Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Broken Wings

I was driving to work the other day when I noticed 3 cars pulled off to the side of the road. As I got closer, I realized that a bird with a broken wing was in the road and the people who pulled over were trying to help it. So here we are; an injured bird and three people stopping, on their way to work most likely, to help an injured bird. My first thought was that sucks for the bird, I hope it isn’t in pain. Then, almost immediately, I began to think how many people would stop and help a human who is injured. How many times do we pass by people in need without even giving a second thought? How many times do we shrug off a homeless person without getting to know their story just because we stereotype them all? Why is it that we are so easily drawn to and broken-hearted for an injured or homeless animal, but not a real, living, breathing person?

God commands us to take care of those who cannot help themselves. We are to live at our means, not beyond. Who are we to take what belongs to God and hoard it for ourselves? We are to serve and love EVERYONE. That means those we don’t get along with, the homeless and helpless, the people we come across every day. Let’s look at some verses to get a better understanding of what I am talking about. We all (including myself) need to apply this to our lives.

Luke 12:33-34

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Philippians 4:11-13

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Acts 4:32, 33-35

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

1 John 3:16-18

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Psalm 24:1

The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Why do we insist on changing from the outside in?

From The Inside Out

by Hillsong United

album: United We Stand (2006)

A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Your light will shine
when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

I have listened to this song no fewer than 40 times today. It hit me.
Why do we have this need to reflect an outward change?

Why do we act like everything is okay? Why do we act like we have this
great relationship with Jesus? I can't get over the words
to this song.
If we are consumed from the inside out then we won't need to act like
this or that. There will be no acting because
we are completely
transformed. Every thought. Every deed.

How my prayers have changed that I am completely consumed by
from the inside out. We cannot be everything God has created us to be
worrying about our outward appearance.
I was reminded today and
very humiliated because of non-Christian
attitudes and actions that I had
displayed in my prior workplaces. Now, living a life for the most part finely
tuned into Jesus, I found myself
very embarrassed and ashamed that
people knew back then I was a Christian, but also knew my heart. I say
they knew my
heart because what is really in your heart is what surfaces
and at that time was obviously not a life living for Jesus. I know that
I am
forgiven and I have to get past Satan's deceit that I am always going to
be that person. This all leads me back to the fact
of how difficult it is to
maintain this outward/in change. Did I say difficult? How about

I encourage all who read
this to take this song and these lyrics with the
utmost humbleness and seriousness. Allow God to change you from the
inside out.