Tag Archive | Jesus

Who is Getting Your Crumbs?

Are you giving your spouse your best “bread” or the leftover “crumbs”?

When Jesus spoke with the Greek woman about the children’s bread and the pet dogs under the table, He was not belittling her; He was explaining His priorities and being faithful to His calling.

Our spouses are our first priority and our highest calling. We want to give our best attention and energy to our spouses.

Who is getting your best “bread”?

Starving at a Banquet, and Staring at my Feet

Imagine that you go to a grand banquet. With great excitement, you find your name on a place-setting at the table. As you sit there, you focus on your name card. You focus on your name card even as the warm bread is passed. You focus on your name card as the savory soup and then the juicy steak go by. You focus on your name card as the chocolate cheesecake comes around and as the coffee is served.  As the evening goes on, you wonder why your stomach is growling.

It is important for believers to know that we are the children of God, the valued sheep of His flock, and the apple of His eye. However, if our focus remains on who we are, our healing will not be complete, and our joy will not be full.

Think about it this way: it would be a good thing to learn that we were someone’s child and that we had a father, right? But that joy, in itself, would be quite limited. The full joy would come in knowing that our father was a kind and patient man!

The fact that we are  beloved children of God gives us joy and brings us into God’s Presence. But too often, we stand there and stare at our own feet. Focused on ourselves, we say, “I am God’s child. I am loved.” We wonder why our healing does not progress and why our joy does not grow.

But then … we feel the gentle fingers of Jesus beneath our chin, lifting our head so that our eyes see Him. Here is our full healing! When the Lifter of our Head becomes the focus of our eyes, then is our joy made complete.

It is good to see that our feet are bought by Christ, but our healing  progresses when we then focus on the pierced feet of Jesus Who bought us! It is good to know that we are sheep of God’s flock, but our joy is made full as we then focus on the gentleness and wisdom and goodness of our Shepherd.

Our list of who we are in Christ (“I am chosen; I am accepted; I am loved; etc.”) is what we stand on in order to see the awesome “I AM” of God.  God uses my “I am … ” to lift my head to see His “I AM.”  Our complete healing and full joy come from focusing on Him and on savoring Who He Is.

My “I am … ” helps me to find my place at the table, but His “I AM” is the feast!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.  Consider Him, so that you do not grow weary or discouraged (Hebrews 12:2,3).

Responses to Nakedness (last time!)

Jesus Alone on the Cross

Jesus Alone on the Cross (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan, was He cognizant of the fact that He Himself would soon be in the same situation of being exposed before others? As He hung on the cross, Jesus experienced all of the varying “responses to nakedness.” There were accusers (like the serpent); there were those who mocked and sneered (like Ham); there were those who fled and “hid their faces” from another’s disfigurement (like the priest and the Levite); and there were a few who honored and ministered to the wounded one (like Shem, Japheth, and the Good Samaritan).

How do we, as God’s people, respond to revealed brokenness in our spouses? How do we respond to exposed neediness in their spirits and souls? We can reflect God Almighty, the One whose image we bear, when we do the following:

  • when we resolve always to move toward our spouses emotionally and spiritually,
  • when we graciously offer healing,
  • when we pour out from our own lives (although we are also broken and needy),
  • and when we resolve to bring honor to our covenant partners.

In hanging on the cross in nakedness and shame, Jesus did what the Good Samaritan could not do: He took the wounds onto Himself, took the nakedness onto Himself, and offered His own clothing and wholeness to the broken man. This is what God offers to do for each one of us: take the shame that we are trying in vain to hide with our flimsy fig leaves, and fully cover it instead with His own skin.

God’s response to our nakedness is to make it His.