Monday, December 24, 2012

What about Jesus?

My mind has been swimming in a whirl of organizing, planning, writing, asking, remembering, emailing, calling...

And even yet, the pressing demands seem to never end....

But something else has changed....

Last month I organized a "Youth Sabbath" at our church,  the whole service was done by the youth. Then this month, I organized a Christmas Program at our small church. It was a totally new experience. I shed a few tears... breathed many a desperate prayer, when I thought everything looked completely impossible. He has been there for me all along, even when I was too busy to really include Him in it all.

As I sat there, on the pew, watching the weeks of planning unfold before my eyes.... Listening to the familiar words of the Christmas story I had prepared, being told. The many beautiful music pieces, the stories, the sweet little children performing their parts, the offering that was taken up for the less fortunate.... Then the ending talk... "What can I give Him?" I sat dazed, tears inside.. my throat choked up with a foreign lump that wouldn't go away...

'Have I, in my bustle, and hurry, of planning and organizing, forgotten the whole purpose of this?' I rested my weary, aching head on my Mommy's shoulder, and closed my eyes.....

'Oh Jesus, forgive me!' I cried inside.

How could I leave Him for last? Give Him only a few minutes of my time, when He has poured Himself out for me? Every hour of His life was spent for me...

In the beginning, I had thought I was spending time with Him. I mean, hadn't I been doing a work for Him after all? But, I just never seemed to have real and lasting peace of heart, and mind.  I seemed to hear His voice calling softly, at the height of my busyness  "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things..."  'You seek to serve me, and to prepare everything just right, but you forget to sit at my feet, to drink in my words, to learn of Me, to spend time with Me....  The one and only thing that really matters to Me most....

I felt the crushing weight of conviction pressing on my heart. Yes, I have been like Martha. I had forgotten Jesus. Even though I worked so hard to serve Him, (Or so I thought) Yet He missed me.... And I missed Him.

I determined in my heart to give Him the best gift this year.

My time.

To sit at His feet. Listen for His voice. To let my heart be still, and know my God...


Tonight - Christmas eve, My family and I, along with some friends went to see Him... Hungry, cold, lonely, sad... "the least"

Photo credits to my brother :)

As each one trudged away from the table, my heart was broken for them.

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40

My best Christmas eve ever!

Joy, beyond measure, springing up within my heart.... 'Cause I've spent time with the King!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"..and the violent take it by force."

"..the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Matthew 11:12

I've been mulling over this verse, this past week.

Strong words, they are.

"..and the violent take it by force."

It makes me think of that Patriarch of old, Jacob. That night he wrestled with God by the river, Jabbok.

Long and hard Jacob wrestled that night.

 It wasn't till almost the break of dawn, that the mighty Angel placed His finger on the thigh of Jacob, and he was instantly crippled.

But only then it was, that Jacob was shown how weak he really was, and who it really was that he was wrestling with, that he truly be came strong, and won the battle... even over the Majesty of Heaven Himself!

"All penitent and broken, he clung to the Angel; "he wept, and made supplication" (Hosea 12:4), pleading for a blessing. He must have the assurance that his sin was pardoned. Physical pain was not sufficient to divert his mind from this object. His determination grew stronger, his faith more earnest and persevering, until the very last. The Angel tried to release Himself; He urged, "Let Me go, for the day breaketh;" but Jacob answered, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Had this been a boastful, presumptuous confidence, Jacob would have been instantly destroyed; but his was the assurance of one who confesses his own unworthiness, yet trusts the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God."  {PP 196.3}

 "Jacob "had power over the Angel, and prevailed." Hosea 12:4. Through humiliation, repentance, and self-surrender, this sinful, erring mortal prevailed with the Majesty of heaven. He had fastened his trembling grasp upon the promises of God, and the heart of Infinite Love could not turn away the sinner's plea."  {PP 197.1}

I can't help but be reminded of this verse...

  "..for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 10

It is when we are at our weakest point, that we are the strongest..

And how strong is that strength! Because it's not our own...

So what does it really mean that, "..the violent take it by force."?

I'll let these words explain..

"A deep sense of our need and a great desire for the things for which we ask must characterize our prayers, else they will not be heard. But we are not to become weary and cease our petitions because the answer is not immediately received. “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). The violence here meant is a holy earnestness, such as Jacob manifested. We need not try to work ourselves up into an intense feeling, but calmly, persistently, we are to press our petitions at the throne of grace. Our work is to humble our souls before God, confessing our sins, and in faith drawing nigh unto God. . . . " {OFC 136.2}

"Every faculty and feeling must be engaged. Ardor and earnest prayer must take the place of listlessness and indifference. Only by earnest, determined effort and faith in the merits of Christ can we overcome, and gain the kingdom of heaven. Our time for work is short." (YI May 24, 1900).  {1BC 1095.8}

This is what it means to wrestle in prayer my friends...

I want to have this sort of violence. 

 "...I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." Genesis 32:26

I don't know about you, but I want to gain the victory in this battle!

And it's only at my weakest point that I shall... 

Yes, this battle shall only be won, on my knees!