Posts Tagged ‘King Jesus’

I struggled with this one verse today. It’s going to be a slow trip to I Peter at this rate. Although I have come to peace with the idea of “fear” of God as awe and so forth, this verse is pulling me into new territory: downright fear of God who is not just my friend & Savior, but also sovereign.

I Peter 1:17
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.

I kept reading this verse over and over again trying to find a way out. I even checked some of the commentaries and a few blogs. It’s a challenge; it’s not warm and fuzzy with words like judgment and fear as pillars of the verse.

In the end, I found a wonderful blog post by Terry Hamblin (Mutations of Mortality) on this same verse. And I have to thank him for opening me up to accepting this verse at face value and allowing that to resonate in my soul. Amazingly enough, he quotes one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, from The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe,

“If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than me or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” asked Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

And that’s the point. We must remember that God is God and not our “chum.” God is loving and we, as believers, enjoy the safety of his mercy and grace, but God is also just and cannot be mocked or toyed with.

As much as I like to talk about God within and the Kingdom of heaven within and all of that, I must also remember that there is part of God without, that bigger God Being that envelopes all that is. Power is too small a word.

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Apparently, Jesus earned the right to become exalted and the result will be worldwide acknowledgment. I know, non-believers find all this very hard to accept or even contemplate; but, after all, don’t we all like it when the “big guys” come down and mingle with the front line?

Philippians 2:8, 9a, 10a
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place . . . that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth . . .

It’s one of the reasons the latest television show, Undercover Boss, is so popular. Working people don’t believe administrators get it. The ivory tower doesn’t know what it’s really like to do the actual work anymore. They don’t appreciate the headaches or the challenges. But, once a person like that has actually experienced the “job,” respect goes up and faith in a leader’s ability to make a difference in their work lives goes up.

Just recently, I participated in a staff panel interview for an administrative position. Once I answered all their set questions, I was given the opportunity to ask them a few. My first question was about their expectations for someone new in the job. And sure enough, one of their first mandates was that a new administrator spend time on the front line, to work with the rank and file, and to take a turn at the more menial jobs. They basically reiterated what I’ve been saying: “earn our respect by working with us side by side.”

Jesus did that. How else could we grasp the idea of a God, particularly the “God of Gods” [Deut 10:17], choosing to come out to the battlefront and face the same stuff we face every day? And in that particular era of “Caesar Augustus” it was even worse than it is now. The gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” was much wider, the poverty more dramatic, the oppression by a foreign government more volatile than anything we have today. But the Christ came down as “undercover boss” and lived a life from beginning to end, from birth to death.

The difference? Oh yeah, the God part, and so he got up again. In fact, he’s back in the home office and we’re invited to visit. Not only is he in the home office with an open door policy, he left us a Spirit version of himself and is willing to enter into a direct partnership with each and every one of us. The connection is better than a blue tooth but we still have to learn how to use that “app.”

I’m being a little silly on purpose. But the premise is still solid. The Christ earned his place as promised. The Christ is our safety net in a life beleaguered with sin and evil. The Christ is our mother, our brother, our sister. The Christ is real enough. And there will be a day when everyone sees the truth of God’s plan and the reality of Christ’s global leadership.

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Psalm 47:2
How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!

This morning I was really floundering around as I looked for a verse or thought that I could meditate upon and then write about. My mind was like an empty cave: nobody home! My prayer life tends to operate so much on the edge, on the stress side of things: asking, begging, pleading, hoping, longing, crying out to God for something, for help. When the cave is empty of fears and anxieties, I’m a little lost. 🙂 I’m not used to a contented or calm interior self. That’s amazing!

And so, I give thanks for the “Om” within today. I give thanks to the King of the Earth, who is sovereign over all that is without and within. I give thanks and praise to the God of my mind, my heart, my soul.

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Luke 3:4
As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him…”

Lent is a time of preparation and this is the word I am hearing for us today. Before anything of import can happen, usually there is a time of preparation. If we are going on a trip or buying a house or having company for dinner, there is planning and preparing the way. God used John to prepare the way for Jesus. And He wants us to remember that process. I sense that something is about to happen … but are we ready? One of my favorite songs says, “Lift up your head, to the coming King…” and it is based on Psalm 24:7-10:

Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty—
he is the King of glory.

And although the words say “heads”… I am so sure it also means our hearts… lift up the gates of your heart that the King of glory may come in! Prepare your heart. The Lord is near.

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