Monday, November 4, 2013

A Well that Satisfies

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” –John 4:13-14

There I stood, alone at the well.  I was hoisting away at the ropes.  My dry hands were crackling and popping, splitting like the dry, hot floor of the desert.  My hands were blistered from pulling up heavy buckets full of desert dust, hoping it would satisfy a tongue that was like an edgy rock.  As I was busy submerging my palm into my bucket, a man came up to me.  There at the well, the man asked why I was drawing from a well that would never satisfy.  Why shouldn’t I listen to him?  Wasn’t he the same man who told his follower’s to cast their nets on the opposite side of their fishing boats?  Didn’t these same follower’s take his advice, and find themselves with plenty of fish on the bow of their boat?  The man, Christ, told me to draw from another well.  It’s a well that quenches the thirsty and gives eternal life.  There by the well, this man spoke to me.  That day, I left that well.  And now, I’m drawing water. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Embracing Brokenness

Life teaches us to despise brokenness.  When something breaks, it becomes invaluable.  Broken things are worthless.  Often times, we will replace our broken things with new ones.  When we get our new things, we will toss the broken things aside.  They are not worth the time and energy needed to fix them.

Unfortunately, we do the same thing with people.  We don’t take the time to repair them when they become broken.  Without realizing it, we will toss them aside.  We become too busy to take in broken lives into the repair shop of our own heart’s and begin to work on them. 

Every time I think about broken things, I always come back to the woman who brought the alabaster jar of very expensive perfume to Jesus.  She broke the alabaster jar and poured the perfume over him.  I think this act was a picture of her life.  There was something beautiful about her.  Also, there was something valuable inside of her that was very costly.  Jesus was the only one who could see inside her and valued what was inside.  In many ways, she was as broken and useless as the broken alabaster jar that lay in pieces at their feet.  This woman’s body had been used by so many worthless and unfaithful lovers.  Yet, Jesus looked past all of this.  Even though she was broken, Jesus saw into her heart.  He saw her as something of value and of worth.  Jesus didn’t even reject her sacrifice.  Rather, he embraced it.

What this woman might not have known was that Jesus was about to be broken.  His body was about to be used and wasted on us.  This is the most beautiful and extravagant act.  His human alabaster jar was about to be broken and his very heart was about to be poured out for all of us.  For me, my heart cries out in shame because I’m not worth such an extravagant sacrifice.  Yet, he gives me all of himself.  Just think, all I have to give him is my love.  It will never be enough for one who is so beautiful.  But it’s all I have that is valuable.  It’s my perfume.  So I’m pouring it all on the one who deserves it and is worth it. 

When I look into his eyes, I know he values my poured out heart.  It will be what releases the fragrance of love for others to smell.  It is what awakens the desire in others to know him.  Jesus embraces my broken heart with all its imperfections and says, “It is enough!” 

I can’t imagine how that woman must have felt when Jesus told her that she will never be forgotten.  Jesus received her and did the unthinkable.  He exchanged shame for honor, contempt for value, abuse for heeling, cheapness for beauty, service for relationship, death for life, and brokenness for wholeness.  Like the woman, Jesus is longing to make exchanges with you.  He knows that what we give him is worthless, but he embraces the brokenness.  Give him the pieces of your brokenness and he will always embrace it. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Everything

I love you God! You’re my hope, my anchor, and my rock!  You have always been steadfast in faithfulness towards me.  You have never turned your face away from me.  You have made my heart your home.  Oh Lord, how great you are! 
When pain and suffering have inflicted me, You Lord, have been my strength.  When I’ve been weary, you have been the source of my life.  Oh Lord, you’re my light, my joy, and my song!  I will always praise you.  I will always give thanks to you Lord, for all the wonders you have shown me.  
With your great love, you have made the heavens and the earth.  With a great desire, you have made me like you.  With your great compassion, you watch over me.  With your great mercy, you have forgiven me.  You have robed me in the robe of your righteousness.  Oh Lord, how amazing you are!  How great is your love!  It endures forever and ever! 
When I’m weak, you are my strength.  When I’m in battle, you are my defender.  You always set my feet on solid ground.  You are my protection.  You always keep me safe.  I love you God.  You’re my King, my life, and my breath!  All I am, I find in you.  Oh Lord, how wonderful is your love! 
When darkness surrounds me, I do not fear, you will rescue me.  When I’m frustrated, I don’t give up, I wait patiently on you.  You always hear me when I cry out for you.  Lord, I trust in your mercy and love!      
Oh God, I love you!  You’re my refuge, my strong tower, and my fortress!  You cover me with your wings.  Under the shelter of them, I find comfort.  You have made my soul your temple.  You have made my spirit your holy dwelling place.  Your love is a lamp to my feet, and a light upon my path.  You never leave or forsake me.  
Oh Lord, there is none like you!  You care for me like no other.  I will always follow you.  You alone are God.  You are always faithful. 
Oh Lord, how amazing is your tender mercy!  You’re my strength, my courage, and my fountain of life!  It’s your praise that I place before everything else.  Your praise sustains my soul.  It lifts my spirit.  How great you are my Lord! 
With all I am, I love you!  I never want to leave you!  I never want to live without your love!  I will always give thanks to you for all you have given me.  Oh Lord, how great you are!  I love you God, and I always will!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lord, this is peace

Here I am, you’re beloved

Lying face down at your feet.

With my eyes shut, face pressed to the ground

You reach down for me.

You lift my head

Holding my face, wiping my tears away.

I can hear you

Whispering your grace.

Opening my eyes, seeing your face

Lost in your beauty.

Falling in your precious embrace

Breathing in your fragrance

The taste of your goodness.

Lord, this is where I want to be

Here, with you

In the silence

Here, in the stillness


This is peace.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Love in an alabaster jar

Throughout the bible, there are many examples of people who showed their love for Jesus.  Today, I want to focus on one person who proved their love for Jesus.  This is evident in Mark 14:1-9.  In this chapter, Jesus is at the house of Simon the Leper.  While eating dinner, a woman comes in and does something unusual.  The woman breaks open an alabaster jar of perfume.  She pours all of the perfume over the head and feet of Jesus.  Who is this brave woman?  This woman is Mary, the sister of Lazarus.  In the bible, anointing with oil represented giving the very best, and giving it all.  In this instance, Mary was giving her very best and all she had to Jesus.  What Mary had was a very expensive jar of perfume.  In those days, this type of perfume was very expensive.  It was worth a year’s wages.  I can’t even imagine taking a year’s worth of wages and pouring it all out at one time.  On top of that, pouring a year’s wages all out on just one person.  Despite all this, Mary gave the best she had.  Before meeting Jesus, Mary probably didn’t have much.  But what she did have is now for Jesus.  Unlike Mary, the disciples were offended by her actions.  The disciples didn’t understand what she was doing.  They thought what she was doing was all a waste, especially a waste of money.  But Mary didn’t care what the disciples thought or said about her.  Nothing or no one was going to stop her.  She wanted to honor Jesus no matter what.  To prove how determined she was, Mary breaks open the jar.  In that time, alabaster jars were used to store very expensive oils.  These types of jars were made out of substances, such as, marble.  In result, these jars aren’t easy to break.  I don’t know how Mary was able to break her jar, but she was definitely determined to break it open.  Whatever the case, I think Mary was determined to break it open so that she could let all of her love pour out on Jesus.  Spiritually, I think the jar represents the body and soul.  In this sense, a broken jar represents a broken soul.  With that, Mary wasn’t just pouring out her expensive perfume, she was pouring out her heart’s perfume.  Mary didn’t spare any expense.  She wanted to lavish Jesus with her love.  She lets it all pour out before the Lord.  Despite her actions, Jesus accepted her and what she did for him.  Jesus appreciated her brokenness.  Her brokenness before him was what made her beautiful in his eyes.  Mary wanted to give Jesus the most precious gift she could offer because he gave her the most priceless gift of all.  This priceless gift is salvation and eternal life with him.  I’m sure being a broken and poured out jar wasn’t easy and probably was very costly.  But Jesus understood and still understands even today.  He understands because he is the most precious broken jar of all.  He let all of his love pour out on the cross.  It’s amazing that the sweet fragrance of his love still fills the world even after two thousand years.  Like Mary, I want to be so poured out that nothing will stop me.  I want my love for Jesus to be a fragrance that is so lavish and extravagant that it fills all of me.  I want it to be so sweet that it touches others when I come into their presence.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's Jesus Doing?

Stop right there Jesus! This baptism is only for sinners! For those who have sinned!  For those who need to repent!  These sinners need to be washed clean!  But not you Jesus!  You’re the sinless Son of God!  What are you doing Jesus! Don’t step any further!  This river is surrounded by filthy sinners!  The water has been contaminated with their sins!  You shouldn’t be here Jesus!  You don’t belong here!  Jesus didn’t listen.  He goes and does something incredible.  He steps right into that filthy water.  It has been infected with every kind of sin imaginable.  You name it and Jesus is waist deep in it.  Jesus stands in sin-infested water without anything to protect him.  In result, Jesus becomes completely covered by all of the sins.  It’s like he’s wearing the sins of all of the sinners.  We would never do anything like this.  And yet Jesus does it.  Because of his baptism, his body is soaking up all the sins like a sponge.  It’s amazing that these very sins were carried all the way to Calvary! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

From Filthy Rags to a Robe of Righteousness

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”-Isaiah 61:10.

When I think about Joseph’s coat, it had two distinct differences that normal coats did not have.  Joseph’s coat was very expensive because of its many colors.  In that time, coats were not colorful.  They did not have the technology or the resources to produce colorful clothing.  When they did produce a colorful coat, it was very expensive.  Joseph’s coat also had long sleeves.  In that time, they did not wear long sleeves because they spent most of their time working outside.  Israel intentionally gave Joseph a long sleeve coat because he did not want him to work in the fields like his brothers did.  I believe this coat is similar to my coat of righteousness.  God gave Jesus a robe of righteousness.  On the cross, Jesus took off this robe and swapped it with my filthy rags.  Jesus put on my filthy rags and robed me in his righteousness.  In doing so, my new robe of righteousness has two distinct qualities like Joseph’s coat.  For one, my new robe is very expensive.  Jesus paid a heavy price, so that I would be in good standing with God.  My new robe of righteousness also has long sleeves.  It has long sleeves because Jesus has already done it all.  It is a robe of rest.  He declared, “It is finished!”  The only thing I have to do is believe.  I understand that God has clothed me with the robe of righteousness.  I am right with God.  My good or bad works has nothing to do with this gift of righteousness.  This gift was given to me because of Jesus.  It’s all about the finish work at the cross.  This gift is not about how good I am, but how good was the person who bought it for me.  The Lamb of God did not just take away my sin, but he gave me his righteousness.  I am completely covered by the blood of Jesus.  He is my burnt offering.  He covers me from head to toe with his blood and righteousness.  I am righteous by his blood.  God has clothed me with the robe of righteousness which was paid for by the blood of Jesus.  It’s not my own righteousness, but it’s the righteousness of Jesus Christ.