Instead of my usual bible time this morning, and yesterday too, I’m taking some time to journal my frustration with Matthew 17:14-20 which says: 14And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18And Jesus rebuked the demon,b and itc came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.d 19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”e (e 20 Some manuscripts insert verse 21: But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting)
I had a meeting with my brother Mark Myles yesterday. It was our gospel coaching session. Its a pretty casual setting where we basically get into each others life to reveal where we are/aren’t believing the gospel, encouraging and exhorting each other to continue to pursue and grow into our Gospel Identity. Mark is the coach, I’m the coached, but a great deal of the agenda is Mark letting me into his life to see his victories and failures and allowing me to learn from them, just as much as he offers advice, biblical commands etc.
It’s become a cliche over the decades – “Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with Jesus.” The cliche is true. But like me, so many of us Christians forget what the cliche means. A relationship with Jesus is not like a relationship with Opera, where she spouts off inspiring stories from magic window in our living room and we feel led to follow her example of generosity and hope. A relationship with Jesus is not like a relationship with your pastor where he reminds you of where you fail and offers tips to regain stability. A relationship with Jesus is not like a relationship with your parent where they offer themselves as a crutch selfelssly giving of themselves to ensure your prosperity in the future. A relationship with Jesus is hardly like a brother that forgives you of your sin against him because he himself needs forgiveness from you. A relationship with Jesus is like that between a man and a woman. He is the groom, we are the bride. He makes a promise, his life given to us so that we might enjoy his love and providence forever. We cheat on him over and over again. Yet he forgives, not because of our love for him – we whore ourself to every entertaining passer by! He forgives because he is driven by the love in his heart to have us in his arms and show us what it is to be loved by a perfect prince.
It sickens me to think that I have hidden myself from this love in the past. And I’m in agony knowing I will forget him again in the future. But I don’t fight him when I find myself captured by him, back into his arms. When he scoops me out of the bed of my whorings in one arm, while destroying his competition with a single blow – enraged with jealousy. You might here me cry inanxiety, but it’s not because I’m fighting him. It is because I still can’t come to terms with this love that fights for me while I hurt him. That rescues me while I vomit the cum of my affairs over my nakedness. That heals the wounds I received from giving myself to his enemy as a toy for play.
I don’t fight my perfect prince. I bury my self under his arm and plead with him to never let me go. And his reply to me is a song. He sings to me his love and salvation. If you hear me crying it’s not because I’m fighting him. They are tears of joy knowing that I am loved, protected and cared for much more than I deserve. I have been a whore, but he loves me like I am the apple of his eye…. and I am. Continue reading
So it’s been a while since my last visit to this blog. Things got a little crazy and I needed to prioritize my time a little differently, leaving my blog updates on the wayside. PTL–things have settled down a bit and I am going to try and leave a mark on the www on a weekly if not daily basis again.Here’s just a couple of reminders why I do this.
- Primarily, I use this blog to record my bible study time spent alone with God, so that I have a permanent and accessible copy to the most valuable bible study moments whenever and where ever I am.
- The systematization and recording of my bible studies helps me to structure and stay consistent to my commitment to looking deeply into the word of God on a daily basis.
- The main purpose of having a record of my bible study is to monitor and measure my spiritual growth. I often write things in this blog that I later disagree with, but that is okay, because it helps me track my spiritual maturity.
- I occasionally leave journals and rants on my blog for the same reasons that I record my bible studies–it helps me track my maturity
- This blog can also function as a hub point for thought that I can share by easily sending a link.
- In bible studies, journals and rants I often pray – which is also often recorded. Seeing, coming back to and remembering these prayers is often the most transparent way of reviewing my maturity and is also encouraging for me to remember heart issues with hindsight after God has dealt with them.
- Blogging is also helpful for growth in writing.
So. I will persist with keep this blog/bible study/journal. Admitedly at times it can be seemingly meaningless and overly cumbersome, but before long I begin to remember it’s worth and return to continue the good habit.