Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Crumb Snatchers"

Mark 7:27  "Jesus told her, "First I should help my own family... It isn't right to take food from the chldren and throw it to the dogs."

After telling the religious leaders the meaning of clean and unclean....Jesus now heads for "unclean" Gentile country - Tyre.    Interesting that Jesus would go there.... when you remember what Jesus said about Tyre in Matthew 11:21.  "There Jesus began to denounce the cities where He had done most of his miracles....."For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre...their people would have sat in deep repentance long ago, clothed in sackcloth and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse."

I can imagine the religious leaders saying, “Why is he going there? What is he doing in Gentile country?  Doesn’t he know that these people are unclean?” Even his disciples had to be wondering, “Jesus, why are we here?   Shouldn’t we be preaching to our own people? 

What I glean from this....first we are to share with our family, neighbors, co-workers...with those all around us. And those who are DIFFERENT than us.  Even to a wicked city like Tyre....The wickedness and idolatry of this city are frequently denounced by the prophets and it's final destruction predicted (Isa 23:1Jer 25:22Eze 26;28:1-19Amo 1:9,10Zec 9:2-4).  But, here a church was founded soon after the death of Stephen, and Paul, on his return from his third missionary journey spent a week teaching with the disciples there (Act 21:4).

Why do we look and long for a place to go that is NOT like it because I/we have forgotten that our purpose here on earth isn't for finding our comfortable, safe, peaceful place...and wait for the LORD's return. We are to go to those around us to those who desire a deep repentance.

So who are these "Crumb Snatchers" and where do we find them?   Probably, in places like Tyre...where wickedness and idolatry are out of control.   Those who deserve forgiveness the least...need forgiveness the most.  That's when I got saved...reading Tarot cards at with my boyfriend, drinking and doing drugs....and that's when inside my heart was crying out...didn't know what it was I was crying for...until I saw some "crumbs on the floor".

Blessings on your day,

"A Bitter Cup Turns to Sweetness"

Matthew 26  "A Bitter Cup Turns to Sweetness"

In Matthew 26 we see Jesus....In the darkest hour of his life, choosing not to withdraw into himself, but to connect with the Father in prayer.  His soul is in torment, his flesh desires to avoid the suffering that is to come... yet, even at this difficult time, Jesus goes to prayer and willingly submits to the Father, willing chooses to drink from the cup of suffering.  

We all know that our life (if we live long enough) will be affected with a certain amount of suffering. We will all be betrayed by someone we considered a friend, we will all face death in some form... some of which will cause a great amount of suffering and pain.  The example of the struggle that Jesus went through can give us comfort, strength, and direction when we too face difficult times....Like Jesus, we can pour out our heart to God...Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me...while simultaneously choosing to trust His purposes, proclaiming, as Jesus did, "....your will not mine." Matthew 26:39.

When I consider that Jesus looked fully at the cup of suffering and still chose to drink of that cup...I stand in awe.  He could have called thousands of angels to protect Him and yet He loved me, you and the whole world so much...He chose not to:

"Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly?"  In Matthew 26:52

Jesus chooses to look beyond the cup... beyond the Sin, the Suffering, the Sacrifice... and even the Separation... and in the bottom of that cup was the bottom line, the one thing that turned that bitter cup into sweetness.  Salvation...He was and is our only hope!

First, Jesus loves the Father and it was His greatest desire to do God's will in God's timing...that is why He prayed the same thing three times.  But, Jesus  loves you....He loves me... and that is why He looked beyond all that the cup had to offer and He got up from praying, dusted himself off, released the disciples from the weariness of prayer and he went down the "via del a rosa'... the way of suffering.  All that we may be saved today. (Romans 5:8)

"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me... For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). 

And to quote Pastor James MacDonald:  Well, here I am - present and accounted for. It's the hard times and the unhealthy times and the hurting times that reveal my weaknesses. And it's also during those times that God
shows up strong.  

1 Samuel 30: 6 ..."But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God."

In His Strength,