Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Inside Outside Upside Down Kingdom

Dar's thoughts on...

Philippians 2

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, (is this even possible for us as humans, to really have the same mindset as Christ Jesus in our relationships? even in those relationships that get on our nerves? what would that look like if we did? if we truly understood what that really meant? Lord, come in your power and give us the power to have peace in our relationships on earth as it is in heaven.)

Who, being in very nature GOD (what?? He was God but he laid it all down so that he could come and know me? So that we could know him and the freedom that comes in a relationship with him? So that he could know our sufferings?)
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather he made himself nothing (and was born in a barn among stinking animals in a little known town called Bethlehem! There was no place for him to lay his head even as a baby.)
by taking the very nature of a servant, (we say that we want to follow in Christ's footsteps and become a servant, until we are really treated like one...then we don't like it!)
being made in human likeness. (with all of our weaknesses and imperfections and strivings)
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself 
by becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross! (and death on a tree was the lowest form of death there could be for a Jew. My mind cannot even fathom where Jesus went for us.  I can't even imagine an earthly king doing something like this, much less GOD, the God of the universe stepping down to be with us.)

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name
that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the Glory of God the Father.

...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.


Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me the place in life where I can be a true servant.  Even though, honestly, it's really annoying to be treated like a servant.  I want to be where you are Jesus.  If my God could give up his throne to come to the earth and be a servant, how much more do I need to do the same?  Unfortunately, I don't have the strength to be able to do that!  I just want to be in charge, to run things, to make my goals and vision be made known.  Lord let me be a servant as you were a servant.  If even just for a moment, let me catch a glimpse of what that looks like.  It's not going to be a fun day at Disneyland as I learn what this means, and I accept that.  Refine me God, take me through the fire.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Excerpts from Ephesians 4:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.

It was he who gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.

INSTEAD, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head--CHRIST.

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

I am longing for the day when we as a body of Christ can truly work together out of the bond of peace.  I am so tired of being tossed here and there by every wave that comes in life.  I want to know the fullness of Christ.  I want to be strongly rooted in him and in his mighty power.  I want more.  It's so hard to want more, because through wanting more, we are asking for some rough and challenging times.  I feel like it's only in the depths of challenge and heartache where we truly learn to live this life.  Where we truly learn to discover who God has made us to be.  In the midst of heartache and struggle we learn to know who God really is and who we really are.

I often think that our view of God is too small.  When we pray for something, and he doesn't answer, what does that really mean?  Do we really think that God is going to work how we want him to work?  What does it say about God when something horrible happens...or we find out that something horrible happened to someone we love dearly.  Where was God in that?

Through this whole support raising process I am learning that God is giving us the exact amount of money that we need each month to learn to truly cling to him and his provision for us.  We have exactly what he wants us to have so that we can grow in our faith and in our understanding of who he is in our lives.

Just because we give it all for God doesn't mean that we automatically get some kind of orb of protection put around us.  I often think, "God, we put it all in for you...why did this happen??"  I guess God says in those moments that there is even more that we need to put in for him.  More of ourselves that need to be shaved off, more refining that needs to happen in our spirits, so that we can be mature and complete, lacking nothing.