Thursday, 28 March 2013

Lead Me To The Cross

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

These words have been going on in my head this morning. How I am praying that Christ would help me. I want to conform to Him.
I have messed up a lot lately and it is because I let MYSELF direct me. And this has caused me a lot of pain. I do not want to ruin my relationship with the Lord. One thing however that stood out for me this morning was that, He still loves me a great deal ( I had to ask myself, “how can he still love me?”). But He whispered, “ I have loved you with an ever lasting love”. I just want to cry because I do not deserve such a love. I was feeling so much shame for hurting Jesus but I remembered that He would  wash me as clean as snow.
I have one prayer however, that Christ would rid me of myself, and that He will overwhelm me with His presence. 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

God's relentless pursuit of me

There are some words that I really find interesting. PURSUIT is one of them. Some of the meanings I got for it were, to chase, to hunt, to track down. Those are pretty serious words. I recall a time when I was 9 years old. Men used to hunt, in the village I lived in. They would track down their game for endless hours, without stopping. Until, they had captured it, then they would stop their pursuit. Watching them, I could tell it was a lot of work. They would at times pass by my mom’s place thirsty, and panting from exhaustion but they continued their pursuit.

And to think of God as a God who pursues me relentless is amazing.  Throughout my life, God has pursued me—relentlessly.  In fact, I was not even aware that God was seriously pursuing. He never gave up on me. Not even a single time. Even after I said yes to Him, he continues to pursue me when I go astray. That is pretty big. Very big.

My life since I surrendered to Christ has had its share of big ups and downs. The downs usually come with a serious nose dive. On several occasions I want to hide from God and just be mad at Him for a very long time. My living situation, my everyday challenges are not very encouraging to let me stick very close at times. I often feel like I want to let go.  At least a dozen times I have pleaded with God for help, sometimes adding, “I’m doing most of these things so I can serve you better.”

Despite my prayers, a lot has not changed; some times my situation gets even worse.  Initially I had a habit of finding my own hiding place, where I thought I would find quietness. Well, even in that so called quietness, I always felt anything but peaceful. I usually just lie down, and review my situation to no end. I have grown tired of scraping money together every month and never having anything left over. Saving for bad days ahead is usually a joke. Sometimes looking at some people I know, I get mixed thoughts. Am I not doing something right? What do I have to do to change my current situation? My friends usually tell me to wait on God. Some times I wonder, what that means. A few good friends are serving God while pursuing lucrative careers.

This tension has been building for far too long. No matter how carefully I try to manage what I have, unexpected things just sneak in. For perhaps a few minutes I grumble about all of heaven’s mistreatment. God why??? The whys and whens are usually very overwhelming.  Others don’t have these problems!!!!!

God however does not get mad at me and just leave me there because I am being one spoilt brat, who forgets easily how far He has loved me and sought my wandering heart. He continues to pursue my heart. He makes me feel restless in my wandering and then I have to stop and look back. It is in those moments that I know I need to talk to God. That He is there and He will forgive my unbelief and He Knows. Yes, He knows. 

Sometimes, I look at my son, and I see a whole story of redemption just in front of me. I called my son Hosea, for very many reasons. One, Hosea means Salvation or deliverance. In other contexts it is used to mean redemption. I look at my life way back before I gave my life to Christ; I realize that I did not deserve God’s pursuit of me. What could I possibly offer? I was a mess. But he sought me with His life. I remember that, and I know that no amount of problems in my life can ever make it worth me running from God. His salvation, redemption, deliverance is way bigger than these problems (if only I would stop wandering and grumbling!!!)

But does that mean that I will have it right always? No, not at all. I keep failing over and over and the running away from God happens again and again. I want to scream sometimes at My God often when I feel that he has smacked me with a sharp left hook. I want to not care sometimes about God and just find my own way but I can’t gamble on my salvation and that of my son.  This is not easy. No, it isn't. I feel kind of trapped. With few options which all point in one direction. That the only place to hide is in God. I am Penned in. God won’t let me go no matter what I want.

 “Even when I want to get away from you, you won’t let me go, will you?”

As I ponder on my own words, I get it inside my head. It clicks and i feel it. Tears fill my eyes, and an overpowering sense of gratitude engulfs me. God would not let me go. Even when I do not want to follow, God still loves me and wants me.  I have known people in my life who easily gave up on me because I displeased them; some even disowned me and totally hate me. But God (whom I keep attempting to run way from), never lets me off the hook that easy! For this I silently give thanks for the unrelenting love that refuses to let me run away. I remember a song that is sometimes sung at my church, it is pretty amazing, “You never let go, through the calm and through the storm….” That is what He does; He is relentless in His search for the one He loves. My prayer is that God will forgive me for failing to realize how much He loves me. And I pray that I will always remember that God wants me so much. For that reason I never want to ever pry loose the divine arms that hugged me tightly.

Even in my wandering, till the end of the day God has continued to see me through my trouble; often providing for me even when I least expect anything. I am not saying that my troubles have gone away. No, they are still so much present and I am very disturbed by them but God has used circumstances and people to show me He is there.  

Reason I am sharing this story is because I am aware of the God who pursues and pursues. He is relentless in His pursuit of us. Because we are precious to Him, He won’t let go. God won’t let me go. Even though I haven’t always rejoiced in that fact, sometimes arguing and screaming, I’m thankful that God hasn’t stopped the divine quest for me. I also know that as long as I live, God will relentlessly pursue me to complete sanctification.
This is true for each of us, and it means that if we pause and listen, we’ll hear the divine whisper, the love call, the sweet promises, and the tender voice that beckons us onward. It’s the Unyielding Savior who accepts us as we are, yet never allows us to remain as we are.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Jesus washes Disciple's feet

This Sunday I taught my Sunday school class. It was a day that I will forever remember. It was beautiful. My lesson was on Jesus washing the feet of the 12.
Funny thing is that I had 13 kids  in my class. That meant that we could act out that scene with out any kid being left out. 

when the time reached for us to start acting out the play, they couldn't stop giggling. I asked them to share the fun. They asked me " teacher, who is Judas?" i smiled at that. I then told them that Judas wouldn't be our focus at that point. I needed 1 to act as Jesus, one as Peter and the rest would be the disciples.



It was fun. Both Jesus and Peter were girls. The boys in my class are very shy and they are not many.  My Jesus character was very good. She went about washing the disciples' feet and drying them with a towel. I am not saying what we used as a towel but just so u know, it was not a real towel. When she got to Peter, that is when everyone in the class started laughing and laughing.  Peter started by complaining and resisting until he knew he had to be washed. The skit was a success and the Kids pretty much understood the whole concept.

But my question is, do we always grasp the whole significance of Jesus washing the disciples feet?
 Here are some of the things i thought to share as we get closer to celebrating Easter.
Jesus washing the feet of the disciples (John 13:1-17) occurred just prior to the Last Supper and has significance in three ways. For Jesus, it was the display of His humility and His servant hood. For the disciples, the washing of their feet was in direct contrast to their heart attitudes at that time. For us, washing feet is symbolic of our role in the body of Christ.

The disciples were very familiar with washing of feet as it was always done during communal meals or just before one was treated to a meal at someone's home as the guest's feet were usually messy with dust from walking long miles on dusty roads. When Jesus rose from the table and began to wash the feet of the disciples (John 13:4), He was doing the work of the lowliest of servants. The disciples must have been stunned at this act of humility and condescension, that Christ,whom they always referred to as  their Lord and master, should wash the feet of His disciples, when it would have been them washing His. But when Jesus came to earth the first time, He came not as King and Conqueror, but as the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. As He revealed in Matthew 20:28, He came “not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The humility expressed by His act with towel and basin foreshadowed His ultimate act of humility and love on the cross.

Jesus’ attitude of servant hood was in direct contrast to that of the disciples, who had recently been arguing among themselves as to which of them was the greater (Luke 22:24). Since there was no servant present to wash their feet, it would never have occurred to them to wash one another’s feet. When the Lord Himself stooped to this lowly task, they were stunned into silence. To his credit, though, Peter was profoundly uncomfortable with the Lord washing his feet, and being who he was( never being at a loss for words), Peter protested: “You shall never wash my feet!”

Then Jesus said something that must have further shocked Peter: “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me” (John 13:8), prompting Peter, whose love for the Savior was genuine, to request a complete washing.  My Sunday school kids were excited by this part! Then Jesus explained the true meaning of being washed by Him. Peter had experienced the cleansing of salvation and did not need to be washed again in the spiritual sense. Salvation is a one-time act of justification by faith, but the lifelong process of sanctification is one of washing from the stain of sin we experience as we walk through the world. Peter and the disciples—all except Judas, needed only this temporal cleansing. ( Jesus told Peter  in John 13:10-11 , “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean,though not every one of you.”  For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean).

This truth is just one of several from this incident that we can apply to our own lives.  When we come to Christ for the washing of our sins, we can be sure that it is permanent and complete. No act can cleanse us further from our sin, as our sin has been exchanged for the perfect righteousness of Christ on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). But we do need continual cleansing from the effects of living in the flesh in a sin-cursed world. The continual washing of sanctification is done by the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives within us, through the “washing of water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:26) of God, given to us to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Further, when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He told them (and us) " I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you" (John 13:15). As His followers, we are to emulate Him, serving one another in lowliness of heart and mind, seeking to build one another up in humility and love. When we seek the preeminence, we displease the Lord who promised that true greatness in His kingdom is attained by those with a servant’s heart (Mark 9:35,10:44). Then, the Lord promised, we will be greatly blessed (John 13:17).

Just like i told those kids, This act of humility from the Lord is what we ought to emulate. 


Friday, 15 March 2013

Coffee?????

I learned my lesson the hard way this time.
Yesterday, the sweet aroma of coffee in the office was so tempting. I took one mug. Little did i know that i will regret giving in.
When bed time came, i turned and tossed about in my bed willing myself to sleep. No, it was not coming. By 4:00am, my eyes were still wide open. I felt terrible. I wanted to sleep. I love my sleep. But, because of one mug of coffee,  that was not possible.

So no matter how good it tasted, i will not take coffee again unless i really have to.
My sleep is  more precious.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

He is in Control

I have learnt and I am still learning how much  it costs me when I think I can take control. It is never simple.  A few days now, I was going through a rough time  and I decided to keep God out of it (not that it is possible!!!) and just fuss about it. Well it has not been easy. On Saturday, I was so mad at someone . I started wishing them bad. The crazy thoughts that went through my mind were not good at all. I wished that the object they are using to cause me discomfort would be ruined/crash.

I realized later that i was not supposed to wish her harm. I was instead supposed to pray for her and to love her. Maybe....just maybe, she would change her ways and be more sensitive.

For a few days since, i have had some peace. I am praying that it will remain. And more than that, i am praying that God will transform her and win her to Himself. 

I have realized that i need to depend on God for even the tiny little things. Even when i feel that i have them under control, sometimes they hit me in the face and i totally feel lost because of depending on my own strength. This morning, Hamlet did not want to have a rain jacket on, and no matter how much i tried to explain to him that it was drizzling out and that he could catch a cold, he wouldn't change his opinion.

I was starting to get angry.....slowly, it was building up inside. Then i remembered something. I needed to pray. That Hamlet would understand and also for me to be patient and not be quick to get angry. Suddenly, i felt peace and calmness, that could only come God.

He was not happy but we made a deal that i would tell the boda (motorcycle) guy to bring it back home once he gets him to school. 


This tiny issue made me more aware of how it is important for me to trust God with everything no matter how big or small it is. He is in control, not me.