The Call of the Bride

27 03 2009

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” 
Ruth 1:16-18 

When a woman consents to marry a man, she (if she’s a Christian) should think about the relationship between Christ the Bridegroom and the Church, His bride-and-beloved1Bride.  The Church responds to His call.  The Bride relinquishes her independence, her name, her destiny, her plans for a “life of her own” (remember Jesus’ words: “If anyone wants to follow Me, let him give up his right to himself”), her family, her home, and perhaps even her country to join the life of this man.  She accepts his destiny, his name, his future, and everything else as her own.  If she is called to be his wife, she is called to support and encourage him in the work God calls him to do. ..

…(The source of these perorations is not Why I Feel Good About Being Submissive, by Elizabeth Elliot [don’t order it—there is no such book], but the Book of Books—check out what it says about Christ and His Bride, and then ask Him to help you live by that paradigm.  I’m asking everyday.)

Elizabeth Elliot
“Where Will Complaining Get You?”
November/December 1983 Newsletter

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Prince And Power Of The Air

1 06 2007

“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
(Romans 1:25)

cursed-television-set.jpg

Television is the supremely powerful drug. I end up living my existence before the very thing that eliminates me.

–Jacques Ellul, 20th century French philsopher, sociologist, theologian and christian anarchist





Christ Is The Reward

18 04 2007

“Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant–dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him…”
(Philippians 3:8,9 The Message)

buriedtreasure.jpgThe reward of Christianity is Christ. Do you journey to the Grand Canyon for the souvenir T-shirt or the snow globe with the snowflakes that fall when you shake it? No. The reward of the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon. The wide-eyed realization that you are part of something ancient, splendid, powerful, and greater than you. The cache of Christianity is Christ. Not money in the bank or a car in the garage or a healthy body or a better self-image. Secondary and tertiary fruits perhaps. But the Fort Knox of faith is Christ. Fellowship with Him. Walking with Him. Pondering Him. Exploring Him. The heart-stopping realization that in Him you are part of something ancient, endless, unstoppable, and unfathomable. And that He, who can dig the Grand Canyon with His pinkie, thinks you’re worth His death on Roman timber. Christ is the reward of Christianity.

–Max Lucado
Grace For The Moment, Volume II





Rearranging the Furniture

10 02 2007

“Has a nation changed gods When they were not gods? But My people have changed their glory For that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this, And shudder, be very desolate,” declares the LORD. For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.”
(Jeremiah 2:11-13)

 

We have a hunger in the west for food, sleep, security, control, reputation, and any number of things. There are many hungers that we have and the question is: where on that list of hungers ispriority-list.jpg our hunger for the presence of God? Is it number 3? Is it number 9? 26? Where is our hunger for God? Transformation will come in full measure when our hunger for the presence of God moves to the top of the list of our life hungers.

We have to stop and meditate and ponder on the implications of this moving to the top of the list as it will rearrange a lot of the furniture of our lives. How we have learned to get around it is we intuitively keep the list blurry because we know what it will cost us to put hunger for God at the top of the list. The reason we don’t see more transformation is not because of bad strategies or models. The reason is more fundamental.

–George Otis, Jr.
Plenary Session, “Lacking Knowledge or Appetite?”
City Impact Roundtable, Portland, OR, 2006





Most Important Things

10 10 2006

I was blessed to receive my Mother’s Bible this past Sunday. My Dad was visiting the church and lovingly placed it in my hands, to my astonishment. “Here,” he said, “it’s yours.” My Mom went Home to the Lord three years ago, so you can imagine what a gift this is to me. As I flipped through its pages, a clipping from a Christian circular fell out. This is what it said—this is what my Mom believed:

“PUT GOD FIRST”
by DeAnne Scherz

Don’t wait until the house is all kept,
The beds are made, the floors are swept:
Put PRAYER first.

Don’t wait until the newspaper is read,
Your books are balanced, and you are in bed:
Put the BIBLE first.

Don’t wait until the cupboards are bare,
There’s nothing to depend on but God and prayer:
Put FASTING first.

Don’t wait until the last bill is paid,
The account is large, vacation is made:
Put the CHURCH first.

Don’t wait until you’ve nothing to do,
Until all is finished—for we never get through:
Put GOD first.