Help!

Help!

God our Helper

Maaaaaaaama! Can you help me? childhood-667605_1280

Can you fix this?

Find that?

Look at this?

Open that?

Change this?

Mama, I need you!

If you’re a parent, you get it. You know what it’s like to repeatedly change your agenda because someone needs you. You know the reality of days spent helping.

It’s what we parents do. Because we love, we serve.

Sometimes, though, I feel a little sorry for myself. I look at my insurmountable To-Do List and think, I can’t get any of MY work done! I imagine more glamorous, exciting ways to spend my time.

Some days I just want to be served, instead of serving.

(Side note, my sweet hubby and kids do serve me and love on me – all the time, in fact. I just forget to notice when I’m focused on myself.)

I guess it’s human nature to think of serving as a lesser job. To be the helper is less desirable, less prestigious. Important people have servants. Less important ones are the servants.

But I think we’ve got it backwards, because the Bible often calls God our Helper and portrays Jesus as our Servant.

  • “You have been the Helper of the orphan” (Psalm 10:14).
  • “God is my Helper; The Lord is the Sustainer of my soul” (Psalm 54:4).
  • Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
  • “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My [Jesus’] name, He will teach you all things and will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26).
  • “We confidently say, ‘The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid…’” (Hebrews 13:6).

No one is higher than God Himself, yet during His last moments on earth, Jesus dressed Himself as a servant and washed His followers’ feet. The dirty, dusty feet of every single one of them. Even Judas, whom Jesus knew would betray Him with a traitor’s kiss later that night. Even Peter, who would deny even knowing the Master for whom he swore he’d die.

Jesus did that night what only servants would do.

He spent His whole life doing what servants do. He taught for days on end. He healed the sick. He touched the untouchables. He raised the dead and forgave the penitent. He poured out His life helping those around Him, not because He was inferior, but because they needed Him.

It’s what God has done since the inception of humanity.

God our HelperGod our Servant. Kinda changes things, doesn’t it? Because God is our Helper:

  • We fill a sacred role when we serve those He’s put in our lives.
  • We have an ever-present Helper with whom we can face the dailyness of life, as well as the trials that come our way.

How about you? What difference does it make to know that God is your Helper? In what ways do you need His help today? Please comment below – I’d love to hear! Let’s get to know Him better together!

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Redeemed and Set Free

Redeemed and Set Free

by Meredith Mills

@DazzledByTheSon

I’ll never forget what I saw that day.

fence-2163951_1280I had heard of slavery, but to me it was a remote problem – a shameful period in our nation’s history and a distant atrocity in far-away lands.

And then I saw them. Flesh and blood people trapped in the insidious web of human trafficking. Sex slaves and beggars lining busy streets. Drugged children and lepers waiting for alms. Victims of human cruelty and depravity.

I saw real-life slaves that day. I looked in their eyes and felt as though I gazed into their souls.

And my heart broke into a million pieces.

So this is what slavery looks like.

The powerless trampled by the powerful. The weak exploited by the strong.

No mercy. No hope. No means of escape. Only the monotony of a slave’s daily existence.

The event I describe took place during a mission trip to Bangkok, Thailand several years ago. It is burned in my memory, tucked away in the deepest corner of my heart.

black-and-white-1619522_1280Yet in reality, it’s a picture of my life. I’ve experienced sin’s heavy chains, enslaving me to destructive habits I despise but keep on doing.

And I’ve felt the crushing condemnation of a Law I can’t keep, no matter how hard I try.

I know the tyranny of a master who cares nothing for his slaves.

But thank God, Someone came to my rescue. Someone stronger than my old master. Someone rich enough to pay my ransom. Someone so relentlessly loving He’d exchange His own life for mine – and yours.

This is God our Redeemer. Lavish in love. Extravagant in grace. freedom

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:7-8 NLT).

Let that sink in for a minute. Our God is rich, abundantly wealthy…in kindness and grace.

He looked on us in our wretched slavery, when we had nothing to offer Him, and He loved us.

He wanted us.

He knew we’d broken His law. He realized we’d not always love Him in return. Yet He loved us and was delighted to make us His own.

Do you feel it? The overwhelming realization that, no matter what, you are wanted.

I’ve spent the past several days reading through Ephesians one. Our Redeemer’s abundant generosity is striking. For those united with Christ:

  • He has given us every spiritual blessing.
  • He loved us, chose us and decided to make us holy – all before He uttered creation’s first life-giving words.
  • He made plans for our adoption so we could be close to Him, though we were once His enemies because of our sins.
  • His richness of kindness and grace compelled Him to pay our ransom and purchase our freedom.
  • He poured out abundant favor on us, showering us with kindness.
  • His incredibly great power works on our behalf – the same power that brought Jesus back from the dead.

Abundance. Riches. Greatness. This is the lavish love of our Redeemer.

Have you experienced it? Do you know His redemption? If not, I invite you to check out In Case You’re Wondering.

If you know Him, I rejoice with you in the freedom He gives.

How have you seen Him as Redeemer in your life? How does His redemption affect your daily life? Please comment below. Let’s get to know Him better together!

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Eternal Life Now

Like dry, parched ground – that’s how my heart has felt lately.

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It’s been a while since I blogged. The reason? I haven’t had much to say. I haven’t known what to write about.

Last weekend, I went to a Beth Moore conference and that’s when I realized how very parched my soul has been. I have been catching snippets of time with God, but honestly, I’ve been lazy in my pursuit of Him. During the conference, I was reminded of the magnetism of Jesus. He is relentlessly pursuing my heart, even when I’m not pursuing Him.

Beth talked about the concept of gravity, which she defined as “a force of attraction between two objects; that which pulls an object of lesser mass toward an object of greater mass.” She gave the following acronym to illustrate what she called “divine gravity” – God Revealing A Vast Intensity Toward You.

God, the far greater “mass,” is constantly pulling this lesser “mass” (me) toward Himself. How awesome is that? He doesn’t wait for me to initiate. He doesn’t demand that I meet Him halfway. His heart of vastly intense love never stops loving, never stops drawing. I am so grateful.

When I lived in a performance mindset, I was pretty disciplined in reading Scripture and in prayer. But I often did it because it was the right thing, the spiritual thing, to do.  As God is setting me free from performance-based living, I’ve wrestled with the why behind what I am called to do. If all things are lawful for me in Christ (1 Cor 6:12, 10:23), if I am fully accepted in Him regardless of what I do (Rom 8:1), then what motivates me to seek and obey God? What should compel me to “discipline myself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Tim 4:7)? I’d like to take the next few blog posts to share what I’m learning on this subject.

We often think of eternal life as something we get when we die. But in reality, eternal life begins the moment we are born again through faith in Jesus. (“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” 1 Jn 5:11. And “…I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” Gal 2:19-20.)

When we come to faith in Christ, we are given more than “fire insurance,” more than a key to heaven, more than a future inheritance. We are adopted into a new family, with a Father who longs to relate to us.

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To view salvation as simply a future event would be like a street child adopted by the richest man in town, who then continues to live on the streets, content with the promise of an inheritance. Or like a prostitute wooed, loved and wed, only to continue in her former occupation, knowing her husband’s wealth will one day be hers. How short-sighted, how vastly inferior, would such a life be!

Such are our lives if we do not walk in relationship with the God who has saved us. He has revealed Himself in His Word. He has deposited His Spirit into our hearts. He has invited us to His throne room. He holds out the offer of eternal, abundant life here and now. How much we miss if we do not throw ourselves into walking with Him!

I do not have to read my Bible or pray or abide in Him to keep being His child or make Him like me. But I do have to read the Word and pray and abide in Him to experience the life that He’s given me. His Word and His presence are the Source of spiritual life and freedom. As a plant needs sun, water and food to bear fruit, so I need the Light of the World, the Giver of living water, and the Bread of life to bear spiritual fruit. I cannot produce it on my own.

If you are God’s child, you were adopted into His family for the purpose of a relationship with Him. (If you’d like to know more about becoming His child, click here.) You are vastly loved, constantly pursued, and infinitely supplied by the God who gave His life to make you His own. His Word is not a book of rules, but your very life. In His presence is fullness of joy.

So let us press on to know Him more. Let us throw off the sin that masquerades as our life. Let us persevere in this walk of faith. How? By fixing our hearts’ eyes on Jesus – the Source, Sustainer and Sanctifier of our faith (Heb 12:1-2).

If Jesus is the Source of our daily eternal life, how does that affect you in the moment-by-moment dailyness of life?