Journey to Awareness Lent Day 30

NIV 1 Corinthians 1:7  Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.

One day while Jesus was teaching his disciples he asked them the question, “Who do people think I am?”  Obviously Jesus was aware of the discussions and speculations about his person and abilities.  Even in a time in which there were no mobile phones, the news of the activities of Jesus spread fast.

Jesus was the promised Messiah of Israel.  He was the lamb of God who came to be paid the wages for our sin.  He IS God with us, God incarnate.  Even though the people of Jesus’s day were eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come, they did not recognize him when he did.   Jesus became of us as as a gift, the gift above all gifts.  A gift given out of love.  Those who came, who come, and will come to understand this are blessed.  But it was not an easy task for the to disciples understand and accept.  Perhaps the reality of that time is best summed up in Jesus own words to the woman at the well:

John 4:10  Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“If you knew the gift of God”, what a profound truth.  This statement is still valid.  It is valid not only for those who are walking darkness, but also for those who would be true disciples of today as well.

The church of Jesus Christ is in decline.  Why in the world would this be!  Again, is we are to be faithful we must answer in the desire of faith and the drawing of the Spirit the question “Who do we think Jesus is?”  If we really believe he is God, really believe he is the way the truth and the life, should this belief not be obvious in our words and deeds?

“If we know the gift of God”, should we not be trusting in the prayer he taught us for our daily needs rather than making our own security and pleasure our primary pursuits?  This is the prime question needing to be faced during this time of Lent.

The beginning verse is a reminder why these questions need to be asked.  The church has been given the spiritual gifts we need to be successful in God’s eyes.   We are waiting for his return.  Till that at time we need to being active in the understanding of who Jesus is, what Jesus has given us, and avoid the mistakes the church has made in the past.

We need be so careful that we are not like those during Jesus on day who were not ready for God incarnate to come to them.

Journey to Awareness Lent Day 29

NIV 1 Peter 2:23  When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

The idea of getting even, getting back, getting revenge (which even has its own TV show) against someone you believe has wronged you seems to be growing as an idea seen as being somehow justified, even ethical.  The extent to how far one can go to get revenge is still limited by law, but even there more courts of law are not convicting defendants who are get their sympathy for because their act of vengeance seemed to be an eye for an eye.

NIV Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

As the beginning verse states, Jesus was not into getting revenge.  There are some writing by a group called Gnostics who wrote accounts of the life of Jesus in which, as a child, Jesus was vengeful but the accounts were fabricated.  All accepted evidence indicates that what Peter wrote about our Lord is true.

In this world and its fallen state we need to understand that people will do things that violates us physically and in other ways.  We will get angry.  We most likely will want to lash out.  However, if we do we simply become like the one who hurt us and we feed the effects of the Fall (our violation of God’w will) and thus grieve God.

When we pay attention to the life of Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts to make us more like him, the desire for revenge shrinks in intensity while the desire to love as God loves grows.  As Christian we do not believe in the concept of karma (what comes around goes around).  We live and hope for forgiveness and grace.  Hopefully we understand their is a more important process going on here than just easing our emotions and feelings concerning what has happened to me.  Revenge destroys relationships or the possibility of relationships.  The work of the powers and principalities is a work of revenge against God.   Jesus gave his life so they we could have victory over captivity these elements have over us.  Jesus has set the example.

As we pray, meditate, study, reflect, and practice spiritual disciplines during this season it would most likely be beneficial if we would take the time to check out our own perceive hurts and wrongs committed against us and give the over to God.  God has claimed ownership.  We need to pray that he takes them from us and replaces them with a desire to see those who have offended changed.  God is good at doing just that!