April 24, 2012

Our Terms, Our Right

We live in a time of self focus.  Our minds have been inundated with the hoopla of live life on your own terms, what about your rights, God helps those who help themselves etc.   Christ tells us not to conform to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Mark opened up with Christ's ministry tag line -

The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel

Do you believe that God has a right to ask you to change what you think?  Is it your right to act the way you want to? 

Our pop culture says thoughts and  feelings are not good or bad, own your actions, people can not make you feel anything, if you're hurt get tough don't be so weak.

We are not going to delve into silly arguments over words; especially our opinions.  What we are going to do is think about this:  We do not have to believe what anyone says; but we do have to decide if we are going to argue with what God says.

For instance:
What if someone says we hurt their feelings?  We generally want to argue with them, justify our actions and tell them how wrong they are.  Who's going to feel better just because we agree who's feelings are good and who's are bad?  Obviously the person owned their emotions, but what help was that in resolving relational conflict.  Doesn't seem to bring much resolve, harmony or peace; only division and more pain.

But consider if someone states that they're hurt by something said or done each person considers their terms or rights, if you will, based on God's terms.  Each person will have to realize the real person they are accountable to is God - meaning if they want to argue "their terms" they will have to do it on His terms.  Personally, I don't want to take my case before God and duke it out!

Today, we are hearing Mark tell us about people who were pressing in on Christ.  This reminded me of  Paul stating: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair..

Picking up in Mark 5:21 we are told that Jesus had crossed over again, by boat, to the other side.  There was a GREAT multitude it says; Christ didn't make it beyond the seashore.  A synagogue official, Jairus, made his way and earnestly bowed before him.  He was desperate, yet hopeful, that Jesus would follow him and simply lay his powerful hands on his dying daughter.  What faith that took; this man was a synagogue official!  His actions made a radical statement.  I believe this man had heard the good new, transformed the way he thought which propelled his ability to speak in order to receive what he hoped for. 

Shortly after Paul said, they were pressed on every side, but not in despair; he stated :

But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

Sadly, just as Jesus was coming with Jarius, some people came along telling the leader not to bother Jesus.  His daughter had already passed away, they said.  Remarkably, his faith did not falter as Jesus encouraged him not to trade his faith for fear.  We know God promises that the one who fears cannot be perfected in love.  Why? Because fear casts out faith.  Therefore, if we cling to Love in faith, all fear will be cast out.  Which means, the one who has faith is perfected in Love.

In closing I want you to think about your rights, as we ponder this:

Healing, in the form of Godly restoration, is only received on God's terms; which is righteousness.  The woman with the issue of blood, we are told, had paid good money to many doctors.  Her condition not only didn't improve it got worse.  But by faith she aggressively came after what she believed Jesus could do reach out and received what was promised.  She did not receive it because she was righteous.  By faith, she had the right because she received it on HIS TERMS. 

Let take it to the plum line:

We all have rights.  Mankind did not originate them; God gave them.  Likewise, mankind did not originate the self righteous deformation of free will; Lucifer did.  He chose to consume the rights of others and hoard all rights for his gain / good pleasure.  Now he taunts and teases mankind, since the days in the Garden, with the knowledge of good and evil, touting:  Do life on your terms! No one else is going to take care of you! Believe whatever feels good!

Some of us believe this pomp and circumstance.  We even join in his merry marching band.  We thumb our nose at goodness and we brag "Just look what I've accomplished, taken, given etc.."  But God has pity on our condition, He boldly stepped in and gave His life away. 

Others may choose to mock Him, belittle His mercy and grace.  But His compassion won't be affected because it isn't based on "man's terms".  God's terms are grounded in Love and His hearts desire.  He determined to give rights away; to open the arms of His kingdom for anyone who believes and comes after it to receive.

God determined to honor the rights of his beloved mankind.  Even though not altering His terms means that He will be separated from some, which grieves His heart.  Otherwise, His rights would consume their rights, making Him self serving - which is not in line with His character.

God sent Christ to speak the truth, out of the Love that He has for every single one of us.  Whether you think about Him, hate Him, don't care about Him .....He loves you and you can't do anything to change that.  What you can do...is listen to His words, change the way you think, alter your character so that you may see His image and believe He is real.  I say this because, I care about what He cares about.

God cares that you understand that the terms of time have been set, now all is being fulfilled.  He asks you to consider this truth found in Hebrews 12: 25, 26

See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking.  For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from Heaven.  And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised saying "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.
Where will you be found standing when all things shake again?

I pray it is in Christ Jesus alone!
Enjoy this by Brook Frasier  - she gets it and I thank her for this song :)

All Rights Reserved by Brook Frasier 
©Candace Huffmaster 2012, All Copyrights Reserved
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