Befriending Jesus

A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a difficult time. *

In a little village named Bethany, Jesus had 3 friends: Lazarus, Mary, & Martha. They welcomed Him. They even welcomed the people to whom He was a Friend – His disciples and followers. They served Him and His friends meals.

The trouble He brought with Him of having people He had befriended was probably a test to anyone who wanted to be a friend to Him. If someone was going to be a friend to Him, their friendship had to be strong enough to bear His love for the others.

Twined together, responsibility and authority and service become leadership. They become parenthood. When Jesus discerned that His disciples were arguing about whom among them was the greatest (Luke 9:46), He did not rebuke them for wanting to be great – He instructed them regarding the path to greatness: be the servant of all.

We should have a great desire to be a friend to Jesus. It is costly, though. It means that the resources we want to spend on Him are spent on those He has become a Friend to. If I welcome Jesus, I will welcome the least and the greatest, and, having given to them, I will have given to Him (Matthew 25:31).

It is a valuable accomplishment when I step over the line of no longer being jealous that what I want to give to Him is being consumed by people who don’t deserve it. It is a wondrous freedom when I step past looking at the people He gives me the privilege of blessing, who, when I give to them, they see His hand offering the blessing to them.

When you are a good friend to Him, you empower His friendship to be real-ized in the earth. You will feed and comfort and shelter Him as a valuable friend when you do those things for the least of the people whom He has beFriended…

*  (Proverbs 17:17 – from Holman Christian Standard Bible® Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 by Holman Bible Publishers.)

Being Pregnant

When two people get married, the woman usually becomes pregnant soon. Normally, if she does not become pregnant, it is because they have done something to prevent it.

The design of humanity includes an intentional benefit of intimacy being reproduction. The design of the Church – the Bride of Christ – includes a similar benefit of intimacy. When our relationship with Jesus, our Husband, is proper, we will become reproductive as a congregation.

When we are more interested in our hobbies and possessions and activities and buildings and history and so on and so forth, anything but becoming intimate with our Lord, we will manage to avoid pregnancy with His purpose for an indefinite period of time.

His mercy may be able to get our attention focused back on our first Love, but not necessarily. Another possibility is that He would take the vineyard from us and rent it to a people who would tend it to fruitfulness. Our desire is that we would be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth with love of the Savior and with obedience to the King.

First Things First

If you want to build something, laying the foundation is always the first practical step. You can’t install a window or door without a wall to put it in, either.

If you need to build a team for a project, it will be a stronger team if you build the peoples’ relationships before you put them to work by assembling their skills.

In a congregation, if the people don’t feel their connections as a family, they are not likely to handle well their connections as an organization. Build a family, then give them opportunities to bless and be useful.

Believers need to be equipped as the Body of Christ before being empowered to build the Kingdom of Heaven. They need to be confident in their relationships with the Father in order to maintain their confidence in their relationships with the King. Especially if they make a mistake.

Most of our congregations are orphanages. One professional parent trying to juggle real relationships with the most troubled kids and hope the quiet ones are doing well. Most of our work is secular – something we picked out, not a calling in the Kingdom. The work contrast should not be religious / secular, but spiritual / carnal. No matter what work the King wants to set you in place for, it will take His Spirit to give you the power to do it well.

A generation is at hand who will refuse to settle for those limits of orphanages and powerless work. The Spirit is stirring Believers who will be moved to find relationships that are real, and work that brings Life.

If you are not in both of those places already, pray that you would be given the keys to those doors. You are called to an important seat at God’s table, and important work in His Kingdom.

Ends of the Ages Admonishment

Now I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ. But God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert.

Now these things became examples for us, so that we will not desire evil as they did. Don’t become idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to play.  Let us not commit sexual immorality as some of them did, and in a single day 23,000 people fell dead. Let us not tempt Christ as some of them did, and were destroyed by snakes. Nor should we complain as some of them did, and were killed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
1 Corinthians 10:1-12 (from Holman Christian Standard Bible® Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 by Holman Bible Publishers.)

There are specific acts that Paul warned the believers in Corinth to learn to get right by learning from Israel’s failure to get them right. The things that happened to Israel between Egypt and Palestine happened on purpose, and were written down to admonish us.

A good place to study about how to be the believers upon whom the ends of the ages have come is between Exodus & Joshua.

Go learn how to be even more awesome>>>>>

Time Moves So Slowly

Time moves so slowly
Tied to the dock
Your love releases
The keys to the lock
I am confused –
Motion and emotion
Fill my heart and heal me of
The pain of standing still

And I will not return
To be another’s slave
And I will be to You
A son who brings You love
And I will make a name
For You in every land
Because I know that You
Will lead me by my hand

Some days I am waiting
For commission and release
Then I see the bondage
Has already ceased
I am free to raise my sail
And dominate the sea
You are then free to fill my sail
And dominate through me

Taking all my weakest days
And Your most glorious strength
You create mosaics
That are colorful and wise
You are in the boat with me
Compass in Your heart
Love and power in Your hands
Fire in Your eyes

Man of Steel You make of me
No matter what or who
Goes along or stays behind
You have made me new
You will give me strength to stand
To run, to win the Prize
Then You’ll hand me to our Father,
Ending all my cries

9/8/2011

Sinned Against

Somebody sinned against me.

Since Jesus said that all sin had forgiveness available but blaspheming the Holy Ghost, perhaps, since John says there is “a” sin unto death (1 John 5:14-17), this is the sin he is referring to. He doesn’t say, so I will not presume to know surely. At any rate, that still leaves a grand pile of sin for which I may pray.

Even if I am going to respond to someone’s sin in some way beyond intercession for them, I will not know what that response should be apart from the Lord answering me as I pray for the person regarding how to answer their sin.

Prayer should always be my first response to someone’s sin. In some cases, it is all that is required. His answer to my prayer will change the individual or the situation on days.

In other cases, Yahweh may call me to further response. This article has some ideas about those other possibilities.

Increased Faith

Prophetic ministry since Jesus gave gifts to His body includes three works:

  • Announcing the future (like Agabus predicted a famine in Acts 11:28)
  • Interpreting current events based on something God has said to the person prophesying, either through Scripture or by His Spirit (like Peter, interpreting the events on the day of Pentecost by quoting Joel, or Paul, interpreting an opportunity and instructions when He was given a vision of a man from Macedonia)
  • Commanding something to happen, or to stop happening (Like Jesus speaking to fevers and storms, or Peter speaking to the man at the gate called “Beautiful” and commanding him to stand up)

When Luke recorded Jesus’ disciples asking Him for more faith (Luke 17:5), he recorded Jesus’ response as three examples of prophesying: commanding a bush to be thrown into the sea, ordering your servants around, and being ordered around if you are a servant. A point Jesus made through those three examples of faith being exercised was that when we have authority, we should exercise it with faith.

We should expect to be obeyed, even when we are speaking to created things. Because the request is for increased faith, realize that He is saying that when they prophesied with what faith they had, when they spoke with faith-empowered authority, their faith would increase.

The Body of Christ

When Saul of Tarsus met Jesus while traveling one day, Jesus introduced him to the Church. He pointed over Saul’s shoulder and identified the people Saul had been persecuting as “Me.” “Why are you persecuting Me?”

Have that fact in your mind every time you read something Paul wrote about “the Body” or “members” or “the Head.” When Paul looked at the Church, He could see Jesus. The big mistake, the “unworthy manner” he accused the congregations in Corinth of in 1 Corinthians 11 was “not discerning the Body” when they looked at each other.

When we learn to see the Body in the Spirit, we will see Jesus and love Him in each other. We will be built up in that love to be the full stature of the measure of Christ. A proper Bride for the Perfect Husband  (Ephesians 4).

Hate to wait…

 

Spirit of Wisdom

Handing out free condoms to teenagers might protect them from some of the consequences of stupid behavior. It won’t make them smarter, though.  It will encourage stupid behavior, actually.

Jesus was tortured to death to protect us from the penalty of stupid behavior. Even that might not protect us from all of the consequences of stupid behavior. By itself, even that awesome act might not make us any smarter.

When He fills us with His Spirit, He is giving us the power to overcome stupid.

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. (Ephesians 1)

Go be awesome.

The Living God

You are the living God,
And there is no god besides You.
You put to death and You bring to life,
You have wounded and You will heal,
And no one can deliver from Your hand.

(From Deuteronomy 32:39)

It is appropriate to frequently consider Who our God is in detail.

The only appropriate response to the in-depth consideration is worship.