Relax

relaxSometimes it is easier to talk about relaxing than doing it. I am still learning to lean upon the Lord for help on this one. When bad things happen, it’s hard to relax a bit and take a step back to “take in” what happened. It seems easier to jump in with options and start “swinging away” trying to fix everything. There are some things that are way beyond my control to fix or repair. I do have to accept the things I can’t change and look closer at the things that I may be able to change. For example, the weather is expected to get dicey here in Georgia later today and overnight into tomorrow from Hurricane Irma who will probably be Tropical Storm Irma or Tropical Depression Irma by the time it hits our area. I can do some storm preparations and “hunker down” or evacuate to another location, but I can’t change the fact that there is bad weather coming. I can’t always change my circumstances, but I can check my attitude toward my circumstances.

Peter gives some great instructions regarding suffering and struggle with things that I can do very little about. Check this out…

13 Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:13-16 CSB)

I don’t always know what to say, but I can be quiet and trust in the Lord with the outcome. I don’t think the Lord expects me to defy danger and get in its path and then expect a miracle. I do believe that the Lord is with me wherever I go and wherever I am. He doesn’t leave me to face struggle and suffering alone. He doesn’t leave me when I’m celebrating victory either. (That’s when I usually forget about Him.) I want to live every day of my life with Him at the center of my heart. I want Him to be noticed in my life and in my decisions. I want Him to be noticed in my relaxation. I trust the Lord wholeheartedly. I can’t control what is about to happen, but with His help, I can control my response to it.

I view the Lord as holy. I have surrendered my heart to Him – it is a daily exercise. I want to keep in mind, if I’m successful, He’s responsible. If I fail or make a mistake, He won’t leave me stranded and alone. He is my hope and He is the reason I can relax and trust. He is in charge of this world and He is with me no matter what life throws at me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Priesthood Trumped

Jesus man of joyJesusI am not making a “play on words” referencing the last name of our current President. I’m using the word trumped to mean to “excel, surpass or outdo”. As I read the Old Testament and see the priesthood as it pertains to the Hebrew religious people, I’m reminded that priests are people in a position of “spiritual” power or significance. When Jesus came on the scene, many things changed. He challenged the high priests, the leaders of the Hebrew religious structure. His position as the Son of God trumped their position. God’s plan to change the structure and introduce a church became clear but wasn’t readily accepted by the religious leaders. The writer or Hebrews gives a quick history lesson regarding this change. Check this out…

26 For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do—first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all time when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son, who has been perfected forever. (Hebrews 7:26-28 CSB)

Jesus came to earth and lived like a man. He faced the temptations and struggles of this life, EXCEPT He didn’t sin. Jesus’ presence here on earth really changed everything. The prophets and the priests before Him pointed to Him and all believers since are still pointing to Him. He didn’t just live here for 33 years and disappear. He is still living today in the hearts of those who’ve accepted Him into their hearts. I can’t adequately describe the Power and the Presence that He brought into my life many years ago. I believe Jesus to be the One & only Son of God, Who created everything. He made a way for me to get to God. I can talk directly to God through Jesus, the One Who intercedes on my behalf. Jesus filled the role of priests once and for all. I do agree that will all still need “Jesus with skin on” and so it’s helpful to counsel with a Pastor, Teacher or a follower of Jesus who is stronger in the faith.

I am committed to being a follower of Jesus the rest of my life here on earth. I can seek Him through His Word and by the Power of His Holy Spirit living in me. His Word and His Presence directs my path and gives me wisdom and discernment daily.  Jesus trumps any priests or human being who lives or has ever lived.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Build My Life

 

House projectThere are times when I reflect on my life and it appears to be crumbling. I’m hurt or wounded by something or someone and it gets me down.  When I read King David’s journal of sorts, I realize that he struggled and his life was a mess at times too.  I know that my life is not always going to be easy, but the difficult times seem to come by too often. I love David’s honesty and constant confession. He doesn’t sugar coat his sin or his struggles. I am thankful for his writings because the struggle is real, but so is his faith in God. Check this out…

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods. (Psalm 40:1-4 NIV)

I am thankful for the patience of God. I am thankful for the grace of God that comes to me out of His Patience. I am thankful for His Power to lift my head and lift me up out of the places I find myself in. He doesn’t give up on me. It reminded me of a song that my son recently told me about called Build My Life by Housefires performed by Passion Band 2017.

Worthy of every song we could ever sing

Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring

Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe

We live for you

 

Jesus a name above every other name

Jesus the only one that could ever save

Worthy of every breathe we could ever breathe

We live for you

We live for you

 

Holy there is no one like you

There is none beside you

Open up my eyes in wonder

Show me who you are

And fill me with your heart

And lead me in your love

to those around me

 

I will build my life, upon your love

It is a firm foundation

I will put my trust, in you oh lord

And I will not be shaken

 

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Fragile

Fragile stampI remember when I first learned this word “Fragile” – it looked like a French word to me. I learned to be careful with breakable things that were family heirlooms or expensive. I knew that that word mean “handle with care”.

The Lord had set apart the Levites to serve in the Tabernacle when it was set up and all the families were camped around it. The Levites where also in charge of “tear down” and “set up” of the tabernacle. This was no small task. The Lord was very specific as to who did certain tasks. The three sons of Levi and their families were assigned different duties.

15 ‘After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, only then are the Kohathites to come and do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting. (Numbers 4:15 NIV)

The Lord was very serious about how the people dealt with holy things. When I read this it reminds me to have a tremendous level of respect and reverence in handling His Word.

I was also reminded that as a Christ follower, I should pay close attention to the activities of my life. There are lines that can get crossed in treating the place where God dwells with respect. I need to be careful how I eat and treat my body. I should also be very careful how I handle others hurts and struggles when they seek my help.

Another application for me was in my role as a REALTOR. I help others handle the purchase or sale of real estate. I believe as a Christ follower that I should take very seriously my fiduciary responsibility on behalf of my customers and clients.

I want to be more aware today of the fragile so that I can give proper care to each.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

 

 

The Holy & The Common

Christmas NativityI am really wrestling with this concept this morning. I believe the word “Holy” is a special word. Holy means dedicated or consecrated to God for His purpose. The word “common” on the other hand is something that is “ordinary, without special rank; familiar”. As I was ready Ezekiel this am, I was reminded that in the Old Testament there was a distinct difference between the Holy & the common.   Ezekiel is sharing the measurements for the rooms for the priests who serve in the temple. There were some special provisions just for them. Check this out….

14 Once the priests enter the holy precincts, they are not to go into the outer court until they leave behind the garments in which they minister, for these are holy. They are to put on other clothes before they go near the places that are for the people.’

20 So he measured the area on all four sides. It had a wall round it, five hundred cubits long and five hundred cubits wide, to separate the holy from the common. (Ezekiel 42:14, 20 NIV)

Holy is special – Common is normal.

Holy is set apart – Common is every day.

Holy is The Lord – Common is me.

I do believe that the Lord takes “common” and makes it Holy. These priests were regular human beings, but their lives were “set apart” for serving the Lord. I believe Jesus coming to earth brought the Holy and “the common” together in a sense. He came, not with fanfare, pomp and circumstance – he was born of a virgin, a “common” person. His birth was announced to shepherds, not the “movers and shakers” of the town. Shepherds were common. As Jesus started His ministry here on earth, He chose fishermen & tax collectors to mentor and disciple. He didn’t choose “holy religious leaders”. He chose the common.

When Jesus came, the Holy and the Common collide. Maybe it should be normal and common to be Holy as I give The Lord the ability to take over my heart and life. Christ in me makes me Holy and Common!

Pressing On!

Dwayne