Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Long Strange Trip
"If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way to be my follower, you must give up your CROSS daily, and follow me.
Today is an anniversary of sorts....
Nineteen years ago today, a good friend of mine gave me some advice that I thought I understood. Turns out that I didn't.
What was this gem of knowledge?
"Your life is no longer your own!"
Somehow we know this by reading the passage in Luke.
All the "denying of self" and taking up "crosses".....
With the sole purpose of following Jesus...
We have a head understanding of such.
But the real rub comes as the days roll on and the newness of the relationship begins to dull a bit. The desire to be in control begins to rise back up in your mind. Notice I said "In your mind" and not in your heart.
Our minds and thoughts that come pouring out like spilled milk, tend to want to control the daily movement and decisions.
But truly when you come to Jesus for salvation and you begin this journey, your life is no longer your own. All of us, no matter what we may thing, have been bought and purchased with a price. Here again, I don't think we really stop to think about the price. God gave everything to ransom us. He gave His Son. I don't care who you are, if that doesn't undo you,you better check your fuel gauge. You might be running on empty.
To get in touch with this truth is monumental.
God gave up the best He had....
God placed Jesus right down in the middle of a sinful, dark world.
His purpose was to move through humanity, teaching and healing,but with a compass that was pointed to a hill outside of Jerusalem.
Some may be thinking "Well, He's God! He could go through anything."
This is true, but don't tell me that what took place on that cross was nothing more than a cosmic Disneyland Ride. And to top that off, God the Father had to watch Jesus the Son be beaten, tortured, and finally nailed to a Roman Cross.
But worse than all the physical anger and torture poured out on Jesus is the moment at which the Father had to direct His full wrath and fury at His own Son.
Jesus had the sins of the world laid upon Him.
He embraced them and took them to Himself.
He became ground zero for sin/payment that was meant for you and me.
He took our place.
So when I was told that my life was no longer my own....
I thought I understood what that meant.
Today, I have a little clearer picture and understanding.
I have seen the goodness of God when I embraced and followed this truth.
I have felt His displeasure when I sought to take back control of my life.
I couldn't see it, but God knew all too well what would happen if I did take control back. Let me tell you that I would have ended up in some spiritual ditch somewhere, surrounded by destruction.
Yes, it has been a long, strange trip....
But I would not have missed it for the world.
Every day has been an opportunity to see God work.
Every moment has been a learning time to know God a little better than I did.
Do I regret every answering God's call?
God on you...