What are Your Tags Showing: REDEEMED

John 19:19 Pilate also had a notice posted on the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.

“Your tag is showing.” The lady behind me whispered at church yesterday, as she tucked the sales tag into the back of my shirt. First of all, let me just say . . . I got a killer price on the shirt! But what do you do when your tags of brokenness are showing?

  1. Hide them
  2. Lie about them
  3. Claim them and laugh
  4. Flaunt them

Everyone was labeling Jesus. They were trying to understand this man who claimed to be both God and man. Was he here to usurp power, or lead a rebellion? Was he a prophet? Yet Jesus cared more about who his heavenly Father thought he was. “This is my son, in whom I well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) He did not hide who he was.

For many of us, others see what we think hidden. They see we are unhappy in our marriage; coworkers are painfully aware of our arrogance; friends feel the draft of our hopelessness. Some just laugh and are grateful that it’s not them suffering those problems. Others lean forward and tell us to hide them better. Still others pluck the tags from us thinking they are being helpful.

I can’t hide the tag of survivor of suicide because it permeates from every aspect of my life. I miss that blue-eyed, dimpled chin young man. I miss his laugh, our conversations, seeing him at college, and all the things that were to come. But in this life we will have troubles. I hope you see, though deeply wounded, I will not back down from living! Be encouraged, our circumstances may tag us with heavy burdens. but no matter how may labels show, the original price on my life has been marked out. In its place are the words: REDEEMED! PRICE PAID IN FULL! BEAUTIFUL! WORTHY! JUSTIFIED! FORGIVEN!

Do you still carry the tag of who you were, or has it been marked out by Jesus Christ? Are you convinced, no matter what tags this broken world tries to pin on you, that you are a son or daughter of a risen king! Murderers tried to tack “King of the Jews” above Jesus on the cross. But, I declare that he was and is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Redeemer and gratefully my Savior. That is a tag I don’t care if anyone catches hanging out of my shirt!

Prayer:  Lord, we have tags showing. May your love redeem all of them and lead others to a saving knowledge of who you are. Amen

Adding Voice

 

John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

We all need an advocate. Because eventually we always come to the end of ourselves and find we are still lacking.

New Year’s Renewal of the Mind

Matthew 22:34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?

37Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’c 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’d 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

These are the verses that are shaping my new year. What are yours?

Wise Wednesdays: My Quiet Time Focus this Week

Hearing

The study my Sunday class is doing on Romans 12 is becoming an intricate part of my journey in full surrender.

img_0046
Instrumental in redefining surrender for me.

Navigator Hand Illustration

Bible Reading

Acts 9 and 10

Studying

Acts 9:

Summary:

God physically stops Saul’s murderous plans in his tracks and introduces him to the gospel. Through visions God leads the right people: Ananias and Barnabas to minister to and guide Paul. Much to the surprise to everyone, including Jesus’ disciples, Paul begins passionately preaching the good news, just as passionately as he had opposed it.

How does this apply to me?

That same power is offered to all who believe. The requirements are to believe in Jesus, that he rose from the grave, and he sits at the right hand of the father. His will happens no matter what, even if he has to blind us, or derail my agenda. I am to surrender to his will, above my own and his glory is revealed through becoming a living sacrifice.

Memorize:

Romans 8

Meditate:

Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Romans 12:1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Double Rainbow of Presence

Revelation 4:2At once I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne standing in heaven, with someone seated on it. 3The One seated there looked like jasper and carnelian, and a rainbow gleaming like an emerald encircled the throne.

Genesis 9:13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

“Sometimes we need a double rainbow!” Daniel exclaimed after having a rough afternoon of missing Jonathan. “God really loves me.” We pulled off the road to take pictures. When our lives are filled with storms it can be hard to remember they will not last forever. We long for God to reinforce his presence, promise and provision. One rainbow, simply is not enough.

Head knowledge does not suffice when you are in prison, abused, grieving, sick, struggling deeply to overcome sin. Please hear me! Like any child needs to hear the words “I love you”, even though they may not have the feeling to match, we consistently need reminders that God loves us. We are learning to correctly interpret God’s ways and because he doesn’t operate inside our box we can interpret our circumstances as punishment. Only when we accept His love as irrefutable fact, allowing Christ to make his passion for us a part of our being, do we stop being tossed around like ragdolls when the circumstances change.

In 10 days my son dies. Those are the circumstances of July 1st. My husband is very ill. My daughter and son have dietary issues. Those are the current circumstances of my day to day. I am learning that “even if  __________”, God loves me. Look for the never the lesses”  and “therefores” in scripture, because what follows is God!

Rainbows are a never the less symbol of his overwhelming love for us. A double leaves no doubt. Scripture is filled with men and women who needed a second sign to confirm that God held their circumstances and would bring good out their brokenness. Abraham, Sara, Moses, Gideon, Joshua, Naomi, Jonah, Esther, Mary, Peter, Thomas, Paul, the list is endless. In almost all cases these mighty heroes of scripture came to a place where they obeyed God no matter what! So look for your rainbows and discover how trustworthy God is!

Psalm 139: God’s Complete Physical

Lord, you have given me a complete physical and you know the state of my mind, body, and soul.

My daily planner lays open before you.

My thoughts are front page news as you sip your morning coffee.

When I leave for work, or shut the computer down for the night, you observe.

The bottom line, you have made my life your business.

My words are filtered through your righteousness.

and you determine their worth.

 

You have a 360 degree view–there is not a side of me hidden from you.

I don’t get a personal bubble.

I don’t understand why you are so intimately involved and I’m not sure

I want to.

 

There is no escaping your activity in my life. Your Spirit is everywhere!

Of course you are in charge of the heavens,

and I can’t find a bunker deep enough to hide from you.

I can sit in first class on American and you are there.

You are the navigator of my ship directing my course, like a

father with his child, through a sea of people I could easily be lost in.

 

Let’s face it, I can’t play pick-a-boo with You.

You are a giant flashlight illuminating my soul.

 

In fact, You sewed my soul together, in my

mother’s womb.

You hold the first 4-D image

of who I am.

And you give your stamp of approval,

who am I to argue with that!

 

When I was nothing more than a lump of clay, you

knew what I would become.

You have the first edition of my life

before a word was ever written.

 

I am eager to know your thoughts.

I do not have a databank

large enough to contain them.

That you choose to share your plans

with me when I awake, amazing!

 

So why do my enemies come between us!

Please remove them, I can’t stop thinking about

their threats and schemes.

Haven’t I obeyed you, and they have not.

Ultimately I know their fight is with you.

When they stand against me, they stand

against you.

 

We are back to the beginning. Since You know me so well, you know

that I fear how strong my enemy seems. If there is anything that offends you remove

it so that you stay my companion forever.

 

 

Indulging in Obedience

 

Matthew 4:3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

For two months I have been more intentional about exercise and healthier eating. And for two months my weight has wavered at about the same weight, but never decreased. I have not grown discouraged because I know I am doing the work, but yesterday I asked God why? And he answered.

It is about control. He’s in control, and I am not. Whether it was anorexia or overindulgence, my unhealthy relationship with food has always been all about me. God wants all of me, not just what I choose to give him, and therefore, he is not allowing the needle to move until He matters to me more than results. Will I love him, praise him and obey him if the needle never moves an inch? When I am satisfied with God alone I will no longer be prone to extremes.

Whether food or other addictions, I am convinced and convicted that when God is the center of our universe nothing else satisfies. Jesus rebuked Satan by stating that man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every word of God. In other words, obedience to God is more important than filling my belly. In the Old Testament story of Babylonian captivity, Daniel and his friends refused to eat the rich food of the king, because God had commanded them not to;he had set them apart. Their obedience was rewarded with better health and position, over those who ate the food. It wasn’t about the food, it was about obeying God. God gives favor in all areas, even in enemy territory when we give control to him.  Trusting that God wants good things for me, I don’t have to take matters into my own hands, which is the starting place of addiction. And, with God in charge I am no longer a slave to food!