Monday, June 23, 2008

God's Word...

  • Is living, powerful, sharp, piercing, discerning (Hebrews 4:12)
  • Is what we are to live by (Deut. 8:3)
  • Is in our mouths and in our hearts (Deut. 30:14)
  • Is hidden in our heart (Psa 119:11)
  • Has given us life (Psa 119:50)
  • Is a lamp and a light (Psa 119:105)
  • Is pure (Prov 30:5)
  • Stands forever (Isa 40:8)
  • Is spoken in righteousness (Isa 45:23)
I have been truly humbled this week thinking about the weightiness of God's words and what they mean to me. It started last monday on my way to Disneyland when I saw a billboard that said "R U A Rockaholic?" It got me thinking: 20 years ago, that same company, same ad agency, same billboard, would have read "Do you really like rock music?" or "Are you addicted to rock music?" Have we cheapened words so much that we cannot even write full sentences? I know I am the same way (trying to get better!) "TXT", "IM", "EMAIL" I, for the most part, don't even go back and change my "I's" to upper case, or add the apostrophe when it is needed (with the exception of this blog...sometimes). We try to think of the quickest, easiest, most "opportune" times to give information. We are in the information age. We are overloaded with information but it has all become so cheapened. Admit it, how many of you have had a "heated conversation" over messaging? Do we need so many little communication (the old fashioned eye-to-eye, voice tonality, type)? DO U TXT LIKE THIS? R U A TXTER?

I sat there pondering this whole age of communication and this whole age of convenience and couldnt help but think of the Lord and His way of communicating with us. I thought about His choice of words, His true timing, even the timing of His silences. I began to ponder at language and the importance of language, the way a person relishes in, dwells upon, ponders what another says about them, to them, around them. Words are weighty. And like everything else is the world, the enemy is trying to take the weight off. He is trying to get us to think that our communication would be better if it were slimmed down more.

Then as I brought up the idea with a friend, we started talking about the power of language from the beginning. Tower of Babel anyone? (Genesis 11? I think) The enemy used language to get mankind to form together, thinking they could be like God. At that point, the universal language became a catalyst for sin. It became something that tore people away from God. So God gave us all different languages. He scattered us about and let us communicate differently. TO BRING US CLOSER TO HIM. And now, so many thousands of years later, the enemy is now using that to separate us even more. To cheapen the language God gave us to bring us closer to Him and farther from our flesh...and use it to make us non-communicative hermits in our flesh. We have gone from one extreme to another.

But again, think of God's words to us. Hebrews 1:1-3 says that God spoke to us by prophets, angels, and (most importantly) Jesus Christ. His words are all around us. Romans 1 talks of nature speaking us his love for us and singing his praises. Jesus himself says that the rocks would cry out if we did not. But God's words, themselves, are so important. Do we give them enough weight in our lives? Do we allow God to use us to speak His words? I'm still pondering this idea. I'm still in awe at how the Lord has impressed upon my heart the importance of communication: first with Him, second with others.

Proverbs 12:25 says "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad."

Do your words to others calm anxieties and make them glad?

And Isaiah 50:4 says "The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned."

May our ears be awakened by the same Spirit who dwells in Him that we should hear His Word and speak it. That we wouldn't shy away from, but dwell on, His words.

I pray my nonsense makes sense through the Spirit...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A walk through Hosea

"Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them."
Hosea 14:9

Will you listen to the ways of the Lord? Will you understand His wisdom? None are righteous on their own, but through the Lord we are deemed righteous. We are washed clean, without a blemish because of the act our Savior did for us on the cross. He has done so much for us. But, what have we done for Him? Are we foolish in our ways? Where have the transgression taken root? Do we seek after things that are not of the Lord?

"For their mother has played the harlot;
she who conceived them has behaved shamefully.
For she said; 'I will go after my lovers,
Who give me my bread and my water,
My wool and my linen,
My oil and my drink."
Hosea 2:5

You have a God who loves you so much. Listen to His heart for you. His heart for your relationship with Him:

"I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In loving kindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
and you shall know the Lord."
Hosea 2:19-20

Have you been able to enjoy that relationship with the Lord? Do you glory in your betrothed? Rejoice in the One who seeks you out? It is only with acceptance of this betrothal can you begin to enjoy the fruit of the relationship. He is waiting. He is offering. He is a gentleman, waiting for your answer.

"Sow for yourself righteousness;
Reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you."
Hosea 10:12

See what the Lord's love for us looks like:

"I taught Ephraim to walk,
Taking them by their arms;
But they did not know that I healed them.
I drew them with gentle cords,
With bands of love,
And i was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.
I stooped and fed them.
Hosea 11:4

As i meditated on these verses today, seeking and hearing the Word of the Lord, i was overwhelmed with His love for us. Tough love is the hardest love to give. It is the one that hurts the most, does the most damage, and takes the longest to heal. Tough love is like tough candy. It has to be soften, chewed, gnawed on in order to swallow. It may not seem like love at all, to the receiver. But the outcome is always so beautiful. It is always the "worth" of the actions. To give tough love shows the depth, width, height, and length of God's love for us. It hurts Him to have to give us up to our adulterous and harlot ways. It pains Him to see us choose others (people and things) before Him. But He, being the gentleman, desires that we want Him in return. He will pursue us, he will rescue us from ourselves as well as our despair and sins and trespasses when we cry out to Him. He will NOT force our betrothal. That is up to you. To me, even. Will you consider a betrothal to the Holy of Holies? To the Adonai, Abba, Savior of your life? Trust me, he won't give you up without a fight. He will pursue you and you will be the pursued. He is your One True Love.

"How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I set you like Zeboiim?
My heart churns within Me;
My sympathy is stirred.
I will not execute the fierceness of My anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim.
For I am God, and not man,
The Holy One in your midst;
And I will not come
with terror."
Hosea 11:8-9

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Seeking after Him

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:33-34

What is on your mind right now? What is seeking out your attention, pooling all your energy? Is there something weighing heavy on your heart? Something that cannot be taken care of immediately? Maybe where you will live in a month? How your best friend may react to your exhortation? Where next months car payment may come from? How you will be able to pay for that dr's bill you know is coming up? How in the world you are going to have "that conversation"? How much you weigh, what you are making for dinner, what you are going to wear tomorrow....the list could go on.

May i plead with you to stop? Stop listening to yourself. Stop making lists in your mind. Stop trying to figure out those details and trying to make these things all figure correctly in your life. Please. Just stop.

Thank you. Now with all that extra time you have, i encourage you to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." after all, that is what HE told us to do, right?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."

Isaiah 61:1-3

I lead a bible study of high school girls every monday night with a friend, Sarah. Not too long ago, we encouraged our girls to "be a tree." This 'stemmed' from Psalm 1:3 that says, "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." We encouraged our girls to constantly be near their "food source", the Word of God, and to let their lives be a witness to those around them by the fruit that they produce.
This verse from Isaiah takes that encouragement a little further. It tells us that we are to be called trees of righteousness:

How? By accepting the gifts the Lord has given us?
What gifts? How i read it is that God, through His Son Jesus Christ, wants to give to us these amazing things: beauty, joy, praise. He wants us to be flooded with these things by His power and might.
When? When we accept that Jesus DIED for us, released us from the bondage in our life that so easily ensnares us, and ask for his forgiveness.
Why? "That He might be glorified." What more of a reason can we ask? We become beautiful trees of righteousness, planted by streams of flowing water (drinking up the Holy Spirit) by ACCEPTING these gifts that he wants to give us. All so that He can be glorified.

Can you accept that? Will you? What is going through your mind right now? Are you mourning? Do you feel defiled, burned, full of ash? What is weighing heavy on your heart? Can you accept that the Lord has come to release you from this bondage? To heal you? To set you free? To comfort and console you?

Do you desire to be called a tree of righteousness? Release whatever you are holding onto, and let the Lord plant you by His streams of living water.

And may your life glorify the Lord.