I don't ever want to be well-adjusted to injustice. I don't every want my heart to anticipate a negative response to others. I don't ever want to get too big for my britches.
But how do I prevent these?
I've always been a Pollyanna. I've cared too much, hurt too deeply, and cried too loud.
Recently, the pain has become overwhelming.
How do I prevent walls built around myself? Walls that cause me to become calloused to the injustice of our time? Or more personally my own hands building a wall to prevent me from seeing the injustice as nothing but normal. Or as has happened with me when I have shown injustice to others that are living out their lives in front of me: dulled to what is being done. Dulled to what I did.
These happen in our lives. They are sometimes things we hide, sometimes things we confess. The latter is always the best.
These injustices splatter nightly on the 5:00 news. When they do, I climb into my recliner, I curl up on a sofa. I force my mind to shut down, to protect, to wall up. I force myself to disconnect. Who can handle all the injustice that we hear?
The fraternities that video hate. The murders of children in schools. The rape, the abuse, the addiction. The drug addictions that flourish in our country.
But closing my eyes to them, building a wall around my heart, ignoring the problem is not where I can live as a follower of Jesus Christ. So, where do I go?
Mercy. What does mercy mean anyway?
Merriam-Webster defines it as "A compassion or forbearance shown especially to one that has done a wrong." I get pretty nitty gritty... to me it is kindness. Love kindness.
I have been wronged in my life. I have sought to find mercy for those that have wronged me. Sometimes I have been successful in this and sometimes I have not. Where did I find the ability to be kind? And was there a place I found the mercy available for me to give and just didn't give it? Where can I find it again?
I've been told humility isn't thinking less of myself, but instead thinking of myself less. (Rick Warren)
That is a really good rule of thumb. But how do I do that?
These three character traits are not simply written here haphazardly. No. There is a reason that we find them clumped together. There is a reason we set them apart. There is a reason people tattoo these words on their foot, or stencil them on their wall. Why pastors preach them, and wise men quote them.
It is because God requires this from me, from you, from us all.
Micah 6:8- NLT
"The LORD has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you; to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
He requires it. This isn't negotiable.
Within the very essence of the requirement is the recognition that it is humanly impossible to do. Only through Jesus Christ can we do any of this.
So how do I align this?
Only in reading the word of God, and applying it, can I find a place that protects me from becoming the person who turns a blind eye to the injustices that are so common in our world.
Only in reading the word of God, and applying it, can I find a place that protects me from becoming the person who responds on automatic with a negative attitude about others and life and even myself.
Only in reading the word of God, and applying it, can I think of myself less.
Because as John 1:1 says.
"In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Jesus is the WORD. Feeding on the manna of the word he left us is how we get the ability to do anything good. And one way to do this is to read the Bible.
I fall before the great God who IS and ask Him to teach me. I will fail. But, with an honest heart and a deep desire to learn and serve, I am able to put one foot in front of the other and walk into these requirements.
I constantly pray this prayer:
Father, protect me from myself.
I pray that prayer. Give me what I need to negotiate this difficult life in a godly manner. And the next step to take after that? Being honest and telling God that I don't want to be that kind of person. Help me LORD.
And then I apply HIS grace, the grace that He gave me at the cross, to myself. Because I fail. I fail.
I fall down. I get up. I fall down. I get up.
And the most wonderful treasure I have found in my over half-a-century life in this fallen world:
He reaches down and covers me every time.
Where do you go?
Where do you find the strength to meet the requirement?
How do you live life doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly?
Please share how you do it in the comments below.
And we ask you join us in this journey of life in Christ.
Because He is the I AM, i am
Robyn & Biff are happy to invite you to join us and Read the Bible with Robyn Cox
Paul in his letter to the Ephesians:
"Though I am the least deserving of all God's people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ."
These words written from the hand of Paul, a man who was against Jesus Christ and anyone following Jesus Christ until Paul stood on a road blinded by Christ's glory. (After Jesus Christ had been crucified.)
Do you hear the open and vulnerable admittance? The least deserving. Privileged to tell about the endless treasures available in Christ.
He goes on to say because of the death and resurrection of Christ we (all of us) can come boldly and confidently into God's presence.
Stop and Think about that:
Through our vulnerability we can come boldly and confidently.
I always find that reassuring. I need not puff myself up before coming before God. I need not concern myself about what I've accomplished or the lack thereof. I can come in my vulnerability.
I can come shattered. I can come disheartened. But I can also come when I have found His grace and am walking in it. I can come and find relationship with God no matter what season I am in. No matter what my life looks like, or doesn't look like.
What do I find when I take this step of vulnerable courage to stand before God with Jesus as my covering? He makes himself available to me.
"From his glorious, unlimited resources he empowers us with inner strength through his Spirit." vs. 16.
As I trust in him, he makes his home in my heart.
Can you just hear that in a song? I can. (oops! I got sidetracked there for a second! Praising God in song.)
I find a great comfort trusting in him. By trusting in him I offer an invitation to him: Come, abide (make his home) in my heart. Then, I am rooted into God's love. And God's love is deep and wide. Like all trees given depth and width for root growth the roots remain strong through the storms.
This love of God is too much for me to understand. And in truth it is too much for anyone to understand. Anyone who says they understand this love does not know the unfathomable love of God. Because the definition of unfathomable is 'incapable of being fully explored or understood.'
That means that no one understands it. No not one.
Isn't that where TRUST comes in? And in the TRUSTING Him, He gives us understanding that this love we cannot understand still measures wider, longer, higher and deeper than any other love.
When this happens I, you, any who "experience the love of Christ will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." vs 19 ⏤ words to ponder.
Love so full of life. Love directly from God to me, to you.
20. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
21. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Quotes taken from Ephesians 3 NLT
So, I ask you: Do you really know that because of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection you can come with boldness and confidence before God?
The Son of God, Jesus Christ. His conquering death gives us entrance into relationship with God.
I encourage you, if you have not before, do just that. Go to Him through that blood that was spilt for you. Ask him to come and cover you with redemption love.
Open His word and let Him speak to you.
Join us if you would like. We are in relationship with the God Most High every day. We would love you to join us and be encouraged in your reading and reflecting of the Word.
Because He is the I AM, i am
Biff and Robyn invite you to come and join us at Read the Bible With Robyn Cox.
Reading, Reflection, and Bible Community.
Have you ever come across a document on your computer, or a journal entry that you didn't complete?
Recently, I did.
This was written in 2005. Like I said, it is not complete. But gave me food for thought and made me realize how good it was that I began this type of thinking. I don't claim this to be any big theological study. These are simply things that I wrote down while I was pondering.
You see, I was a single mom from 1990 until 2015...
By approaching life with the idea of learning how to be husbanded by God (Yes, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) I allowed myself to follow a train of thought I had not wrapped my head completely around: how to be loved as His CHILD:
I decided to share the first page of these thoughts. Remember it is a rough draft and it is my ramblings. But, if you find something good from them, may God be praised.
My thoughts, 2005
I want to know more about who God is so I am setting about to study the Gospels on my own with no one else telling me anything about them. I want to know God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I want to get to know Him like I would get to know a husband. I want to know my husband!
Jesus’ Actions that Reveal the Father:
These verses have been talked about and talked about with scholars. What do I receive from them?
First, when I meditate on these scriptures the magnitude of their Reality settles over my soul.
“In the beginning;” when - in the beginning; where - in the beginning; how - in the beginning; why – in the beginning.
All these questions are answered by this phrase.
In the beginning before time was known, before place was known, before process was known, before purpose was known there was the Word.
It was with God and was God.
Reading on I begin to understand that John the Baptist was created to bear witness of the light of the world. He bore witness to Jesus. He says in verse 14 that “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying “this was He of whom I said ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.”
With these two scriptures coming together I see John’s witness of Jesus. – John (Jesus’ cousin) John born before Jesus on earth is stated as being in existence before him.
So, in verse 1 it says that the world was made by the Word. Then in vs. 10 it says that the world was made by Jesus. This means that Jesus and the Word are one and the same.
That explains why John states that Jesus existed before him. Jesus is creator of time, space, universe, earth, ALL!
Apart from Him nothing came into being. In Him was life and life was the light of men.
This reminds me of the darkness of death. Once death occurs in a human body, there is no light in the eyes. The body is dark.
Light shone in the darkness but some people do not comprehend. They have life making them live, breathe, walk around, etc., but they fail to receive LIFE (Jesus) as Reality and the darkness takes over, leading them to death in eternity. Jesus is life.
He was in the world – He didn’t come to the world, the world was made through Him, and did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. (the Jews). This is rejection. Jesus was rejected by His own. That did not prevent Him from reaching out to others.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12
--- God gave me the right to become a child of His. He gave that right to me, because I have received Him and believe in His name.
I have received.
HE HAS GIVEN ME THE RIGHT TO BECOME A CHILD OF HIS.
Receiving Him and believing in His name. “For of his fullness we have all received, and grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
That is a little bit how my mind sometimes works. I have to go through and think through the scriptures.
Do you do that? Tell me how you read through the bible. I am always interested in hearing how others are finding Him within the pages of his words to us.
I find so much out when I simply ponder the Bible.
Thank you for joining me today through a meandering of my past.
May you be blessed.
Because He IS the I AM, i am
Biff and I are thankful for your visit here.
Come over to the site and join us any time. The links are available in the heading of this page. Or simply use the drop down menu.
We are open for membership as well. We are a small but faithful growing community.
Robyn & Biff Cox
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Robyn Rochelle Cox
WHOSE AM I?