Eternal Life, Eternal Joy …

When I was growing up a favorite hymn was “Jesus Is All The World To Me” – the line of the song that I loved most was, “Eternal life, eternal joy, He’s my Friend.” As a child, I did not really understand the deep meaning of this statement, but it made me happy to think of being with Him forever because he is a true friend. Thinking of it now is making me sing it and cry tears of joy. Interestingly, there is much that I keep hearing taught that paints people a picture of a life with Christ being the best thing to have in today’s moments. That’s true – when you’re talking about where a person’s faith should be. We need to be careful to speak the truth clearly, however, when we’re telling people what eternal life with Him looks like.

Life eternal is — knowing the Father and His son – Christ.

Our human need for more – for better – for more excellent – has distorted our view of eternal life. We have filled our minds with lesser things as we speak of eternity. Things like – robes, golden streets, mansions, reunions with those who have passed away, even heavenly banquets. Christ makes it very plain to us that eternal life is in knowing Him! Not just some casual acquaintance, but an intimacy that causes all other things that seem to make up life to pale in comparison. A ‘knowing Him’ that fills the deep recesses of our hearts and satisfies longings too deep to describe. Indeed, knowing Him is the one timeless truth.

Father — change my heart. Teach me how and what it means to be satisfied and complete in knowing You. My mind cannot conceive that nothing else is needed – so help me understand this. As I look toward life eternal – let my longing be for intimacy with You and the Christ. Prepare my heart and my mind for eternity with You!

Don’t Get Caught up in “Spare Rituals”

In the name of our rituals, traditions, etc.; who have we been willing to sacrifice?

Y’all know what I’m talking about? The rituals and traditions of some folk:

  • we (ladies) don’t wear pants
  • we don’t wear make-up
  • we don’t eat shrimp
  • we don’t clap our hands
  • we don’t dance

Or what about these:

  • we must keep silent
  • we must speak in an unknown tongue.

Do we ever just think “Hurry! Get rid of the one person that might inconvenience us so that we can return to being pious!” Of course none of these rituals and traditions are in the “Jan Chinn Book of Piety” … but …. Are you hearing my question? In the name of rituals and traditions that you value … Who Have You Been Willing To Sacrifice?

Traditions, in themselves, are not always bad. But when these traditions/rituals supercede the lives of people.. when they cause us to be blind to the truth that The Lord has charged us with… which requires loving people – we not only put their souls in danger, but we kill the message of the cross! Even something that seems so simple – like disallowing people to be touched or loved by you on what you consider your holy day …. would that be like Christ at all!?!? Luke 6: 9 is pretty clear that it would not! Nothing in our holy lives should rise above our dedication to living our life for Him! Living lives that reflect Him. Living lives that reflect The Lord.

Be careful … for The Father up above, looked down on you in love .. so you surely better do the same!

I was looking back at Christ’s crucifixion story and those Jewish leaders were not kidding at all. Speaking of the other two men on the crosses on each side of Jesus, the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies to stay on the cross on the Sabbath day. So they asked Pilate to order that the men’s legs be broken. And they asked that the bodies be taken down from the crosses. John 19:31 In other words – they wanted those men to hurry up and die so that they could carry on with their rituals … rituals that brought the Messiah no honor at all.

The Sabbath ritual was so important to the Jews that hastening someone’s death seemed necessary to them. Their ritual was more valuable to them than any life.

Father – please help us not be at that place!

I pray that God will help us to remember that His heart is for people to be reconciled to Him! Thieves and murderers; haters and liars … ALL of them have been found worthy of His love! Yes, all of us have been found worthy of His love! I am asking God to help us place people above what seems convenient for our traditions and regular practices. May legalism never become our god!

Lord – Please put Your love for this world in our hearts! Use us to open the doors for all. Remind us that You, God, were in Christ reconciling the world to Yourself, and you have given us the ministry of reconciliation!

“Without Christ it ain’t spiritual – All it is is a bunch of spare rituals.” – The Cross Movement

Have No Fear!

When walking according to the will of God, you become acutely aware of who is NOT on your side. They talk, sneer, point — not in the physical, but in another realm. It is so easy to become dismayed. But when you look back and ask God, “Father, remind me again why I’m here”, He will remind you that He gives His children dominion — power within to squash the works of the enemy. So … you don’t have to fear the enemy. You remember that your call is from God, Himself. That call supersedes the desires of any man. You walk and act under the authority of the King of All Kings! And finally, you remember your end — you will dwell with Him forever, and that future moves your forward — knowing that you will one day fellowship with the presence of the Lord forever!

Jesus’ confidence, the fortitudinous strength of a man who would be the redeemer of the world, lie in the fact that He knew the basis of His call – and He believed what His end would be!

Glorious God, Your calling is sure! Your name is great! Your purposes are above all! I glorify you because You alone are God and beside You is no other. Father in the place of my fears and doubts – I ask that Your Word be my constant reminder that I am called of the Ruler of the Universe. I ask that I be reminded that this calling was not my choice but your command – mine only to obey. You keep the prize ever before me to encourage my Spirit. You are everything to me – help me minister in a way that shows this to be true!

Sometimes – We Miss The Point

When the Lord offers us eternity and more than this – when He offers to make us vessels of eternity that can effect the lives of others — why don’t we grab hold?

We are so focused on the physical, that we cannot see what is in front of us in the spiritual realm. We are worried about the labor involved in taking care of our most basic needs — forgetting that our most basic needs are being met all of the time through no effort on our part.

We lose focus of the spiritual need that we have; His gift of what our strong inner desires and our deepest need should be – deep desire within each of us to be in a relationship with the true and living God.

The Lord offers us satisfaction of the strong inner desires and deepest needs He has put in our heart, and then He says that satisfaction will become a well within us that others can draw from … so that they can receive this same satisfaction. This satisfaction is salvation! Reconciliation to the Father! Satisfaction! We miss the point – and focus on the labor involved in the mundane. We completely miss the point!

I am praying for the Father to help our hearts see when He is offering more than our finite mind can conceive. I am asking that he will never let us choose to grasp the mundane when He has offered the supernatural – the eternal. Praying that He will teach us to hear Him well and not to only listen for what we long to hear! Praying that He will help us to seek for our satisfaction in Him alone.

Grown Man, but Baby Boy :-)

I just can hardly get used to you, my baby, being a truly grown man. You’ve made this mama smile from day one – even when you got old enough to get on my last nerve … you made this heart sing praises and thanksgiving to The Almighty God.

I am loving watching you discover and walk into all that God has created you to be … all that He has created you to do. Caring for people and bringing upon this earth joy that is mind blowing. Serving people as you lead them into their own life purpose. The way you give yourself to others is just mind blowing still.

This mama is praying God’s blessings over Jeremy as he pursues amazing goals in life. Praying God’s blessings over him as he shows many of his friends the value of standing firm instead of running, when you give all of those heavy things to God … He’ll bear them for you. Praising God for his tremendous blessings over Jeremy – meeting his every need, as he willingly meets the needs of friends in many ways! He’s not a quitter and he always has a heart for folk who need help that he can give.

My Jer Bear reflects true strength and service to anyone around him, which helps them to do some of the same things. He knows there is no trouble free road, but He knows that The One who can … will walk him right on through all of it. He knows that if he just does what The Father says … all will be well.

As people who profess belief in Christ – our hearts must at all time seek to love people and help people even if it costs us time, money, peace, quiet … even if it just Gets On Our Nerves! It’s not easy to commit to help people who don’t love you and who will enjoy using you for their own good and not for your own. But we have to have the wisdom to believe that no matter what we give of ourselves, God will keep us!

The skill that God has poured into Jeremy is one that is a help for others. See this … when a person is doing a television program, motion picture, a podcast, music production, or any other project that needs truly skilled and exceptional sound assembly .. they need a true audio engineer, one that knows what he is doing. And that’s my Jeremy. He does his work to help others – not to be glorified – but to help people be even more amazing than they ever thought possible! Ain’t that something! (you can check him out here https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-news/softee-crush-song-you-need-to-know-1064087/)

Jeremy’s love for others exceeds most young men his age. When difficulties come his way – he takes a deep breath and just dives on in … knowing that His King has him and won’t let him go! He has the wisdom and courage to trust God with his heart; with his needs; and with his entire life … because he has no doubt that he has The Lord’s heart; that The King will provide his needs; and that The One who gives life has his life in control!

I am thanking God every single day for the amazing blessing He gave me in you! You are true joy to my heart!

Happy Birthday Jeremy!! My Jer Bear! My baby boy!