Fare Thee Well

Simply put, I will not have time to post as I finish up this college semester, and I will not have time to post this summer as I will be traveling on a summer drama team. These things being said, what will I write about considering this will be my final post for maybe four months?

I will write about Jesus.


One of the most basic facts about the Word of God is that it reveals His love. Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the centerpiece of all Scripture. Why His crucifixion? Because it sets the context of His love! He loved us such much that the Father sent His only begotten Son to bear His wrath towards our sin! He loves you, and He loves me. It’s simple, but it’s true. Yet somehow, this is something that I have struggled with..

I am never good enough! I am never smart enough! I am never disciplined enough! I could have done this more excellent! I could have said that more plain! I could have been more kind! I could love Jesus more! I must sacrifice more!

I am a child of God, and Jesus Christ, as weird as it is to say, is my spiritual brother. Therefore, Christ’s Father is my Father. He has given me commands on how to live my life, beginning with, “Love Me with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength!” Honestly, that’s a hefty command, and without obeying that command first, none of the other commandments will follow. Yet because I have fallen short..

God, I am a failure!

It’s sad as I type that, because even though that statement reflects my heart before God worked in my life, I am still tempted to believe it. Here’s the thing, this is why we must understand that everything in life comes back to Jesus and His Word! Why?! Because our success is not determined by our track record, but by Jesus’ track record! We will all fail time and time again! We will all fall short! Yet every day when the Father looks at us, He sees the righteousness of His Son!


This is the beauty of the Christian life: we do not obey to earn the Father’s approval; we obey because Christ has earned the Father’s approval. We may be chastened, but we will never be destroyed. We may be rebuked, but we will never be cast away! We may fall, but we will never be forced to stay down!

Yes, we will all stand before the judgement throne and everything we have ever said or done will be brought into account, but as my track record is listed off, my eyes will be fixed on the scars in my Lord’s wrists.

This is why we must strive every day to pursue God with complete abandon! Christ is worthy! He deserves it! The most incredible fact is that He doesn’t force us! He let’s us! He woos us! He longs for us! And when we trip and stumble when running after Him, we will not be remembered by our trips and falls!


I was dying in the prayer closet around a week ago, arguing that statement with God, “I am a failure!” “No, you are not.” “Hah! Yeah, right! Remember my laziness this past week?! Remember that comment I said?! Remember that person I neglected?! Tell me how I am not a failure!” Instantly a picture came to my mind of Jesus showing me the holes in His hands were nails went through. “This is why you are not a failure..”


I have one desire for these next four months: more of Jesus. In spite of how weird C. J. Murray is, Jesus is faithful. I am thankful for my Lord and Savior. I can never love Him too much, and when my love for Him falls short, His love for me never falls short.

What a wonderful thought!

Fare thee well, all.

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The Body (of Christ)

Suppose there was a person who quickly fell and died.
Maybe part of who he was said “innocent!” but lied.

So..

What if his hands said to his feet,
“We’re jealous of your toes,”
And in so doing forgot that
They’re holding a fire hose.

What if his toes said to his eyes,
“We’re jealous of your sight,”
And in so doing forgot that
They’re running in a fight.

What if his eyes said to his heart,
“We’re jealous of your beat,”
And in so doing forgot that
They’re spotting dangerous heat.

What if his heart said to his tongue,
“I’m jealous of your voice,”
And in so doing forgot that
It’s sustaining every choice.

What if his tongue said to his brain,
“I’m jealous of your head,”
And in so doing forgot that
It’s a spokesman aforesaid.

Maybe such is how he died:
His body parts were proud.
We’ll never know, but maybe so,
Could it be said too loud?

This past week, God has been teaching me how to appreciate the body of Christ. I have previously struggled with being jealous of others’ walk with God, envying different traits of theirs and how God has built them when that is actually pride. He has been teaching me to appreciate others’ walk with God and look at their spiritual lives for encouragement. We may be running a race, but this isn’t a competition with each other. We are a team, a unified body. We are to look to Jesus Christ, the author, and finisher of our faith, and push each other to Him, regardless of where we are or they are in the race.

It is a wonderful thing when the body of Christ is simply.. the body of Christ.

Faith

In Scripture, the facts of the Gospel are obvious. What we have in Christ is very clear. “For ye are dead to sin” is Christianity 101. Yet in our (my) life, there is a contrast. “Why am I not what the Bible says I am in Christ?” What is the kink in the system, the jam in the gears, or the clog in the pipes?

The first and greatest commandment is to love God. Then, “of faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love.” Yet, although the foundation of a relationship is love, how can the relationship function without faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Therefore! Without faith there is no substance and there is no evidence!

Many of us moan and grown about the lack of substance and evidence the Bible says we have in Christ, yet we neglect the lack of faith in God’s Word. We will never know the substance of what we have in Christ until we first accept it by faith.

The Bible is always talking about doing things through Christ. How does that work? It’s like an oven-mitten. We can’t grab a red-hot pan out of an oven with our bare hands, so we need to grab the red-hot pain through an oven-mitten! Here is the big question: how do we put the oven-mitten on?! Faith! You don’t have joy? Laugh it off and thank the risen Lord for the joy that you have in Him! You don’t have peace? Laugh it off and thank the risen Lord for the peace that you have in Him!

We are always told in Scripture to pray with thanksgiving! Why? Because you can only be thankful for what you already have, and to do so is nothing less than exercising faith.

Praise the Lord for the simplicity of the person of Jesus Christ.

It’s already there. Be thankful.

When The Beautiful Tank Goes Really Fast

This past week was the first week of my second semester of college. Seventeen credits, papers due, scripts to memorize, notes to study – it’s been a quick start on a rough road.

None-the-less, I have but one priority: time with Jesus Christ in the Word and prayer, and thus far, this is what I have discovered: the Word is like a blueprint for a car (history manual included), and prayer is like the fuel for the car. I read the Word to saturate in knowing who my God is, who I am in Him, what He’s done, what He’s going to do, and what He commands me to do. Good stuff right?! Yeah! But the Lord’s prayer was, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This means that, without prayer, God’s will has no channel to come to earth. The car will never start. I can look at the car all I want and say, “Whoa! That car is like a tank, space shuttle, and Porsche, all combined into one beautiful monster!” but without fuel (and space shuttles require a lot), it’s completely worthless!

All of that being said, I suppose the question is, “Okay, that’s a great analogy and all, but what’s happened with you the past week?!” Well, all I can say is.. the car has gone really fast!

Actually, instead of calling it a car, I’ll call it the Beautiful Tank! I say “tank” because it’s unstoppable! Nothing can hinder it, deter it, veer it, change it, or break it! “How would you know?” is the question. As I stated previously, I have spent the last week inside the Beautiful Tank (aka Jesus Christ), and It has proven undefeatable.

My burdens pile up, my stress levels rise, my diligence wanes, my energy levels fall, my thoughts go haywire, and then I look to Jesus. He looks back at me with a smile and says, “Step on the accelerator.” “I can’t!” I shout back. “You’re right, you can’t, but I can! Just ask Me and I will!” and as the prayer closet takes a forefront priority in my life, suddenly, the car’s mechanics are lubricated, and it’s full of unlimited fuel! Me sprinting ten miles per hour is suddenly me reclining in a Beautiful Tank going two-hundred miles per hour.

There is nothing that I have between God and I that is not a result of simply asking in prayer.

When I read the Word, God shows me how the Beautiful Tank works, what It can do, how fast It can go, Its track record, and how to use It. That is why it is so important to be meditating on God’s Word all day along, but more specifically, Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. Why? Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the Beautiful Tank. His crucifixion is what brought Him into me and me into Him, and when I am in constant communion with Him and constantly being filled with the Spirit, it is just as Paul says, “It is no longer I who live but Christ in me!”

That being said, I look around to many students who are struggling already or maybe even running very fast, but I can’t help but cringe. They are running in their own strength! They will get tired soon enough! And even if they make it to the end, I doubt God will receive much glory. Why? Because they were maybe in the Word each morning, and maybe spent some time in prayer. Is that bad? No. Is that sufficient? No! “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy soul, all thy mind, and all thy strength!” Being in the Word and prayer is a 24/7 lifestyle. Even if a little time is spent in the Word, we must meditate on it all day long and chew over everything with much prayer and communion throughout all we do.

Has God taught me to spend a lot of time in the Word and prayer? Yes. Have people called me crazy? Yes. “Leave time to study and stuff..” However, I am beginning to think they’re the ones who are crazy. God has been giving me more wisdom on how to use my time in school work and study than I have ever had in my entire life. The more time I spend seeking the Lord, the more I learn to use my time throughout the day. I think of Martin Luther who said, “I have so much to do today, I will spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Granted, it’s only been a week, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t found the secret! It has been my prayer that what God has shown me will be guarded and applied the entirety of the semester, and I have no doubt that He will! I am so excited to see what’s down the road, and I intend to take it on full force side by side with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It’s a Beautiful Tank. Every Christian is inside. Seek Him,
And He’ll show you just how beautiful it is,
Just like He’s shown me!

A Prayer Away, a Choice To Stay

The Son of God falls to His knees. His arms can’t bear the weight!
He looks up through His flowing blood to see His gruesome fate.
He tries to stand but falls again. A man steps to His side
And lifts the cross along with Him, the Christ so falsely tried.

But how the angels long to help! They weep before the throne.
The Father weeps along with them, yet cries, “Leave Him alone!”
They know the plan, they know the hope, they know the three-day cheat,
But still the Son of God in shame with death He has to meet.

The Son of God lays down His wrists to feel the nails go through.
He looks up to the skies above and thinks, “The will of You!”
He’s lifted up on Calvary with two thieves at His side
Who hang up there along with Him, the Christ so falsely tried.

But how the angels long to come and take Him from such shame,
To heal His wounds, remove His scars, and save Him from such pain!
Yet still, the Father holds His ground, as the oceans hold His tears,
As He turns His back to Him, His Son to hear hell’s cheers.

All heaven weeps as every tear cries the same thought loud,
The same thought that in helplessness sees darkness in each cloud.
“Oh, we’d come to rescue You! We’re just a prayer away!
And yet you choose to die for sin; for saints, You must stay.”

A reminiscent three days pass as heaven holds its breath
To see their King rise from the dead and triumph over death!
And as the Son walks to the throne, His father smiles wide.
The angels smile wide as well, but oh, how heaven cried!