Because Jesus died on the cross,
 - God forgave us all our sins.
 - God resurrected us from dead to alive!
 - God cancelled the charges of sin against us.
 - Jesus took the condemnation we deserved, so we will never again be condemned.
 - Jesus disarmed the enemy and triumphed over him!

Wow!

In light of these truths, just a short list from one portion of the Bible, I’m in awe of who God is. And I’m reminded that God is sovereign, and He is good – forever.

Whatever we go through each day, may Jesus help us remember and apply these basic yet powerful truths.


P.S. Great Resource –
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the basics of what we believe as Christians, my friend Dr. Adam McClendon recently co-authored a book called “Square One: Back to the Basics.” It’s available on Amazon now. I’ve known Adam since our Bible college days. He has a humble and passionate heart for God. He served as a pastor for many years and is now a professor at Liberty University.

Here's the link to the book on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Square-One-Basics-Adam-McClendon/dp/1632134780/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1521066203&sr=1-2&keywords=square+one