Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Judas Kiss (muah)



1. to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty: Benedict Arnold betrayed his country.
2. to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling: to betray a trust.
3. to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to: to betray one's friends.
4.  to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence: to betray a secret.
5.  to reveal unconsciously (something one would preferably conceal): Her nervousness betrays her insecurity.
6.  to show or exhibit; reveal; disclose: an unfeeling remark that betrays his lack of concern.
7.  to deceive, misguide, or corrupt: a young lawyer betrayed by political ambitions into irreparable folly.
8.  to seduce and desert.

You will experience betrayal many times in life either as the deceived, the deciever or both.  Since we live in a fallen world it will most likely be both.  As you can see, there are many, many ways to commit an act of betrayal.  Can you think of a time when someone betrayed your or "sold you out"?  If you know how it feels to be punched in the stomach then you know how it feels to be betrayed by someone that you love or trust.  I remember when I was about 6 years old, a boy on the playground that I barely knew punched me in the stomach. :(  I actually lost my breath for the first 5 or 10 seconds.  I was in such shock that someone would do that to me for no reason.  I would later learn that boys don't always have a reason for a lot of the things they do.  (Honestly, I think he thought he was He-Man or G.I. Joe because this was back in the early 80's.)  For those of you that have never had the wind knocked out of you, take it from me, that's exactly how it feels when someone betrays you.  Like a straight up sucker punch.

Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, not with a gut punch but with a kiss. I don't know which one is worse. The coldest part about this story is that Jesus knew who would betray him and when they would do it.  Although I don't think that made it any less shocking or painful for Jesus.  His words to the 12 disciples while they were at the table during the last supper were, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me."  This made them all sad, then one after the other denied it.  Then Jesus said, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.  But woe to that man who will betray the Son of Man.  It would be better for him if he had not been born."  

By this point Judas had already collected his 30 pieces of silver and was just waiting for the opportunity to deliver Jesus over to the chief priests.  Judas actually had the nerve to respond by saying, "Surely you don't mean me Rabbi?"  Really Judas?

Jesus answered, "You have said so."  In other words, "Now you know, that I know, that you know, that you have already sealed the deal."  Needless to say, Judas ending up hanging himself.

Whether you have been sucker punched, thrown under the bus, sold out or cheated on, you can recover from such a shady situation.  The key point is forgiveness which isn't easy but it's necessary in order for you to "mount up with wings as an eagle and soar above your circumstance".  Trust God to reveal things to you and leave vengeance to Him.  I know what your thinking.  That's easier said than done.  That may seem true but you need to know and believe without a doubt that with God, all things are possible.

You may have found yourself acting like Judas a time or two.  If you find yourself throwing the punch or doing the kissing, you can redeem yourself.  You must repent by turning away from your demons.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Allow God to transform your heart and your mind.  We often betray and deceive ourselves when we don't acknowledge how wicked our own hearts are.   It's so much easier to see everyone else's evil ways and judge them.  But when you walk with God, He is always going to tell you before you betray Him or that He knows you will betray Him just like Jesus did with Judas.  That's our cue to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.

Ponder this, if Judas would've asked God for forgiveness, he would've been forgiven.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

There's Hope

It doesn't cost a thing to smile, you don't have to pay to laugh, you better thank God for that.

This is a very upbeat and inspiring song by India Arie called, "There's Hope" (see below).  I absolutely love her music.  She is an example of someone who loves the Lord.  Can doubt be found where there is hope?  I don't think so. 

When we start getting down and frustrated, we should only focus on the negative long enough to accentuate the positive and mount up with wings as eaglesIsaiah 40:31.  Focus on what you can do for another person to help them overcome a negative situation.  At the same time, be sure you are strong enough to avoid getting caught up in their mess.  I don't recommend doing this w/o God, that's for sure. 

A very close friend of mine lost her husband in a tragic accident about 8 months ago.  This woman has taught me a lot through her own life experiences, not just the death of her husband.  She never lost her hope in God.  She gave Him the glory through it all.  She has plans to go on a mission trip to Africa this fall to do what?  Help someone else in need.  The main thing I have seen her do throughout this journey is be there for everyone else around her.  She opened up her home for a recent bible study that I attended.  It was the greatest bible study that I have ever been a part of.  God used her for all of our benefit and let me tell you, the presence of the Lord was there every time.  The Holy Spirit was in our midst.

Through her pain and grief, her faith never, ever wavered not one tiny bit.  She is a living example to me of God's power manifested through our trials.  She didn't mind sharing the details of everything she went through from that tragic day til now.  She shared every single emotion, and there were many on any given day.  And that's why we are so close.  She helped me stay close to God during some very difficult times in my life.  I told her that I wanted to write about her story and of course she didn't mind one bit.  This is a person that shares God by sharing her own personal struggles, flaws, joys and pain.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Her integrity is very important to her so being honest comes naturally for her.

Nothing happens by accident.  God uses everything that we go through in our life to show Himself to us.  If you don't see Him, believe me when I say, there is hope.  If you seek Him, you will find Him.  And when you do, you will know that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength, Philipians 4:13