Washed, and Waiting

In the past, some of you were like that, but you were washed clean. You were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

 1 Corinthians 6:11, NCV

But we are hoping for something we do not have yet, and we are waiting for it patiently.

Romans 8:25, NCV

Washing and waiting. These two words together form an idea of formation. To be washed implies need. Our world is a filthy place, we must get clean. Often. When my son has spent his morning playing, he needs to be washed. (I sometimes wonder if he intentionally just finds a mud puddle and rolls in it.) To be spiritually cleansed is something God insists on.

Waiting. It’s funny, but waiting is an active thing. Hope is a component of waiting, without a hope we simply loiter. We wander and drift into a life of futility. And if you don’t hope deeply, you can’t wait truly.

Very often, those of us who are damaged and flawed will slide into a despair and a despondency. Depression can often be satanic, the enemy is trying to remove any hope we may have.  The dark prince lusts for your soul. A Christian with his hope removed is immediately shackled and led into the night.

To be washed, and to wait. These two ideas should be yoked together like oxen. They provide strength, and assist us to be fruitful. If we’re not washed, and we are not really waiting, we wander aimlessly. Humans do have a responsibility to be washed, and waiting. We mustn’t lose this team.

“….you need a strong ox for a large harvest.”

Proverbs 14:4

 

 

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She Gave Everything She Had

“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”

Mark 12:41-44, New Living Translation

“God judges what we give by what we keep.”

–George Mueller

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Jesus has a whole different way of counting.  He sat, and waited, and watched.  Lots and lots of money was being dropped into the box.  The rich actually hired ‘criers’ to proceed them.  They shouted out to prepare the crowds in the Temple for their generous offerings.  Great effort was made to choreograph their procession when the Temple would be crowded. (I think some Churches might allow this, if only to increase the offering.)

But I’d like to think the best of these rich ‘fat cats.’  I want to somehow believe that they didn’t have ulterior motives.  But, knowing the heart of man, I strongly suspect these ‘givers’ intended to get as much ‘PR mileage’ as they could.

When we focus on the widow we find we pretty much dismiss her offering.  To put it in perspective, a laborer would work all day for a denarius.  This widow gave just 1/164th of that. And certainly without the fanfare that these pharisees and scribes created.

Jesus is sitting, and watching very near to the offering box.  He is impressed with this widow, and her scanty contribution.  But He looks at each heart, of each giver.  He puts a value on each one.  The size of the gift is not at all the issue here. It is the dimension of the sacrifice. She was dropping in everything she had.  All of it, without hesitation or negotiation.

As we are His disciples, this particular lesson must be learned.  And, indeed, it is learnable.  If it seems too hard to emulate we need to deal with hard issues.  Like fear, doubt and pride.  And there is nothing quite like ‘sacrificial giving” to penetrate our stony hearts.

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.”

–C.S. Lewis

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kyrie eleison, Bryan

(Lord, have mercy on us)
 
 
 
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Related articles 

Entertainment or Encounter?

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“Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

Exodus 3:5

Moses was a man who encountered God in a special way. He was called up a mountain to meet with God for an uniqus purpose.

Isaiah, the disciples at the Transfiguration, Paul and John all had face-to-face meetings with the Lord. From these special times came their power for faith and ministry.

The New Testament believer has access to God’s presence unknown to most believers previously.

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus.”

Hebrews 10:19

Will it be entertainment or an encounter? I wonder sometimes about my own heart. I know there are times when I settle on something else than a meeting with the Lord God, my Father.

Sometimes I wonder about this. Perhaps our pews need seatbelts and our ushers need to hand out life jackets. Maybe a fire extinguisher and a pastor trained in CPR would be wise. Who knows what will happen if God decides to really show up?

He forgives me, and that I suppose the principal thing. He seeks me out to come into His presence. His blood opens the way.

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We are Waiting, [2nd Coming]

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“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”

Revelation 22:17

“You and I get so weary in our experience of the wilderness, but Christ’s heart is never wearied, it is as freshly set on the bride as when God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.”

  –G.V. Wigram

I simply believe that a spiritually romantic love really rules history and its events– all the twists and turns. Everything is simply being poured into this cosmic, eternal romance. Nothing else matters– except Jesus and His bride. Believe me when I say, I could do this in a myriad of ways. (But I won’t, so don’t hold your breath, lol.)

Maybe this is one of those things you have to take with a bit of faith.

Now– I’m not suggesting the “divine romance” is one of those absolute, mandatory doctrines that you must believe in order to go to heaven. Rather I think it is one that makes the most sense to me.

First. It explains much, ordering certain things to be worked together like a loomer weaves a rug.

Second. If romance is at the heart of the “real” universe– we start to see that the future is brighter that the past. And, perhaps we need that more than ever.

Think of your “romantic seasons” of your life. Those incredible intervals of bliss and love. Happy, content, and generous–  it was so very easy to live, and love! We found ourselves elated by presence of our beloved person,  joyfully doing everything necessary to be with them. Walking from the subway in dark and the rain, right past the muggers and drug dealers! Recall Jacob’s labors for Rachel? His love took seven years to transmogrify into just a few short moments of time. He was soooo in love!

I AM PRAYING FOR YOU right now. I so desperately want this teaching to be poured on you, I want you to see the Church as she really, truly is. She is the Bride of Jesus Christ! Song of Solomon (this book at the center of the Bible) contains the keys that will open up each door, and every treasure chest, in the Bible. It’s all about the love.

“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things [the entire Cosmos] work together [and cooperating] and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God [the Church] and are called according to [His] design and purpose [the Bride]”

Romans 8:28, AMP

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https://brokenbelievers.com/2013/10/25/jesus-romancer-of-the-church/.

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Suggested Reading list–

Each at http://www.amazon.com

  1. Destined for the Throne, by Paul Billheimer
  2. Song of Songs, by Watchman Nee
  3. Thy Hidden Ones, by Jesse Penn-Lewis
  4. The Power of the Blood Covenant, by Malcolm Smith
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