In Hebrews 4:15 it says that Jesus understands our humanity. It's overwhelming to know that no matter what we go through Jesus understands.
This Christmas Eve I along with others have the privilege of serving in a homeless shelter. I’m thinking how could Jesus identify with this. Then I remember the story of His birth.
Mary and Joseph traveled 90 miles to get too Bethlehem. It took them between 4 and seven days. It is believed it took closer to 7 because of Mary being so far along in her pregnancy. When they arrive all the “hotels” were full. So Jesus was born in a stable.
A person who is homeless is like Jesus at his birth they have no where they can go. For many they live under an overpass to escape the winter elements or in the woods or perhaps an abandon building.
In Matthew 8:20 it says that Jesus had no place to lay his head. Jesus has the incredible compassion and understanding of knowing how people really feel when they have no place to live.
There are numerous scriptures that say that Jesus was rejected. It is one of the saddest things I have seen first hand is how homeless people are rejected and dis
You might not be homeless but whatever you’ve been through or going through our High Priest can totally understand…
Jesus thank you…
Musing: A season called “new” has arrived
For the past few weeks I have had this sense that during this Christmas that as Jesus was born his birth ushered in a whole new era. Grace replaced the law. Man’s relationship with God went from do’s and dont’s to having a real tangible relationship.
My sense is the Holy Spirit is going to birth something new inside of all of us as a gift. It’s a gift not something we have eared or deserve. It is simply our Father lavishing his love and affection on his children.
There is wind blowing. Can you feel it? I Can see angels rejoicing as they did at the birth of Jesus. They see the Father raising his hands and speaking “A NEW SEASON HAS BEGUN”.
Will we receive it? Will we? Sit for a moment and allow the wind blow over you…
It has been less than a week that our “Homeless Shelter” has been open and already my heart has been broken on 2 different evenings. I serve from 11:00pm to 7:00am. For the most part it is quiet until about 6:00am. It is during this time that these extraordinary people will often wake up to use the bathrooms and sometimes they just can’t sleep. Our guests will often begin talking to our staff. The other time they will talk is in the morning just before they leave.
As they share it often brings tears to your eyes. When you truly listen to these precious people it’s hard not to break down as they share their tragic stories. As I listen I can feel the Holy Spirit working on my heart. He continues to place more compassion, grace and mercy into my life while continuing to remove an attitude of judgement amongst other carnal attitudes and opinions.
You have to wonder how we would have responded and where we would be today if the circumstances that occurred in their lives occurred in our lives. While they are talking there is also another voice taking the opportunity to speak. One thing I have heard very clearly that I have heard before is, “put away your rocks.”
In John 8:2-5 we find the story of how the religious leaders brought a woman to him who was caught in adultery and they wanted to stone her.
If you remember the story Jesus bent down and started writing something on the ground. I wonder what awe was writing? It says they continued to ask what he would do. Then he said to them:
Jesus continued to write and then they one by one began to leave.
Essentially they put away their rocks. May I encourage each of us to allow the Holy Spirit to take us to a deeper place where we don’t even pick up our rocks…
Musing: Giving your life away
I truly hope you have discovered the joy of giving your life away. If Jesus came to serve shouldn’t we do likewise?
Yes, I know there are seasons in our lives that we might not be serving but there are also seasons that we are being called to serve.
Have you heard the Macedonian Call? It is calling to each of us.
Can you hear “Come over to Macedonia (name your location) and help us.”
Have you heard that you are in needed as Jesus told his disciples that the donkey for him to ride on was needed?
Are you looking for joy? Perhaps we need to consider:
John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Giving your life away is our calling…
For the past few years the Holy Spirit has been emphasizing our identity as sons and daughters of God. While this has been essential to our understand who we are It is also important that we remember we are also priests.
When you think of a priest what is the image that comes to your mind? I normally picture a person wearing a clergy shirt. Every minister that wears a clergy shirt has daily reminder that they have been called to serve in the ministry. I know when I have worn my clergy shirt I am aware everyone knows who I am and what I represent. You can feel all these eyes on you and truth behold you are much more aware your conduct. You are aware of your attitude and actions. There is no hiding of who we are
In 2 Chronicles 29 Hezekiah starts regaining at 25 years old. One of his first under taking was to assemble the priesthood and have them reopen the temple and to remove the “rubbish” out of the temple.
To be honest taking out the rubbish is an ongoing thing in our lives.
Hezekiah makes it clear his expectations He tells the priest not to neglect their duties as priests. I am hoping all of us might feel the weight of being priests and thus living our public and private lives in a manner fit for the priesthood.
“2 Chronicles 29:11 (NLT) My sons, do not neglect your duties any longer! The Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him, and to lead the people in worship and present offerings to him.”
Yes, we are priests:
If our final destination is to be priests who are kings and we will reign on the earth we should be practicing now.
In the words of Hezekiah:
When you and I don’t get the answer we wanted how does it affect our attitude. Perhaps one of my favorite stories in the Bible is when 3 very young men “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego” (believed to be between 14-17 years old) were faced with a life and death decision. Literally, it was a life and death decision.
In the story Nebuchadnezzar, wrote a decree that everyone had to bow and worship a statue of him or be put to death. Imagine you have been taken captive and moved hundreds a miles from your home and then you are faced with the decision to compromise your very core beliefs and live or hold onto your convictions and “die”.
Here’s the story:
I love their response to the threat, “But if not… let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
So I am considering how do I respond when God doesn’t answer my needs, I mean real needs. I know this worship is more than singing songs. It’s a surrendered life.
This is Jesus’s response to facing the threat of death:
Yes, worshipping God is expressed when “our will” is overruled by His will…
Jesus’s declaration (ours)?
What if God chooses not to answer?
Have you ever felt like God didn’t know/see what you are going through? You can feel lonely, discouraged, hopeless, depressed, overwhelmed, lost in a wilderness and a host of other feelings and emotions.
Here is an unchangeable truth - our God is not blind. He sees everything…
There is a story in Genesis 16 where Abraham and Sarah decide since she can’t have children that they would have children through Sarah’s handmaiden Hagar.
What a disaster trying to fulfill a prophetic word through human reasoning. Hagar runs away and finds herself in the alone in the wilderness. Sound familiar? When we feel like Hagar we can withdraw and go to a wilderness place.
I just love those 2 questions. Where have you come from, and where are you going?” She answers “She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” But God has a spring in the wilderness that we can drink from.
Yes, your Father sees everything and he has a word for all of us in times of great pain and despair. When we read the word to Hagar I wonder if we would like what God speaks to Hagar.
Though this was a great promise she still had to return and be subject to Sarah and her harsh feelings toward her. Often the promises of God are birthed in turmoil.
So Hagar says this:
Our Father “lives and see us”. He is the God who seesand he has a well of living water for all of us to drink from in every circumstance.
In Deuteronomy 12 we find Moses giving instructions of how Israel should live in the promise land. Some of you will say, “oh this is the law”. There are always spiritual principles that we can glean even from the books of the law.
The verse I want us to consider is:
Deuteronomy 12:8 “You shall not at all do as we are doing here today—every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes”
Israel was bringing there old behavior patterns and their personal likes, dislikes and yes their theology into the promise land. Everyone had an opinion of what they thought was right and what was wrong.
Here we are 2020 and the world and even including a vast number of churches and sadly vast amounts of Christians who have now decided what is right and wrong in their opinion. From my perspective (for whatever that is worth) countless people are now walking in “doing whatever is right in his own eyes”. For many they have rewritten the Bible, they select certain verses to prove their point but purposely disregard other verses by what I call, “I think theology.” While others no longer use the bible as a source of right and wrong or even as a moral compass.
With this theology where do we stop? Is it now ok that a parent sexually abuses their children saying its not abuse but love. About a year ago I was being interviewed to be a juror on a case. A father had been sleeping with his daughter for years and by his account by mutual consent because they loved each other. They were saying, “we didn’t hurt anyone, we were simply expressing our love for each other.” You might be saying, that is an extreme example. There are many more examples like this. Like how some states are allowing an abortion of a child (if they call it that) just before and just after birth on the premise of their opinion and choice.
If we continue to adopt the “I think theology” and the “I think moral code” where will this bring us as a culture? Are there no longer biblical values, no longer moral ethics? Have we replaced these things by I think? No longer rights and wrongs but I think?
I could quote a bunch of verses but just looking at this question “are we there” through the simple eyes of logic it is frightening to see where we will go as a culture.
ARE WE THERE?
Over the last number of months I have been reflecting a lot about the condition of America and the condition of the church. I am perplexed by both. I am having a difficult time understanding how the culture of the church and the culture of society has changed so radically in such a short period of time.
l’m not mad. I’m in shock and my heart is broken. Everything seems to be upside down. As much as I’m flabbergasted by the philosophies that are being expressed it’s like our society took some sort of “pill” that has altered people’s ability to think rationally and logically. I am literally seeing the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 12:8 where it says:
There is this voice inside of me which is speaking with passion … and clarity - You have to do it right. That was my thought from yesterday “Somebody has to do it right.” Are people seeing and hearing the Jesus in us? Do they hear love, mercy, compassion and an abundance of grace. Do they hear the voice of God or the voice of man.
This is our day, this is our hour - this is our moment. We’re it. God’s counting on us
Haven’t we all experienced times when we have prayed and it feels (emphasis on feelings) that we are not being heard. Not only do our emotions tell us that but Satan sure likes to add his two cents.
I can’t begin to tell you the countless times this has happened to me. How about you? I have often said when this occurs I wonder if God is in Bermuda taking a vacation. Perhaps the strongest emotion that I deal with is discouragement. It is at these times I need to find a “lifeline,” The following verse is my lifeline. Perhaps it too will become one of yours.
Pastor Brian R. Weeks began ministering in 1972 and has served as a pastor to both youth and young adults. He also served as an associate pastor for eleven years, and then for 25 years as a senior pastor, apostolic missionary, and church planter. In March of 2017 he released his church Solomon’s Porch, but in order to remain part of the local church, continues to serve among its several pastors.