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I’m lame

School starts next week, so Christians on Campus has been really active.  We’ve had open houses, moved students into their dorms, breakfasts, lunches, and everything in between.  This morning we had Sunday fellowship at our campus house and the topic was Mephibosheth.  Now, lets be real for a second.  How many of you can honestly say that you know who Mephibosheth was?  I couldn’t.  But after our fellowship this morning, I’ll never forget his story.

Let me give you the verses from 2 Samuel and then I’ll re-speak (or type) what the brothers shared this morning.

2 Sam 4:4 “Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who had crippled feet.  He was five years old when the news came of Saul and Jonathan out or Jezreel.  And his nurse took him up and fled.  And as she hurried to flee, he fell and was made lame.  And his name was Mephibosheth.”

9:1 “And David said, Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show kindness to him for Jonathan’s sake?

3b-9 “And Ziba said to the king, There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.  Then the king said to him, Where is he?  And Ziba said to the king, He is just now in the house of Machir the sone of Amiel in Lo-debar.  And King David sent men and took him from the house of Machir the son of Amiel, from Lo-debar.  And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage.  And David said, Mephibosheth.  And he said, Your servant is here.  And David said to him, Do not be afraid, for I will surely show kindness to your for the sake of Jonathan your father; and I will restore to you all the land of your father Saul, and you will eat food at my table continually.  And he paid him homage and said, What is your servant that you should look upon a dead dog like me?  And the king called Ziba, Saul’s attendant, and said to him, All that belongs to Saul and to all his house I give to your master’s son.”

10b-11 “…and Mephibosheth, said to David, shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons.”

13 “And Mehibosheth dwelt in Jerusalme because he ate at the king’s table continually.  And he was crippled in both his feet.”

Ok, so Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s son, which means he was Saul’s grandson.  Just in case you don’t know the story, Saul was the first king of Israel, but after a while he turned away from Jehovah and eventually lost His blessing.  Jehovah then chose David, who was one of Saul’s attendants who played the lyre.  Even though both Saul and Jonathan realized that David would be king someday, Saul tried to kill David but Jonathan made a covenant with David that he would always show kindness to his house (there’s a lot more but this is the abridged version).  So after Jonathan and Saul were both killed in battle, David became king.  This is why Mephibosheth’s nurse ran – she was afraid David would kill everyone in Saul’s house.

But he didn’t.

He invited Jonathan’s only descendent – the grandson of the man who tried to kill him – to eat at his table continually.

The brother who shared this morning pointed out that this story of Mephibosheth actually represents our Christian experience today.

Romans 5:10 says “For if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life, having been reconciled.”  Just like Mephibosheth was an enemy of David, so we were enemies of God.  But we were brought back to God through another – through Christ, or in the case of Mephibosheth, through Jonathan.

And like Mephibosheth, we are also lame towards God.  According to Romans 3:10-11 “There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, there is none who seeks God.”  But luckily, Romans 2:4 says “…knowing that God’s kindness is leading you to repentance.”  If you look back in the verses, King David sent men and took Mephibosheth.  He didn’t seek out David, just like we, in our lame condition, can’t seek out God.  God sought us and His kindness leads us to repentance.

So what happens after God finds us and leads us to repentance?  We eat!  For free!  All the time!  Once Mephibosheth got to David’s house, all he did was eat at the king’s table.  Continually.

But the point that really got me was that when Mephibosheth sat down at the table, he didn’t see his crippled feet!  When he sat down at the table all he could see was the food on the table. He forgot about his lame condition and just enjoyed!  I don’t know about you, but it seems like I’m always bombarded with thoughts from Satan about what a miserable sinner and terrible person I am.  He likes to bring up all of my sins and shortcomings and it’s so easy to get depressed and try to hide from God in Lo-Debar, which by the way means “no pasture,” “not having,” or “not having.”  But that’s the perfect opportunity to quote Ephesians 2:11-14 and claim my status as a child of God through the blood of Christ.  We don’t have to look at our crippled feet!  We can just come to the table through our Savior and eat!  Why stay in the place of no supply as an enemy of God when you can feast at the king’s table!  Don’t stay in Lo-Debar!  Come to the feast and forget about your weaknesses!

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Ordinary Days

Well, I was going to write a post about why I changed the name of my blog to “Ordinary Days,” but then I stumbled upon this blog post from A God-Man in Christ, and it was everything I wanted to share with you and more.  So instead of writing something completely original, I’ll just point you to a blog that already said what I was going to say.  Please visit agodman.com for the full post (this is just the first three paragraphs)!

“Our Christian life is not a spectacular life, filled with all kind of amazing and out-of-the-ordinary events, but it is a normal daily life under the divine dispensing. The Triune God has been processed and consummated so that in His Divine Trinity He may dispense all that He is into us – and this takes place in a daily way, in a normal way, and even in a fine and detailed way. As we turn to Him here and there, He dispenses Himself into us little by little, day by day, bit by bit, causing us to grow in the divine life in a normal way!

Just as our human life, our Christian life is not filled with spectacular things or extraordinary experiences. On the one hand, from time to time, such experiences may occur, but they are not of a daily occurrence. We shouldn’t expect to have a spectacular time each day in receiving the divine dispensing. We shouldn’t expect spectacular results in our Christian life. Rather, we need to be content and satisfied with ordinary days filled with regular and normal practices in our human life under the divine dispensing!

We love our time in the morning with the Lord – seeking His face, touching Him, spending time with Him in a personal way, and being revived by Him every morning. After such a time – which is not spectacular but is a normal experience in the divine life – we go ahead in our daily life and live our life with its daily routine, activities, to-do’s, etc in the divine dispensing. We go to school, we go to work, we travel, we visit, whatever we do during the day, we live ordinary days in the divine dispensing, receiving the fine and sweet dispensing of the Triune God!”

Recently I’ve been enjoying a song that talks about this, and I’ve been impressed with the fact that my Christian life shouldn’t be something so miraculous that it somehow gets separated from my normal, everyday life.  Yes, especially awesome things may happen every once in a blue moon, but that isn’t the Christian life our God has ordained for us.  Our Christian life is a little by little and day by day life.  Daily getting into the word, singing hymns, and meeting with other believers are just a few ways to live this normal Christian life.  In my own experience, I’ve also enjoyed writing verses on my mirror to help me get ready in the morning and listening to online messages of Christian conferences while I clean my house and do laundry.

Ephesians 5:16 says “Redeeming the time, for the days are evil.”  The footnote in my translation says “I.e., seizing every favorable opportunity.  This is be be wise in our walk (v. 15).”  There are so many small times in my day that could be spent with my precious Savior that I overlook.  Waiting in line, driving, and cooking are just a few examples.  O Lord open our eyes!  We want to seize every favorable opportunity to enjoy You!  To love You!  To gain You!

Here’s the song I mentioned earlier.  You can listen to it here.  (I added the verse references to each verse incase any of you wanted to look it up!)

Little by little (Exo. 23:30) the Lord is cutting off all our natural life.  As we grow in Him He replaces us with more of His life divine.

It is our destiny to live a normal life, in the divine dispensing.
It is a blessing to be satisfied with ordinary days in the divine dispensing.

Day by day (2 Cor. 4:16), our inward parts are being renewed by the Lord. Everyday, fresh and rich supply to us He does afford.

Here a little and there a little (Isa. 28:10) Christ reveals Himself to us.  When we read His word, we are satisfied and we enjoy Him thus.

Morning by morning (Lam. 3:23) Jehovah He is faithful to awaken us.  He instructs our ears, with just a word the weary to sustain we must.

From strength to strength (Psa. 84:7) we’re on the highways to enter into our God. Though Satan opposes we are strengthened to lay hold on more of God.

Grace upon grace (John 1:16) the Triune God is processed for us to enjoy.  The law is over, now we can partake of His supply with grace.

From glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18) we are in the process of being transformed. Beholding reflecting, to God’s image with all saints we’ll be conformed.

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The Mystery of Human Life Infographic

Look who made her first infographic!  It’s not perfect, but I think it’s pretty good for a first-timer!

For more information on the content of this infographic please visit Living Stream Ministry.

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12 Practical Points on Bible Reading

This is an awesome post from HoldingToTruth.com about how to read the Bible.  The twelve points are divided into three sections as follows:

The proper attitude for reading the Bible

1. Have the attitude of contacting God Himself

2. Have the attitude of coming to receive spiritual nourishment

3. Have the attitude of coming to receive enlightenment

Some simple ways to read the Bible

1. Read the books of the Bible sequentially

2. Don’t read too much at one time

3. Blend reading of the Word with prayer

4. Underline precious verses

5. Don’t seek too much understanding

6. Muse on the Word

Some tips on time

1. The best time to read the Bible is in the morning

2. It is best to read the New Testament in the morning

3. Try to set apart at least ten minutes at a time

 

I highly recommend you go to the actual blog post itself, because there you’ll find lots of helpful verses and extra commentary for each of the twelve points.

Do any of you have any other tips for reading the Bible?

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A Deeper Look at “My Father’s house”

This is a short video from EachOneHas.com.  In it, a computer programmer takes a quick, but deep, look at John 14:2.

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A Stable Christian Life

Last night right before I went to bed I remembered that I hadn’t read the New Testament all day.  I knocked out the Old Testament in the morning, but put off the New.  It was late and I was tired, so the idea of not reading quickly came to mind.  But almost as soon as the thought of abandoning the Bible came to me, another thought came in.  “Why would I do that?  The Bible’s my rock.  It’s the basis of my Christian life and everything I believe.  I think I can sacrifice a few minutes of sleep for one chapter.”

This is not a new predicament, or one that is exclusive to myself.  Everyday Christians around the world have to fight to get into the word.  Whether they’re fighting culture, apathy, governments, etc., there is always a struggle to get into the Bible.  A lot of Christians think it’s unnecessary for them to read the Bible.  “I won’t understand it anyway, so why waste my time.  I’ll just go to church or watch church on T.V. and let someone else explain it to me.”  This is something I hear a lot, and have been tempted to indulge in myself.

In 2008 I went to a sort of Christian training for college students.  The topic was the book of Philippians, and something one of the brothers said came to me last night.  He told us that “Without the Word of God to go along with the bountiful supply of the Spirit, our Christian life can be unstable…. The Word never changes and is always the same, so it can stabilize our Christian life.”

Isn’t this good?  I’m so unstable and constantly fluctuating.  One minute I’m praising the Lord and the next I’m completely immersed in the world and my own problems to the point that I forget about God and focus on my pitiful self.

There’s a parable in Matthew 7:24-27 that portrays my situation perfectly:

“Everyone therefore who hears these words of Mine and does them shall be likened to a prudent man who built his house upon the rock.  And the rain descended, and the rivers came, and the winds blew, and they beat against that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them shall be likened to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.  And the rain descended, and the rivers came, and the winds blew, and they dashed against that house; and it fell, and its fall was great.”

The translation I’m using has fantastic footnotes.  I want to share two of them here, one for the word “rock” and the other for the word “sand”.

Rock – “Rock does not refer to Christ but to His wise word, the word that reveals the will of His Father who is in the heavens.  The living and work of the kingdom people must be founded on the word of the new King for the accomplishing of the will of the heavenly Father.  This is to enter in through the narrow gate and walk the constricted way that leads to life.”

Sand – “Sand refers to human concepts and natural ways.  If we live and work according to our human concepts and natural ways, our living and work will be founded on sinking sand.  This is to enter in through the wide gate and walk the broad way that leads to destruction.”

This is so true.  Without the word of God, all we’re left with is our own ideas of how to live a proper Christian life.  We may look to other people and philosophies, but how we apply what we see and appreciate in those people and philosophies still depend on our “human concepts and natural ways.”  But even though certain traditions and ideologies may look solid and trustworthy on the surface, they’re really just sinking sand with no support.  The only way to really have a stable Christian life is to read the “wise word” of God.  People and philosophies come and go, but the Bible is constant and unchanging.  There is no other way to know the Father’s will or receive the grace needed to walk the narrow and constricted way.  So which do you want?  A house that is stable and strong, or a house that can fall with a change in the wind?  Oh Lord!  Keep us all in Your wise word!

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The Lord’s Prayer (Part 2)

This is the second installment of my look at the Lord’s payer in Matthew chapter 6.  You can read part 1 here.

This is the entire prayer:

“Our Father who is in the heavens, Your name be sanctified; Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.  Give us today our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.”

This time I’ll focus on verses 11-13, beginning with “Give us today our daily bread.”

The devotional I’m using points out that in this prayer for the kingdom, the King doesn’t want us to worry about tomorrow, as verse 6:34 indicates.  Instead, he wants us to pray for our daily bread.  This means living by faith.  When I read this I immediately thought about the children of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.  The only thing they ate during that time was the manna sent by God every morning.  They were specifically instructed to not store any manna for the next day or else it would bread worms and stink (Exo. 16:20).  This was their daily bread.  They trusted that Jehovah would send the manna the next morning, so they didn’t worry about saving some for later.  The devotional says “The kingdom people should not live on what they have stored; rather, by faith they should live on the Father’s daily supply.”  O Lord!  I want to live like this!  I don’t want to worry about tomorrow or trust in what I have!  Teach me how to live by faith and trust in Your provision!

This prayer also indicates that we need to take care of our relationship with others.  I’m so independent that I usually have no thought concerning others.  If I hurt someone’s feelings, I just think “Meh.  They’ll get over it.”  Or if someone hurts my feelings, I simply avoid them until I forgot why I was mad at them in the first place.  But this isn’t what the Lord tells us to do in verse 12.  I need to actively ask the Father to forgive my debts and not make the lazy excuse that I’ve been washed by the blood of Christ, so I’m good as far as sin is concerned.  I also need to forgive others as opposed to my usual modus operandi, which is to let everything callous over and hopefully go away by virtue of sheer forgetfulness.

I thought the last two paragraphs on this devotional were pretty outstanding, so I’m just going to let you read them for yourself:

“The prayer to the Father concludes in this way: ‘For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.’  Here is the realization and praise of God’s kingdom, power, and glory.  This also refers to the Triune God.  The kingdom is of the Son, which is the realm in which God exercises His power.  The power is of the Spirit, which carries out God’s intention so that the Father can express His glory….Thus, the prayer taught by the Lord in His supreme teaching begins with God the Father (v. 9) and also ends with God the Father (v. 13).”

“Such a critical prayer surely increases our seeking of the kingdom of the heavens as the Father’s heart’s desire and affords us our need of the divine supply of grace to fulfill all the supreme and strict requirements of the kingdom of the heavens for the Father’s good pleasure.  On the one hand, we are seeking for something according to the Father’s hearth’s desire.  On the other hand, we have the supply to fulfill something for the Father’s good pleasure.”

Isn’t this good?!  I never saw the Triune God in this prayer before.  How wonderful to see the deeper significance behind this prayer!  This isn’t just something to repeat in a rote way!  It’s a pattern of a prayer that can actually increase our seeking for and desire of the Father’s will!  But it doesn’t end there!  This prayer also gives us the way to ask for the grace required for meeting the Father’s requirements for the kingdom of the heavens.  This is how I want to pray.  Lord make me a person that prays prayers that take care of the Triune God, my daily necessity, my relationship with God and with others, and also of Satan!

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