Jesus DID it all

I try too hard. I think too much is dependent on me.

We celebrate all that Jesus did for us. Our hearts are moved by the words “Jesus paid it all.” We would argue anyone to the ground who tried to make us think that we earned any part of our salvation.

We remember the gift that is eternal life. We sit in awe of the sacrifice that was made for us through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. We cannot believe a perfect Lamb stood in our sinful place.

But what if it was even bigger than that. What if the payment and even the victory wasn’t all there was to Jesus’s mission? What if this free gift wasn’t just an opportunity for us to better now? What if it wasn’t a restart but an absolute transformation?

Do you know that Matthew 5:17 also says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them?”

Did you know that fulfill means “do?”

Here’s the thing. Before Jesus died as payment and rose as victor, his whole existence was doing the law. The law was a covenant. Covenants don’t get cast aside… they get fulfilled. There were dire consequences when covenants were not kept. Almost always the cost of breaking the covenant was death (sound familiar).

As sinners, we are all just breathing in and out the breaking of the covenant. We’re meandering through life not caring about or trying to make up for the broken covenant. And God says I am going to come and meet both sides of the covenant (or the law).

He didn’t throw it away. The consequences were too great. Aside from that, He would never break a promise.

So here we are on the other side of the gift of salvation, but have we accepted the gift of a performed covenant?

What if the lyrics went: “Jesus DID it all, all to Him I give, my life had fallen short again, his perfection made me live.”

We’re not living with a God who needs our help. He doesn’t need our works to help repay the sin debt. He doesn’t need our good deeds to help with holiness.

There is a terror in loss of control, but it is calmed when someone greater holds the control. When I breathe in the absolute payment for my sin and complete fulfillment of the requirements, I can, like the Psalmist (119:32) says, “run in the way of his commandments.” Someone paid for my entry and already ran and won the race for me.

Friends, Jesus DID it all. Do you know it? Do you believe it? Do you live it?

If we did, it would transform the way we live, worship, and serve. Oh, that we may learn how to accept that wonderful gift of fulfillment.

JESUS DID IT ALL!

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It’s both

I have never had a relationship based on feeling alone.

There is something more to it. There is an element of stubbornness. There is a deep connectedness that holds on when the feelings don’t match the situation.

There is also a putting the interest of others above your own. (Certainly, not all of the time, but I would say equal parts or a little more.) There is an interest in the person. There is an interest in his or her story. There is an interest in the things that he or she knows about.

There is an expertise that one gets about that person. Of course, knowledge alone does not determine my relationship with him or her, but I cannot know nothing of him or her either.

I am in love with WK… in the giddy school girl way. I am in love with him in the melt your insides and rip your clothes off way. I am in love with him in the get all dressed up to look my best for him on special nights kind of way. I am in love with him in the hold hands in public and sit on the same side of the table kind of way.

But that’s not it. If it was, it would be shallow. If it was, it would be tiring to keep up. If it was, I would question my love for him when I got a headache or was distracted with a challenge.

I am also in love with him in the grow old with him kind of way. I am in love with him in the do laundry, do dishes, and bear children for him kind of way. I am love with him in the I will pay attention (more than hearing or listening) to stories about cars and computers kind of way. I am in love with him in the making his life my life kind of way.

It’s both. It’s a marriage of both the feeling of love and the constitution of it.

Sometimes I feel the feelings. Sometimes I do the work of them.

A deep abiding love will both make your heart soar and your muscles ache. It will make you feel amazing and it will wear you out. It is both an emotion and an institution.

Culturally we like to apply the shallow kind of love to God as well as people. But it’s both…

I am in love with my Savior… In a giddy school girl kind of way, and a lay down my life for Him kind of way. I am in love in the heart soaring, and the read Leviticus kind of way. I am in love in a follow him when things look nice and when things look awful kind of way. I am in love with Him in a sing hallelujah, and in a memorize His word kind of way.

It’s both. It’s a marriage of both the relationship and the regulations.

If I would give this kind of love to my husband why would I give anything less to my Lord?

I hope that we learn a deeper love each day… one that causes us to cheer and to sacrifice.

It’s the only kind of love worth having.

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Fear is not your friend

“God has not given us a spirit of fear.” These were the words I said to my son when he asked why I would not likely ever allow him to go to a “fright fest.”

We make ourselves too comfortable with fear these days. I’m not really talking about haunted houses or scary movies. Although, I’m sure there is a conversation that could be had abut those as well.

After all, We can’t be a good mother without it, you know?

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Fluff doesn’t sharpen

We’re floundering most of us. The mamas raising our young ones. We’re terrified of getting it wrong. We’re helpless to get it right. We don’t even know who to go to when we have questions.

I used to have a wise sounding board. She was full of life, but she was also filled with God’s word.

Mama was the perfect place for me to take my questions, ideas, and fears to. She almost always had the perfect answer, even when it was “I don’t know.”

Having her was a treasure, and I soaked up her wisdom like a sponge.

But when I no longer had Marilyn I realized that others around me didn’t have anyone like her either.

So we all floundered together. Until one day God laid it on my heart to be a sounding board for others around me.

If I didn’t have my Mama and they didn’t have that sound counsel either, why couldn’t we be that to each other?

So we gather at my dining room table each week to sort out the good, the bad, and the poopy.

I keep asking why we are so weak in this area and what we can do about it.

We find this wisdom in organic conversation and real life. We pray that God uses it to breathe life back into our weary souls.

But finding it?

That’s the big problem. We have no idea where to look for it.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

This is not an excuse to sit around with people who are exactly like you on the surface. This is a call to find others who are like you at the core.

The girls that meet at my dining room table started when the Jesus in Marj and the Jesus in me sharpened each other.

It grew even stronger when a different surface but an iron core joined us. Jill wasn’t the same, but she was a sharpener.

Why are we not finding these healthy places?

If we’re honest it is because much of what we find on social media can be fluff, or let’s just say it, poop. Neither of these elements sharpen, nor do they create a protective and steadfast place for us to become better than we were yesterday.

Iron is most often found face to face. It is why we still mostly find it in churches, in school pick-up lines, and in the break room. It is also why we feel more lonely when we don’t find it in these spaces than when we don’t find it online.

Proverbs 2:3-5 also tells us that it will not fall into our laps, “If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” While this is talking about the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God, I believe those are often found in the small conversations with iron relationships.

The physical element of iron itself is mined for. Rarely is iron found on the surface and if so it is only a trace of all that is hiding below the surface.

I have iron ladies. They are soft on the outside, but the are tough as nails inside. They sharpen me in ways I would never

May we quit looking for iron on the surface, and dig deeper to find the iron that our souls long to be strengthened by. I pray you quit looking for strength in fluff, ignore surface minerals, and search for what will make you stronger, friends.

It is there, but it must be mined.

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