Genesis 22: 9-12
9"When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11. At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!
"Yes," Abraham replied, "Here I am!"
12. "Don't lay a hand on the boy!" the angel said. "Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son."
My head tells me to leave out the part about Abraham picking up a knife to kill his son. My cultural sensitivity says, don't get that graphic, don't think about the knife, that's really harsh.
But then I come back to the reality that God's call isn't all that sanitary. He is not that interested in whether or not it is icky, or hard, or something that I've simply coddled for far too long. He gets to the depths of my soul, opens me up and questions my loyalty.
He really wants to know if I am willing to cut out those things I love, those things I hate to love, and even those people, places, positions, and powers that I put as more important to me than He himself. So He gets pretty graphic in this message.
What is the purpose for His getting so pointed? Why did He call Abraham to sacrifice his only son. The son, mind you, that God had promised Abraham would be the lineage for a great nation. I've heard many interpretations for why God might have done this.
From the outside I look pretty sanitary. I have never been a drinker, never smoked anything in my life, never been a big cusser (I don't claim to never say a curse word - I have been known to say them and I even have a few that are my favorites). But on paper and even in real life, I look pretty tame and 'Sin' free. BUT, those sins that plague me are deep and well-rooted. I am constantly riping out another weed. Some of them hide in the flower bed for awhile.
Do you know what I mean? Those sins that can be covered up by really nice, niceties? These are the sins that no one can see. The anger, the bitterness, the fear. Yes, fear. Fear is the opposite of trust. Thus fear... a topic for another day.
I have seen judgment raise its ugly head while sitting quite innocently at a red light and looking over into the car next to me, seeing a young girl with a really low t-shirt on and immediately making a judgement. It shocked me. But it popped out and I was disgusted with myself. I was almost thankful that this happened in the ear shot of my husband. I had to apologize to both God, my husand, and I swear if that young girl could have been found, I would have apologized to her.
I have committed a few horrible acts of sin. I have confessed these to a few people. But I have done that after confessing them to Adonai and then finally to take them to Jesus. — These are all God of course, but with each character trait of the Father the Word reveals another Name (Adonai,(Lord, Master) Elohim (God), Jehovah Jireh (God, Provider) etc.,and of course Jesus is part of the Trinity: God Father, Son, Holy Spirit — This simply means it took me a while before I was able to receive God's forgiveness for the grievous sin I had committed. For instance, I am a divorced woman that does not believe in divorce. A tough place to stand and serve God. And of course that is not the most grievous.
But God has been so gentle when I have come to Him with my sin. He has opened His arms and reminded me that His purpose in sending His son Jesus was to mend the bridge that was broken between us.
His desire is for me to be a living sacrifice. To come to Him regularly and let Him do a thorough cleansing of my heart. Finding a place alone and saying "Here I am": my car, my office, my red prayer chair. Good grief, Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley even took her apron and threw it over her head against the cries of 10 of the 19 children that she bore. She promised God. So, she in the midst of deep hardship, was loyal and loving in her living sacrifice to God. She cried out, "Here I am."
And the rewards that I have received in my life are innumerable. And the reward that Susanna Wesley received in her life: John and Charles Wesley. And the reward that Abraham received in his life: Isaac living and breathing and carrying on the chosen nation to bring the Messiah. The Savior of the world Jesus.
Read Susanna Wesley's story here: from Joni Erickson Tada's founded group- Joni's Friends
If you have experienced that "Here I am" moment please share in the comments below. It is such an encouragement!
If you haven't, I encourage you to find a place to get alone with God, climb any mountain you must and lay down those loves that have become more important than God.
You are invited to join us at Reading, Reflection, Bible Community. Join other believers from all walks of life as we read and meditate on His words.
RR&BC,LL© All writings protected by copyright laws. Contact author or link to this page or website if you use or reference.
Human love is fickle. Advent love is margin love.
Don't get me wrong. I love loving and being loved in the human form. I have dreamed of being humanly loved for longer than lots people even experience love. I dreamed of love until I married my first husband in 1977 and then after our divorce in 1990 I dreamed of love again until 2015. That was when I married this wonderful man and we began a life long journey into loving each other.
But I know that human love is fickle. I'm not afraid of my husband leaving me. Marriage is a commitment, and I know he is the kind of man to be stalwart in commitment. I myself am committed to our marriage and to him. But human love is fickle.
My children love me. I know that they love me. I never question that love. But that love is fickle. Sometimes that love gives me its best and sometimes it doesn't. Does that mean that my children do not love me. Heavens no.
But Advent LOVE is Margin Love.
Now don't read that Marginal Love. It is not Marginal love. It is Margin Love.
What is Margin Love? I honestly have never heard the term before. I made it up. It formed from thoughts that wove together over time. It is not a new idea, just a little nickname I use.
So again, I ask. What is Margin Love? This is the love I like to view as Love that always has enough and most of the time aplenty.
When I discovered 'margin living' back in 2003, I had been investigating the words wait, simplify, stillness, and listen for some time. I read a book by Richard A. Swenson, MD entitled Minute of Margin.
This devotional book lead me to question how to create margin in my life. Here I was, a single-mother preparing for the empty nest. Believe me when I tell you, as a single parent that one can be ever so frightening. I realized I had kept so busy with 'life' and 'living' that there was not room for either real life or real living. I was involved in my children's worlds as well as my own.
The concept of margin was transformational. Living a life planning white space into the calendar.
Plan some margin into your day to be still? Plan some margin into your day to be quiet and listen? We are so busy, running so fast we fail to be still and enjoy the moments that are passing.
I had entered into stillness and silent retreats, but to enter into these on a daily basis - to actually put them down on my calendar? Well, this had totally escaped me. A planned time to allow for interruptions, to breathe both in and out, to enter into moments that could not and would not be seen had I not had margins sectioned in my calendar.
That is what I mean when I coined the phrase: Advent LOVE is Margin Love.
Margin Love is planned love. God planned from the beginning of time to solve the SIN problem that had separated Man from Him by writing Advent Love on the calendar of time.
He had a selected young woman: Mary and a young man: Joseph. The test would be in the decision each would make. Would they follow through with the plan? And as is the mystery of God, He knew they would even though He did not manipulate them.
Jesus Christ came as a baby brought to us in a Margin Love, a planned love. An intended window open into the heavenlies. A passing of Him, into this earthly space and entering time.
This new baby Jesus was an Advent LOVE Offering of sacrifice and redemption. A Margin Love from his birth to his crucifixion. By accepting Him as our Savior we remove the time parameters and enter the Advent LOVE of Margin Love and are enveloped in the amazing mystery of the eternal Love. That love that is outside of Time and Space. God's love that is never too little nor too much, but always enough.
Outside of time God took a spot, a beginning and an end, this Margin of Space and Time. He set it as the time that Jesus Christ, His son, would enter, live his human life in total dependence upon the Holy Spirit, and exit carrying the SIN of all humanity upon himself. In this Margin Love, He gave Himself up as our path/way into the Holy of Holies.
God, the triune 3 in 1 Father, Son, and Holy Spirit made clear this Margin Love is never fickle, and always enough. In fact, this Margin Love is aplenty!
Because He is the I am, i am
robyn rochelle cox
May this Christmas Season bring many blessings of Margin Love.
and May you celebrate in the ENOUGH of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in One.
Robyn Rochelle & Biff Cox
All writings are protected under copyright laws. Contact the author or link to this page or website if you use or reference.
Robyn Rochelle Cox
WHOSE AM I?