Death Clothes

Well. I'm exhausted. Red's birthday party is Saturday, which always throws me into a Martha Stewart tailspin. Well. Not to any extremes... I just start doing weird things, like wanting to touch up paint things that should have been painted two years ago. I spent all day painting and need to paint some more tommorrow.

Reminds me of the guest speaker yesterday. Well. Not Really. But, I just wanted to write about it and needed some segueway.

We had this guest speaker. He works with troubled teens across the country retraining them, eductating them, teaching them job related skills. Awesome concept. Anyway, he was preaching for us Sunday.

As many times as I've heard the passage on Lazarus, I've NEVER thought about the direction he took it.

1. Martha had to state her belief to him...again. This was imperative. He said that we all come to a point in life, even as Christians, where Jesus asks us, "Do you really trust me to handle this?" (Do you really believe I am the son of God?) She said, "Yes. I believe. But, if only..."

2. She knew his presence and power would have made the difference. We have to believe that he can make a difference, no matter what has happens. And that he can. And will. Somehow.

3. He called Lazarus by name to come out. Lazarus had to choose to get up and come. (I was a little shaky on this. I mean, can you imagine Jesus saying, "Lazarus, come forth!" And Lazarus says, "Uh, I'm okay. This is way cool. Thanks anyway, Jesu!"

4. This cracked me up. Martha says, KJV: "But, surely he stinketh!"

He said that people who are walking dead around us WILL STINK. HELLO. Get used to it. Death smells. Life smells. Are you willing to smell the stench of death to try to bring new life?

5. They had to get closer and obey his order to unwrap the cloths. Now...Jesus was really wise in telling them to do that for him in my opinion. No, seriously. The speaker said that we have to be willing to help people out of their death messes. Even after being saved, people can show up still tangled in that stuff. We have to help them out...unwrap them.

6. We are to have a passion for new life for people. That should be our driving purpose and mission. If it is not, we have lost perspective. 150,000 people die every day physically and many go to spend an eternity in hell.

The altar call was moving. Many prayed. I did. I needed my altar spot.

Do you see the church succeeding or failing where you are in "unwrapping" people? How do you see yourself in that role?


Tunz4jesus said...

Number 5 made me consider...I stinketh, so I do not feel capable of helping someone else out of their death clothes. This is a lie, Jesus uses the broken and broken-hearted, the only requirements seem to be faith and willingness. Thanks for sharing.

esm said...

New life in Christ is indeed one God's greatest miracles. Many times we as Christians are too wrapped up in ourselves to be of much help to someone trying to remove those death clothes. Sometimes we just don't want to get involved -- it can be a messy process! I pray for a servant's heart and a desire to help those who need my help. And for days when I don't feel that desire, I pray that I will do it anyway -- out of love and honor for Savior.

cj said...

It was a good message. A call back to our true purpose. The whole smell think has had me thinking. If we who are redeemed carry unrepented sin---do we take on the smell of death again until we go to Him and receive His cleansing through fogiveness. What a shame after removing the graveclothes to allow anything to cause us to put them on again.
Just a thought. Is that why we are sometimes ineffective witnesses--do we smell no different to them? Makes me think of a time when we were traveling and we stopped at a rapidly moving river. You could smell the freshness in the air before you could ever see the water. Makes me think!

Kevin Eby said...

Lots of good stuff here...

CJ's comments are convicting, putting graveclothes back on, what a thought.

Wearing the righteousness of Christ is like driving a white car, even if you don't wash off all the dirt the sun reflects so much light that your eyes can't see it.

Can God smell the righteousness of Christ on us? Does it smell like the sacrifice of blood to our Father?

I love the picture of unwrapping people from the grips of death. All sin is restricting and binding, we all need brothers and sisters to unwrap us.