Monthly Archives: October 2010

Hebrews 13 Paraphrased


Submitted by: CW

God to His Son’s Bride,
 
If you experience difficulties, pain, shame or  humiliation because of me, ”I’ve got you covered” said God .  Remember, Jesus is your Helper. You should not fear.  What can mortal man do to you?  (Ps 118:6.)  Remember, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Remember, I am your Father and I am doing everything possible to make you complete in every good work to do My will, working in you what is well pleasing in My sight, through Jesus Christ.  I am  preparing YOU,  Jesus’ Bride for the upcoming marriage celebration.  So hang tight and do not give up.  Remember all who have worked and are working to make sure this wedding celebration goes off without a hitch.  They had suffered humiliation, physical abuse and have gone without many comforts for the sake of Christ and his Bride.  You are their responsibility.  Give them a reason to rejoice when they are asked to give an account of their conduct. 
 
Jesus to His Bride,
 
My Beloved, you are so beautiful and precious to Me.  I have known of your beauty in eternity past.  I have seen what you have done and still I choose you to be My Bride.  I have suffered pain, humiliation and shame to return you to Me, because I LOVE YOU.  I have placed people amoung you to protect and guide you.  They are there to help you remember that you are My Bride.  They suffer much for Me and for you. So do not forget them and treat well.  I am your Groom.  I will protect you, perfect you, and never leave you.  Remember, you are betrothed.  Please, My Beloved, I exhort you: do not defile our marriage bed by sleeping with the world.  Remember, this is not our home.  I am preparing our home as we speak.  While you are waiting for Me, remember how you are to conduct yourselves so that people will know that you are all Mine.  For I am proud of you.  I love and long for you always, your Groom, Jesus.

What new insight does this give you into Hebrews 13?  What would you add?

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Who is Jesus Christ?


From Michael at Blogging for Jesus…

Click here.


Dying to Live


And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.”      — John 12:23-25

We tend to be pretty scared of death.  Many people worry about how their life will end.  And that’s the fear – coming to the end.  From a physical perspective, death is a pretty scary thing.  Endings usually are.

Jesus said that someone who loves their life will lose it.  I think this is more than being willing to die physically.  I believe Jesus is talking about a spiritual sort of death, where death is brought to the things that stand between His life living in us.  Selfishness, self-centeredness, pride, jealousy, fear, worry.  Living by His life will bring these things to their end.

And here is the beauty of this kind of death: it is not an end, but a beginning.  Each time a piece of our fallen self dies, a new life sets forth.  Christ’s life is expressed more fully in and through us.  Christ Himself is the fruit of our dying.

We die to ourselves by putting on Christ.  We put on Christ when we live by His indwelling life.  The focus is not on the dying, but on Him!

21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.  Ephesians 4:21-24

Jesus Christ is our new nature!


Christ and the Church


The attached article from Frank Viola reveals 14 illustrations of Christ and the church in the New Testament.  It’s a very enlightening and challenging read.

Click here to read the article on the Reimagining Church blog.


Don’t Be Surprised…


12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 1 Peter 4:12-14


The Eternal Dance


There’s an Irish hymn called Lord of the Dance.  It’s sung to the tune of Simple Gifts (tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free…).  But why write a hymn about dancing?  I think it is because dancing is always linked to life.  We don’t dance at funerals; we dance at weddings.  We dance to celebrate.  We dance after a victory.  Living with the Lord’s indwelling life and in the community of the ekklesia is like a never-ending, life-giving dance with the creator of the cosmos, entwined together for eternity!  The chorus of the song goes like this:

Dance, dance wherever you may be,

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.

And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,

and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.



Snowflakes


Submitted by: CW

Snowflakes

Cold , crunchy , clean, white ,crisp, quiet, peaceful are the words I would use to describe what it feels and sounds like to be outside when it is snowing.  If you have ever watched it snow, you can see a few of the creative designs of a snowflake.  The snowflake is a very interesting thing created by God to reflect Christ.  Snowflakes are not just frozen rain; that would be called sleet.  They are something more extraordinary.  A snowflake starts out as a small dust or dirt particle floating in the clouds. As the wind moves the dust particle around, water vapor condensates on the particle and starts to form snow/ice crystals. This process continues as more water molecules attach to the crystal and as the ice crystals grow it forms the pattern of the snowflake.  When the dust particle collects enough crystals it becomes too heavy to remain in the cloud and it begins to fall to earth.  The shape and size of a snowflake depends on the temperature and humidity. Snowflakes take on simple shapes when the humidity is low and more complex shapes as the humidity increases.  You will see some of the most beautiful snowflakes when the humidity is high and the temperature is between 15 and -15 degrees F.  Snowflakes are white in color because they have so many light-reflecting surfaces that they scatter the light into all of its colors, so snow appears white.  It has to do with how the brain perceives the light into the color.

When reflecting upon this you can see how Christ and our relationship to Him and others are formed.  We are the particle of dirt flying around.  Christ is the water vapor and the Holy Spirit is the wind that helps guide us into becoming a unique expression of Christ.  Christ attaches Himself to us and begins to grow and as we are moved around in life, with the aid of the wind, you begin to see more of the crystal form, Christ, than the particle of dirt, us.

When you see snow falling, you can see the different shapes and designs that are created by the different elements of weather that are present. A snowflake needs more humidity, which is essentially water, to become a more complex design.  Christ is our living water.   All snowflakes, us, are beautiful, whether simple or complex because we reflect Christ.  But, depending on how much water we chose to take in, we can remain as a simple snowflake or we choose to experience the fullness of Christ, and allow ourselves to be put under the right conditions to be formed into something more complex and beautiful. When we allow Christ to renew our minds and we accept who we are in Christ we become a more complex creation.  Since Christ is in us and us in Him, and through our trials and relationships with others, each snowflake becomes a unique expression of Him. For it is said that no two snowflakes are alike.   We retain our personality but we allow Christ to be who He is in and through us, this is what creates that matchless expression.

Snowflakes are also sticky when the humidity is high.  They tend to stick to other snowflakes as they fall to the ground.  You can pack it together to form things such as a snowball or a snowman. Every one of us is a unique expression and when we allow ourselves to be forged together we become His body, which is an expression of Him here on earth.  Also when all the snowflakes are on the ground they create a sea of white.  Snowflakes are white in color because they have so many light-reflecting surfaces that they scatter the light into all of its colors, so snow appears white.  When we live out our lives together in Christ, all God and others can see is white, a reflection of our Christ.


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