All Posts Tagged: David
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!
Who am I? To answer this question we often resort to the input and influence of others: parents, siblings, extended family, friends, to name but a few. Furthermore, each of us believes: “I have all the data to answer the question.” Here’s the problem: all of our perceptions are flawed because they rely on both limited and faulty data. No one, including yourself, has the “full scope” about you!
So, are we adrift on an ocean of confusion, with no shore in sight on which to establish a solid foundation of self identity? The answer is a resounding “NO!” Note the words of Bonhoeffer. “Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!” David echoed this affirmation. “You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me.” (Psalm 139:1)
Suppose you’re going to build a house. You have some idea of the design and size. The first order of business is to have a blueprint drawn. Perhaps you’ll pass through several revisions before what has been in your head is now on paper. The builder you hire will follow your ideas … now on paper. Note: the finished product will be a reflection of what you envisioned.
Now, here’s a mind blowing revelation! “Now the Word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I started to put you together in your mother, I knew you.’.” (Note: the word “know” in Hebrews is not mere mental cognition. Rather, it connotes intimate connection. EG: this word is used for sexual intercourse.) When did the Creator begin to think of Jeremiah? Before “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
YOU ARE NOT AN AFTERTHOUGHT OF THE CREATOR!
ETERNALLY, FATHER HAD YOU IN MIND.
THEN, HE PUT THE BLUEPRINT FOR YOU ON PAPER …
WAITING … WAITING … WAITING …
FOR THE DAY YOU WERE CONCEIVED.
However, for the following, this affirmation will most likely be viewed as preposterous nonsense: those who have experienced little, relational connection in childhood, those who have been abandoned by parents, those who were belittled and denigrated by family and friends, and those of us who have been verbally, physically, emotionally and sexual abused.
Though the declaration is dreadfully problematic
I encourage you to hang on!
Because this blurred snapshot is
but one in the whole album called YOU!
“The brave soldiers have fallen,
they were killed in battle.
Jonathan lies dead in the hills.
“I grieve for you, my brother Jonathan;
how dear you were to me!
How wonderful was your love for me,
better even than the love of women.
2 Samuel 1:25-26
Psychologist, writer and innovator, Geoff Warburton has spent the last 25 years studying love and loss. Geoff challenges conventional apathy about grief and loss by offering an approach that evokes curiosity, openness and compassion. His approach synthesizes Eastern wisdom traditions, in-depth psychology and common sense. The emphasis of his message is towards thriving after loss — and not merely surviving. He presents a perspective that challenges Western thought by saying there is no ‘right’ way to grieve and advocating that grief can be ‘the ride of your life’. Working from both his personal and professional experiences of bereavement, he goes so far as to say that loss through bereavement can become an adventure to be had, rather than a problem to be solved.
Let us bow down in worship. Let us kneel before our Maker. Psalm 95:6
The Manual of Life begins by identifying The Manufacturer! “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
The Maker’s fingerprints are on everything! However, His crowning masterpiece is humankind: “God created human beings godlike, reflecting His own nature.” (Genesis 1:27)
So, you are NOT the result of a cosmic crapshoot! Neither are you a mere ape-upgrade! “People of God, is He not your Father, your Creator, Who formed you?” (Deuterononmy 32:6)
YOU are a child of the Creator Father!
The Corvette is the first American sports car. It originated in the mind of Harley Earl in 1951. Shortly thereafter his mental blue print took shape in an actual-size clay model. To one of His kids the Maker said: “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
You were intricately and meticulously designed. “A fertilized egg is about the size of a pin head. Yet, it contains information equivalent to about six billion DNA ‘chemical letters.’ This is enough information to fill 1000 books, 500 pages thick with print so small you would need a microscope to read it!.” (The Origin of the Universe, p 1)
“You are God’s masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10) … nothing less than a work of art! You may neither think nor feel that way about yourself; but remember, the Maker does not make junk!
Comedian Billy Crystal coined the line: “Darling, you look absolutely marvelous!” In reflecting about His Father’s creativity David said this about himself: “You formed me in my mother’s womb. Body and soul, I am marvelously made!” (Psalm 139:14)
The Maker designed you for fulfillment. “You will feel the greatest pleasure when who God made you to be is fully developed and expressed!”(About You, p 29)
The people of Capernaum heard that Jesus was at home. Jesus was still teaching when four people came, carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. Because of the crowd, they could not get him to Jesus. So they made a hole in the roof above Him and let the man down in front of everyone. When Jesus saw how much faith they had, He said to the crippled man, “Get up! Pick up your mat and go on home.” The man got right up. He picked up his mat and went out while everyone watched in amazement. (Mark 2:1-12)
“Four people came, carrying a paralyzed man.” There are times when we’re spiritually paralyzed, unable to get ourselves to Jesus. Consider David’s words: “I am sinking in deep mud, and there is no solid ground; I am out in deep water, and the waves are about to drown me. I am worn out from calling for help, and my throat is aching. I have strained my eyes, looking for Your help.”
Jeremiah also described the condition: “He shuts me in so I’ll never get out, manacles my hands, shackles my feet. Even when I cry out and plead for help, He locks up my prayers and throws away the key. He sets up blockades with quarried limestone. He’s got me cornered.”
And, the great apostle Paul said this to the church at Corinth: “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death.”
At such times we need others to carry us to Jesus. We need others to bear our burdens—“Carry one another’s heavy loads. If you do, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” This is the time and place wherein Christian fellowship is tested. Will we do what Jesus did?
This is the story and testimony of John Tesh; yes, THE John Tesh. Listen carefully because someday YOU may be spiritually paralyzed!
Suddenly their eyes were opened to a reality previously unknown. They sensed their vulnerability and rushed to hide their naked bodies, stitching fig leaves into crude loincloths. (Genesis 3:7)
God pieced together the skins of animals and made clothes for Adam and Eve to wear. (Genesis 3:21)
Adam and Eve sensed things were not right. They were dis-eased; but they didn’t have a clue about its deadly nature. So, they resorted to bandages, “fig leaves”, to hide their brokenness. However, the Great Physician, knowing theirs’ was a “sickness unto death” (Soren Kierkegaard), fabricated “skins of animals”. Fig leaves and animal skins—sounds mythological! What’s going on? What’s the difference?
It’s somewhat obscure: God slaughtered animals to acquire the skins. Apparently, the best therapy for the couple’s dis-ease required a bloody sacrifice. If that seems barbaric, consider this: we’re inundated with violence and blood via movies, video games, and television. Seemingly we have a rather large appetite for such.
Blood is called the “liquid of life.” Oxygen fuels the operation of every organ in the body, especially the brain. Blood is the carrier of this indispensable chemical. Two of the four vital signs relate to blood transportation. So, modern medicine has validated the Creator’s assertion: “The life of the body is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11).
After the Jews were delivered from Egyptian bondage God wrote a prescription for right-ness: “I have given you the blood of sacrifice for making atonement for your lives through the life that is in it” (Leviticus 17:11). “I have given you….” The medication is a Gift. “I have given you the blood …” Remember: blood means life. So, God’s medicine is the Gift of Life.
“I have given you the blood of sacrifice….” The Gift of Life is costly. No health insurance is able to cover the cost. “The blood of sacrifice” is “for making atonement for your lives.” A drug is given FOR a precise disorder. Ambien is prescribed for sleep. What’s “atonement”? The Hebrew word is extremely rich; but here’s the core meaning: to cover by payment. Here’s an example. You go to a concert with a friend, but realize that you’ve forgotten your wallet. Your friend pays for your ticket saying, “I’ve got you covered.” David expressed it this way: “Blessed is the one whose sins are covered” (Psalm 32:1). Isaiah beautifully describes the results: “Even though your sins are bright red, they will be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
So, for the second time in Genesis 3 the Good News is announced. Are you getting the message? The Creator’s heart of compassion is to HEAL not HURT! Through Jesus’ crucifixion Father’s prescription for life is available “free of charge.” At the Cross God has declared to humankind: “I have given you the blood of sacrifice for making atonement for your lives through the life that is in it.” Have you picked up your medication yet?