Leb Blog

Friday, November 17, 2017

Reject or Inflict

They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place
of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” (John 19:17-22, NASB)

Is he King to you?

When confronted with the Truth what is our answer?

For a while I did not believe. God’s mercy and patience sought me and rescued me from sin.

We can reject or inflict.

If we reject him there is nothing else that can rescue us.

Not my good works, not my money, not my name.

There is only ONE that saves! (Acts 4:12)

If we accept him who has come into the world, we are released from out debt of sin and we inflict damage to the kingdom of darkness. Darkness will no longer have authority over us.

I bow the knee. I repent and Hail Him King of the Jews and King of Liz!

God bless you!~Liz

Saturday, November 11, 2017

How many stamps am I worth?

Memories are a funny thing.

I’ve been awake for about an hour and just like that something triggered and brought to life these hidden gems, even made me smile.

When I was a little girl living in the Bronx, I remember walking the streets under the raised train tracks. I can still hear the chuck-chuck-chuck rhythm in the background. I never second guessed the noises in the air. It was city life.

Hand in hand with my mom we’d walk to our destination. One hand holding mine and the other in her pea coat pocket with her booklet.

There was this Redemption Center that we would go to. We’d browse the front window and then walk inside. Based on how many stamps my mom accumulated; this determined the item we could take home.

But what if we were missing a stamp?

Redemption is “the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.”

It was a lot of work to own anything on the window display in exchange for the stamps we collected. In never really amounted to anything big. The prize always seemed out of reach.

What if the item or object is unattainable? What if my booklet is deficient in pages or the stamps that I collect are not enough?

The Bible tells a story of this exact thing.

Often sin is spoken as something someone else is doing. It’s the evil we see on TV. It’s the criminal that often repeats the offenses. Even a child is taught to share otherwise they grow up selfish. But, what happens when we grow up and are now mature?

Are we now exempt? We’ve learned right from wrong. We’ve arrived. Right?

Somewhere in our walk we have forgotten that the smallest of wrongs have accumulated. They have joined together to taint our behavior, actions and even our outlook on life. We have become familiar with the “noises of the world” that they don’t even affect us anymore. At least we don’t think so.

Let’s go down memory lane again.

Magilla Gorilla, do you know who he is?

He spent a lot of time in a window hoping someone would redeem him; purchase him, love him and take him home.

The jingle went like this, “Gorilla for sale. Take our advice, at any price, a gorilla like Magilla is mighty nice. Gorilla, Magilla Gorilla for sale!”

I remember thinking, poor gorilla. No one wants him.

Sometimes we feel like that poor creature. Here I am! Someone, love me.

We want to be loved and cared for. We feel the wrongs of yesterday have taken something form us. Perhaps we are right.

Yet, there is a Redeemer that is quite familiar with all that we have done; all that we have lost.

The loss is his.

He longs to bring us home.

His walk has been long. He has paid the price for the one he yearns for, you & I.

You see, I have gone to the redemption center and brought out my booklet.

I have a stamp for obeying my mom. I did all my homework. I did not steal the gum from the corner store. Oh, I did lie to my dad about that thing he said I should not do. Can I still redeem my stamps?

The Lord is aware of how many good things we have done. He knows we desire to do what is right but sometimes fail.

Who will redeem us? Was this not the cry of poor Magilla Gorilla?

Jesus will walk the road,” With shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 2So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will. (Luke 23:23-25)

“Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. (Matthew 27:26)

Jesus is aware of all my sin. Yes, the things that I have done. And, he still loves me. He is the only one who has what it takes to redeem my life. “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 11:22b)

Who will take this little girl home?

“And I was included in Christ when I heard the message of truth, the gospel of my salvation. When I believed, I was marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing my inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)  

It's personal.

The Redeemer said I am worth it! My debt was cleared. He said he would take me home.

Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, the Redemption Center.

The treasure was not always what was in the window. The prize is the great memory of being with my mom. Walking hand in hand. Secure &. loved.

He did it once and for all.

I got my new song to sing....I am redeemed...you set me free......

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Mary or Martha

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things
are needed—or indeed only one.Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Hey, Jesus is coming over today!

What would be the first thing we would do?

Hmmm, perhaps clean the bathroom. Touch up the living room. Make sure there is something to eat. Oh, did you run the dishwasher? Pick up your dirty socks from the floor! 

Oh, no the guest room looks like a storage bin!!!

The very familiar story of Mary and Martha. Martha often is seen as the “busy Martha”, so worried about the “house” when Jesus was visiting.

According to the Lord’s comment, “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) Indeed she was preoccupied with other responsibilities.

I wondered what she was worried about?  What had her upset?  Was it just the housework?  Maybe the status of her heart was on shaky ground.  Questions about life?
Let's not be unfair. We have all been there. I’m not justifying that keeping busy doing “housework” is more important than sitting at the feet of Jesus. Perhaps there were troubles or doubt about her own soul?

I’d like to say that after the Lord’s rebuke and revelation, I believe that Martha’s heart and outlook changed.

Follow me….

When Lazarus dies who is it that runs to meet Jesus?

Was is Mary? No.
“When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.” (John 11:20) 

Mary stayed, and Martha runs quickly to meet the Lord. Martha says, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:21) 

Here we see her faith.

I don’t believe that Mary was now preoccupied with other responsibilities, but both have now seen Jesus as their Master. Something deep inside has changed for both.

Martha’s heart has been touched by the Lord.

Martha may have been rebuked but she quickly learns “what is better”.

We all have been Martha. We may be Martha right now. The lesson is to hear the voice of the Lord. To anchor to the direction he is pointing us to. He is the Way to Life! He knows our preoccupations and how easily distracted we get.

We can’t make excuses for our neglect; our disregard what the Master is teaching us. We must realign ourselves to what is right.

Sometimes we neglect to read the Word of God; guilty! When opportunities arise to share the Gospel, we might shrink back; guilty! Sunday mornings seem to be the best time to sleep and we want to stay home. The distractions of life are obstacles. They try to stop the transformation the Lord is working out in us.

Jesus says to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Wow, do you believe?

Martha replies, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:27)

Way to go Martha!! God is so patient with us.

The Lord is Messiah. He is the promised One. 
He takes the dead and causes it to live. 
Dreams, situations and circumstances that speak dissolution and strife; he turns them around. 
He hears when we call for help. He knows our weakness and yet he continues to pursue us. 
He knows our need for him and he waits in hope that we respond to his love. 
He gives us many opportunities to come and sit with him. He wants to lavish us with his love!

So, what shall we do today?

Have the dishes called to you? The dust is overwhelming! The dirty clothes have consumed me. Distractions, interruptions, commotions, and on and on.

PUT THEM ASIDE.

Sit at the feet of Jesus today.

He can raise the dead to life; He is the Resurrection and the life!

Let’s choose what is better, it will not be taken away from us! (Luke 10:42)

The housework will get done.  He quiets the anxieties of life.

When we have been filled and refreshed by the Word of the Lord, the rest of life becomes easier.

Thank you Martha & Mary!

Thank you Lord!

God bless you!~Liz