Made Perfect

made perfect

“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14 NIV

Sometimes I feel awkward and unsure.  Fear can have a tendency to creep in. When things get intense, I can be fearful of making a mistake. It can trip me up. But God is always gentle with me. He always reminds me that He loves me. He doesn’t try to set me up. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect. All He asks is that I am willing. I have to have a heart that seeks His.

The enemy wants to derail me, but God knows my heart. He knows I have a loving heart. I have to stay true to that place. Use wisdom. Use discernment.  Use them both with confidence.

Father, thank you for Your encouragement. Thank you for reminding me of Your love. Thank you for making me perfect through Your Son Jesus. Thank you for showing me Your ways and using Your perfect love to chase away any lingering fear.

2 Corinthians 12:9, Hebrews 5:9, Hebrews 11:40, Hebrews 12:23

Being Neighborly

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“He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.” Luke 10:34 NIV 

In the Bible a donkey could be symbolic of knowledge, humility, poverty, courage and peace. It could also symbolize a sign of richness befitting the House of David. So in that sense, it could also represent commerce and wealth.

As we look at the care the Samaritan provided to the man beaten and left on the side of the road, we see all of the above.  We see the Samaritan use every resource he had at his disposal to provide aide: he used his oil, wine and bandages, he delayed his trip, he paid for ongoing care and lodging plus any additional expenses that were incurred.  All for the care of a stranger. Remember, the Samaritan was traveling so his resources were limited based on the journey he had planned.  In spite of that, he withheld nothing.

The other two men in the parable, the priest and the Levite (who were considered holy men), did not miss a step and walked on by. I’m sure they were busy with their own plans and agendas.  They simply stayed on course as planned.  Maybe they were even on holy business trips!

The parable following the “Good Samaritan” in the same chapter in Luke is about Mary and Martha.  The story tells of how Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet while Martha toiled away.

When I looked at these two parables together I saw something I hadn’t seen before.   The priest and the Levite were no different than Martha.  The similarities were all wrapped around being so busy and task oriented that they missed the opportunity right in front of them.

How often have I been so busy doing something that I missed the broken person in my path that I needed to minister to?  Did I stop what I was doing to attend to the opportunity right in front of my face? Or did I find what I was doing more important?

I’m sure the Samaritan had plans at the other end of his journey that had to be changed because of the delay and care he provided to the man on the side of the road.  For him, compassion prevailed. Compassion without any strings attached.  It was not about score-keeping.  It was not for acknowledgement.  It was all about caring for another human being in need. A stranger.

Sometimes it is through these delays and detours in our journey  that God does a work in our own heart.  When we are able to set our interests aside, it opens up room to have the love of God flow through us in a new way.

Lord, give me the wisdom to see opportunities to be Your hands and feet when people are in need.  Place compassion in my heart to stop what I am doing for the sake of others when needed.  Help me to love like You do.

Luke 10:29-37, 38-42; 1 Samuel 10:9-14, Matthew 6:33

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Made Perfect

Embed from Getty Images“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14 NIV

Sometimes I feel awkward and unsure.  Fear can have a tendency to creep in. When things get intense, I can be fearful of making a mistake. It can trip me up. But God is always gentle with me. He always reminds me that He loves me. He doesn’t try to set me up. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect. All He asks is that I am willing. I have to have a heart that seeks His.

The enemy wants to derail me, but God knows my heart. He knows I have a loving heart. I have to stay true to that place. Use wisdom. Use discernment.  Use them both with confidence.

Father, thank you for Your encouragement. Thank you for reminding me of Your love. Thank you for making me perfect through Your Son Jesus. Thank you for showing me Your ways and using Your perfect love to chase away any lingering fear.

2 Corinthians 12:9, Hebrews 5:9, Hebrews 11:40, Hebrews 12:23

Being Neighborly

Embed from Getty Images“He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.” Luke 10:34 NIV 

In the Bible a donkey could be symbolic of knowledge, humility, poverty, courage and peace. It could also symbolize a sign of richness befitting the House of David. So in that sense, they could also represent commerce and wealth.

As we look at the care the Samaritan provided to the man beaten and left on the side of the road, we see all of the above.  We see the Samaritan use every resource he had at his disposal to provide aide: he used his oil, wine and bandages; he used his only method of transportation for the injured man (his donkey), he delayed his trip, he paid for ongoing care and lodging plus any additional expenses that were incurred.  All for the care of a stranger. Remember, the Samaritan was traveling so his resources were limited based on the journey he had planned.  In spite of that, he withheld nothing.

The other two men in the parable, the priest and the Levite (who were considered holy men), did not miss a step and walked on by. I’m sure they were busy with their own plans and agendas.  They simply stayed on course as planned.  Maybe they were even on holy business trips!

The parable following the “Good Samaritan” in Luke is about Mary and Martha.  The story tells of how Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet while Martha toiled away.

When I looked at these two parables together I saw something I hadn’t seen before.   The priest and the Levite were no different than Martha.  The similarities were all wrapped around being so busy and task oriented that they missed the opportunity right in front of them.

How often have I been busy doing something that I missed the broken person in my path that I needed to minister to?  Did I stop what I was doing to attend to the opportunity right in front of my face? Or did I find what I was doing more important?

I’m sure the Samaritan had plans at the other end of his journey that had to be changed because of the delay and care he provided to the man on the side of the road.  But for him compassion prevailed. Compassion without any strings attached.  It was not about score-keeping.  It was not for acknowledgement.  It was all about caring for another human being in need. A stranger.

Sometimes it is through these delays and detours in our journey that God does a work in our own heart.  When we are able to set our interests aside, it opens up room to have the love of God flow through us in a new way.

Lord, give me the wisdom to see opportunities to be Your hands and feet when people are in need.  Place compassion in my heart to stop what I am doing for the sake of others.  Help me to love like You do.

Luke 10:29-37, 38-42; 1 Samuel 10:9-14, Matthew 6:33

Our Gift

Embed from Getty Images“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1 NIV

Have you ever parted with anything precious? Or had to let go of someone or something that you held dear? I can tell you that in the moment it can be quite painful. But somehow on the other side if it, there is a sense of relief. It is amazing how much energy we can invest in attaching ourselves to things and people.  Once they are released, truly released, there is a sense of freedom.  When God asks us to let go and we listen, I believe He honors our obedience.

So in this scripture, He is asking that we not hold anything back of ourselves.  He wants all of us – not just Sunday morning or volunteering for a charitable event or a mission trip.  He wants our life, our bodies, our soul – our minds and our hearts. He wants us to release ourselves to Him.  Our desires.  Our hopes. Our dreams.  Withholding nothing.

In doing that, we have to trust our Heavenly Father. We have to believe that what He wants for us is good and full of His love and His best for us.  We have to relinquish any fear or insecurity. We really have to believe that His will is perfect.  We have to understand that our will is not. We have to accept that His design for our lives is much greater than our own.

Instead of relying on our own safety net for our lives, we trust His. This can be hard!  But He is a kind and merciful teacher.  This is His better way.  This is freedom and grace.  Accepting His gifts for us as He receives ours. Our obedience in this is a demonstration of love. There is no greater gift.

Father, let me not withhold anything from You. Take my life and let it be Yours.

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

House of Living Stones

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“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2: 5 NIV

We are being built into a spiritual house.  Jesus was the first living stone and the cornerstone of the house we are building. So what are the spiritual sacrifices that we are to offer? Our bodies, souls, affections, prayers, praises, tithes and offerings and service. All with a joyful heart!

God is not asking anything of us that His Son was not willing to give Himself.  It humbles me to think of the heart of Jesus.  Such a beautiful and perfect example for us to follow.

There are times that I get all wound up in a frenzy of busyness.  When I begin to rush and push and force things, it’s a good indicator that I need to pause.  I need to check in with the Holy Spirit to see if I’m on track or not.  Most often there is a more efficient and elegant solution to my own.

The beautiful thing about being a living stone is that we have a constant spiritual guide present, the Holy Spirit.  He can get me back in alignment.  Get me back in the headset of listening for direction and offering every moment up in surrender to a better way.  Surrender.  Obedience. Sacrifice. All wrapped in love.

1 Peter 2:1-10