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Monday, February 29, 2016

"Man Up!" - LEAP

Happy Leap Day everyone!  I have a sense that the good Lord would like each of us to take a LEAP of faith and do something that is beyond our normal comfort zone… what do you think?  Are you game to throw caution into the wind, to take His hand and LEAP out into the unknown?  Hummmm… let me share a thought with you that just might give you an extra boost in trusting Him today.

I have not been able to get away from Paul’s instructions for husbands when he declared: “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.  He did this to make the church holy by cleansing it, washing it using water along with spoken words.  Then he could present it to himself as a glorious church, without any kind of stain or wrinkle-holy and without fault” (Ephesians 5:25-27 Good News Bible/God’s Word ©)  The comparison that the Apostle makes between Christ’s actions and those of a husband toward his wife is both inspiring and thought provoking.

As I continued to meditate on these verses yesterday and today it dawned on me that this is EXACTLY the way that Jesus sees you and me.  He sees and loves the church as husbands are told to encourage, love, care for, nurture and protect their wives… and in doing so, He sees us as being without stain, wrinkle free (take that anyway you need to!), holy and WITHOUT FAULT!”

Jesus is not focusing in on yours and my faults, weaknesses or shortcomings.  You’ll remember that when He talked to the women caught in the act of adultery, that He didn’t condemn or talk down to her.  He loved her, forgave her and encouraged her to leave that part of her life behind. (see: John 8:1-11)  

In reference to a conversation that he had with a man living under great condemnation but needing healing in his lungs due to a long habit of smoking cigarettes, Pastor Chad Norris in his book “Signs, Wonders and a Baptist Preacher” shared with the individual that “One of the biggest shocks of my life was when I realized how tender and loving God truly is.”  He shared the story of the women caught in adultery and then declared: “That passage seemed to open this man’s eyes to the idea that perhaps even in the midst of his own struggle, Jesus was not obsessed with it, nor was He looking to punish him for his shortcomings.” (pp 154-155)

That is my encouragement for you today.  Make the choice today to see yourself as Jesus sees you!  Don’t obsess with what you might consider to be the “problem areas” in your life.  Release the things that are holding you back to Him and then take that LEAP that you know He has been calling you to take!  The enemy of our faith loves to throw all and any kind of condemnation on you that he can… or that YOU ALLOW him to!

So… close that door!  See yourself as Jesus sees you and “head ‘em up and move ‘em out”… and take a LEAP on this Leap Day of this Leap Year!  And as you do, keep asking yourself… “Whose opinion of me am I expecting to believe today?

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