The Embrace
      I love the way The Message translation of the Bible renders Mark 11:22, as He speaks to His disciples; "Jesus was matter of fact, 'Embrace this God-life, really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you......That's why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large.  Include everything as you embrace this God-life and you'll get God's everything.' "  God's everything.  How do we understand that?  Is it everything we want Him to give us, or, is it everything that He wants to give, indeed, has already given?  Since we tend to desire so much less than He desires for us to have, which do you think is the right answer?
     When Christ exhorts us to embrace His God-life, He calls us to literally embrace Him, for He is the Word of Life, Life itself.  He calls us to embrace Him while He at the same time embraces us.  We then live in His embrace, held to Him, part of Him, in Him, with all the fullness of His life flowing into, through, and out of us.  We embrace Him with all of our being, and He embraces us with all of His.  He then gets our "everything," but the glory is that we then get all of His.  As we live in His embrace, everything that the Father has for us in Christ is now ours.  This is the "all things" that Jesus said we have in Him through faith.  In His life, death, and resurrection, He has given us, freely, all things.  We freely receive them as we live in His embrace.  We embrace His Life, and His Life embraces us.  This is abundant life as defined by Christ Himself.  This is what it is to "abide in Him."
     A friend recently shared his understanding of the instance where Jesus called Peter out of the storm swept boat as detailed in Matthew 14, and to come to Him, walking on the water.  Jesus, standing on the water simply said to Peter, "Come to Me."  My friend said he believed that it was not first and foremost a call to walk on water or to fulfill some great goal as the reason He called Peter to Himself, but simply that He come.  To Christ, to His embrace.  To His Life.  In the passage from Mark, Jesus spoke of being able to move mountains in our prayerlife, and certainly there is great power in the blood and life of Christ, but power in prayer, mountain moving faith, and miraculous works, are not what He first and foremost calls us to.  He calls us first and always to His embrace.  In truth, if we'll not live in that embrace, we'll have no power in prayer, see no mountains move, and witness few if any miracles.  Perhaps this is the reason we see so little of these in the church today.  We want to.  We want to walk on water, move mountains, be mighty men and women of God.  Living in the intimacy of His embrace?  Not so much.  That doesn't excite our flesh.  In fact, the flesh shuns it, for it can't survive His embrace.  Yet, it is the only way to the "everything" of His life.  He calls us to that, and no storm, wave, or wind, can keep us from it.  The only thing that can keep us from Him is ourselves.  What part of our "self" is keeping you and I?

Pastor O
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  March 2018  
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