Posted by: thomasjrobb | June 24, 2017

Daily Reading Schedule – week of 06/25/2017

Su ​…​​ ​Revelation 17
​M …​. ​​Revelation 18
​Tu ​.​.​ Revelation 19
​W ..​. ​Revelation 20
​Th …​ ​Revelation 21
​F ….. Revelation 22
​Sa ..​ ​Reflection & Prayer


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SPECIAL NOTE:  Due to a policy change by Google, we are no longer able to reliably distribute the Daily Reading Schedule via our Journey onWord Gmail account.  After reviewing several options, we have decided to communicate the Daily Readings using the same method as our bi-weekly articles.  Going forward, we will post the Daily Reading Schedule on Journeyonword.com each Saturday afternoon or evening and you will receive an automated email each Sunday morning between 7:00 and 8:00am.

We are deeply grateful for each and every subscriber and have taken great care to minimize or eliminate any inconvenience in making this necessary transition.

Lastly, next week begins the second half of 2017 (is that even possible?!) and we will begin again reading through the New Testament.  The 3rd Quarter reading schedule has been posted to the DAILY BIBLE READING section of our website (right-hand menu at the top), and we are also including a direct link to the PDF below.  Let’s continue our journey onWord together!

Daily Reading Schedule – Third Quarter 2017

Posted by: pmarkrobb | June 22, 2017

the well-lit side

i had the need this week to revisit some of my writing from previous years.  The activity was meaningful and enjoyable, akin to passing by markers on a journey that strangely seemed to be traveling kindred roads.  In reading, i found an entry that seemed to resonate so truly with the stretch i see in the rear view mirror of my right now, and decided to revisit it more closely and ultimately to share it with you again.  i pray it finds another life who needs its honest confession and concluding challenge and hope.  It goes something like this…

The day had started like almost all the others that week … iPad in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other.  i was settling into my sacred space, ready to open my heart to what God had for me that day.  Except somewhere between brew cycle and sacred, a darkness choked out the air and extinguished my light.  i’d love for people to know me only by my sweet and meaningful conversations with my boys, my deep and abiding love for my wife, and my sincere desire to meet the needs of others.  But unfortunately, to know me like that is to know only part of me.  To truly know me, is to know the wrecking ball that my thought life can be, the dark spaces where my heart can too quickly run, the great sadness that i can both inflict and become.

In traveling and praying through my dark spaces, i have discovered something about myself.  Something that is most likely true of all of us.  In the midst of the darkness, at the moment i need Him most, i reject God’s presence.  i’m tempted to say “i don’t invite him into it,” but i believe it’s more true that I reject him being a part of it.

So many questions flooded my mind that morning.  Even the seemingly simple ones had no answer in response … only more questions.  i wish that i could remember them, and i wish that particular battle had been punctuated with some final and lasting victory.  What i am certain of, instead, are two equally vital truths.  First, that God already knows the depth, breadth and minute details of my dark spaces … the ones i retreat or cower into and securely shut the door behind myself.  And second, that He stands persistently knocking on the well-lit side of that door, wanting desperately to be invited in.

We so often invite God into ourselves like we invite a newcomer into our home.  We deliver an invite for a specific date and time and are excited for them to come.  We prepare for their arrival, taking particular care to clean what can be seen and give our best effort to make our home a space where they will feel welcome and comfortable.  Inevitably though, there is a room or space that we would be embarrassed for our guests to see.  We proudly show off the sparkling spaces, but distract attention from, walk past, or explain away the space where they are not welcome.

God has been so merciful to me as i have been opening doors to those unwelcome spaces.  As doors open, the revealing and healing light of His presence has burst in where once only darkness existed.

If the story of those spaces sounds all too familiar, i offer you hope and encourage you that the knocking on the well-lit side of that dark door is Jesus.  Don’t be afraid, He already knows.  And His work on the cross makes it certain that your darkness holds no power over you, if you’ll just invite Him in.  Don’t wait, do it today, do it now!

Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 19, 2017

SDG!

This morning’s reading took me to different places that in a manner of minutes caused different reactions. There is so much to learn from the depth of Revelation to the practical advice from Proverbs. For me, Revelation is not a book to quickly read through.  Rather, it is one that needs to be studied and pondered. Correspondingly, Proverbs fascinates me in looking for wisdom principles for each day. God’s Word has practical advice and depth to ponder, and both can be accomplished in one sitting! But there was more to my reading that caught my attention. I want to know Revelation better and live out the wisdom of Proverbs, but what should my/our days look like?

Today’s reading also took me to a rather unusual place … the words of Johann Sebastian Bach! With my southern roots, you wouldn’t call me a classical music lover (although, my wife is giving her best effort to convert me). His ability to compose great scores is beyond the comprehension and capabilities of almost anyone who has ever lived. But his model of preparation and completion is something that you and I can take with us every day. In the book All IN, by Mark Batterson the story is told of how Bach would work on his cantatas.

“They were prayers before they were songs, literally. Before Bach started scoring a sheet of music, he would scrawl J.J.—Jesu juva—at the very top. It was the simplest of prayers: Jesus, help me. Then, at the completion of every composition, Bach inscribed three letters in the margin of his music: SDG. Those three letters stood for the Latin phrase, Soli Deo Gloria—to the glory of God alone. Soli Deo Gloria was one of the rallying cries of the Protestant Reformation, but Bach personalized it.”

I promise that it was not my intention to gain insight for my day from a classical composer. But along with reading the depth in Revelation and wisdom from Proverbs, clarity came in the form of a simple model. Whether you and I scrawl the letters J.J at the top of our daily to do list, or sincerely pray Jesus help me as we begin the adventure of each new day, the intent is the same. We are seeking and submitting to the help of the Savior. What better words could we use to start our day … or any project?

The ending of our day isn’t about completing a composition of music, but we should want the exact same result Bach penned on his work … SDG (Soli Deo Gloria)!  Often we just want to be finished with our day or project, but the sincere desire for SDG — to the glory of God alone — places a much higher value on what we are doing. SDG isn’t what to pray if we are just trying to get through the day. Truly God has a unique purpose for every follower of Christ, and that purpose should be wrapped in the desire for the help of Jesus and completed for the glory of God alone.

My wife has beautifully displayed these words in our home, “Make each day a masterpiece.” Admittedly, some days don’t feel like a masterpiece. But following the words of Bach (who composed many masterpieces), and more importantly, the Word of  God (which is the ultimate Masterpiece), will help us create our daily masterpiece. Live today seeking to compose a masterpiece!  SDG!

Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 14, 2017

things tho’t impossible

Year after year there are moments that stun and sadden us. We wonder if things can get any worse, and then the next tragic event confirms it. Who would ever imagine the leaders of our country would be put at risk while practicing to play in a charity baseball game? Yesterday’s scare reminds us that we are living in dangerous and chaotic times. Without a doubt, each new unsettling tragedy causes us to reflect on how bad things can get. Just as new challenges (tragic events) come every year to our country and world, each new year brings its own set of personal challenges (difficulties) as well. Our Creator is up-to-date on all our world’s challenges for this year, and He is also in tune with the challenges you and I will face.

It is not God’s control that creates an unsettled spirit within us as we face deep personal challenges. It is our shaken confidence in His sovereignty.  As a child, I learned the words of a song that were easy to believe. In growing older, I’ve never forgotten them. When I see or hear them I am reminded that God is not limited by my own challenges. He is in control!

Got any rivers you think are uncrossable;
Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?
God specializes in things tho’t impossible;
He does things others cannot do.
(Excerpt from Got Any RiversOscar C. Eliason, copyright 1945)

We are all repeatedly confronted with rivers and mountains which seem uncrossable and impenetrable. When we are not firm and steadfast in our view of God’s power, impossibilities look … well, impossible. The old song says that God specializes in things that are “tho’t impossible.” We can believe it, but how often do Christians characterize God doing the impossible as just wishful thinking? Experience has taught me, those who pray earnestly with confident faith see God do “things others cannot do.” You and I will never face a challenge that is bigger than God’s ability.

Just the other day our daughter shared a story with her mother and me that was something I believe was only of God. At the precise moment she needed it, God stepped in. It was one of those “you can’t make this stuff up” types of interventions. He really does do “things other cannot do.”

The prophet Jeremiah affirmed that truth in verse seventeen of chapter thirty-two in the book which bears his name.

Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

Later in the same chapter we find these words:

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?
v. 28

These words are not wishful thinking. They are absolute truth.  We can trust Him with all our challenges! Our problems are not impossible to or for Him, and the Father wants to walk with us through them.

Each new day, new week, new month and new year will bring events that are unsettling in our world. You and I can’t fix them, but we can trust God’s control in the midst of them. Events like yesterday should cause all Christ-followers to pray even more diligently for healing in our country.

Additionally, each year will also bring new challenges personally. I am sure you believe God is in control of our world, but can you also believe in Him in your own river crossings and mountain passes? Our daughter’s special moment was a reminder to me that our challenges are never too hard for Him.

Will you simply choose to believe His control over your seemingly impossible challenges?

Posted by: genelnicholsblog | June 12, 2017

put on the armor

He was only 21 years old when he gave his life for his country.  He had been detected, arrested, sentenced to death and hanged … all within the span of 12 hours.  It is still unclear, after all these years, how he was found out.  But in September of 1776, moments before the noose around his neck was tightened, Captain Nathan Hale uttered those famous words, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

Not long ago, I read the book George Washington’s Secret Six, the story of the first American spy ring.  Here’s a brief synopsis: the British were occupying New York City and Long Island and it was imperative that the Americans regain control of this coastal area.  Gen. Washington was desperate for information about troop movements and ship arrivals, so he began to develop a spy ring inside of New York. The first volunteer for the mission was Yale grad Nathan Hale.  He was smart, educated, enthusiastic … and completely unprepared.  That got me thinking.

Our daily lives are not one’s of ease, are they?  Our daily obligations and responsibilities weigh on us, and the pressures and temptations of this complicated world take their toll.  I’m even quite amazed (and yes, a little taken back) by the current crop of television programs.  It seems to me, the more salacious the content, the higher the ratings.  And don’t even get me started on non-stop negative news reporting, terror attacks on the innocent, battles involving the White House, FBI, CIA and NSA, and lives of stress with our families and jobs.  How do we prepare for each day, each week … for this life?

From Ephesians chapter 6 (NLT):

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil…

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

v. 10-11, 13-17

According to Ephesians, we need to put on armor — a belt, special shoes, a helmet and a shield — every day to be prepared to fight our daily battles.  Yet most of us plow through on our own power, unprepared and unprotected for those daily attacks, and (I am most guilty) we only go to God for our armor when we have found ourselves backed into a corner.

Nathan Hale had never been to Manhattan or Long Island – he was from Connecticut.  He was completely unfamiliar with the lay of the land. He had no friends on the island.  He posed as a school teacher looking for work, but the school year had begun weeks before.  His cover was blown; he was unprepared and he paid for that with his life.  In hindsight, it was a foolish mission full of vulnerabilities, and Washington greatly regretted the loss of Hale for the rest of his life.

Their eyes were on the need for information.   Their neglect was in preparing a believable cover for young Hale.  The enemy saw right through him.

Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 8, 2017

seeing but missing

It was a race. Me against an airplane! It all started last Sunday in such an innocent way. On the runway at my hometown airport, the pilot announced the radar was off in Detroit so we would have to wait for a while. The delay caused the plane to arrive in Detroit after my next flight was boarding. Upon arriving at the gate, it was a race to my connecting flight. We arrived in concourse B and my next flight left from Concourse A. After a long adventure of walking fast, running and generally wearing my (almost athletic) self out, I finally arrived at A6 … only to realize the plane had just left the gate. The plane passing by the window in front of me was my ticket south. I could see it, but I missed it.

The words, “seeing it, but missing it,” had been echoing in my mind for several days before I literally experienced my own “saw it, but missed it.” Those words come from a sentence that arrested my attention from the book ALL IN, by author Mark Batterson. Speaking of a personal experience, he stated, “For a split second, I felt sorry for myself. Then I felt sorry for them. Why? Because they were seeing it and missing it at the same time. You cannot truly see what you have not personally experienced.”

The almost benign sentence resonated deeply with me. Immediately, I was aware of a deeply personal burden. My wife and I love to give to missions projects and see what the Lord does. However, my burden comes from seeing what the Lord accomplishes through missions, but missing the experience. And if the Lord leads me to go, and I stay (even while giving to a project), I have seen it but missed it. You probably have personal illustrations of seeing but missing.

When thinking of this principle, I am reminded of several illustrations of how seeing but missing happens regularly in spiritual issues. Have you ever heard someone boldly proclaim, “God blesses tithing?” But churches are filled with Christ-followers who see the principle, but miss the blessing. There is no one reading this article who hasn’t been wounded by someone else. We know forgiveness brings release and healing, but without forgiving, we see it but miss it. The greatest tragedy of all is for someone to see how God changes lives through salvation, yet they themselves reject Christ. They see changed lives, yet miss the experience of redemption! I could go on and on, but I’m sure you see my point. What are you seeing, but missing?

As Christ was closing in on the cross, there is a great scene where he washes the disciples’ feet (John chapter thirteen). His words from verses 12-17 are a vivid picture of seeing and not missing the blessing.

After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing?  You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am.  And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.  I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.  Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.”

All Christ-followers have repeated opportunities to see and not miss the experience of obeying God. It is critical that we all ask, “what am I seeing but missing?” Personally, it’s easier for me to give to missions than to go. But what will I miss? What experiences are you missing on the journey?

And, most importantly, if you have seen Christianity in action and have not yet turned to Christ in saving faith, don’t miss eternity in heaven. Accept Him today!

So, I missed a plane and got to spend five hours in an airport. So what! If that is my worst miss, I am thrilled. There is a lot for you and I to see (and experience) in this life. Determine with me not to miss those life-changing moments. Obey His leading!

PS: If you have any questions about accepting Christ as Savior, or growing on your faith journey, contact us at journeyonwordwithus@gmail.com.

Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 4, 2017

“civil war” battles

Do you ever get frustrated over the battle that rages within you? You claim to love God and sincerely want to do His will. There is no doubt that you want to fulfill His purpose for your life. You have an internal commitment to read Scripture, pray over the needs of others and to have an impact for Christ in your world. But, then … there’s the other you! You find yourself using words that hurt others, having horrible thoughts, refusing to forgive and generally not fulfilling what you feel is God’s purpose for your life. Welcome to the Christian life. We all battle with submitting to the Spirit versus living by the desires of our flesh.

In How to Be a Christian without Being Religious, Fritz Ridenour captures the battle you and I will face for the rest of our lives.

What’s your problem? Temper? Impatience?  Self-control? Sex? Being honest? Your thought life? Pride? Laziness? Self-centeredness? Everyone has skeletons, and they don’t always stay in the closet. You want to do right but you do wrong. You want to choose obedience but you choose sin. Sometimes you’d almost swear you were a split personality, a regular “walking civil war.”

You can probably identify with the “civil war” analogy. Others may look at your life and think you have it all together, but you know where you struggle. If you are anything like me, you are often dismayed about not living out your faith more effectively. But there is no need to live frustrated when we can avail ourselves of the Father’s incomparably great power. Although we will not know perfection until heaven, progress in our faith can begin today. Note our opportunity:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Galatians 5:16-18 (ESV)

If you are in Christ, the Holy Spirit will lead you and give you directions for the journey. In Ephesians all Christ-followers are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. But we have a choice: to live controlled by the Spirit or by our own selfish desires. When we seek to live in line with the Spirit’s leading, words like patience, self-control, peace and joy begin to define us. If each new day’s feelings control us, then emotions like impatience, selfishness, anger and irritation will dominate us.

There will always be the “civil war” struggles for us. However, in Christ you are given the opportunity to be led by the Holy Spirit (what a privilege). Would it be possible for you to begin today and tomorrow with words like, “Lord, right now I submit to the leading of your Spirit for today…. fill me and use me!”  If you value His leading for every day, your days will be different. Oh, there will still be “civil wars,” but you will absolutely notice the progress. Take the time today to submit!

Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 31, 2017

first step toward freedom

Recently I had a conversation with a man who had developed a sense of extreme guilt. Forgiving himself is something he craves. He is also willing to listen to anyone talk about the principle, but when it comes to actually releasing his issues back to the Father, there is a definite disconnect. He accepted Christ as his Savior a few years ago, but is still living under extreme guilt. Without a doubt, the principle of “forgiving myself” is a problem for many true believers, and even paralyzing to some. The Father in no way wants His followers to live in a persistent pattern of guilt.

When anyone accepts Christ, our sins, past, present and future, have been dealt with. We are secure eternally, however, there will be sin to deal with for the rest of our lives. God, in His grace, has provided a way to deal with it. It is called confession.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1:9 (ESV)

For my friend, who is living with deep guilt, the first step in healing is to look at sin and the past the way the Father does. His word says if we confess, He will forgive. So when any of us prays, confesses sin and then continues to carry a burden of guilt, we can rest assured it is not God who is laying the weight on us. Living continually under a burden of guilt God has not placed upon us is devastating to one’s walk.

This is an important and often rarely discussed issue for believers. How are you with confessing (which means to say the same thing about sin that God does, and to acknowledge His perspective on sin) and then accepting that your faithful and just Father cleanses you? Why carry guilt that our Father has forgiven? My Life Application Study Bible (NLT), says the following in regards to  I John 1:9:

“Confession is supposed to free us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. It should ease our consciences and lighten our cares. But some Christians do not understand how it works. They feel so guilty that they confess the same sins over and over; then they wonder if they might have forgotten something. Other Christians believe that God forgives them when they confess, but if they died with unconfessed sins, they would be forever lost. These Christians do not understand that God wants to forgive us. He allowed His beloved son to die just so he could offer us pardon. When we come to Christ, he forgives all the sins we have committed or will ever commit. We don’t need to confess the sins of the past all over again, and we don’t need to fear that God will reject us if we don’t keep our slate perfectly clean. Of course we should continue to confess our sins, but not because failure to do so will make us lose our salvation. Our relationship with Christ is secure. Instead we should confess so that we can enjoy maximum fellowship and joy with him.”

Christ-followers will sin, but God is a forgiver!  We should never carry the burden of a sin(s) that God has forgiven and removed from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Sometimes it’s not easy to emotionally let go, but agreeing and accepting I John 1:9 is a first step toward freedom. There is work to be done in helping my friend, but victory can be his … and yours!

If you are battling with nagging guilt, reach out to us at journeyonwordwithus@gmail.com.  We would love to come alongside and pray for you. And, most importantly, if you have never accepted Christ as Savior, reach out to us today!

Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 28, 2017

in honor and remembrance

Memorial Day carries significant meaning in the United States. However, the meaning is often minimized by other activities of the day. Most Americans are patriotic and want to honor those who have sacrificed for our country, but family activities and holiday cookouts dominate. We all love to be with family, but there should be a bit of reflection on what this day means for all of us. Both my father and father-in-law were veterans, but far too often I have let the externals of the day displace thoughts about the magnitude of sacrifice that’s been necessary to gain and protect our freedom. You may feel the same, so the following words are meant to help you more thoroughly enjoy the day.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its unofficial end.
— Wikipedia

We all know the definition of this day, but many stop short of celebrating it truly. The day does also provide a wonderful opportunity to remind ourselves of those in our lives who have served but are still living. In recognizing a group of veterans at church yesterday, I was reminded of the pride each man/woman felt in giving a part of themselves to defend our freedom. Later this year we will specifically celebrate Veteran’s Day, but it is never too early (or often) to say thanks.

Another tradition of Memorial Day is the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tomb is a monument to American service members who died without their physical remains identified. Presidents have traditionally participated in this honor. The dedication of the men and women who guard the tomb is astounding and worthy of our attention as we celebrate today. Note some questions and facts about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier taken from SOCIETY OF THE HONOR GUARD, TOMB of the UNKNOWN SOLDIER.

• Tomb Guards work on a three Relief team rotation with 24-hour shifts. The average Sentinel takes 8 hours to prep their uniform for the next work day.

• The distance a guard “walks” on each pass by the Tomb is exactly 21 steps. This corresponds with the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given to any military or foreign dignitary.

• A Tomb Guard marches 21 steps across a black mat, past the final resting places of the Unknown Soldiers of World War I, World War II, Korea, and the crypt of the Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War. With a crisp turn, the guard turns 90 degrees (not about-face) to face east for 21 seconds. They turn a sharp 90 degrees again to face north for 21 seconds. A crisp “shoulder-arms” movement places the rifle on the shoulder nearest the visitors to signify that the sentinel stands between the tomb and any threat. After the moment, the sentinel paces 21 steps north, turns and repeats the process.

• The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, there has been a guard on duty in front of the Tomb every minute of every day since 1937.

As you celebrate today, let the facts above remind you of the bravery of our soldiers, known and unknown, living and deceased. They have secured our freedom and we ought never to let the trappings of the holiday rob us of reflecting on the price that’s been paid. The dedication of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier should give us pause to reflect on how solemn and meaningful our honoring and celebrating should be.

There is another tomb we should honor today … it’s an empty one. All Christ-followers are soldiers who were given freedom by the Savior who died for them and then rose again from that Tomb. Can it be said of you and me that our dedication matches that of the guards? Father, may it be so for Your glory, in service to the kingdom.

Posted by: pmarkrobb | May 25, 2017

our present response to Jesus

I avoid mirrors.  It seems like an odd thing to share with “the world,” but it’s absolutely true.  In a department store, I’ll rush past one, being careful to lock my gaze in the opposite direction (how dumb does that sound?!).  I’ll never argue the truth that God doesn’t make mistakes, but in so many ways I grade myself harshly in what I’ve done with what He created.

I have a song the Spirit has repeatedly used in my life to challenge the voice of our great enemy (the one who so viciously and subtly uses my critical nature against me).  The song is, “I Am New” by Jason Gray and it speaks of being made new in Christ.  “I am not who I was, I’m being remade, I am new,” the chorus begins.  Just before that chorus kicks in, at the very end of the third verse, you’ll find the following words…

But the One who is making everything new,
doesn’t see me the way that I do.
He doesn’t see me the way that I do.

Those words attack the core of my critical nature.  Oh, the immeasurable gift it would be to see with His eyes … even one time and just for a few seconds.  To see myself, not as the physical or spiritual reflection in my earthly mirror, but as He sees me!

Too much of my life has been lived in the powerful shadow of my guilt and shame.  So many times I stop short of doing something for Him because I convince myself that I’m not worthy or I’ve failed Him far too many times to be of any use.  How stuck I can get in the mire of my past.

I am reminded of some life-breathing words from a favorite daily devotional (Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning).  The specific entry is titled, “Responses to Jesus,” and offered a beautiful reminder of the lineage we have in this life of faith.

These biblical characters, however clean or tawdry their personal histories may have been, were not paralyzed by the past in their present response to Jesus.  Tossing aside self-consciousness, they ran, clung, jumped and raced to him.  Peter denied him and deserted him, but he was not afraid of him.

The full entry is a vivid reminder of the thread of imperfection that runs through the body of Christ.  The biblical characters who Brennan mentions are Mary (sister of Martha), Mary Magdalene and Peter.  They are central characters in God’s love story, and yet they are fully flawed human beings.  The thread of imperfection runs through them all and extends to you and me.  Yet at the same time, they (and we) are perfect examples of the power that exists in the name and redeeming blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

They “were not paralyzed by the past in their present response to Jesus.”  Yes Jesus, I want that to always be true of me.

How are you with mirrors?  And what about your past?  If what I’ve confessed resonates with you, join me.  If even the smallest part of it resonates with you, join me. If you see my confessions in the rear view mirror of your own journey, we’ll join you.  Let’s all run, cling, jump and race to Him together!

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