Thursday, April 6, 2017

Day 111: Action VS. Intention

Day 111
Deuteronomy 30-31, Mark 14:1-31

Yesterday we read about what happens when we disobey God's commands and pursue our own desires. Today, we read about the incredible redemption He has given us, despite our own, selfish agendas. We may think in a moment that we will always depend on God, but as soon as life gets a little rocky or on the other hand, too good, we can find ourselves forgetting His goodness to us. Our actions will speak louder than our intentions. It is never too late to turn to Him and run back to Him, even if we've been on that wrong direction for near a lifetime.

Deep down in my heart I truly wished the people would have stuck to the commands God had set before them. It has been such an epic journey so far for them as God delivered them from bondage in Egypt, brought them through the highs and lows of the wilderness, and now is reminding them of His greatness before they cross into the land He promised them. How beautiful of a wrap up would that be? However, upon further investigation of our passages today, we find that they will turn on God and forget His commandments, despite all the warnings they were given and the deliverance He had already brought them. God says the people will be given all they are promised, they will live it up, and they will forget their need for Him. A lot of us do this regularly. We forget the wonderful things God has done in our lives and that it was God that brought us those blessings, and suddenly we are worshiping those blessings more than the One Who blessed us. 

There is redemption. Even though we will forget God, He will not forget us. He will be there waiting with open arms, ready to restore us and bless us again. All we need to do is seek Him. It may take a disaster to remember Him, and He will let you grow in that time, but He wants to bring you back to Him. 

Our words and intentions are one thing, but our actions are another. We see this concept play out in many ways throughout or Mark section today. The first instance being with the woman who anointed Jesus with her perfume. This jar was not just a jar of perfume, however. In that time, it was a symbol of a woman committing her life to someone. When they found the man they were to marry, a woman would break this expensive jar as a symbol of her life with him. Understand that a woman really didn't have a voice or even many rights in that time without a man. This woman was willing to give her way of life, her future, her voice, her rights to Jesus. She knew there was something bigger than all of those things in Jesus. While everyone condemned her for it, Jesus defended her and honored her. Do you claim allegiance to Jesus, but when it actually comes down to acting on it, giving up your rights, your future, your married life, do you flee? Do you shy back when others condemn your faith? Maybe some would even betray Him, as Judas did.

We see an interesting dynamic as the Last Supper carries out. As Jesus is instituting this meaningful sacrament for us to remember what He has done for us on the cross, the disciples get concerned once the word "betrayal" is thrown around. Communion is something we are to take very meaningfully as we reflect on our imperfect lives, made perfect through Christ's sacrifice. This action should be much more than a ritual or words recited. It should be an active and moving remembrance of what Christ means to us. 

As Jesus states that He will be betrayed by one of the disciples that very night, they all become troubled. Peter even makes it a point to stick up and say no matter what, he wouldn't leave Jesus, even if it meant dying. However, Jesus tells him that he will deny Him, three times in fact, that very next morning. Peter is convinced in his mind that he won't falter, but his actions later state his fear over his faith, as his world falls apart.

You can say you are on God's side all you want, and state the purest of intentions, but until you actually face a testing of your faith and act on it, your words are empty. The woman who gave up her rights for Jesus is one who stood firmly in knowing there is something bigger than herself in Christ. But Jesus' own disciples, who walked with Him and learned from Him betrayed Him, denied Him, and ran when things got tough. He redeems us though. He is so ready to take us back the moment we run to Him again. Take hope in your fall outs. He wants you back always. 

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