Announcement

2 Jan

Happy New Year!

Keeping with the tradition of new things for new years, I am unveiling a new website.  As a subscriber to this blog, you are the first to be invited to take a look!

All content has been moved over to the new site. I’m still working on updating some content and making it “pretty,” but will be posting all new messages there.

So….I hope you will visit the site and sign-up again for the email delivery of new posts. I’ll be sticking with the Tuesday and Friday posting schedule.

You have no idea what your subscription, comments, and insights mean to me.

Let’s journey on together to surrender our heart to Christ every day.

www.jeanetteedgar.com

 

Don’t You Fear God? Luke 23

30 Dec

Reading through Luke chapter 23 this morning, the words of the criminal crucified beside Christ struck me. He was speaking to the other criminal who hung on the far side of  Christ Jesus–the one who’d been hurling insults at Jesus.

“Don’t you fear God?” he said.  See Luke 23:40

Though the man hung on a cross next to Jesus, suffering and dying, he believed. He still feared God. Still dared to believe Jesus was the Messiah and there was a kingdom Christ would be ushered into, and there was a point to what was taking place.

I’m reminded of the lines in One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She wrote that she’d claimed the “yes” of believing God, but lived the no.

Don’t you fear God?

To fear God is to be reverent of His mighty authority and power. To recognize his infinite might alongside his infinite love.

Sometimes I sense we focus so heavily on the love and forgiveness, we fail the rightful dose of fear. Doesn’t the fear of God go hand and hand in the surrender to God? To whatever he brings?

The first verse of Job tells us he was a man who feared God and shunned evil. And don’t we think of Job as  synonymous with suffering?

Yes, Job suffered much loss, much anguish and grief. Yet, the second half of his life was more blessed than the first, than before the suffering. (See Job 42:12 – 17)

Job told his wife, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”  see Job 2:10

Lord, it’s hard. It’s scary. I’d rather fear you and have it go well all my days. But I fear you always. I choose to surrender to you in the good and in the trouble.

Ten Lepers – Discovering the Difference

23 Dec

What made the one leper different?

If you’re familiar with the record of Jesus healing the ten lepers, you’re already thinking, “One leper returned to thank Christ for healing him.”

This is true, but there is another distinction.

As Jesus traveled between Samaria and Galilee, ten men with leprosy called to him from a distance, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

To all of them, Jesus said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” (According to the Mosaic law, the lepers had to remain outside the city a certain number of days and if they appeared clean, go show themselves to the priests for further instruction as to when/how they may reenter the city.)

And as they went, they were cleansed.  

When the one returns, falling at Jesus’s feet with praise and thanks, Jesus says, “Were not all ten cleansed? …..Rise and go; your faith has made you whole”  (see Luke 17:11 – 19, KJV). 

Do you see the other distinction?

Yes, the one leper was different. He alone went to praise and thank God. His heart stood apart from the rest.

The other distinction is what Jesus told him. Whole. Your faith has made you whole.

So what’s the difference between clean and whole?

Could it be a glimpse of this truth–Christ was born to all, Christ died for all, yet only some surrender to praise Him as Lord and become a servant?

Lord, please make me your true servant. Let me not raise my hand to receive what you give me without falling at your feet to praise and serve. This Christmas, may I not celebrate the fact that you came without using my life here to follow.

How to be a Disciple–Luke 14

20 Dec

To be a disciple, we must not be saltless salt. It’s useless. Why sprinkle it? Without taste, it goes unnoticed.

This is what struck me as I read through Luke 14. In the beginning of the chapter, Jesus ate and taught in a Pharisee’s home. Through parables, Jesus warns them:

  • Don’t take the best position for yourself
  • Don’t center yourself around people you view as important
  • Don’t think you have a standing invitation and your own priorities reign

All of these teachings warn against self-importance. 

The rest of the chapter, Jesus is teaching to crowds in his traveling about being His disciple:

  • No relationship more important
  • No financial limit
  • No resource untapped

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure piles; it is thrown out. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Luke 14: 34-35  NIV

Salt isn’t salt unless it’s salty.  Disciples aren’t disciples unless we’re discipley. 

Christ has given a definition of discipleship–not suggestions, but a view of what is required.

We use this common terminology of inviting Jesus into our hearts and then what? Too often we still have our own way with:

  • Our relationships
  • Our money
  • Our talents
  • Ourselves

The “our” must be surrendered. We must become “His.”

The mystery is we each have a unique identity in Christ when we surrender our own identities to Him. We think  of it as losing, but we are truly gaining.

We will not be useless. We will not go unnoticed when we become His.

Lord, open my eyes to see. Cause my hears to hear. Change my heart to be pure and chasing after you–as your disciple. Everything in my life is yours. Help me to live that way, attentive to your promptings and quick to follow.

The Most Wanted or A Change of Heart?

16 Dec

It’s happened again. A change of heart from the time the list is written to the last few days before gifts are opened.

The most wanted thing changes.

You tell me. What is the most wanted item on this list?

Sorry. You’re not up to speed. The “most wanted” has changed to Earth HQ.  

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!  Luke 11:13  NIV”

The first portion of Luke 11 shows Jesus teaching the disciples to pray. What can we learn?

  • A model prayer (verses 1 – 4)
  • A parable encouraging persistence and boldness (verses 5 – 8 )
  • A declaration that if we ask, seek and know, we will receive, find and have it opened to us (verses 9 -10)
  • And the truth that God the Father gives in a superior way to any earthly father

But for what do we ask our heavenly Father to give? What does Jesus tell us He gives to those who ask?

The Holy Spirit.

How often do I pray boldly for the Holy Spirit to flood my thoughts? What does God see as most wanted when He looks upon my heart?

A. W. Tozer wrote in The Pursuit of God, “How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Everything is made to center upon the initial act of “accepting” Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls.”

Our most wanted item should be this further revelation of God. His Holy Spirit enters a believer. Not to be stagnant. To burn, to consume, to create change.  

Lord, continue to create a craving in my heart for more of You. Overcome my own thoughts with your Spirit’s leading. Create the change only your gift of wisdom, comfort and guidance can bring. Be my most wanted!

When We Cannot Do What God Asks

13 Dec

Does God ever ask you to do something you cannot do?

I’m still reading Luke alongside Mom’s Toolbox and it’s been fabulous.

Over the weekend, I read Luke 6. I was reminded of a recent Sunday School lesson and something one of my friends pointed out in this chapter.

Jesus told the man with the shriveled hand–”Stretch out your hand.”  See Luke 6:10

The man shouldn’t have been able to do what Jesus asked. Yet, he did it.

How? Jesus provided the power.

Diseases were being cured and evil spirits cast out, “and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.”  Luke 6:19

In verses 27 – 36, Jesus gives all of us instructions which on our own, we cannot do. Truth is, we often do not want to.

  • Love your enemies
  • Do good to those who curse you
  • Pray for those who mistreat you
  • Turn the other cheek
  • Give more than what someone takes from you
  • Give without expecting repayment

Without Jesus providing the power and strength, how can we do these things God asks of us? We cannot.

Lord, please give me a heart that longs to do what you ask. Remind me to pray and ask for the desire and obedience you provide to do what you ask. Thrill me with your pleasure and joy as you grow me in my walk with you.

To Do Lists and Purpose – Luke 4

9 Dec

Are you one of those people who starts each day with a to do list?  Most of the time I do, and if something gets done that’s not on the list, I write it down just so I can mark it off.

But, there are times when I don’t want a to do list. I like the idea of doing what I feel like doing.

No matter which scenario fits you best, most of us have something in common: We want a passion or purpose in our lives that is overarching – more than just the things to get done in a day.

In Luke 4 (continuing the plan to read all of Luke through December), I see Jesus focused on his purpose.

But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”  Luke 4:43 NIV

How did he know? Yes, he’s Jesus so we can say that’s how he knew. Fair enough. But, we also see a model of how we can know.

  • He was led by and followed the Holy Spirit (in this case, into the desert)
  • He fasted and prayed
  • He fought the devil with word of God (which happens to be the sword of the Spirit, see Ephesians 6:17)
  • He contitnued to get alone in a solitary place to pray
  • He was not swayed by what men wanted him to do

Jesus was on a mission. As we read the continued story of his life, the season of his mission changed. For a time, he preached. Later, a time came when he sacrificed himself on a cross. Then the precious day came when he arose. For now, he sits at the Father’s right hand in heaven, interceeding for us, until God sends him to earth as judge.

So what’s this mean for us?

We should expect our purpose to have seasons of doing different things. In order to know what they are, we need to follow Christ’s example from Luke 4.

God, help me to focus on you. To get still and listen, to be led by your Spirit. Interrupt my plans for life and my very days with your assignments. Give me courage to then follow, relying on your strength.

What’s your biggest challenge in being focused on God’s desires for you?   Does each day’s to do list relate to your purpose?

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