Have you ever wished you had a stronger prayer life? The kind of prayer life that travails for others, wrestles things out, reaches into heaven to bring God’s will and purposes into earth? But then life takes over and the baby’s crying or your boss is pressuring or the kids need to be run to soccer practice…
God calls us to pray, and those deep travailing prayers are needful to push back the gates of hell and bring God’s divine intervention into earth.
What do you do with the unlovable? The person that defies every conviction you hold of what is good and right? The lazy, the wicked, the deceived and deceptive… is there a love that is stronger than the hold of death on their life?
Is there a love that can soak into and fill the void within their heart? The part that so desperately needs God to right the wrongs and heal the wounds? Can our words, our touch, our attitude and demeanor towards them work the miracle and make a person whole?
Sometimes there are no “do-overs” in life. Sometimes you have one shot to make a difference in a person’s future.
There’s a childhood book I loved to read to my children and now to my grandchildren. It’s “My Little Golden Book About God” by Eloise Wilkin and I pretty much have it memorized. There’s one line I love –
“He gives us memories of yesterdays, so that happy times and people we love we can keep with us always in our hearts. For God is love.”
Memories are supposed to be wonderful reminders of people, places, moments. We all have reminders built into our lives to remind us of moments past – the seashell you picked up on the beach, the special ring you wear on your finger – a photo, a favorite place, a song that takes you back.
I met a girl on a film set in Hollywood who had tattoos all over her body – Disneyland characters and scenes burned in dark ink on her legs, her arms, her chest. A limb from the talking tree Groot wound down her arm and onto her fingers.
“Behold the man,” Pilate cried out as he brought Jesus before the chief priests and leaders of the Jewish people. He found no fault in Jesus, but the pressure of the people weighed on him, testing him.
It was a moment in time when the people could have embraced this man as King. But instead, they bowed to the peer pressure and cried in response, “Crucify him!”
Unwittingly, they killed the One who was their only saving grace, their only real redemption in the midst of political and societal upheaval. It was all part of God’s greater plan, a mission of love – and yet – pity the ones who hastened it, not recognizing the Man who stood beaten and bruised before them.
Blood and water flowed that day, streaming down from the pierced side of the Word-Made-Flesh who hung on the cross, shamed and crucified before them. Was it a sign to His followers of the glorious resurrection to come?
- The blood that covers
- The water that washes
- The Savior who lifts our lives out of the mire of our own dark tombs to experience LIFE to the fullest…
Opportunities to embrace Jesus for who He is as Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Savior and King come to us on a daily basis. Our response boils down to a matter of faith, a matter of our deep-rooted belief system and our outward behavior influenced by it.
You may feel He has let you down, not performed on His promises or your expectations. You may feel confused and defeated at how your life has turned out, the situations and circumstances that are beyond your own human comprehension of cause and effect and why. Life may look grim and dark and hopeless.
It was a dark day, the day Jesus hung on that cross. But something glorious was about to happen, even though the disciples didn’t fully comprehend it. Lift up your eyes and look and believe. Behold the Man.
“… You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” John 16:20
Painting - Ecce Homo by Antonio Ciseri
What’s your dream? I pray you will be inspired and encouraged to pursue all God has for you. Now, more than ever, we need people of faith to go, do and become the light for the world.