Friday, April 30, 2010

Esther's Beauty • Esther 2

Hegai liked Esther and took a special interest in her. 
Right off he started her beauty treatments, 
ordered special food, assigned her seven personal maids 
from the palace, and put her and her maids 
in the best rooms in the harem. 
Esther didn't say anything about her family
and racial background because 
Mordecai had told her not to. 
Every day Mordecai strolled beside the court 
of the harem to find out how Esther was 
and get news of what she was doing. 
Esther 2:9-11

There was something about her.

Something more than a beautiful face, an alluring smile.

In the midst of thousands of the nation's Top Virgins
she stood out.

She was the one.

From deep within her beauty radiated forth
shining for all to see.

No health spa or oil treatments, 
sea weed wraps or hair extensions 
could make what she had possible.

The woman to be admired and praised 
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Proverbs 31:30

Living in the Fear-of-God. That is where true beauty and worth is found.

Knowing who You are.

Giving back to You all that I am, all that You made me to be.

Following wherever You lead me.

Honoring You will all that I say and do.

Leaving behind self-seeking, self-centeredness, self.

I give my life to You.

Teach me to live in the Fear-of-God.

You are the beauty that I seek.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Castles of Sand • Esther 1

This is the story of something that happened 
in the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled 
from India to Ethiopia—127 provinces in all. 
Esther 1:1

For six months he put on exhibit 
the huge wealth of his empire and 
its stunningly beautiful royal splendors.
Esther 1:4

On the seventh day of the party, 
the king, high on the wine, ordered the seven eunuchs 
who were his personal servants 
(Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, 
Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas) 
to bring him Queen Vashti 
resplendent in her royal crown. 
He wanted to show off her beauty 
to the guests and officials. 
She was extremely good-looking.  
Esther 1:10-11

But Queen Vashti refused to come... 
Esther 1:12

According to the world, this king had everything!

Power, wealth, a beautiful wife.

He was seemingly generous
and knew how to throw a great party.

He was "god" in his own world.
All he commanded happened.

He could control everything and everyone.

Except his wife.

According to God, this man had nothing.

He relied on himself, a mere man.
He relied on his power, and military strength.
He relied on wine to make him happy
and the approval of his advisers for guidance.

Apart from You, we can do nothing that lasts.

Fear and intimidation and control
are used to force others to do what we want.

But only You, Lord, can change hearts and minds.
With You all things are possible.

When I separate myself from You
trying to create my own kingdom
where my word is law
I am setting up castles of sand that will
crumble and fall.

Help me to rely on You completely
for all things in my life.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh How He Loves Us • John 21

Simon Peter announced, "I'm going fishing."

The rest of them replied, "We're going with you." 
They went out and got in the boat. 
They caught nothing that night.
John 21:2b-4

Peter and the rest of the guys probably weren't 
in a very good place at this point. 
They might have felt forgotten, unsure of the future, 
let down, confused, overwhelmed... 
depression may have been setting in for a few of them.... 
Yes, they saw that Jesus was alive. 
But now He was gone again. 
What was going on?

So, they returned to what they knew best... fishing. 
I see no profound spiritual implications from this, 
I just see them returning to what they know, 
what was comfortable in this time of confusion.

Jesus spoke to them: "Good morning! 
Did you catch anything for breakfast?"
They answered, "No."
He said, "Throw the net off the right side 
of the boat and see what happens."
They did what he said. 
All of a sudden there were so many fish 
in it, they weren't strong enough to pull it in.
Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, 
"It's the Master!" 
John 21:5-9

Jesus said, "Breakfast is ready." 
Not one of the disciples dared ask,
"Who are you?" They knew it was the Master.
Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. 
He did the same with the fish. 
John 21:12-14

Then, in the midst of their 
confusion, depression, neediness, 
Jesus shows up. 
And He not only shows up, 
He meets their needs in 
very real and practical ways.

It probably would have been 
more than enough to clear away 
all confusion and doubt and depression 
just for them to see and 
recognize Him standing there on that beach.

"He came back! Jesus is here!"

But He loved them so much 
and so He met their other needs --
their very real physical needs too.

The Word mentions that this 
was the third time Jesus had appeared to them 
since His resurrection. I wonder why 
He didn't just spend 
the whole time with them? 
Why did He leave and come back?

Maybe He wanted them to learn to live 
without His physical presence with them. 
But by coming back and meeting their needs 
He was reassuring them that He will truly 
never leave them. He will always be with them 
and will always be meeting their needs. 
He will not leave them alone. 
He loves them.

Thank you, Jesus, for the very real ways
that You reveal Yourself to me and 
show Your love for me. 
Thank You for caring about my needs, 
physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. 
Thank You for never leaving me, 
never letting me go.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Belief • John 20

Jesus provided far more God-revealing
signs than are written down in this book.
These are written down so you
will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, 
the Son of God, and in the act of believing,
have real and eternal life 
in the way He personally revealed it.

John 20:31

Jesus, Messiah, Son of God
Immanuel - God with us
You are the One all of history was waiting for.

You want all to see and believe that
You are the only One who can save them.

You reveal Yourself in so many ways,
showing anyone who will see
that You are who You say You are.

Believing takes action.
How we act reveals what we truly believe.
Either we believe or we don't.

As Jesus personally reveals Himself to us
we must choose to believe who He is, what He says.

When we believe in Jesus
we receive real and eternal life.
There is no other way.

Thank you, Jesus, that You have come 
to reveal Yourself to all. Thank You 
for showing us the way to eternal and real life. 
Thank You for wanting us to believe in You, 
for wanting us to be with You for eternity. 
Help me to reveal You to the people 
You bring into my life. I pray that 
You shine through me and that they see 
You and come to believe in You 
so that they, too, may have 
real and eternal life. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Looking Up

I look up to the mountains;
does my strength come from mountains?
   No, my strength comes from God,
      who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
He won't let you stumble,
      your Guardian God won't fall asleep.
   Not on your life! Israel's
      Guardian will never doze or sleep. 

Psalm 121:1-4

Come to me. Get away with me
and you'll recover your life. 
I'll show you how to take a real rest. 
Walk with me and work with me—
watch how I do it. 
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. 
I won't lay anything heavy 
or ill-fitting on you. 
Keep company with me 
and you'll learn to live 
freely and lightly.

Matthew 11:27-29 

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
   or, whine, Israel, saying,
"God has lost track of me.
   He doesn't care what happens to me"?
Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening?
God doesn't come and go. God lasts.
   He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.
   And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
   gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
   young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
   They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired,
   they walk and don't lag behind.

Isaiah 40:27-31

Lord, I am so thankful that 
You want me to come to You.

You know right where I am. 

How I feel deep inside. 

You know what is getting in the way 
between You and I.

You see what I can't.

So, I come to You.

For some reason even though I seem
to be doing all the right things, 
I feel disconnected from You.

I don't feel the same joy and energy
I've been experiencing. 

Is it just hormones? 
Or lack of sleep?

Is it something more?

Please lift my chin,
clear my eyes.
Show me what only You 
can see. 

Investigate my life, O God,
      find out everything about me;
   Cross-examine and test me,
      get a clear picture of what I'm about;
   See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
      then guide me on the road to eternal life. 

Psalm 139:23-24

God, make a fresh start in me,
      shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
   Don't throw me out with the trash,
      or fail to breathe holiness in me.
   Bring me back from gray exile,
      put a fresh wind in my sails! 

Psalm 51:10-12

My heart has heard You say, 
"Come and talk with Me."
And my heart responds, 
"Lord, I am coming."

Psalm 27:8

Remember Who You Are • John 19

 Pilate said, "You won't talk?
Don't you know that I have
the authority to pardon you,
and the authority to—crucify you?"

Jesus said, "You haven't 
a shred of authority over me except
what has been given you from heaven.
That's why the one who betrayed me
to you has committed a far greater fault." 

John 19:10-11 

Worldly positions, fought so hard 
to keep are paper palaces 
so easily torn to pieces.

Your position came not from this world –
the world You spoke into being.

Not won through political races or
popularity poles;
regardless of what Your own
people saw or believed,
Your authority is from Above.

 All You have comes from the Father.
All has been given to You, because 
of Who You are.

You are the One and Only.
You are the Spotless Lamb.
You are the Word made flesh.
You are the Lion of Judah.
You are the Good Shepherd.
You are the Great High Priest.

You are the Son of God.

Even when they whipped You, spit on You,
laughed at You and cursed at You,
You never forgot.
Your identity came not from man.
They did not decide who You were.

All You are came from the Father.
All You did was born out of love.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Psalm • Psalm 91:14-16

"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God,
      "I'll get you out of any trouble.
   I'll give you the best of care
      if you'll only get to know and trust me.
   Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times;
      I'll rescue you, then throw you a party.
   I'll give you a long life,
      give you a long drink of salvation!" 

Psalm 91:14-16

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Not the World's Kind of King • John 18

"My kingdom," said Jesus, 
"doesn't consist of what you see around you. 
If it did, my followers would fight 
so that I wouldn't be handed over to the Jews. 
But I'm not that kind of king, 
not the world's kind of king." 

Then Pilate said, "So, are you a king or not?" 

   Jesus answered, "You tell me. Because I am King,
I was born and entered the world 
so that I could witness to the truth. 
Everyone who cares for truth, 
who has any feeling for the truth, 
recognizes my voice." 

John 18:36-37

You weren't the king they expected.

No armies marched around You.
No trumpets announced Your arrival.







King of the unseen kingdom.

Leading by serving.
Commanding by demonstration.
Living out what we are to become.

Hiding behind rules and systems they refused 
to see what that You were the fulfillment of 
all that was said to come.

Line by line Your life came from
words written long ago, the blueprints
for Your kingdom.

Those who have been burned by the Lie,
those who hunger for the truth
see who You are,
and are welcomed in to help build 
Your kingdom.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Real and Eternal Life • John 17

And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know You,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom You sent. 
John 17:3

I glorified You on earth
   By completing down to the last detail
   What You assigned Me to do. 
John 17:4 

And My life is on display in them.
   For I'm no longer going to be visible in the world;
   They'll continue in the world
   While I return to You. 
John 17:11 

I gave them Your word;
   The godless world hated them because of it,
   Because they didn't join the world's ways,
   Just as I didn't join the world's ways.
   I'm not asking that You take them out of the world
   But that You guard them from the Evil One.
   They are no more defined by the world
   Than I am defined by the world.
   Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
   Your word is consecrating truth. 
John 17: 14-17

The goal is for all of them 
to become one heart and mind—
   Just as You, Father, 
are in me and I in you,
   So they might be one 
heart and mind with us.
   Then the world might believe 
that You, in fact, sent Me. 
John 17:21-22

Righteous Father, 
the world has never known You,
   But I have known You, 
and these disciples know
   That you sent Me on this mission.
   I have made Your very being known to them—
   Who You are and what You do—
   And continue to make it known,
   So that Your love for Me
   Might be in them
   Exactly as I am in them. 
John 17:25-26 
To know the one and only true God
to know Jesus, my Lord and Savior – 
Real Life.

What is most important –
the goal I was made for,
the purpose wove into every cell –
is to know You.

Through earthen jars Your glory shines
drawing all who will come 
to You.
The way of obedience connects me
to You, making me a portal of 
Your glory-shine. 

Set me apart through the water of 
Your Word. Sprout and grow
fill all my cracks –
produce holy spirit born fruit.

God made flesh –
made known to flesh.
Knitting hearts and minds into one.
Revealing real life to all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Unshakable and Assured • John 16

"This is what I want you to do:
Ask the Father for whatever is
keeping with the things I've revealed
to you. Ask in my name, according to my will,
and He'll most certainly give it to you. 
Your joy will be a river over flowing its banks!"

John 16:23-24

"Now we know that You know
everything – it all comes
together in You."

John 16:30

"I've told you all this so that trusting
me, you will be unshakable and assured,
deeply at peace. In this godless world
you will continue to experience
difficulties. But take heart!
I've conquered the world!"

John 16:33

You know me inside and out.

You have not left me to stumble around
in the dark, to find my own way.
You know everything. 
You illuminate my way with 
Your light and truth.

Deep inside the Counselor-Friend
translates Your way to my soul.

Life with You is not a guessing game.
It is not smoke and mirrors or 
pie in the sky.
Struggles and trials will come.
Mountains to climb and 
dark valleys to maneuver.

These are not a surprise.
You said they would be there. 

I am not alone in the midst of 
the deep water, the ground shaking,
the tempest, the fire-storm.

Trust in You 
makes me unshakable and assured.
Deep peace and joy unspeakable 
wells up as I release my grasp
on my life, this world – 
on what I see with these eyes made of dirt –
and place it all in the hands 
of the One who has overcome the world.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

At Home • John 15

"Live in Me. Make your home in me just as I do in you."
John 15:4

"I am the Vine, you are the branches.
When you're joined with me and I with you, 
the relation intimate and organic,
the harvest is sure to be abundant. 
Separated, you can't produce a thing."
John 15:5 

"But if you make yourselves at home
with Me and My words are at home
in you, you can be sure that whatever 
you ask will be listened to 
and acted upon."
 John 15:7


"I've loved you the way 
My Father has loved Me. 
Make yourselves at home in My love.
If you keep my commands, 
you'll remain intimately
at home in My love.
That's what I've done – 
kept my Father's commands and
made Myself at home in His love."
John 15:9-10

Jesus, You are my true home.

You are the Source of all that is Living
and True and Right.

When I am living in You 
You are living in Me.
The sap of Your life runs through
my veins, pumping life –
pure and fertile.

You give me all I need
to live, to pass life on.
Your Words of life dwell not only
on a page, they have settled 
deep in my heart and mind.

Help me to listen, to hear, to do.
You give me the desire to do
and the energy to fulfill 
Your life-giving, love producing will.
Take the taste for death from my mouth.
Pull the roots of bitterness and pride.
Within me they crave destruction.
They blind my eyes to life and truth.

Clinging tight to You,
I will drink deep of the life You give.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Loved • John 14

"Don't let this throw you. 
You trust God, don't you? 
Trust Me." 
John 14:1

Jesus says this right after He tells Peter 
that he will deny Him three times 
before the next dawn.

I can almost see Him looking deeply 
at each one of the men sitting around Him.

I can almost see Him looking deeply at me.

His words speak to my very core.

It's like He's saying, "Yeah, you're going to deny me. 
I know that. You will fail again and again. 
Don't worry. I'm here. 
Don't trust yourself. 
Trust God – trust Me."

Thank you, Jesus, for knowing me 
through and through... for knowing that I am just dust. 
And yet You love me. 
You want me to live with You forever. 
Thank you that You give me all that I need. 
I choose to trust You.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Getting Up from the Table • John 13

Just before the Passover Feast, 
Jesus knew that the time had come
to leave this world to go to the Father.
Having loved His dear companions,
He continued to love them right to the end.
John 13:1

Jesus knew that the Father had
put Him in charge of everything,
that He came from God and
was on His way back to God.
So He got up from the supper table,
set aside His robe, and put on an apron.
Then He poured water into a basin
and began to wash the feet of the disciples,
drying them with His apron.
John 13:3-5

Jesus knew that His time on earth
was coming to an end. He was going to go back
to His rightful place with the Father.
He knew where He came from, 
He knew where He was going
and He knew the position
that the Father had given Him.
But He kept on. He kept on loving His companions.
He didn't forget about them. He didn't leave them behind
- even though they would leave Him. 
He continued to love them right until the end.

I love how the Bible puts it: "Jesus knew that the Father 
had put Him in complete charge of everything, 
that He came from God and was on His way back to God. 
SO, He got up from the supper table, 
set aside His robe and put on an apron."

He knew.  So.

It isn't "He knew. But, anyway."

To Jesus it was just what He needed to do next.
It made sense to Him. 
It was what He needed to do.

I think that I get too caught up in my position
as a mom (I want the respect, the obedience,
I want them to do the serving), 
and I miss out on the truth
that serving my family 
is what I need to do.

I think that I need to teach them
by telling them how, by making them do,
with lots of words and little action.

Jesus did just the opposite.
With no words He got up from the table
and just did what He needed to do.
He didn't stop and bang His wine goblet
with His fork to get their attention
and then in a loud voice explain
step-by-step what He was going to do.

He recognized what time it was, 
He got up, and humbly, quietly
began to wash their feet.

Later in verses 37 and 38 it says:

"Master," said Peter, "Why can't I follow now?
I'll lay down my life for You!"
"Really? You'll lay down your life for me?
The truth is that before the rooster crows, 
you'll deny me three times."

Oh how like Peter I can be!

Too often I think that I am so much more
committed to the Lord, so ready to do something
for Him, so ready to follow Him
and yet the truth is that I am not
where I am think I am. I'm not as committed
as I think I am. I am not as ready
for action as I think I am.

Jesus, thank You for teaching us by example.
Thank You for knowing me through and through
and not giving up on me,
thank You for not leaving me behind.
Thank You for loving me to the end.
Jesus, I like to think that I am ready
and willing to follow You where ever You go
and do what You want me to do.
But the truth is most of the time
I don't even make it out of the starting gate. 
I want to serve my family in love,
but too often I do it half-heartedly
or out of obligation or because no one else will.
Please forgive me, Lord. 
Please forgive me for wanting the position
of Mom, but not being willing to lead 
by serving as You taught us to.

Please help me to quietly get up from the table,
lay aside my robe, put on my apron
and wash my family's feet,
out of love for You and for them.

Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Perspective or Yours? • John 11

When Jesus got the message, He said,
"This sickness is not fatal.
It will become an occasion
to show God's glory 
by glorifying God's Son."

John 11:4

He said these things, and then announced,
"Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep.
I'm going to wake him up." 
Jesus was talking about death,
while his disciples thought
He was talking about taking a nap.

John 11:11, 13

How often, Lord, am I totally missing
what You are clearly saying to me?

How often am I so caught up with
what I think is going on
that I forget to stop
and get Your perspective on things?

You, who knows all things.

I can talk to You any time, any place.

You hear me when I call out to You.

You want me to come and 
talk with You. (Psalm 27:8)

You want to help me understand
and know what is going on.
(Jeremiah 33:3)

You are all powerful!

You are able to do way more 
than I could ever think or imagine!
(Ephesians 3:20)

And yet, too often, I wander around
stuck in my earthy perspective
seeing only dead ends, problems, 
sickness, death. 
(John 11:21, 32, 39b)

My solutions are temporary.
"A good nap will do the trick!"
(John 11:12-13)

Your solutions are eternal!

You are Life!

"You don't have to wait for the End.
I am, right now, Resurrection and Life.
The one who believes in Me,
even though he or she dies, will live.
and everyone who lives believing in Me
does not ultimately die at all. 
Do you believe this?"

John 11:25-26

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who Jesus Is • John 10

"I am the Gate. 
Anyone who goes through me 
will be cared for—will freely go in
and out, and find pasture."

John 10:9

I love knowing that Jesus cares for me.

With Him I have a safe place, always.

He is the Good Shepherd.

He leads me and guides me.

But I must choose to listen to His voice
and do what He says
and go where He leads.

I have to believe Him enough
to not only listen,
but follow and do what He says.

Lord, please help me
to do more than just hear.

Help me to listen, help me to follow,
help me to do what You want me to do.

"I am the Good Shepherd.
The Good Shepherd puts the sheep
before himself, 
sacrifices himself if necessary."

John 10:11

"I am the Good Shepherd.
I know my own sheep 
and my own sheep know me."

John 10:14

"This is why the Father loves me: 
because I freely lay down my life."

John 10:17

"I came so they can have real and eternal life,
more and better life than they ever dreamed of."

John 10:10

You gave all.

You provide all. 

You know me. 

Help me to know You. 

You are who You say You are.

There is no guessing, no wondering.

Simple trust is all I need. 

As I read Your Word and listen to 
Your voice, I come to know 
who You are. 

As I believe You, 
I will live in the abundance
You promise.

I will live in the safety 
and provision
You offer. 

You are my Shepherd
I am without need.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bring the Clear Light of Day • John 9

"I came into the world
to bring everything
into the clear light of day,
making all the distinctions clear,
so  that those who have never seen
will see,
and those who have made
a great pretense of seeing
will be exposed as blind." 

John 9:39

Blindingly bright, it shines all around

but they refused to acknowledge it.

They refuse to acknowledge You.

Blindingly bright, it shines

exposing cardboard cutouts,

painted scenery,

whitewashed shacks. 

Your glory shines

and all that is becomes apparent. 

The darkness can no longer cover

what is so glaringly true.

Clinging to darkness

yet claiming clear sight.

Pointing out specks on others

while oozing with their own filth 

as it runs down their pointing finger.

In Your light

I look down and see it there

running down my arm.

It puddles at my feet

as I fall to my knees 

before You.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beyond my Horizons • John 8

Jesus said, "You're tied down to the mundane;
I'm in touch with what is beyond your horizons.
You live in terms of what you see and touch.
I'm living on other terms. 
I told you that you were missing God in all this. 
You're at a dead end.
If you won't believe I am who I say I am,
you're at the dead end of sins.
You're missing God in your lives." 
John 8:23-24

Do I truly believe who You say You are?
Because I do live so much in terms of what I see and touch.
I so often am tied down to the mundane, Jesus.
Please help me to truly, fully believe in You.
Help me to see beyond what I can see and touch.
Help me to live by Your terms – 
trusting that You see the whole picture – 
which is so much more than what I can see.
Help me not to miss out on You today.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What's Real • John 7

"The world has nothing against you,
but it's up in arms against me.
It's against me because I expose
the evil behind its pretensions.

John 7:7

"A person making things up tries
to make himself look good. 
But someone trying to honor the one
who sent him sticks to the facts
and doesn't tamper with reality."

John 7:17

"Don't be nitpickers;
use your head – and heart! – 
to discern what is right, 
to test what is authentically right."

John 7:24

"My true origin is the One who sent me,
and you don't know Him at all.
I come from Him – 
that's how I know Him. 
He sent me here."

John 7:29 

"If anyone  thirsts, let him
come to me and drink.
Rivers of living water will brim
and spill out of the depths
of anyone who believes in me
this way, just as the Scripture says."

John 7:37-38

Lord, thank You that You are real. 

I don't have to question
if you are hiding or putting up a front.

You are Truth.

You are Light.

You want me to know You.

So you do not hide.

You reveal.

You are the source of Living Water.

You are the source of all that gives life.

Forgive me for nitpicking instead of trusting.

Thank you for patiently waiting for me
as I grow in faith and trust in You.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Bread of Life • John 6

"Where can we buy bread to feed these people?"
John 6:5

Then Jesus took the bread and, 
having given thanks,
gave it to those who were seated.
He did the same with the fish.
All ate as much as they wanted. 
John 6:11

Jesus answered, "You've come looking for me
not because you saw God in my actions
but because I fed you,
filled your stomachs—and for free. 
John 6:26

Don't waste your energy striving
for perishable food like that.
Work for the food that sticks with you,
  food that nourishes your lasting life,
food the Son of Man provides.
He and what he does are
guaranteed by God the Father to last." 

To that they said, "Well, what do we do then
to get in on God's works?"
 Jesus said, "Throw your lot in with
the One that God has sent.
That kind of a commitment
gets you in on God's works." 
John 6:27-29

"The Bread of God came down out of heaven
and is giving life to the world." 
John 6:33


Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life.
The person who aligns with me
hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. 
John 6:35

Every person the Father gives me
eventually comes running to me.
And once that person is with me,
I hold on and don't let go.
John 6:37

This is what my Father wants:
that anyone who sees the Son
and trusts who he is and what he doe
s and then aligns with him
will enter real life, eternal life. 
My part is to put them on their feet
alive and whole at the completion of time."
John 6:39-40

The Father who sent me is in charge.
He draws people to me—that's the only way you'll ever come.
Only then do I do my work, putting people together,
setting them on their feet, ready for the End. 
John 6:44

 Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever.
I am the Bread—living Bread!—
who came down out of heaven. 
Anyone who eats this Bread will live
—and forever! 
John 6:51

"Whoever eats this Bread
will live always."
  John 6:58

The Spirit can make life.
Sheer muscle and willpower
don't make anything happen.
John 6:63

"This is why I told you earlier
that no one is capable of coming
to me on his own. You get to me only
as a gift from the Father."
John 6:65

In the same way that the little boy
took what little lunch he had
and gave it to Jesus
– and Jesus took that little lunch
and fed 5,000 people more than enough – 
when I take what little I have
and give it to Jesus,
when I "throw my lot in
with the One that God has sent",
I get in on God's works.  

Jesus, You are the Bread of Life.
Life – Real Life – comes only from You.
Do Your work in me,
put me together,
set me on my feet,
get me ready for the End. 

Take my little "lunch" and give it out.
Do Your work in me and through me.

Thank you for holding on to me
and never letting go.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Missing the Forest for the Trees • John 5

But Jesus defended Himself. "My Father is working 
straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I."
John 5:17


So Jesus explained Himself at length.
"I'm telling you this straight.
The Son can't independently do a thing,
only what He sees the Father doing.
What the Father does, the Son does.
The Father loves the Son and includes
Him in everything He is doing.

John 5:19-20

The Son gives life to anyone He chooses. Neither He nor the Father shuts anyone out.

John 5:21

"It's urgent that you listen carefully to this:
Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now
and aligns himself with the Father,
who has in fact put me in charge,
has at this very moment the real, lasting life
and is no longer condemned to be an outsider.
This person has taken a giant step from
the world of the dead to the world of the living."

John 5:24

"You have your head in your Bibles constantly
because you think you'll find eternal life there.
But you miss the forest for the trees.
These Scriptures are all about Me!
And here I am, standing right before you,
and you aren't willing to receive from me
the life you say you want."

John 5:39-40

Oh Jesus! How often do I miss seeing You?
How many times do I get caught up
on the tiny and the mundane only to miss out on
the fullness and joy that is only found in You?

Please help me to see through new eyes.
Help me to understand with a new mind
what this world, what my life is really all about. 

Please help me not to take what you intended for good
and for freedom and turn it into a tool for enslavement. 

Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and what You are doing.

Hold out Your hand, Jesus. Let me grasp Your fingers and 
go where You go. I want to do only what I see You doing,
instead of what people think I should. 

I choose to receive the life You have for me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Simply and Honestly Myself • John 4

"It's who you are and the way you live that count before God.
Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.
That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for:
those who are simply and honestly themselves before Him in worship.
God is sheer being itself — Spirit.
Those who worship Him must do it out of their very being,
their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."
  John 4:23-24

"Come see a man who knew all about
the things I did, who knows me inside and out."
John 4:29

Somehow in my life I have had a misunderstanding
that the Lord has been clearing up for me in the last few years. 
I knew that He made each one of us uniquely and special
in His sight, as it says in Psalm 139, and I, of course,
grasped that each one of us is different and have different gifts.
But somehow, I did not get that it is good and right
that we discover who we are and live out who we are fully.
  I kept seeing other people's strengths and gifts
and what they enjoyed doing and thought 
that I was supposed to be those things.

As I read Jesus' words here, I am coming away with that 
we are worshipping Him when we are pursuing truth and walking in it.
As I live my life in truth - discovering how He made me
(my strengths, my weaknesses, what fills my cup)
and then walking in my strengths and letting Him work
through my weaknesses -  I find my life becoming an act of worship.

I need to be who God made me to be. 
Not someone else! 
That brings glory to Him and is worship.