John 12:24 – 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.
Over the course of the past couple of days, the Lord has been convicting me of several items. Some in regards to my last writing, Walk The Talk. In it I compared the saying I and others have used over the years to a car bumper sticker, considering it an excuse. People will let you down at some point, you can only count on God and I'm not perfect, just forgiven.
Thinking of another saying God didn't call us to be Lone Ranger Christians, we need each other. I immediately recalled the old black and white TV western series; the Ranger had Tonto as his 'sidekick.' Thus if believers, two or more are gathered together, Christ is in their midst. (Matt. 18:20). Pondering it before The Lord, I thought 'We as Christians say one out of the right side of our mouth the one, while saying the other out of the left side. We want it both ways.'
Then God began to speak to my heart. 'Just as there are two sides to a coin, you are called to die so you may live. The same is true of what of what you are considering though you think not. Ultimately, one day it will be just counting on me. Are you willing to trust only in Me as John while exiled on Patmos, John The Baptist or other Prophets of old who lived in near utter isolation? Even if I never raise up another to be an accountability and encouragement partner?'
A gentle, loving, and firm convicting message for which there was no reply available from the pot to The Potter. He then reminded me of the verse from Psalm 27:10:
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.
The correction didn't end there ... God let me know more areas of pride were to be addressed and removed in my life. Obviously I wasn't thrilled at this notion, thinking I couldn't be broken much more in life. I simply asked God to make it surgical, rather than a wrecking ball. I know our loving Lord and Heavenly Father will do what is best; in His tender, gentle and firm way. It still may hurt.
I had a conversation recently with my 19 year old daughter. We spoke about being commanded to pray for those who mistreat us, which includes other Christians. We spoke of mistreatment not being merely active actions or words but including passive neglect and ignoring another in need. Area's I have had to ask forgiveness of both of my children.
In my 'own world,' I didn't ask my daughter in a thorough manner about concerns of moving out of the house for the first time to live on campus. I left it at a 'surface level.' She was scared, while I at her age could not wait to get out of the house. I made her into me and completely 'missed the boat.' She did not receive adequate reassurance of God always being with her and I as quickly as possible if needed. Acting out in hostility towards others in the family began to occur.
This got my attention quickly and the spoken exchanges only escelated and exacerbated the true problem. Her being terribly scared. I finally got it. When done, I realized again how I was not walking in the Spirit. Either through passive neglect or active choice, 'I did it my way' as the old Frank Sinatra song goes. How selfish.
Why all the contextualization? Merely, to apologize to any who took my aggravation at the phrase above as personally directed. They are not new words and heard many, many times over the years, most often borne out as an excuse not to help.
My sisters and I discussed the 'deafening silence' if we brought displeasure growing up. The 'silent treatment' would be for days. I with illness onset in the 1960's, it not understood, ignored, and made light of left me with little to no self-worth. Christ is lovingly attempting to rebuild as I cooperate and allow, in and through Him.
If you read a blog where I write in a 'haughty tone' or see me pulling away, you are witnessing a defense mechanisms decades old. With what bit of aptitude I possessed, it was used to repel verbal and emotional abuse until getting out of Dodge for college.
My doctor in Portland told me in the 1980's, God's love, the love and prayers of my Nana, and intellect saved me from the fate of other family members who were institutionalized. She made clear the thing which served me in that situation, was now being used to distance others. Christ wanted to heal rather than I continue to keep people at a distance when feeling neglected or threatened. To shield from ever being hurt again to the depth experienced in youth and continuing till depating 'home.' You see me revert to my'old nature.' Especially when believing I'm being abandoned.
For this I ask forgiveness (again) to you who have only loved, prayed, and contended for me.
I know I'm using up my 7 x 70 times of being forgiven... Veggie Tales points out it is 490 and I only have a few left.
In closing, the final thing God empathically pointed out. The paradox is not only do I have to die to truly live, I must completely count on Him while giving great thanks if a single indiviual is brought into my life for a day, to pray and enourage ... Thus having God meet a need through one who is part of His body, therefore Him.To choose continually abiding in Christ, being one with Him allowing me to be one with The Father through His Son Jesus Christ. Then His Kingdom and will can be done in and through my life as in heaven. In Christ, it is the only way. He must increase and I must decrease.
Thank you Heavenly Father for never, ever giving up on me over all of these decades. Thank You for still honoring the prayers of Nana for me, lifted before You while on earth everyday of her life. Thank You for a Christian doctor who prayed for me every day and the many on CB who are doing the same. Thank You Lord God for sustaining and holding me, though I most often see nothing worth while to hold or sustain. Your faithfulness and loving kindness have been never ending. Though I do not deserve Your consideration, You sent Your One and only Son Jesus Christ to die for me that I might be given His righteousness and be raised through Him in new life. I sin and make so many messes, yet you do not deny Yourself by giving up on me. Calling, drawing, and even revealing who You are. Thank You Lord Jesus for not only all you have done for me while on earth, but sending Your Spirit to live in, guide, comfort, and instruct me. Even now, You are continually living to interceed before The Father on my behalf. To You Oh Lord God be all glory, honor, power, and praise. In Christ Jesus Our Lord's Name, Amen.
John 15:8 – 11 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
John 3:29, 30 ... So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.
Romans 12:9 – 12 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
[quote]The paradox is not only do I have to die to truly live, I must completely count on Him while giving great thanks as a single individual is brought into my life for a day, to pray and enourage ...[/quote]
This is indeed a paradox, Les. Somewhere along the line we get the idea in our head that we don't "need" one another because we have God and He is all we need so we isolate or try to insulate ourselves, telling ourselves we don't care that we are alone only to have this uncanny feeling that something is horribly wrong and we are lonely and in pain. OR... we attempt to shove God aside and put people in His place, depending on them to meet our needs and guide us rather than God. Both of these scenarios are wrong.
Our hope, our confidence must ultimately be in God and God alone. However, God designed us to be social creatures. We MUST interact with others for our own personal well-being. It is not God's plan for us to isolate ourselves and He wants us to help and teach one another. He wants us to be in fellowship with one another. He wants us to imitate Him in our relationships with others. He wants us to lend our hands, our ears and even our shoulders to others and indeed, He often works through us to minister to others. He wants us to... well... my pastor would say that God wants us to do life together as we do life with Him. I agree!
We must NEVER put someone else in God's place but that does not mean He does not want us to walk together. I believe He does and I believe great damage has been done within the Church because we put on masks and keep everyone from getting too close to us.
Les, I am proud of you. Because you have the courage to admit that we are sinners, we from time to time let GOD down. So do I. I from time to time fail. I am proud of you. Because you have the courage to correct the err. We can win with GOD' empowerment. I am proud of you. Because you have the faith to rely on our only hope and love. Jesus Christ. Thanks for sharing. May GOD's blessings always with you. In Christ.
[quote]I know our loving Lord and Heavenly Father will do what is best; in His tender, gentle and firm way. It still may hurt.[/quote] A hard lesson for us all. But true. So very true...
[quote] know I'm using up my 7 x 70 times of being forgiven... Veggie Tales points out it is 490 and I only have a few left.[/quote]Ahh, but you are wrong here, my friend! We are [b]TO FORGIVE[/b] 70 x 7... or 490 times.
We are [b]FORGIVEN[/b] an infinite number of times. God casts our sins as far as the East is from the West. East NEVER meets West. North meets South. If God cast our sins as far as the North is from the South, the Bible would fall apart... but He casts our sins as far as the East is from the West... they never meet.
blessings and a warm blest
I know, Veggie Tales and I were attempting a bit of humor in a rather hard knock learning situation. The Hebrew number of perfection and from Psalms as you point out. Besides, the perfect sinless Lamb took all of the world's sin past, present and future (including mine) on the cross. I've been unsuccessful in putting in emoticon's in my blogs, so for you from now on I'll place a :-) beside it when kidding!
Your a blessing!