I have been born again into righteousness.  Jesus has clothed me with His white robe.  All my sins have been washed away, but in this sinful world, there are troubles.  Darts fly everywhere, trying to poke holes in my purity and integrity.  Some stick, and some hurt.  Some go deep.

We must remember what our God has done.  We must remember Who He is and who we are in relation to Him.  We have to trust Him, lean on Him.  He is the only One Who makes us clean and new again.  His kindness leads us to repentance.  He has been so patient with us, just waiting for us to turn to Him and see our Redemption.

Have my eyes strayed?  They must return!  For I am joined together with God in Christ Jesus!  I will cast away the sin that so easily entangles, the anxiety, the laziness, the distraction.  Above all, I will put my trust in Him.  I will take this time to focus on His face, the most beautiful, trustworthy face in all the dimensions.  He is faithful to us, my friends.  He will always be faithful.

“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt.  The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it.  They will say, ‘This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.'”–Ezekiel 36:33-35


You Are What You Eat

There are many mandates in the Torah about cleanliness and food.  Basically, it all boils down to this: if you eat something unclean, you become unclean for a time, therefore unworthy to enter the presence of God during that period of time.  An unclean person was prohibited from taking any part of the holy sacrifice.

You see, the mixing of the holy and the filthy in one human body was an absolute outrage.  How could anything unworthy dare to come before the holy God, right?  In reality, though, it wasn’t about the food.  Jesus said this:

“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”–Matthew 16:11

The real issue was the heart.  The priests in the Tabernacle had to make a conscious effort to remain clean, and they knew that it pleased God.  When done correctly, the abstinence from unclean things was evidence of a pure heart towards God.

But unlike food, some things get inside your mind and stick.  Jesus said that the eyes are the lamp of the body.  Healthy eyes, ones that gaze on good things, will produce a body full of light.  Gazing on darkness, finding pleasure in it, will fill you with darkness.  Those are the two choices we have.

Taking all these things into account, we arrive at the command of Jesus to, as often as we will, eat His flesh and drink His blood.  We eat the Eucharist because it is Him.  Through the Holy Communion, we gaze on Him, remembering everything He has done for us.  It’s not the food; it’s our heart.  It’s our eyes that fill that heart with light.  When we remember Him and believe, we are holy as He is.

How quickened is our will?  How periodically do we desire an audience with Him?  How fixed is our gaze?  How much can we possibly add to the light inside, the nature inside of us?  I, for one, must try to find out.

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”–2 Peter 1:3-4

I Don’t Want Any Other Lovers

Love is an interesting thing.  Love remains.  Why should I invest it in pride in possessions, in temporary things that will not last into eternity?  I see no reason.

We can and should feed the poor, but food’s energy does not last a week after it’s consumed.  We can heal the body, but even that will one day die.  The situation completely changes when, infused in every morsel and every restored body part, the love of Christ is involved.

I’ve recently been discovering how small my heart is.  At the same time, I’m finding out how good God is and how faithful he is to grow me.  It’s kind of crazy.

I am the bride of Christ.  He chose me!  With that title comes many rights and responsibilities, privileges.  Not one of them will leave me with regrets.  I get to extend a hand of love to a dying world.  I get to speak truth to unbelieving hearts.  Best of all though, I get to be with Jesus.  That’s the best.

“And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”–1 John 2:17

Benefits of Fasting

Since a few people I know are fasting right now, I decided to write a little bit about the benefits of fasting.  Here’s a short list:

1. Righteousness

Of course, in order for fasting to work, we need to do it right.  If the only thing our fasting produces is anger and frustration, it’s not right (Isaiah 58:3-4).  If we fast only to be humble, bowed down and feeling sorry for stuff, it’s wrong (seriously, read Isaiah 58:5).  When we fast, we should bring justice, freedom and mercy to the people around us.  We should be feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked.  Basically, if your fasting is not producing righteousness, you’re not doing it right (Isaiah 58:6-10)!  If you think about it, this just makes sense.  As you grow closer to God through fasting, He should rub off on you more than usual.  And God is righteous!

2. Closeness to God

Well, I already mentioned this in the last few sentences of number 1, but it’s so true!  When you fast and seek after God, He will draw near to you.  Do you need direction in your life?  How about some revelation?  Try fasting.  After Daniel fasted for three weeks (Dan. 10:2-3), God sent an angel to give him a great revelation.  If God can do that for Daniel, He can do it for us as well.

3. Blessings

Yeah, I know it may sound a little selfish, but I want blessing from God!  In the book of Joel, Israel was in a bad state.  All of their crops had just been destroyed by an infestation of locusts.  So, what did God tell them to do?  That’s right, He told them to fast!  After they returned to God, He promised to bless their land with everything they needed and more.  God really does care for us, you know.  I think that sometimes He’s waiting for us to get serious about Him before He deals out the goodness.

Our verse of the day is Joel 2:22.  I found this verse on the Campus Harvest trip about a month ago.  Our bus had gotten lost, so we had to miss some of the conference in order to have dinner.  I really wanted to be on time to the meeting, so I tried to act all holy and spit out some garbage about getting our whole bus to fast because the Bible says it’s good.  My friend Liz insisted that the Bible has tons of stuff to say about eating food being good too.  Then I foolishly challenged her to find a verse about it, [thinking at the time, but definitely not now that] she didn’t know any.  Unfortunately for me, the random verse that she got off the top of her head (from God, maybe?) was Joel 2:22, which actually has to do with food.  I was greatly humbled.  So all this to say, God doesn’t want us to be miserable all the time.  He wants to give us blessings as well! 

I think it’s okay to say that one of the benefits of fasting is getting to eat at the end of it…

“Be not afraid, O wild animals, for the open pastures are becoming green.  The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.” -Joel 2:22