Tag Archive for 'Fear'

people.

People are all around us. Really. They are. Look around you if you don’t believe me. Does that mean anything to you? Do you even care about these people? Jesus didn’t walk around in a bubble. He invested in people… but more than that, He took the time to notice people around Him and talk to them. Do you do that? Do you ever talk to people? Do you ever care about other people’s lives, even a random strangers’?

I meet Wednesday mornings at 5:30 at Waffle House to just ‘do life’ with my best friends. We made a pact of sorts to ask whoever is serving us if there’s anything we can pray about for them. That way, someone has to ask or we end up with an awkward mess among ourselves. It was almost an experiment at first… nervously asking and not knowing what we’d get in return.

You don’t know what someone is going through until you ask. This morning, we asked our waitress if she had anything we could pray about for her. She quickly said “No,” then proceeded to tell us about how her friend had died two days ago and she’s been such a wreck that she can’t even cook without burning the food. Oh… and her grandfather has a brain tumor. Another server didn’t have the money to pay a ticket and was going to end up in jail if she couldn’t pay it in the next 48 hours. A cook who told us he didn’t believe in prayer. Another server who is going through a rough divorce from an abusive husband. The list goes on and on. All from the simple question, “Do you have anything we can pray about?”

People.
You’re one of them.
How many strangers have taken an interest in your eternity? Count them. Go ahead.
Assuming you’re in the majority and have one or two fingers up, this leads me to two questions…

  1. How would you know about Christ’s sacrifice if no one told you or if you didn’t go to church? You wouldn’t.
  2. Do you believe people are ok without Jesus? The easy answer is “No.” But seriously…… do you?

 

(My scathing rebukes are merely my own convictions in my heart.)

We are a body, part 1

We have to start challenging each other more as believers and the body of Christ.

Every day there is a story about someone who is suing for millions of dollars because they were offended in some way. “Gay white guy wins $1.2 million in race lawsuit,” “Former Medina police chief wins $2 million discrimination lawsuit,” “Man too terrified of frogs to leave his house wins $1.6M lawsuit.” These are legitimate headlines from a quick Google News search for “wins lawsuit for millions.” We have been inundated with these stories and “political correctness” to the point that we live with a fear of offending someone. But I would also be bold enough to propose that we live our lives seeking to be offended. Whether we have done it knowingly or not, we have decided that we are more valuable than our neighbor. Don’t believe me? We are daily up in arms about someone who cut us off in traffic, didn’t show up on time, broke in line, or spoke to us with a mean tone. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? No… That question is not directed at the person that just offended you… It’s directed at YOU and ME. How do you find yourself to be of such great value that you can justify looking down on someone else?

We as the church MUST humble ourselves before our neighbors… and our brothers and sisters in Christ! Paul says, “The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters” (1 Cor 6:7-8). I see Paul as saying, “Look at yourselves! Quit it! What are you thinking?” We must wash ourselves of the worldly mindset we have taken on!

If I walked up to you and pointed out your sin, would you thank me? Or would you ask me who I was to judge you like that? Brothers and sisters! We must open our eyes to the depravity and severity of sin! We have offended a HOLY and RIGHTEOUS GOD who does not look upon our sin lightly! We have come to the point where we have trapped ourselves as believers. “I don’t want to point out his sin, because he might be offended.” Why do you think he would be offended? Is it because WE would be offended? Brothers and sisters! Whether it is you rebuking or you being rebuked, consider the severity of our sin! In that light, we must reconsider our position on both sides of rebuke. Someone has a word of rebuke for you? Accept it with open arms! Hopefully it will cut like a sword into your soul, but what a minimum price to pay to be made aware of your sin! Would you rather walk along blindly, unaware of your sin? Or would you rather be made aware of it so you can repent and turn to the LORD for redemption from that sin? If you have ever been rebuked, you know the beauty of the entire process. Hopefully, you are able to look back on rebuke with thanksgiving that someone would care enough about you to point out your sin! Welcome rebuke and exhortation!

On the other hand, brothers and sisters, how dare we not point out another believer’s sin? If we walk alongside another believer, continually blinding ourselves to their sin, then we stand in full acceptance of their sin. We have minimized sin’s severity and thus minimized God’s holiness. “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Of course we have to properly rebuke our fellow believer in love, but we must still rebuke! We cannot sit idly by as our brother or sister walks along with a poisonous snake crawling up their leg! JESUS said, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you” (Matt 18:15). Would you not want someone to point out YOUR sin (As I discussed above, this is more than likely the root of our problem.)? There is too much at stake for us to continue to minimize sin in our lives and our brothers’ and sisters’ lives!!!

fears of the everyday.

I’ll speak for myself.

Fear is always in me, in some form or fashion.

Where am I going? Who will I meet? What will I do? How will I do it?

And these are not deep fears of a vast, unknown future.

Webster says:

turn – to cause to move around an axis or a center; make rotate or revolve

Fears of the everyday.
I’ve got a meeting…

Oh my gosh I’m so late. I’ve never met this person before. Will they understand what I say. What if I can’t do it.

The fears of the everyday.
These might be the times I turn to God the most.

I turn to God in the fears of the everyday.

Oh please don’t let me be late. Please let them be nice. Please let me speak clearly. Please help me through this.

Webster says:

rely – to be dependent; to have confidence based on experience

Hardly do I rely on God… “post” fears of the everyday.

Thank you for them being late, too. Thanks for getting me there safely. Thank you for their joyful heart and their good mood. Thank you for the conversation. Thank you for helping me get my point across. Thank you for handling it all when I can’t.

Turning isn’t a change in location.
Reliance is a leap.

Hours after this meeting, the part God played was brought to my attention.

I quickly recalled every worry I had before it. I realized everything went perfectly.

I would have passed through my day without any thought to how well the meeting went, but beforehand I was extremely concerned with my fear. If things went sour, I might’ve even prayed about it.

Realizing God’s role and acknowledging Him after the fact is what pushes ‘turning’ to reliance. I acknowledge how He acknowledged me.

I prayed in my fear, out of fear. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious prayer to God. But thankfully,

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

For some reason, God doesn’t base His response to me on my response to Him. God has no reliance on me.

If I face the fears of the everyday relying on God, I have confidence based on experience. There’s no need to fear. His faithfulness to me has nothing to do with me. It’s not about me. At all. He hasn’t let me down… He hasn’t ignored me. I have let Him down… I have ignored Him.
Reliance on Him will take the fears of the everyday and turn them into thanksgiving.

Turning is stationary.
Reliance is a leap.

filthy rags

paralyzed
i can’t feel my heart
i open my eyes
all i see is the dark.

i know you are here.
i know you can see.
no reason to fear.
Lord hear this plea.

I’m begging
I’m pleading
I’m lost in this fight

Lift me
Renew me
Righteous in your sight

I stand before you
a filthy bride
Nothing to speak and
Nothing to hide.

sacrifice

I look where I’m going, I look where I’ve been.
It’s hard not to miss it, I see it again.
Everywhere in the past, everywhere straight ahead,
The path is so flat, the journey of a life left for dead.

There has been no ups, there has been no downs.
On a path so flat, I scream for a crown.

The mountain is clear, the gate I should take,
The journey to glory, the path I can’t fake.
The trip will be rough, a leap of faith,
but I can’t stay here for your and my sake.

I can’t move alone. But how? But why?
What if? Then what? Too fearful to try.
Please help, please carry me.
Please pull, please push me.

The strength that I need, the strength I can’t find,
It’s in me, I know it, it burns me alive.
Lord, where are you? Where have you been?
I can’t seem to find You, not even within.

All this time I keep running, down my path so flat,
All this time you keep chasing, like a mouse by a cat.

You’re screaming my name,
I’m too deaf to hear,
I stop and I see You,
And tremble in fear.

Lord… what am I doing,
Please show me the way,
To the gate so narrow,
Lord, don’t wait.

“You have to let go,
You have to let me,
You’re fighting your cuffs,
Yet you’ve got the key.

Drop this world, its loves and its likes,
Let’s get this straight, let’s make this right.

You don’t belong here,
Your time is short.
You’ve got no time,
It’s time to report.

Love me and love others, your duty is clear,
Love me and love me, and know that I’m here.”

I see all before me, and see what was behind,
I lay it all down, and start my climb.
That path was so low, what a fool I have been,
I drop all my chains, let the journey begin.




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