Keep the Bridge

When parents or friends discover a loved one or child has trouble embracing their true identity in Christ, it is important to “keep the bridge.”

Our tendency is to fight or flight – angry attacks with strong arguments or cutting off the relationship altogether. Both of these neglect the third way; namely, the way of love. Loving the child or loved one requires us to remain in the tension and seek God’s wisdom and salvation in ways that are much more difficult. img_0266

Sometimes it is a gender crisis wherein their brokenness makes it difficult for them to embrace what feels odd or goes against their strong urges for same-sex connection. Maybe they need “vitamin M or F” (male or female nurturing), but it isn’t the end of the story.

Sometimes the loved one embraces a condemning thought; i.e. “I’m a loser or worthless or unlovable.” Your Gospel presence and gentle reminders of their justification and adoption in Christ may free them from Satan’s lies.

When you stay warmly present to them, you will have much more honest conversations that often lead to redemptive results. Soon this dear person can walk over the bridge to solid ground again.

Lord, I have shut the Door

He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the LORD. 2 Kings 4:33


Lord, I have shut the door
Speak now the word
Which in the din and throng
Could not be heard
Hushed now my inner heart
Whisper Thy will
While I have come apart
While all is still
Lord, I have shut the door
Here do I bow
Speak, for my soul attent
Turns to Thee now
Rebuke Thou what is vain
Counsel my soul
Thy holy will reveal
My will control
In this blest quietness
Clamorings cease
Here in Thy presence dwells
Infinite peace
Yonder, the strife and cry
Yonder, the sin
Lord, I have shut the door
Thou art within!
Lord, I have shut the door
Strengthen my heart
Yonder awaits the task
I share a part
Only through grace bestowed
May I be true
Here, while alone with Thee
My strength renew

 

The Pursuit of Greatness

Matthew’s gospel begins the fourth discourse of five with a question: Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

If it was merely an abstract question or an academic one, then that would be one thing. It was, according to Luke’s gospel an internal struggle and Mark’s gospel an external issue of quarreling for the disciples. Luke mentions that Jesus knew their thoughts and Mark that the disciples were quarreling over who was the greatest. 1401207_10201402391353972_1741772984_o

James and John of Zebedee went up the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus and Peter, but Peter had messed up a number of times. So two chapters later in Matthew’s gospel “Mama bear Zebedee” asked if her two sons could be the greatest (Matthew 20).

Jesus brought a boy into their midst. Why? You will never know greatest without children in your midst. Jesus said: “Unless you become a child you cannot enter the kingdom. Whoever humbles himself like this child will be exalted” (Matt. 18:3-4).

Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Duh, Jesus. He became a child, not with original sin but became indifferent to social status.

Are you indifferent to social and ecclesiastical status? The world trains us to look up, but Jesus says look down if you want to understand greatness.

Masculinity

A man must embrace the curse before he will admit that he is licked and in need of Christ to redeem his masculinity; before he will renounce his foolish strategies to overcome the curse, trying to prove he is enough without grace – without God’s strength in his weakness. img_1108

Manhood in Genesis is termed by the Hebrew word zakar, which means to leave a mark. Men are meant to plant seed in earth and womb in order to leave their mark of greatness in culture and in family.

My grandson Micah (pictured) is meant to make an impact, but he needs God’s grace to do it well 🙂