Tuesday, 22 October 2019

I AM part 1

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

“I AM”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”  John 1:1-3

                As we learn more about Jesus by reading the different   Jesus was present at the time of creation; Jesus existed before Abraham and Jesus is with us now as part of what now call the Trinity.
books of the Bible we soon realize that Jesus, the Son of God, was and is God made flesh.
This concept of Trinity was not understood by early followers nor is it fully understood today. We want to ask how? Why? And this is the mystery of God- who exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Yet for centuries many people rejected the idea of the Trinity because it defies logic. But there are even scientific discoveries which we cannot fully understand.
                Jesus is talking with people about who he is in John 8. When Jesus states, “If I glorify myself my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me… Your father Abraham rejoiced in the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.’ But they said to Jesus, You are not yet 50 years old and you have seen Abraham!”  Jesus answered,’ Very truly I tell you, ”before Abraham was born, I am!” What was Jesus saying? “Before Abraham was born, I am”
                Remember when God first appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush? Moses asked God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you, ‘and they ask me ‘What is his name?’ What should say?  God’s reply to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:13-14)
                People were skeptical about Jesus’ connection or relationship with God the Father. And when people do not understand, many grow angry. We read in John 8 that those listening to Jesus picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (John8:59)  And why? Because they were angry that he should blaspheme against God because he is a mere man claiming to be God. How could this be?
                In the next few weeks we will reflect on Jesus’ other “I Am” statements and what they mean in light of Jesus- the human being and his relationship with God.
When you think about Jesus, how do you perceive God and vice versa? When we read “I AM” do we understand this to be the same person-God? Does this change your idea of Jesus—baby in the manger, man dying on the cross?

Holy God of grace and wonder, we believe Christ Jesus to be your Son in faith and how he enables all of other to draw closer to him, because of his abilities, and teachings. We still draw close to him and so we pray for understanding and hope for Christ is our Saviour and Lord and He s is God. Amen.
                Reflections suggested through “I Am the Way: The Amazing Claims of Jesus” by Jack Kuhatscheck,              ODB Ministries, 2018)

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Not my Will

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
“Not my Will”

                Jesus prays: “Take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
                “God is not a genie in a bottle and your wish is not The Circle Maker. “His command better be your wish. And until his sovereign will becomes your sanctified wish, your prayer life will be unplugged from its power supply. “         
His command.” Writes Mark Batterson in
                Sometimes in our praying we wonder if God is really listening or avoiding us, or in the worst case abandoning us because our prayers go unanswered. Then may be in time we realize that God did answer our prayers, but not the way we thought best, but in God’s better and all-knowing way.  Yet it is in that time in between we wonder if we have been left alone. Yet God promised us to never abandon us because He loves us so much.
                Did Jesus feel abandoned as he prayed and asked God to “Take this cup”? Or maybe He realized what He just asked God to do. This was Jesus’ purpose in coming to live as a human being. He is God’s Son who became the Son of Man for the sake of all people. His humanness was frightened of what was to come. Yet God heard him and the prayer coin flipped and he was ready to do what God wanted him to do; Jesus was ready to make the prophecies come true and die in our place.
                When we pray we are to do so with thanksgiving in our hearts because God makes all things possible and controls all things. Let us be reminded of this when we pray and what we are praying for. How are we praying—with praise, thanksgiving, confession and supplication? Or just an I want list? In faith we pray because we need to draw close to our creator and our saviour. In faith we need to praise God for his many blessings and to say Thank You for all that we are and what we are able to do.
Let us give thanks and praise to Christ Jesus our Saviour, because he fulfilled the prophecy, and lived, died and rose again for our sakes.
God of grace and love we thank you for this time in Jesus’ life when he was praying to you and was struggling. With doing what you asked or living like others. Thank you that you did not abandon him nor will you abandon us in our times of need. Enable us O God to work through our ideas of hope and what this means to us as we strive to be your faithful people. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
REFLECTION inspired by Elisa Morgan, “The Prayer coin: Reflections on Prayer” Our Daily Bread Ministries 2019 

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Not my Will

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
“Not my Will”

                Jesus prays: “Take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

                Jesus prayed to God that night in the Garden prior to his arrest,
trial and death. He was honest in his prayers when he asked God, “Take this cup,” but at the same time he also prays words that seem in opposition. This is the second side of Jesus’ prayer coin.

                Not what I want-.not my will but yours! Jesus was very honest when he said “Not my will” this is not what he wanted and was ready to give up completely. He was ready to give up with the intent of never claiming a right or interest in what was going to happen. He was ready to abandon the event as it unfolded because it was not His will but God the Father. Yet was this human or divine side of Jesus who was speaking?

                For many people the idea of Jesus even thinking about not fulfilling prophecy through his death is not acceptable. Yet do we really expect Jesus to just go ahead on autopilot and let everything happen as it was foretold? What about his feelings and thoughts, his compassion and love?

                Jesus was really torn about what was to happen. If it was possible to redeem people of their sins in any other way, Jesus was trying to opt in to that solution. But Jesus knows differently. Jesus was real in his thoughts and prayers with the Father—he did not want to die. Take this cup. This is how we pray as well- I don’t want to deal with this- take this cup;  But this is really what I want so take that away and give me the alternative.- We linger and we wonder.

                Yet Jesus turns this around and says—what you want God is what will happen. Philippians 2:6-8 states that “Jesus, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross!

                Jesus made choices: “not my will – but yours “. And then he expressed the abandon of love he has through his earthly life. He feels for those he leaves behind because he loves them. This prayer also shapes us and teaches us. Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered. Yet God provided what he needed to choose the outcome. God’s will was done- on earth as it is in heaven.    

God a part of us can’t believe that Jesus did not want to die yet we can also understand why. He was leaving people he loved very dearly- not just his disciples, but his family and close friends. But he knew that in order to fulfill prophecy and change the world his death had to occur. And so when he prays not my will but yours we are reminded that we live this life because of and through you alone. Help us to be honest in our thoughts and prayers and keep us under your protection. We ask in the name of Jesus our Saviour. Amen.

REFLECTION inspired by Elisa Morgan, “The Prayer coin: Reflections on Prayer” Our Daily Bread Ministries 2019 |I will conclude this series next week!]

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Take this Cup

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

“Take this Cup”

                Jesus prays: “Take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

                Jesus prayed to God that night in the Garden of Gethsemane   Jesus was honest with the disciples when he became angry. And he was honest in his prayer to God. He asked God, ‘Take this cup, from me.”
and he had to be exhausted. He and the disciples had just completed sharing in the Passover Feast. But had things that night that even Peter questioned. Why had Jesus washed the feet of his disciples? What did eating bread and dipping it in wine have to do with Jesus? What had Jesus known and they did not? Jesus prayed for a long time in the garden and before he prayed he asked the disciples to keep watch for him. They were to simply stay awake and see what was happening around him. But they might have had too much to eat, and more wine than they should have. They fell asleep. And when Jesus sees them sleeping he grew angry. They couldn’t do what he wanted? He was angry, upset and of course he was being honest with what he felt. The disciples still did not fully understand that this was going to be a long night and the day ahead would bring Jesus’ death.

                I wonder how honest we have been with God as we pray? Jesus asked this when he wanted God to stop what was going to happen. Jesus wanted out. It was truly a ”What I want” prayer. How often do we ask these kinds of prayer—as we plea to remove the pains and sacrifices we face including grief, rejection, misunderstanding, injustice, addition, debt, loneliness, shame.

                Maybe we need to be more honest in our prayers- get angry with God, tell him how you feel what your experiences are and be honest about it. God can handle this because he responded to Jesus’ prayer. Jesus needed him so do you.

                God know you and as Margaret Feinberg wrote: “Prayer is the place where I’m invited to present the parts of myself that no one else sees to a God who already knows and loves me anyway.” Jesus prayed with honesty and trust because he knew he could. Because of His death and resurrection, we too can pray honestly to God and he will answer.

                This is side one of this two sided prayer- honest. We must be honest with ourselves and with God as we pray. Did Jesus really want God to stop all things that had been foretold? Or was he merely honest with God and said I need you to help me through it all. We may also ask that same prayer—take this cup and help me do as you would have me do.

With honesty, God I come to you with a concerned heart and voice. I am pulled in different directions yet I know that you will help me through these things because I trust you and love you. Hear my prayer O God and know again that I need you in my life always. Amen.

REFLECTION inspired by Elisa Morgan, “The Prayer coin: Reflections on Prayer” Our Daily Bread Ministries 2019