Good Morning Snow

Good Morning from snowy Tennessee!  It is beautiful outside–everything is covered in white.  I turned on the weather earlier this morning, and the weather persons said that our high today would be 20 degrees!  Now for all my friends up North, you think that’s a heat wave, but for us down here in Nashville–THAT’S COLD!  That’s why I don’t live up North anymore! {smile}

With the cold weather and the ice on the roads, the office where I work is opening a little later.  So when I woke up, I grabbed my Bible and jumped right back into bed.  I snuggled up under the covers with my 5 or 6 pillows {I’ve lost count}, and opened up to Luke 13.  I was ready to read the Word and be encouraged.  Then I saw the heading of the first section, “Repent or Perish.”  At 5:30 this morning that didn’t get me too excited or encouraged, but I kept reading. 

I must admit, at first I was not excited to blog about this chapter.  But as I read through the chapter again, I saw a theme.  The first section talks about a tree that doesn’t produce fruit being cut down.   But at the very end, we see this tree receiving the grace of one more year to bear fruit before it is cut down.  Verses 10 through 17 talk about a woman being healed after 18 years!!  In other sections of this chapter we read Jesus’ words about the kingdom of God,  the narrow gate (very similar to Matthew 7…check it out) and His words of sorrow concerning Jerusalem.  I realized after reading this chapter through a couple times that this chapter is about second chances, Jesus’ heart for His people and our choices. 

What I first saw as “repent or perish,” I began to see as, “Please, come to Me.”  When I read about the woman being healed on the Sabbath and the synagogue ruler disapproving, I saw Jesus’ compassion for a hurting world.  His desire to have a relationship with His people trumped the “rules.”  As he tells of the yeast, I think about Jesus becoming such a part of my life that someone looking in can’t see where I stop and where Jesus begins.  I read about hope in all of these passages.

In verse 22 as Jesus shares about the Narrow Door and that many who have done good things will be turned away from the kingdom of God, I realize that my heart matters more than my actions.  I can do all the right things and still not have a relationship with Him.  And in the final section (verses 31-35), I hear Jesus plead for my heart.  He says, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (v34)  Again in these verses we read about Jesus reaching out for us! 

Mike Glenn, the pastor at our church, always says, “The good news of the gospel isn’t that we found God. God was never lost!  The good news is that He found us.”  And that is the theme that I saw coming to the surface over and over again in this chapter.  Jesus longs for a true relationship with us.  Not a contract of “you do this and I’ll do this,” but a love relationship. 

This morning after I read these words, I drifted back to sleep, and my prayer as I closed my eyes was, “Jesus, I want more intimacy with you. I don’t want the relationship I had with you yesterday, or last month, or last year.  I don’t want the relationship I had with you when I came home from that retreat on a spiritual high.  I want to go deeper.  I want to be more intimate with you than I ever have before.  I don’t want to just do good things for you, I want to have a relationship with you.”

What’s your prayer this morning after reading these words?

I've been a follower of Jesus for over 30 years, and have been teaching God's Word to students and women for nearly 20 years! God has brought me through some difficult chapters in my own life, and now my passion is equipping women like you with tools to embrace your own unexpected chapters in life with grace and truth.

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