Monday, May 08, 2006

Lift up your head!

2 Cor 4:16-18

16 Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.

17 For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!],

18 Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.

My Savior, My God
My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior’s always there for me
My God: He was, my God; He is
My God is always gonna be

God Will Lift Up Your Head
Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears the way
Wait because in His time, so shall this night
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy

God will lift up your head
God will lift up your head
God will lift up your head

I am beginning to see through all this tumultuous and wearisome adversity that on the opposite side are plans for good and not for harm, to increase and prosper. Just on that horizon a new dawn awaits.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Spirit in us makes us the letter of God

2 Corinthians 3
1Does it sound like we're patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we're not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you. 2You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. 3Christ himself wrote it--not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives--and we publish it.

Am I really a letter written by the Holy Spirit? Can others really read me? What does my letter say to the world? Am I revealing Christ in my life? These questions go on. I long to find peace and rest for this worn out soul, yet I must press on to the point of surrender.

4We couldn't be more sure of ourselves in this--that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. 5We wouldn't think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. 6His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn't written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It's written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives!

Only God can write this letter... this is true. I must allow His Spirit to pen the details and fashion the plot. This letter will not limit nor hinder new life and creativity but encourage such things to multiply.

Lifting the Veil
7The Government of Death, its constitution chiseled on stone tablets, had a dazzling inaugural. Moses' face as he delivered the tablets was so bright that day (even though it would fade soon enough) that the people of Israel could no more look right at him than stare into the sun. 8How much more dazzling, then, the Government of Living Spirit?

9If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about this Government of Affirmation? 10Bright as that old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one. 11If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how much more this brightly shining government installed for eternity?

This new way is more than just impressive. It is life giving, freeing, and exactly what this chaotic world demands.

12With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. 13Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn't notice that the glory was fading away-- 14and they didn't notice. They didn't notice it then and they don't notice it now, don't notice that there's nothing left behind that veil. 15Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they can't see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there's nothing there.

16Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are--face to face! 17They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! 18All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

Nothing between us and God... nothing holding us back. Why then, do I fear? I fear this letter is my own making and that I will fail. Yet my spirit united with His reveals something entirely different. God is writing this story and I am a willing participant. God is living, active, and involved. I am not alone. My fears will subside as this phase of life passes me by. Yet, I want to be the one who reveals this vital information to all who I encounter.