motivations for obedience pt.3

this is the third post that comes from listening to a podcast titled motivation for obedience.  the sermon seemed to reach out and really grab me as i listened and so i wanted to share what i heard, to share it…but also to really allow it to sink into myself as i wrote.  the  first two points were:

1. the love of Christ compels us to motivation.

2. a man walking under the banner of “what about me” will be the most miserable of human beings.

the third is this:

3. there are secondary motivators for obedience for times when the love of Christ doesn’t seem to move us.

to be honest, i haven’t really thought this one through totally.  it seems though like this.  Christ desires we serve Him out of love for Him (or maybe even the love He gives us) but sometimes we don’t feel like it.  see here’s the thing.  i think there are millions of ways to divide people up.  auburn or alabama fans, basketball or baseball, mountain vacation or beach,coke or pepsi…you know, but what i’m going for is self-disciplined vs…well not self-disciplined.

my best friend since high school is one of those strange humans who runs long distances for fun.  i remember way back then that we’d all be bustin up to the school parking lot like eeh it’s early blaaaaah… but she’d bounce up cos she’d already have had a run that morning.  crazy.  THEN she’d go run again after school…usually even when there wasn’t practice.  runners are a very unique breed…because they LOVE it.  like if they don’t run for a day or few they’re cranky and all they want is a run.  swimmers, i’ve found, tend  to be like this too with their sport.

i’m only really like that for coffee…

i struggle a lot when i’m left to choose for myself between things i might not really want to do (though they might be good for me) and things i enjoy or feel like doing right then.  i think that being obedient to Christ can fall here too.  many times, when it is clear, or my heart is in a right place, or it’s easy i’m quick to joyfully respond to the Lord in obedience. othertimes, especially when i’m tired or in a bad spot myself, or just being selfish or lazy, i’m not really good at being obedient…especially if that obedience doesn’t fit into the feel good category.

here’s what the pastor i was listening to was saying though.  sometimes we don’t want to be obedient for whatever reason…but the consequences or cost of disobedience are so high that those drive us to obedience too.  this is great news because here’s the deal…the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ [rom 6:23].  when we are disobedient we sin.  sin leads us to be separated from Christ as well as having potential other consequences.  sometimes i don’t feel like showing Jesus i love Him or sometimes i don’t feel like i love Him, but the truth is that i do.  and that truth reminds me of what the costs are when i am not right with the Lord…and those lead me to take His hand and follow as He leads…though sometimes it takes awhile and a fight to take that extended hand.

also, as unspiritual as it is…this post has me singing the Gilmore Girls theme song in my head…

where you lead, i will follow…anywhere…that you tell me to…

motivation for change pt.2

i posted yesterday about a sermon that i listened to on my way to work and what the Lord spoke to me through the point that true obedience to the Lord only comes out of the motivation of love for Him alone.

the second thing that that sermon spoke so so clearly to me was this:

2. a man walking under the banner of “what about me” will be the most miserable of human beings.


scripture clearly says that, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” [matthew 10:39, 16:25, luke 9:24, 17:33] other words used in the place of save are cling to, and seek to keep.  

y’all this has been me, maybe not constantly but consistently for almost a year now.  i have literally said both to God and other people, WHAT ABOUT ME?! those words have had a powerful hold over my heart.  those words are like a silent disease that spreads without knowledge until it has take over and becomes utterly destructive.  it’s been a plague with symptoms that show up in the forms of making me believe that i’m totally alone, isolated, unwanted, a failure, that everyone is against me, the Lord is against me, i’m forgotten…and these go on and on.

these are lies of the Enemy.  THE enemy.  the one who wants nothing more than to take those who want to serve the Lord and destroy them. [john 10 “…the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”] he tells lies that speak directly to our sin-nature, our ego-centrism and against the Word spoken over us by the Love of Christ. but his lies are SO easy to believe!!  they speak to our pride, our insecurity, our ego, our self-pity…and they flood those places, those awful destructive places, with lies that root themselves there and begin to grow like vines that take over and destroy light. they’re finely crafted and draw us in to them like they can be trusted.  that enemy is a liar.  it’s his nature.  [john 8:44 “…He was a murderer from the beginning, anddoes not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies…”] and worse…john 8:45 goes on to explain that BECAUSE Christ tells the truth we don’t believe Him.  satan has so convinced us of what we want to hear so that we can feel sorry for ourselves or be so destroyed that we are no longer good to the Kingdom of God that we can not believe the truth of who we are in Christ.

and that truth is that it isn’t about me.

i’ve forgotten that.  i must confess it…to be honest about it, but also to find healing.  i’ve forgotten the truth that is “…seek FIRST the Kingdom of God…”  i’ve forgotten that once i told Him, whatever it is you will i will follow you.  that i said i trusted Him above all else.  that He said He’d be with me in the fire and the rushing waters and the desert [isa 43 and others].  i forgot that it’s about Him.  that my home isn’t here and that i am not my own.  i belong to Him, was bought with a price, and that for His sheep He gives full, abundant life [john 10:10].

i’ve forgotten all that and i’ve. been. miserable. and miserable to be around a lot of the time. well duh…selfishness isn’t love…or a fruit given by the Spirit.  it’s of the old nature…the one that i was to put off when i was made new in Christ. but He is faithful, and patient because He wants us to be whole and to be with Him on this journey…so He will wait until we ask to be restored and He is faithful and generous to give good gifts to His kids [matt 7:7-11]

flowerback in my sweet book [hinds’ feet on high places] the main character is taken on a journey to the high places by the Chief Shepherd where she encounters many things but one of the most profound is this.  as she is journeying up the mountain toward the high places her path seems to take a turn down into the desert directly away from where she thought she was going and she is hurt and confused and scared again. she doesn’t want to go there and the Chief Shepherd asks her again if she trusts Him.  once she follows He shows her many things done in that desert place that are refining and as she begins to understand that she sees one lonely flower, whose name is Acceptance with Joy.

i want that too.  though this path has taken a much different turn than i expected, i still trust Him to take me to Himself. and to walk the path He has chosen in Acceptance with Joy because that road leads to Life.

motivations for obedience

this is the title of the sermon podcast i was listening to as i drove this morning.  this has become one of my favorite things each day to begin by having the Word spoken through pastors fill up my car in the morning.  i have a few i listen to regularly, and one of those is from the village church in texas.  last week i listened to one from december called, “in every circumstance”.  it was pointed and solid, yet there was a sweetness about the picture the speaker drew about the Father that drove me to listen to it again a second time to make sure i reminded myself of the gentle, compassionate Father He is.

this morning i began a sermon from almost two years ago titled, “motivations for obedience”.  right off the bat it seemed like every sentence matt chandler spoke was applicable to me right now and i just wanted to tweet out every sound bite…but i understand it’s frowned upon to do that while you drive.  i haven’t finished listening yet, and i’m sure i am missing many important things from this message but three things stood out so clearly to me that i had to get them down.

1. it must be the love of Christ that compels us to obedience.

2 corinthians 5:14 says, “…for the love of christ compels us…”  the sermon went on to speak about how scripture over and over says not to be righteous or showy about your faith for others to see, but alone in your heart before the Father.  this season of life has been so much different than i always had it pictured.  i was about to say it has been so much less than i’d imagined, but maybe it hasn’t been less…maybe it will prove to be more than i could have imagined…so i chose the word different instead. fortunately or unfortunately, as you may see it, i stink at pretending.  a friend of mine has even described it like i am a, “burn victim, who wears their scars on the outside.”  i can’t for very long put on a happy face and smile like all is ok if it isn’t.  some people probably see this as a negative thing…i know they do, and others seem to think it’s “brave and vulnerable and honest.”  that’s beside the point though.  this different than i expected season has left me desperate for someone to help, so i’m searching for this help anywhere i can find a friendly ear.

a few months back i was sitting with a friend as i did every monday morning talking about life and the Lord, and she showed me a book someone had suggested she read.  this book was titled hinds feet on high places (by hannah hurnard). this is the friend that you know is a precious gift from the Lord.  i know i have many, many of those that i am blessed by and thankful for daily, but this is a special kind of friend.  in the years our friendship has grown the Lord has continually seemed to walk us on paths that are parallel to one another.  similarities that are absolutely absurd and you think wow…what a gift to have a sister who understands what i’m walking because in her own way she is walking it too.  anyway she brought this book out and said she wanted me to listen to a section because it made her think of me as she read it.  then she encouraged me to read the whole book, which of course i really thought about doing but in a few days forgot to actually get it so i didn’t.

then a few weeks ago at the end of asbury’s gic we were sitting with some precious friends from panama and she suggested this same book because it had been the thing that encouraged her during so many seasons of life.  i bought it off amazon the next morning as now two people i greatly respect and trust had suggested it and began reading it this week.

the most clear message the Lord has spoken to me through this sweet little book is this…

that the development of hinds’ feet is a secret process demanding that there be no onlookers


there is no help other than the help from the Lord.  as david wrote in psalm 121, where does my help come from, my help comes from the Lord…but it is internal. in the secret place with the Lord that help can be found…and found only in the place where the desire for Him alone is found.

i’m not totally sure where He’s leading me right now and i’m not sure that’s even something that can be shared right now, but i do trust that it is good and that He is there and He is trustworthy and faithful.  He will do it.

for the Love of Christ compels us…

(the 2 and 3 point will be in later posts…this is long enough)


“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

i have never been to mumbai.  i know nothing about it, except that it is in india. i feel in this season of life that i might as well be in mumbai though.  i have nothing against mumbai, and for some reason if someone from mumbai or whose relatives live there read this, in no way am i placing judgement of any kind on this place i’ve never been.  i’m sure it’s a perfectly nice city.

i think and speak and write in metaphors.  its always on those personality tests as one of the questions.  i always answer, “strongly yes” i do speak and think in metaphors.  it’s like a picture that i can see more than words that i understand.

i feel lost.  in a city that is incredibly foreign to me. see, mumbai represents something totally unknown.  new york is close enough to home even though it too has it’s share of unfamiliar.  i understand the language, know the smells, can read the signs, recognize the landmarks.  Even london or paris or even shanghai have things that are familiar (although shanghai was really unlike home) but mumbai seems completely other.

obviously i’m not actually lost…i’ve lived and worked in this town my entire life.  every street is familiar and every place has a memory. but in my mind and heart i might as well be in a place that speaks an entirely different language.  has entirely different smells, foods, culture, traditions, religions…where a “family system” functions differently and freedoms are different.

i can almost picture myself standing on a crowded street there.  people on motorbikes whizzing by with no concern for how close people are standing. street vendors yelling out for people to come buy whatever they are selling…”for you, best price…“.  women out running errands running into family members and loudly greeting one another in a foreign language…that is not foreign to them. street dogs and cats wandering through the busyness. the heightened sense of smell as i am overwhelmed with scents, of food…animals…people even that i’ve not been accustomed to…they make the air seem so thick. i’m not sure what street i’m on, or where i’m going and there seems to be no one who speaks like i do to help me find my way. it’s overwhelming.

i don’t like change.

there. i said it.the last year has brought change in seemingly every corner of my life. some was good and some was supposed to be good.  some was completely unknown and i wasn’t prepared.  some hurt really deeply…and left scars that went deeper than i could’ve imagined.

but each change brought me further and further away from the world i know…the one i felt safe in, and into one where i feel utterly lost. further and further until almost nothing looks familiar or safe or like home anymore.

i know the Truth.  i really do.  i even believe it.  The Lord hasn’t left me.  He won’t forsake me.  He hasn’t thrown me out to the wolves…i know He’s Good. i know that it’s ok that it isn’t safe.  or that i’m not comfortable.  i know this world is not my home. i know that even thought i see how little control i actually have over my life that it’s ok because i can trust the Lord’s control of it.

today i know those things.  they don’t provide me much comfort.  i’m scared anyway.  like a little child who got turned around at the park.  the child can’t see her father anymore, but her father can still see her.  she’s panicking and afraid because she’s lost sight of the one who makes her feel safe…secure…loved—but he’s right there.  she’s still in his gaze. (see another metaphor.)

i know He still sees me.

and i’m still looking for Him

and i’m longing for a friendly face…one on that foreign street who speaks my language and can help me to be on my way; to hear among the chaos some words that sound familiar.

but until then…i’ll keep on,  knowing that He is good.  He’s the King, i tell you.

The Lord, He is God part 3

Morning!  I hope your weekend has started off nicely!  I just love sitting in the quiet with the christmas tree lights on writing and reading.

as i was reading this morning about jacob and esau, i was reminded that so many times we think that we need to help God out for Him to do what He’s told us He is going to do.  we hear or see something from the Lord and think that He has shared this with us so that we can use our infinite wisdom to make sure that whatever it is comes true.

our story with elijah totally proves this wrong.  1 kings 18 shows that God moves and works in His timing when He deems it right to do so.  this story tells us that ahab had been looking high and low, near and far for elijah with no success;  maybe the drought had even helped ahab give up on finding him.  seems that he was most worried these days about finding food and water for his flock so that he wouldn’t have to lose any of his animals, and therefore he sends obadiah searching for water and grass(v5).

and as obadiah was on the way behold elijah met him.

God had spoken to elijah (v.1) and told him to go show himself to ahab.  the time was now right according to God and so elijah went (v.2).  when obadiah saw him, immediately he feared what would happen to him when he went back and told ahab that elijah had showed up.  he freaked out!  he immediately saw the worst thing that could happen because he hadn’t heard from the Lord that it was time to move.

aren’t we like that too?   when we don’t understand what God is up to we freak out.  we realize that we aren’t in control and we can’t see what the outcome will be and so we are afraid.  obadiah’s first reaction wasn’t, “oh, it must be the Lord’s timing for elijah to come meet ahab,”  his reaction was, “oh no!  what is going to happen to me now?!”

what obadiah missed was that the Lord had decided that it was time to move;  time to reveal Himself as God to the people who had forgotten about Him.  the Lord’s time had come and elijah had been told to go.

When we move in the Lord’s time, He will come and show Himself.  He doesn’t need our help accomplishing His tasks, but He will mercifully allow us to take part in being His messengers if we will trust Him to tell us when to move.

it’s funny (not haha, but all too truthfully ironic) too that in verses 12-16 obadiah tells elijah, “haven’t you heard what i’ve done for the Lord?!” but he is still scared to be used by the Lord again.  Again, that sounds a lot like us.  we will happily be used by God in one way, but we get comfortable being used like that so when He calls us to do something in a new way we are scared all over again.  we want our spiritual accomplishments to go before us as a resume.  to stay in the same spiritual job field, when God isn’t worried about keeping us the same at all. He takes one thing and uses it as a building block for what He will do next.

i know that this is a truth that i need to remind myself of in this season.  not to hold on to how it used to be, or the way i’ve served in the past.  i need to seek the Lord and trust that in time He will again say , “it’s time to move.”

The Lord, He is God part 2

[1 kings 18]

today’s post is the follow-up from yesterday.  in part 1 i outlined the story from 1 kings 18 of elijah praying to God to send down fire.  today’s focus is on what this story teaches about God (and man).

i’m positive that this story has many, many truths in it about God and man, and i will not attempt to note them all but only the ones that stood out as i studied this text.

looking at this story, the first thing i notice is that God places us in positions to be useful to His purposes.  this truth is probably most clearly stated in esther 4:14.  it says, “…and who knows but that you have come to such a [royal] position for such a time as this.”  i know that many times i can not see what God is doing when things happen that i don’t understand.  many times as God moves and places people in positions and relationships it seems so confusing as to why He does it the way He does.  Here, in 1 kings 18, we see this in obadiah’s position.  1 kings 18:3 says that ahab summoned obadiah, who was in charge of his palace.  in this same verse, obadiah is also called a devout believer in the Lord.  it seems strange that the most evil king in isreal’s history would have a devout believer in the Lord in charge of his palace.  many times in scripture God uses a seemingly misplaced servant to deliver his people from unbelievable circumstances.

genesis 37-50 tells the story of joseph and his rise from prisoner and slave to second in command in egypt.  he is placed in charge of all the food in the land during a severe famine that lasted for many years.

in nehemiah 2, nehemiah is recognized as the cupbearer to the king.  God places on his heart to go back to jerusalem to rebuild the wall of his beloved city that has been destroyed.  his proximity to the king allowed him to safely cross through enemy territory and gather supplies that would be needed to complete the massive project.

in esther, a jewish orphan girl becomes queen to a king who is being tricked into killing all the people of isreal by a vicious advisor.  she steps up, using her position to make a request to the king asking him to not follow through with the new law.  her courage and position keep her people from being destroyed.

jesus is another perfect example of someone who was not expected to be great.  he did not come looking like a king or with power, yet God used Him to save His people from sin’s death.

i know that often i struggle with seeming like the position i am in is insignificant.  maybe obadiah seems like he plays a really small role in this story.  the title given to him as a devout believer in the Lord is maybe his greatest position.  many people find themselves as the only devout believer in a job filled with people who have no interest in the things of the Lord.  maybe they’re the only believer in their family or school.  i hope that his belief in the Lord made his day-to-day life look different than all those around him.  i hope that his courage to worship God helped others feel courageous to worship Him too.  maybe that’s  where  we begin.  being recognized as a devout believer, a worshipper of God (see description of lydia in acts 16:14), might be the thing that God uses to make Himself known as the One True God.

as i continue to study this, i see that there is more to it than i even can put here.  i suppose that i will keep digging into this passage until it is time to move on.   more to come.

The Lord, He is God part 1

[1 kings 18]

just for simplicities sake, i am going to attempt to follow a pattern as i study prayers in scripture.  so far i’m starting with: characters, circumstances, prayer, outcome, what it teaches about God and things i noticed as i read.  i’m sure that some other things will be added if i stick to this project, but for now that’s where i will start.

i thought i’d start with the story of elijah praying that God would make Himself known to the prophets of baal in 1 kings 18.  this was the one that prompted me to spend time studying prayer, and also it is the first on my list of biblical prayers.  i like lists.


ahab  the king of isreal.  1 kings 16:30, 33 say that he was more evil in the Lord’s sight than any other king of is real before him. he was married to jezebel.

elijah the prophet of God to isreal.

obadiah also a prophet of God.

450 prophets of baal, a canaanite god.

400 prophets of ashera, also a canaanite god.


this is a story within a story. The first part is that God brought drought on isreal because the people had begun believing in the pagan gods of the people who surrounded them in canaan [see 1 kings 17].  they believed that the gods brought rain and God was proclaiming through elijah that He is the true God.  in the beginning of chapter 18, God told elijah to go see ahab and then He would bring rain.

the second part begins when elijah sends his request to meet ahab through obadiah. when ahab comes to meet elijah,  elijah tells him that he has brought trouble on isreal by worshipping other gods.   elijah requests that the people come to mount carmel to decide who the real God is, either the baals or God.

ahab brings 450 prophets of baal and 400 prophets of ashera. elijah comes alone as a follower of the true God.  the prophets and elijah face off by making the same sacrifice to their god/God, and the one whose God brings fire onto the altar of their sacrifice wins.  the prophets of baal choose a bull to sacrifice, build an altar, prepare the bull and call out to their god all day long for him to send fire down on the altar to consume the sacrifice.  all day they wait and no fire comes.

at evening when elijah finally has his turn he chooses a bull, builds an altar, prepares the bull then asks that buckets of water are poured three times over his altar making it even more impossible that the altar would catch fire.


as elijah prays, he calls to God confidently requesting that God make known that He is the True God and has spoken to elijah and wants to turn the isrealites’ hearts back to Him as their God.


God answers elijah prayer by sending a fire down that consumed the entire altar, even drying up all the water.   the people believed and the false prophets were seized so they couldn’t prophesy against the Lord anymore.

in the end, God further proved Himself by once again sending rain down on the land after 3 years without it.

the last section, what does this teach me about God, will appear in a separate post 


my fingers started on the keyboard in the wrong spots.  instead of prayer i typed ptsyrt.   i’m not sure what that is, but it seems fitting for the beginning of this note.  i wish i could say that i want to begin a study on prayer because i’m in a great place with the Lord and just want to know Him on a deeper level through prayer and intercession.  i can’t say that  right now.  not because there is a rift between Jesus and me, but because like my fingers were off the right keys, something is off in my spirit.

finally, be STRONG in the LORD and in the strength of His might.  put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to STAND AGAINST the SCHEMES of the devil FOR WE DO NOT FIGHT AGAINST FLESH & BLOOD but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this PRESENT DARKNESS against the SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL in the heavenly places.  

ephesians 6:10-12

i know that in my spirit there is conflict.  i keep falling to the schemes of the enemy and i’m seeing how much it is costing me and  others.  i don’t know how to stop the thoughts that are destructive or correct behavior that is not Christ-like.  but i know that in 1 Kings 18, Elijah called down the Fire of God to show a world of idol-worshippers the power of the True God and this morning in church our pastor said, “this proves our God:  that we can call down the fire of the Holy Spirit to fight against the powers of darkness.”

i think this is prayer.  calling on the power of the Holy Spirit to fight against darkness.

so i want to take a journey through scripture on prayer.  see who prays, what their circumstances are, what they pray for and what God does to answer those prayers.  i can’t wait to see what the Lord has through this.


from time to time, i recognize how thankful i am for the people in my life.  this past season has been one of friends moving away, lives changing, relationships moving into different places…and it’s felt like one big, fat season of people i love going away.  i don’t like it one bit.

it seems like because i work in ministry, sometimes people expect perfection from me (us?). i see it around me in others too…people in ministry are constantly on call, constantly scrutinized, constantly on display.  it’s like instagram in real life.  you know what i mean, people only put the pretty pieces  of life on instagram.  the stuff they want other people to see.

 i know that being in ministry is a huge blessing.  a GIFT.  one of the greatest ones in my life, but today i was reminded of the absolute treasure it is to have people who know i’m a sinner.  people i can confess my sin to who won’t try to fix me, but will just agree with me that the sinfulness in my heart is gross, who will say, “i’m with you, i love you even in spite of how sinful you are.” who don’t expect perfection from me.  who know that Jesus is still working out His redemption in my life and that i can love Him, can try my hardest to point others toward Him without having to pretend  to be perfect and have all the answers.

i’m so thankful for that freedom. i’m so thankful for the moment to confess my sin in simple words without having to make a disclaimer that “i know i’m wrong…or i know this isn’t right…”  to just be able to say, this is where i am, and it’s hard.

and Jesus is still good.

and Jesus is still at work.

and Jesus has still called me to point people toward Him.

and Jesus is still redeeming me.

and it’s very good.

it’s for your good…

the Lord of the Rings is absolutely one of my favorite movie series out there.  i absolutely love them and sit to watch the whole trilogy at least once each year.  last night in the conclusion of our purity series at fathom, peter showed the clip from the Return of the King where frodo and sam stand at the pinnacle moment in the story.  frodo is holding the ring out over the fire and he can not bring himself to drop the ring to it’s destruction and the world’s freedom.  the power of the ring…it’s temptation has overcome frodo.  he turns from the fire, breaks the necklace the ring has been hanging on and slips the ring on his finger.  as this happens, sam screams, “NOOOOOO“.


see.  sam has been on the journey with frodo from the beginning.  he understands that the responsibility of this task isn’t his, it’s frodo’s, but he also understands that the responsibility is too great for frodo alone.  he’s been there…he’s been the voice of reason and comfort when the temptation of the ring has been too much for frodo, and in this last moment he sees the freedom they’ve been fighting for right before them.

but frodo can’t drop the ring.

it’s become HIS.

it’s become HIM.

and sam can’t let that happen.  they’ve come so far.  they’ve been through so much.  they’ve made it farther than anyone would’ve though…and overcome more than they would’ve imagined.  but suddenly, it all seems for nothing.  frodo looks overcome.

 and sam can’t bear it.  he can’t do anything as he watches his friend give into the power of the ring and fight against gollum for the thing they’ve come to love.  but he tries to stop it from happening anyway.  he loves frodo too much to stand by and watch.

What I was saying is that you should not associate with someone who calls himself a brother or sister but lives contrary to all we stand for:committing immoral sexual acts, consumed with desire for more, worshiping tangible lifeless things, using profanity, drinking into oblivion, swindling and cheating others. Do not even sit at the table with a person like this.  Why would I ever attempt to judge those outside the church? Aren’t we called to judge those within the church?

1 corinthians 5:11-12 [the voice]

see.  in the movie no one blames sam for trying to take away frodo’s fun, or for impressing his own morals on frodo, or not giving him the freedom to choose.  EVERYONE understands that sam is doing what is GOOD…and RIGHT…and BEST.  the Word says that we as the Church (check it…BIG C Church) are to help each other in the same way.  it’s my prayer  and hope that I might learn how to receive care and love in this way…that others might graciously be able to speak truth into my life as needed and i could receive it as love…not hate.  not judgement.  not condemnation or failure but love.  true, God-desiring, God-seeking, Kingdom-minded love.

none of us are above temptation.  it might not be gold. or shiny. or fit on our finger, but we are all tempted in ways that are bigger than ourselves.  and we fall to it.  it’s true.  we are broken creatures living in a broken world and sometimes we are reminded of our humanity by our failing to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. (Matt 5:48…check it in the message too…) instead of that making me feel like a loser i want it to point me back to my Savior.  to remind me that apart from Him i can do NOTHING (john 15).  to help me seek His face…His Spirit…His Strength, Will, Peace.  it might hurt my pride…or not feel pleasant in the moment, but it’s for my good.