Posts Tagged With: victory

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Oh, how I wish that I could hear your cries,
and wipe the tears from both your glist’ning eyes:
As if by listening, calm your aching sighs,
As if to mourn for every death you’ve died.

I’d want to take away a bit of pain and hurt
and wash away from wounds the stinging dirt.
And then make known the Father’s worth,
His love, and how He gives you noble birth.

We’ll trust Jesus for healing that will come
and thank Him for the victory that He’s won.
The Spirit helps us in the race we run
and guides us to the Kingdom of the Son.

We bear each other’s burdens: laws are kept-
For we have shared the loss for which we’ve wept.

Categories: Peer support, Poem | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving Isn’t Love until You Love Those who Hate You

I used to think that I was a good guy.

I got all A’s in school.

I was healthy.

I was voted most likely to succeed.

I excelled in all that I set my hands to.

Then, there came a point at which I really got to know Jesus.

Now I know what a wretched sinner I am!

Oh, I had already called on the Lord and was saved, but this was different. I committed to follow Jesus by identifying with his death, burial, and resurrection. He who knew no sin, became sin for us so that we might become the integrity & virtue of God.

I do not follow the traditional teaching of the church on this verse. The traditional teaching of the church is that Jesus became a sin offering, thus inserting the word offering. I go behind the traditional teaching to look at Jesus Himself. He did not come to offer sin. He offered His Holiness. The Father came close in Christ.

Let us take this at face value though. What is this verse actually saying:

1. Jesus knew no sin.

2. Jesus became sin for us.

3. 1 & 2 are so that we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus became what he did not know so we could become what we are not. Jesus allowed himself to be humiliated so that we might become honored. Jesus was shamed so that we would be saved.

Jesus was indeed a sin offering. But that is not necessarily what this says explicitly. It says he became sin.

Ask any Muslim what the greatest sin is and they will say it is “Shirk.” to ascribe partners to God. I.e. to identify Jesus as divine.

Jesus was sinless. All are agreed on that except for a few people who claim that there is no absolute morality, which is self contradictory, so we will kindly ignore those proud souls for now who exalt themselves over God in their own mind (particularly since their own morality often is less than that of Jesus.)

Jesus also asserted that he is God. When he claimed to be the Son of Man, he was claiming not merely to be human, but to be made in the exact image of God and to be exalted as the one like a Son of Man who reigns in glory before the Ancient of Days as described in Daniel.

For a man who appeared to have been born of an illicit union, though he was not, to have claimed what appeared impossible, that he is God, resulted in the predictable condemnation at the courts of the Jewish leaders and the Roman authorities. This was indeed a most preposterous claim for mere flesh to make.

But Jesus was no mere mortal. He was also immortal. He laid down His life freely (that is, he chose to make that claim, when he could have kept it to himself). He also took up his life again (that is, he happily and triumphantly rose from the grave and left the grave clothes behind. He was victorious over death. He submitted to what appeared to be the defilement of the grave that he might sanctify the grave yard as a rest area for the saints, a mere passing through place which leads to a much better place.) Jesus is fully alive and well today.

So what? What difference if Jesus rose? I haven’t seen him, the atheist will say.

Ah, but Jesus is alive and active in His Body. Wherever 2 or more gather in the name of Jesus, submitting to His authority as Lord, they experience and communicate the presence of Jesus. It is not merely in this ritual or ceremony. It is a moment by moment reality.

And so it comes to pass, that when the doubter, the bitter soul, the slanderer, the evil doer, or any other person with any bad intentions comes against a church (that is, such a gathering of saints who are submitted to Jesus) the presence of Jesus is assaulted. But so also, the power of the Messiah’s resurrection is present in His people. He comes back again and again to present the truth claims of God on man. Because Jesus demonstrated what it is to be 100% submitted to God, he can claim to be fully God without any duplicity. Not even the angels can claim to be God without lying. But Jesus not only claimed this power, he demonstrates it over and over again every time His people demonstrate patience with the wicked. Everytime the church witnesses to the truth in a world of falsehood. Everytime a believer confesses the deity of Jesus the Messiah to a Muslim or Jew or Hindu or Buddhist or atheist or tribal practitioner, he experiences the righteousness of God.

You say, then how come witnesses seem so care-free, so unworried of what the world says about them? Why is it that missionaries go about their mission as though ignorant of the plans and purposes of the world to destroy them and to undermine them?

We can laugh at adversity, not because adversity is inherently fun, but we know the One (the Father, the Son, and the Spirit), the Lord who is greater than all our troubles.

We know the provider. Even if we starve and are indebted, we know the One who will feed us daily bread and who will forgive all our debts. Even if we are slaughtered, as the Islamic State is trying to do in Mosul, we know the One who Saves from the grave through the power of the resurrection.

Jesus is Lord.

No government can stop Him.

No army can harm Him.

No bank can buy Him.

No store can sell Him.

No religion can restrain Him.

No human can exhume Him.

No hand can hurt Him.

No sickness can weaken Him.

No failure can flunk Him.

Jesus reigns supreme!

He took ALL our shame.

He took ALL our sin.

With His Holy Claim.

And He rose once again.

Categories: Good News, Suffering, Testimony, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recovery

Today I participated in a NAMI Conference for Washtenaw County, and this seems appropriate to pass the publishing gate. Not all who suffer get this bad, but sometimes this is the only way to get out of the fog. A quick shout out to all those that I got to talk to there. I especially enjoyed hearing the fellow play a bit of Bach.

Lesson for the day from all those I got to hear:
Those of us with mental mazes are not social problems,
we are social pioneers and can be mentally amazing. But I digress.
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Dedicated to those who suffer from chronic mental illness.

As winter comes
and days are shorter, colder, and less friendly,
I huddle up, hugging blankets,
hoping to love, and be loved in return.

And when nothing happens but the dull passage of time,
I see a choice:
to hide forever digging deeper into darkness
or to rage against it all.
I have already hidden,
. . . but if I were to rage, would I rage against the walls?
or would I rage until I slid beneath in cowers?
or would I rage against the Living God?
or would I rage against some foe so tangible to me,
invisible to you?

The walls would yield till I fell cold.
My energy must not be wasted, for there is too little.
My rage must not be spent in ways as foolish as despair.
The Living God has long withstood my rage,
and all my hammering is empty,
looking so much like rebellion
that I have come to despise myself,
yet I shall see the face of God.
So if I raged against the foe who hides
and preys on weaker souls,
would "they" call me crazy?
Would I give up too soon, too short of victory?
Would I be crowned a hero for the day?

They have already called me crazy.
Awakening to victory against the enemy is worth
a thousand yesterdays of failure.
I have no choice but to rage in a hidden, friend-filled place
my love exploding gladly in the face of fear.
till God rewards with rich, undying, open grace.

Categories: Peer support, Poem, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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