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Monday, September 14, 2015

Insiders vs Outsiders...


As I was getting things ready for bedtime last night, I stopped at one point to pet the dog who was lying in my pathway.  While I absently mindedly scratched behind her ears, I happened to focus in on the tags attached to her collar.  I felt a warmth of comfort and security in knowing that she was safe, protected and well cared for as I viewed her license, up-to-date rabies tag, “Get Me Home” online ID plate and microchip ID information.  For years she also wore a tag that had her name and our phone number, but I took it off after we had the microchip put in.  
To me, all that information demonstrated or “marked” her as being an “Insider” with the established local protocol for the community of pet owners.  If she was ever was to get out (again…) those tags would tell her finders that she was loved and had a home to return to.
I also got to thinking about “Insiders” as I continued to read from Ephesians chapter one over the weekend and again today.  I mentioned in Friday’s blog post how F.B. Meyer commented that the book of Ephesians “has been called the ‘Epistle of In-ness’ because it is so full of the preposition ‘in’”.  It seems to me that Paul really wanted to push the point that Christians are “Insiders” when it comes to the family and things of God on this earth!
In Ephesians 1:13 he denotes that “In Him you were sealed with the Holy Spirit whom he promised.” (God’s Word ©)  The word sealed literally means to “to set a mark upon” (Thayer’s)  In other words, you and I have been marked as Christians… as being “Insiders” to all the love, wisdom, knowledge and understanding as well as all the blessings and benefits of the family of God.  WOW!  Think on that reality for a moment!
Ephesians 2:19 goes on to tell us that we “are no longer foreigners and outsiders but citizens together with God’s people and members of God’s family.” (God’s Word ©)  When I was confessing God’s Word of healing over Piper this morning, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the warmth of security and comfort in the realization of how close and included I felt to Papa God through His Word!  At that moment I had a physical revelation of what it means to be an “Insider” in God’s family.  His Word and its truth and accompanying feelings of being an “Insider” has been the provider of peace and expectation that has kept my wife and I going over the last six years.
On the other hand, I have experienced the harshness of being treated as an outsider from those I fully expected to have been treated differently by.  I’ve talked about this a lot in past blogs for it was a hard lesson that helped to draw me even closer to my “Insider” standing within Papa God’s family.  The accusations, incorrect assumptions and corresponding actions made by these folks to me, my kids and to common friends, not only shook me to the core but also forced me to quickly realize that it was going to be me against them!
It became very evident that when push came to shove, that I was considered by them to be an outsider.  They not only pulled away from us but also tended to demonstrate that the information I so openly shared with them (at the beginning) held no value or was of no importance to them as they acted as though I had never said anything to them on many occasions.  The worse part of it was how I felt that they deserted Piper in her greatest time of need.  All of a sudden she also became an outsider to them.
I now understand that this was the way that they chose to personally handle the toughness of the situation, as they were not comfortable around the changes in her and weren’t quite sure how to handle it all.  In doing so they made it seem like she was the outsider… but in reality I have come to see how they have actually become an outsider to her and thereby missing the opportunities to see and experience her life from her joyful and expectant point of view of God’s daily miracles.
I was very impressed with a friend of our younger son who almost immediately was drawn to Piper when we went to their wedding a year or so ago.  He took the time on every occasion that we were together to sit quietly with her, or talk to her and enjoy her presence and the joyful anointing that still surrounds her.  He did not let the looks of the situation affect his Godly love for her.  And even though she didn’t say much and was separated by her wheelchair, this young man still saw and drew her in as an “Insider” to all the wedding activities.
As a Christian you and I are “Insiders” to all the daily signs and wonders of God in our daily lives.  As “Insiders” we should be looking for and expecting the wonders and miracles of God in everything we do.  After all… you and I carry the name of the most high God!  We are set apart to participate with Him and those we come into contact with each day -  in His love, His goodness, His grace and the inclusiveness of the family of God.
So don’t act as an outsider but as an “Insider” who was purchased with a price and now has bold access to the very throne room of God… and along the way… make sure that you NEVER cause another person to ever feel as an outsider… no matter how different they are, what they look like, what their circumstances are or whether you agree with them or not! 
Have a great week.  Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or How am I expecting to act as an ‘INSIDER’ today?”

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PS:  After writing and posting some 1185 blogs, five days a week for almost four years, I am sensing the need to make some changes, especially with everything going on in my life right now!  As of this week I am feeling led to reduce the posting of our blogs to three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Fridays –
But – at the same time, I am looking into some new ministry challenges as I have been encouraged by many of our readers to formulate some of the blogs into a daily devotional book format.  I am also sensing that it might be the time to step out into some other challenges that I believe the Lord has been talking to me about for quite a while now!  So… hold on tight and we’ll see what He has in mind!  I find that I just keep asking myself… “What is God expecting me to do for Him today?”

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