Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Eager Longing

"We told Abi that you were coming and now she’s waiting for you”  That was the text and this is the picture I received from my daughter a couple of months ago.  Of course the photo and text melted my heart – this grandpa is gladly wrapped around the fingers of his grandchildren!  But the photo reminded me of myself when I was a child.

MY Grandmother lived in Nebraska which, to this California boy, seemed like a faraway land.  When I knew that grandma was coming to visit you could find me at the window eagerly looking for her!

This stance of eager anticipation is the posture of many children waiting for Christmas – not looking out the window, but peering at all of the gifts under the tree . . . or glued to the commercials about toys . . . or drawn to the displays at the department stores.   For the young among us, Christmas CANNOT get here fast enough!!

We who believe Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to die for our sins and rise for our eternal life, also believe the Father will send Him back at the divinely appointed time.   We join with the Church of all time and all places in praying “Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:20
This simple prayer is a prayer of longing and a prayer of hope.  All of us are encouraged and empowered by the Spirit to pray this simple prayer . . . while looking out the window!   Why the anticipation?  Why the prayer?  Because all of us suffer pain to some degree – pain in the body and pain in the soul.  Paul tells us:  “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:18-19   This is Paul‘s fancy way of describing the resurrection of the dead.
Christ will return and the dead will be raised imperishable.  Pain and sorrow and death will be defeated and we will be like Christ.  This is the hope we possess by virtue of our faith.  This is why we have such an eager longing for Jesus to return.   The Father and the Spirit speak to Jesus saying, “We told (insert your name here) that You were coming, and he’s/she’s waiting for You!” 

Come, Lord Jesus!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What 'Cha Lookin' At?

"The LORD sees not as man sees;  man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."  
1 Samuel 16:7b

   These words were spoken by the Lord to the prophet Samuel when he came to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse's sons as the new king of Israel.  Samuel - a mighty man of God and one whose faith was active since childhood - was looking on Jesse's eldest son Eliab and thought "surely the Lord's anointed is before Him." But the Lord said, "no."  So Samuel moved down the list of Jesse's boys . . . until no one was left.  Samuel then asks Jesse, "Are ALL your sons here?"  Nope, missing is the youngest who is out watching the sheep.  His name was David, and HE was the chosen of the Lord.

   The Lord is often unimpressed with the things with which we are impressed.  Readers of the Scriptures will often find the Creator of the Universe selecting, calling, anointing and siding with the underdogs of the world.  Esau was the firstborn, but his twin Jacob was the one chosen.  Hannah was childless, yet she would give birth to Samuel.  David would take down the giant with a stone.  A young virgin in an insignificant village would be the mother of the Christ. 

   Jesus Himself was rejected by His own people and put to death by the powers in command.  Yet the death of this wandering Rabbi was more than sufficient to pay for the sins, errors, and brokenness of all people.  To this day - and even to the Last Day - the Lord will be crying out to all to come to Him for life and restoration.  To those who believe in Him Jesus gives the power to be children of God.  Now THAT's impressive!

   So the next time the world (or the devil or your own self-view) declares you to be unimpressive and worthless you know how to reply:  "What 'cha lookin' at?  I may NOT be much in this world, but I have been redeemed by the Lord.  HE has looked at my heart - and though at its core it is rotten - He sees the faith He has created!  I am loved.  I am saved.  I am His."  

In Jesus' name - Amen