Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. Matthew 9:15
"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:6
"But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:17,18
"And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:7,8
But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Matthew 9:13
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3
I believe that as Lovers of God, WHEN we fast, not if, but WHEN, we fast not to please God with our sacrifice and to show Him how righteous we are, but rather to empty ourselves of distraction, and the addiction of food, and fill ourselves with God. We fast for ourselves, for the body of Christ, and Justice on Earth.
He says there will be reward for you when you fast. That reward is not getting what we want from God, but rather a realignment of ourselves with our maker, which brings out the desires of our heart which He has instilled in us; and when we are completely in the hands of Christ, these are the most natural things for us to do.
Then, throughout history in the Church, Fasting and Prayer has many many times resulted in the kingdom invading earth, God making himself know to the body in a new way, and revival to break forth all over world. The Reformation, The Great Awakening, The Pentecostal Revivals were all the effect of diligent fasting and prayer.
The Lord rewards those who seek Him diligently. Hebrews 4:11
Beloved Church: Seek Him with diligence, and He will meet with you. and You will experience Him in a new way.
just wanted you to know......
SO as the Father loved Jesus, that is how He loved his apostles, and how He still loves us. God loves us as much as He loves Himself. there is no possible way that He could love anything in the universe more that Himself and in that way, and by that measurement, He loves us. He is perfect, therefore His love is perfect. He Loves us, me, perfectly just the way i am. there is nothing i could do to make Him love me more, there is nothing i could do to make Him love me less.
whoa. everyone is wasting their lives on something. whether it be money, or fame, or skill, or vocation, or whatever. i ask my self, what am i wasting my life on? will it resonate in eternity? will what i do with my life, what i spend my gifts and talents on, will it be worth anything when i face Jesus? will i come to him empty handed.
There was once a woman. she was called Mary of Bethany, and she sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to what He was saying. in fact every time that Mary is mentioned in Scripture, she is at the feet of Jesus.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
41"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will never be taken away from her." Luke 10:40-42
Never means never. when Jesus says never, that means never in all eternity will this be taken from her. but what is this that she has chosen? Devotion. Devotion to Jesus. Spending her time sitting at his feet learning the heart of the God-Man from His own mouth.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34"Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied.35Jesus wept. John11:32-35
Jesus was deeply moved when he saw Mary weeping. It wasn't until he saw that Mary was weeping that He wept. I mean why would he weep over Lazarus when He knew He was going to raise the man from the dead. on the contrary, it is my interpretation that Jesus wept because of the agony that a heart like Mary's was going through. When a heart that is so utterly devoted to Him weeps, He cannot help but weep. Jesus had a real, emotional, response to Mary's tears, and i believe that God does the same with any heart that is so devoted to Him. and he moves. when those wholly devoted to Him cry out for Justice, he will come, and bring it swiftly.
Another testament to the devotion of Mary of Bethany was the fact that Jesus was continually drawn back to Bethany where Mary lived. three times it is recorded in scripture, once six days before his death, Jesus goes back to Bethany, to a heart so utterly devoted to Him. it is my belief that He is, in a way, drawn back to the heart of devotion, and wanted to spend as much time with that heart as he possibly could, even in his human form.
Then Mary does something that blows everyone's mind, and shows her complete devotion to Jesus.
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages."... ... 7"Leave her alone," Jesus replied. " It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me." John 12:3-8
Mary knew. She understood that Jesus was going to die. No one else understood that Jesus was going to die, but because Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, and listen to what he said, she already knew. and she acted. she gave it all, a years wages, now what would be $45,000. and that was all she had. her dowry. her inheritance. she gave it to Jesus.
Beloved, In no way is any of this required of us. We can get into heaven without spending our lives searching after God. and yet, because of His great Love for us, our Father wishes all of us, to be so devoted to this higher calling. He wants to reveal Himself to us in the same way that He could to Mary of Bethany. He desires to untie our earthly bonds, and break the yokes of oppression in our lives, so that we may waste our life at His feet in devotion to Him, and experience the fullness of God. for that is what we are created to do.
So, Father, give me the heart of Mary of Bethany. let me waste my life to search you out. in devotion, giving it all, in complete obedience to You, Jesus, sitting at Your feet in prayer and fasting. i want my life to be worth something to You. i want that heart.
inspired by Brian Kim "Mary of Bethany"
that You are near me. where ever I am You are there. what ever i feel like You are there. when i feel Your presence You are there, and even though i don't feel You where i am, i know, there You are still. when i am alone, in the secret place, there You dwell, and when two or three are gathered in Your name, You are there also. on the farthest horizon, You are there; and beyond the furthest star, You are there still.
You are here inside me, and choose to dwell in the ever essence of my being. in the depths of my heart. and it is known, I am known by You, and You understand me completely. You see the blackness of my flesh and the sin inside my head, and yet, You Love me the same, and You are pleased with ME. nothing could keep me from your love, oh God, and nothing can change how You love me perfectly.
and it is because of this love, that i desire to know you more. it is because of Your love for me that, not only do i exists, but thrive, and search for you. that is what i am designed for isn't it? to glorify You.
Thank You Jesus.
Thank You Jesus.
Thank You Jesus.
"Father, Your in charge. obviously this is either good for me, or it will somehow help me in the long run, but regaurdless, i know that i am in Your hand. i am in Your hand, and i am not going to worry about it. its Your deal not mine."
and God said:
"I'll take that!"
and He did. and literally tears came to my eyes at the relief. and I sat beck and didn't worry about it.
for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the maidens love you!
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers.
THIS IS SO GREAT! i don't think that I can do it justice.
OH God let me feel the word of your Son in the depths of my heart. let me feel his your Love. Your love is better than wine. Your affections for me are better than anything that this world can offer. Your affections for me are greater than any of the worldly blessings that you have given. Your Name is so great. No wonder why people fall for you Jesus, when they come in to an encounter with Your person, and see you, even a glimpse, of who you really are, they cannot help but fall head over heels for you, no matter where they are. Take me away with you. Take me home to you, Jesus. Amen, i say come quickly.
4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "
6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? 8I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:1-8
When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? Faithfulness. When Jesus returns, as a Conquering King , Returning to Earth, in Victory, for His Bride, will He find that she is faithfully awaiting His return, and Lovesick for Him, her Lover? I think that the implied answer is a resounding "Yes!"
Yes He will return and find faith on the Earth, as a Bride is prepared for the Bride Groom on the Day of their wedding, So God is moving to prepare us, the Bride, for the coming of the eternal Bride Groom.
He is strengthening and purifying the church, readying us for that day.
1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:1-4
The "Faith" that Jesus speaks of, relates back to (phone call) the parable He had just told the disciples, and speaks of the prayers of those crying out to the Father for justice against the powers of darkness that inhabit the world we live in and are persecuted by. Justice for the orphans and widows, justice for the innocent oppressed and persecuted.
But I don't think this faith is just having faith that he will one day return to His Bride, but also living in our lives in AGREEMENT with the will of Christ in our lives.
So Beloved, we must cry out for justice and agree with Him in Faith and in our very existence And HE will bring HIS JUSTICE, AND SWIFTLY, AS SURE AS THE SUN WILL RISE, HE IS COMING!!
So Beloved, let us cry out for justice, day and night, justice for the broken and demoralized and let us live in a way that agrees to the work that He has commissioned us to, by seeking Him daily, sitting before Him, at His feet, in prayer and supplication, learning His Face and His Heart from the Word of His Mouth.
Let us Love Him
Then let us Love them.
in Isaiah 58, it talks about "True Fasting".
It starts our speaking of Isreal's condition and their wickedness.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
they SEEM eager to know my ways,
AS IF they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and SEEM eager for God to come near them.
now when it speaks of "seem" and "as if" this implies that God sees through their religious rituals and traditions, and sees man's heart.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?
God asks them a question. "do you think that your religiosity will get Me to do anything for you? do you think that I cannot see your heart for who you really are? though you do these rituals, your heart is wicked. I KNOW you.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
This is what I desire, for you to do. obedience not sacrifice.
fight for justice and free the oppressed.
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Give to everyone to fulfill their needs. Not just in the physical (though very important), but also to share the Food Christ has fed you to sustain the spiritually weary and hungry, to clothe those in shame of sin with protection of Love.
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
THEN, when your heart is right, you will call out in intercession, and your prayers will shine like the sun. He will answer you and bring justice and SWIFTLY.
10bthen your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
These are my politics.
so i am reading this book called captivating, and so far its really good, at capturing a picture of what i would imagine to be the heart of a woman, which, the book makes the point, is the pinnacle, the epitome, the crescendo, of God's creation.
let me say first, that i agree. : )
But it also has gotten me thinking about the different aspects of the image of God that women display, and us men may lack. That is, more specifically, the "Desire to be Desired".
When little boys play they want to be cowboys and indians, when i was a kid i wanted to play jedi vs. the sith, or other games that pertained to sword fighting. because of my insufferable pride, i always had to be the most powerful, the one who never died. as a friend recently reminded me, my favorite character to pose as was an emperor monkey, who changed into a dragon. talk about power.
But little girls (usually, not always i suppose) want to be something of a princess or a queen, and they want to play with all of their stuffed animals, who, comment continually on how beautiful she looks and is. This, displays the desire to be desired. the NEED, if you will, to be called beautiful.
in this same way, God desires to be desired by US! in fact, He wants it so much, that was the sole purpose of His entire creation! creation isn't "primarily functional, but rather it is primarily beautiful." The primary reason for creation is to showcase to us, How much God Loves US, How worthy He is of our Love, and How much He Desires our Love.
All throughout the Bible, the heart of God screams:
I LOVE YOU, look how much!
I created you, but before I created you, I created an entire world, an entire universe for you to explore, and enjoy, and marvel at!
every time you strayed from me i rescued you from your own destruction.
THEN although you hated Me for it, I sent Myself, to be thoroughly sacrificed for you, and you alone, to redeem you! and bring you back to ME!
I will be with you where ever you walk. at the furthest horizon, I will be there beside you.
SO what is wrong with ME? won't you just LOVE ME??
Love me like a Brother,
Love me like a Father,
Love me like a Lover.
For this is My Heart's Desire.
God thinks you are ALL beautiful
who are you to disagree?
He is smitten by us. He loves us crazy, and there is nothing that could take that away. no height no depth, no powers, no principalities could ever distract the Love of Him for one second. mountainous obstacles in our lives are dust and shadow to him. He could dwell in any part of the infinite dimensions of the universe, and take joy in any aspect of his creation. but He chooses to by my indwelling Spirit. Hallelujah!
this was brought to my attention today.... again. but so often i forget it. not only does the knowledge of the face of God cause us to fall head over heels for The Author of Life, but it also fuels us to love the things that God loves, like righteousness, faith, mercy; but also the least of these around us.
however, most christians, my self included, for get the other half: to Hate what God Hates. yes for some reason, many chrisitains don't even believe that such a Loving God could hate anything.
what about distortions of his creation? what about sin? its true, God HATES sin.
NOW HEAR ME: this does not mean that God hates anyone of His creation. many people get that mixed up. you know this world is fallen and the church is crippled when you have "christians" with huge grins on their face, holding up signs saying: God Hates Fags.
Beloved, that is sick. God wants us to showcase His Love to all of His creation. Not just those self righteous who look past the plank in their eye and see the speck in their brothers eye, and hate him for it.
But Beloved, we have sin in our own lives, everywhere we look. in the things we say, in the things we watch, in the way we spend ourselves. and we allow it. we say "no one is perfect." but GOD IS PERFECT. because Jesus came down from heaven and lived a sinless life, not to say "look at me, I am better then you." but to say,"Look, this is how a Loving Father desires you to live: with absolute servant hood, and humility."(I struggle with pride more then most, so this hits home for me too.) " Church, we MUST cry out, to God and beg forgiveness for years of complacency, in rooting out sin in our own lives first, and the lives of our brothers and sisters out of love for them. Then ask for help from our loving Father to destroy the sin in our lives, and then thank Him in faith, for what He is going to do in our hearts, to rescue us from ourselves.
Oh Father, let me follow Your example, as a father to my children. Full of Love and Compassion, Mercy and Grace. let me raise them up in the ways of justice and in truth, and showcase to them my love for You, so that they may desire it, and receive it from You.
Jesus, be my model as a husband. let Me Love Her as You Love Her, and desire Her as you desire your Bride. let me call Her Lovely all the days of my life; through ALL trials, call Her Beauty.
I will call Her Wonder, for she is cause for Excitement.
Let us follow your presence where ever you lead, and let the knowledge of your Loving Nature be the source of our eternal joy. In sickness and in health. 'till death do us part.
The Lord whispers from your heart: I love you, you are beautiful, and I feel your sincerity.
Beloved, don't fall for the lies of the enemy. I know that you are desire Me. I know that you are sincere. you Love Me, and I can feel your Love. now feel Mine. be encouraged, do not lose heart. even in the darkest night, when I seem but only a dream, this to will end. just run to Me, every day, run to Me. I will always be here for you. you are separate and unique and valuable to Me, and
I Love you,
I Love you,
I Love you.
so often reigns in the body of Christ. the bride is so conflicted. a clever ploy by a clever enemy.
some believe that the most important thing is scripture, some believe it is gifts of the Spirit, others prayer and still others worship.
some believe that being Christ to the poor and broken is the most important, others believe that it is most important to bring people into the church, and still others believe that missions is the most important thing.
i have even encountered some hippies in my travels who believe that "its all about being in the presence... man."
all of these things are important. in fact all of these things are crucial to the well rounded christian life. the problem is, many take it off the edge and get so focused on that one slice of the pie that they get thrown off of what is more important then all of them combined.
some churches are so focused on the Word, and scripture and digging in to the deepest meanings of the words that God has spoken that they get distracted and become so wrapped up in scripture that they loose sight of the Face of God Himself.
other churches put all of the emphasis in practicing spiritual gifts, but they loose sight of The One who gave them those gifts.
Beloved, instead of desiring scripture, let your desire for the Face and Knowledge of God, fuel your desire for scripture. Instead of desiring those spiritual gifts, desire the understanding of the Nature of Who He is and what he wants for your life, and let that open you to Blessings from the Spirit.
the only thing that matters: The Knowledge of Father; which when all else has passed away, when gifts of the Spirit will cease, when faith and hope are no longer necessary, will not only sustain our Joy eternally and forever continue to make us fall in Love with Him who is worthy of all glory and honor and praise, but also lead us to doing works to showcase His Love and Mercy to the world.
Everything else: meaningless.
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
So Beloved, Seek first the face of God, and everything else will come after.
Sit at His feet and He will tell you of Himself.
and even though it is unlikely that there will be many cars in this ditch, still feel the need to preform. I spent a half an hour trying to figure out a good, impressive, not too Jesus-e, yet full of abstract symbolism, name. maybe someday i will explain this "name" so called. i am not sure why i am saying "so called" so much. but i digress.
it is interesting, even though i know that not one person may ever read this, i still feel the need to make it my best. to preform, as if there was an audience. as if the whole of mankind was following every word that i wrote. (maybe it is the fear that some pretty girl that i know might find this and read it and think less of me, perhaps womankind is a better word then.)
i think we all have a fear of being judged. but isn't that only because we ourselves judge? yes. (you may in fact be judging me right now on my apparent lack of knowledge of how to use the shift key)
but why do we do that? why do we judge our brothers and sisters, point out their faults and their struggles? because humans have an innate desire to say to themselves, "ha i am better that that person." even though we know in our heart of hearts that we are no better than that person next to us. (in fact, some of the things that go through my head, might qualify me for the worst person to ever live competition. but am i alone in this? i think not.)
so this desire to preform, and be the best comes from our "need" for people in this world to think well of us, even if we don't know who it is we are trying to impress. that is exhausting. and this is why. no matter what we do, we will never be the best. you could find the most obscure thing to be good at, but i guarantee you won't be the best. and even if you were the best? what do you gain? really? fame? power? money? stuff? respect? the second you die, all of that means nothing.
even mature christians do it too. they look at everyone around them in the world and see how screwed up and messed up it all is, and then they see their brothers and sisters struggling with addiction, and sin, or maybe even those who are just not as mature, and we say to our selves "look what i have done. i am not blind as they are. and look how i have grown in my walk" as if anything that we had done was of our own strength. I am fooling myself.
you know who is the best? who will always be number one?
Yeah. I know right? Jesus Christ is number one, and that is simply who He is. He is First. whatever i can try to do, He can do better then me, whatever i think up, He has already though of. what ever i accomplish, He could have done with out me. and it is He who gives gifts of knowledge and character to those He chooses, and it is only Him that sustains us. He is completely self sufficient, and yet, not only did He create us, not only does he think well of us, He loves us. SO much. like crazy. there is nothing i could do to make Him love me more, there is nothing i could do to make Him love me less. I could be preaching His name to the world, or i could be sitting in the darkest pit of my soul, and He would still love me perfectly and absolutely. and it is because He is so nuts for me that He made me.... first. He went to the cross for me and sacrificed Himself completely for me. and when you come to grips with a love so complete and unconditional and fulfilling, how can He not be first?
so let me just say that this will not be the best blog you will ever read. maybe i am dong that on purpose or maybe i just am not very good at writing. maybe both. yes. both. but that is because the greatest blog ever written has many entrees, and much more abstract symbolism than this.
a love letter from Jesus Christ to the world. (wow that was cheesy, but true) and that is why
He is first.