Putting On Christ

I am very much enjoy the pace of my current life. Given the quarantine, my unemployment and me saying goodbye to my medical career I have a lot of time on my hands. Don’t worry I stay busy. I am not idle in the least. Given my abundant free time I have very much enjoyed starting my days with a cup of coffee, prayer and worship. God makes things new each day. Similar each day is a new opportunity for us to “put on Christ” and walk by the lords commands and ways rather than our own selfish desires. By starting my day with prayer and worship I find it easier to “put on Christ”. Similar I find life more joy filled, peaceful and overall positive. It does not mean I do not encounter difficulties but it seems like I am better equip to deal with the difficulties in ways that are glorifying to God.

As much as I have enjoyed this time period not all seasons of my life have been this way. While in residency I often had a jam packed schedule. Some rotations I had to be at the hospital at 4 am thus my bedtime was between 7 and 8 pm. I was stressed at the max. I was exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. Let’s just say I did not have the time or energy to start my day with a cup of coffee, prayer and worship like I do right now. Life was hard and in my exhaustion I found it challenging to “put on Christ” when all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and sleep for a week. You do not need to be a medical resident to experience the challenges of the demands of daily life. Whether it be work, children or something else our lives often have seasons that are just busy. In these times it can be challenging to “put on Christ”

But we can “put on Christ” even in our busyness. For it does not take an hour of quiet time with the lord to “put on Christ.” The busy times in our life can sometimes be the most fruitful. When you are exhausted and frustrated with a situation and you wish you could just yell at your boss you can chose to “put on Christ” and respond with love, respect and patience. When you come across someone else struggling and you think I do not really feel like dealing with that right now you can choose to be a good friend who listens and encourages someone else you are “putting on Christ.”. Similarly it only takes 10 seconds to say a little prayer. It only take 10 seconds to read and meditate on a little scripture to help turn your eyes back on Jesus. It only takes 10 seconds to acknowledge you may be busy and exhausted but God’s provision has never left you.

But I am also reminded that Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

If life has become burdensome and you are at your limit it is ok to come to Jesus and let him carry you. It is ok to let some things in life go so that you can better receive God’s love and provision. For sometimes we need to let other people “put on Christ” on our behalf so that we to can receive God’s love and kindness. If you are at your limit maybe God wants you to let some things go and let some other people in who are willing to “put on Christ” for you.

Authority of the Bible

In most all Christian denomination there is the commonly held belief that the Bible is the word of God. As God’s Word the Bible is the ultimate authority and without fault. There is much history regarding how the Bible came into existence and there has been much study, research to prove the authenticity and credibility of the Bible. I am far from an expert on this subject. I have read about these topics over the years and although interesting it has never been something I invested a lot of time in.

I have struggled like many with questions regarding the Bible. For there are many things in the Bible that can be hard to swallow. Similarly there are many questions or arguments that attack the Bible and can be rather convincing. To me, I absolutely believe that God gave us the Bible. For us humans needed a written document. I believe he is the ultimate authority and sovereign over all things thus he through human hands created what we now know as the Bible. I believe the Bible holds the words of God and thus God’s authority.

But I also believe the Bible is no different than any other text book. It is not made of special backing. It is not made of majic paper. The ink making the read letters of Jesus are no different than the ink in my red pin. There have been many times in my life I could not read the Bible. I could attempt to read it but was unable to get anything from it. Sometimes for years at a time. Similar there have been times I listened to the Bible being read to me and could not hear or internalize anything that was said to me. Similarly there have been times I read the Bible and felt like God was speaking to me. The words were like sweet nectar pouring life into me. They have comforted me in some of the darkest hours. So what was the difference? Sometimes I tired to read this word of God and I may as well staring blankly at the newspaper. It was nothing. Then other times I read he Bible and it was so evident that I was reading God’s inspired word and ultimate authority. The Bible never changed. It was the same Bible. What was different was me.

I am dyslexic and have a mood disorder. This combination means I struggle with reading and concentration issues. Especially when I am not feeling well. These conditions very much contribute to my ability to ready, comprehend and internalize the Bible. But despite my mental disabilities I have managed to obtain a masters and doctorate degree. So these mental disabilities although changing at times has not stopped me from being able to succeed in studies. Why is my bible study so hindered at certain times in my life?

My whole point in saying all this is that it takes the Holy Spirit within us to take the words of the Bible and make it alive, living and transforming. We need the Holy Spirit to make the Bible Gods word and ultimate authority. Otherwise the Bible is just a really thick book collecting dust on your shelf. I do not spend a lot of time memorizing all the reason why the Bible is without fault. I don’t need to prove that the Bible is the word of God. For when the Holy Spirit makes scripture come to life, God’s word is so evident it does not need convincing.

Release #20- Broken Girl Series

One day the broken girl decides to take a walk with the Good Shepherd. She happens upon a house. The sign says this house belongs to the Good Shepherd. The broken girl is intrigued. She has read about the Good Shepard’s house but she has never felt like she belonged. She longs to belong to the Good Shepherd’s house. She takes a peak inside. She sees the polar bear, the lion and the tiger. She is a bit afraid. What if they try to eat her? But they seem nice and this bear, tiger and lion are not like the previous ones she has meet for they love the Good Shepherd and submit to Heavenly Father’s will. They invite the broken girl to join them in a game. She likes this game. She slowly starts to feel safe with this polar bear, lion and tiger. She like this Good Shepherd’s house. But the shepherd dog does not like this house. He is trying to pull her away. The broken girl has to make a choice. She can go with the shepherd dog or she can stay in the Good Shepherd’s house. The choice is easy. She will stay but despite her choice she still finds herself on the outside. She is still playing cards with the polar bear, lion and tiger but she outside the house. Maybe one day she will sit at the table with them. Maybe one day she will get to belong to this Good Shepherd’s house.

What is your field look like?

I recently visited my family and my father asked me to accompany him to the ranch to feed the cattle. I went with him on this little morning excursion. After feeding the cattle we drove through the beautiful pasture full of green grass. The sky was clear, blue and there was a nice breeze. It was a beautiful scene. As we drove my father stopped the truck. I looked around wondering why we had stopped. He pointed out a weed that had grown in this beautiful pasture. He proceeded to get a hoe out of the back of the truck and remove this weed. He said he did not want God to think he was lazy.

Jesus told a parable in the Bible about soils. I often think of my inner self as a field. Once we receive the gospel it is like seeds being planted. The hope is that they grow and produce a wonderful crop. The crop is the fruit of the spirit. But so often our fields get weeds. These weeds can easily produce there own fruit. But instead of fruit of the spirit it is producing something we do not want.

Our inner fields can be a well tended field or it can be a wild field that has been left unattended. God is our farmer and Jesus is the one that attends to our inner field so that it is well attended to. But you are responsible for allowing Jesus to attend to your field. You have to ask him. You have to abide in him. You have to go to him by partaking in the body of Christ. If you do not do these things you may have a field but it will be a wild field with weeds, thistles and producing the wrong kinds of fruit.

I wish all of our inner fields were as beautiful as this pasture I drove through with my father. For it was a well kept and cared for pasture. My father is good at what he does. Jesus is even better at caring for our inner fields but we have to give him the key to our gate and allow him access or he won’t be able to care for our fields. Who holds the key to the gate of your inner field? Jesus holds mine.

Do you Worship the Creation or the Creator?

I think it is human nature to want to worship something. It is ingrained in us as human beings. We tend to worship what we love. For instance if I love a sport and get fixated on a sport it is easy to start worshiping the sport. If I love humans then it is easy to start worshipping humans. For it is out of our hearts that we worship. A good measure of what you are worshipping is what you spent the most time devoting yourself to. Similarly a good measure of what you are worshiping is what you love, adore and sacrifice for.

Something I recently realized I have never meet a human that was not worshiping something. Similarly many of us humans, even people professing the Christian Faith worship God’s creation or human creation. They are not worshipping the creator. No they are worshipping the creation. When we see the beauty of God’s creation it should facilitate in us the worship of the creator. For which is greater, the creation or the creator? When you see a beautiful piece of art do you give praise, honor and glory to the art piece or the artist? God’s creation is similar. When we seen the beauty of nature it should inspire us to worship Jesus and our Heavenly Father rather than nature itself.

If you are worshiping the creation then you have lost sight of all truth. You have become a blind, confused, and a wondering fool. For God’s creation although beautiful is fallen, imperfect and fails. But the creator is perfect, almighty, everlasting, never fades and never fails. I will not worship imperfection. Thus I will not worship things of this world. But I will worship the one true God who created the heavens and the earth. For he is the only “being” worthy of all eternal praise and glory. What are you worshipping?

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” Romans 1:20-23