Posts Tagged ‘Spirituality’

Where does love draw the line? At what point is the cost too great? Shall I love this far and no farther? Is my own comfort and safety the boundary of my love? Shall I love just up until the point of someone else’s displeasure or disapproval?

I’m glad Jesus didn’t love me like that…but He loved me all the way to the cross. He didn’t draw the line at thorns and nails. There were no boundaries to His love…none imposed by Himself or by others.

Lord help me be bold enough to love like that.


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Catherine Booth, wife of Salvation Army founder William Booth, travelled much due to their ministry. She heard some of the greatest preachers of her day and yet she still cried out, “Burning words! That’s what I’m looking for. I travel all around and I hear oratory; I hear clever preaching. But what I’m searching for is something that will burn my heart like the men on the road to Emmaus.”

Luke 24:32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

I came across this picture today and I remembered Catherine Booth’s quote. And I realized that this picture illustrates the reality of what she was looking for….the burning words come from the burning heart of the captive made free.

Really, our hearts are filled with so many things….many things that compete with and quench our love for Jesus. And so our words have no fire because our hearts have no fire. And the cold, dark world around us remains cold and dark.

We need to hear the voice of Jesus just as the men on the road to Emmaus. We need Him to open the Scriptures to us and make these eternal things real to us again. We need to walk with Him and listen to Him and love Him….and burn for Him.

Colossians 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him

We began by grace. We must continue by grace. We can burn for Him by grace. He is willing. Are we?

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1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

What a tragedy that some will be ashamed before Jesus. This isn’t talking about those who rejected Him. This verse is to the “little children”….those in the family of God.

I’m certain there will be many who will sense the regret of a life wasted on their own pleasures rather than whole hearted service to the King. But John isn’t talking about that. He’s talking about the shame of knowing there was a God to know and walk with and choosing other things instead. How ridiculous all those other things will appear on that day.

Will we then remember all the sporting events we cheered loudly at and the worship services we almost slept through? Will our dead, dry prayer life witness against us when all the while there was a living God always ready to infuse our prayer time with life? But because we rushed in and rushed out of prayer, we didn’t meet with Him. We just tossed our list at Him as we ran right past Him, so anxious to get to the next thing.

Consider the greatness of WHO is desiring this abiding relationship with us! It is God Himself! Could anything be more glorious? Does anything else so deserve our life’s priority and focus as this? Brothers and Sisters, let’s not neglect the tremendous privilege that has been set before us. Today, right now, we can walk with God. Let the glory of the abiding life be the testimony of your life….until the day you see Him face to face….unashamed.


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Many chapters in the book of Exodus are concerned with the making of the tabernacle in the wilderness, both God’s detailed instructions for it and the people’s detailed following of those instructions. It’s tempting to just pass over these chapters as unimportant. But sometimes God stores a treasure in the midst of the monotony, maybe just to see if we’re looking.

There were many articles and utensils and furnishings made for the tabernacle. Once the tabernacle itself was erected, those things just needed to be put in their place inside the tabernacle. But God was very particular even about this. Here are His instructions to Moses:

Exodus 40:1-3 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. You shall put in it the ark of the Testimony, and partition off the ark with the veil.

It can be easy to pass over this as just another item in a detailed to-do list. But I think it speaks to us something that is so important to the heart of God….first, the Presence.

The ark of the testimony is the place of meeting between God and man (Exodus 25:22). So while all the other things in the tabernacle are about religious service, the ark is about intimacy. And intimacy must come first for it is the fuel for our religious service. Many time we get this backwards, zealous about our spiritual disciplines but never really getting to Him….which seems to be a time tested recipe for Pharisee making.

Believer, we are the dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22) We are the tabernacle. He abides in you and empowers you for service in the kingdom, and this is so important to Him. But His priority for your life has not changed….first, the Presence.

But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works. Psalm 73:28

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Matthew 26:7 “a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.”

Right up in the middle of everybody

They didn’t like it
It wasn’t proper
She didn’t care
He was worth it

Those who waited for the “proper” time had no opportunity to anoint Him, for He was already risen. (Luke 24:1-3)

She may not have understood the significance of what she did. But she was one who sat at His feet, learning Him, loving Him….and so when her heart was moved within her, she was unashamed to worship Him.

May we learn a lesson from her.

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If you listen to much Christian media, you will almost certainly come to the conclusion that these are the days Paul warned about when he said, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”  2 Timothy 4:3-4

It’s frightening how much false doctrine and questionable teaching there is out there.  Many times I listen to a sermon over Christian radio and the content sounds eerily similar to a self-help book.

This morning in my Bible reading, I read the following in Jeremiah 23:21-22:  “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.  I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.  But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.”

And then in verse 29 “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”

What a sacred trust it is to be one who speaks to God’s people on His behalf.  Oh that the Lord would flood our pulpits with messages aflame with fire from heaven that will turn us back to Him.  Lord, give us men who will stand in Your counsel until they have received a real word from God. 

But how shall we respond to such a word?  Are our hearts tender and bendable before Him?  Are we open to the searching work of His Spirit as the Word is preached?  Oh God, let the fire of Your word burn away the dross.  Let the hammer of Your word pound away the hardness of our hearts.

Send us a real word, real repentance and make us real disciples.

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