Skip to main content

Glossed over truths

Sometimes we miss the "little things" in life.  I guess I am as guilty of "glossing over" stuff as the next person.  I wonder how much I really miss out on because I never stop long enough, listen close enough, or draw close enough to really "catch" what is happening?  I was re-reading a passage from John 17 this morning, and the words of Jesus (which I have read many times) just seemed to come alive.  Isn't it awesome how God does that?!?  

6-11 I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me.    They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came from you.  They believed that you sent me.  I pray for them.  I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world but for those you gave me, for they are yours by right.  Everything mine is yours, and yours mine, and my life is on display in them.   For I'm no longer going to be visible in the world; they'll continue in the world while I return to you.  Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life that you conferred as a gift through me, so they can be one heart and mind as we are one heart and mind.  (John 17:6-11 The Message)

The first thing which attacked my conscious mind this morning was the awesomeness of being "given" to Christ.  So many times we think we "came" to Christ - like it was some doing of our own.  Yet, the most amazing fact to me is our utter inability to find our way to Christ!  Without his being "given" us as his own, we'd never have "found" him!  We belonged to God the Father, given as a gift to his Son, Jesus - an inheritance shared with the heir-apparent of sorts!  Have you ever thought of yourself as an "inheritance"?  By the very definition, we are more than "junk" cast aside, but a personal possession of the God of the Universe - made to give him glory and honor - given in care as a matter of "birthright" to the Son!  It should give us immense joy to know God considers us of the highest worth - for only things of worth are given as an inheritance!

The second truth which jumped off the page at me was it took a while for those given as an inheritance to actually do as they were told!  See it?  "They have NOW done what you said..."  The very use of the word "now" suggests some point in time of NOT doing what God instructed.  This certainly pictures my life!  I know I have those moments of absolute surrender - I think a there is a Christian worship song which calls refers to these as "second chances".  We serve a God of huge second chances!  Awesome!

Next, nothing we get from Christ is "stale" knowledge.  He gives us what he receives directly from his Father.  It is alive, life-giving knowledge.  What else could the Creator of all things do but share knowledge which is capable of producing life for those who will embrace it?  Here's the rub - we have to embrace it!  We settle for something "stale" so many times - when the freshness of the Creator's touch is right there for the taking!  God's greatest joy is in sharing and producing life!

Last, but definitely not least, Christ's life is on display in us.  This is no after-thought on Christ's part - he is purposeful in his prayer to his Father about each of us.  He knows we are the display of his grace - to a world who will have no knowledge of the Creator without the evidence of his Son displayed through us!  We are trophies of his grace - displayed for the world to see.  Our every action, reaction, and even our lack of action displays the character of God.  Yet, his prayer is for us to be guarded - with a "watch" set over our lives.  Not just a "watch" to ensure no one destroys us - but a watchfulness to ensure the display of his grace is not tainted by our tendency to divide over simple truths.

Jesus knew we'd struggle with the simple stuff in life - almost dividing over things like what to eat or drink, whether hymns or praise songs are the best for worship services, or if pants were forbidden for women!  Jesus' prayer is for us to be of one heart and mind.  We can allow the simple things to divide us, or we can focus on the truths which are foundational and build upon them in unity.  I think this is what Jesus had in mind as he prayed for us. 

The next time you are tempted to "gloss over" some of the "familiar" stuff in the Word - don't!  The truths we skip may be the very blessing we need!


Popular posts from this blog

Your full attention, please

My mother frequently uses the term "Listen to me!" as a way of getting my attention so that I actually stop, pay close attention, and hear out whatever her idea or issue is at the moment. It isn't always at the most convenient moment, nor is it always easy for her to get out whatever it is she wants to share. Yet, it is important enough for her to ask to for me to hear it, so I respond with, "I'm listening, mom", and she begins.  It isn't said in anger or in a moment of disappointment. Rather, these words are usually spoken in a "sing-song" manner, but with very specific intent - they are intended to get me to REALLY listen to what she was saying. Why? Because she knows she has something to say even if it is getting harder for her to say it! She has walked through much already, learned many lessons, and has the advantage of experience on her side, but the disadvantage of advancing age makes it harder and harder for her to actually form those t…

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…