• November 5, 2014 /  Uncategorized

    bottle-lost-sea

    I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain “in” me and I “in” you, you will bear much fruit, apart from ME you can do nothing…John 15:5

    One of the great mysteries of the KINGDOM.  I am “in” JESUS…and JESUS is “in” me…all at the same time.  HOW does that even work?

    The mysteries of GOD are wonderful to explore, as long as we keep in mind that for now we see dimly as in a mirror, but then we will see face to face. 

    I once read a wonderful illustration of the mystery of the “in”…in my paraphrase let’s imagine a wine bottle with a cork top.  Take that bottle and walk to the shore of the vast ocean, uncork the top, empty its contents.  Pour it out as an offering over the sand.   Then sink the bottle deep down into the waters.  Allow the container to be completely consumed and covered.  When the bottle is full of that ocean water, pull it up and replace the cork.  The container is now sealed.  The ocean water remains “in” the bottle. 

    Now stand and gaze out at that ocean.  It’s full, it’s limitless, it’s endless.  With all your strength heave that sealed, water filled bottle far out into the sea.  The bottle is now “in” the ocean.

    The wine bottle floats filled with ocean water “in” the ocean itself.

    Pretty nifty, huh?  Maybe that sheds some light on how we can be seated with CHRIST JESUS in heavenly places…AND….walking out our salvation on this earth all at once.

    Since CHRIST has risen and is seated in heavenly places at the right hand of the FATHER…there I can be found, “in” CHRIST.

    And since I am still walking this earth and living this life…there CHRIST JESUS is found, “in” me.

    Amazing, wonderful, beautiful, fascinating mystery of the KINGDOM…how the two have become one.

  • November 2, 2014 /  Uncategorized

    g2-prison-corridor-slots

    Acts 16:25  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

    We all know that anyone of us can be a prisoner to something.
    We’ve all got our stuff.
    As long as we are alive we are going to have o
    ur struggles,
    and our temptations, our failures, even our strongholds. 
    Life comes with huge ups and downs.
    And sometimes we can find ourselves caught in a prison.
    There are prisons of defeat, prisons of discouragement.
    Prisons of envy and unforgiveness or bitterness.
    Prisons of unbelief. Prisons of self-righteousness.
    Prisons of anger and hatred.
    Prisons of bondage to food or drink or drug.   The list goes on and on…………

     
    We’ve all got our stuff.
    And I believe that when we are going through our stuff,
    and we chose to respond to our stuff like Paul and Silas did
    by praying and praising…
    there is going to be another prisoner somewhere, close by, that will see us, or hear us, or is watching us…
    who needs the encouragement, the lift, the hope, the Word or the song
    that we are signing in the midst of our midnight hour.


    It’s all right there in Acts 16...the other prisoners were listening.

    I know it can be very hard when we are in the middle
    of our life’s circumstances,
    to think past the pain of our moment and realize
    there is a bigger picture.
    But there is a bigger picture.  There is always a bigger picture.
    That’s because we serve a big God.  A really big God…
    who wants to take all of our midnights
    and use them to show Himself strong and able. 

    A really, really big God, who desires to take all of our middle-of-the-nights
    and use them to conform us into the image of HIS SON JESUS CHRIST.

    A really, really, really big God who has placed in our darkest times
    the ability to reach out beyond our own prison walls to another prisoner who has lost their song in the night…
    a person who maybe isn’t strong enough to speak the Word for themselves…
    a fellow human who has been locked away in their cell for a very long time and is just tired, plain ol’ tired.
    And through those prisoner walls, of life’s stuff,
    a bound one hears a song of praise
    or a simple prayer rising up from a sister whose been there (or still is there)
    and that humble song,  that prayer of the heart,
    breathes fresh hope and new life into the weary listening one.


    Your midnights are not your own sister, and neither are mine.
    God is going to use every part of your life;
    your mornings,
    your noons,
    and your midnights,
    to bring Him glory and to minister His hope to a lost and dying world.


    Nothing in God’s kingdom is ever wasted.
    Nothing in your life will be wasted.
    Not one midnight is for nothing.


    Let us  lift up our voices in the middle of the night.
    Let us pray it out loud to our GOD.
    Let us praise aloud from sanctified redeemed hearts.
    You never know who may be listening.