Saturday, June 24, 2017

Oh but there is life in death...

The chief of all sinner...

the slow dying saint...

that is finding life in the risen Christ

Forgiveness is the mark of the forgiven.

Summertime is lots of good food, fun times and conversations with each other.  My children amaze me how they see people.  What makes them do the things they do and why.

I have had several conversations with my grands and the kids.  Now adults.  As one noted my sin I knew that what they saw in me was only part of my failure.  That my sin was so great it put Jesus on the cross.  That they saw me trying to do my best and still made a mess of things.

While taking a truck ride with another one we began to talk about these things.  I said, I do not get angry when others sin against me.  They do not mean to and I should not take it personally.

If we could have conversations like I am sorry.  I wronged you...would you please forgive me.  Then in return I would hear...yes I do...I was also wrong when I did that or said that to you.  Would you please give me forgiveness.  I want to change.

The conversation went like... no one is going to do that.  Everyone wants to be right.  They will not admit that they are wrong.  What he was saying, in our natural self, is true.

I said Christ died for the sinner.  Not for those that get it right.  He said I know but people have too much pride to admit that they are wrong.  Everyone wants to think they are right.  Nobody admits they are wrong.

There is a time when we are surrendered to the will and wisdom of God we may need to say we are right.  But this is not pride but dependence on God and His will.   These times are very rare.

I thought yes I do have pride.  Please break my pride Jesus.  It is our pride that keeps us from the foot of the cross and from the life and joy that is ours in Jesus life, death and risen. The more you know you are forgiven is the more you are willing to forgive.

Wouldn't it be so good if we could actually help each other see our hearts.  Why we hurt each other or say things we shouldn't just to get back at someone.  What is going on inside us that we think we are right and it is always the other person that is wrong.

Seeing the best in each other...that is Jesus.  I shared with my grandson that there is nothing we can do apart from Jesus.  That our best deeds are but filthy rags.

What if we truly saw that our sin put Jesus on the cross.  That the Spirit can truly help us love each other as Jesus loves.  That we can be an encouragement and build each other up.

That we don't have to do things for others to make us feel good but because we want others to know we love them.  That they are important to us.  That we are sincere.

There is scripture that says that we bless out of one mouth and tare down each other out of another.  Can we love from the heart.  We all are capable of the worse but there is forgiveness and hope to know our sins are forgotten and forgiven because of Jesus.

Could we honestly see the good and help each other in our struggles.  That we are not less people because we do wrong.  We are children of the King Most High.  We are righteous and He sees us in the goodness of Jesus covers us.

He who looses his life for my sake gains it.

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the grown and dies there is no life.

Is loosing my life not defending myself.  Not trying to always be right.  Not thinking I am someone that I am not.  Finding my identity in the world's ways of the creation and not in the Creator.  Not my will but Gods will be done.  A surrender to the ways of God.  Humility and love.  A person who is in the will of God has no reason to defend himself.  His life and actions speaks for its own.

The natural sinful pattern is to sin against someone when they sin against you.  It is hard not to be resentful or defensive.  Take a moment to look to Jesus and what He has done for you.  What He says about what a sinner you are forgiven and loved.  To see what is going on in my heart.  Why do I have to blame someone else or shift what is going on to the other person.

Once you know who you are in Christ and how loved and forgiven you are there is no need to try and make yourself look innocent or better than the other person.  We so search for an identity and will try to find it in the one that looks good and right, intelligent.

Repentance, forgiveness and love is the way of the christian.  It is the way of life and of Jesus.  Jesus came to serve not to be served.  He who is forgiven much loves much.

Not to do things just for myself but for the good of others.  I may not benefit from it,  but I am not living for myself.  When others say why did you do that for me.  Because I love you and I want you to know Jesus loves you also.  Our Savior is our reason for living.

These are lessons I am still striving to learn and practice with the help of the Spirit.  It is by the power of the cross and the love of the Father that changes me.  Love seeks the good of the one loved.  This is the gospel love of Jesus, Father and Spirit.

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Coping or Trusting

And God took Elijah up.

I was amazed how gentle God was with Elijah in restoring him from his depression.  He fed him, gave him rest and showed him to care for others.  Elijah was proclaiming that he was the one who was faithful to God.  God showed him there were many.  But God was kind in restoring Elijah as he was fearful and self-righteous.

I have been interested in mental health beyond just accepting that is what the doctors diagnose me as. Where do these thoughts come from.  What is going on in my heart and mind as I drift beyond being in the present.

Lately I began to think about my childhood.  What a wonderful time that was in my life.  My relationship with my parents and my role in our time together.

Then marriage and my husband and children.  I adored my children and loved my husband so.  I thought life was perfect.  As we all know nothing nor no one in this life is perfect.

The world collapsed and I could not handle all that was going on so I escaped for the next many years into another world that did not exist.  Then I would spend my time in the computer world, writing and reading.

After many relapse I began to read what Gods word said about what was going on in my life.  I began to live in the present.  I was responsible.  I did have a time of illusions but I stayed mostly in life.

There was a time in the hospital to adjust my meds.  While there I had to stop my habits of smoking and wine at night so the med could be monitored.  I didn't realize how I had used these to cope.  With them gone I noticed sleeping because of the med and depression.  

The ways I had coped with life were gone.  Fear set in as I felt responsible for everything and everyone.  I was not conscious of these patterns and what they did for me.  I started to pay attention to what I did and thought when things did not go as I thought they should.  Maybe people were not doing what I thought they should.  What did I do.  Where did I turn.  How was my peace and joy and response.  Did I know I had power.  There were things I could do trusting God and not just turn inward or to something to escape.

There are so many ways we escape without even realizing it.  Work, tv, telephones, computers, shopping, gossiping, worry, sleep...the list could go on and on.

I read our children are not put here to make us look good.  We go from one thing to another to give us identity and ways of coping with this out of control life.  Full of pain and sin that we can not manage to our desire.  Or that we even cause.  We either shut the world out or we are god to a fault.

It is not the people that are on display but Jesus.  Sometimes I think the more messed up we are the more Jesus shines.  I know without my struggles I would not have turned to Jesus in the desperation that I have had.  I have not had the assurance of my Fathers love and pleasure in me, His child.

Relying on Christ and trusting Him has come over the last several years, about 5.  I have loved and talked to God as long as I can remember.  But actually resting in His goodness and love for me has been a process He has brought me through on His own by His Spirit.

I am so thankful for the illness and the work the Lord has mercifully done.  I am humbled by HIs patience and faithfulness.  I don't believe this would have been as beautifully done any other way.  The beauty I see is Jesus and His heart.   He is beyond my comprehension or imagination how He is so grand, mighty and glorious.  I mean He worked many days with me asleep lol.  I would wake and the things He would reveal to me about Him and my own heart stunned me.  Left me amazed.  Only God!

He keeps me weak just enough that I have to lean.