Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Beam

I have been reading Dallas Willard's, The Divine Conspiracy.  Note what he says about the beam (or board) in our own eyes.

"Condemnation is the board in our eye.  He knows that the mere fact that we are condemning someone shows our heart does not have the kingdom rightness he has been talking about.  Condemnation, self-righteousness, blinds us to the reality of the other person.  We cannot 'see cleary' how to assist our brother, because we cannot see our brother.  And we will never know how to truly help him until we have grown into the kind of person who does not condemn.  Period.  'Getting the board our' is not a matter of correcting something that is wrong in our life so that we will be able to condemn our dear ones better—more effectively, so to speak" (p. 224).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Presbyterian, Natchez, MS

Paul Young and I will be speaking together at First Presbyterian Church in Natchez, MS on August 21, at 6:30.  You are all welcome to join us.  It promises to be a large time.

For more information visit www.fpcnatchez.org.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I Will Make You Known

"I have made Your name known to them, and I will make it known; that the love wherewith You love Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:26).

Who can but marvel at the hope of these words?  Jesus prays to his Father.  He shares his heart.  He lets his own desire be made known.  Father, I desire that the love that we have known from all eternity in the freedom and joy of the Holy Spirit would be in them, that they could taste and feel and experience our relationship.  Life.  Eternal, abounding, overflowing life.  Indeed, it is even deeper.  We have been prayed over by Jesus himself.  Father, I desire that I would be in them.  Jesus himself, and all that he is and has with his Father, in us, as much ours as it is Jesus'.  The gift of all gifts.

The heart of the universe is here before our eyes.  The gospel itself is right here.  This is the conversation that predates the creation of all worlds.  Here is the agenda behind our existence.  Here is the eternal word spoken over the human race before we ever came to be.  Away with external religious systems.  Jesus desires to be in us—and is.  His prayer has been answered.  He heads to the cross to meet us in our shame, in our rejection, in our treachery—and he did.  He made his way into our humanity, into our broken humanity, into our sinful, black, blind, obstinate, and hopeless humanity.  That is what he did on the cross.  He made his way into our lives, into our hearts, into the soul of our broken being.

Jesus desires to be in us—and he is.  Now comes the best part.  "I have made Your name known to them, and I will make it known."  He is declaring to us, to the black pit of our shame, to our despairing and broken parts whose only word is utter silence, "I will make Your name known."

Jesus is saying, I take responsibility for meeting you in your sin and revealing My Father to you.  I will meet you.  I will find you.  I will enter into your terrorized inner worlds and make contact with you hiding in the bushes of your great fear.  I will cross all worlds, all illusions, all delusions, into the abyss of evil's lie and embrace you—and I have.  And I will not rest until every leaf of your gnarled darkness is turned over, until you see with my eyes, until you know with my heart who My Father is, and you are liberated with the freedom of our Holy Spirit.

"I have made Your name known to them, and I will make it known."


Lord Jesus, beloved and faithful Son of the Father, anointed One, I have nothing to give to you but my brokenness.

Can you not hear Jesus say, 'I take your brokenness and in exchange I give you My heart to know My Father?  I embrace you in your great sadness, now take sides with me against the way you see My Father, and against the way you see yourself, and against the way you see others?'


Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Redeeming Genius

The Holy Spirit is a redeeming genius. He or She walks with us in our pathology, and weaves it with our giftedness, to transform us into a living sacrament of the Father's love and Jesus' grace, for the liberation of others.