Scars

I’m sure that we all have a scar that we can look back on and remember exactly what happened for us to receive that token of memory, whether good or bad.  Those scars can range from the ones that were caused by a misadventure as a child, medical scars to remind us of a past illness/recovery that we had, scars from accidents that could have claimed our lives, or even scars on our hearts like the one left from the 9/11 tragedy.  Whatever the scar may be, we all remember it as a reminder of the place that we came from.

As I thought about scars, the scripture which has just poured over and over in my mind comes from Isaiah 53:4-6 in which it says:

“ 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (ESV)

This Old Testament scripture alludes to a New Testament Savior who takes away the sin of the world…our sin!

We have the cross to remind us of the debt that was paid to save us, and we have the scars in his hands, feet, and side to remind us of the blood that was shed for our salvation.

What do your scars remind you of?  What about the scars of Jesus?

As you continue through your day and week, remember this…the scars of Christ saved more than just one life….they saved the world!

Missing Mayberry

I have been thinking lately about the simple life of Mayberry that we see on the Andy Griffith Show.  What happened to the days where we could be a community, where folks trusted one another, where people enjoyed a good church service and a get together where they weren’t afraid to sing praises to our Lord. What happened to these days?

We live in a time of corruption; we live in a time where folks have turned their back on the old way of life.  Many seem to have forgotten where we come from.

Looking back to Mayberry, I think we can all see a way that life could be simpler for us.  We must learn to trust the Lord and trust one another again.  The problem is, no one cares these days if they are trustworthy.  People are too busy trying to look out for themselves and forget to look out for one another.  We forget that we are to be praying for one another.  We forget that we are to be showing the love of Christ to others and we forget that we need to band together as a community.

Ephesians 5:15-21 tells us about what has happened to our way of thinking:

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

We must watch out for our steps, we must guard our actions, but we must also watch out for each other today.  We can’t be afraid to allow God to work in our lives.  We don’t have to miss Mayberry today, we can pray and get ourselves back to those days.  There is nothing wrong with the old way of life. What is wrong is our perspective.

I encourage you today to think back to how things used to be and see what changed.  I guarantee you that you are the one who has changed, the Savior is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Trusting God Through the Pain

Trusting God…

Much easier said than done, and I for one don’t do it near as much as I should…He has never let me down, never gone back on His word, NEVER given me anything that would harm me, and to beat it all…He sent his son to this world, to live the same life that we live (only perfectly), and then-and here’s the kicker-to take the sin, ALL OF IT, on His own shoulders and bear it to the most unbearable end that anyone could ever think of…all of this so that you and I could spend eternity with HIM!!!!

Who is this God?? He is the Creator of all, the true Master of the Universe!! Who is this Man??  He is Jesus, the savior of the world, the one-and-only Son of the almighty God, and the only one who could pay the debt that we have amassed through our sin…SO, knowing this…why is it so hard to trust in Him?  Why do we find it so painful to give up things for the furthering of His kingdom?

I feel that the answer lies within our hearts…where we hold on to the things of this world so tightly beacuse they are the comforts of life, the things we’ve come to know and love, the things that we believe in because we see them.  It is much easier for us to put trust in the things we can see and touch, rather than to trust in the unseen.  It hurts because we don’t like to lose the things that we hold dear, but sometimes that is what we are called to do…to step out on faith, out of the comforts of life, and through the open door placed before us where the only thing we have left for us is to trust in God to get us through.

We do this by seeking His face, striving to stay in His will, and pushing ourselves to let God make us what he wants us to be…so the challenge is before us…before me, and before you.  Are you willing to let God make you the best you that you can be?

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33 (ESV)