Thursday, September 23, 2010


Hunger. What does it mean to you?

Well according to Websters Dictionary it means a few different things
"A craving or urgent need for food or specific nutrient"
"An uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food"
"A weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food"
And finally:
"A strong desire"

When I think of my physical body, I am very well acquainted with my "hunger". I know when I have a craving or need for food. I know when my body senses an uneasy feeling due to lack of food and I physically feel weak. When I feel this sensation I have 2 choices; ignore it and remain in hunger or attend to it and feed myself. Very rarely do I ignore it! I have a deep love for food!

What about my spirit?

Do I readily recognize hunger in my spirit?

I think that I do. I know that when I am feeling "out of sorts" it is usually due to the fact that I am malnourished spiritually. I begin to feel uneasy and weak. My stamina in my faith is diminished when I've not partaken of the sustenance from the Lord's table.

However, the next question really trips me up!

"Is His Word enough for me?"


This is a heavy thought for me. It is a convicting thought. Am I fully sustained purely and singley by the perfect and all sustaining Word of God?

Lord, how I want to be!

But the truth of the matter, is that I am not. Goodness knows that I try and try and try to fill my hunger with things of this world rather than with the Word.

Why do I do this????

Well, for starters, I have difficulty trusting the Word as God's source for me. I want to see my salvation, I want to feel my comfort, I want to hear the voice that leads me. So I search for filling in every other way that will satisfy my senses.

Lord forgive me!

I have bowed to the god of idolism. Even if I try to say that I haven't, I recognize that I have. As Isaiah proclaims "Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips" so too I utter this cry. Woe is me for I am a woman of an impure heart. Woe is me for I am a woman of little trust. I take heart though that even though Isaiah was a man of sinfulness, he was redeemed and allowed a vision of God's glory. It brings me comfort because as I recognize and confess my shortcomings, I too will be redeemed and changed by the vision of His glory.

Praise God that I have complete redemption in Him!

This journey through Radical so far has not been pleasant. It is uncomfortable to say the least...excruciating to be quite honest. It is forcing me to look at my face in the mirror of God's Word and decide how I will respond. Will I walk away and forever forget what I've seen or will I take what I see, ugly as it is (the state of my heart) and plead God's forgiveness. I can't bear the thought of walking away unchanged so I chose today to look at the difficult things that He is revealing to me and surrender them to Him.

I am hungry. I am blessed to have a Lord who gives me his Word for my sustenance.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Law of Kindness: LPL Simulcast 2010

This weekend I had the privilige of attending the Living Proof Live Simulcast at Cross Point Church in Modesto. It was a great day in the Word and in worship with other believers. It is said that there were 125,000 women (and a few brave men!) involved in the simulcast! So so cool!

The theme verse for the simulcast was from Proverbs 31:26

She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

The first thing that I learned about this passage of scripture is that it is an acrostic. Each beginning letter is in alphabetical order according to the hebrew alphabet. This makes it a special piece of poetry. The other thing that I learned is that the piece of scripture is a chiastic. A chiastic is a literary structure by which concepts or ideas are placed in a special symmetric order or pattern where emphasis can be made. For example, the quote "Do you eat to live, or live to eat" is a chiastic.

The focus of our study centered around the phrase "the law of kindness". In the hebrew, "law of kindness" is translated "torat-hesed" which translates literally the "torah of kindness".

Why study this topic we were asked.....

Well for one, we live in a mean world. And we can count on it getting meaner as the times come closer and closer to the end.

2 Timothy 3:1-5
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

And secondly, because "she openeth her mouth". We were reminded that the effect of us opening our mouths is great! We are all teachers and publishers. We were encouraged to make sure and be aware of what is coming out of our mouths and from our fingertips. We must allow the Holy Spirit to function as our editor. We also need to refrain from just making noise!
Beth shared a little funny with us that really makes sense
"eat is before you tweet it" and "flog it before you blog it" true.

Remeber, that according to Luke 6:45, out of the overflow of our hearts the mouth speaks. So I was challennged to be aware of the state of my heart and be mindful of what is coming out of my mouth.

So if the law of kindness is on my tongue then I have 8 tastes of it.

1. Kindess is not a weakness
According to Luke 6:35-36, I am commanded to love my enemies, to do good, to lend, and to expect nothing in return. When I do this I will receive a great reward. To be conisdered a daughter of the Most High because He is kind to the ungrateful and evil. So when I am exhibiting kindness to others who are difficult, I am blessed. One point that Beth made that was interesting to me is that kindness and niceness are two very different things. Niceness was noted as meaning of being ignorant, not to know, or not knowing. Kindess, by opposition, is knowing. It is not just being nice. In kindness we can speak a strong word if it is needed. Psalm 141:5 says "Let a righteous man strike me-it is a kindness; let him rebuke me-it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it".
Nice is fine, but kindness is divine!

2. Kindness is not an action its a disposition.
Kind as an adjective is translated "crestos" in the Greek. It means profitable, fit, good for any use. Of persons, useful toward others, good natured, being of good use to others. (NT lexical aids)
Kindness as a noun is translated "crestotes" in the Greek. It means grace with pervades the whole nature. It is descriptive of ones disposition. It cannot be faked!

3. Kindness wears down when we do.
This is one that resonated with me! Daniel 7:25 describes how in the last days, the antichrist will be busy wearing down the saints. When we are worn down, we can begin to form bad habits in relationships. Matthew 11:28-30 describes how we are to take off our burdensome yokes in exchange for Jesus' yoke. It is said in this passage that his yoke is "easy" and his burden is "light". The word "easy" is translated "crestos" which is the Greek word for kind. So Jesus is saying, that his yoke is kind. It is for our profit or good use.
What situations wear us down?
* Resentment: According to 2 Timothy 2:24 the word of the Lord instructs us not to be quarrelsome but kind.
* Hatred or Jealousy: In Genesis 37:4 we learn about how Josephs brothers were jealous of their fathers treatment of this youngest son. It says that they hated him. This is a strong sentiment that I don't want to be descriptive of me or my relationships.
Anytime that we are worn down, we need to be built up. It is important that we stay connected to the body of believers sharing our lives with them. Being built up happens overwhelmingly in the coorporate context, not the individual context. Ephesians 4:12, 16, and 29 says that the saints are to build up the body of Christ.

4. Kindness looks pain in the face.
In Job 6:28, Job tells his friends to be pleased to look at him. When we are walking in kindness, we are willing and quick to look pain in the face. We don't turn our eyes when presented with someone elses pain. We need to be listening to what others are saying and be kind enough to look them in the face. Acknowledge their plight.
The word "appeared" in Titus 3:4 is translated "epiphaino" which is where we get our word "epiphany". The Lords lovingkindness is an ephiphany in our lives. We walk by faith but our faith is wrapped up in the fact of scripture.

5. Kindness is a Savior.
In Ephesians 2:7 we learn that God shows us the immesurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. This rendering of kindness is the word "epiphany" again! Jesus is kindness personified. As our savior, he shows us intimately the true meaning of kindness. We must remember that we cannot be anyones savior. Trying to be any one persons everything is sin. Don't do it!

6. Kindness has good memory.
In Psalm 106:7, we are told of how when the Israelites were in Egypt, they forgot the Lords kindness toward them. They forgot the miracles that He worked among them. When we don't actively remember his many kindnesses, we enter into a season of rebellion. We make ourselves prime targets for satan and his demons to attack us. We must continually remind ourselves of the kindness that God has shown us. We must remember that He has been good.
He promises in Hosea 11:4 to bend down toward me and remove my unkind yoke and replace it with a kind yoke of freedom. His desire is that I walk in freedom and that is what his yoke is. I am tethered to him by his cord of kindness.

7. Kindness craves an outlet.
When I am walking in kindness, I need to be asking myself, "is there anyone that I can show kindness to?". In 2 Samuel 9:1, David desires to show kindness to someone of Jonathons household out of his deep love for his friend. He asks if there is anyone whom he can show kindness to. He shows a willing heart to step into the life of another and be actively involved in showing kindness. I must remind myself though that in showing kindness, I must profit the person, not be an enabler. Remember, we have an overflow so give of it!

8. Kindness leaves a legacy.
Walking in kindness leaves a leagacy for those who follow after us. We all have a spiritual line so we must leave a legacy for those coming next. Remember, that as we move forward the power of Christ is strong enough to break any stronghold handed down or willingly taken up. Begin to leave a legacy of kindness. Commit to walk through the process with God, becuase our children will not learn by accident.

This simulcast was an amazing time of worship and teaching. May I never forget the lessons that I learned and may they not serve only as new knowledge. May I continue to be transformed by the word spoken to me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Radical Abandonment

What is radical abandonment?

Websters Dictionary defines radical as "marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional" and abandonment as "to give (oneself) over unrestrainedly".

So in regards to our faith I can venture to say that "radical abandonment" means departing considerably from the usual or traditional in order to give oneself up unrestrainedly to the Lord.

Wow! That is a mouthful of a definition and a deeply convicting thought.

Is my life marked by radical abandonment?

I would like to say "yes, absolutely!" but the truth of the matter is that I don't think that I am. In Luke 9:57-62, Jesus describes to 3 different people the cost of following him. It is a huge cost. It is homelessness, it is not being present in major times of life like the death of a loved one, it is being separated from dearly loved family and friends. It is radical abandonment.

As Jesus called these people, so too God has called me to leave behind all things that I am comfortable with in life and follow after Him. I don't believe that it is His desire that I be uncomfortable in life but that I would be so trusting of His hand and character that I would be willing should He call me to abandon all.

He has called me to radical abandonment.

In his book Radical, David Platt asks two questions of himself that I am asking of myself.

1. Am I going to believe Jesus?

2. Am I going to obey Jesus?

These questions should be no-brainers! The answers should be "yes". I should be completely and utterly willing to believe Jesus and obey Him. It should be so easy.

But in all honesty, it is not.

I struggle with believing God. It is hard for me to believe that He has my best interests at heart. It is hard for me to believe that He truly cares for me. It is hard for me to believe that He will work everything together for good in my life. It is hard for me to believe that He listens to me.

Because I struggle with believing Him, I struggle with obeying Him. If I don't believe that He intends good for me, that He truly cares for me, that He listens to me, that He loves me, then I live life continually defeated, down, and in despair. I don't trust God and believe Him for who He says He is.

This is unbelief!

As I venture into this season of learning how to be "radical" in my faith my prayer is that I would surrender to God every nook and crannie of my heart and life. That as I die to myself, that He would hold me up and assure me of His love, His provision, and His acceptance.

I lay my heart out as the father prayed in Mark 9:24 "I believe, help my unbelief!"