This is the gospel: Jesus lived. He died. He resurrected. And he is coming again.
I think it’s important during this time of celebration to remember the basics of the good news. I think I get so excited about Jesus and what he can do. I forget what he has already done.
Prayer accomplished more than my hustling ever did . “Figure it out” just isn’t biblical. Nowhere in the Bible does it say I prayed and stayed up late Googling. In fact, it says the contrary.
James 5 (ESV)
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
In case you were wondering, who this righteous person is … it’s you. Real talk. That thing we are celebrating this week at Easter settled everything. The cross is not just a decorative item to wear on a chain. It represents the power of God revealed and the love of God towards us. It wasn’t a play. It’s not just a dramatic symbol. God in the flesh came to give his life in trade for mine and because of it I have a new identity. The bible says that God created us in his image. Sin entered the world and marred his image. We were disfigured. Christ’s death doesn’t just give us a little face lift. It is complete and total annihilation of that old self, that marred image. And instead of that we get a new one, blameless, unmarred…. Like it was never disfigured to begin with.
Have you ever traded Pokemon or Yu Gi Oh or Digimon cards? You can’t halfsy a trade. Either you give up the card or you don’t. I can’t give you half my Pikachu card. I have to give you all of it in exchange for a whole Charizard. In the same way, Jesus gave it all and he wants it all. It’s a deeply personal thing. Prayer is just the beginning. It’s the access point to all that God wants to lavish on you. The cross is here. It’s where you can go to find out how deep and wide and long his long for you is. He isn’t asking for you to get your ducks in a row. It’s free.
Romans 5:8 The Message (MSG)
6-8 Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
As we get dressed up and don our fancy clothes and accessories this Easter weekend, let us remember that the victory is already won. That God’s love already settled everything. He’s not concerned with what I did but who I am in Christ. I am beloved. Irrevocably. I cannot return it to sender.
My church hands out these card things in the beginning of the year. I wasn’t even going to waste my time filling it out. It says ” Write down your dreams for 2018 Below”. I took it home blank. I journalled in my diary about it. A few days later, I woke up and decided I was going to ask God for all the things I feel are impossible for me.
Here they are:
Full Scholarship to Law School
I want to be very clear. I thought for sure. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. The list hung on my mirror as maybe a hope that someday maybe I could have this. But I started to pray. I encouraged my dinner party buddies to pray and my church posse to pray. I spoke about law school as if I had already been admitted. Some of my unbeliever friends thought I had lost my mind. I talked about my full scholarship like it had already happened. So much so I got a congratulations on law school from someone I had just met at church before I even sent out applications. Yes, I did.
A couple weeks after Dream Sunday, I was medication-free. Something I didn’t think could ever, ever happen. Something I had tried before and failed. And I brought my praise report home to my church fam and we rejoiced together. And We prayed over the law school exam. I received my scores for the LSAT and immediately lost hope. How on earth could I get a full scholarship with such a score? When I received an email saying that I was accepted and with a full tuition scholarship, I immediately started sobbing. I was incredulous. God does what he wants, when he wants. And he is for me even when it doesn’t feel like it.
I was sitting at my church’s women’s ministry conference on March 2nd and sobbing when a church member I don’t even know pulled me into an embrace. Yeah, it was that bad. I asked God that night to show me if he was real. I said I needed to know. And not in a little way. I’m glad God answers prayers. I look forward to the rest of 2018. God Holla@ YO GURL
There’s a saying in AA that goes “ the best time to go to a meeting is two times: when you want to and when you don’t want to”. The implication being that you need to show up and sit your butt in the chair, regardless.
Nowadays, I find myself reluctant to go to church.I really really really don’t want to go. I want to do anything but go. I feel insecure about church. I feel unsure about my identity. I feel easily offended by people at the church. I’m just not with it. I feel like people don’t like me, like i don’t belong. I know that these are lies from the enemy but they are like flashing neon signs and hard to ignore.
I wanted to write this whole wonderful upbeat blog about being in community. However, I just don’t like community right now. Yes, I understand that even God is community. He’s a triune God so even chillin’ by himself, he’s in community. Yes, I remember the story of Pentecost and how the disciples were ALL gathered in one place when the holy spirit showed up and showed out. Yes, Conceptually I get it. Thomas was a doubter only because he wasn’t in community when Jesus showed up and he missed out because he didn’t stay where he was supposed to be. David messed up Bathsheba and Uriah’s lives because he was supposed to be at war but was chilling at home. Yes, there are merits to being where you are supposed to be. BUT I DON’T WANNA. Sorry, I’m not going to wrap up this blog entry with a pretty bow. My growth isn’t linear.