“Being the Beloved expresses the core truth of our existence.
…Listening to that voice with great inner attentiveness, I hear at my center words that say,
“I have called you by name, from the very beginning.
You are mine and I am yours.
You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests.
I have molded you in the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother’s womb.
I have carved you in the palms of my hands and hidden you in the shadow of my embrace.
I look at you with infinite tenderness
and care for you with a care more intimate than that of a mother for her child.
I have counted every hair on your head and guided you at every step.
Wherever you go, I go with you, and wherever you rest, I keep watch.
I will give you food that will satisfy all your hunger and drink that will quench all your thirst.
I will not hide my face from you.
You know me as your own and I know you as my own.
You belong to me.
I am your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your lover and your spouse…
Yes, even your child…
Wherever you are I will be.
Nothing will separate us.
We are one.”
(H. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved)
“Being the Beloved expresses the core truth of our existence.
What’s first is coming to and understandings, coming into a relationship with THE God of the Universe. The God who came and died and rose again and lives forevermore and rules on His throne.
Per the End of the Story, we will all bow before Him whether we know Him or not.
Back to first things, first, we come to know him. I’d choose Les Mis and Jean Valjean to demonstrate that. This is his conversion. Move to minute 7:10 and view from there. Though it is choppy, you will see the mercy and grace offered Jean Valjean and his response.
This response is conversion. When we see the grace and mercy that has been offered us, we “get” humility as Jean gets humility and we bow before the one who purchased our pardon–the One beloved Jesus–the Author and Finisher.
Have you seen the grace and mercy Jean saw this day?
God’s Word: It’s not about rules and what I do. It is about Him and what He is doing. The people in the Bible are not perfect. They are all flawed, just like you and me. So, it is instructive to have a fuller, richer, blessed life. Listen to Sara and experience the Word yourself.
English Standard Version (ESV)
1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?[a]
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected[b] by men;
a man of sorrows,[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e]
and as one from whom men hide their faces[f]
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted. More
Mary, the birth mother of Jesus, got it right. When she was confronted with truth and receiving that truth caused faith to exude from her heart. “Be it done to me according to your word” Lord!
I heard this passage dissected tonight and here is my take away. I am sure you have heard, “don’t just stand there, do something” when an apparent emergency presents itself. In following Jesus, really following this man of Galilee, we are challenged to not let the world overpower us with its thinking and approaches. We learn to thoughtfully take what we are presented and pass it through the sieve of Jesus’ philosophy of life. “What would Jesus do?” Jesus just might have us NOT “do something,” but rather “just sit there” and wait for Him to show up. Yes, He calls us to do something, but sometimes doing something is an excuse for not believing in Jesus. Doing something is a cop out to faith. Sometimes we need to wait, to pray, to rely on Jesus and not rely on our own powers. Sometimes the best thing to do is “just site there” and wait.
Look back at Mary’s heart and mentality. “What ever your will is Lord, I am willing to receive you way.” That was Mary’s heart in light of God’s will. Mary’s heart exhibited faith as did her words to the Rather.
May I mimic Mary in 2014. May we all learn from Mary and show more faith in the One giver of faith in 2014.
Prayer for Spiritual Strength
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to xthe riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 aso that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being brooted and cgrounded in love, 18 may have strength to dcomprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and eheight and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ fthat surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all hthe fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, kaccording to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
I come to a topic that has been made, by God the Father, so intimate to me.
His Church, ‘…upon this rock, I will build My Church (so strong) and the gates of hell will not prevail against It!’ – Jesus
The Fellowship of the Believers Acts 2:42 – 47
42And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Here we have an early picture of what fellowship was like for the first Christians. This passage resonates much more to me than it ever has in the past. I love the picture of continual communion with the Father through corporate prayer.
What the woman is to the man…God’s design.
Usages of ‘ezer in the Old Testament show that in most cases God is an ‘ezer to human beings, which calls to question if the word “helper” is a valid interpretation of ‘ezer in any instance it is used. “Evidence indicates that the word ‘ezer originally had two roots, each beginning with different guttural sounds. One meant “power” and the other “strength.” As time passed, the two guttural sounds merged, but the meanings remained the same. The article below by William Sulik explains this point quite well. He references R. David Freedman and Biblical Archaeology Review 9 : 56-58). More
Yes, atheism is nothing new. The Apostle Peter spoke to them in one of his letters.
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men
but in the sight of God chosen and precious,
5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house,
to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
This is our calling–to be, become a part of the spiritual house that God is building. We are so honored to be a part of what He is building. We are the priesthood, offering sacrifices within and without, in our hearts and in the communities around us. More
Psalm 1 The Message (MSG)
1 How well God must like you—
you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon,
you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.