Starve Me to Life - Taking Jesus Christ to the streets.


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Posted on October 13, 2008 21:33 by smiley
Filed under: Genesis, Devotionals

26"At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord."

Genesis 4:26 

24"Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away."

Genesis 5:24

There's, obviously, a big difference between praying to and walking with God.  While many people pray to God, only a few walk with him.  Many will make their requests and petitions of God while never really being in communion with him.  Its really a question of our desire for intimacy with God - how passionate we are to know him.

At the birth of Adam's third son, Seth, God began to distance himself from mankind.  God no longer visited his creation, but, rather, mankind began to call on God; this was the birth of prayer. Why did God distance himself?  We could only guess that maybe it was because God wanted to see how much the creation would seek its Creator. Perhaps, God knew that mankind would never be found longing and wanting if it was never found lacking or without. God wanted to arouse a discontentment in the hearts of men that could only be met by him.

Unfortunately, it was 7 generations later before another man would come who would walk with God.  What happened between Adam and Enoch?  Did someone drop the ball in telling their children or grandchildren about communing with the Creator of the universe?  Did these 6 intermediate generations not care or were too preoccupied?  Who knows?  But, we do know that Enoch had that desire and was a part of an incredible relationship.

Also, understand that the term "walked" here does not necessarily imply action.  It sometimes could mean non-action or being still.  While the Israelites were in the wilderness they waited on the cloud to ascend from the Tent of Meeting before they would move.  Occasionally, the cloud rested on the Tent of Meeting for days.  When the cloud rested, the Israelites rested; when the cloud moved, the Israelites moved.

Do you find yourself merely praying to God or walking with him?  Is your communion with God restricted to your quiet times or is it throughout your whole day?  Do you find yourself wanting answers to prayers or wanting God, himself?  Furthermore, is God calling you to move but you've become complacent, scared or just disobedient.  Maybe God's calling you to rest, but you feel like you can't spare the time.  Reconnect with God and spend time getting to know him once more.  Become passionate once again, not for his answers, but for God, himself.

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Posted on October 12, 2008 08:14 by smiley
Filed under: Colossians, Miscellaneous

20"Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules."

Colossians 2:20

Identified with Christ or identified with Christianity?  That's a question I find myself asking.  As I long for spiritual authenticity and a desire to "be real," what am I really portraying in my life. Do I, however, long to be good or do I long to be Christ? Where does my allegiance lie - to an ideology or to a person?

If you are involved in vocational ministry its much easier to fake.  Everyone expects you to be on target; even on your "bad" days you know the right words for a beautiful facade.  Because of these lofty expectations, there is little accountability unless you initiate it yourself.  Perhaps, this is why many church and ministry leaders are in such turmoil today - lack of accountability.

If you, however, strive to represent Christ in the workplace, its much harder. Things such as business ethics, attitudes and co-worker relationships are visual representations of your relationship with Christ.

But, in both spectrums, all things mentioned are still visual representations and I, therefore, find myself trying to "look the part." And, then, what if I screw up? What then? Does God throw a ball at me and scream, "Tag You're Out!" only waiting for the game to be over or somehow trying to get back in to play again?  Perhaps, on the next round, I won't get out, but I'll successfully dodge all temptations and make it through.  I feel bad, not (if I'm brutally honest) because it saddens Christ, but, more so, because it puts a blemish on my reputation. "Here I am trying to be a good Christian. Now what will people think of me?" And once again, I am more concerned with my Christianity than I am with Jesus Christ.

But, in the end, will I have succeeded in Christianity yet failed in representing Christ?  Its much more that catchy wristband phrases and T-shirt sales gimics such as, "It's not about rules, but about a relationship." I can watch Oprah and feel good about myself. Representing Jesus Christ is much more than saying, "I love him." Identification with Christ is not only about a relationship, but about heart conditions, self-discipline and sacrifice - you know all those things we don't like talking about and that really make us uncomfortable.

If my passion was greater for Christ than for being a great Christian, I, then would understand the fullness and completeness of God's grace and I would realize that I'm always "in" and never "out" of the game.  I would spend less time dodging temptations and more time just walking with him (which, of course, is what he'd prefer and has invited me to do).

To quote the movie, The Gospel, "We should spend less time looking good, and more time being good."

This was what God revealed to me in my time with him this morning. Honesty? Yes. Uncomfortable? Yes. Challenged? Definitely. But, it's what I want and what I need.  I desire authentic disciples.  I expect it from myself, and I expect it from you.

Now, what about you? Where are you at? 

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Posted on October 11, 2008 15:49 by smiley
Filed under: Commentary, Exodus, Jeremiah, John

18When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tables of stone inscribed by the finger of God. 15Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

Exodus 31:18, 32:15-16

33"I will put my law in their minds and write in on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Jeremiah 31:33

2At dawn [Jesus] appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no on condemned you? 11"No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

John 8:2-11

Signatures carry a lot a value. From signed sports memorabilia to autographed books, from a signed check to legal contracts, a signature places a certain amount of worth on an object.  A signature can be interpreted as a commitment and, therefore, legally binding.  Court cases are sometimes decided based on handwriting evidence. 

In Scripture, we only find twice where God literally wrote with his hand - on Mount Sinai and before the Sanhedrin in the dirt.  While we don't know literally what Christ wrote in the dirt, we can speculate that he was writing the law in order to bring conviction upon those who were attempting to convict the adulteress.

Jeremiah tells us that God not only wrote the law on a stone and in the dirt, but he as also taken the time to write the law on our hearts.  We must understand that the same handwriting on our hearts will be used in our final "court case" as we stand before the judgement seat of Christ - sinner and saint alike.  That handwriting will be used to bring about our condemnation or our eternal inheritance. 

The Law, being written by God's own hand, is both, valuable and legally binding.  We must understand that; we must humbly accept that or we'll never value personal Holiness and thus neglect a full appreciation for God's loving, faithful kindness and grace.

The question that you should ask yourself is, "How much worth does these handwritten laws hold in my life today?"  While we esteem the signatures of writers and professional athletes, how much value do we ascribe to the signature of God?  How valuable is God's law to you?  "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:34

Ask God to challenge you today with personal Holiness and reveal areas in your life where you are in rebellion or disobedience.

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Posted on October 10, 2008 17:16 by smiley
Filed under: Commentary, Exodus

11Then the Lord said to Moses, 12"When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plaque will come on them when you number them. 13Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the Lord 14All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the Lord. 15The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the Lord to atone for your lives. 16Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord, making atonement for your lives."

Exodus 30:11-16

What a beautiful piece of scripture to remind us that the ground is truly level at the foot of the cross.  As God sets the stage for the atonement through Jesus Christ and for each individual who "crosses over" from death into life, God tells us explicitly in his word that the price is the same for the rich and the poor alike.  Christ's life is the propitiation for all people.

We can also be reminded to not compare ourselves with others as we serve the Lord - the Joneses are also very active in ministry.  We should never say, "God I wish I could serve you like him."  God has neither called nor created us to serve like another.  The Kingdom is a body of many parts.  Diverse parts, but equal sacrifice.

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