Sacrifice Defined

September 12, 2015 at 12:45 pm (Devotionals, Remodeling the Mind, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Thanksgiving as a sacrifice…what does this look like?

Sacrifice means it cost us something to give; whatever the thing may be. Something that is hard, to the point of rendering one destitute. Lets look at the widow Yeshua (Jesus) praises in Luke (21:1-4) as she was poor, she likely had no way to know how she would pay for food or her bills, but God moved her to give all that remained of her money. Look at the depth of this story.

The widow knew the church (the body of people in the temple and it’s leaders) was corrupt. She could see very well that the money given to it was hardly being used to help the poor such as she, and likely most the people she knew. Yet, she obeyed, trusting God, not the church, giving her money to God, not the church. The sacrificial give here? Her own perspectives, way of thinking – rationalizing, she instead thanked God for what she had to give and gave it all to Him.

Verse 4: “…but she, out of her poverty, has given all she had to live on.”

She could have fallen back on the hardship of her widowhood, made her circumstances the terms by which she negotiated her thinking and giving. I’m sure times we’re hard. Instead she thanked the God who gives and takes away. The sacrifice of praise, even in circumstances that feel hard – don’t initiate praise inside; she chose instead to see her standing as unchanged in His sight. The outward circumstance may look different but the reality of her standing in the Kingdom was what she chose to live by. The sacrifice of giving up our own perspectives and praising God instead of pleading for help and staying in the sorrow – this is the greatest and most costly sacrifice we will make to God. It is most precious in His sight.
So she gave up everything she “owned” both in the physical world and in the inner world where transformation is done. We often make the people in the stories of the Bible inhuman, meaning above those human responses, just because they did indeed rise above them in the stories. The widow thought and felt just like we do, rationalized as best she could, as we do, but her knowing God, changed her choices. Isn’t this what it says?

John 17:3
And eternal life is this: to know You, the One True God, and Him whom You sent, Yeshua the Messiah.

Most don’t sacrifice with thanksgiving, because they don’t know God. Knowing about Him is not the same as knowing Him.

Do we teach our children how to do this? How young are they when they are exposed to the concept? When they scrape their knees and we tend to them with love, do we then pray with them saying,

“God we praise you for scraped knees, we don’t need to know exactly why they are given, but we trust You. May You open our eyes to look for You the most in painful circumstances. We welcome all opportunities for You to show Your love, healing and power as greater than anything on earth we experience and see. Thank You, Father, for scraped knees and the opportunity to praise You. Amen”

This contradiction to all our senses to think and act on such sacrifice is profound. Some may call it extreme, crazy and taking things “too far”. Some may, some do, always have, always will…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Yeshua praised the Father for what He was doing when Lazarus died. He waited to go, I bet He didn’t want to, but He waited till The Father told Him to go. Sacrifice is always what we give up of ourselves for another. We trade our desires, wants, needs, thoughts, perspectives, feelings etc…for God’s instead of our own. And we know that they will be strikingly different, as Isaiah was faithful to write it down – “My ways are not your ways, nor My thoughts your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8)

So read the first part of the Psalms above again.

“Whoever offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors Me…”

Then the next part comes into focus.

“…and to him who goes the right way, I will show the Salvation of God.”

The sacrifice of praise in all ways that seem contradictory, hard, and awkward…this sacrifices our view, our opinions, our perspective (which we know is always but a speck of the whole picture) and our lean or bent; this is what this Psalms is speaking of. Without the first, the second is impossible.

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Show us our Father, open our eyes, for great is the need for this lesson to be applied to us, cemented in our hearts. We depend on You to teach us, as we know this action takes You, Your Holy Spirit, Your Word to enable us in action. Our lean is to complain, fall back on excuses, run towards a “help me” prayer (though we know that we need help, and this is not wrong) instead of trusting that You are working as hard for us when the hits come as when all is well. To say, “Praise You God” for the broke down car, loss of a loved one, hurt and pain of those who misuse, abuse and mistreat us – this is not our first response, and without You it shall never be. We want to be like Your Son, our Master, and be able to turn our cheeks to those who smack them, to give without looking and calculating whether we have it “in our opinion” or not. To simply obey, without hesitation, praising You the whole way, knowing nothing will happen that You can not provide for. ..this is what we pray.

It’s easy to think of sacrifice horizontally (with people). But vertically? What is sacrifice for God? How could it be anything other than our ways, and our thoughts? It’s easy to praise Him, when things are well, or even in the “norm”, but in hard times? To actually say “thank You.” when we are in a tough spot, experiencing great pain, hurt and anger? What else could it be but the sacrifice being spoken of so often in the Word. Is this not what we watched our Lord do, to our own perplexity? That even, steady, consistent example of His inner world (very human) completely sold out to trusting the Father. Oh how all who watched Him, walked with Him, knew Him, we’re touched by Him wanted this that He had. Peace.
Those who walk with, watch, know, and are touched by Him still do. They bare the hallmarks of it as well, as it begins to change them from the inside out. It’s more than a simple “I trust You, Lord”, it goes way down deep and pulls up a “Hallelujah, glory glory glory to the Most High”. Joining the constant refrain of Heaven (read all the refrains in Revelation) at times when doubt, fear, frustration, anger, and resentment lurk around looking for the opportunity to steal from this joining in with heavenly discourse. Do we remember how our enemy is described? A thief, searching for someone to devour, rob joy, pull down and snuff out the light? It’s not his delight to do this because it brings us down. No! It’s because it steals from the glory of God, which resides in the praises of His people. Not just the kind of praise of a thousand voices ringing in song to Him, but most importantly the praise that comes from a child whose tendency is to become self absorbed focusing with earthly eyes; instead – those eyes track with the eyes of the Savior and begin to lift up with heart, mind and soul a “thank You” and chorus of “glory” that heaven itself turns towards and joins. Sacrificial praise, points us to the Way, and we can not help but see the Salvation of God. He has and always will ‘out-sacrifice’ us! Glory to God, in the highest! And Shalom – peace to His people on earth!
Selah – Amen!

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♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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Cleansing

July 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm (Mile Stones, Poems) (, , , , )

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I thank you Abba, for the steady rain, that washes me so clean.
As fresh, these tears fall down my cheeks in losses many streams.

It’s hard to know, how these empty arms
Could still have more to give
In offering back what was never mine
But what You freely gave

Regret subsides, and trust inflows
As You right my wayward heart
To look to You, with confidence
And watch You do Loves part

Here, I hold her out to You
From whence she truly came
I beg Thee Father never let go
For the glory of Your name.

I thank Thee Abba
For loving me so and holding me through the pain
You know better, You are all I have
And You are in the rain.

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♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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Quote Note

May 5, 2015 at 3:45 pm (Remodeling the Mind, Thoughts to Ponder) (, , , , , , , , , )

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♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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Chasing Chesed (Mercy)

November 12, 2014 at 1:37 am (Mile Stones, Remodeling the Mind, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , )

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Matthew 5:7,10

How blessed are those who show mercy! For they will be shown (given eyes to see, a heart to give) mercy.

How blessed are those who are persecuted because they pursue righteousness (chase mercy)! For the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (Now and forever)

On a tombstone somewhere in the holy land the inscription reads that the one for which the grave serves as a resting place; that they spent much of life under the oppression of persecution but after having been freed from Auschwitz-Birkenau they spent the rest of their life chasing Chesed.  Chesed is the Hebrew word for mercy, release from judgement, forgiveness granted without delay, and without need for retribution.

It strikes me as something of a mystery that one who suffers and could thereby live their life in bitterness or reclusion due to such torture at the hand of mankind’s cruelty; would spend their life chasing mercy.

Well, it’s not so much a mystery to me because of Yeshua (Jesus) who Is Chesed. But it stops one in their tracks and makes you want to take notice at least a little, right? My guess is much like one did with Yeshua Himself – still does.

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We spend so much time trying to dissect and minimize our sufferings. Countless hours in therapy, and so much wasted breath pushing air in and out attempting to discern “who errored” ourselves, others or even God when suffering happens to us. I find this usually points to the severity of the suffering. Not to minimize anyone’s suffering, but here in the USA, we have very little concept of it really. Mostly the suffering that is not called suffering in Biblical terms but really just the way of life; loss of life, financial hardships, illness, etc. The suffering of such as those who are beaten repeatedly and made to slave in working conditions that would and is designed to kill even the hardiest human. .. this is an American unknown. The Auschwitz kind of suffering leaves no room for one to assign blame and manipulate how they can use their victimology to evade life more. They dont expect to see the “end” of it. Something happens inside the womb of this kind of suffering that gives birth to a new creature much like Yeshua speaks of in being born again. Chasing mercy. .. chasing… running after… the art of forgiving. Looking for places to forgive; people to forgive or asking the Father to forgive…every minute of every day. Instead of looking for offense, looking for how ones rights are being violated, usurped, taken. What do we really have a “right” to? Given by God Almighty?

Mercy.
Mercy to receive from Him.
And if received to be given away just as He has given.

Waking up everyday to “put on our running shoes” to give mercy, live mercy, be merciful, receive mercy from God. Chasing Chesed. Not walking towards it… but running. Like a child chases a butterfly until they catch it. Having caught it they cup it into their hands and run to show mom or dad…”Look! Look what I caught!”

My life has seen such an absence of even normal life suffering. My loved ones have mostly died of old age. The ones that haven’t I was not really close to or did not know well due to the fact that I was so young when they died. Illness has not found its lethal teeth among my family or friends. Hardships in life all normal and mostly consequential. Hard, yes but hardly the Auschwitz kind. Yet all this in review and pulled under a scrutinized thumb has still produced a chasing Chesed heart in me. How can this be?

There’s a stigma in christianity that seems to go like this. The more one suffers the better, stronger and more holy they are. I think this is sideways a bit. It’s what we do with whatever suffering God sets before someone that dictates how strong He becomes in them. Putting suffering on a scales in human measure is tantamount to judgement. Everything that causes one to reach out and say “I can’t do this without You God!” – this is what comes under the heading of character building, persevering, soul climbing out of this world and into Abba’s lap stuff. Degrees to suffering is pointless. Throw out the scales. God is the only One who can measure.

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What makes you chase Chesed?
What makes you want to give it out like candy? What makes you yearn to forgive and see others forgiven? What makes you cast away any concept of offense? What makes you willing to give up on having “rights” instead of protesting to have more?

For within the bound of this kind of thinking; sufferings have a new name – Joy. Not happy, smiley, warm and fuzzy, giddy emotions. But deep well, beyond the tears that cascade from your soul because He lives – Joy. His will be done – Joy. The Lord gives and He takes – Joy. It is as He wills – Joy. Nothing is loss – Joy. His presence is all that I need – Joy. Indeed we can be wretched and twisted in pain and approach the Throne of heaven with this Joy. Not pastey, grin and bear it, put on a good face, pull yourself up by the bootstrap foolishness. But a real human being full of all its strengths and weakness, scorning the shame of its fallen nature but rising up with Yeshua from the grave that wins the victory – humbly but boldly crawling into the lap of the Father for every need and want and desire. Joy. Chasing Chesed is the key to this mystery.

These are the shoes of readiness spoken of in the armory closet we are instructed to put on every day. Not preaching the Gospel… but living it. Chasing Chesed.

What do you chase?

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Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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Watch “Lisa Bevill – Ride” on YouTube

September 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm (Songs) (, , , , )

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Lisa Bevill – Ride: http://youtu.be/5I1VcZd-KZs

For all those in need of healing. ..

Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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