Welcome He Who Limps

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Pray don’t find fault with the man who limps

Or stumbles along the road

Unless you have worn the shoes that hurt

Or struggled beneath his load

 

There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,

Though hidden away from view

Or the burden he bears, placed on your back,

Might cause you to stumble, too.

 

Don’t sneer at the man who’s down today

Unless you have felt the blow

That caused his fall, or felt the same

That only the fallen know.

 

You may be strong, but still the blows

That were his, if dealt to you

In the self same way at the self same time,

Might cause you to stagger, too.

 

Don’t be too harsh with the man who sins

Or pelt him with words or stones,

Unless you are sure, yea, doubly sure,

That you have no sins of your own.

 

For you know perhaps, if the tempters voice

Should whisper as soft to you

As it did to him when he went astray,

‘Twould cause you to falter, too.

 

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Poem written by an unknown author. But God knows and we’ll rest in that.

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Life in the Desert, [Grace]

download (2)Lord I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I’d have come running with a bucket.”

 -Nancy Spiegelberg

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.

Isaiah 55:1-2, ESV

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Despair and despondency will often drive us to extremes, we are compelled to find some kind of help– and we’ll take it wherever.  But as human beings we seldom exercise any kind of discernment.  Rarely do we ever consider to whom, or at what we are looking to. We often just want relief from the pain.

It really seems we are drawing from poisoned wells, but we unable to discern what we will receive.  We come with our tin cup, and will stand in line to accept a meager couple of swallows.  Experience has taught us not to get our hopes up too high.  After all, the next well will probably be dry.

In contrast, the Spirit of God is a cool, and lush oasis.  There is an abundance of fresh water for all who find him.  Everything is green, and it is a bit overwhelming to us who have struggled so long, with so little.  It seems like we’ve been transported to another world.

But this is what God’s grace and love is like.  We’ve searched and scavenged for so long.  We have become jaded and cynical by our meager success.  Disillusioned by all that life has offered us, we can barely look up to this next possibility.  It just seems to be to good to be true, and we don’t want to be taken in again. But know this:

  1. Grace is a wonder.
  2. God Himself is the only One who can satisfy you.

His very character is life-giving and refreshing.  He constantly gushes up fresh, sweet water.  It is there for us, and he assumes that we will draw on it.  Some of us take a lot of it, but some who are hesitant to stretch out their battered tin cups. They receive what they think they just might deserve (or somehow get away with.)

The wonder of it is that God considers himself to be the exclusive source of “water that refreshes.”  There are some who will ‘point and shout.’  Some claim, “exclusiveness!”  They consider all those who come to the real fount, to be manipulated into coming. But that is seldom the case.

God and His grace is unchanged.  There are no tickets to punch, and we can’t generate enough of any kind of righteousness that lets us draw from the well.  But the well is a gift– not a reward.  It is free, and never a reward for good behavior.  We all must come to the water, crippled and thirsty, or we will never come at all.

Dear one, rest in this place of refreshment.  Drink your fill.  Grace is extravagant, and you can fill your belly.  Throw away that battered cup, and get a pail. His presence is all our heart is looking for.

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Our Trip to Emmaus With Jesus

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“By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them.”

Luke 24:29, NLT

I’m continuing to think about these guys on the road to Emmaus.  There is an intense desire of theirs to bring Jesus in to them and off the streets.  They only have a partial understanding of Jesus,  but they do have sense enough to invite Him into a comfortable place.  This was really out of the ordinary.  Afterall, He was just an agreeable traveller.

But the sentiment was strong.  They went really out of the way, and they began to insist.  And He finally consented.  There are times when we feel strong about a thing, and we find we are doing things out of the ordinary.

These two men discerned much.  They understood that night was coming.  They also understood Jesus’ need for food and shelter.  The day was dwindling down.  He could not continue on His own.  So they made room, and they opened up their lives to Him.  And never has there been such a guest.  Oh, but what blessed friendship He brings us.  We thrive and grow under His rays.  He brings us much more then we could ever give Him.

“As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!”

Luke 24:30-31

Jesus finally ‘undresses Himself’ .  He reveals who He really is, and these men rock back in their chairs.  Scripture says ‘that their eyes were opened’.  That took a supernatural work.  It is at this moment that Jesus disappeared.  He was gone, He just vanished from them.

“They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”

(v. 32.)

They were left with memories of a ‘burning heart’.  Jesus Christ had left a deep imprint, and these two men would always ‘nurse’ these memories of a long dusty walk with the resurrected Jesus.  They would, from on then, think about these fleeting moments, when they were so close, and yet missed Him who decided to take a walk with them in the bright Judean sunlight.

It is imperative that we remember our times with Jesus. When He reveals Himself to us, we will never be the same.

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Does Your Christianity Include You? [Discipleship]

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 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23, NLT

Sometime I feel like things should be different. When I made the decision to follow Christ I operated on the assumption that things would just change. I had a lot of problems but also now had a remarkable savior.

And I still do. Fundamentally things became new. My sins were forgiven and I knew that Jesus Christ died for me.

However I failed to realize that I would sin daily. I guess I thought otherwise. As a matter of fact I became even more aware of my depravity than ever. My sins are of omission and commission and they are many. The Holy Spirit’s convicting ministry worked inside my heart.

Does your Christianity include you?

Too often I think we expect holiness to be instantaneous. We wanted a complete eradication of the bad and a dramatic new change in the good. And to a certain extent that has happened.

I now believe that our walk of disciple is more like– “two steps forward, and one step back.” Sometimes its even “one step forward and two steps back.” It can be discouraging to say the very least.

The probable reality is that discipleship is not really an instant epiphany but a gradual transformation. But that doesn’t make it a lesser miracle!

As I survey my life, I discover I sinned more after I received Christ than in my life before. Perhaps the measure of discipleship isn’t the quantity of sin but the quality of our faith.

I daily come to Jesus with my sin. I have to live in repentance every day. The miracle is that I experience the daily infilling of my heart with the Holy Spirit. When I wait on Him He comes and fills me up.

I run into issues when I don’t:

  • confess my sin
  • refuse to change
  • don’t wait on God for help
  • live out the promises in God’s Word

As a believer in Jesus I will be transformed by Him. I don’t want to pretend that I need Him daily. I am slowly being changed by the Gospel, I may struggle but He holds my heart.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23, NASB

ybic, Bryan

 

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