Saturday, June 30, 2007

"every knee should bow...."

"Great is the Lord and worthy of praise
Slow to Your anger and rushing to grace
Covered in mercy I stand at Your throne
And dance for the praise of this love that I owe
Great is Your faithfulness God unto me
Never forsaking You always will be
The Glorious Lamb of God slain for us all
Lion before all the nations will fall...."

The words of this song echoed over and over in my head this morning. In thinking about that last phrase "Lion before all the nations will fall"

I was remembering what scripture says in Philippians 2:8-11...

And being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven, and things in earth and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I began to look up the definitions to the words in these verses and was greatly challenged by what I found. Some of the definitions that stuck out to me were:

Humble: low in station, grade of importance, modest, meek WITHOUT PRIDE, courteously respectful, low in height or level, to lower condition, abase.

Obedient: State or act of obeying. Obey: to comply with or fulfill the commands or instructions of, to respond conformably in action to.

Bow: To bend or curve downward; stoop. TO YIELD OR SUBMIT. To bend the head or body in worship reverence, respect or submission.

Confess: To acknowledge or avow, TO OWN OR ADMIT, admit the truth or validity of, to declare.

As I continued to break down these verses I see Jesus Christ being found in fashion as a man...right where He was at....He did these things....He was just as human as I am, yet without sin and in His humanness, HE became humble and obedient....I would like to share my application of these verses to my own life and I pray that they encourage you to be more like Him.

In coming to the conclusion that I am human and but flesh, I must become WITHOUT PRIDE and I must comply with and fulfill the commands that are asked of me even when it will cost me my plans, my desires, my thoughts...and my life I must choose to obey. God is the One that will take the One who has abased Himself and bring Him to a place of high exaltation. He gave A NAME above EVERY NAME to THE NAME Jesus! At THE NAME every knee including the 2 I have been given will yield, and submit in reverence, respect, and worship to ALL of Who He is. The tongue that I have will no longer be used to the fulfilling of the flesh, it will be used to own and admit that Jesus is the glory of God the Father.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Surface Cleaning vs. Deep Cleaning

John 15:3
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
This past Saturday night, I went up to spend some time with my brother and sister in law. They are expecting a baby in 6 weeks and since I had some extra time, I just wanted to hang out with them and help them to get some things done around the house in preparation for baby...
One of the things my sister wanted to do was to plant some flowers...I know...that hardly sounds like something that needs to be done in preparation for a baby...but I just went with it! :) We went out to their back patio where my brother Brian was power washing the house and the patio and everything on it...and seeing as I have no "green thumb" in me...I felt like I wasn't the greatest help to my sister in law...seeing as she is a "green thumb". So, I helped where I could but then became intrigued by what my brother was doing...and by observing him, I learned a great lesson that night.
When I first looked at the patio...yes, it looked a bit dirty, branches, leaves, dirt clumps here and there, in my mind, nothing that a good sweeping wouldn't take care of and make it look better...right? I was amazed at the junk that was being washed away by the power of that power washer. I guess I had never seen anyone wash with a power washer. It was night and day difference the side that had been cleaned vs. the side that still needed cleaning. I begin to meditate on the concept here and apply it to my life spiritually. The power washer operated when the power was hooked up and the water was hooked up to it. In the hands of the operator, in this case, my brother, it was able to deep clean the patio and get the junk out off of it in ways that the hands of one alone could not do. As I began to apply this to my life I asked myself. How many times do I just "sweep away" the dirt out of my life offering up to God a surface cleaning..."God forgive me...I need to be clean of this sin..." only to find myself dealing with it again and again? I want the deep cleaning...the cleaning that brings change...the cleaning that is done with the water of the Word and the Power of the Holy Spirit...I learned in this illustration that I cannot clean myself has to come from the power of the Word! John ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. In Ps. 51:10 David is saying You God..."create in me a clean heart" create is to bring into being; cause to exist; produce. to originate or invent...the creation of a clean heart is something that can only be done by the hands of the Creator. The power washing was like a surgical transformation....I was amazed the ability it had to clean deeply and I am thankful that God opened my eyes to this picture. I desire the power washing of the Word of God to create in me a clean heart....I heard it said once..."You God alone are Holy and my unholiness craves Your holiness..."
So I present the question...are we just surface cleaning...getting rid of the junk on the outside but never even touching the deep dirt that plagues our hearts and hinders our lives from being holy? It's time for a deep cleaning...a power washing....a cleaning that can only be done by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Water of the Word! I challenge you and myself to offer up our hearts to God and give Him the liberty to deep clean our hearts so that we can be freed of sin to serve him with a clean heart...
Clean:free from dirt or filth: unsoiled/free from foreign or extraneous matter/free from defect or blemish/unadulterated; pure/entirely clean/free from encumbrances or obstructions/free of any form of simple words... CLEAN=FREE...
Are you clean? DEEP CLEANED?

Compelled to Serve

Psalm 110: 3
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning; thou hast the dew of thy youth.
"One mark of revival during which God comes to His people in power, is that God's people are compelled to offer their lives for His service. Many churches lack people who are willing to get involved in carrying out God's redemptive work. The mission fields are crying out for Christians to go and share the gospel with those who've never heard it. What we need is not more plans for volunteers, but an outpouring of the power of God. When God comes among His people in power, there is never a shortage of volunteers or resources for His work!
When Christians today are asked what aspects of the Christian life are most important to them, missions is not usually ranked as a priority. This is because we have lost track of why God called us in the first place. We were not saved from our sin simply so that we would qualify for Heaven. God delivered us so we would have a relationship with Him through which He could carry out His mission to redeem a lost world.
Only the power of God can free us from our natural self-centeredness and reorient us toward the mission of God. There is no need to pray that God would come in power. That is the only way He ever comes! We need hearts that are so responsive to Him that He will chose to demonstrate His power through us. Is your heart so filled with love for God that you are watching for the first opportunity to say with Isaiah 'Here am I, send me!"
Henry T. and Richard Blackaby