Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2012

Chosen

There are gifts in you that you didn’t choose. Once you gave yourself to Jesus, you entrusted yourself and all of your benefits to him, including your gifts (even ones you haven’t discovered yet). This is the worst news, and at the same time, the best.

Separating your gifts from your calling is like trying to separate a melody from a song. Your gifts are written into your calling in the most mysterious, glorious way. They serve as implications of all you are meant to be, and to do.

Our calling weighs far heavier than we do. We are a little sail boat and our calling is like an anchor that feels as though it may pull us under at any given moment, yet it keeps us from drifting. Because it feels like a terrible burden at times, we might try to abandon our calling for a season, only to realize that means sure death. We come to find that we do not have our calling; our calling has us. We have not chosen; we have been chosen.

It can be agonizing to discover your calling, but for a thousand different reasons fail to walk in it. You have feet so you want to run, yet you crawl. Though you feel guilty, it is not your fault. You are simply not in control. Yes, this is your calling, but it is not yours.

You feel the weight of glory, and you don’t know whether it will crush you, or soar you to the highest heights. It is a wild ride.

You have high desires in you that were planted in you by a divine hand, planted deeper than you can understand. Saying yes to these few means saying no to a thousand more. It is easy to do while you can eat the fruit, yet torment when they are forbidden. They are not forbidden because they are wrong, but because they are not right. Not yet. And only God knows how and why and when.

You must either be fearful or faithful while acknowledging needs you cannot meet, yet feel so desperately. Your faith will be refined by the fire and proven true, or else exposed as assumed. If you are in Christ, take heart; his gift of your faith cannot be lost, but he is proving you true. He is proving himself true.

It is not the strength of your faith, but the object of your faith that actually saves you. (Tim Keller)

You cannot make or break your calling, but your calling will break and make you. You want it with all of your heart and soul, yet it will feel like the death of you. You won’t know how to live with or without it. When all seems lost, cling to God, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion (Phil. 1:6), for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. (Rom. 11:29)

You won’t get yourself there, but you’ll get there nonetheless. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Heb. 12:2)

Read Full Post »

So loved

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so

I sing this to the baby girl I nanny before putting her to bed, and Jesus sings it over me so my soul can rest.

I will never outgrow the need for my Shepherd to carry me like a little lamb into his pastures green. I do not despise my dependencies, but I delight in his great mercies. I do not wish to be what I am not, but I rest in the wonderful presence of God. He is my good Father, and I am his precious daughter.

My weaknesses may outnumber my strengths, but the grace of my God is sufficient. He is my portion and my reward, and I am his beloved. I live in the light of his countenance, and his radiance warms my soul.

My Creator was pleased in my making. I exist for his enjoyment, as an ever glorious expression of love. As the object of his affection. Though dim, I am beautiful. My face is dark, yet lovely to him.

My love is my response. I love him so, because I have been so loved.

Read Full Post »

Behind the curtain

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When you’re little, you can see past the stars. When you’re grown up, sometimes it’s hard just to keep your head up. I think it’s unfortunate that the taller you get, the further away the stars seem.

I used to think everything would fall into place effortlessly. The way the notes sound in a symphony. The way a ballerina dances so naturally. The way a classic novel reads. I never heard the violinist’s string break the crescendo. I never saw the ballerina fall. The reason the words were so perfectly woven was hidden between the lines. In reality, the glory of the performance always depended on what happened behind the curtain.

David the shepherd boy was slaying lions with no audience long before he took center stage with five smooth stones. The faith he exercised in a secret place gave him the strength to face Goliath when the curtain was raised.

God himself was hidden in our skin and lived behind a veil. In the natural man’s eye he was far from successful. He was born into an obscure village as the child of a carpenter and a peasant girl. During his twenties he made his living with calloused hands. He didn’t have a wife and children. He didn’t invest in possessions. He worked as a carpenter who didn’t even build a home for himself. The clothes on his back were all he had.

“Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry,” (Luke 3:23) and then he died at thirty-three. He sweat. He bled. He wept. His glory remained hidden. After all he had done for others, he was put to death. He had friends, but none close enough to hear his last breath. He died a homeless man. And that is where his story ended. He lived behind the curtain.

“With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Mark 15:37-38) God had failed, or so the world thought. Behind the scenes God was writing the greatest story ever told. Through Jesus’ unsuccessful life he changed the entire world.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2) And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. (Is. 40:5) And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. (Col. 3:4) And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory. (2 Cor. 3:18)

Jesus preached success as holiness and behind the scenes as glorious. Even if we must suffer behind the curtain as he did, in fact, we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:17) I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:43) The stars then, rather than shining as a reminder of what we are not, are meant to remind us of what we will become.

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

To please God… to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness… to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son – it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”
CS Lewis

Read Full Post »