Sunday, April 30, 2006

Resting


My oh my! It has been a couple of weeks since I have written on my blog! So sorry to those of you who diligently check. Busy, busy would describe the time for me. You too, I imagine. Easter is a very busy time, and then the next week-end I was the main speaker at our Psalm 19 Spring conference. So on and on it goes, and now it is two weeks later. Thanks for "tuning in."

I want to talk about resting for a bit. It seems to me that those of us who speak and teach, have a tendency to teaching a lot about "doing" and "thinking." We have a sincere desire to help those who listen with the how-to's of obedience. However, the more I read our Lord's word and the more I soak in His presence, the more I find an emphasis on "resting." Just plain ole' trust.

In the word, it seems to be more about what we trust, than it is about what we do. Our Lord Jesus said, "Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest unto your souls." That is in Matthew, then in Hebrews 4, we are told that there remains a Sabbath rest, for the people of God.

It is a vast subject, but very revealing in our lives. When we rest we trust and rely on His word, then we find there arises an empowering to be. In that "being" we do and that "doing" is always obedience. Obedience ends up as a by-product of the "being" at rest in Him. Stress to obey, somehow leaves grace behind, and places the emphasis on "us" instead of "Him."

It seems to me to be an early revelation of Jesus Christ when the Father rested on the seventh day -- because He was finished. Hebrews 4 carries the same concept about our being finish when we enter the rest of God.

We would probably all agree that happens when we become Christians. However, for some reason, we lose that emphasis when we begin to live in Him. I think we need to re-look, and re-think, and once again, enter into the finished work by coming to rest. It is after all, His work, and His Kingdom, and His life. Or did we forget that in our working?

Just some thoughts. What think ye?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Holy Week

It is a busy week for us, but a good week of remembrance in Jesus Christ. He is remembered throughout the week with various activities in the traditional church, and those of us not considered traditional, enjoy it as well. I say "enjoy," and maybe that is not the best term, but I always enjoy an "on purpose sharing time" with our Lord. He is awesome and ready to allow us to remember and experience a time of concentration in His ways of sacrifice and servant.

I am the CEO of an interdenominational Bible teaching ministry, and as such, am exposed to the multi-dimensional expressions of the larger Body of Christ. On Good Friday, I am one of the presenters in a series (there are 6 of us) on the last 7 sayings of Christ. This will be in a Bible-believing, Spirit-filled, Anglican Church, and then later in the evening my own ministry will present a program involving our classical choir, worship ensemble, and me preaching. I appreciate your prayer for an effective time interdenominationally -- loving the Lord together, and accepting one another in that love -- all of this through the Word.

I love this time of the year. One of the ladies in my local church said to me yesterday, "Iris, Easter is much more exciting to me than Christmas." I agreed with her. If we did not have a resurrection morning, then Christmas would not have the meaning it does for us. Our Lord came to die, to redeem, to give life through and beyond the grave. Our Good Friday times heighten our ability to receive the wonderful good news of Resurrection! How I praise Him!

I pray your week is one of enjoying Him and remembering how deeply and thoroughly He loves.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Lacking nothing

It has been way.....too long since I have posted some data on this blog. Well, since my Pastor asked me to teach the mid-week service at church tonight, as he is out of state, I will write a portion of what I will be teaching.

The main body of the teaching is to be the 23rd Psalm, with understandings pulled from the New Testament to see the consistent love our Father provides for us.

"YHWH is my Shepherd (or one who tends or takes care of me). Everything that follows is contained in that concept. The meaning of the Name, YHWH, is expanded into eight separate conceptual understandings as the Psalm progresses. Each of these are usually understood by the "Jehovah"(-"Roi" -- The LORD is my Shepherd") names throughout the Old Testament. Each of the eight revealed here unfold for us YHWH's very nature. He acts out of His nature. (That is the true meaning of Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." NASB He is always consistent -- always doing and moving out of who He is, never contrary to Himself).

"I shall not want." Some recent translations use "I lack nothing" which supplies the true meaning of the passage. With YHWH as my shepherd, I cannot possible lack anything. This is very foreign to our modern understanding. We might teach that we say this by faith, and that is true, we do, however, it is intended to be a way of thinking and a way of "being" for us.

The same thought is used by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:10-14. He is rejoicing that the Philippians have been able to send provisions for him in his ministry, then he makes this statement, "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am." We spend all kinds of effort trying to learn contentment, and in that process, we have missed the point of the passage. The point he was making was He did not lack anything! He knew how to be without any need, because as he states in 4:13 "I can do all ... through Christ who strengthens me." He understood that with Jesus (YHWH-Saves) He did not have any lack. Contentment is the by-product of not having any needs or want because of Christ.


It is an understanding of believing the Lord -- in the face of circumstances. Everything boils down to who do I trust and who do I believe. With YHWH as my shepherd, that is all. Nothing else needs to be dealt with -- He will do out His abundant nature. This does not mean, we don't communicate with Him about perceived needs, it just means we do that then trust Him and live in the reality of His nature and therefore His provision, not in the reality of our senses. This is a life of faith.

What a marvelous journey this "faith-walk" continues to be to me. I realize there are many journeys of faith to enter into the above with life, not just words, but each time I have made that journey I have found Him more than enough!

Blessed be His wonderful Name!