Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Personal Encounter with Jesus and a Waterfall

Some of you know that I've been part of a class going through John Eldridge's "Beautiful Outlaw".  Since first picking the book up, I've been challenged repeatedly to change the way I look at (and for) Jesus.  One of the last chapters in the book talks about encounters people have had - and some very personal ones.

I've been going through a number of struggles lately, and the thoughts in that particular chapter really began to gnaw at my mind.  I was beginning to wonder why I hadn't had "my encounter" with Jesus and why life was so difficult at the moment.  I probably was even pouting just a bit.

We've had a fairly dry Summer (as have many) and to compound that the farmer that owns the field behind us was emptying his ponds at a pretty quick clip.  This is all part of how life happens, but what it means is that the waterfall in the picture above stops running.  I know it's a little thing, but I love to see it when we drive by on our way to church or my daily commute.  For me (and my wife) there is just something about a waterfall that draws us in.

August appears to be intent on catching up on rainfall.  In fact, the few hours we were gone last Sunday brought over three inches in our rain gauge.  So last week, when I went by the Moore's Pond waterfall, I saw it running again.  And in that small wonder of nature, Jesus gave me the encounter I thought I had been missing.  It put a smile on my face and I knew He really was there  with me all the time and had never left.

The Crooked Path rarely looks the same for me as it does for you, so why should I expect the encounters with Jesus to be any different?  The very God who made all we see did so for His own pleasure and for ours.  And He renews that creation continually as part of showing us who He is and so we can encounter Jesus ... even in a small waterfall that hadn't been running for a few months.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The New Covenant

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:19-20)
In my way of thinking (at least at times it goes this way), I have a tendency to view the "old covenant" as null and void.  Well, it dawned on me earlier this month that I was mistaken.  As communion was being served, I wrote down the following thoughts about the new and old covenants based on what the verse above and what God showed me that Sunday morning.
We have a "new covenant" because the old one was impossible for us to keep.  But God doesn't hold that against us because he gave Jesus who fulfilled it perfectly for us.  That doesn't make it void - it makes it complete.  So now Jesus brings the "new covenant" to us and he brings it via his own blood.
The travel on the Crooked Path is a forward trajectory based on the new covenant.  I don't leave the old one behind, but rather move forward in victory with a Savior who took care of it and now builds his home within me.