Why do I post my bible reflections?

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Every day for the last 10+ years I have been posting my reflections here.
I am so thankful to ‘tdk’ for supporting me with his own reflections on the blog.
Someone recently asked me WHY I post my reflections here.

First I want to clarify what my reasons are NOT.
I am NOT writing these reflections because I am a minister, and I get paid to do it.
I am NOT writing these reflections to impress people how pious and holy I am.
I am NOT writing these reflections to teach people what they should think or believe.
I am NOT writing these reflections to excuse you from doing your own reflecting. Continue reading ‘Why do I post my bible reflections?’ »

When I stand accused?

“‘See how many things they accuse you of.’ But Jesus made no reply.” (Mark 15:5)
Why is Jesus quiet when He is being falsely accused?
Its not ‘normal’; we usually go into defense and attack mode.
Jesus knew that defending Himself was pointless; no one would listen.
He also knew God’s heart, that attack or blame is not God’s way.
Contrast how Adam and Eve defended themselves by blaming Satan and God.
Jesus is trusting God to be His defender.
I sense the Lord reminding me of situations where I felt accused.
Did I respond in humility, willing to admit where I was wrong?
Did I go on the attack, and accuse my accusers back?
Did my response reflect the grace and humility of Jesus, the heart of God?
Jesus did answer some questions, but He answered with gentleness and respect.
He did not get aggressive or accusatory; He remained calm, quiet, and trusting.
Jesus is gently probing my self-defensive heart, exposing my fear and pride.
‘Can you let down your aggressive defenses, and let Me help and defend you?’
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, You came to save me from my self-centered heart. Help me to surrender myself to You and Your care, and not defend myself in unhealthy, unhelpful ways.

My hands in His!

“I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:8)
Life in this world can be very difficult.
For many people, its a struggle for survival, to hang on.
This is not my experience, but I know many people living like this.
Its seems simplistic to say, ‘hang on to God, He’s hanging on to you!’
And yet what other hope have I got to offer?
If God’s help is not enough, nothing else will be.
In my own personal struggles, I have found strength in God’s hands.
My struggles do not always go away, but I am better positioned for them.
Like David, I have God’s presence and purpose to hang on to…
And hanging on to me… God’s hand upholds me, even when I let go.
Jesus is my model in this, a picture of calm in the midst of the storm.
Hanging on to His Father, even when it seems His Father lets go of Him.
And overcoming Satan, sin, death and hell – rising up in glory!
Jesus opened the way to victory for us; hang on to Him, even as He hangs on to you!
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, when all around me seems messed up and painful, I lift my hands up to You, and sense Your hands surrounding me. There’s not better place to be!

A life that honors God!

THE STORY OF JESUS: Nehemiah 4-5
“But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.” (Nehemiah 5:15)
If we constantly lived with an awareness of God, would we behave differently?
Nehemiah lived and prayed as if God was right there with him.
He made sure that his behavior was reflected His reverence and love for God.
He would not lord his position over others, out of reverence for God.
I see in Jesus that same close fellowship and love with God.
He lived and prayed as if God was right there with Him.
“The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19)
This is how we were made to live, how Adam and Eve were to live in God’s world.
I sense the Lord prompting me to think about how I go through each day?
Do I sense His presence, and do I do what I do out of reverence for Him?
Would I use that language, or dwell on those thoughts, if He were right beside me?
Would I work harder if I consciously worked with and for Him (Colossians 3:23)?
As a Jesus follower, may I do what I do today out of reverence for God!
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, every day I live my life WITH You! With Your help, may I live my life LIKE You and FOR You, out of reverence for God!

Ora et labora

THE STORY OF JESUS: Nehemiah 1-3
“I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king.” (Nehemiah 2:4-5)
I like how Nehemiah speaks to both kings at the same time.
He talks to God, and he answers king Artaxerxes.
He acts in both the realm of Spirit, and the realm of man.
Which, properly speaking should always overlap.
We were made to live in THIS world with God as our helper.
Life cannot be separated into spiritual vs. practical, worldly matters.
Everything and everyone we engage with is connected to God.
I sense the Lord pressing in to how I tend to separate them.
Either I work at something, or I pray about something.
Or I work first, then pray, sometimes as a last resort.
Some people see prayer as our only work, but God designed us for both.
As St. Benedict said, ‘ora et labora’, which means pray AND work.
Pray as I visit, as I study, as I build, as I parent, as I lead.
This is God’s kingdom restored, heaven and earth reunited as a team again!
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, You’ve invited me to join with Your work in the world. You’ve offered me Your strength and support to live my life with You, like You, for You. Help me not to forget about You as I do my work each day.

Turning point tears

THE STORY OF JESUS: Mark 14:66-72
“And Peter broke down and wept.” (Mark 14:72)
As I watch Peter in this scene, I sense Jesus looking at me!
‘How about you, how have you betrayed me?’
Ouch, it is easier to look at Peter and his failure.
Certain moments come to mind, ones that I am not proud of.
Peter broke out in tears because of what he did.
He is fully exposed to Jesus, and to himself.
Shame comes over him in waves, bravado melts into childlike weeping.
Jesus is still looking at me, ‘have you wept about your failures?’
Jesus does not want us to feel awful, but He does want to help us.
As long as I don’t face the ugliness of my sin, I won’t seek His help.
If I remain in denial, or hide from my moral lapses, I will stay stuck.
Most addicts do not seek help until they crash… tears indicate a crash.
But they also indicate a turning point, when the bondage of pride breaks.
Jesus is inviting me into a godly sorrow… that leads to healing and hope.
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, the brokenness of tears is not pleasant, and yet it is healthy and helpful. Lead me to a safe space where I can weep like Peter, and hear Your gentle pardon.

Standing with the Messiah!

THE STORY OF JESUS: Mark 14:60-65
“‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ”I am,’said Jesus.” (Mark 14:61-62)
When “Son” language is used of Jesus, it refers to Him as the promised Messiah.
“Son of the Blessed One” is not a divine title, but an divine affirmation.
He is a human being after God’s own heart, a faithful and righteous Adam.
Or as was first promised in Genesis 3:15, the offspring of a woman.
Jesus identifies Himself withe God’s promised Messiah (Daniel 7:13-14)
He is not claiming to be God, He is claiming to be God’s Messiah.
As a Jesus follower, I believe that Jesus is the hope of the world.
He takes back what Satan stole from us by beating Satan with obedience.
Jesus obeys where Adam (and we) failed, and takes back the throne for God.
This is the reason for my confidence, even when hell seems to prevail.
Satan often tempts and tricks me, and I still fall for it.
But I belong to Jesus, and Jesus guarantees my success, even when I fail.
With His help, I can keep trying to be more like Him, an obedient child of God.
I stand with the crucified Messiah, and I will rise with Him as well!
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, help me to stand firm with You. But when I fail, help me to stay confident in You, knowing that You have won for me, when I could not win for myself.

Save us from our leaders!

THE STORY OF JESUS: Mark 14:53-59
“Looking for evidence against Jesus so they could put him to death.” (Mark 14:55)
Here we see Jesus’ enemies trying to make up a case against Him.
They know they hate Him, they just need a solid reason to kill Him.
The sad thing is that these people are the religious leaders.
Shouldn’t religious leaders speak for truth, justice, honesty, compassion, goodness?
Sadly, through history religious leaders have often used power for the opposite.
This is part of the sin-messed world that God has to save us from.
We look to leaders in politics, business or religion, etc. for good leadership.
Instead (with few exceptions) we get greed, scandal, abuse of office, dishonesty.
Jesus is the exception: honesty, integrity, compassion, truth, justice, mercy.
Here is a leader we can look up to, a leader we can count on.
Though they try to stop Him, not even death can beat Him.
As we will see, this kind of leader comes out on top in the end!
I want to follow a leader like this. to be a Jesus follower!
And I want to be a leader like this… with His help!
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, as a leader I am humbled and ashamed at how we as leaders mess up God’s world, and hurt so many people. I need You as my leader, and I need You to help me be a leader like You!

Pointing to Jesus without pretense!

THE STORY OF JESUS: Mark 14:43-52
“Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him.” (Mark 14:45)
Judas pretends to respect Jesus by calling him ‘teacher’ (Rabbi).
But most painful of all, he pretends to love Jesus by a kiss.
As Jesus-followers, we are called to be bridges between Jesus and the world.
We are to lead people to Jesus… but not like Judas did!
If we are pretending, if we are not what we appear to be, we betray Jesus as well.
How many people go to church, sing Jesus songs, yet do not really know Jesus?
Those who are around us know the difference, they sense fakeness.
It has led many to resist Jesus, or to dismiss Jesus Him as a fraud.
We don’t need to be perfect to lead people to Jesus, we need to be honest!
Being a Christian is not about being religious.
It is admitting our struggle and sin and need for God’s help.
As Jesus followers, we are not putting on a show for others.
Pretending to be spiritual is not only pointless, its hard to keep up!
Be honest and real, and point to Jesus, the One that forgives and helps us all!
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, I am not a ‘holy person’. I am just a struggling Jesus follower whose hope is not in what I do, but in what You have done for me!

My rock and refuge!

“Surely they intend to topple me…” (Psalm 62:4)
My enemies are not the same as David’s enemies.
Not even sure I have any human enemies, like David did.
But I have an enemy that wants to topple me too.
Satan’s only power is the power of deception.
He is a messenger of doubt, fear, discouragement, confusion, defeat.
He uses people and circumstances in my life to hinder and hurt me.
And he is good at what he does, because to this day I still fall for it.
If the battle depends on me and my strength, I’m doomed.
“Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love.” (Psalm 62:12)
With David, I KNOW my hope and strength belong to the Lord.
God through Jesus has beaten Satan, and Satan cannot win against Him.
I can’t beat Satan, but as a Jesus follower I stand with One Who has!
I may struggle and stumble, but with Jesus I remain secure.
My success does not depend on me, but on Jesus – my rock and refuge!
What do you sense the Lord saying to you?
Lord, Satan can huff and puff and even blow down my house, but NOTHING can separate me from You and Your love!