Monday, August 30

Endurance, not just a thought

‎"The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself." 2 Timothy 2:11–13 (ESV)

I wonder if I’ll ever be completely surprised anymore at the human tendency to destroy or distort God’s missionary statement to the disciples and the requirements of a life lived for Him, because of Him and in obedience to Him. I wonder if I’ll be less impressed with the grand cathedrals of worship, the multi-campus churches and the millions made in book endorsements so that jet planes can whisk the speakers away to grand events in the industrialized world…..with a token tossing to the third world problems.

I wonder if I’ll ever be heartened by the church stepping into the lives of those in its congregation, without hesitation or reservation, without concern for the funds to pay for the ‘rental’ hall where worship is ‘temporarily’ held so that movement into the lives of those still in the darkness, freshly in the light or struggling in the discipleship of Truth can see the real weight of Love, Grace and Mercy before the black line of the ledger page.

I wonder if I’ll see those who are called to shepherd, called to teach or called to replicate Christ in the congregations, the communities and the families that surround each and every church will be taken under the wing of those who are ‘trained’ and leading to be discipled and replicated in the community they are called to serve rather than told to step into a formal educational cost of Seminary.
I wonder if I’ll ever stop being frustrated.

I know that I’ll live this life disappointed; for dealing in a relationship with those who are as human and as broken as I am is a messy affair and ripe for the disappointment of love surrendered, friendships suspended and relational community broken due to the human agenda of self-protection. I know I’ll live this life sorrowed; for being willing to step out into the screwed up lives that are mirrored in my own means that the seasons of relating will end and life will resume, albeit slowly, but will resume. I know that I’ll live this life struggling; for in the real attempt to live as Christ has shown us all to live, I am fighting an enemy that is tailoring his attacks for me personally.

I will fall, I will fail and I will drag myself up again.

I wonder if I’ll ever stop being frustrated.

I am tired of dealing with messy humanity, even as I stare in the mirror and include myself in its immensity. I am wearied of hearing you must do this, you must have that and then we’ll honor you with this title rather than hearing, let’s sit down and see where God has anointed you with the Spirit and then tailor make a disciplining season for you to get you where God would have you serve Him in the Kingdom.

I am sick of hearing; we’d love to help, but we’ve got to go to family on this day…..I can’t because of this….I will pray…..rather than suspending our lives for the benefit of another and letting no barrier, no boundary that is self-imposed prevent us from doing so. Family coming over, show them how you live your faith. Can’t do it because of this, then do it because of that. If you love to help, then helping becomes the destination, not the motivation.

If we have died for Him, He promises us life.

To know that life, we endure, we struggle, we fight, and we are faithful in the obedience to which He calls us.

We endure to reign in the world He will renew.

We proclaim Him to have Him stand before God and proclaim us as His.

We love as He loved.

We live as He lived.

And We die, again and again, as He died.

Enduring all things as He endured all things for us, for the prize, for the goal and for the Father.

Not just giving lip service to the ideal,

but providing the muscle for its impact.

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