May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ… Galatians 6:14-18 Today we celebrate the cross because we as a church knows what it’s like to journey in faith. We know what it’s like to sacrifice. We know what it’s like to move from death to life. From this day forward, every time we walk through those doors and see that cross on the altar we will thank God because by God’s grace we can boast in our faith. By our faith we believe. By our belief we live today. (Sermon 9/14/14: We Shall Not Boast – Only Believe)
How long will you go limping with two different opinions? 1Kings 18:20-40 Other translations use falter or waver but neither provides the imagery like the word limping. The word is used again when the author describes the prophets of Baal limping around the altar as they call out his name. The people of Israel wanted to have it both ways; a kind of “eat my cake and have it too” theology. God wasn’t having it. Everyday, we have to wholeheartedly make up our minds as to who we will serve, lest we find our selves limping; lacking in strength, structure and without recourse, working harder than we really have to.
Happy are they who trust in the Lord, they do not resort to evil spirits or turn to false gods. Psalm 40
…remove this cup from me; yet not what I want , but what you want. Mark 14:27-42 God did not force Jesus to drink. Yet even for Christ, there were some things that could not be avoided; he chose to drink because God’s desire was his desire. Although the spirit of support from his disciples may have been comforting, Jesus knew that when the time came they weren’t quite ready to drink from the cup he was about to drink. So it is with us; there simply are some things we can not avoid. Our friends and family with all their good intention and compassion will have no say in the matter. Going in, when the time comes, perhaps our circumstance may be unavoidable but our praise is not. When it is finished know that God will have heard every word of praise from our mouths, and we too will arise beholding His likeness.
“there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” Praise him at all times and experience the cup of salvation and glory in his Word.
I lift my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come? He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber Psalm 121:1,3
The ebb and flow of recent years has at times left me tenuous. Yesterday, in particular I awoke feeling tired and ill. Although the past weekend was extremely busy, in my heart I felt I’d earned a day of Sabbath, but in my mind I felt like I needed to do the things I have committed myself to do. Somehow the flow would be consistent and the hope I have for things to come as a result of my commitments would be held up and rewarded. Today, as I drank my early morning coffee I realized that I felt 100% better than I did yesterday. Perhaps all I really needed was rest.
I share this testimony because this weekend was not without some small yet reassuring rewards of God’s faithfulness throughout this ebb and flow of my own life. Ebb tides can’t really be separated from the flow tides. Sometimes the tides are high and sometimes low. From a physical point of view we have a tendency to pay too much attention to the ebb and flow and equate God’s faithfulness with what is or is not physically happening. When the ebb is overwhelming, the feeling of desperation rises. In our heart we know that God’s faithfulness is everlasting and ever flowing, but in our mind we question and doubt because we can’t see the flow materialize in our everyday life when we want it to occur. Things happen when they happen. In this faith journey we have to accept in both our heart and our mind that through ebb and flow God’s faithfulness is always at work. While this is easier said than done, it is worth every effort to work towards this level of actualization because in my experience it is the difference between walking in peace and walking in chaos. It helps to recognize desperation for what it is, as a form of fear. It is a response to the ebb tides of our physical life, a loss of hope. So, whenever we find ourselves with feelings of ebb tides great or small, we should remind ourselves that we walk in faith, not in desperation.
Luke 6:5 The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.
Psalm 127:2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.
Hebrews 10:34-35 …you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward.