Victorious Limp

Genesis 32:24-32
Genesis 32:24-32

Are you wrestling with God over something? Who isn’t, right? Did you know that someone actually did wrestle with God? And I don’t mean “wrestle” metaphorically either. I’m talking literally. God wrestled Jacob in a straight-up, hand-to-hand wrestling match. The first-ever Smack Down occurred in Genesis 32:24-32.

In fact, God wrestled Jacob all night. They wrestled until daybreak and when God saw that He had not prevailed against Jacob, He touched Jacob’s thigh and dislocated it. Just a touch. That’s all it took. This showed that obviously God could’ve won at any moment. As dawn was breaking, God said, “Let Me go.” No one can see God’s face and live. But Jacob replied, “No. Not until You bless me.” Ha! Imagine that! The gumption of this guy! God then (I envision with a smile on His face) changes Jacob’s name to “Israel” which means, “he who wrestles/strives with God.”  Then He blessed him.

Why did God do that? If He wanted to challenge Jacob, He could’ve picked any kind of contest: a race, a riddle, or tic-tac-toe. Why wrestling? Well, any of those other contests are not interactive. They keep contestants separate. Wrestling is more intimate. God picked an activity that involved actual physical contact.

I’m not sure, but I figure Jacob had that limp for the rest of his days. I also imagine that he limped proudly. It became his badge of courage, his price for a blessing, and his evidence of a God that loves him.

We all wrestle with God, maybe not physically like Jacob here, but spiritually? You bet. All the time. It’s the “old man” in us rising up. It’s the rebellious tickle in our ear. Envy. Pride. Gluttony. Pick one. But here’s the thing, God will wrestle you right back. He will step into the ring. He wants to bless you.

Wrestling with God, however, does come with a price. You may carry a limp for the rest of your days. But you won’t view that hurt as loss. You will view that hurt as victory. You will want to tell everyone about your limp and what it means to you. You will want to tell everyone how much God loves you and how much God loves them.

God bless!

This post owes a lot to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones‘s “Victorious Limp” via Tim Keller‘s “The Theology of the Cross and Walking with a Limp,” I encourage everyone to check out these incredible links!

The LORD Sits

Psalms 29:10
Psalms 29:10

For our honeymoon my wife and I were blessed with a trip to Paris. While we were there, we visited the Palace of Versailles. Once the center of political power, Versailles is now France’s foremost tourist attraction. Besides it’s sheer grandeur, one thing stuck with me about that palace: the thrones.

It is there that I learned what a throne represents. I mean, of course I knew that a throne represented power. It is obvious that to have people come to you is a demonstration of power. But, it is absolute power to have people come to you as you remain seated.

Ever thought of that before?

The Throne of God is mentioned several times throughout scripture. I won’t bombard you with all of them. Most famously it is described by Ezekiel (chapter 1). I’d like to mention also that the angel Gabriel refers to the Throne of God in Luke 1:32-33 because… he should know, he’s been there. He’s actually seen it!

God is mentioned as “sitting” multiple times as well.

• “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.” – Psalms 29:10

• “He that sits in the heavens laughs” (at the futile efforts of man’s rebellion) – Psalms 2:4

• “Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high?” – Psalms 113:5

Sitting on His Throne, God is The Absolute Power. He is the Power of the Power. There is none above and all below. Yet, He makes Himself low to guide and love His fragile creation.

In your quiet time with the LORD today, reflect on our God’s astounding ability to speak stars into being and also whisper encouragement to His children all in the same all-powerful breath. He does so with perfect love from His magnificent Throne.

God Bless!

Let Go and Let God

Psalms 55:22
Psalms 55:22

Well, I’ve done everything I can do. Nothing left for me to do but pray, I guess.

Ever hear that? Ever say that? To be honest, I have. I’ve thought and/or said that very same thing myself many times.

Psalms 55:22 says “Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.

My wife said something the other day that really struck a chord with me, “Let Go and Let God!” How simple. How true.

But, how difficult!

Let Go

and

Let GOD!

Give God the reigns of your life. He is a much better driver anyways. Letting go is hard for us humans, isn’t it? We have to be in control of everything. It’s almost as if we’re admitting defeat if we let someone else take over. If someone is more qualified, then why not? And if anyone is more qualified, it’s the LORD. Why is this such a struggle?! It’s OK to let God in. It’s OK to let Him be the deciding factor.

Allowing God full access to your life doesn’t mean you will be without hardship. In fact, it all but guarantees it. The more the world senses you are a Child of The King, the more it will hate you. The more it will sniff you out. The more it will try to crush you. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:18. “You will be hated because of me” Matt. 10:22.

So, be ready.

Think of it this way, Jesus was the first to say Let go and let God! He prayed the hardest prayer: “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42

Submission to the Father is scary but it’s the only thing that leads to ultimate peace and joy. John 16:33 says it all. Look it up. Memorize it. Live it.

Let go and let God! God Bless!

#LetGoAndLetGod #YHWH

You Remain The Same

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Sometimes I’m irritable. Other times I’m patient. But I’m hardly ever consistent. Hebrews 1:12 tells us that God “remains the same.

That could be bad if God were capricious or unreasonable. But here’s the thing – He’s not.

He’s constantly and reliably good. He is Love and love always loves. The fact that He’s “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8) should give us great comfort. It means He will always hold us, catch us, save us and forgive us… even when we least deserve it.

May you experience God’s steadfastness today!
God bless!

2 Minute Dynamite

tntCan you spare 2 minutes? Who doesn’t have 2 measly minutes?

That’s all it takes to read Romans 12. And let me tell you: this chapter is straight up dynamite! Every single line is perfect for meditation. Some highlights:

• Appropriately, it starts out with a fuse: Present your bodies as a living & holy sacrifice (Let that one burn. You could contemplate on that all day!)

• Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by renewing your mind!

• Don’t think too highly of yourself.
• We are parts of the same body and as such have different roles.
• Hate what is evil / Cling to what is good.
• Be devoted to each other.
REJOICE IN HOPE!
• If someone comes after you, bless them!
• Try your best to be at peace with all men.
• Leave room for God’s wrath to clean up the trash.

So, do your soul a favor and take 2 tiny minutes to dive into this explosive chapter! I hope that you do. Here, I’ll even make it easy for you: biblegateway.com

Arm yourselves with the God’s Word. This TNT could be your weapon in the spiritual war raging all around you today!

God bless!
#christian #livingsacrifice #Jesus

Continuing Debt To Love

Romans 13:8
Romans 13:8

Love is a debt. Wait, I owe you love?!

Paul tells us in Romans 13:8 that we have an outstanding “debt” to love one another. I’m not indebted to love you, am I? One loves because one loves, right?

Is Paul being unreasonable?

Like everything else in scripture, look to Christ. Whenever in doubt, the answer is Jesus. Always.

Our Savior lavished us with such a gushing, pouring, drenching, and FLOODING love that it could never possibly be duplicated. It could never possibly be repaid. In fact, the only way to even scratch the surface of His tremendous love is to look out for one another. That’s it.

We are not instructed to do some incredible feat. We are just asked to show simple kindness to people who are in the same boat as ourselves. We are commanded to show our fellow man just an inkling of the likeness of Jesus. Our job as Christians is to point people to Christ. Then the Holy Spirit steps in. That’s it.

If Jesus felt it important enough to give his life for others, the least we can do is honor that great sacrifice by showing others that we care for them.

In this, we remind people. We remind them that Jesus lives, that He loves them, and that He loves us. How could He not? After all, He is love.

Thank you, Jesus for showing us what love is and how to love!

So, yes – I owe you love. You owe me love. We owe love to each other. It’s a debt neither one of us can repay. We are always in hock.

I love you. Put it on my tab.

God bless!

#Love #LoveOneAnother #DebtToLove

The LORD Will Fight For You

Exodus 14:14
Exodus 14:14

I get tired.

Far too often the struggle gets the best of me.

I’m so human and humans are weak and flawed. However, there is someone we can turn to who is not weak and who is not flawed. Exodus 14:14 tells us that the “LORD” will fight for us. When you see the Lord written in all caps like that, it means YHWH; the one true Creator God. It’s refering to the God through which all things are. (Thanks to Rev. Dr. David Cyphers for that explanation.)

If the Author of the Universe will fight for us, let’s let him. God has never, nor never will fail and He won’t fail you.

God Bless!

#YHWH #AuthorofSalvation #GodMyRock #GodMyStrength #GodMyShield

Just Add Water

Living Water
John 7:38

You can live without food for 3 weeks, but take away your water and you can last only 3 days. 65% of our body is made of water. Try growing something without water and see how that goes for you!

It’s easy to see that water is essential for anything to survive. Our spiritual well-being is no different

John 7:38 tells us that rivers of living water will flow from the heart of whoever believes in Jesus. Rivers! How refreshing does that sound?

If you are thirsty, all you have to do is drink.

God Bless!

#livingwater

The View From The Valley

Mark 9:22
Mark 9:22

I am not the wise man on the mountaintop dispensing knowledge. Far from it! I am the exhausted guy caked in dirt trying desperately to climb that very mountain as it repeatedly kicks my sorry butt back down to the valley. I am in the trenches, just like you.

The height of the mountaintop is measured by the dismal drudgery of the valley, but it is in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God (Oswald Chambers). When you are on the mountain you can believe anything. But in the valley, you only have Jesus to get you out!

Pray with me Mark 9:22 – “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us!”

God Bless!

#walkthroughthevalley #JesusSaves

Our Real Boss

Col. 3:23
Col. 3:23

Work is work, right? Or they would call it play. Everyone has something they would change about their job. In Col. 3:23 Paul tells us that as Christians, we are not working for our bosses, we are working “as for the Lord.”

We are to work with good cheer.

Hey, at least you have a job that you don’t like. Many Americans would love to have a job… that they would not like.

Bosses, you are not off the hook either. There is plenty of scripture about treating your employees well (Eph. 6:9).

God bless!

#workforthelord #GoodCheer