His head hung as the smile left his lips. This wasn’t right. Was it?
He took a deep breath and leaned in for the kiss.
This was wrong. Wasn’t it?
He looked into the eyes of the man before him. So filled with pain and sorrow. This is so very wrong. The other man just stared. Then his eyes moved past his betrayer to the soldiers behind.
What have I done?
The betrayer ran away, leaving his friend, no longer his friend. He ran and ran until he couldn’t run anymore as grief and guilt tore his soul.
What have we done?
What have we done?
How many of us have betrayed our Jesus at one time or another? Yet He still loves us. That has never changed.
His heart breaks as we betray Him. His heart loves us still and that is why it breaks.
What a paradox. What a mystery. That the king would leave His royal throne, to save a wretch like me. -Petra
We are all wretches, loved by a loyal king.
Reach out to Him today. He is reaching out to you.
If you have never accepted Jesus. Or feel a need to renew your faith. Please pray with me:
I am a sinner and I know I need salvation. Forgive me for my sins.
Thank you for coming to earth to save me.
I accept you into my life now. Guide me to know you more.
Some days….most days, I wish that God would make things easy. You know? Today I drove into an unassuming ditch. It looked like I would skim the edge of a very small divot leading to a field. The divot was a ditch so deep and so full of snow that suddenly not all four wheels were on the ground anymore. Worse it wasn’t my property. Worse still I was in the middle of no where so CAA would be a pain to try to get out to my trouble spot. So I prayed. Of course. Then tried for about 15mins to get out. Now, in my mind I would pray and walk my truck right out of the hole. Nope. I prayed and then tried and tried and tried until finally my little Holy Spirit nudge said, “call your DAD!” Dad face timed with me. We prayed together and he helped me figure out how to get the truck out. It took almost an hour. A lot of shoving bear claws under tires, backing up as far as it would go and repeating. A bit of shoveling, more prayer, and a 3 point basket cheer when we finally got out.
Was God not there as I struggled? Of course He was.
Why wasn’t He making it easy?
I think that sometimes God gives us things that He helps us through. Instead of fixing the problem for us, He helps us fix the problem ourselves, then we learn and grow from our issues and mistakes.
Kind of like my Poppa. I can do so many things that most people probably can’t simply because instead of doing it for me my Poppa always showed me how to do it and had me do it myself. Actually so does my dad. He hands me the skill saw and says ‘cut here, follow this line.’ Saw gets pinched. ‘Here, this is how you get it unstuck without breaking the blade, now you do it.’ That’s how I know how to do things. I believe that God does that too.
“Here, listen to what I am saying and try it this way. Okay, good job, now try again.”
That way, we learn.
Thank God for teaching me, even if that sometimes means making me do things the hard way.
Always trust the words of God. I once heard a pastor say that to truly know that it is God speaking verify it. Check it with the Bible. It is easy to hear a thought in our minds and think it is God, sometimes it is God, sometimes it is our own thought.
So verify. Check that what you heard aligns with the Bible. You can’t always do this, I understand that, but prayer and time with the speaker of the words you think you are hearing will help you know your direction. Don’t doubt God’s words, but if you need to, verify.
When Jonah heard God’s word he denied it was God and ran away. God hunted him down, and he became one of the most well known stories (and one of the best speakers) in the Bible.
When it is God He doesn’t just use you a little, He uses you unbelievably so. Even if Jonah had saved only one person he would have listened to God and done something amazing, for that one person.
If God says go to Zambia on a missions trip and you go,
‘No that wasn’t God, and I don’t want to go.’ and you end up reading Jonah, or hearing a sermon on following the prompting of God, or a song on traveling the uncertain road, take it as a conformation. If God wants you to go then He will prompt you and prompt you until you get the message.
Trust God’s word, and He will verify that word for you.
Today I die
I sit in my cell with the bare cold hungrily eating into my flesh, my wounds almost numb from the night before. Suddenly I look up into the face of my executioner. He clamps irons on my wrists and I am pushed, pulled, and dragged up the winding stair case onto the street above. A cross is driven onto my back by the ruthless pull of gravity and I am told to walk, so I walk. A soldier follows in place of my shadow and strikes me with his whip whenever I slow down, so I don’t slow down, I move as quickly as my beaten body will allow until I reach the top of the hill where I am finally permitted to lie down upon my burden. I close my eyes and tense my throat as vomit threatens to choke me from the agony of the spikes being driven into my hands and feet. Tears burn my eyes and soak my neck as I am lifted up. Everything turns blurry from the pain, people were laughing, I think, I couldn’t really hear past the high pitched ringing raging through my ears.
Breath comes in gasps as the hours pass by. Hours? Or was it days? It felt like days. My shadow comes along and begins breaking legs. Mine are next and suddenly the troubled breathing turns into no breathing at all. Tell me someone can hear me. I know I am screaming so where are the ones to save me? Then it ends. I awaken to see a judge. Sad eyes touch mine and He shakes his head. Two dark figures grasp my arms and drag me away, forever. ‘Wait!’ I cry. ‘Have mercy! Please!’
But there is silence as the judge turns His face away and I am led off to my eternal sentence.
This is what it would be like if Jesus had not taken that cross for us. If instead we had gone through our own crucifixion. Pain, death, hopelessness, and no promise of rescue.
If we had been sacrificed instead it would never have been enough to pay back all the wrongs we have done. In the end death would lead to death and nothing could change that.
Thank God that He sent Jesus to save us. Thank Jesus that He was willing to come.
Thank the Holy Spirit for residing in us.
Without love, God’s love, we would truly have nothing.
As the true story reads.
God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son. Continue with me. That whosoever believes in Him… should not?…. Might not? Will not perish, but have eternal life. -John 3:16
Thank Jesus today for dying for you.
Looking to God can be a struggle because the world always says ‘yes’; God sometimes says ‘no’.
To face God and accept that your answer may be ‘no’ is painful and very scary. We want a ‘yes’ answer, and we want it quickly; meet World, because he answers with what you want quickly. Why? Because World doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about you or what happens next, he doesn’t even care if you have a story or a future, if you want a quick fix, find World, because that is how he operates.
If you want perfection, look to God.
My mom always says ‘wait for perfect,’ meaning the perfect that God is preparing. My answer? I want the perfect when it comes, but I want the temporary to fill the gaps of waiting.
Stupid? Yep. Bad logic? I know. Not realistic? Absolutely.
And in a few moments of post conversation reflection I see my flaw, or error in judgement I guess would be a better term.
Wait for perfect and accept that your ‘no’ is leading you to that perfect… whatever… whatever it is you seek, wait for it to be perfect. It is easy to say this, I know, but living it means pain at times and struggle at others. If you trip don’t worry about it, confess it and trust God to set back on your path, but keep seeking God and His answers because, painful or not, they are your best option. World is what they call a ‘toxic relationship’, God, the one who cares enough to want best instead of good enough, the one who goes with you and fights for you, (often fighting against World for you, ) He is the fairy tale relationship. He is the Prince, or in this case the King, riding in to give you the life that you need. Oops. That isn’t how the story goes is it? Doesn’t the King give the life you ‘want’? No. This King gives the life you need, but the end of the story is a dream come true when follow the King.
God please guide us to you in your power. Please help us through the pain life sometimes brings and please show us your road for our lives. In Jesus name..amen.
Credit to owner for cover image
Love is such a simple word for something so complex.
It is resounding passion and a simple promise.
Fear and courage all rolled into one. It’s the cold of winter and the brilliant, warm rays of a summer sun.
Is love a maid running from a ball, losing a shoe and having a prince fall in…love?
Is love flowing hair from a tower window up high?
Is love a secret meeting in the darkness of night?
Are any of these true love I ask?
Or is love not so easy, is true love a task?
When the troubles come and the cold winds blow, will this kind of love stay or will it go?
Love is an overused word and so it’s true meaning has been lost. Love is sacrifice, love has a cost.
Once upon a time as all great stories go a man came down from Heaven abandoning His royal throne. He dwelt among shepherds, fishermen and kings. Then He was crucified for saying the wrong things. If you assume He does not know love betrayed, then you have forgotten the garden and the kiss Judas gave.
True love rose again after three days and still loves us in every possible way.
Credit to owner for image