Are you a Victim or Victor?
Jesus to Martha: "ONE THING is needful...and Mary has chosen it"
THE MORNING CHOICE...
A thousand ‘causes’ shout at me,
Demanding my attention
Urgency and noise intrude,
Diluting my intention
Confused, I wish for clarity,
Distracted, need direction
What’s this—so hard to hear?
A quiet voice is whisp’ring
‘Come near to me, come near--
And let me carry, as I’ve said,
Anxiety and fear’
And so I stop. I go to him,
I silence other voices.
Deliberately come close;
Thus close down all the choices
I give to him his asked-for place,
So he can activate his grace--
And so he does as he has said,
‘In quietness and in confidence
Shall be your inmost power.’
The crush, the fog, confusion lifts;
Is lifted—by his hand
I realise my incompetence,
I need Him in each hour!
And so, I pass into the day,
His promised peace now mine;
Arriving with relinquishment
Of things I need not carry!
I thought I should: it was a lie
To rob me and to harry
And keep me from his true intent
To fashion and refine.
Like Jesus, Christians must be coming from AMONG—not from APART...
One of the things about Messiah Jesus that impresses me most is that not only was he human—and fully so—but that he stood among his fellow-humans on common ground. He ministered out of shared human experience, albeit without human failure.
“Is not this the carpenter’s son?” people said, “where did this man get these things? After all, we know his family and brothers and sisters.”
Not a piously aloof graduate of the Rabbinic Schools; he was in the trades! Whose son you were was one of the first questions asked about anyone who began to come to notice. Of David, Saul had asked the same question, “whose son is he?” Pedigree mattered!
Jesus’ schooling, apart from synagogue school when young, was life; and he was required to have some 30 years of it prior to launching into his Father’s mission. Life!—in a carpenter or artisan’s workshop, into which came every specimen of Nazareth’s and Galilee’s life of the day. Merchants and traders, farm boys, the well-heeled and the poor, the lame and the sick, fishermen, hucksters, tax-collectors and pretenders, newly-weds along with soldiers and women of doubtful repute. Jesus got to know them all; some were generous and some didn’t pay their bills or always had an excuse. Colourful language? He’d heard it all. He knew of drought and hardship, as he knew also of field and crop and agriculture, otherwise from whence did all the stories and similes come?
Full immersion in life was exactly why he connected effectively with all and sundry. He could tell stories of thieves and insistent widows and children’s games and of weddings and funerals and feasts and food and wine. He used experiences from life’s realities to touch every heart experiencing its joys and woes. Tales of vineyard owners and stewards; of disappointments and of women preparing bread or anxious over the housekeeping money they’ve misplaced; of fishers’ nets and farmer’s fields; of rogues, villains and cheats. Situations and people recognised by all. LIFE!
His years of immersion in ‘real’ life was utterly necessary so that his message, when it came, was not as one shouted across a chasm by a detached professor with a bunch of theories—like the message of the scholars and Pharisees. No! Where Jesus was ‘coming from’ would resonate instantly with commoners or aristocrat alike, evidencing rich human encounter and a wealth of observation of the ‘ticking’ of the worlds of men, women and children.
Having ‘seen it all’ and then some, he understood them and their joys, anxieties, longings and frustrations, and—he understood clearly his Father’s mission and heart for them all.
And so, he presented to them all (and each) an alternative personal government; the government, or kingdom, of God which could change everything—EVERYTHING—in the lives of those who would embrace it. Right there.
And...right now too!
AT THE END...
At The End some will say, "Why didn't you tell me?"
And HE will say, “Tell you? Remember those of my Followers I brought across your path? You dismissed them as people who needed to see the ‘real’ world when you were actually the one refusing to see it. Or those times when you heard from me at Followers’ funerals or weddings and justified yourself by relegating my Story to ‘folklore’. And remember when I saved your life in that accident? You even said, ‘thank God’! I had your attention for a little time, yet despite that, you still managed to persuade yourself you could handle things better on your own. Your fun and fast-paced lifestyle and career (not to mention pursuit of knowledge and travel—immersing yourself in what you called the ‘real’ world) usually contrived to silence my voice, because I rarely shout.
“Yes, I have been ‘telling you’ all your life; but my voice, and what I’ve had to say wasn’t what you chose to hear. You hoped I would say something I cannot, and affirm you in your lost-ness. No, I actually gave you life in the hope you’d become your ‘found’, true-self in me! You have saddened me deeply with your life-long refusal to heed and yield to my kindness, but I will have to let you go into the end you’ve so clearly told me every day, you’ve chosen.”
Put yourself in this shirt!
SEEING...BUT NEVER LEARNING
'…though they saw my work ...... they did not understand my ways' (see Psalm 95 and Hebrews 3:9 & 10). Seeing is believing says the old adage, but it's not always so—and it's certainly does not guarantee learning.
There are some who are spiritual sign and gift junkies. I love to see God work in power, but to make the mistake of thinking that signs or wonders produce disciples is just not true. In fact, the effect might be the opposite, creating only spectators or voyeurs who run after the next 'big' thing, or hanker for it to occur 'here'.
By their nature, signs are things observed and whilst they may cause joy and praise and thanksgiving they do not necessarily make disciples nor develop maturity.
Psalm 95:10 & 11 and Hebrews 3: 9-11 reveal that seeing God at work without learning His 'ways' (Grk. hodous - paths, roads) cannot lead us into the place of 'rest' He desires for us.
To arrive at that destination requires that we follow the path that leads there. His path always does. He's after people who fall in behind Him (He said 'follow me'), learn the 'how' of walking in obedience and in the Spirit--and of entering His 'rest'. When we do that His signs may appear, if, and as, necessary.
Signs are for pathways—they help us either find the route—or affirm that we are on it; that we are headed in the right direction. Our pathway is the one on which He's gone ahead for us.
Travelling it in obedience day to day
is when we'll see the signs along the way
THE KINGDOM of GOD...FIRST!
The Kingdom of God means his government as a present reality in a person’s life, in each ‘now’ moment. It comprised the core of Jesus’ teaching, ‘he went preaching the good news of the Kingdom’ (eg. Matthew 4:23). He desires that government to be embraced by every person because it is the regime designed for us, to bring us to the wholeness of who we were created to be; a home-coming to true self-hood. To arrive there is to arrive at peace. Only his government is capable of bringing us there; it is to come ‘Home’. Its alternative is self-government—which never brings us Home because we don’t know where it is.
This is why Jesus said, “seek FIRST the Kingdom of God....and all the other things” (the things we worry about and think will bring us Home) “will be added.” Get that right and he will make everything else fall into place: That is his plan and his delight for you. It’s what he does!
To one man Jesus said, “Follow me” and the man said, “let ME FIRST go and bury my father” (that is, wait until Dad dies and family affairs are tidy). Whilst that sounded responsible, the problem was the ME FIRST sentiment! He was not (as yet) prepared to believe that under new (and better) government, God would take care of him AND the ‘everything else.’
Another man said “Lord”, (yes he called him Lord!), “I will follow you, but let ME FIRST go and farewell those where I live.” Once again the ME FIRST prevented him starting the journey Home to who God intended him to become.
Jesus went on to say that these men had proved themselves as yet, unfit for a Kingdom and Government that demands abdication of all ideas of self-government so that it CAN bring us Home!
The first and big issue that will be dealt with in coming to Jesus, into his Kingdom and under his wonderful Government, is the ME FIRST issue. Actually, it’s the issue he will keep on dealing with throughout life with him, but ironically, as we keep choosing his Government over our own, he brings us Home!
Genghis Khan or Joan of Arc?
If a man believes he is Genghis Khan or a woman thinks she is Joan of Arc...or for that matter, if a woman believes she is Genghis Khan etc., they are usually referred for treatment and therapy before more damage is done.
Everyone would agree that it would do no good for doctors or helpers to provide the man who believes he’s Genghis Khan with a horse and a sword and an army of followers.
On the other hand if a man with all the necessary anatomical components believes he is a woman today, why is it considered wrong or damaging to help them come to terms with that delusion/deception. And secondly, to make it worse, why do others deliberately join them in their delusion to aid and abet it!
Are two or three or a hundred deceived people somehow better than one?
All of us are deceived or deluded about one thing or another, but REAL transformation from any deception begins within and works out from there—and it’s on offer from the only One who has power to transform us in this way. And—to whom we are really meant to come and transition into, and not some warped counterfeit.
It is Jesus Christ. He said and says, wonderful words (and backs them up with wonderful actions), like “COME TO ME all who are labouring and under oppression, and I will give you ease.”
WE OF THE INCARNATION: for the Church to be as Jesus was, she must live where Jesus lived!
Beautiful Newport Beach,
What people who've read THE PLACE are saying...
Marilyn Sams - author of The Jerusalem Temple Mount Myth: Ian Heard’s book adds a unique ....aspect to the growing movement of people accepting the City of David location for the temples in Jerusalem. His perspective .....brings many insightful possibilities to the table. Especially moving are his heartfelt expressions of faith in and love for the prophets and the Savior of the world'.