Monday, January 25, 2016

What are you sinking about?

What are you sinking about?  Peter was in the boat watching His hero walking on the water. He saw what Jesus was doing and he wanted to do it too, so he said, Lord, I want to come out there too! Tell me to come to You on the water. So Jesus said, Come.”  It was in Peter’s DNA to want to do what Jesus was doing.  What child doesn’t imitate his father, copy him, mimic his walk, his words and his attitude? Listen to what Jesus said in John 5, “I do whatever I see my Father doing." Well at that precise moment, Jesus was walking on water, so Peter thought he would as well.  He thought I want to do what Jesus is doing, to step out of the boat and follow Jesus on the water. Where are your thoughts taking you? Let's follow Peter out on the water with his buoyant thoughts. "This is awesome! I can do this! I can be like Jesus." Then, he started looking around him. "This isn't possible. This is unnatural. Science defies this. I shouldn't be here!" His sinking thinking almost drowned him.
I'm not saying you can wish for whatever you want and it will be, but if Jesus has given you an invitation to step out, to walk on the impossible with Him you have permission to dream, to do what seems impossible. Just keep thinking what He is thinking and you will stay afloat. He told His followers, "See these things I am doing? You will be doing greater things than these." The key? Thinking like Jesus and believing like Jesus. If Jesus, the Son of God, took His directions from the Father, how much more should we humans? Jesus said, “I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in the same manner." When we think like Him we can do what He does, just watch out for sinking thinking! When Peter saw the wind he was afraid and began to sink...he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  Stop with the sinking thinking already! Don't doubt, just believe.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Get up and walk

When we fail or fall, getting up is hard. Looking in the mirror, harder. We knew we could do better, we were not expecting THAT from ourselves. Sometimes we beat ourselves up thinking that will help us get over it, get past the moment.  We can believe that God forgives us, perhaps others forgive us, but we can't forgive ourselves. We believe that somehow when we have done enough penance we will be able to feel forgiven. There is something so wrong with that thinking. First, we don't understand Grace. His grace is enough! We can't add to it, can't pay for it, can't earn it. Second, who do we think we are that we can forgive sins? If the God of the universe gave His Only Son to die so we could be forgiven, what more do we need? He can forgive us but we can't forgive ourselves? How prideful. It means we believe that our offense against ourselves is bigger than our offense against God? "Jesus paid it all, ALL! All to Him I owe. Sin had left an awful stain. He washed it white as snow." Thinking we can forgive ourselves is a pride sin. We don't have the power to forgive, only God does. All we can do is receive his Grace. That's what we balk at. We want to do something, pay for it, earn it. He says "no", just receive. It doesn't seem like enough. We can no more forgive ourselves than we can heal ourselves. The paralytic was carried in by four friends because he could not bring himself. (Mark 2) And there at Jesus' feet he was forgiven. The question was raised, "Who can forgive sins but God?" And the Son of God said, "I can and I do." "Your sins are forgiven, get up, you are whole." If God has forgiven us, who are we to argue that there is still sin we have to forgive ourselves for? That is rebellion and pride. We can do nothing to save ourselves but repent, receive His grace and get off the mat and walk. Who has power to forgive sins but God? Done, your sins are forgiven, get up and walk.