Monday, October 24, 2011

the COST i'm not sure I can PAY

How appropriate a day after celebrating my life change to christianity that Jesus would wreck my life even more...

I write these things more to share with whoever will just hear - even if not to agree but to even just ponder the thoughts...most of which,  I myself, am still processing.

More interesting is how passionate I am about wanting to voice them. Like the man in Matthew. 

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Matthew 13:43-45

I've sold out...Except I don't want to hide it. I want to share with the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. I believe in what He is saying and believe its an essential truth for EVERYONE. 

1. I believe Jesus lived on this earth - healing people - raising people from the dead - giving his entire life to God's will. He entered IN to people's lives and peoples hurts. Even though it isn't documented, yet still had to of happened. The people Jesus raised from the dead, like Lazurus, did again eventually die. And the people He healed, probably got sick again. But while Jesus was on this earth - He entered in with the only thing he had in His possession, His Faith in God. And when He died, I believe He rose again after three days of being dead - keeping His scars - He continued more days showing himself to his disciples and others and doing more miracles. After which before he ascended into heaven in front of his disciples He said this “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons;they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 
Mark 16:15-18.

He even said in John 14:12 "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 

He says VERY TRULY. Like He's making a point. 

2. I don't - though I once didn't, then did, because it's what churches are preaching - I don't (again) believe God is calling us to have great wealth...prosperity. I don't believe - that doesn't make it fact. I also don't believe we should go without. But I do believe - as humans we have 'adjusted' and 'created' for ourselves what we 'need' and what we 'require' to live. I believe a great majority of Christ's body is self absorbed and desiring more for themselves than the people they do life with. They love their children more than children that aren't theirs (which is not scriptural and I believe breaks God's heart AND creates division NOT unity) and they (including me in all of these) become increasingly unsatisfied with what they have.

A. We have created much DEBT because our NEEDS and our WANTS our misadvised. I don't believe we are to be in debt except when it is concerning love. Romans 13:8 - Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 

With this I believe when we are DEBT FREE we can do what God has called us to in our lives. It's easier to say yes when we don't owe the bank and credit card companies for things you HAD TO HAVE, esp. that big ol' house so each one of our kids can have a seperate room - though many in other countries have 8 family members sleeping on dirt floors in a 4' by 4' shack...when we can't afford to pay with it with cash..yet make commitment to spend the next 30 years paying for it. AGAIN I may not be right..yet I find our WEALTHY country drowning in debt yet FAT and with a whole lot of STUFF. 

B. I believe we are called to be faithful in the small things. When we make $200 - we should tithe at least $20 to the church, we save some.. Proverbs 13:22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
(This can also mean a spiritual inheritance), AND we give to the poor 

What we SHOULDN'T DO...but buy an outfit or go out to eat and rack up $179.99...we get in more DEBT.

We should be mindful to remember God gives us our daily bread...

C. We don't need a lot of excess. That excess should be spent on those who need it. Cause doesn't it just make us safe...and I don't believe God wants safe. I believe He wants desperate, broken, dependent and willing CHILDREN. HE WANTS people who need to come into his presence for DAILY BREAD. 

Have we so quickly forgot about Elijah and the Mother & Son in 1 Kings 17:10-16.  "So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.” But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.” 

But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”

So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.

She served someone and never went without what she NEEDED...not WANTED. That's faith. 

3. Luke 14:25-27  A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

Hate my son? My mother? My husband? Yes over Jesus. Jesus doesn't want you to neglect your neighbor - your child - your family...He wants you to love him and not neglect your calling because of your family. "No one puts their hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God" - Luke 9:62. If God calls you and you look back at what you have and desire what you're leaving more than what God is calling you to - God basically says you won't do to serve in His Kingdom. Because friends, God's Kingdom is backwards..leasts will be greatests, firsts will be last, He came for the poor and broken, He says love your enemies and forgive those who have hurt you...Legitimately, Intentionally or unconciously hurt you...He says forgive them..or you shall not be forgiven. He's backwards. His thoughts, ways and attitudes are WAY higher above ours. He's totally backwards - 1 Corinthians 1:27 "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."

 Luke 9:59-61 He said to another person, “Come, follow me." The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.” Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.

We must desire Him OVER our comfort. Over our idols. Over what our flesh wants. Over our "tasks"...OVER what CULTURE SAYS IS NORMAL! As His were not of the World anymore - We're His and should - For CHRIST'S SAKE - Look like it! 

4. God gave us 2 commands in the new testament that take presidence over the 10 in the old testament. 1. LOVE God with your whole heart and soul. 2. LOVE your neighbor as yourself. 

If yourself doesn't like to go hungry - I'm sure the 2-3 year olds that we saw in Haiti don't either. Possibly explains why we saw them chasing the dump trucks as they were moving and climbing in them, while still others were falling off...just to find trash to eat..

It reminds me how I'm disgusted when I sit in the bathtub and look down and I'm stuffed and bloated from a good nights meal...or when I buy a ton of groceries in an over stimulating store only to come home and dump all the waste from the week before...that trash those kids would have love to get their hungry hands on. 

All this going on...and we're still ME FOCUSED. We're not truly moved to LOVE our neighbor. We fight and bicker in the church. We are consumed with people liking us and worrying about who doesn't and we forget (or better yet chose to not inform ourselves or be bothered by the fact) that a child in Africa who's parents died of AIDS - has no one to worry about them. And rather than strapping on our Gospel of Peace shoes we charge our cards for ANOTHER nice pair of nikes and while-were-at-it-fancy-shoe-laces-and-sole-inserts... all the while, kids in Uganda get jiggers and scabies because they can't afford shoes or know that it isn't okay to walk on fesces. Rather than being the hands of Jesus and entering IN with what we have (with the 'greater things that he did' help of the Holy Spirit). 

 And I'm okay with that and WE'RE okay with that. 

Because tonight I will fall asleep on my temper-pedic bed and sleep under nice washed sheets and kick my husband for snoring and hogging the bed. And wake up and not eat breakfast (because I'm just not that hungry and it makes me sick sometimes to eat - hilarious to think)..and rush to work in the car I still owe the bank for but can pay, but just in installments..because I wanted a nice-new-cd-playing-cruise-control-having-perfect-for-a-kid-reliable-fancy CAR.. Is that wrong? I don't know.... What I do know is it doesn't seem right in comparison to pay to have a car that I need to get around and can carry 3 people, that I paid cash for, and put $160 a month to sponsoring kids in Haiti. 

But God - how is it you bless me to live in the US. And have a family - a husband and a child - and a job..that pays me well and this wrong. Must I forsake these blessings - you, yourself gave me? Where's the line? Is it drawn? What does following you look like in my life?

I believe God wants a willing heart that FIRST Loves HIM and THEN Loves others. Loving Him will cost us comforts. Joy costs pain. Afterall - the resurrection did not happen till after the murder. 

Loving others more than self. I absolutely LOVE myself. I talk about myself a lot. I make myself look good in conversations, and I can easily fall into the whoa-is-me...which is a self-indulgent - self focusing mentality...THAT HAS GOT TO GO if I'm going to represent a Jesus who loves me - who died - DIED, people... DIED...SLAIN...on a cross for me, for you and for the world. God gave his SON (whom He loved - and he LOVES extravagantly bigger than we ever could)..I wouldn't give my big toe nail for most people much more my own son - who I love. God deserves me to serve his people to LOVE ALL people. ALL. Everyone. Loving everyone around everyone else and when everyone else isnt around. Speaking LOVINGLY about EVERYONE. Living in unity and peace. 

James 4:11 - Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.

James 3:17-18 - Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.


I could stay here all day as it is long...

5. I truly believe God wants ALL of us. To be abandon. And I believe its really hard with all the stuff...we just HAD to HAVE...we totally "NEED" that newer house, with matching towels and 2 cars that fit our children AND their friends...and we also NEED the latest AND greatest..??? How dare we get to a place of desperation...That might require us to pray and know and OWN the phrase of HUNGERING and THIRSTING FOR HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. - 1 John 2:17

Ultimately isn't Christ all we need?

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