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Archive for March, 2014

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MYSTIC MUSINGS

This week in the Genesis study we explored the very difficult 34th chapter. It’s hard to understand why stories like the rape if Dinah are in the Bible. We seem to think that all the characters in the Bible are saints. They are not. The Bible shows use raw humanity. The are stories that could be put on the nightly news and be right at home. So why are they there? To show that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was a God of LOVE.

“For God so loved the world. . . ,” a world of raw humanity capable of horrors and atrocities. “That He gave. . . ” God’s love is always about giving, of Himself, first and then in a million intimate gifts that come to rest in the heart of Jesus. “His only Son. . .? Divine LOVE give all, gives what is most precious and dear to His own divine heart, withholding nothing. That is why I capitalize all the letters when referring to divine LOVE. No human being can LOVE like that. Why would He do that? Why would He give His dearly beloved Son to people capable of the horror we see in Genesis 34.

So, how do we get this great love? See there’s the wrench in the works. Justice demands that sin must pay the penalty. Logic tells us that we must measure up to the righteousness demanded by the law. Except that there was no law at this time, just strict cultural norms and standards enforced by tribal kings in city-states. But this call for justice is a natural one in every human heart of every culture found on earth. So when the Bible says that we obtain this incredible LOVE by faith alone, we rebel. “. . . That whoever believes in Him (Jesus) would not perish but have everlasting life.” Noooooo! It can’t be true. Shechem can’t get off scott free. Jesus didn’t die for Hitler. The boys were perfectly justified in killing all the men in the village. That’s justice. Yes, perhaps. But it us not LOVE, or grace, or making peace.

It is a mistake to demand New Testament values from Old Testament people. As the old saying says, “The Bible must be interpreted in the time in which it was written.” But God does not change. His righteousness demands perfect LOVE which is part of His great character. The greatest commandment for both Jews and Christians is summed up in Deuteronomy 6:6 “You shall love The Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.”

That’s the standard. Who can measure up to it? Every moment of every day to be totally consumed with a burning love fit God, is the demand. And although these words had not been written yet, God still sets this as the standard. Do I measure up. Certainly not!

Jesus does LOVE like this He loved Shechem when he came riding across the plains to snatch up Dinah and rape her. He loved Jacob when he failed in leadership. He loved Simeon and Levi, when they committed the crime of killing all the men and not stopping with Shechem. The corollary to the Great Commandment is Leviticus 19:18 “. . . You shall love your as yourself.” It takes divine LOVE to love our enemies, those toxic people who destroy our lives our peace and our sanity.

How can we get this divine LOVE? Be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is given through the life of God to us because He is living in us. Galatians 5:23,24. I receive the Holy Spirit when I became a believer. Romans 8:9. But being controlled by God, The Holy Spirit is a matter of choice. God is a gentleman, if I want to do things my way, He will let me. I have a will. When I sin it is then a matter of confessing my willful sins to allow the Holy Spirit to flow through me.

Loving toxic people is hard. Sometimes it’s hard to love the people we cherish. But loving my enemies is completely out of the question. I cannot love a “Hitler.” Only divine LOVE can do something that amazing.

Let’s ask Jesus for mercy. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit for the help He is ready to give so that. We can LOVE as He does.

In the heart if Jesus,
Kathy Seidlitz

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OK. I Surrender

A few years ago the Southern Baptist Convention gave me a wonderful gift. A “servant husband.”* Why hadn’t I been told this secret before. My husband is my servant. Of course, we laughed and laughed about it and I used it in masterful and timely ways. But there’s something to this. Something we have all missed.

Jesus is, in fact, the servant husband to His beloved wife, the church. She is His Bride, the love of His life. He came to be her resue. He came to die for her. He will come and take her home with Him.

He is the perfect example of total surrender as Philippians 2 tells us. The perfect servant. And that’s what these musings are about, surrender. Surrender of my will to God is one of the first steps to experiencing Him. We have to trust Him before He will reveal Himself to us.

If we are not surrendered in total trust, we risk misinterpreting not only what God may reveal to us but who God is. Why? Because we are plagued with a sin nature. It is like a lens that distorts and colors everything falsely. It also corrupts everything it touches. But Jesus does come to terribly sinful people. Why? Because they are ready for Him. The Gaddarine demoniac (Mark 5) was ready for Him.

Surrender is a quiet thing. Unseen, deep in the heart. It has enormous consequences! A surrendered heart is a vessel that the power of the living God can flow through to a desperate world. It is a Spirit-filled heart, full of love, joy and peace. From these three the rest of the fruits grow. All I have to do to see if I am surrendered today is look at the fruits of the Spirit in Galations 3 and see how I line up. If not, some soul exploration needs to happen, finding and surrendering the areas that I’m clasping.

In His heart,
Kathy Seidlitz

*1998 Baptist Faith and Message

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Mystic? Isn’t that a crazy person sitting up on a mountain top contemplating his/her navel? Or at least contemplating something.

Henry Blackaaby, a Southern Baptist minister, brought us back to the practice of experiencing God. His study course, “Experiencing God” taught millions of people about our intensely personal, loving God who strongly desires a love relationship with His people.

Christianity Today called Charles Stanley a mystic because he said he wept when he felt the presence of God. No one would accuse Dr Stanley of being a weirdo or wacky in any way.

So what’s the deal. A mystic is Christianity is simply someone who experiences God in an intimate, personal way. That doesn’t sound to weird. Well, a few people have gone off the deep end and based their Christian life on their experiences. Notice I did not say “. . . with God.” That’s because any experience we have absolutely must be based on what Scripture says. The vast majority of Christian mystics were also very good theologians. Not all. . .

Before i go any further let me tell you. . . There will be no footnotes. You can Google this if you’re curious about what I say. That’s the importance of the word “musings.” You are getting what has been bundled up in my head for a very long time. It’s not a doctoral dissertation. It’s not a published work. It’s my musings.

In the heart of Jesus,
Kathy

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Been a Long Time

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anythig.  Sorry about that.   Since the last time I posted God has done miraculous things in my life.  Finding the path to becoming functional in life again is no small thing.  It will take a year to get to anything like a normal state, they tell me.

Those of you who know me have seen God use me multiple times as a visual aide.  Sudden, mysterious illness pop up and death looms on the horizon.  Five times in my life I have been close to death.  Never quite as close as this last brush, however.  In August, we were considering hospice.

I’m telling you this because the subject matter of this blog is going to shift a little bit. I thought about starting another blog called ‘Mystic Musings.” But for now I’ll leave it here.

See the next post for more. . .

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