Posts tagged ‘law’

Mediation Solves Every Problem

If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together. Then I could speak to him without fear, but I cannot do that in my own strength.   Job 9:33, 35

As a physician I had the opportunity to experience our legal system in this country. There were times when I had been accused of medical malpractice requiring me to testify in a deposition. And there were times when I was asked to testify either for or against another physician who was being accused of malpractice. No matter who was being accused, it was always a harrowing experience as I realized someone with more authority and power than me would be making a decision that would affect me, but also my colleagues, friends, and family. Because I trusted my attorney, I trusted that the judge (whom I had never meant & would never see unless my case made it to court) would seek justice and truth in my case. My attorney gave a human face to what otherwise seemed like an impersonal process. We would meet before and after each deposition to give me comfort and understanding. And he would sit beside me during every deposition to not only keep me on track in my testimony, but to intercede every time the other attorney would ask unfair questions. My attorney always made me feel more comfortable and assured in the most uncomfortable and unsettling of circumstances. 

Job was feeling lost and alone. He was uncomfortable and unsettled to say the least. He had lost his family, his possessions, and his health. But what made his circumstances even worse was that his friends accused him of sin that caused all of it. And so we see Job crying out to God, his judge. He knows he is a sinner. But he also knows he hasn’t done anything to bring such judgment and disaster upon himself or his family. This is when we read Job crying out for a mediator, the messiah in whom he believed would bridge the gap created by our sin. Even Job, who was blameless (Job 1:1), knew he could not stand before the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and all holy God. Job knew he needed a mediator. He knew he was sinful, even though he was blameless. He knew his heart was deceitful even though he was filled with integrity. 

Our despair can only be turned into hope when we sit down with our heavenly Attorney, Jesus. That is because Jesus is our only hope. And so Paul writes, “For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.”  (1 Timothy 2:5)

In our darkest moments when we feel crushed by horrific circumstances, wrong choices, or justifiable accusations, Jesus is there to give comfort, wisdom, understanding, insight, and strength to get through it. He gives you a human face to an otherwise faceless Law and distant God. He is knocking at the door of your heart asking to share a meal with you. He wants to hear all about your fears, your joys, your trials, and your triumphs. And the amazing thing is that Jesus is more than our mediator, He is our judge.In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge…” (John 5:22)  May you have peace today knowing that Jesus will do more than listen, He will mediate. This means He has a solution for you. This means you can trust the heavenly justice system. And so meditate on Jesus, and let Him mediate for you. 

How Bright is Your Light?

“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”  Luke 11:34-36

A friend recently was so excited to show me a flashlight he had borrowed from his neighbor. It was a pitch black that night with a heavy cloud cover hiding any light from the moon or stars. He turned the flashlight on and proceeded to shine it on the side of the shed 100 yards away. It was like a spotlight. He could make the light a square that only shed light in that area or he could diffuse the light to see all around you. With this light there was no danger in tripping over a fallen branch or a stray shovel left in the yard. You could walk safely in the darkest of nights with this light.

I immediately thought how my best flashlight is dim in comparison. In fact, it’s as if I don’t even have light coming from my flashlight. I could easily miss a fallen branch with my flashlight and fall flat on my face. Compared to the flashlight my friend showed me, mine is like darkness.

No wonder Jesus tells us to make sure we have the true light. It’s so easy to be satisfied with inadequate light just like I’ve been satisfied with a $5.00 flashlight my entire life. But Jesus gives us the “top of the line” light to shine on our path. He is the Light! That is the gospel message – that we can have the Light of the world IN our heart. So how does it become so dim? How is it that Jesus warns us about having darkness when we have His Light?

Could it be that we put so many filters and dimmers on His Light that it can actually become dark? The pharisees put rule after rule after rule on God’s law that was designed to keep us free that when the Light came across their path, they didn’t want anything to do with Him. They were in darkness. Today, we do the same things as the pharisees did. We put restrictions on Jesus that reduces the light He can shed in our lives. We can’t imagine He expects us to really love our boss who yells at us everyday. Jesus doesn’t really expect me to forgive my brother who cheated me out of my inheritance does He? We don’t expect that Jesus can give us victory over our special brand of addiction that isn’t hurting anyone else.

And so little by little we put dimmers on the Light of Jesus. We become focused on making sure we look good to all those around us. This dims the Light more than any other thing we can do. Why? Because the Light of Jesus, as verse 36 says, is meant to shine on the INSIDE. When I prevent Jesus access to all of my ugly thoughts, tendencies, and desires, I prevent His Light from fully shining in my heart. It’s the Light in my heart that allows me to see clearly. How bright is your Light? What dimmers have you placed on the Light in your heart?

Are You Listening?

But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.  Hosea 2:14

It seems as though Israel was in a constant state of rebellion as we read the Old Testament. They were constantly seeking the gods of the people all around them. For some reason they preferred to worship idols much of the time rather than the living God. I don’t know about you, but I can understand that. The idols may be different today, but the struggle is the same – will we worship God or the things of this earth?

I take comfort in the fact that God constantly takes me back to where I need to be, no matter how many times I stray from His side. That’s the point of Hosea. God never gives up on you and me. When He gets our attention, He often takes us back to the desert where He wrote His law on tablets of stone. We think of the law as being a set of rules. We don’t see the love there. But as we read in Hosea 2:14, God tenderly speaks to us in the desert, in His law.

Consider what God said when He gave the law to Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.” (Exodus 20:1)  That was not a promise, it was a reality. And it can be a reality for each one of us today. There may be nothing more comforting to know than this fact: God pursues you and loves you even when you are sinning. He wants to rescue you. So, what consumes your thoughts throughout the day? What do you fear? What is your addiction? What is the thing you struggle with most? The list is long. It includes things like money, power, position, recognition, attention, sex, to name just a few. 

Today, God promises to take you to the desert, to speak to you through His Word, through other people, through circumstances of life, and through the Holy Spirit. God never gives up on you. He is constantly wooing you, seeking you, calling you, desiring you, and inviting you to the wilderness with Him. It’s kind of like a date with that one special person in your life. God wants to be alone with you and speak to you tenderly. Are you listening? Will you accept His offer today to be alone with Him, away from the distractions of the world? Give yourself a chance to get away from your fears and listen to God. He has something amazing to tell you. It’s the same thing He told the Israelites in there desert place, “You must not have any other god before Me.” (Exodus 20:2) I want to take Him up on His offer. What about you?

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