Shofar

Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ in France

Divine Dentist?

Afficher l'image d'origineI wonder whether I am alone in thinking that being in church can sometimes be likened to having teeth pulled? Or even just living the Christian life is a pleasurable as having a root canal operation?

Am I feeling sorry for myself? Am I just going through a tough “desert” experience? – well, no.

I was reading and meditating about Jesus’ words

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt 11:28

As we come to Jesus in humble submission and obedience he sets to, to transform us into his “coheirs”, into his “brothers and sisters”, into those people chosen to rule and reign with Him. He makes us holy, expressions of himself, people of love, joy, peace… He does this, not because of who we are but because of who He is. We do not deserve this treatment, this transformation but God chooses to do this for us. And so we enter his REST, the apostle Paul likens it to a Sabbath rest (Heb 4) a day on which no work is to be done. Our striving is over, God is the one who does the work in us (Phil 2:13).

And yet as I read further I come across these passages that say “make every effort”, “be diligent”, “strive”, “let us labour”… and I question what has happened to our sabbath rest. And this brings me back to the dentist…

Let’s be honest, who really likes going to the dentist? And yet it’s here that I find an expression of what is sometimes going on in my Christian life. I have to make an effort to get myself to the dentist. I know I need to go, either for prevention or for cure. It is not something that fills me with joy!

“Take a seat” says my friendly dentist with a big smile. And the seat is comfortable, a recliner, what luxury… it’s more comfortable than my sofa at home… But I’m not too relaxed, fearful of the pain that might be only a few seconds away. What do I have to do? Nothing really and yet I have to “make every effort” to stay in that chair and not run for the door at the first opportunity.

Church and the Christian life can be uncomfortable and even painful at times. Afficher l'image d'origineThe treatment, however, skillfully carried out by our divine surgeon results in a life closer to the image of Jesus. And so we strive to stay in that place where God can operate on us, a place where we are humble and teachable, a place of forgiving others and loving our enemies, of caring for the outcast, feeding the hungry and comforting those who suffer.

Most of the time I enjoy gatherings with other believers, but when, for whatever reason I consider it to be a painful ordeal I just think of the perfect smile that God is creating for me so I can better show His joy in my life.

Toothache

toothacheI didn’t write anything last week. Now, I actually had a reason, quite a good one really. I was in agony with a tooth infection. Eventually, after ten days of a heavy dose of antibiotics the infection abated and on Monday the tooth was taken out. Not, I hasten to add, without a great deal of discomfort and of course, injections of painkillers. This got me to pondering as life has a habit of doing…about sin. The Bible says if your eye causes you to sin pluck it out or if your hand causes you to sin take it off. Better to live life without your hand or eye than to live…you get what Im talking about. But to carry on with my musings I was thinking what life would be like indeed if our sin caused us actual pain like it causes God pain. Like my tooth caused me pain and had to be removed. Me thinks that perhaps our approach to life would be totally changed if we felt a physical consequence of our sin. And yet we disregard the fact that Jesus did indeed suffer a physical result, a physical price for our sin…oh how little we think about the physical aspect of salvation..  YES its free BUT it cost a lot. So if your eye does cause your to sin perhaps think about what your watching or reading. And if you hand causes you to sin perhaps choose other activities to occupy your time…Just a thought…..

Theocaching

Classic_GeocacheI have been pondering lately about God’s treasures hidden deep in the Bible.  And a thought struck me…. the pastor of our home Church is a great one for geocaching as are some of my other friends from around the world.  They love the excitement of seeking out things while at the same time enjoy clean air and healthy exercise But how many people enjoy Theocaching???  Seeking out the hidden treasures of God while at the same time enjoying healthy spiritual air and exercise.  Not so much.  Some people will spend hours seeking a small trinket hidden at the bottom of a tree but
will not spend ten minutes seeking the treasures hidden in God’s word.  Theocaching is something perhaps we should ALL take on board. I wonder what treasures we could find if we took the time and energy.12733-Bible_Devotional_Coffee.800w.tn

It an interesting thought really that the Bible says where your treasure is their your heart will be also…..Just a Thought…

Falling in love again

I have fallen in Love ….Again. ( No I’m not talking about Mike my friends LOL). With my Bible. I just LOVE some of the little things in it. Now I know the BIG stories are great as well. And the Great characters that teach us faith and perseverance and all that stuff. Really I do like Good-Morning-Sunshinethem. But often I find myself leaning towards the people in the Bible who are on the sidelines. You know those that are mentioned in passing. Or perhaps not so much in passing but they do something that is considered small and has no relevance. And quite often people just don’t seem to pick up on it.
For me just lately I have been thinking about Mary in the garden that morning when she was walking to the tomb. I have been reading John 20. Well I am often up in the mornings lately so I have begun over the last few years to really appreciate mornings; the stillness just seems to talk to my soul in a way that the rest of the day just doesn’t seem to do. So I can imagine that morning before the rest of the world had woken up, Mary walking alone…..And finding that tomb empty. She must have been confused and bewildered. At this point she ran off and told the other disciples, who ran to the tomb, found it empty and then basically went back to where they were staying. This left Mary alone again in the garden. She was crying, and that I can imagine too. Not so much Hollywood style tears I suppose. Her Lord was dead and now his body had been stolen. And she is asked a question by two angels…they ask her why she is crying…The story ends with Mary turning round and realizing that it is Jesus….She then uses a word that is not used anywhere else in the new testament she says RABBONI…And sunrisethat’s what strikes me, nowhere else is this word used. I can almost imagine her whispering it to him. It means ‘my great teacher’, ‘master’. And it is one of the most honorable titles she could give him. The heart which was broken sees the Lord that is Alive…RABBONI…I think
this is BEAUTIFUL. Scripture comes alive at moments like this; it is extraordinary to me that from her lips at a moment like this a word of honour and love was used. Our Bible is indeed such a treasure. We can study it for years and years and yet we still find treasures that lie within its pages, that’s why I keep falling in love with it over and over again

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