Will the Seed grow?

So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby. -John 19:42 NKJV

It’s Saturday. Yesterday and Thursday my heart was meditative upon the Cross of my Lord. This morning I’m reading through the Preparation day accounts in the gospels and thinking about waiting for new life to spring up.

THE Seed had been placed in the ground. And now they waited. But they waited in grief, not knowing the Seed would rise anew and in us multiply His life.

In a very small way I understand what they felt. When I planted seeds in my garden I truly had doubts that they’d grow. I put the seed in the dirt and… that’s it. I watered it. I waited. Nothing.

What if it didn’t rise through the dirt? My effort (small as it was) would be wasted, and my hope for fruit and veggies to be eaten would be lost.

And in a bigger way I understand that making your own human life as a seed, planted in the dust of humanity is even riskier.

But I know the end of the story concerning the Seed of all seeds. He rose through the stone. The soil wasn’t even good where they planted Him. It would seem impossible that He would rise. But He did.

I wait through this Saturday reflecting on how it feels to anticipate new life when it seems impossible, yet I know that if Jesus is in it, not even a stone can keep resurrected life from sprouting forth.

So I receive the implanted Word into my heart meekly and trust that even through the stone of my heart Jesus will rise in me.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. -James 1:21 NKJV

I take up my cross of speaking the truth in love, confessing, repenting, obeying God, and bearing the offenses of others in mercy and intercession, willingly denying myself all the way to death; pouring out my life (the new life I have as Christ dwells in me), planting my life in others, trusting the Word is able to rise past the dirt, stone and opposition and produce resurrection life. Eternal life.

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. – John 12:24-26 NKJV

I wait in confidence that a day is coming when Resurrection life won’t just live in the midst of perishing flesh, but will be all there is.

But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain–perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. -1Corinthians 15:35-44 NKJV

And I’ll even plant my canteloupe seeds, trusting in the power of God to raise to new life a seed, dead in the dirt, which for me to live (by the eating of it’s fruit) requires its death.

Isaiah 51:3

Who would have thought?

1 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen? Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this? 2 The servant grew up before God – a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. 3 He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum.

4 But the fact is, it was our pains he carried – our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. 5 But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him – our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. 6 We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. 7 He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn’t say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence. 8 Justice miscarried, and he was led off – and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for his own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people. 9 They buried him with the wicked, threw him in a grave with a rich man, Even though he’d never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn’t true.

10 Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he’d see life come from it – life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him. 11 Out of that terrible travail of soul, he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it. Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant, will make many “righteous ones,” as he himself carries the burden of their sins. 12 Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly – the best of everything, the highest honors – Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch, because he embraced the company of the lowest. He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many, he took up the cause of all the black sheep. – The Message Isaiah 53

So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

Preparing to Remember

Today I’m preparing to remember what the blood of Christ, my Passover Lamb, did for me. I’ll be remembering, reflecting, meditating… worshipping in the presence of children who only know the story through me, and with a listening Philippian jailer.

I’m praying for an earthquake! I’m praying for walls to fall! I’m praying for a prostituted soul to hang the scarlet cord out the window of their soul!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” -Romans 1:6 NKJV

I’m praying for eyes to be opened. For questions to be asked. I’m praying for a godly sorrow that leads to true repentance. I’m praying for revelation.

May Resurrection day come with the true raising of new life in this house!

So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

Standing at the cross of my Captain

“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” -2 Thess.1:11-12 NKJV

There Private Ryan stood, an old man now, before the cross at the grave of his dead Captain.

Captain John H. Miller had given up his life to find and save Private Ryan years before and now he stood before Captain Miller’s gravestone trembling.

He wasn’t sure he could even come back to the place where Miller gave his life. He wondered if he had led a worthy life. A good life. A life that said Captain Miller’s life wasn’t sacrificed in vain. He had been given freed by Captain Miller, but that freedom came at a mighty price. He knew it. It weakened his ability to stand, but it also motivated him to honor the sacrifice with his life.

This is EXACTLY what happens to me every time I stand before the cross of my Captain. The Captain of all captains.

He isn’t dead, but His cross reminds me that He had to suffer and die a terrible death and that His sacrifice was more costly than I can ever repay. I can’t earn what He did for me, but while I stand remembering the cost, I tremble and desire to live a life that honor’s His sacrifice. I owe my life to HIM. It’s not about earning salvation, it’s about living a life that honors the One who died to save me.

That’s why I can’t indulge my flesh without overwhelming shame. That’s why I MUST teach my kids the truth.

I want to be able to look at the people in my life and know they’ll be able to say my life honored the cross of my Captain. I want them to see His life laid down causing me to live. But even more than the assesment of the people in my life is what God would say about me. Would He say I’ve lived a life worthy, a life that honors Christ?

Unlike Ryan, my hope is not that my life will ever be enough… I know my life will never be enough. I know I can never earn what my Captain has done for me, but His cross compels me to live a life that honors Him.

So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

I was born here

“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, And blessed him and increased him.” For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the Lord; Joy and gladness will be found in it, Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” – Isaiah51:1-3 NKJV

This is one of my favorite passages in all of scripture. It tells where my new life began. It tells of how God brings life out of death.

He has hewn us from the THE Rock and we are living stones. When that great rock rolled away my new life emerged from the tomb in His. He has given us new life from a hole. A hole in His hands. A hole in His feet. A hole in His side.

When I read, “…and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug…” I see those holes in His hands, feet and side.

I was born in the holes where nails pierced His hands and feet, and from a pit where a spear opened His side. Where blood and water poured out. A fountain of new life. Just as blood and water pour out from the womb.

Just as the LORD made a father from childless Abraham, and a mother from barren Sarah, He brought forth my new life like a garden out of waste places. He gave birth to me eternally through my deadness, which He bore, there at the Cross.

So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3