Friday, April 22, 2011

Oh, What He Gained In Us

Last week I posted about Jesus’s sacrifice and what He gave up for us. As soon as I posted it, Jesus said, “Oh, but what I gained.”

Thus inspiring this week’s post. *smile*

“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Eph. 1:17-19, MKJV)

the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.

What did Jesus gain?

Companionship—God is love and He has a lot of love to go around. In fact, it’s big enough love to cover the entire earth:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, MKJV)

Friendship –

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15, MKJV)

A Bride

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, "Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God." (Rev. 19:7-9)

“You have ravished my heart, My sister, my spouse; You have ravished my heart With one look of your eyes, With one link of your necklace.” (Song of Songs 4:9, MKJV)

“Turn away your eyes from Me, for they have overcome Me;” (Song of Songs 6:5a, MKJV)

The love and worship of a grateful people.

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness, in a desert by the way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried to the LORD in their distress, and He delivered them out of their troubles.” (Psalm 107:2-6, MKJV)

Says a lot about His heart that He wanted this post to follow last week’s post. Doesn’t it? I love Him for that.

Happy Resurrection weekend, dear friends.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oh, What He Gave Up for Us

I recently read this question: If Jesus knew He’d go back to heaven when He died, what did He really give up in sacrificing Himself? (or something to that effect)


Got me thinking.

Well, heaven for one. Even for a time, this must have been an unimaginable sacrifice. We’ve never been there. Yet. So, we can’t even conceptualize what it meant for the King of glory to step down out of the holiest place, where there is joy, worship, a completely perfect and sinless atmosphere, and come to an unholy place, where sin has influenced everything from humanity to thorns in the ground; where there would not be worship; where pain and fear and violence reigned. Oh, what He gave up so we could taste heaven. How much He must love us.

Comfort. Besides the comforts of heaven, consider the comforts he did not enjoy here: a nice home (even a “place to lay His head”), a wife, a large family, people who loved him unconditionally, even just one human who understood Him completely. I bet you have someone who “gets” you. Jesus never did. Oh, what He gave up so we could know Him. He loves us so much!

Life. His death was so horrendous, so appalling, so indescribable, even The Passion movie is said to come short of offering a full description of what He suffered. You know what? I don’t care if I’d go to heaven after, I’d have to be motivated by something super extraordinary to suffer that way—especially if I had all the power of the universe at my disposal to bypass Calvary’s hill. What motivated Jesus to willingly shed His blood? To hang on the cross until His heart burst? Love. For you. For me. Oh, what He gave up so we could have real life, abundant life. How much He must love us!

You were the joy set before Him on the cross. You were the reason He came, sacrificing more than we can know, lived, and suffered a horrific death. You are the reason He rose again and made a way to know Him, to be saved, forgiven, have a clean conscious and a purposeful life. You. He gave up everything for you. How He loves us!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Open To Me

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him and he with Me." (Rev. 3:20, MKJV)

Do you ever keep God at arm’s length? Are you like me—with one hand you beckon God closer and with the other you hold Him at bay? And the percentage of “get away, get away, get away” varies with the percentage of “come here, come here, come here.”

Why do we do that?

~ Lack of trust. Perhaps we didn’t have particularly loving and accepting authorities as children and we’ve learned not to trust those over us.
~ Insecurities. (see number one above)
~ Fear of intimacy. (see that good old number one above)
~ Fear of failure. Somehow we’ve decided that after salvation, it’s our job to work hard enough to be accepted by God. We’re afraid of messing that up. We won’t be good enough. We won’t be faithful. We’ll fail and then where will we be?
~ Fear of rejection. But God will never reject us. (see Heb. 13:5)

But I’ve been challenged lately as God asks me to let Him into my day no matter what. Even my angry days. Ever have those? You’re not sure why, but you wake up irritated. Sheesh! What happened? Who knows? Where’s God on a day like that? He's right there. Are we letting Him get close?

How about your cave days? Do you have those? There are days when I’m actually not in a place to be social, emotionally I mean—cave days. Where’s God on your cave days?

What about sad days? Who knows why, but your heart aches all day. And you can’t really trace it to any instance in particular. No one has necessarily died. But you can’t shake the heartache. Do you hole up on days like that? Where’s God on those days?

The other morning, I flipped to one of my favorite Scriptures because it shows me Jesus’s heart for people:

"Open for Me, My sister, My love, My dove, My perfect one; For My head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night." (Song 5:1, MKJV)

He wants to be closer to us. He wants intimacy, to have us let Him into our tough moments. Needy moments are different. It’s easy for me to invite him into my fearful or needy moments. But the other times, not as much. But that’s where He’s calling me. Into intimacy with Him during the ugly moments. That’s what they are. Where I’m not at my best. Where I’m a mess. Where I’m imperfect. I’d rather keep myself from Him then. He wants to free me from those cycles of suffering.

So, it comes down to a choice: will I open to Him? Will you?