So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Never the Easy Way

Reading through Luke right now. I have been pondering this section from Luke 11:37-41:
While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you."
I never noticed the last part of this where Jesus tells the Pharisees to "give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you."

The Pharisees were masters of outer holiness--observing the letter of the law so that everyone could see. I can be a master of the easily seen part of Christianity as well (at least most of the time): I read my Bible, I pray, I go to church. I refrain from cursing, I don't steal, I sponsor a child in a developing nation, I go on mission trips. . . Yet all of these outer acts I can, and have, done while harboring jealousy, anxiety, anger, and disbelief.

What does Jesus want from me in those moments? He doesn't only want my outward obedience (which, though I am good at certain areas, is far from perfect as well). Jesus never lets me take the easy way. It is easier for me to grit my teeth and choose rightly than for me to open up my heart to Him and offer to Him my "alms" of ugliness. Yet He says that if I do that, if I ask Him to help me honestly examine my heart and ask Him to cleanse me of my unrighteousness, THEN I will be clean.

I often believe that Jesus doesn't want to see the real me, the yucky, icky, ugly parts of my heart. Yet, He died to save me from those parts, and to receive His grace fully, I need to be emptied of all of it, from the inside out. Seventh Day Slumber has a song related to this, which we sang at church today (God is always working, eh?):

YouTube - Seventh Day Slumber - from the inside out (lyrics)

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