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Monthly Archives: February 2012

What He Tasted

O, Taste and see that the Lord, he is good.  Psalm 34:8

When I see the word taste, my mouth begins to water as I recall my favorites.  Chicken enchilada salad, chili with cheddar cheese and sour cream, lasagna, salad with pickled beets and feta cheese, cottage cheese with a few slices of tomato topped with salt and pepper…

I could go on.  Really, that’s only the beginning but I’ll spare you.

Obviously this passage is not talking about those things, although I do believe God does want us to recognize His goodness through His provision.  Most definitely a starving child is going to taste and see that the Lord is good when they are given a meal.  I would never want to discount that.

But this morning, as I was studying and writing my book (Whoohoo!  Celebrate with me, it’s almost finished!), I had to take a pause as my gaze caught sight of something that brought a whole new light to Psalm 34.

Luke 9:23-27,  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.  But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

Did you see that?  Death can be tasted.  And if death can be tasted, so can life!

And what’s more, Jesus chose to taste death for us, so that we wouldn’t have to.  Hebrews 2:9, But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour: that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

He tasted death for every man.

Think for a moment of the most pungent, disgusting odor you have ever smelled. If someone were to offer you a taste of it, you wouldn’t dare…not for anyone or anything.  You might contemplate it if your children’s lives were at stake, your spouse, or a loved one but not just for any person.  I mean, really.

This is exactly what Jesus did, the unthinkable.  He tasted something so horrible.  So repulsive, painful, uncomfortable.  A tasting far beyond our scope of understanding.  What we’ve experienced, that we might consider bad, pales in comparison.

And He tasted for each and every one.

Thank you Lord for tasting death for me.  I am astounded once again by you.  Your grace is unfathomable.  By the grace of God, you tasted death and now that same grace is mine?  That grace?  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  Amen.

 

 

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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Jesus

 

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Living the Secret. Manifesting the Mystery.

This morning as I was praying for someone very dear to my heart, who is believing for a her healing, I was reminded of Paul who said, …for I have learned, in whatever state I am, there with to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and  I know how to abound everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, bout the abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Philippians 4:11-13)

Now, this verse (13), is the verse that the Lord has given me this year.  All of His word is mine but each year, He speaks a specific word that will see me through.  Knowing this, I take this with both confidence and the fear of the Lord because just like Paul, I know that my testimony of it will begin with, “I have learned…” 

You might be asking, what do you mean God gave it to you?  Well, literally, unexpectedly, I received a note through the ministry. It isn’t very often that someone, while sending a Christmas greeting to the ministry, would pick me out specifically and address me, but they did.  They said, “Stacey, do you know Phillipians 4:13?  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Do you know this?”

My response was… “Well, I think I do but maybe I don’t.”

With Christmas upon us and the many wonderful things that come with that, that verse was filed away.

How many of us know that not only does God want to give us His word but that He just as fervently desires for us to receive it?

Well, on Christmas day, my brother and his girlfriend came by and she gave me a gift.  It was this sweet little candle holder set that says “Faith” on it.  But that’s not all.  The scripture inscribed on it read, (you guessed it), Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Do you see what I mean when I say, God gave it to me?

I didn’t go looking for it. It’s almost as if He simply said, “Here it is.  This is for you because you’re going to need it in the coming days. I’m equipping you.” 

Now my heart is searching Him.  What do you mean Lord?  What did Paul mean?  Help me to learn this.  I mean, really learn this.

God doesn’t contradict himself.  And Paul was not contradicting himself.

In all things, we are instructed to both be full and to be hungry….to abound (have everything) and yet suffer need.

What does that look like in reality?

We don’t want to be hungry or to suffer need!  We want things to always be comfy and fluffy and nice.  But it’s not!

But there is obviously a different reality.  No matter, we are instructed to be full and to abound.

That word instructed translates to initiate, to shut the mouth, a secret or mystery through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites. (Greek 3466)

As soon as I read this, my insides felt like they were going to just explode with glory! I saw Jesus.

He went to the cross, hungering and thirsting, yet He was full.  He went to the cross suffering, yet He was abounding!

Jesus, like a lamb to the slaughter, He was silent. (Isaiah 53:7)  He was instructing us.

He was living the secret, manifesting the mystery.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Living the secret.  Manifesting the mystery.

Yes Lord. Thank you.

 
 

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Manifesto

Today, Mark Zukerburg’s manifesto made headlines.  The initial letter outlining the purpose of his plans for facebook in 2004 was released to the public. 

The word manifesto jumped out at me.  

manifesto: a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer  

Regardless of where we are on this path of life, spiritually speaking, we all get to write our own manifesto. 

God himself wrote one, wouldn’t you say? 

And here’s the thing. 

I read Zuckerburg’s statement in reference to facebook. 

If I had to pick out one point that his plight hinged on, it would be this statement alone. 

“Even if our mission sounds big, it starts small — with the relationship between two people.” 

Whether or not we have acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will significantly influence the success of our manifesto.  

If we have His heart on the matter, we will have good success and our way will be made prosperous.  (Joshua 1:8) 

Mark Zuckerburg may look like a man having good success and most definitely prosperous by the world’s standards.  Lot’s of friends and lots of money. But truth be told, without Jesus, in the end he has nothing. 

(Disclaimer:  I know nothing of his spiritual business and am implying nothing.)

We can have a million friends and a million more connections but the first and most important, through which every other friend and connection should flow, should be with God.  

Obviously, this isn’t really about Mark Zuckerburg, is it?  

No.  Let’s really get down to business here.  

This is about you. 

This is about me. 

Surely all of us can admit that there are very few who know us intimately on facebook. 

There are very few, even in our day to day circle of friends, who know us personally.

Closer to home and even more disheartening, very few, even those within the confines of our home and family, can claim they intimately know us. 

There is One and only one, who knew us before even our mother did.

There is One and only one, who knows our heart, sees beyond the exterior and hears the things that we don’t say.

There is One and only one, who formed us and fashioned us and wrote the manifesto of our lives in our innermost being. 

Without knowing Him…one on One…. 

No matter how big the vision may seem, it has to start small, with relationship, not between two people but between us and our Maker. 

And from there, the possibilities are limitless.  

Habakkuk 2:2, And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 

 Are you close enough to hear Him today? 

Are you within earshot of the One who knows you like no other?  

Close enough to hear Him say, Write the manifesto?

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Christian Living, Vision, Wealth

 

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