Tag Archive: sacrifice


Memorial day

Good Friday

Good-Friday-Wallpaper-19

Read Numbers 3:14-51 and chapter 4

There is no commentary for today’s reading, so I wanted to throw my two-cents in…

Have you noticed all the repetition?

Uff, especially in Numbers 7… wow, really?  Do we have to read over and over again about each of the silver dishes weighing 130 shekels, the silver bowls weighing 70 shekels filled with fine flour mixed with oil, the gold pans weighing ten shekels filled with incense and 1 bull, 1 ram, 1 male lamb a year old, 1 male goat and 2 oxen, 5 rams, 5male goats and 5 – 1 year old male lambs that each tribe offered??

It seemed a little redundant.  It became quite humorous actually as I read it aloud to the kids… we all practically started chanting it together after the 5th or 6th time the offerings were listed.

And so it got me thinking.  Why did God intentionally repeat these offerings?  I mean, they were the EXACT SAME ITEMS!  He could’ve totally shortened the Bible by like 1000 words had he just said “and each tribe offered the same.”  Or something y’know, more spiritual that than.  But you catch my drift.

But He didn’t.  He listed each offering and each tribe for a reason.

I tried to search commentaries and study Bibles for any answer…and most remained silent, but what I did find was a great article which asked the same question and found this answer from another source:

The purpose he says is “to emphasize as strongly as possible that every tribe had an equal stake in the worship of God, and that each was fully committed to the support of the tabernacle and its priesthood.” (Numbers, p. 93)

and then the writer, John Piper, also added:

Yes. But let the method of emphasis sink in. Moses could have used Wenham’s words and saved time, space, and tedium. He could have said, “Every tribe has an equal stake in worship and all are to be fully committed to the tabernacle.” That’s 18 words. But he used 12 x 93 = 1,116 words.

Here are some lessons:

– There are times when you look into every child’s eyes and say the same important thing. You don’t say the precious thing to one and then sweep over the others: “That applies to all of you.”

– These tribes are not equal. Some are larger. Some have sordid legacies. But everyone heard every word of God’s plan for their approach to God. Every one. Every word. Identical.

– Efficiency is not always the highest value. Slow, long, repetitions are sometimes the best way to make an impact.

– Patience in reading God’s word may be a test of the frenzy of our pace and our demanding attitude toward the Bible that it be the way we want, not the way God made it.

Interesting.

 

Related Articles:
Theological Reasons for Wordiness   (desiringgod.org)

Job is sort of a drama queen.

What I mean by that is for someone who is doing all the right things because God is quite pleased with him [Job 1:8, Job 2:3], and when he loses his cattle, his children, is covered with boils and his wife tells him to “curse God and die,” [Job 2:9]

She actually says that!  Boy, I would not want to answer to God for saying that!  Whew.

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne… And the dead were judged …according to what they had done.”   Revelation 20:12

But I digress, back to Job.  When all of this happens in his life, Job curses his birth.  He rants about how he wishes he wasn’t born, he curses the day his mother got pregnant and wishes he would have been stillborn. [Job 3]

That gets old.  Listening to someone complain about how they wish they wouldn’t have been born, that they wish God would just crush them.

I have friends who are Christians; they make good choices, go to church and raise their children to love the Lord.  But when the going gets tough they bail.  They blame God and curse the day they were born.  They whine and cry about how hard things are and that it’s just not fair.

But what is fair?

Should a robber be pardoned because the punishment is to pay with their time for what they’ve taken?  Should murderers receive amnesty because the punishment for their crimes is death?

No, of course not.  They deserve the punishment because they did the crime.

I have a friend who lived a life of terrible abuse.  He suffered both physically and mentally, enduring terrible pain and shameful ridicule.  His body revealed the physical torment he endured and people still talk about the heartache and loneliness he experienced.

I can’t imagine living his life or feeling the hate he experienced.  The struggle he lived was intense and unimaginable.  I know he wished he didn’t have to live it, wished his life was different and even asked God to take it away… but God didn’t.

My friend died.

Was it fair?  By our standards no, but God had a plan.  God knew that my friend had to endure this hardship in his life to be an example to others and for God’s ultimate plan for good.

My friend lived a perfect life and died because I deserved it, not him.

Are the struggles we experience fair?  In our minds, no.  But was it fair for Jesus to experience the heartache and pain He lived through?

And He did it willingly.

He did it for you.

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”   1 John 4:10

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”   John 3:16

Have you ever been lost in a department store?

You’re eight years old walking down the toy aisle with mom pushing the cart when you are lured by the call of the Glo Worms, Masters of the Universe, She-Ra and Star Wars action figures, Rainbow Bright, Pound Puppies, Donny & Marie dolls and Micro Machines when you look up and realize Mom’s nowhere in sight.

Your heart pounds, your eyes widen, your pulse quickens and your whole body stiffens and practically tingles as you frantically search aisle after aisle desperately seeking someone you recognize.

You know that feeling… empty, desperate, nowhere to turn, no one to listen, lost and without hope.

Several months ago I wrote an “I Spy” about pulpit thumping, which I realized I hadn’t posted on here yet…so, I literally just posted it now if you’d like to take a look:  “I spy God thumping

The co-worker I refer to in that post has been prayed over by many people and so often since that incident with the radio preacher almost five months ago now.  I shared the “thumping” story with the owner and other employees at Life 102.5, and they have been praying that God might open a door for me to continue to witness to her at work.

However, to be completely honest I never thought she would be brought to a place where a door would be opened wide enough for her to be accepting of it, let alone have the time needed while at work to share with her, so again I shrugged it off.

“Is anything too hard for the LORD?”   Genesis 18:14a

How silly of me.

Just the other day, I was able to sit down and catch up with this co-worker, and she shared with me about enduring some real heartache and difficulty in her life, and that she is very much struggling with everything right now.

Creeeeeaaaaak…the door just opened.

God provided a good 45 minutes for me to chat with this gal and share of God’s love and the sacrifice He made for her, but as we talked what struck me was that I saw in her eyes a glimpse of that little girl lost in a department store.

I saw fear and confusion in her tear filled eyes.  She couldn’t recognize anyone around her, she couldn’t understand how she got there and unable find her way.

 

I read a new friend’s blog just this morning that God spoke through, bringing my co-worker to mind and into my prayers:

“Maybe you are standing at the bottom of that hill or mountain looking up high at a mountain and that’s all you know for sure.

And when this happens, and it does sometimes, we can look a tiny bit higher than the hill to the clouds, look for something–no, Someone–we can’t see, and say, even when we don’t have any other words:

“Jesus, help.”
 
I remember the one time that He was up on a hill.
 
And I wait. Because He is strong in my weakness.
And that’s why I need grace.
 
Will you wait? See His strength in your weakness.
We all need grace.
 
He comes when we ask and we find His strength.”
*Excerpt taken from Jen’s blog: Extra*Ordinary

Do you know something is missing, but can’t figure out what?

Do you long for the warmth, peace, and embrace only our loving, forgiving, and all-powerful Father can provide?

Please don’t wait another moment to turn to the One person who can give you what you’re missing.

Call to Him.

He’s waiting.

Christian; do you remember a time, even if you grew up in a strong Christian home and gave your life to Jesus at an early age, where you felt far away from Him?

He hasn’t moved.

“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”   Matthew 19:26

I wake up every morning at 4:00am.  I used to wake up at 5:00 to pray and workout, but when I started to leave the house to work out, I lost prayer time to driving time, so I decided I needed to get up earlier.  Thankfully God made me a morning person…granted, I would love to sleep in, but once I’m up and out of that sinfully warm and comfy just-a-few-more-minutes-Ma bed, I’m good.

This morning, God revealed a hard truth to me.

Since I’ve focused more on my writing recently, I have noticed my prayer and study time shifting to writing time.  I have not spent real quality time talking to God or studying His Word for a while.  For so long I have wanted to write.  It truly has been my dream since I was little, and since giving my life to my Lord and Savior, He has given me a burden to share His sweet truths and awesome stories with those who don’t see Him the way I do.  I would love to have that opportunity, or a job that allows me to do that; an opportunity where I can search Scripture, or pray, or talk about Jesus whenever I want.

But what I realized this morning is that I already do!

I can spend time everyday talking with Him.

But, do I?

I can spend time everyday learning from Him.

But, do I?

Every day I can tell other people about Him.

But, do I?

It is a commitment.
It is a discipline.
It is a choice.

Is Jesus truly Lord of my life?  Do I live for Him?  Do I sacrifice my comfort for Him or have I been allowing the evil one to convince me that writing stories, looking up Bible verses, and talking to him when I need help or an answer is good enough?

I don’t pray the way I used to…and yes, I am in constant conversation with God throughout the day, but do I truly listen?  Am I interested in what He has to say, or do I just let Him have it and hope He will help me out?

Why do I long to write so badly?  Is it truly for God or notoriety?  For whom do I really want to bring glory to?  Am I His and His alone, completely?

“And as [Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him,

‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

‘You know the commandments: Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’

‘Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.’

‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’

Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”   Mark 10:17,19-21

Am I willing to sacrifice my dream, the desire of my heart, the one thing I have always wanted…to follow Jesus and His plan for my life?

“…’Abraham!…Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love… and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.  Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.”   Genesis 22:1-2, 9-10

God asked me this morning; are you willing, like Abraham, to lay down your most prized possession, the thing that defines you, the thing that you hold closest to your heart …to follow My plan for you?

In the movie Facing the Giants, Grant Taylor, a high school football coach with a mediocre record, creates a new coaching philosophy and decides to praise God after each game, no matter what the result.  It’s a wonderful underdog story revealing God’s faithfulness.

One story line in the movie covers Grant’s wife Brooke’s infertility, and there is one scene where Grant asks Brook a poignant question:

“If the Lord never gives us children, will you still love Him?”

She gives a very honest answer when she doesn’t respond.  Later in the movie she responds in a prayer, after hearing news that she again is not pregnant, by saying:

“I will still love You, Lord.  I will still love You!”

That is a defining moment to me.  That is the kind of walk I want with my Lord, one where I am willing to give anything to follow Him.  I don’t want people to see me through my writing, I want them to see Christ.  I want them to see how amazing my God, my Jesus, my Savior, is and how wonderful it is to follow Him, and if laying down my heart, my dream, my writing, brings Him the most glory…I gladly lay it down.

“The critical question for our generation – and for every generation – is this:

 If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth,
and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed,
and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted,
and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven,
if Christ were not there?

– John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself

Could you??

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,”    2 Corinthians 4:17-5:2

It is so frustrating how quickly I lose my way in this world…how easily I turn from focusing on God to focusing on myself; how I am being hurt, wronged, or treated unfairly.  How I always have to be “on,” I can’t make a mistake or have a bad day, I have to give of my time or encourage someone who’s down.  I have to do the laundry, clean the house, be a loving wife, a wonderful mother, an example to others, watch what I say…

I walk around with a pleasant smile on my face, but fowl thoughts in my head;

“It’s not fair!”

“What about me?”

“When is it my turn?”

I question and beg, whine and cry, yell out “poor me, why doesn’t someone do something for me?”

Then God smacks me upside the head (this happens so often, I’m sure I have a mark somewhere…) and gently reminds me:

Some ONE has done something for you.

”but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   Romans 5:8

Jesus paid an enormous price for my life.  He suffered excruciatingly more than I do, and without a groan from His lips.  In fact, the words that did fall from His lips were unfathomable and astounding;

 “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”   Luke 23:34

And yet I still find myself complaining… I get a hangnail and I complain, for Goodness sake!

I have never said; “Father forgive them,” instead I say; “Father, forget them, focus on me!!”

As believers, we will have unfulfilled longings this side of heaven because we are not made for this world.  We will be wronged, our feelings will be hurt, we will not be treated the way we want.  And because of sin, we are prideful and self-centered creatures who love ourselves more than anyone or anything.  We want to be treated well and are quick to notice, and certain to let people know, when we feel we aren’t.

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”   1 Peter 2:11-12

This world is Satan’s playground, his power and dominion of sin reigns all the earth and we experience hardship and heartache because of it.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”   Ephesians 6:12

I deserve Hell, nothing more…

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

…and praise to the One who took my place.

Praise the One whom I will suffer for here on earth.  I live for Him, not myself …and I will wait patiently for His return.

Of course, still with a bit of groaning and complaining…

“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”   Romans 8:23

I Spy allegiance

Men and women for centuries have given their lives for their love of this country and for our freedom.  We are so grateful for the price they have paid allowing us the privilege to live in a free country with no fear and opportunity abundant.

That is why we pledge our allegiance to Old Glory…to our flag of 50 stars and 13 stripes, and why we feel pride when we sing out, hand over hearts, to the “Star Spangled Banner.”  We know what has been sacrificed, are inspired by the love and price that has been paid, and are impelled to stay faithful to it.

What does it mean to pledge allegiance to something?

pledge      noun       \ˈplej\
Definition of PLEDGE:  a binding promise or agreement to do or forbear
 
al·le·giance       noun        \ə-ˈlē-jən(t)s\
Definition of ALLEGIANCE
1 (1) : the fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign or government 
   (2) : the obligation of an alien to the government under which the alien resides
2 : devotion or loyalty to a person, group, or cause

As Americans we respect the price that was paid, we love and are proud to be part of this incredible country, and are devoted to support it… but as Christians, do we show the same respect, love and devotion to the One star and His stripes?

 

We have an obligation to support it…

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”   Mark 12:17

        

We should be loyal to it…

“Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”   1 Peter 2:17

          

Show we are proud of it…

“But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”   2 Timothy 1:12

           

Show our devotion to it…

“Pay to all what is owed to them: …respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”   Romans 13:7

           

Stand up for it…

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”   Titus 2:7-8

          

Understand what has been sacrificed for us…

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13

         

There is a song that gets me every time I hear it.  I love the message because it is exactly how I feel about my relationship with Christ;

“It ought to be
More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance

Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in love

It’s like I’m falling in love, love, love
Deeper and deeper
It was love that made
Me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me”

“More Like Falling In Love”  – Jason Gray

I love this country, and am so thankful and blessed to live here.  But the love I have for this country does not compare to the love I have for my Savior.  One day this country will fall from my eyes and the only thing that will matter is the One standing before me.

And like most people, I long to hear those words…

“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”   Matthew 25:21

Tithe

Isn’t it just amazing how God provides…in His perfect plan and in His perfect timing?!

We were short on money this week…Jax saw that we were going to be short $125.00 for our mortgage because we paid our tithe to church.

It always seems to be a struggle, although I know it shouldn’t be, putting in that money for tithe.

“You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.”   Deuteronomy 15:10

I never understood the idea of tithe, or giving 10% of your income to the church.  I remember Jax talking about tithing when we were first married.  He would say that we are to tithe because everything we have is from God so we need to give a portion back to Him.

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.”   1 Chronicles 29:14,16

I thought it was crazy.  Why would I give money to someone else, when it was difficult to make ends meet with the money we made as it was?!

So, we didn’t tithe.

“Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions.”    Malachi 3:8

Knowing what I know now… yeah yeah, hind sight is 20/20…the reason we are to tithe stems from the Old Testament.  Israelites were to give a tenth of their income; be it from crops, cattle, or goods, to the Levites who served the Lord and ministered to His people in the tabernacle.

“For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel.”   Numbers 18:24

Hmmm…sounds familiar.  The church of the Old Testament, just as it is today, was non-profit and relied solely on the gifts and tithe of its congregation, and how its “employees” were paid.

Although I had heard this explanation, I still didn’t feel the need to tithe.  God in His gentle, loving, way continued to remind me that tithing is a command, but I still considered it foolish and continued to live and spend “my” money my way.

Yeah…interestingly enough God only allows that to happen for so long.

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”  Hebrews 12:5-6

“Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins?”   Lamentations 3:39

Jax felt called to quit a high paying job in order to go back to school and I wasn’t terribly concerned.  Yes, it would be challenging, but I figured it would be a new and fun adventure to see what God had in store for our family.  When Jax began working for a different company whose hours worked well with his classes, at a much lower wage, we started to feel a bit more of a financial squeeze, but we were getting by…and still not tithing.

But when God took Jax’s new job away…that’s what did it.

We still had bills to pay; rent, utilities, groceries, gas… plus we were driving an hour back and forth from Watertown to church in Verona on Wednesdays and on weekends…but now no job.  Stress levels went up significantly.  I couldn’t believe God would do this, and I questioned Him a lot.

However, we started noticing when rent was due, money would show up in our mailbox.  Or when we needed gas, we would find money in our cubby at church, or someone would take the car keys and fill up the tank.

It was absolutely astounding to see God work miracle after miracle of provision… and it was in those moments, in those times of great stress, worry and wonder how things would be paid, I literally saw that everything we have is from an awesome, amazing, and loving God.

“Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.   Job 5:17

It was then that we began tithing.

“But there will be no poor among you; for the LORD will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—if only you will strictly obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today.”   Deuteronomy 15:4-5

Now don’t get me wrong, it is still a struggle to tithe, but we have yet to miss a Sunday, and by the world’s standards, if you look at what we made last year and then at how much we gave to church, we would appear fairly crazy…

But the proof is in the pudding… how did God provide that $125.00 we were short this week you ask??

  •  An honorarium of $100.00 was received for Jax’s preaching, which wasn’t expected and had never been paid before
  • A friend had given me money the week prior to buy a birthday present for my daughter, in which I still had $20.00 left over
  • A couple “winner” scratch-off tickets totaling $11.00 from Christmas were conveniently found

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”   2 Corinthians 9:7

I Spy a runner

I often say that I am not a runner.  I know how to run, have been known to run, and will run if absolutely necessary, but I prefer only to run when chased.

A friend of mine works as a dental hygienist.  She is in close contact with each patient for about 45 minutes while she cleans their teeth.  She had a patient the other day who, when she sat him down in the chair and asked “What’s new?” responded with, “I got baptized this weekend.”

He’s a runner.

I love that, I envy that.  The boldness some new Christians have.  The excitement, without regret or second guessing, about the decision they made for Christ.  They long to run out and share the gift they received with anyone who will listen and even those who won’t…their faith and belief is pure and child-like.

That is what God wants from us!

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 18:3-4

“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”  Luke 18:16-17

I love the story of the woman at the well, although I don’t totally “get” her…

You see, she’s a runner. (John 4)  Jesus was exhausted, sitting down by the well, and like hundreds of times before, this Samaritan woman comes to draw water, but receives so much more this time around…

Isn’t that just how God works?!  Using the routine, ordinary, nothing-special-times to get our attention!!

Jesus called the woman out… He spoke of her sin, her deepest secrets, and because He knew her so personally…she believed and immediately ran to tell the people of the city about Him!

“So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did…’ Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony…”   John 4:28-29, 39

One summer several years ago at VBS, I had the privilege of speaking to a young girl about Jesus explaining the sacrifice He made for her.  I used the Bible to show her how sin separates us from God forever … but through the price Christ paid for us, we are able to spend eternity with Him should we choose to follow Him and give Him our heart.  She prayed to accept Christ as her Savior and as soon as she finished, without a word she got up, ran into the church and came right out pulling on the arm of her sister, again…running, straight out to me and telling her, “you gotta’ hear this!”

Did I run to tell others after Jesus called me out??

No.

I didn’t run and tell people.  Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled and excited about my decision, but I was more in awe of what God did for me, than concerned about the loved ones who didn’t know.

I wasn’t a runner.  I just couldn’t wrap my head around how…

He protected me so many times when I acted foolishly.

He loved me while I was, and still am, such a selfish wretch.

He waited patiently when I walked my own path and followed my own desires.

He gave His life for me while I rolled my eyes and shrugged indifferently.

After Jesus’ crucifixion, Mary Magdalene went to His tomb to anoint His broken body with spices.  When she arrived and saw the stone had been rolled away, His body “taken,” she was beside herself.  She couldn’t think straight…  Jesus stood directly in front of her talking to her and she didn’t even recognize Him.  She was so focused on her problems…on herself.

For so long I lived like that.  God spoke to my heart, but I didn’t listen.  He faced me and I didn’t see.

Like Mary, I was blind and turned my own way…until He opened her eyes…

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned and said to him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Mary Magdalene went (and I’ll bet she ran) and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’”  John 20:16-18

Although she’s a runner, I do “get” Mary Magdalene.

… He went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God… and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,”   Luke 8:1-2

Ok, I can safely say that I’ve never been controlled by demons, although if you ask my parents, my husband, or my children they might say the jury is still out!!

But, how often am I under their control?  How often do I allow fear and doubt to control me and keep me from running to share my faith?!   Sure, I try in my meager, failing way, to live my life for Christ, but is that enough?

One Halloween a couple years after I was saved, one of my dearest friends from high school who had moved out of state called me.  The first words out of her mouth were, “Are you saved?”

She was a runner.

When the opportunity arises, and it always tends to…especially at the most inopportune time to share Him with others… do I?

Although he wasn’t a runner…yet… I totally “get” Peter.

“While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. ‘You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,’ she said.

But he denied it. ‘I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,’ he said, and went out into the entryway.

When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, ‘This fellow is one of them.’

Again he denied it.

After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, ‘Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.’

He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know this man you’re talking about.’”   Mark 14:66-71

God calls us…

“And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”   Mark 1:17

God commands us…

“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”   Mark 16:15

God equips us…

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses… to the end of the earth.”   Acts 1:8

God teaches us…

“…just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”   John 13:34b-35

Are you a runner?

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