Saturday, June 16, 2012

When Jesus Says Follow Me...

I’m sure most of you know this bible story: John 21:15-25, Jesus reinstates Peter.  After Peter had denied Jesus not once but 3 times, Peter couldn’t just sit around and wait for Jesus to appear as He promised.  So he goes back to his old ways.  He goes fishing. 

Have you ever gone back to your old ways, when you’re tired of ‘waiting’ for Jesus?

When Jesus finally comes to find Peter He has to make sure He has his full attention.  Because what Jesus is about to tell Peter will change him at his core.  Because this is so important Jesus knows He must address what happened the last time they were together.  Instead of flat calling him out on his denial He asks Peter 3 times, “do you love Me?”  In my mind I can picture this whole scenario play out.  I see Peter’s heart break the first time Jesus asks this.  I see him respond with confidence the second time. The third time? I see his soul unite with Jesus, his Savior.  And he reply’s the only way one who’s screwed up can; “Lord you alone know all things”.    Here is when Jesus Knows He can press on with Peter.  And He says, “follow Me.” 

Jesus actually starts walking and I can see a hop under Peter’s foot as he tries to fall in step with Jesus.  Jesus tells Peter on this walk that things from now on will seem tough and hard.  At this Jesus, once again see’s Peter’s eyes flailing about, I’m sure all too familiar to the night of betrayal. Peter notices that John has been following at a close distance and he points to him asking the Lord “what about him”?  This is the second time in scripture I see the eyes of Jesus so clearly lock onto Peter, just like the moment the rooster crowed.   In Jesus’ eyes I see the kindness of a Redeemer.  As He opens His mouth I can see the strings of His vocal cords strengthen and He strongly says “what is it to you?  You must follow me.”  His kindness meets His authority and I am beckoned to follow.

Have you ever been in a season of life where your only reply is “Lord you alone know all things”?

I have been hearing these words from Jesus whispered in my heart.  And I have learned that when Jesus says “follow me” you do.  So I have been.  As I have been following completely unaware of where He is leading me I start to feel His peace.  That’s when I know just where He is leading me.  He leads me to the end of our road where our small little kindergarten is and He asks; “can you give me Khoen?” I quickly reply that of course He can have him.  He walks further towards the playground (where He knows my mind has been lately.)  Again He asks “can you give me Khoen?”  All I say is a quiet yes.  He leads me inside where my greatest fear lies.  I hear the talking of teachers and children; the language is loud and confusing, no one speaking our native tongue.  I start to tremble, my hands are shaking.  I find myself reaching for Jesus and He is not there.  I look desperately for my Jesus.  I hear a comforting voice and I turn to see a King kneeling next to a three-year-old little blonde boy.  My boy.
 Jesus looks over His shoulder at me and asks “can you give me Khoen?”  I can only reply “Lord you alone know all things.”  He says to me “let go of my sheep, I am leading him now.”    I realize it is time for me to go and as I reach the door I see Jesus surrounding my son.  I open the door to leave and I see Jesus, ready to lead me home.
Trusting Jesus as I send my first born to Kindergarten July 1st,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm A Little Tea cup

Word Study- Cup

Psalm 23:5 “my cup overflows.”  The cup being what contains the portion God gives me.  It holds what He is giving, so it can be my body, my soul, my mind, my heart, my hands. 

Matt. 10:42 “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will not lose his reward.” The cup is not mine, I can give it-or receive it.

Matt 23:25 “you clean the outside of the cup but the inside is full of greed and self-indulgence.”  The cup also refers to my spiritual state. 

Matt 26:39 “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me, yet not as I will, but as you will.”  Jesus asks that His cup be taken from him.  This makes me think my cup can be a situation or season of life.

 The Cup:                                                            Applying it:
Body                                                                    Me
Season                                                                 God has moved me to Reichenbuch, Germany
Portion                                                                 My kids, husband and community

Hold it                                                                   I hold it as I control my emotions (i.e anger during discipline)
Give it                                                                   I give it as I show love and grace
Receive it                                                              I accept orders from a King

It is empty                                                             When I am selfish
Full                                                                        When I am humble
Over flowing                                                          By God’s grace

Clean                                                                     When I repent
Dirty                                                                      When I don’t

A few months went by after I had written this out.  I had just put all three of my kids down for a nap and was feeling tremendously guilty.  I had been very frustrated with Khoen when I was putting him to bed and found myself needing the Lord.  I pulled out my binder that contains all my quiet time paraphernalia and came across this word study.  It was just what I needed.  The Lord knew it and now I knew just what I was going to do after nap time.
 I got Khoen up from his nap and set him at the table.  As I walked back and forth between the kitchen and dining room he asked, “What are you doing mama?” “Just wait, you’ll see” was my reply.I returned to where Khoen sat with a tea cup, saucer, dirt and a glass of full water. I could see the quizzical look in my three year olds eyes.  After reassuring him that we weren’t going to eat my little concoction I began my production with his full attention.  As I set the cup on the saucer I explained that God made Khoen very unique and special.  “Khoen, you are like this cup.”  I also told him that the saucer represented the world/the people God put us to live around.  I lifted the glass filled with water and said imagine this is God.  He is filled with living water.  As I poured the water into the ‘khoen cup’ I said “look now you’re filled with God!”  Then I poured it back and rubbed Khoen’s cup with dirt.  I explained that the dirt was like sin.  It represents every time we hit, scream NO!, disobey or act selfishly.  Then I filled the cup back up with ‘Gods water’ I made it to pour out onto the saucer ‘the world’.  With a voice full of sadness I said “Oh no! God wants to pour himself out to the world through Khoen, but some of khoen’s ‘dirt/sin’ is spilling all over them.  How can we keep this from happening?”  I got what I had expected-silence.  So I replied with a giddy “I know!”  “lets tell God that there is dirt in us and see if He will make us clean.”  So I quickly and efficiently emptied and wiped the cup clean.  As I did this I quoted John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but be clean and live in eternal life.” (italics added) Then I refilled Khoen’s cup and let it overflow with the grace of God.  We ended by saying how pleased God is by seeing Himself, fully fall on all the people in the saucer through Khoen. 
The next day I went to a second hand store and found the most beautiful teacup and saucer set.  I brought it home to my beloved son and presented it to him as though it was more costly then gold.  Because you know what, it was.  It represented the soul that my savior died for.  He beamed from ear to ear.