Rakhma is the word Jesus would have used in Aramaic to refer to the unconditional love we should strive to have for those around us. This blog is very simply a point of collection, a place to gather thoughts. To be encouraged. To be strengthened. Faith comes through hearing and understanding. By all means, Take your time. Our goal is to create a gathering of believers where Christ's words through You and I will build each other up in our Faith. All things through Him. All things for Him.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Galatians 5

"When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love."

In the daily battle that must be fought against the mindset of earning and failing my own righteousness, those two very clearly defined misconceptions somehow become the basis for my decisions. Living with an eye on the legalities of Christianity gives me cause to think that I've done well, and conversely the idea that I've soiled myself. Both mindsets are equally distructive to my walk with Christ, because both ideas put the focus on what I've managed to accomplish by myself.

In their defense, the laws of scripture are in place for a reason, and are in no way outdated or inapplicable. In order to be aware of the need for Christ as a redeemer of all seperation from God, we must be aware of our seperation. In the New Testament, Paul expresses this point exactly in reference to the freedom we have as Christians from the law because of Christ, but is immediate and adamant in his instructions that we should never play the Grace card like a purchased indulgence. Doing so is spitting in the face of the price paid. But through the sacrifice of Christ, all sins are paid for, and those who truly follow Him are free from sin, even to death. Through Him it is no longer what we've done in the past, good or bad. It is only the acceptance of His gift and the renewal of your soul by the Spirit of God. But most people know that story, and it's easy to get burned out hearing the same tired Christian cliches.

So here's what I've been thinking. Make your faith applicable to you. Even as you read, you're in that spot of your life for a reason. Those around you? There for a reason. Look at it as an opportunity to serve. It is important for we as Christians to do more than talk about it. People will only listen to you for so long. But to see your life lived out in front of them, walking with Christ as your example of patience, love, kindness and faith, they'll come away with a much deeper understanding... Perhaps even be blessed, and with their blessing bless others, all for God.

All for God.

So even then, it isn't you. God is really down with the idea of what you will allow him to do through you. Your obedience, and your permission for Him to be glorified in your life. It isn't a switch or a single decision, rather a shift of focus and priority from trying to satisfy your own desire to desiring God's movement, and what's best for His glory. His Kingdom-- here on earth. That's the motivation- the desire for God's will to become yours. Everyone's. When the men who got to hang out with Jesus on a daily basis asked Him how they should pray, the second thing on his list, just after praising His Father in Heaven was, "thy kingdom come". Jesus was teaching us to actively pursue and expect God's full return to earth. To look at the decisions that you face with God's will at the center of your pursuit of Life. That happens at McDonalds, class, the laundry room, even when you're alone.

All for God.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Some thoughts against feeling stagnance in your walk

These moments are not wasted. They are your definition. Let the concern for preparation be handled by God. There is no time, only choices. See God in all things. Be the love that shows you are his child.

Don’t be afraid of adversity. Invite correction. Invite brokenness. Invite the opportunity to be rebuilt by the strength of the Christ who has paid for all of our transgressions with his body--- hands and feet marked with his passion and love for us. Then get up and let what’s been given to you flow out of you like sunlight. Make your life stronger than your words. Poise to serve. Live God loud.

The invitation on my dresser

Lately I've been pounded with the simple idea that through all of the tough decisions we have to face, there is a clarity in discernment gained from our priority.

Matthew Chapter 10 (and this is Jesus talking): "If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me."

These are strong words, and, I believe, an invitation to make a change in both posture and perspective in concern to God's priority in our lives if it's not already the case. I know I comfort myself in thinking that, without a doubt, if the world came to an end in a game-show type arena and the question of priority was God or ______, I'd choose God every time. But the invitation here isn't about the things that happen in the back of my mind, God is much more interested in how His love will eminate, soaking those people around us with a love that isn't fickle or conditional. And not just at church or around other Christians. Even at wal-Mart at two in the morning when I'm buying milk, through His grace, I have been given the opportunity to be a walking conduit of God's love. An opportunity I feel I miss entirely too much.

But there's the invitation on my dresser.

Live it loud. Place God's kingdom and will at the top of your list as the reason for being and an entirely new plethora of blessings opens up for your life.

Luke 12 is very plain in saying that we shouldn't worry about what the world worries about, but instead devote our hearts to seeking God's movement in our lives. The guarantee following this
condition is that we will be taken care of by the living God. And He's good at taking care of people. He's been doing it for a long time, and He's smart like crazy.

With God as your all, you are not shackled in your decisions by things like fear, selfishness or malice. They're all scrawny, plus God's got a bat. His invitation is counter-intuitive, but faith has never been a call to stagnance. Faith is a catalyst for movement and fortification. And there is something to be said for leaping for God when you know that there's no way you can make the leap on your own.

God is good to His kids.