In this book Daniel Walker describes how sex abuse of children sucks their souls out leaving an empty body – like J.K. Rowlings Dementors but even more terrifying because it is not make believe. Every man who has battled lust should read this book and fight that demon sin with renewed vigour as a result. Sex trafficking is a many-headed monster but we must fight it on all fronts.Continue Reading...
Archives For suffering
I want to thank God for an amazing little book I am currently reading. The book is Wrestling with an Angel: A Story of Love, Disablity and the Lessons of Grace by Greg Lucas, about insights gained as he raised a severely disabled son by the grace of God. It is very well written, humorous and heart-rending.
A commonly used phrase within Christian circles is ‘in the trenches’, meant to refer to people who are serving God in the midst of tough circumstances of daily life. Greg and Kim Lucas have certainly been doing that and what has been distilled from their years of difficulty and love into this 100-page book is like gold. True wisdom that is never easily gained.
I have spent days meditating on the depth of humility displayed in the chapter ‘Opposition|Humility’, and the excerpt below is from the very first chapter, challenging my perception of how big a load God could place upon me:
I hear religious-minded people say all the time with good intentions, “God will never place a burden on you so heavy that you cannot carry it.”
My experience is that God will place a burden on you so heavy that you cannot possibly carry it alone. He will break your back and your will. He will buckle your legs until you fall flat beneath the weight of your load. All the while He will walk beside you waiting for you to come to the point where you must depend on Him. (p14)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
(2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)
Thank you Lord that You still write wisdom in books by Your servants ( Ecclesiastes 12:11).
Gifts I have noticed this week (#549 – #560):
549) Firewood delivered and stacked before the latest storm.
550) God kept the snow away so I could preach my sermon.
551) Kids enjoying collecting pine cones on a freezing cold afternoon.
552) Two-year-old son thinks my pathetic drawing of a tractor is wonderful.
553) The faith and perseverance of others lifting me up.
555) Cooking dinner for a change, letting my wife rest.
556) Politicians I didn’t vote for.
557) A friend searching for ways to help.
558) Getting to bed at a reasonable hour.
559) Being pursued to deal with my weaknesses.
560) Those who love me making sure I am helped.
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Image of book cover: Cruciform Press
Recently I have been a bit stuck for what I should be writing about. There are some topics I’d like to address, but I’ve felt as though this is not the correct time for me to venture my as yet partially-formed thoughts on certain issues.
Then this morning while my son trashed our house and I enjoyed a cup of tea, God reminded me that the greatest thing I can do is to know Him, to meditate upon the perfections of Christ and to share the glory of this with you.
Perhaps the most obvious of Christ’s perfections is his love, a topic sufficient to fill an entire blog on its own. I want to consider the love of Jesus even in His pain.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
(John 13:1-5 ESV)
Jesus loved His disciples not only through many weary miles of ministry on dusty roads, He loved them through their betrayals and in His deepest times of agony. He loved them to the end.
At this time when He knew His betrayer had ‘gone over to the dark side’ and He knew that His disciples would all scatter and run from Him, Jesus continues to love. He does not retreat into being wrapped up in His own trials and misery, He does the opposite. Laying aside the clothing of a man, Jesus takes the place of a servant and voluntarily undertakes the most demeaning of tasks.
The act of washing feet introduces Christ’s final discourse to His disciples. Jesus has much to communicate to them, but the overall message is “love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). The ultimate example of His love is yet to come, this command is given knowing that He indeed will not shrink back, that He will love them to the end.
Jesus is fully God. He is also fully man. This means that the pain of following through on what love required hurt Him every bit as much as it would hurt me. I have no grounds to dismiss what Jesus endured as being impossible for me because I am not God – He experienced the pain of it just as much as I would. In that pain He continued to love. Through pain Jesus made good His promises. In agony He forgave. While being tortured He refused to call upon angels to take the easy way out.
When I am in pain you see me at my worst. I will be irritable, short tempered, selfish, unkind to others, refuse to forsake comfort, impatient and withdrawn. What I will not be is loving.
This is sin.
It is dishonouring to Jesus.
Such behaviour reveals my lack of trust in God.
Paul proved that it is possible for a man to love through pain (2 Corinthians 4:7-18), the cost is high but the gain to everyone is beyond our usual ability to measure things:
For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthians 4:11 ESV)
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)
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Image of dirty feet: iStockphoto
Linking with Ann today to consider love as we walk with Christ.