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Friday, January 17, 2020

Five Minute Friday: Sacrifice

Today I am participating in Five Minute Friday, where a group of writers get together and free write about a one word prompt for 5 minutes. Today's word is "sacrifice."

The Holy Spirit confirms this to us by this Scripture, for the Lord says,

“Afterwards, I will give them this covenant: I will embed my laws into their hearts and fasten my Word to their thoughts.”

And then he says,

“I will not ever again remember their sins and lawless deeds!”

So if our sins have been forgiven and forgotten, why would we ever need to offer another sacrifice for sin?
-Hebrews 10:15-18 (TPT)

Jesus did it all. He was the one sacrifice forever.

When I first came back to the Lord in my early twenties, I would repeatedly go forward when they had an altar call. I guess I was still struggling with guilt. Probably because my conscience didn’t feel cleansed. I think I was used to hearing condemning messages, or messages mixed with law and grace.

But the scripture above is nothing but grace. Jesus did it all, because I couldn’t. He gave us the Holy Spirit to confirm that forgiveness, not to continually condemn us.

God is the one who writes his laws on our hearts now, and fastens his word to our thoughts.

God is the one who has perfected us.

God is the one who won’t remember our sins or lawless deeds anymore.

Because of Jesus. He is the one sacrifice of sins forever.

It wasn't my sacrifice.  It was his.

He has done it all.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Don't Look Back

Today I am participating in Five Minute Friday, where a group of writers get together and freewrite, with no editing, about a one word prompt for 5 minutes.  Today's word is  "back."

Don’t look back. You’ll get glass in your eyes. That’s something one of my friend’s dads used to say to him. He told him in case they were ever in a car accident and got hit from behind, to not look back.

The apostle Paul said something similar. He told the Church to forget those things that were behind, but to press on to the hope of the calling that is in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

One of my favorite shows is Call the Midwife. There is a Christmas episode where one of the characters is exploring events that happened in one of her patient’s past. The nuns at Nonnatus House tell her that isn’t helpful, that the past doesn’t matter. What is important is the here and now.

I have made so many bad decisions in my life. If I let it, I could get completely bogged down in that. If I look back, I could get glass in my eyes.  Looking back can cause pain.

That’s why Paul told the Church to forget.

Can you actually forget, without there being any trace of it in your memory? No, not really. But what you can do it to let go of the thoughts. They cannot help you now. You cannot change anything. And you can turn your focus to the moment. You can look at what is in front of you and press on toward hope.

Jesus has a bright future for you. It is full of goodness and grace, and more grace. Because we are always growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. Keep looking and moving forward. Don’t look back.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Five Minute Friday: Middle

Today I am participating in Five Minute Friday, where a group of writers get together and freewrite, with no editing, about a one word prompt for 5 minutes.  Today's word is  "middle."

Here I am stuck in the middle with you…

That’s part of some song lyrics. I don’t remember which one. But it just popped into my head with this week’s prompt, “middle.”

So, here I am stuck in the middle of my story, with Jesus. I bet you are there too.

That’s a good place to be, in the middle. It means you are not at the beginning, and not at the end.

Sometimes it feels uncomfortable being in the middle. Like, if you are in the middle of a row at church, or a concert, or a ball game of some type.

Or if you are in the middle seat of an airplane or a car.

But to be in the middle of your story with Jesus is a good place to be. It might seem like it is a little uncomfortable, like in those other places above. But if you are in the middle, you are not at the beginning. That’s good in a way because it means you know some things. You have experienced some things.

And it is good that you are not at the end. It means you are not finished yet.

So, what does it mean to be in the middle? It means you are still learning. But it also means you should be teaching somebody else.

Here in the middle, Jesus is still teaching you. He is still speaking to you, whispering to your heart, and you are still learning. He is still a good teacher. He is the same with you as He was in the Gospels. He speaks to us now by His Spirit, by the Holy Spirit.

What you hear Him whisper, you need to speak to another human. As a disciple, you are also a teacher. Don’t wait until you think you have “arrived.”

In fact, teaching somebody else, can push you forward.

Being in the middle with Jesus is a good place to be.

*I looked up the song lyrics. Stuck in the Middle is a song written by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan and orginally performed by their band Stealers Wheel.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Pouring Out My Soul

This is a short, short story about the woman in Luke 7, whose only name is "a sinner."  You can read her story in full here.

I held my breath as I entered the house. I was shaking from head to toe. Every eye was upon me as I made my way through the crowd of men, many who had known me. 

And then, there he was. This man. This Jesus. One, like no other man before. They told me He was different. They told me He would love me; He had talked to my friends. 

The closer I got to Him the more I began to shake. He looked at me. He was different. He smiled. 

With every eye upon me, I stopped. Then I realized I was weeping. The tears rolled slowly down my cheeks. I felt a sob well up within my heart and then roll out with a tide of tears so overwhelming, they landed upon his feet. 

I knelt down and unfastened the pin that held up all my beauty. The locks of midnight that had garnered me many a coin. 

I almost forgot the jar I held in my hands. I wanted to bring it as an offering. It was the most extravagant thing I had ever owned. It came at a great cost to my soul, but here was the one that could provide the balm this perfume never could. 

So, I will pour it on him.