I was made for this

I recently took some time off from work to be alone with God.  I went away to a place near the water and spent a lot of time outside, reading my Bible, praying, loving Jesus.

In the evenings I would eat supper outside, watching the beautiful colors of the sunset.  Each evening a group of about five birds would appear and they would fly above the tree tops.  They would flap their wings a few times and then catch a current of air and be lifted and soar.  There didn’t seem to be any purpose to their flight.  They weren’t going anywhere, but seemed to just circle around and around, as though they were enjoying the ride.

And as I watched them I thought “They were made for this and look how great a delight they take in it.”  And I imagined that this brought God much pleasure.

There are things that God gives me opportunity to do, and in the doing I realize “I was made for this.”  In these things my heart is lifted and I feel as though I could soar there forever.  And my delight in God nearly explodes in my soul and I sense His pleasure in it.

Delighting in Him today…….

Mercy on display

The cross
Not just a piece of wood
Or a moment in history
But the ultimate reality

Stained red with blood that makes white
Horridly beautiful

Mercy on display
The plan of all the ages
Acted out upon the stage of earth

Grace triumphant in brutality

Man shakes his fist at God and says, “You must die.”

God extends His hand to man and says “You shall live.”

“Therefore be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”  Luke 6:36

Waterpots of religion

“Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews….: John 2:6

Jesus is in Cana and there is a wedding taking place, but our attention is directed not to the ongoing festivities but to the waterpots.  These waterpots were used by the Jews for their ritual washings.  Always washing, always trying to make themselves clean.  And now the waterpots stood empty.  Had their contents been exhausted by the washings of the wedding guests?  There they stood waiting for a man to refill them.  Always needing a man to refill them so there could be more washings.  If someone had come needing that water of purification, what would he do?  There was no more.

Into this scene, Jesus speaks – fill them up.  And man once again fills the waterpots with water, for this is all he can do.  But Jesus does what man cannot do, and changes the contents to wine.  “Draw some out now, and take it” He says.

In our human tendency to try to cleanse ourselves and make ourselves acceptable to God, we have filled and emptied the waterpots of religion times without number.  Always washing, yet never clean.   But in a moment, Jesus frees us from the endless self-washings by one washing in His blood and He changes the water of dead religious activity into the living wine of His Holy Spirit.  This truly is the “wine that makes glad the heart of man.”  (Ps 104:15)  And now we have something suitable to offer the world as Jesus says to us “draw some out now and take it.”

How I cheat not only myself, but the world as well, when I will not be filled with the Holy Spirit.  For then I have nothing to offer but the water of religion, a bland and tasteless thing that they can find on every corner.  It is only the wine, which is only given by Jesus, that is fit to be drawn out and given to the world.

So let us be filled and then, from the abundance of what He has given, let us draw out and give to the world.