Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday: Suffering Leads to Life!

This is my Lord ... my best friend .... the lover of my soul .... my King .... my Savior ... my Healer ... my Deliverer ..... my Shield ..... my Refuge ..... my Comfort.... my Shepherd ... my Pastor ... and SO much more. 

Everything is worthless compared to the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Phil 3:10. To KNOW Him Intimately. 

Nothing else matters. 

To know God and to be in personal relationship with Him is the greatest gift given to man! 

This gift is given to us through Good Friday and Easter Sunday!

To be able to explore the character and nature of God - to look into every dimension of His being as Father, Son and Holy Spirit - this is God's gift to us! 

To know Him intimately!

Jesus is my everything. I can't live a single day without Him. He is the very air that I breathe and the sustainer of my heart. 

I would be dead without Him. Literally.

He gives hope to the darkness, joy to the despair, peace to the chaos, love to the hate, gentleness to the harshness of the world, goodness to the evil, faithfulness to the flakey .....

He holds onto me .... on those days when I have nothing left in me that can hold onto Him. 

When I am weak and feel like giving up ... He holds me.  He reminds me how tomorrow is a new day. 

Grace is truly sufficient.

Seriously, without Him - I am a mess of a woman. 

I am hateful, mean, bitter, offended .... and so, I rest in Him and in His finished work on the cross. 

I don't try to earn my way to the cross ... I simply find my way back to faith. To trusting. To surrender. To knowing what He is speaking over me and my life. 

To hear His voice .... and to be led by His Word and His Spirit. 

By FAITH, I leave the old woman in the grave and I live as the new woman.... the new creation .... clothed in His righteousness and goodness towards me!

As the new woman in Christ, I put on His garments of loving-kindness and BY FAITH walking in the fruits of the Spirit ... that He put into me. 

Do I do any of this perfectly - heck no! 

But, by His grace .... I grow into this more and more each year. 

When I fail, I don't just move on. I don't just pretend nothing happened.  I don't mask my failure.  I learn.

I listen, I learn, and I allow God to adjust in me what needs to be adjusted.  

And when I fall back due to any sort spiritual tsunami - I allow the work of Holy Week ... and the work of the cross - to pull me out of the darkness.  I work with Him in responding the way set out for me by Scripture. 

I allow Scripture to refine me more and more into His image. 

Love, grace and so much more.

I woke up this morning with images of Jesus being heated, scourged .... and .... then hanging on the cross for me. 

His blood was dripping off the cross and onto my face. His side was being pierced. 

The waters of that piercing hitting my face as I watched.  As I wept.

I woke with tears in my eyes of gratitude. 

He continues to save me from this crazy life ... from bad attitudes .... from hurtful actions ... from the rejection and hatred of man .... to the pain and despair that can try to fill my heart at times .... 

..... and He continues to make me more and more into His image ... every year .... 

Even those years where I back-slided due to some powerful spiritual tsunamis ... His grace is at work in me.  

Slowly bringing me back to Him and to do His work in reaching people for Him.

Today is Good Friday. 

Don't skip looking deeply into this day. 

Although it is filled with overwhelming pain and agony - we must know a powerful truth .... only by looking deep into this day and into the suffering and pain in the life of Jesus .... will we ever understand how to move through it in our own lives and to help others move through it to the HOPE of the resurrection in their own lives! 

Don't avoid this day ..... or numb the pain in your life.  Look at it, put it on a platter and carry it to Jesus.  Bring it to the cross and ask Him to touch it.  

This area of pain will bring you to a revelation of who God wants to be for you right now.  

Rejection, hate, abandonment, persecution .... will lead you to the heart of the Father ..... to deeply and intimately ...... to know the revelation of a Father who will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. 

To intimately know a God that no matter how messy you get, how ugly you act - He will walk with you ... holding your hand every step of the way.  He will be the shepherd that guides you or carries you until you are strong enough to walk on your own again.

God is not afraid of your mess nor will He ever shame you for it. Condemnation doesn't exist in the heart of God - for in Christ - there is NO condemnation.

Jesus will enter into your suffering and into your pain and He will help you to find your way out of it. 

Today is GOOD FRIDAY. 

Why is is GOOD? 

Because through suffering and death ... comes LIFE! 

This is the cycle we all must enter to find the power of the resurrected life. Phil. 3:7-11.

Someone loved YOU so much that He went through ALL of this for YOU!  Watch the video over and over again today.  Jesus - did this all for YOU. 

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