We sang this song in church last week. I thought it was just a beautiful song.
I hope you think so too.
We sang this song in church last week. I thought it was just a beautiful song.
I hope you think so too.
When I think of this word a number of ideas run through my mind. Things I struggle with right now … wanting a church where I will feel fed, yet… needing to meet the needs of my lad who attends Cadets at this church and needs boys he can grow up in the faith with, and a wonderful middle school group that discusses the sermon after church. I think about all the things I want to get done in the house before our move and feel tuckered out by physical limitations too often. I think of the grin on hubby’s face with a job granted him, even though it’s not the one he really wants (and is well suited for). I think of my bunnies and how I want to care well for them, and wondering how to best do that with an impending move. So many thoughts run through my brain. And then God reminds me that he has it already worked out. He moves, he builds faith.
The Lord I want to know I need the answer What do I do? What do I pray for? How do I decide what the best course is? Will provide He tells me he will provide the answers. Hubby says one day at a time. I want to know now... Worry sometimes floods my mind. My bunnies? My son's upcoming surgery? A part-time job...should I be looking? Hubby's long-term job outlook? All my needs He will meet them all. But I want it now! I don't want time to sort it out. I don't want to wait for answers to be revealed. According to In time, in his way, according to HIS will. It's so hard to remember. To see the truism of this statement. My mind calls it out. Answer my wonderings NOW Lord NOW! His riches in Glory. Whose glory am I seeking? Am I looking to my own satisfaction? What is drawing me in? What worries do I need to face down? What faith do I have> Will I allow it to be strengthened? In Christ Jesus. Do I remember where my faith is founded? Am I looking for Christ daily? Where is God's glory based? I think in my heart... be still. I think in my heart... remember. Call yourself to order and remember Be sustained knowing that through this time God's glory needs be seen. Have faith. Be strengthened.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Come join us over at Miss Kate’s for Five Minute Friday. Five minutes to freewrite on a given word prompt. A time of encouragement and learning.
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. John 11:1-6
Jesus, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. People who loved each other. Mary, Martha and Lazarus knew that Jesus could do amazing things. Ergo, when Lazarus got rather ill they sent a message to Jesus. My guess is they hoped that Jesus would come and make Lazarus better.
But Jesus didn’t come. In fact he waited two days before he went to be with them. Jesus said that the illness wouldn’t end in death and would be the God’s glory in the end.
I wonder if his disciples thought that meant the Lazarus would die. That everything would turn out great. It’s hard to know right? We aren’t told in scripture what they thought. A person can wonder a bit. What we do know though is that Jesus didn’t do what was expected. Jesus tarried.
He had a reason, though he wasn’t explicit when he talked with the disciples, other than to say he died “and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe“.
11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Honestly, if I had been in the disciples shoes I would have been very curious. How could the death of Lazarus affect my belief??
I can imagine the heart break of Mary and Martha though, knowing the Jesus was close enough to come, yet knowing that he didn’t. Seeing their brother die. How difficult that must have been for them.
I found it fascinating to read this sentence “So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. ” We’ve gone from Mary sticking close to Jesus wanting to learn from him to Martha going to Jesus while Mary stayed behind. Martha talking with Jesus, acknowledging that Jesus could have saved him…and then the joy of seeing Martha’s faith…knowing the Lazarus would be raised again.
Therefore we know that Martha at least knew that Jesus could have saved Lazarus, but he chose not to. He chose to tarry while Lazarus died.
What do we do when we expect God to do something and it seems like he is just tarrying. Waiting to show up after it’s too late? How does one understand that?
What should our response be when it seems like God tarries?
Jesus met Mary and Martha where they were at. Seeing their pain and misery. Weeping along with them. When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept.
See when we are waiting, Jesus isn’t ignoring us. He knows where we are at. But look at what happens, see what happens next! He doesn’t leave us there. See look… look!
8 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
What do you think that did to Mary’s faith, Martha’s faith or the faith of the disciples? To see God in action like that? Wouldn’t it have just blown your mind? To see Lazarus walking out of that tomb in response to a call from the Lord Jesus Christ?
Now Jesus did challenge them to have faith, to believe him. He told them if they believed they would see the glory of God. AND THEY DID. They opened the tomb. They saw Lazarus walk out alive. Their faith was strengthened. The tarrying of the Lord had good reason.
Take heart! When the Lord tarries, there is good reason for it.
Over the past week I’ve worked my way through the book of Philemon. It’s been good to put up nuggets of truth from this short book of the bible. To consider the people that Philemon spent his time with and the love he held for fellow believers. It’s good to see that love and to be reminded that we too should have a great love for our fellow believers.
Then to see Paul’s heart… oh… he loved Onesimus and yet he chose to send this loved helper back to Philemon. He also had the confidence that Philemon would do what was right, take him back and love him as a fellow believer. Paul closes off Philemon reminding me that we are not to be believers in isolation, but a people working together.
Philemon 1-3 Paul’s Greeting in Philemon.
Philemon 4-7 Paul’s Prayer for Philemon.
Philemon 8-22 Paul’s Confidence.
Philemon 23-25 Not In Isolation.
I regret not being able to get to these verses yesterday, I had plans to do so, but then life intervened. Anyways, today we read the last three verses of Philemon. Last time we met we talked about a request Paul had of Philemon.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
These last three verses are Paul’s closing greetings. Greetings from other people who are with Paul in prison and elsewhere. Epaphras is a fellow believer in prison. You can learn more about who he was at this link.
Fellow workers are Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke. These men are not prisoners but share in the work of the Lord, helping others know the Lord.
I find this verse interesting: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. I might be, being nit-picky but I wonder if there is significance in saying with your spirit instead of just saying be with you.
I have to admit that I don’t know what I can take away from this passage. I know that other people helped Paul while he was in prison, and that they helped him minister the gospel to others.
That he wasn’t the only believer imprisoned for his faith, is nothing new to my ears.
Recognition is there, that Paul often closed his letters extending grace to those reading the letter.
But what is there for me today? I fear I do not see it. Maybe it’s just as simple as this. We are not believers in isolation. Paul called for Philemon to keep a part of his heart. Giving him Onesimus back to care for as part of his church and household. Others were there to help Paul as well so he was not alone. Being alone in grief is not a good thing, it wasn’t easy for Paul to give Onesimus back to Philemon depending on him as he did.
Let us then remember to not be in isolation. To remember our larger family. A good thing that eh?
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