Love Dance

I sat enthralled yesterday morning at the ministry of Pastor Bill Leach! He opened my eyes to a well known passage in Philippians 2:5-11 as I had never before seen it.

In verse 7 the Scripture says that Jesus emptied Himself. Pastor Leach pointed out that this was not by laying something aside, but by taking on the human form. The Divine One became a doulos (the Greek word which means a bondslave with no rights of his own).

“Jesus is truly Man, but not merely Man.”

Jesus understood that being God is not getting, but giving. By taking on the human form, Jesus was showing us that He identified with us and therefore knew what to give us.

“For God so loved the world that He GAVE His One and Only Son.”

When we love someone, we enter into their orbit. We are focused on them and their desires. In the Trinity each part of the Godhead is orbiting (or dancing) around each other.

In order for us to love God, God had to enter our orbit. We were self-absorbed: we danced only around ourselves. When Jesus took on human form He could enter our orbit—He could dance around us. It’s only then that we could understand how to join the love dance with Him.

Pastor Leach’s message called to my remembrance something I learned from another great pastor, Dave Williams, from 2 Peter 1—

His divine power has given us everything we needfor life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. (v. 3)

This verse sets the stage for what comes next (verses 5-7). The Apostle Peter then tells us to begin to add to our faith and our love dance with God. Add is a compound word which means a lavish dance with no expenses spared!

Because Jesus chose to step into our humanity, He chose to step into our self-centered dance. And now that we have seen Him—the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14)—it’s time to leave our self-centered dance behind and join with a new Dance Partner who loves us like no one else ever has, or ever will!

Thursdays With Oswald—Mirror

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Mirror

    It is a wonderful thing that God can cleanse and purify the thinking of our hearts. That is why our Lord says, “Of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). The Bible says that words are born in the heart, not in the head….

     Jesus Christ said He always spoke as His Father wished Him to. Did His Father write out the words and tell Him to learn them by heart? No, the mainspring of the heart of Jesus Christ was the mainspring of the heart of God the Father, consequently the words Jesus Christ spoke were the exact expression of God’s thoughts. In our Lord the tongue was in its right place; He never spoke from His head, but always from His heart. 

From Biblical Psychology

Have you ever noticed how friends begin to talk like each other? They laugh at the punchline without the joke being told any longer, because they know it so well.

Or how about married couples who can finish each other’s sentences, because they are so in tune with each other.

Biblical scholars have pointed out the similarity of writing styles of Luke and the Apostle Paul, probably due to the huge amount of time they spent with each other.

We begin to mirror those with whom we spend the most time.

Jesus Christ had his heart filled with God’s presence, so His words mirrored the thoughts of His Father.

What about me? Whom do I mirror? My vocabulary will tell me who fascinates me most, who has my attention, who as my heart.

I pray that more and more my words reveal that I mirror my Savior Jesus Christ. May my heart be fascinated and attentive to Him, and then may I never speak from my head, but always from my heart.

My Healer

In yesterday’s “Where’s God?” series, I looked at the very difficult question: Where’s God in my sickness?

The word disease has an interesting origin. In the Old French the word literally means without ease. So we could call any disease our place of dis-ease. Whether it’s in the physical, the emotional, or the spiritual part of us, we have all experienced times of dis-ease.

God did not create disease. He did not create sickness. He did not create sin. We did. When we push our physical bodies too far, when we exploit our natural resources, when we rebel against God’s design, we are opening ourselves up to dis-ease. When we experience the painful results of this, God would be perfectly justified in standing aloof from our situation.

But… this is the absolute miracle of the Incarnation —

Jesus choose to step into our pain!

He choose to personally experience our dis-ease!

But the fact is, it was our pains He carried — our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought He brought it on Himself, that God was punishing Him for His own failures. But it was our sins that did that to Him, that ripped and tore and crushed Him — our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. (Isaiah 53:4-5, The Message)

Only One who is fully Man and fully God could know our dis-ease and heal our dis-ease. Incredible!!

Please join me next Sunday when I plan to take a look at this question: Where is God in my depression?

Evangelizing The Evangelized

I was talking to a friend the other day about church growth, and we both notice something disturbing: Most of the “new” people coming to church are actually not so new. Much of what has been called church growth is actually church transplants.

We’re not reaching the lost. Ouch!

I think Howard Hendricks nails it with this:

The Gospel is failing to produce results in some places today because it lacks an audience. Christians in churches are busy evangelizing the evangelized. We constantly face the danger of developing a fortress mentality: making occasional excursions into unfriendly territory and scurrying back to the safety of our church and its people when opposition arises. We tend to derive security from friendly surroundings rather than from Jesus Christ, and so we fail to penetrate our society for Christ.

I pray my greatest strength is my relationship with Jesus Christ, and that my driving passion is for others to know this beautiful relationship too.

May God help me to have an audience in Cedar Springs!

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