Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Authority {Through the Eyes of a Child}

Last night before bedtime, Sarah, our seven year old, was reading in her The Beginners Bible the story of where Jesus spoke to the storm and it stopped.

"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  

And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, 'Master carest thou not that we perish?'  

And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, 'Peace, be still,'  and there was a great calm." Mark 4:37-39

After the story, Sarah said, "The storm was like His kid and He was the parent.  The storm had to obey Him."

Children see things so clearly and simply.

Sarah was right on in her theological interpretation of this passage.  No degrees. No doctorates.  Only Jesus and an open heart.

Jesus' authority was also simple for the centurion to understand in Matthew 8:8-10.  He understood, as a man who was in authority over soldiers, that Jesus only needed to speak the word and his servant would be healed.

If only our faith would be as strong as a child's or the centurion!

In Mark 4, the boat was being overtaken with waves, to the point where it was full of water. Everyone was panicking.  Jesus was sleeping.

Jesus was the One who suggested they go out in the boat.  He knew the storm would come.  Yet, He slept.  Did He sleep because He didn't care?  No.  He slept in peace because He knew the storm would not overtake them.  He knew the waves would have to fall at His command.

I don't know why Jesus waited to be woken before stopping the storm.  Maybe it is significant that the disciples finally went to Him after first panicking for minutes or even hours.

I wonder how many storms we find ourselves beaten, tossed around and panicking before turning to Jesus. Do we wait until the point where our boat is full of water and almost sinking before calling on the One who can calm the storm?

Are you in a storm today?  Does it seem like Jesus is sleeping and you wonder if He even cares that you are sinking? He cares.  Don't be afraid. 

He is in the boat with you.  There is no reason to fear with Jesus in the boat.  With the faith of a child, wake Him.  With the boldness of the centurion, ask Him to help.

Whatever storm you are going through, it must obey Him.  Call on Him in faith and hear Him say, "Peace, be still."


Friday, September 26, 2014

Point Them to Their Need

Last week was crazy in the Molitor household.  Chris was gone on a work trip and I was left to being a single parent for the week.  The kids were out of sorts and decided it would be a good week for testing mom's limits... and lets just say I wanted to ground them, for like, forever!

In my quiet time, Jesus whispered quietly to my heart. (My tone in the house that week had been quite the opposite of quiet, by the way.)  But, He whispered quietly,"Point them to their need."  What do they need?  The answer...Jesus.

When Luke gets angry and hits his sister...point him to his need.

When Joe lets his sister down by siding with friends to pick on her...point him to his need.

When Sarah tattles and wants to get her brother in trouble...point her to her need.

I am often tempted to point out my kids failures instead of pointing them to the One who is faithful.

Part of being a Christian is learning that when we fail, to go to the One who never fails.  Christianity isn't about a list of  rules, its about relationship.  

I love what Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales (love VeggieTales!!!), stated in an interview with World Magazine:

"I looked back at the previous 10 years and realized I had spent 10 years trying to convince kids to behave Christianly without actually teaching them Christianity. And that was a pretty serious conviction. You can say, 'Hey kids, be more forgiving because the Bible says so,' or 'Hey kids, be more kind because the Bible says so!' But that isn't Christianity, it's morality."

We can go to church our whole lives.  We can hear Bible stories.  We can be taught right and wrong. However, all of that is morality, not Christianity.  

Morality and Christianity are two separate entities.  

Morality points to behavior.  Christianity points to a Savior.  

Morality brings condemnation.  Christianity brings redemption.  

Morality focuses on earning approval.  Christianity focuses on knowing God. 

The Lord didn't tell me to point out my kids failures.  The Lord didn't tell me to show them all ways they were wrong.  The Lord told me to point them to their need, which is always the Cross.  

The need is always Jesus.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Crushing the Cricket

Have you ever made a wrong decision that you thought was the right decision at the time?  I have.

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9

Recently someone told me a story about how they weren't allowed to watch Pinocchio as a child because of that little conscience every body loves, Jiminy Cricket.

I laughed when I heard the reason Pinocchio was banned from their home. I really shouldn't have laughed.  After all, my kids weren't allowed to watch it either, but it was for the more...ahem... pious reason of the Biblical name for "donkey" being used in the movie.  My reason was acceptable (please hear my smile), but theirs...well...it seemed a bit ridiculous.

They explained that Jiminy's motto,"Always let your conscious be your guide", was the reason for crushing the cricket.  And they quoted the verse above.  Again, I laughed in unbelief.

I'm not laughing today.  Although I'm not for condemning crickets or judging Jiminy, my friend seriously has a point.

The other day I made a decision based on my conscience.  I desperately wanted to do the right thing.  However, our hearts can deceive us.  

The Hebrew word for "heart" in the verse above is leb and it can also be translated as soul, mind or conscience.

By following my conscience, I unwittingly neglected to follow the Holy Spirit.

There will be times when following the Holy Spirit does not make sense and following Him may even seem wrong to some.  However, His way is never wrong.

Our guide needs to be the Holy Spirit and Him only.  He alone is the final authority in our lives.

If we listen to our hearts or crickets, we may find ourselves in a similar place as Pinocchio, looking like a Biblical word for donkey.  And that is never good.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

An Invitation

Today I want to invite you to head over to Deeper Still Devotions, a blog I write for the Deeper Still Ministry. 

Find out how you are a Letter of Recommendation for Christ.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Un-Rushed Moment

Recently I stumbled across an episode of "The Golden Girls".  Do you remember that show?  I didn't watch it when I was younger and I can't say I'm a fan now. But this particular episode caught my attention.

Dorthy and her mother share a bed.  As they were exchanging comical banter in the bed, my thoughts shifted to the sweetness of this relationship.  The mother is about 90 years old.  The daughter is about 65.  Again, my thoughts shifted...this time turning to a page in my own story.

My daughter is seven.  Every night she likes me to lay in bed with her "for a couple of minutes".  Some nights I do and some I don't.  I use to rush past these nighttime moments after a day of exhaustion, just wanting to get the kids in bed.

Sometimes my flesh continues to cry, "Just get them to bed so you can relax!"

However, my heart whispers wisdom.

"Don't rush this moment.  Read the Bible with her.  Pray.  Cuddle. Sing."

Someday, I will be 90 and my daughter will be 65.  I may not be lying in bed with her then, but I can now. We can have comical banter and laughter now.  These days won't last forever.  These un-rushed moments  ripen relationship and mold memories.

We need to un-rush our lives to uncover moments of living.

Lysa Terkeurst talks about "un-rushing" our lives in her new book, The Best Yes.  I just finished reading it and it is full of wisdom.  Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies is starting a new Bible study using this book on September 22.  If you are interested in joining the study, you can click on this link to find out more information or register  http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/.