Monday, June 23, 2008

My power?

Yesterday I taught on the story of Nicodemus, well actually, it is the story of Christ when He encounters Nicodemus. (John3:1-21)

Something struck me in the story; Nicodemus is a master teacher, a member of the Sanhedrin (Jewish supreme court so to speak). This means that by the age of 10 he had more than likely memorized
the Torah (Geneis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, & Deuteronomy), by the age of 13 or 14 he had memorized the entire Old Testament (39 books!) and he probably taught and discussed Scripture all day long, he was an expert on all things religious.

But something was missing.

What drew Him to Jesus?

I've had several conversations over the last few weeks with individuals who have followed Christ, taught God's Word, served Him regularly and even went for Him, but their relationship with God these days, well in their words, "it's distant", "not there", or "dry".

Come on, be honest, it's easy to get there, right? It's what I call "the drift".

I'm wondering how many times I've drifted to the point where Paul might have said these words to me; "Are you foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" (Gal 3:3)

Maybe that's where Nicodemus was, he realized everything he was pouring out was from his own power, he was dry! Was the stuff coming out of his heart, living waters, or just water? (John 7:38)

Interesting thing, the next chapter is the story of the woman at the well and Jesus says this, "Whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty. The water I give will become a spring of water gushing up inside that person, giving eternal life." (John 4:14)

Hmmm, both are thirsty, but he draws one and just shows up in the other.

Maybe He's calling you to
come and sit at His feet or maybe He's sitting next to you already!

May God grant us the ability to listen and see Him today!

1 comment:

danamj79 said...

Both of those are great examples of Jesus meeting believers and non-believes (or seekers, a term I prefer) right where they are. I think it's Pastor Curtis at TRBC that says, "God loves you enough to meet you right where you are, but too much to leave you there!"

I think about a tiny kitten stuck up in the branches of a tree. This tiny, soft, little creature is frightened, it got itself into a position it can't get out of. It cries out for help. Along comes a little old lady who loves cats but she can't climb the tree to save the little kitty. She stands there and she tries to talk the kitty down, she brings the kitty a bowl of milk and a dish of tuna, but the kitty is too afraid to climb down by itself. The kitty sees the good food, the kitty smells the yummy fish, the kitty's mouth waters for this refreshment, and nourishment. But, Kitty's fear is paralyzing.

Along comes a teenager, dressed in all black, with dark dyed hair. This teenage is walking towards the old lady with the milk tuna and wondering why she is starring up into the tree. The old lady is a little bit afraid of this goth looking and dark teen. This young girl can't climb trees either, because she has a cast on her broken arm, but she does take off her MP3 Player and pulls out her cell phone. She calls the fire department and tells them to hurry and bring a ladder, they must come save the kitty!

The professionals arrive, they put the ladder up and meet the kitty right where he is stuck. The kitty is afraid of the strong man and scratches him, the kitty doesn't know what is happening, the kitty doesn't know they are saving his life. But the fireman knows the kitty didn't mean to hurt him, he holds on tight to the kitty and carries it safely to the grass where the milk and tuna wait for his hungry belly.

All of them worked together; the fragile but caring old lady, the rebellious but believing teen (don't judge a book by it's cover, certainly it's not your clothes, the color of your hair or your body piericing that saves or condemns you!), and finally the professional fireman. Just like believers in the body of Christ are supposed to work together for God's glory and each use their individual gifts according the Spirit that is life within them. The fireman climbs to save the kitty, the old lady feeds the kitty, and the goth teen simply delegated the work to someone else and just walks away in a trance as she listens to her modern praise music, loud and rythmic. Finally the local media comes along to record the event for the evening news and take pictures to publish in the paper. The animal shelter comes to take the kitty and find kitty a loving home.

Doesn't Jesus want believers that care for the orphans and comfort the widows? He doesn't care if you don't know the scripture and He understands you might hurt Him as He uses His strong professional hands to pull you out the tree and save your life! He forgives you! He loves you enough to meet you right where you are, but too much to leave you there, crying out for help, hungry and trapped by your own fear.

I love when He inspires me to write creatively for His glory!