Surrender

Tuesday Devotional: Matthew 11

bibleRead Matthew 11:1-18

If we cry out for the living God we must be prepared to receive the living God as He is, not as we want him to be.  If our desperation leads us to cry out for a savior we must be prepared to receive the savior as He is.  A starving person will not pass on food because it has not been cooked to their liking.  A drowning person will not refuse assistance because of a person’s hair color.  Be careful when you cry out to God.  To cry out to God is to be heard by the living God and the living God desires to answer you back.  However, it is the living God that desires to respond and not our idea of the living God.  The living God comes with mercy for all people, conviction of sin for all people and true life offered in the name of the one and only Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Count the cost.  When you cry out to God from your grief, suffering and desperation be prepared to be met by a God that has loved you longer than you know and desires to love you for eternity.  This is good news.  However, be prepared to be met by a God that places a demand on your life to be Holy because He is Holy.  The living God demands that you die to yourself and take up your cross and follow His son step after step.  When you cry out to God you will be heard.  He hears you.  He also desires to dwell within you, talk to you and guide you into His presence.  The living God knows your cry before you cry it.  This is good news.  However, the living God knows that you need saving from yourself more than you need anything else.  And he offers you the only savior powerful enough to defend and rescue you from yourself and his name is Jesus.  God knows more about you than you ever can.  He also is more aware of your suffering than you will ever know.  But to be saved by Jesus is to give up your life for Him.  To be saved is to for once quit in the most gloriously liberating way possible.  Stop resisting how God desires to save you and have ears to hear and eyes to see that He is saving you!

 

 

Tuesday Devotional: Zephaniah 2

bibleThis is the city of revelry
that lived in safety.
She said to herself,
“I am the one! And there is none besides me.”
What a ruin she has become,
a lair for wild beasts!
All who pass by her scoff
and shake their fists.

The lie of sin is that we not only have the right to take the throne as King but that we will never be overtaken, deposed or removed.  What Kingdom has ever outlasted time?  What King has ever sat on a throne for eternity?  None.  All people pass.  All kingdoms collapse.  The most foolish thing we could possibly do is to ignore the words of the living God.

The second most foolish thing we could possibly do is to deny the historical record that proves God’s point. What you see today will not last.  What you do today will last for eternity.  Seek truth and find it, or pursue a lie and believe it.  In God’s great grace and mercy He has not hidden the truth from us.  He has revealed clearly and for all eyes to see where we’ve been and where we are going.

But sin runs deep and in sin is a king who has stolen the crown and will fight at all costs to retain control.  Don’t let it.  The fight to take the throne cannot be won, not should it ever be fought.  Fighting for control of the throne WILL precede a downfall and will destroy the kingdom and the king at the same time.  The throne and the power you think it gives you is a lie, and it can never give you what you hope it can.  The throne belongs to Christ. Only under His lordship can you find what you are truly looking for.  Look hard at Christ and turn your eyes upon Jesus.  His Lordship does not take anything from you other than the delusion that is slowly taking your life away one day at a time.  God has always intended for us to live and to live forever.  A life hidden in Christ will last forever and it will outlast all else.  Choose to live.  Choose life!

 

 

Tuesday Devotional: Lamentations 5

bible Read Lamentations 5

Things are not the way they are supposed to be.  This we can all agree is indisputable.  The questions we ask are “Why?” and “What can we do to change our situation?”  Our instinct is to look at external factors influencing our status and to seek a remedy to those factors.  We see injustice and decide that the best course of action is to address the social and legal issues underlying the injustices.  We see poverty and decide that a new social initiative requiring more legislation or community activism will most effectively change the situation and fix the problem.

The problem is that poverty has never been solved.  Injustice has never been solved.  We do in fact have an obligation to do what we can to improve our communities and the lives of those around us. However, regardless of the amount of time, energy and resources we throw at a problem, the problem will persist, most likely grow and exist for others to wrestle with after we have passed on.

So, is there any hope?  Is there any point in addressing these issues if the outcome will never change and our efforts will have little to no impact on the problems?  If we rely on our own efforts and believe that our new idea or program will conquer the insurmountable summit of suffering in this world, then no.  The solution to these problems is counterintuitive.  Where we think that the first step is to attack the problem head-on, the opposite is actually true.  In order to address problems in the world and discover a solution we must look internally rather than externally.  The problem is in each of us.  The problem is not others.  The problem is inside of us. Only by addressing the problem within each of us will we find the origin of our current world issues.  We will also discover that by finding the origin of our problem we also find the origin of the solution.  God created the world we live in upon the spirit of shalom.  The world was created for balance, harmony, unity, self-sustainence and comprehensive blessing.

When we compare our imperfections with the harmony of the created order, we will be pointed in the right direction of fixing what is broken and healing what is sick.  In Jesus Christ exists the fulfillment and revitalization of the created order.  In Jesus Christ there is hope that change WILL happen and that it CAN start today.  In Jesus Christ there is no longer fear, there is no longer hunger, there is no longer injustice.  No fear, because Jesus conquered the threat of fear by overcoming the thing we fear the most, death.  No hunger, because the words of God illuminated by the Holy Spirit sustain us daily, even when our physical bodies endure weakness and pain.  No injustice, because the injustice we perceive is actually just punishment for our undeniable sin, and true injustice is revealed in the perfect God accused, mocked and murdered upon a cross as a condemned criminal in the face of cheers and jeers from a guilty crowd.  We want change.  So does God.  The question is, are we willing to inherit and adopt God’s heart for change? or do we look upon Jesus and say, “I’ve found a better way”?