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Friday, February 25, 2011


Not Newton.
Not Asimov.
Not the deli-restaurant.
The guy in the Bible that no one talks about.
The guy who the Bible doesn't even talk about.

Hebrews 11, which is called by many as the Hall of Faith, talks a whole lot about Abraham, Isaac's dad.
Eight verses spanned over two paragraphs speak just about Abraham.
Abraham gets almost half of the book of Genesis all about him, at least it seems that way.
Then we go to Jacob.
Jacob tricked Esau out of some pretty good things.
Jacob wrestled with Jesus. Like literally. They spent a whole night going at it.
Jacob had to work a really long time for his two wives.
Jacob had many sons.
Jacob liked Joseph more than any other.
And then there is Joseph.
Sometimes I just want to yell out, What about Isaac?!
Yeah, he was the little boy who Abraham almost killed.
He turned into a dad and had Esau and Jacob.
The End.

NO not the end.
And this is where I think the problem lies, we skim over the surface of a lot of really cool guys.
I think it's time to really look inside and overneath Isaac's story.
Very recently.
Last night kind of recently.
I was preparing to lead a Bible study on this guy, and I felt like we were just doing Abraham all over again. So I started digging... anything. Anything that I can talk about for a few minutes, just Isaac.
I decided to start with the Isaac -Jesus similarities.
Maybe you've heard this before... maybe not. Either way it's really cool to see how it all works out.
We have to start with Abraham.

Abraham had one son, his only son. Isaac.
Wait, no he had Ishmael too.
But then why does God say in Genesis 22:2 "Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you."
Isaac was the son in which the promise was going to be brought from. Isaac was the only way that salvation was going to come to the world. Every covenant, every promise, every chance of Jesus coming had to do with the line of Isaac.
Then WHY would God ask Abraham to sacrifice him?
Abraham was probably wondering if God had forgotten His covenant. Nevertheless, Abe decided that God could bring Isaac back from the dead.
So he went, and we all know the story.
They went up to the mountain, Isaac got tied up and Abe was just about to plunge a daggar into him when an Angel said HOLD UP! Don't you touch him... This was all a test, and God now knows that He is number one in your life. And they all lived happily ever after.
Isaac probably needed some counseling after this episode. Just sayin'.
Unless we rewind and look at the story closely.
Isaac must have had A LOT of faith.
I don't think Abraham went soft on teaching Isaac all about the character and nature of 'the Lord God, maker of heaven and earth'
But just before we get to faith, I want to touch on some similarities:
Abraham took two of his servants with him and a donkey.
Jesus sent two of his disciples to fetch him a donkey.
Abraham told the two servants to wait at the bottom of the mountain, they would return after they were finished worshiping.
Jesus said many times that he would leave and then return.
It took three days to find this mountain.
Jesus and the number three seem to go hand in hand. Parables, travels, miracles, and obviously three days in the grave.
Isaac walked up Mount Moriah (which is the same hill that the temple would later be built on in Jerusalem) with the wood strapped to his back.
Jesus would walk down this same hill with a Roman cross attached to him, only to go up on another, named Golgotha and be crucified. Jesus claimed He would destroy and rebuild the temple in three days.

Isaac willfully allowed himself to be bound by his father.
And this is where I want to pause. The Bible does not say this. It just states, "He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood."
But let's imagine... an old guy... well over 100 years old... like well over that marker. And Isaac, who is most likely a teenager or in his early 20s. The old guy has been traveling for three days. They just climbed a mountain. He has just spent who knows how long building an altar. And you mean to tell me that he is going to overpower the son?
Isaac must have had a lot of faith.
As much as this story is about Abraham, it speaks a lot about Isaac. He must have understood what was going on. And he willingly allowed his father to sacrifice him to a God he had only heard about.
He didn't run. He didn't struggle. He didn't fight.
He laid down his life.
Jesus would echo this same attitude by actually having to die. Laying down his life.
He said in John 10:18, "No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
He would also call his disciples to the same attitude. Pick up your cross daily and follow me.
Whoever wants to gain his life will lose it. If you lose your life for my sake, you will gain it.
Paul challenges our attitudes to be the same as Christ Jesus.
One more thing...
Isaac asked his dad while they were walking up, where the sacrifice was? They had the wood and the fire, there were plenty of stones for the altar. Where's the sacrifice?
Abraham replied that God would provide the Lamb.
But God didn't provide the Lamb.
Not on that day.
What does the story say?

'But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
   “Here I am,” he replied.
 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” ' -Genesis 22:11-14 NIV

A ram. A ram stuck in a thicket... or a thorn bush.
The Lamb would come generations later.
The Lamb would come with a crown of thorns pounded on his head.
The Lamb would be sacrificed.
But not on this day.

Still, the story seems to surround Abraham. We can see the faith Isaac had, the understanding in the midst of chaos that he had. The apparent peace of mind that he had.
One other verse.
One other verse two chapters later in Genesis 24. We get just a small glimpse of Isaac's character.
Rebekkah is on her way to meet and marry this guy she has never met.
And she sees him. In a field.
Verse 63 states, "He went out to the field one evening to meditate..."
We could go into all the symbolism of the field and Jesus' whole parable on the sower and the fact that Jesus came from 'the seed of Isaac' or Isaac's lineage. But I want us all to ask ourselves, when was the last time we went out to listen for God.
Isaac knew what his father had done, sending his servant out to find a wife for him, what was he doing meditating?
Whatever he was doing, whether just seeking God for peace due to his mother's death, seeking God to be a good husband to Rebekkah, or just seeking after God just because... Isaac went out to the field to meditate. The Hebrew word in this instance is not known as a fact, but I would suggest it was Isaac going out into the field marveling, absolutely speechless at all of God, at all of what God was doing, had done, will be doing, seeking out an answer for his prayers, seeking out God's help to be a good husband. Isaac may be known as one of the patriarchs that doesn't have this grand old faith story... such as Abraham or Jacob. But maybe, that's the point. Maybe, Isaac didn't need to have the tests Abraham needed. Maybe Isaac didn't need to suffer and stress like Jacob did. Maybe Isaac is a perfect example of opening ourselves up to God's perfect plan the first time.
Something to think about.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dug Down Deep

So yeah this is a blog about crazy ramblings, musings on God's love, character, and nature, and just a way to share my poems and for me to get my thoughts on 'paper'. However, this blog is also about a journey. A journey we are all taking, whether you are a Christian or not, we are all going to end up at one place sometime, a judgment. Where God is going to 'put us on the stand'. Sad news. Bad news. We are all going to be found guilty.
Because God is the judge.
God's law is the jury.
We broke it.
All of us.
In one way or another.
Therefore we broke it all.
For some of us, Jesus is going to stand up and say, "That debt has been paid."
I can imagine Satan being there, after all he's been there before, remember Job?
And I can just imagine him yelling, 'Oh hold on Jesus... remember..." and then Jesus pulling out his hands and showing the scars of the cross, pulling up his bangs and showing the marks of the crown of thorns, lifting up his shirt (or robe) and showing the stab wound in his side, and then opening up the Lamb's Book of life and showing my name, your name... or maybe no name.

The most important decision, we will ever, can ever, make is to accept Christ, and assure that our name is in that book.
Christians for a long time, and perhaps it's because of the rise of televangelists, have all believed that if you say a prayer and talk to the ceiling saying yes to Jesus, that that is it.
You're SAVED!
Maybe it's the culture, the world, the lure of sin. Either way we liked the feeling of 'Hey, that's it, I'm saved. The devil can't touch me now!'
What we fail to remember, or maybe even realize is that the devil tempted Jesus, and Jesus was, well, God. He's as anti-Satan as you can get. But even more: Sin is still flourishing within us. In a battle of Flesh vs. 'Jesus in my heart and that's it Christianity' The flesh seems to always prevail. Sin still wins. Oh, but we're saved, right?
Maybe. But where's the change? Where's the new life? Where is Jesus in your life? Where was Jesus in my life?
The simple one prayer fix all idea is disastrous, because Jesus wants to be LORD, as He rightly should be, as He rightly is. He isn't our magic genie in a bottle.

I have to ask when did Jesus ever talk about praying a simple prayer, to 'ask Jesus into your heart'?
Actually, I remember Jesus talking a lot about repentance. I remember Jesus telling us to... follow Him. (That requires a bit of a change of lifestyle, it did for fishermen and tax collectors... I'd say things haven't changed.)
What has happened?
Well I blame it on surface, or sand living.
To add one more thing: I remember Jesus telling a lot of stories too.
There's one story I want to draw attention to, mostly because of a book I read last year.
It's entitled Dug Down Deep, and it's by one of my favorite authors/ pastors, named Joshua Harris.
I was introduced to Pastor Josh by a friend who mentioned a book about courtship, called Boy Meets Girl, another one of his books, and just his writing style, the way he organized the story, the message,  the I don't know, it just struck me. You could tell just by reading the words he wrote that he wanted to do whatever it took to get his life in line with God's perfect plan, even to the point to stop dating. I wanted to hear what else this guy had to say.
So after reading about Courtship, which will probably be a topic to discuss at a later date, I bought Dug Down Deep and I began to read. Not realizing what roller coaster ticket I just received. Not realizing that this was literally going to be a 'groundbreaking' experience for my faith.

The premise of the book is based off of one question:

What are you going to build your life on?

It's a slight autobiography of his life, his journey of 'unearthing what I believe and why it matters'.
He talks about the wise and foolish builders. I, like him could relate to hearing this story so many times. He says, "I've read it so many times that I almost don't read it anymore when I come across it in the Gospels. I skim it. I gulp down three sentences at a time because I already know what they say." (pg. 18)

I just assumed that I was a 'rock person' for the many years that I was a 'Christian'. I mean I had asked Jesus into my heart, I went to church, I dressed up for Easter and Christmas. I knew the Sunday School stories backwards and forwards... but I never let them sink in. I never dug down deep and laid my foundation.
Why did Jesus use stories?

Why this story?
Was it just to point out that being a Christian was better than being a non-Christian? Well, yes. As he explained, '...I suppose on a very rudimentary level, that is what it means. But I never thought about the specifics of what digging down to rock represents.'
The book goes on to explain the parable and how it truly began to impact his life as he learned to take up his shovel and dig down deep into the rock. After all the wise man dug down deep into the rock before building his house... and Jesus explains that this digging represents listening to His words and putting them into practice. The book was written to help others to understand what beliefs matter, and why. What grace really means to a person who can see how far off we humans can get.
I love the book because of the honest nature of Pastor Joshua Harris, we begin to connect with him on his journey, and really that's what the church is all about: Connecting with each other as we connect to Christ.
Breaking bread. Opening up. Letting our walls fall down. Binding our story to another person's story, realizing we aren't alone in our struggles, our misunderstandings, our failures, our questions, our doubts, our musings and ramblings.
But the question still stands, What will you build your life on?
Doing what your Lord requires of you? To act justly, love mercy, walk humbly before Him? To Love Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? To Love your neighbor as yourself? (Yes that even means the grumpy guy across the street, the gal who orders 20 coffees just in front of you while waiting at Starbucks, the coworker who is after your job, and the annoying little sister who is just looking for new ways to torture you.)
We can carry on with our lives, desperately desiring the newest item that the world says we must have. Saying, "Lord, Lord!" But not living new. Not being reborn. Not living in repentance. Not putting Jesus' words into practice. Surface level living... where the waves and the storms of life can crash into us...our beautiful treasures, our amazing new technologically, top of the line advanced things, our sins, our desires, our impatience... and you know, sometimes we won't even realize it.
I'd like to close out with just a few quotes from the book that were my favorites, not in any particular order:

“God isn’t a bigger, better version of me.”

“Jesus Christ is the most famous, most powerful, most controversial and revolutionary figure in all human history. And he has promised to return.”

“We’re all theologians. The question is whether what we know about God is true.”

“Big doesn’t equal deep.”

“Any attitude that causes us either to add to our Bibles or edit our Bibles and live in reaction to someone besides God is unhealthy.”

“We’re either building our lives on the reality of what God is truly like and what he’s about, or we’re basing our lives on our own imagination and misconceptions.”

“How we relate to Scripture reveals how we view God himself.”

“Many Christians are more interested in chasing a feeling about Jesus than pursuing Jesus himself and reviewing and thinking about the truth of who he is.”

“The Cross wasn’t the tragic upending of Jesus’ plan; it was the fulfillment of his plan.”

“It’s not enough that we simply know truth. God wants us to feel it, to believe it, and to apprehend it in the deepest, most personal way.”

“If I love the Cross only for what it does for me, I will have reduced it to a monument to myself.”

“The Bible is both doctrine and narrative. It not only presents us with true principles and propositions, but also uses the power of story to show us how God works and acts in human history.”

“I think that a lot of Christians look around, see the diversity of standards, and assume that since nobody agrees, maybe it doesn’t really matter. So they do whatever works for them. Sadly, few check in with God.”

"Here's what deflates my arrogance faster than anything else: trying to live the truth that I have."

I'd encourage everyone to at least check out the book, it's not life changing as the Bible is, but it's a story of how getting into the Bible, digging down deep into it, can change lives. It's certainly helped me to pick up my shovel.

A few thoughts on suffering...

I'm going to begin a series of posts on this topic.
I've been reading a few books by Pastor Rob Bell.

Drops Like Stars and Jesus Wants to Save Christians

Though I will be talking about a lot of what he talks about. I want to focus on one main idea.
Why does suffering exist, when God is love?
Why does suffering exist, when Salvation is here?

Salvation is Here. ignored.

There is a pattern.
A pattern all throughout our lives.
Anguish. Satisfaction. Glory. Downfall. Suffering. Glory. Satisfaction. Suffering. Happiness. Suffering. Happiness. Suffering. Happiness. Suffering. Happiness. And so on and so on.
It never fails.
Whether it's something big or small, we live in a pattern of happiness and suffering.
Suffering and Happiness.
We hold on to those moments of happiness. We cleave to those times.
The Bible shows an answer.
And really the answer can't be brought out in full by one blog post.
It can't be shown through many blog posts.
But maybe we can shed some light on certain aspects.
We live in Egypt. Even in Egypt there are times of happiness. There are times when the Jewish people were happy. A new baby. A celebration. Good food. Houses and a roof over their heads. Job security. They were slaves. How do we know this? The Jewish people wanted to return. They were used to the suffering. They saw new circumstances they couldn't understand ahead of them in the desert. They knew the circumstances in Egypt. Suffer all day, happiness in the evening.
In the desert, no one understood.
We find ourselves in the desert a lot don't we? We want to return to Egypt sometimes.
But why... why was God leading them into the desert?
Why does it feel like God drops us off in the desert sometimes even now?
We follow God. We give up everything. We suffer.
And yet the unrighteous, the evildoers, the pagans... they sit in empire. They sit in luxury.

We find ourselves looking back a lot... don't we?

This brings us to Sinai.
God was doing something new.
Mount Sinai was where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
Mount Sinai was where God began a real relationship with His people.
Mount Sinai Was God showing that the desert, the desert is not where His people are to stay.
The desert was just a way to shape, a way to prepare, a way to mold His people into His ambassadors. Into a group of people that would learn to rely, learn to mirror, learn to reflect God's very character.
Suffering does that doesn't it?
We truly see eye to eye with people who can say, 'Been there, done that.'
We become a community when we can together say, "I know how you feel."
"I'm going through that too."
"I've been there."
There is so much power in just two words, "Me too."
God was saying, Me too.
The law screams out, Me too.
But it wasn't enough.
The Jewish people forgot.
The Jewish people saw how much the earth can give. They said, "God We are your servants... but we serve ourselves too."
Israel became slave owners.
Israel became an empire.
Israel collected much gold and silver.
Israel went after money, power, lust, greed, envy, strife, laziness...
Israel became proud.

This brings us to Jerusalem.
Prosperity under kings like Saul, David, And Solomon.


This brings us to Babylon.
Egypt all over again.
The Bible shows this pattern. Our lives show this pattern.

I'll pause here. Plenty more to come.
But as we are going through our issues of suffering, what is God showing you?
What is God saying to you? The cross of Christ, states two things: The law wasn't enough. The law can be forgotten. And, God coming down, saying, ME TOO! Jesus has taken the pain, the strife, the hardships, the uncomfortable circumstances, the pressure, the risk, the loneliness, the insecurity, the waiting. Jesus has come to say, Me too.
Don't grow familiar, with the thought of salvation. That is how it becomes ignored, whether intentionally or accidentally. We can forget what salvation is really all about. Don't skim over the fact that Christ has come. Read, pray, meditate, knowing that God is showing you, training you, growing you into who He wants you to be. But the best news of all is that we are never alone. Our desert journey isn't by following a prophet named Moses. Our desert journey is following a savior bearing a wooden cross, our wooden cross.
I need reminded of this every day. I need to soak myself in the fact that my troubles are His troubles. Not because He needs to take them, but that He wants to, that He already has. That He knows the outcome. Glory, not for me. For Him. Suffering. Happiness. Suffering. Happiness. Suff... Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Love Any Other Way

If only it was just a thought,
surface level, like how we live
no need, no feeling, no truth
After all, we're ok.

If only it was just easy,
surface level, like how we live
no work, no pain, no idea
After all, it's been done before.

If only it was just safe
surface level, like how we live
no strife, no danger, no reward
After all, we're free.

If only it was just weak
surface level, like how we live
no success, no danger, no honesty
After all, there are other fish in the sea.

The problem is that it...
Consumes us
Develops us
Redeems us
Gives us hope
Gives us peace

In our desperate attempts to imitate it...
Love seems to escape us.

And so I'm digging.
There is something so deeper,
loneliness won't win this battle.
It never meant to be a thought,
but an action played out
consuming my mind.

And so I'm digging.
There is something so deeper,
laziness won't win this battle.
It never meant to be easy,
but an idea to strive for,
developing my heart.

And so I'm digging.
There is something so deeper,
fear won't win this battle.
It never meant to be safe,
but a movement so demanding,
redeeming my soul.

And so I'm digging.
There is something so deeper,
sin won't win this battle.
It never meant to be weak,
but a lifestyle so relieving
peace and hope as my strength.

Patiently I'm digging,
it gets stronger as I wait.
Kindly I'm digging,
helping those who need.
Humbly I'm digging,
remembering those before me.
Honorably I'm digging,
serving only One.
Selflessly I'm digging,
what I'm doing will be for all.

As the rock chips, my shovel gets weak
Faith can act that way occasionally getting bleak.

As the rock chips, my strength sways
Hope can disappear... but in God, well He never ceases to amaze.

So what am I, why am I digging?

If only it was just a thought,
surface level, like how we live.
But it can't, it needs more than just our minds.

If only it was just easy,
surface level, like how we live
But it can't, it's a trial, a trouble, a need.

If only it was just safe
surface level, like how we live
But it can't, it demands risk.

If only it was just weak
surface level, like how we live
But it's not, it's the strongest power.

If it were what we wished,
what then would be the strange mystery about it?
If it were just kept in our minds, easy, safe, weak, hidden all to ourselves.
What feeling would that be?
What problems would that solve?
We would still be lost, still be trapped,
still be in darkness, still have no savior.
What it requires is to dig for it. To live for it.
Digging Down Deep into the rock,
giving of yourself,
not backing down,
realizing it's not about you,
embracing grace towards others,
waiting, waiting...
Rarely early, but never late.

It's not love any other way.

I almost don't want to give an explanation, and allow you to take it as you will... however I'll say this.
God is love.
But He is also so much more than that.
God is love and we are to Love Him and Love others.
Love with all of our mind, heart, soul, and strength.
We need to embrace it.
Love it.
Build our lives upon it.

~Luke 6:46-49
"Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Life was Given

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
~John 10:10

We hear the verse quoted many times during altar calls, Sunday School, devotional groups, in the middle of sermons attempting to emphasize a point, even at funerals. The thief is the devil, and he comes... comes. Not came, not come. But comes. He hasn't reached us yet. he hasn't stolen, he hasn't killed, he hasn't destroyed. But he is coming.

Jesus speaking here said the He has come, already here, that they, meaning everyone who comes to Him, may have life, and have it to the full.


Yet, what seems to always draw our attention is the last part of the verse,

"that they may have life, and have it to the full"

It sounds so heavenly, so graceful.

'Jesus is going to give me the best life ever!'

...we start to think.

 The Best life ever?

Immediately the perception is drawn to us, us. Our hearts always like to bring the focus back to us.

Whether we realize it or not we start to think what this verse, what this promise can do for us.

Not for the beggar downtown.

Not for the lonely, the broken, the injured, the starving.

Jesus is going to give me life to the full.

And then we realize all of those other people. Wait a second, What about them?

What about the missionaries who are dieing for Jesus.

How is that life?

That brings us to another promise,
in John 16:33,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this
world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

How are we going to have the best life ever if we are going to have trouble
in this world we live in... trouble and happiness don't go together.

Our dreams are attacked and crushed just that quickly.

Our understanding of what we believe is shaken... is this a contradiction?
And it leads us to: confusion, chaos, doubt.

Believe me, I've been there.

Just maybe though we need to start paying attention to the full verse.


Yes Jesus, not just because He is the answer to every Sunday school question, not just because I'm a Christian and this blog is about Him... but because He is the answer to EVERY question.

Maybe we need to get back to those basics once more...

Jesus has come. He said it Himself  'I have come...' and that is where it all matters. Jesus is the life, the full life. He has come so that we can have Him.

He promises Himself. He promises peace in Himself.

This wasn't some promise that Jesus was going to fulfill our every want and desire, if we just believe in Him. Now THAT would be a contradiction of everything the Christian faith represents. It's not about us, it never was. If were about us, we wouldn't need a savior. if it were about us, what we do wouldn't be sin, it would be shallow fulfillment.

Jesus came to rescue us from ourselves.

Jesus came to live inside of us.

Jesus came to bring us over our mountains.

Jesus came to stand underneath our failures, lifting us back up.
To where?

To Himself.

All of creation seems to long for the Creator, all but the very ones who were created in His image. So he came. Not because we desired Him, but because we need to desire Him.

And He desires us.

This verse was actually a very profound statement that ALL of what we believe hinges to.
Jesus came just to give Himself to us, so that we may have Him.
Didn't he also say in John 14:6 that He is “the way and the truth and the life."

Did you catch that?

Jesus is THE life. He is life. So that means apart from life we are dead. Apart from Him we are dead. Dead in our sin, dead to ourselves.

So when will we begin to abandon ourselves, to shake the dust off of our decay.

To live not for Him, but because of Him.

These are things I struggle with on a daily basis.
But I know my life isn't my own. My life was given.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why Inside and Overneath?

So if you are reading this you are probably wondering whats with the weird non-word. Overneath?
To be honest, the title of this blog is based off of a song by Nate's favorite band:

Tenth Avenue North.

Maybe you've heard of them, but if you haven't you should really check them out.

The band has a song on their first album entitled, 'Times' in which the lyric 'Your love is over, it's underneath, it's inside, it's in between' is sung.

That phrase is the inspiration for this blog.

That phrase creates a whole new outlook on the Christian faith... at least, for us.

These words are descriptions of God, and they are rooted in the Bible as to God's character and nature.

Any good Christian knows that we are to love God, and that He loves us.

But do we believe it?

We are told we are to Love the LORD our God, and that He loves us like a father, through Moses in the Old Testament. We are told that we are to love the LORD our God and that He loves us by Jesus in the New Testament.

But Jesus has come to make all things new. All things? All things.

Wait, so I don't have to love God?

I can't love God.

And honestly coming to grips with that gives me more freedom than anything.

We've proven that time and time again...  We can't love God. From the fruit in the Garden of Eden, to the lie we told just yesterday, the lustful thought, the jealousy, the laziness.

If the best we can do is give God our half love: 'Yes God I love you, BUT I can't control myself.' We can't truly love God.

That's not the love that God is interested in.

If God is EVER going to get a decent "Hallelujah!"... He has to come down and do it Himself.

I want my life to constantly revolve around HIM, to be entirely focused on Him, on His love, His Grace, and His will. I want my life to be characterized as others seeing Jesus truly live in and through me, my actions, my thoughts, my passions, and my desires. It's a want, a cry of desperation.

But before Jesus this was impossible.

And God knew that if He was EVER going to get a decent "Hallelujah!"... He had to come down and do it Himself.


The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

I like the Message version of this verse found in John 1: 
"The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish."
The Word became one of us, and moved right on in to our neighborhood...

So that He could teach us how to properly love and worship Him.

"But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him." -John 4:23 ESV

In Spirit and in Truth.

God is Spirit

Jesus is the Truth.

We will worship, we will love... in Him...and through Him. For the father is seeking such people to worship Him.

"And so, this changes things. This means that it doesn’t matter how much Scripture and philosophy I know, what matters is what I do with it. Ironically, having a lot of information about Jesus can often be the very thing that keeps me from Him. I delude myself into thinking that Jesus is nothing more than a fact on a page. An idea to comprehend, a moral to ascribe to. And believe me, He’s much more than that. He is our life, our breath, and the pulse within our veins. He is before, behind, and all around. Over. Underneath. Inside. In between. And I want to KNOW Him this way. As bread and wine. As flesh and blood. As a lover, a wife, as the life within. I’m tired of my knowledge turning to arrogance. I’m tired of information turning to superiority. I want to encounter Him, and have that encounter change the way I see the world." -Mike Donehey
God received the best kind of "Hallelujah!"... When he came down to show us Himself.
'This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. We love because he first loved us." -1 John 4: 13-17,19 NIV

His love is inside of us, because He is inside of us.

He is over every situation. Guiding us.
He is underneath, holding us up.
He is both at the same time.
He is in control of everything.
He is Overneath anything we deal with.

So let us explore God, let us dig down deep into His word.

Not skipping over the surface, but just making sure we don't stay there.

The Bible is God's song. A song of a story. A story of failure, our failure. A story of redemption, a story of Grace. Every song needs an audience, every lyric means something different to everybody. The chorus stands the same: Love is here. Love is all around us. Love is guiding us. Soothing us. Giving us rest.

Love has come down to save us.

But not only that...

Love has come down to shout to our Maker, Creator, and Sustainer...