Monthly Archives: December 2015

my choice of gods

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A couple of my personal gods are represented in the picture above. Well, now that I think about it, probably 3.

No, five.

5 of my gods are represented in this picture. If you want to know what they are, we’ll talk about it later. I don’t have time to get in to specifics here! A blog must be written!

I woke up this morning, watched an episode of One Tree Hill, then decided to put some real pants on and go downstairs. I had plans for today – plans that included being as isolated and lazy as possible. But then, I noticed my Bible.

There it was, sitting on the arm of my chair, staring me down.

And my plans changed. I decided to choose the Word this morning.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Of course you did. You’re a Christian. You love Jesus. That’s what you’re supposed to do…read your Bible, fool!”

But I don’t always make that choice. Most often, I choose to love other gods. I choose to love relationship status, finances, friendships, knowledge, approval…all the things. I choose myself. I decide that there is a god better for me than the One True God. I decide that I AM is not enough.

Without even really recognizing it, I line all of my little gods up every morning and decide which one I will serve that day.

It might be power on Monday, control on Tuesday, approval Wednesday, food Thursday, finances on Friday, then I get to Jesus on Saturday and Sunday.

We all have to come to a point in our lives where we wake up, every morning, and choose Jesus. He isn’t the type of Savior that is going to force Himself on His people. Jesus isn’t in the business of bullying people in to the Kingdom. BUT He is in the business of redeeming sinners. He is in the business of providing comfort, peace, healing, and joy. He is in the business of changing hearts from stone to flesh and convicting His children of their sin.

Jesus is in the business of making Himself known and bringing His Father glory.

I want to be a part of that business. I want to choose redemption and love and joy and peace and all of the other words we like to throw around at Christmas time.

I want to choose a God that loves me so much He sent His own Son to become flesh – to walk the earth He created – in order to die as the Perfect Lamb, rise on the third day, and save His people from their sins.

Will this be an automatic for me? No. It won’t. As Paul says in Romans 7, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (v.19)

Will this be possible? Yes. Because it is by grace that I have been saved – not of my works but by the final work of Jesus on the cross.

The satisfaction, fullness, and restoration that only Jesus can offer is the only thing I want.

Today, I choose Jesus.

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pass on over, please

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One of my favorite things about the internet is that there is a never ending supply of stuff.

Just stuff, in general.

This week I opened my computer with the intention looking up a recipe and I ended up watching youtube videos of Tina Fey.

Stuff.

OR I have an issue with staying focused.

Who knows.

But seriously, that stuff can end up being really good stuff. Take, for instance, all of the amazing resources we have to learn and grow in our knowledge of God and His Word.

One of my favorite websites for this specific purpose is SheReadsTruth. I love the reading plans they come up with and the commentary they have on each passage read together.

Currently, SheReadsTruth is going through an Advent reading. Today’s reading was on Jesus being the True & Better Passover Lamb.

If you have not heard/read the story of the Passover, I HIGHLY encourage you to read Exodus 12 and get yourself familiar.

The first passover occurred when God commanded His people in Egypt to sacrifice a lamb,  spread it’s blood over their doors, and God passed over them, sparing them from death in their household.

Jesus is the True & Better Passover Lamb because His blood has made the final, once and for all, atonement for our sins. We are seen as righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.

Blows. My. Mind. Every time.

In reading through the devotional material on SheReadsTruth, I came to this:

More often than not, I live under the weight of my own sin, as if Christ’s sacrifice isn’t enough to cover my own transgressions. I look around frantically for solutions to fix what I have broken, but overcorrecting only leads me to legalism – the opposite of freedom in Christ.

“Overcorrecting only leads me to legalism…”

Man. Yep. Ditto, sister.

Jesus is True and Better and Final and Forever. I can do no more and no less to earn His love or His redemption. It simply is.

I fail. I sin. I rebel against an Almighty God.

But I cannot dig myself out of that. I cannot correct my own ways. And trying to only leads to self-reliance and a belief that Jesus isn’t good enough. That somehow, His blood shed upon a cross just won’t cut it for me.

I may say I believe with my mouth, but my actions are speaking something totally different.

I want the freedom only Christ provides. Because I know it is there that I am truly able to rest in true satisfaction and live with deep peace and joy that can never be shaken.

That is my prayer for us – that we would know Jesus is True & Better.

*see Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy explain Passover before you go read about it 

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unquenchable thirst

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I’ve been sitting in my chair in this coffee shop for a solid ten minutes trying to figure out a clever line to open this blog with…

I was also eating a breakfast burrito, so I’m not that mad about it.

But for serious.

I often think that I have to be this quick-witted, funny person 24/7, and when I’m not I get a little insecure. When I don’t live up to the expectations I believe people place on me, I feel like a failure and I’m often concerned that people won’t want to be around me. Dramatic? Yes. Honest? Also, yes.

I thirst for approval. I long to be known. I desire deep satisfaction.

And I don’t think I’m the only one.

This past weekend I was reading John 4, the story of Jesus and the Woman of Samaria. This is a story I’ve heard 1.7 billion times (where my grew-up-in-the-church kids at?!), but I saw this bit of Scripture in a new light this time around.

Jesus approaches this woman who was the town outcast, had multiple husbands, and was such a social pariah she had to go draw water when no one else was around.

In reading this story I became empathetic toward the woman. She was searching for something.

Approval.
Being known.
Satisfaction.

She=me.

And what does Jesus say to her?

but whoever drinks of the water that I will give will never be thirsty again (John 4:14)

And the woman says, “Sir, give me this water…”

I picture her, with her hands cupped, kneeling next to Jesus, begging for Him to give her a sip of the one thing she thinks will complete her, will fix her.

Now, I’m not sure she really got what he was saying. I’ll never know this side of heaven.

BUT, I do know that Jesus saw a woman thirsty for something only He can provide.

He sees me, thirsty and longing for something more, and offers the only thing that can truly, deeply, and fully satisfy.

He offers Himself.

He doesn’t make me draw from the well before He redeems me.

He redeems me, and my well runs even deeper.

I pray I am never over that truth. That there is a God who left His throne in heaven to dwell among His people in order to save them and place them back in to right relationship with Him…man…that’s a God I hope I never get over.

That’s a God I hope I never stop thirsting for.

 

*there’s no clever SNL skit about thirst (at least not one I want to put the effort in to finding right now), so instead, enjoy one of my all-time favorite Amy Poehler characters – Kaitlin!