Really Relating

LIFE, LOVE, AND THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT MAKE IT ALL MATTER

Come to Jesus 05/27/2010

Filed under: Come to Jesus,Prayer,Rest — Vickey Banks @ 11:49 am
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
Come to Jesus and get some good rest. Sounds great, but what does this verse really mean? Obviously Jesus didn’t mean that He’d put us to sleep if we came to Him! So, what did He mean?
The word “[1]rest” here comes from an action verb meaning Jesus would cause us to recover and collect our strength. He would refresh us. He would keep us quiet, giving us a calm and patient expectation.
Anybody out there in need of a little rest? Some refreshment? Some calm and patient expectation? Yeah, I thought so. The harried mom of young children, the grieving daughter, the depressed teenager, the worried parent, the overworked and overburdened…from what I hear from those around me, I’m not alone in needing this kind of rest that Jesus alone can give. So…if Jesus promised us rest, why aren’t we experiencing it? Why are our hearts and minds and bodies like hamsters running round and round on a wheel that doesn’t get us anywhere, exhausted but unable to get off the blasted thing?! Ah yes, the promised rest is contingent on our doing one very simple thing…
Come to Jesus.
[2]Come hither. Come here. Come! Come now! That’s what the word “come” means here. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many exclamation marks in a dictionary! Clearly this is an urgent command. Scripture’s engraved invitation sent for you and I. We must come to Jesus and we must do it now!
Regardless of what else God ever asks us to do, this is where it all begins and ends. Coming to Jesus. We’re not to passively pray to God before we eat a meal or start to read His Word. We’re to urgently come to Jesus all the time. When life is full, as well as when it seems painfully empty. When there’s no more space on our To Do lists and when our wandering minds are keeping us up at night. We need to learn from His example, receive His Comforter, hang on to His wisdom, and receive this refreshing calm and patient expectation. The expectation of receiving not only His rest, but of receiving Him.
Oh God, we come to You now. Help us to keep coming.
REALLY RELATING
How do you come to Jesus throughout your day? Do you have any practical tips you’d care to share?


[1]Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Anapauo”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon”. . 1999.
[2]As above.
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HOPE in the LORD 05/20/2010

Filed under: Hope,Weary and Worn — Vickey Banks @ 10:20 am
Feeling weary? Looking for HOPE in all the wrong places?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29Hegives strengthto the weary and increases the powerof the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those whohopein the LORDwill renew their strength. They will soaron wings like eagles; theywill run and not grow weary, theywill walkand not be faint.

 *HOPEis a verb here that means to wait, look for, hope, expect waiting to wait or look eagerly forto lie in wait forto wait for, linger for to collect, bind together to be collected.
God understands us far better than we understand ourselves. He knows that on our own we are weary and worn slick from life. We are overwhelmed and embarrassed to be so. Where can we find the HOPE we so desperately need to maneuver through the mess that we are? Ah, from Him, of course! He has all the strength and power we need! He is the Everlasting God! The Creator of the ends of the earth – those ends that include you and me! His resources are inexhaustible! He never wearies and His understanding is infinitely beyond our understanding.
The secret to our soaring vs. sinking is to draw from HIS inexhaustible resources, not ours. We don’t have to muster up enough strength or hope to make it. If we have accepted and placed personal faith in His Son, we have GOD Himself living and breathing inside of us! If we HOPE in Him, He WILL give us everything we need for life and godliness. We have HIS Word on it! Our strength WILL BE RENEWED! We WILL soar!
Oh God, help us place our HOPE in YOU, not in shaky circumstances. You are more than what we need. Help us look at YOU, to You, and for You. Help us look and wait for the sights and sounds of Your Presence with the kind of eager expectation that expects to find You. Oh God, be obvious to and in us. YOU ARE our HOPE.
REALLY RELATING
Are you weary from the circumstances or pace of your life? How can you place your HOPE in God that you might be renewed?

*The NAS Old Testament Hebrew LexiconBrown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius.
 

Land of the Living, Part 2 05/13/2010

Filed under: Take courage,Wait,Wait for the LORD — Vickey Banks @ 12:18 am
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
 in the land of the living! 
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong,
and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
       Psalm 27:13-14
It’s been a rocky road finding my way back to the Land of the Living.
In Part 1 of this Land of the Living post, I wrote of God beautifully bringing me to the hope-infused verses of Psalm 27:13-14. Smack dab in the messy middle of grief, He reminded me that there is goodness to be seen this side of Heaven. I shared the meanings behind the words in verse 13, so I’ll focus here on verse 14. May these words encourage you today.
Wait for
: to look for, hope, expect; to look eagerly for, to lie in wait for, to linger for.
While you and I will have weeks like my last one where the heartbreaking hits kept coming, God has promised us a more and better life than we ever dreamed of. Psalm 27:14 reminds me that life isn’t going to be all bad from here to Heaven. Some days, I need to hang around and look for the sights and sounds of His presence a little harder. I need to look and listen with the eager expectation due Him.
The LORD
: Jehovah = “the existing One”; the proper name of the one true God.
We’re not to wait because it’s nicer than throwing a fit. We’re to wait because He is the One True God. He really and truly is! The sights and sounds of His presence are worth waiting on. The LORD is with us in every situation of our lives. We are never alone. Somehow, someway, He will make Himself apparent.
Be strong
: to strengthen, prevail, become strong, be firm, grow firm, be resolute; to make strong, restore to strength, to strengthen oneself.
We’re not just told to be strong, but to grow in this area. We’re to actively strengthen ourselves and become stronger. The best way I’ve found to do that is to do what I’m doing here: run to God’s Word for truth, take it apart for understanding, claim it, and hang onto it for dear life!
Let your heart
Heart: inner man; as seat of appetites, emotions, passions, and courage.
We must do all that it takes to feed our heart – our appetites, emotions, and courage – with God’s truth. Among other reasons, we must do this to fight the thoughts and emotions that want to take us down a deep dark hopeless hole. I know that hole and trust me, you do not want to go there.
Take courage
Take: be determined, persist in.
Courage: to be strong, brave, bold, solid; assure; to exhibit strength.
Don’t give up or in, these words admonish us. We’re to stand firm when all around us is shaking.
Wait for the LORD
Again with the waiting for the LORD! Apparently God thought we needed to hear this twice. Surely that means it’s extra important that we do. So…that’s where you find me now…
Still waiting.
With eager expectation.
For the One Existing LORD.
Letting my heart take courage.
Yeah…waiting.
Join me, won’t you?
Really Relating
What helps you to wait on God? Favorite verse or activity???
Do you have a verse that you hang onto when life gets tough?