Sunday, October 26, 2008

He came for the sick

Tonight I was reading the passage in Matthew where Jesus is having dinner with Matthew and other tax collectors and "sinners," and God spoke to me. I read the words, "tax collectors and sinners" but immediately the Spirit translated them, in a way, to read "drug lords and pot heads". And I "saw" in my mind Jesus sitting at that table with the druggies that hang out next door at the park.

The very human part of me wants those "riff raff" types out of our park. I feel disdain for them. But tonight I got to see them as the sick and lost that Jesus came to save. He told the self righteous Pharisees, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I did not come to save the righteous but the sinners."

I think I'll start praying. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Give us this day...

Recently I felt challenged by the Lord to start praying the Lord's prayer, thoughtfully, meditatively. I read in Willard's book that he had done the same and found it very powerful. I know this might sound nutty, but I can feel the power of it, when I am quiet in my spirit and praying from the heart. I just spend some time being still before the Lord and ask Him to search my heart, and there comes a point where my mind clears and I know I am in His presence, and I pray each line slowly and consider its meaning. Sometimes I elaborate on it a bit. its helped a LOT reading Willard's book, because he presents such a marvelous, deep picture of the gospel and God's kingdom. Its brought new meaning to the old prayer.

So today I was praying and could hardly even start the prayer because I was so tired (yet again, or still). And I had to stop and just tell the Lord, "I can't even pray I am so tired, and there is so much to to do today and I don't know how to do it." And then He answered my heart...I knew Him as a God of rest and not a slave driver. And knowing Him in that way made my daily duties so clear. Some things I did not need to do; I had taken the chores and pressure on myself. When I got to the part of the Lord's prayer that says "Give us this day our daily bread." I told God that I needed some diapers for Ellie. I planned to go to Target and get them, but when the window of time came (when both kids were awake) I felt the Spirit leading me not to go. I only had one diaper left! But I figured He would provide somehow. So we ate lunch and took naps. later in the day I mentioned to my neighbor I needed to go to Target for diapers and she offered me a whole bunch of leftover size 3's her son had grown out of. Prayer answered! Then I was trying to get the energy and inspiration to do dinner but just didn't have it in me, and I prayed. Lord, I need some dinner. I opened the fridge and there was a big container of lasagna I had forgotten about.

I know maybe the answers seem coincidental or lame, but I knew then and now that they were the answers, and I am so joyful and thankful that He answers prayers so clearly. And it shows me that if He is so clearly answering that part about the daily bread, then I can be sure He is also answering the rest of the prayer as well...

Your kingdom come, Your will be done!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"But I tell you, love your enemies..."

I get so frustrated with the way politics divides people, even believers. And I got to thinking that Jesus could have told the parable of the Good Samaritan today with the key players being Obama and McCain supporters, and the one who stopped for the robbed man having pity despite the fact that he was for the other side. We should have compassion for our opponents. But I think in our hearts we can easily consider them worthy of condemnation because of their viewpoint.

It's natural for humans to divide themselves and categorize and generalize. But I think God has called us to a bigger love. And so many of the political issues are not matters that can be decided by clear moral mandates (that is, what the Scriptures tell us is good). So why do we hate each other over these issues? Doesn't it seem wrong somehow to take a strong stand for the protection of the unborn or those in need of welfare, but then verbally abuse those who are already born or own a home simply because they stand on the other side of the political fence? Would you still support the homeless or unborn if they turned out to support your political opponent?