Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Sword of the Spirit

Most of us don't like our flesh to be prodded by the sword of the Spirit and our eyes to be opened to the sin that resides below the surface. It has been in my times of discontentment and restlessness that God has prodded me with His Holy Word and has opened my eyes to the sin that resides in my heart, the sin of self reliance and indifference. Sin exposed for the sole purpose of repentance and redemption. What do you do when God gently prods you? If you are like me, you walk around feeling guilty and ashamed. You rationalize the consequences of the hidden sin, which by the way, is never really hidden. You do all of this instead of doing the one thing you should do which is rejoice and repent. Rejoicing that He doesn't leave us as we are but calls us out to be set apart for His glory. When God prods us, it is a gentle nudging in the right direction. This nudging requires movement on our part away from the things of this world. Things which may bring temporary comfort but viewed from a different perspective would be deemed a distraction.
I have been thinking about my eternal home a lot lately. My desire to make a difference for His glory. The idea that my life, this side of eternity, is described by God as a vapor and a mist in comparison to my time spent in eternity. Without Jesus leading my life and the direction of my steps, my goodness and good works are in vain and wretched holding no real eternal significance. May He always prod me to keep me on the path He has prepared for me. May He guard my heart against apathy and self reliance until He comes to take me home.
Is your flesh being prodded by the sword of the Spirit and if so how are you going to respond?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Joyful Expectation

Jocelyn Bread Bowl Color-1

We do not know the day or the hour of the Lord's return but we are to understand the times in which we live and eagerly anticipate His coming. As a mother eagerly awaits the impending birth of her child with joyful expectation.

Joyful expectation is how I would describe the last few months of pregnancy with Jocelyn. Every kick and contraction brought with it a sense of eager expectation as I anticipated her arrival. I spent my days dreaming of holding her and the moment I would finally meet my little mystery in the making, wondering about her personality and who she would look like. Mourning the thought that she would never again be so close to my heart but wanting her desperately to be in my arms. As the impending arrival approached, so did the reminders of her birth, as my body prepared for her delivery. The pain brought with it joyful expectation and excitement. I would soon behold my precious daughter and for the first time see her as she is, perfectly made. The frame which was once hidden will be made known. The moment of her revelation was at hand. It brought to mind, Jesus' words in Matthew 24, all these are the beginning of birth pains. 24:8 And later on in the chapter, No one knows about that day or hour. 24:36 Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 24:42.
It was during the last few weeks of pregnancy that the thought came to me, as I had eagerly awaited the impending birth of my precious Jocelyn, I should also be joyfully expecting and anticipating the Lord's return.
Revelation comes from the Greek word, Apocalypse, which means to uncover, it would apply to anything which had been covered up so as to be bidden from view, as by a veil of darkness or ignorance. It may also be applied to the disclosing or manifesting of anything which before was obscure or unknown. Barnes Biblical Commentary.
As the birth pains of Christ's arrival draws near my excitement and anticipation should increase. Just as it did with the pain of labor which brought forth joy and completion. As I see the day fast approaching I am...
Anticipating and preparing for Him to come back and take me to be with Him where He is. John: 14:3.
Eagerly awaiting the moment He wipes every tear from my eyes. Revelation 21:4.
Anticipating the moment where He is fully known and I shall behold His face. 1 Corinthians 13:12.
Eagerly anticipating the day where there is no more harm on God's holy mountain, for the whole earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Isaiah 11:9.
Looking forward to the day where the groaning of creation is silenced for the Lord will liberate creation from it's bondage and the thorn will be removed from the glorious rose and the thistles will no longer accompany the flowers. Romans 8:18, Genesis 3:18.
Eagerly anticipating the day, when the sons of God are revealed and I am adopted as a daughter of the Most High, the redemption of my body and I will look on the outside the way I feel on the inside, as my body will be liberated from the bondage of decay. Romans 8:22.
The day my hope turns into reality as I eagerly await His glorious appearing. The day when the King of Kings is revealed in all His glory and takes His rightful place as Lord over all creation. Revelation 19:16
There will be a day when never again will an infant live but a few days or an old man who does not live out his years. Isaiah 65:20.
Eagerly awaiting for the "Beautiful Exchange" which was completed on the cross, to be fully realized and revealed, as He who was the suffering servant comes back as King of Kings and His kingdom is established here on earth.
Expecting the answer to the prayer, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

For in this hope we are saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:24-25.