Friday, December 31, 2010

Do Justice, Love Mercy

There is a Divine contradiction in our midst.  God’s will is declared to be a good mixture of justice and mercy among men.  How is one to do justice through restitution while also loving to be merciful through forgiveness?  How is one to expect an “eye for an eye” (Matthew 5:38) while also doing “as you wish that others to do to you” (Matthew 5:12)?  How is one to take an eye in justice while also refusing to take an eye in mercy?  O God, how confusing is Your good will among us!
The Peacemaker asks “What do you have to make restitution?”  The Guilty Human says, “I have nothing.”  The Peacemaker says, “Than you must give your life.”  The Guilty Human moans.  The Peacemaker is right and just to demand his life.  The Peacemaker bows His heart.  “I will give My life instead,” He says.  The Guilty Human is grateful, “Thank you for Your mercy.”  He pauses and considers, “Than I will give my days and times to Your restored posterity, Peacemaker, for it is just.”  The Peacemaker returns to the Wronged Human.  “Restitution will be made for your loss,” He says.  “How?” asks the Wronged Human.  “I will give My life.  You may take from Me what was lost,” says the Peacemaker.  The Wronged Human considers.  He is grateful, “Thank you for Your offer Peacemaker,” He says, “But I cannot take Your life.”  “But you cannot take the life of the Guilty Human,” He says, “For I have offered My life instead.”  “Yet, I cannot take it,” says the Wronged Human, “I will forgive instead.”  “You have made an admirable decision, yet, I will still give My life since justice must be served,” says the Peacemaker.  And so it happened that the Peacemaker served justice and facilitated, even admired, mercy.  The Guilty Human came close to the Wronged Human as a Forgiven Human.  The Wronged Human came close to the Guilty Human as a Restored Human.  All came close.  The Peacemaker’s good will, although He was gone, continued to work among Humans.
And so it has been since the foundations of Eternity.  The Peacemaker has always moved, in heart, among men to serve justice and facilitate mercy.  He has always offered Himself as the measure and means of Peace.  Who is this Jesus?  He is a contradictory force among us.  One encounter with His peacemaking heart requires of us and inspires us to forgive and receive His personal means of restitution.  It’s probably not the way that we would satisfy justice or show mercy should we choose to show it at all, yet, it is considered the best way… .the only way… .for those who believe.
You, do justice, love mercy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Good Will

Who is this Jesus?  How is it that an encounter with His life sparks an invasion into the human conscience and atmosphere?  
“And Jesus cried out and said, ‘Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.  And whoever sees me sees him who sent me,” John 12:45.  “I and the Father are one,” John 10:30.  
Jesus Christ was our reintroduction to the God who first breathed into dust.  Centuries had dulled our memory of His character.  Contracts had replaced personal experience.  In our interactions with humanity, God’s goodness was questioned and denied.  And our goodness had all but passed away….
  Angels showed up on one magnificent night in history to make an announcement concerning the nature of the Israelite God: His will is good!  
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men,” Luke 2:14.
At great risk to His own person, God came to declare His good intentions towards humanity.  It shouldn’t surprise us that the human beings who encountered His Majesty did not always recognize Him as the good, covenantal God of their history.  In a world of great personal loss, God’s goodness was often put under scrutiny.  At least brave individuals like David and Habakkuk had the nerve to simply ask: “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?  Or cry to you ‘Violence!’ and you will not save?  Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong?” Habakkuk 1:2-3.  Our human friend was unsure of God’s heart and activity.  But how many of us have also been unsure?  We don’t always ask like Habakkuk and wait upon this Good God for an answer.  We are skeptical.  Suspicious perhaps.  We question.  And we accuse.  God gets the end of our finger.
But there is something amiss, I think, in all of this.  Humanity forgets that part of the burden is their own.  Fallenness has always been our fault.  And do we want it remedied?  Well we better get up under this load and work with a God who has showed up, in person, to declare His good will alive and active among men.
He is among us - making peace and declaring goodness.  We have a historical opportunity on the brink of every morning to receive what is true of His Majesty’s heart and make peace, offer good will among men!  Jesus Christ is among men - have you encountered His goodness?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fingers

“As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.  And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’  Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him….’” John 9:1-3.  
I have ten fingers on two hands.  Bless God, not one is missing!  All of these fingers have a supernatural purpose. …to point upward in grateful thanksgiving and praise and to facilitate the works of humanitarian love.  But these ten fingers are often involved in a merely mortal purpose.  They go jabbing in all directions to find the faulted one.  Who is to blame for all of these losses around me?  It is an easy occupation because so many are living guilty lives…. “all have sinned….” Romans 3:23.  When a blind man helplessly wasted away on the side of a Jerusalem highway, even the disciples of Jesus Christ were less concerned with his disability and were more concerned with somebody’s guilt…
We are often observing who is at fault for the human condition rather than recognizing opportunities to reconcile creation.  Two thousand years ago God invaded the human atmosphere to make multiple declarations about His intentions towards humankind.  And two-thousand years ago we were no more peace-makers than we are today.  
Jesus Christ laid His finger on our disability.  He touched it.  He was not pointing out our guilt; He was healing our sick, raising our dead and casting out our demons.  Divinity showed up to say “I love you” in ways we had forgotten love should be expressed.
Yes, certainly the blind man had sinned and his parents had as well.  Certainly they are responsible for many losses.  We are all guilty souls.  But that is not the point of the story.  The point of the story is that Divinity lays down His life for sinners…. .He loves his enemies… .He makes peace with those who refuse to be peace-makers.   The finger of God has come to set itself upon our messy condition and declare His good will towards it… .to offer peace to its innermost places.  

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Health Depends on You

….partly.
Peace-making is expected of us.  We are here to bring each other peace.  We are here to bring restoration to the human race through the knowledge of Christ.  We are here to declare restitution.  Restitution: the act of restoring something lost or stolen to its proper owner.  Christ has brought restitution to the whole human race.  He has accomplished peace between God and man.  All the missing pieces are restored in Christ; all of God’s losses and all of ours.  There is now peace.  
We are here to also perform restitution.  Through our personal knowledge of Christ, we are able to restore any losses that we are responsible for… .we are able, even, to bring the restoration of Christ to losses that we are not responsible for.  We become peacemakers.  People who make restitution.  We spend our times looking for opportunities to restore the missing pieces in the emotions, mentalities, possessions and physical beings of others.  The health of the human race depends upon our declaration and performance of the restitution of Jesus Christ.  
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it,” Luke 9:23-24.  And the wisest Man has said, “lay down your own missing pieces; start picking up pieces for my sake…”  Restore.  Reveal the peace of God to all men.  
We have all lost pieces of life in this war-torn, tongue-lashed world, but the Peacemaker tells us to stop rescuing our own pieces and start taking up the burden of Christ as perceived around us.  Who is He going to, healing, suffering with, dancing with?  Go also to them and heal, suffer, dance….
  Instead of looking for others to restore our own persons, we lose any thought for our losses, and begin saving other lives by looking to restore their losses.  Trust your Beloved Savior with your personal peace and act upon the personal restitution of your Beloved Savior towards others.  We are His Peacemakers.  His People of Peace.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Strive for Peace...

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.  Strive for peace with everyone…” Hebrew 12:13-14.
WARNING: Peace-makers often loose blood!  I am just letting you know that the disjointed do not always wish to be jointed… .that members often prefer their animosity.  Nevertheless, says the Hebrew writer, strive!  And strive not only with your companions but with everyone!  You must be a peace-maker to all.
 Close your eyes.  You are standing at a dusty crossroads.  If your eyes were open, you would look in all directions, perpetually, over your shoulders - left - right - straight ahead - way, way past the horizon, and see absolutely nothing.  O, but you feel something.  It may not be visible yet, but, at any moment ten thousand frustrations will march into visibility.  No surprises - you called them here today… .for a meeting.  You may want to close your eyes before they rush in.
But you are not a coward.  You came here purposely.  You, my friend, are a bona fide peace-maker.  The genuine reconciled kind.  Your hands dance in the open skies; your knees flex and propel your body weight; your feet seek solid ground; your heart swells.  You are of a new stock and breed.  A son or daughter of righteousness revealed! (Romans 8:19).  Creation has longed and looked for your.  Eagerly.  You are the mediator of peace and good will on earth, (Luke 2:14).
Here they come: the broken, disjointed bodies of ten thousand generations.  They have come to you, peace-maker.  What will you do?  Strive, says the Hebrew writer, with your dancing hands, your flexible knees, your solid foothold and swelling heart; Strive!  At the risk of loosing blood, strive!  Should they hate you, strive!   Lay your heart and body to the burden of repairing hearts and bodies; rejoining.  Reconcile all members that you can…

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Seek Peace....

“Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.  What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?  Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.  Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it,” Psalm 34:11-14.
The one who seeks peace is within company.  Companions surround.  Not workers and acquaintances; relations and subordinates.  These may exist also but among them and besides them are companions.  He or she is in company.  This attainment and retainment of company requires constant mediation.  Like marriage, a companionate relationship, there must always be a middle ground where two can walk together.
How, you ask, is this related to the fear of the Lord or the flap of the tongue?  Why, in every way!  I answer.  One cannot have true relationship without mediation.  Mediation is just part of the package.  The two must seek peace with one another and pursue it.  And this must be done above all else.  The goal is reconciliation.  The goal can never be to win or gain or reject or frustrate.  The goal must be to obtain a middle ground for reconciling relational company.  
And this, says the proverbial speaker, is the fear of the Lord. It is to guard the tongue from any other course.  It is to perpetually steer it towards peace-making.  “Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.  So also the tongue…” James 3:4-5.
To fear God is to cease from seeking your own victory in any matter and to seek a victory of relational peace.  We are to pursue peace-making.  Our tongue is to lay down its rights and pursue it.  Consider the rights of your companion; search for the middle ground.  With this objective, with a our navigation on this course, we have a greater hope of living a good life for many days!  
Peace-making between God and man, sister and brother,  ought to be your goal above all else.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Wicked Man (or Woman)

“ A worthless person, a wicked man (or woman), goes about with crooked speech, winks with his (or her) eyes, signals with his (or her) feet, points with his (or her) finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord…” Proverbs 6:12-15.
A wink… .a suggestion.  A shuffling of the feet… .a questioning.  A pointing finger… .a presumptive judgmentAh yes, he or she says, I know about that one.  Have you heard about this one?  I am certain this is the way that they are…  You are not entirely aware how it happened but suddenly you are full of information.  Information you did not seek.  Suggestive information.  It was not given so that you could run and apprehend a brother or sister and rescue them from the grip of sin and death.  It was just a passing thought passed on to you for something… .but for what?
What is the desire of this informer?  Is it as the proverb said: to sow discord?!
The proverb is so plain in calling this person perverted, evil, wicked, even worthless!  Now we understand what drains one’s worth - it is the disbanding of brother and sisterhood.  It is the wink, the signal, the point that sows discord; that divides one from another.  It shuts the ear to the helplessness of sister and brother.  It gathers one thousand suggestions in the hearer’s ear - a cold current, a violent wind that carries their heart far away from the concerns of their sisters and brothers.  
The worthless, wicked person has no worth because they have shunned their company.  They have refused to bear burdens and make peace. Where is their human worth?  They are a thorn in the side of their companions; always jabbing, speaking, dividing, “sowing discord”.  It is not that God or mankind have rejected them; it is that they have rejected the compaionship of God and mankind.  They have separated their heart and body from burden-bearing, peace-making worth.
Be not a wicked man or woman that sows discord among brothers and sisters, for, as the proverb continues to say, “…calamity will come upon him (or her) suddenly; in a moment he (or she) will be broken beyond healing,” Proverbs 6:15.  Consider that the man or woman who sows discord is entirely alone.  There are no burden-bearers to support them, no peace-makers to reconcile them to their enemies, therefore, their burdens and enemies will break them… .suddenly and in a moment!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Leaves of the Tree

“The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations,” Revelation 22:2.
Nations.  They rage.  Persons.  They are deeply troubled.  Relationships among persons and nations need to be healed.  Make peace!
This tree is an undying source of growth and maturity.  He or she who grows and matures sees less of flesh and blood and the wars that accompany these bodies.  He or she who matures sees opportunity to reconcile sisters and brothers.  This is the mature ministry of believers.
Ministry.  It can not be done for the love of self.  It cannot be done to appease self.  It cannot be done to restore self.  It cannot be done to save self.  I cannot minister to regain what I have lost.  I cannot minister to elevate or promote myself.  I cannot minister to please another.  As a human regarding any flesh, whether my own or that of another, I cannot minister.  In this fleshly mind, I will remain among the wars and factions of the flesh… .whether I realize it or not!
God has regarded the need of the flesh.  He knows it well and has written His prescription for its healing: Be reconciled!  Ministry must flow from this prescription: Be reconciled!   Healing must flow like a reconciling ministry throughout the whole heart and body of the righteous tree.
Reconciliation is our highest ministry.  It is our balm and consolation.  Consider these leaves my companion, my sister, my brother.  They live and do not strive.  They rest and do not fight.  Consider their peace.  Make peace.  You who are troubled and absorbed with your wars and retribution.  Still you tongue, let go your prey, withhold your pointing finger.  Make peace.  For God, who deserved His war and retribution with your flesh, has forgiven you…
“…not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation,” 2 Corinthians 5:19.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Like a Tree

“Blessed is the man (or woman) who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his (or her) delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he (or she) meditates day and night.  He (or she) is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he (or she) does he (or she) prospers,” Psalm 1:1-3.
The counseling wicked speak wickedness, the standing sinners are waiting for prey and the seated scoffers point fingers… .but we regard no man or woman after the flesh…
The wicked, the sinner, the scoffer have their business and the righteous have their business too.  While wicked speak and sinners stand and scoffers point, the righteous grow… .and grow and grow.  Deepening their roots and spreading their leaves.  The earth fills with the richness of minerals and sappy juice.  Life caws and croons upon the branches.  Favor, fervor and flavor spring up from the softening grounds.  Alive.  Flowing water, seasonal fruit and unwithering leaf.  The earthen sphere is influenced with Life!  For here, on this hallow ground, rests peace.  The righteous have made peace between heaven and earth, flesh and spirit.  
What shall I say then?  How does this thing grow in the midst of wicked words, preying feet and pointing fingers?  How does such a living and healing thing grow?  Peace.  “…to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace,” Romans 8:6. 
It is not a heroic action that ushers in such a state; it is not a magnificent conversion.  No, it is a thought, a simple recognition.  The Body has made peace.  The Body of a Peacemaker.  One act of honest intercession has promised and produced all of these things in the righteousness.  The mind of the righteous is set on this spiritual gift and it spreads its branches, Thank God! and life gathers in its veins.  With blood dripping from its frothy green it implores: Be reconciled to God!
Yes, the righteous have their business too and they so minister it through their growth and maturity like a balm, as a springing tree.  The wicked, the sinners, the scoffers have not their fleshly attentions… .they continue in the peace of God like an upward, outward, reconciling tree.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reconcile

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation,” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19.
It is the uneasy situation, the mediating stance. The careful and peacemaking place.  It is frightening, for many adversaries turn on their peacemakers.  We are called to “stand between”.  Immanuel, the Great Intercessor, stood between and implored.  He implored with His humanity unto God “forgive them, for they know not what they do,” Luke 23:34,  and with His divinity unto us “receive the Holy Spirit,” John 20:22.  
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.  We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21.
The Peacemaker, the Great Intercessor, has stood between Heaven and Earth, in the tension of flesh and spirit.  He has drawn all things high and low unto Himself and called for a treaty of peace.  All this He has done at extraordinary personal risk; life dripping from His forehead to the ground.  The Peacemaker interceding at a knee-scraping price.  He sold all to come near and make peace.  He regarded not one of us after the flesh but as redeemable adversaries who could be friends.
We, the saints of God, with Christ, implore.  This is the full and final call of a whole Spirit minded living vessel - implore for Christ’s sake!  Come up under the burden.  Bear half a load.  Get your knees dirty.  Humble your shoulders.  Pull.  Gasp.  Fight their unbelief.  Pray.  Provoke peace between your flesh and blood companion and his or her God.  Reconcile throughout your whole heart and body!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Beyond the Flesh

“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh.  Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh we regard him thus no longer,” 2 Corinthians 5:16.
For sure, I believe, she is a prostitute.  There is a haughty wink in her eye and a “come hither” in her saunter.  And he, he is beggar.  So needy, so sickly.  I am certain that this man and that woman are money-makers; in the greedy, covetous sense.. .always wanting and taking what is not theirs.  And they are rather ill-mannered.  Loud, boisterous, fairly annoying.  This family too large.  That youth to small at heart.  Too petty; I am averted.  She to shallow.  His soulish mutterings too twisted up for me.  I am persuaded that they are causing all the trouble and that old woman needs more attention than the adequate obligation of society.  Oh the little ones!  The grubby, hyper little ones… .well, you know how it can get.  Yes, my eyes have seen all this in the world; all this and more.  It is too much knowledge and I will not dirty up my knees… .dare I say it… .for this unworthy flesh!
It is true; in more tenses and senses than we could ever realize, the flesh is unworthy.  Sometimes it is messy for good reasons and other times for not so good reasons.  The flesh of mankind deserves none of our prayers of intercession.  Yet the bearer of the eyes averted by flesh finds herself in the same predicament.  I am also not worthy of your prayers.  And then there are those sweet prayers of Christ.  I am unworthy of these; we are unworthy.  Recognizing his terrible fleshly condition, his absolute inability to be freed from it, and his need for someone’s intercession, Paul makes a sincere cry in Romans 7:24 of  “What on earth will I do?!”  Whew! he thinks, O yes, Jesus.  Thank God!
Whew!  Paul is no longer regarded after the flesh… .and neither are we.
The blessing is twofold: first for the believer the gift is substantial and secure.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come,” 2 Corinthians 5:17.  The new condition has already come!  Flesh and blood is disregarded.  The Spiritual life of Christ is known by God and seen in us.
But second for the unbeliever.  Although the unbeliever, those who live according to the flesh, “cannot please God” (Romans 8:8); although those who think continually about the satisfaction of the flesh live in a state of perpetual “death” (Romans 8:6); and although those who continue to please the flesh “will die” pursuing this pleasure (Romans 8:13), unbeknownst to them, they are not regarded according to their flesh, for, “all sins will be forgiven the children of man,” Mark 3:28.  All those who are born of flesh are easily forgiven.  We regard NO ONE after the condition of their flesh though it may avert us.  We consider them a candidate for reconciliation to God.  We pray, we speak, we intercede because God is calling them to Himself despite their unworthy flesh.  Thank God!
Alas, a beautiful conclusion!  “…to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace,” Romans 8:6.  To envision Christ in all directions!  To see Him and see no flesh!  This is a state of life and peace.  From the humble position of Christ, we regard no flesh, rather we regard His Spirit reconciling the word to Himself.  Have this kneeling mind in you….

Monday, December 6, 2010

Get On Your Knees

Paul said to the church at Ephesus: “And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.  You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me.  In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all,” Acts 20:32-36.  
It is a simple lesson: Paul did not covet what the Ephesians had, rather, he lowered his heart and body to provide for those who were weak.  He knelt down.  He got on his spiritual and physical knees to communicate to all his fellowship and shared burden with them.
Prayer… .how beautiful it is when an expression of true intercession.  How beautiful in all its groanings and identifying pains; all of its whispers and loud cries.  Prayer is a ritual of faith; a ritual that faith cannot let go of.  “…pray without ceasing…” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  The heart of the lowly one, he or she who has made themselves accessible to another’s burden, cannot cease to intercede in words to God.  O Lord, consider this one… O God, hear my prayer for her… O Father, remember his burden… Dear Lord, they are in need…  The intercessor has released concern for his or her own life - they cease to covet - and have taken up the concern for another life - they cannot cease to pray.
Prayer is not the fulfillment of intercession.  It is part.  We speak to both God and humanity in our intercession.  We get on our knees before God in humility and we humble ourselves on our knees before mankind.  On our knees we acknowledge the humility of Christ towards both God and humanity.  We come to where Christ has been… .we come low for God and for humanity’s sake….
On your knees you rest in the position of a Savior.  You agree with His love that acknowledges God’s authority and humanity’s condition.  On your knees you reconcile God and mankind from where they both are at.  Get on your knees.  Read Philippians 2:2-11 and have this kneeling mind in you…

Friday, December 3, 2010

Where Are You At?

“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together,” 1 Corinthians 12:26.
All.  Here it is again.  What happens to one member affects all.  
Do we have time for all?  How long will the suffering and rejoicing last?  Is it worth our investment?
You are the one sitting in ashes or dancing to a tune.  You need and want someone to join you.  You can’t process your grief or express your thanksgiving until someone else is here.  Who will listen to you?  
But no one else is here.  Since there is not another earthen soul who understands your suffering or shares your rejoicing, they have not bothered to stop.  Stop by.  Sit.  Listen.  Wait for sympathy and join you.  The pain is really only yours.  Who has felt it?  The joy relies upon what you alone have found.  Who can see?  
“We played the flute for you and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn,” Matthew 11:17.  All.  They were not all together.  
To be all together does not require a feeling or perfect vision.  I do not need to understand your pain or share the complete enrapture of your joy.  Your pains and joys do not mean the very same thing to me.  To be all together, I must simply be with you.  You are the subject.  I am here where you are at.  When you mourn, I cover in ashes.  When you rejoice, I join your dance.  They are your mourning and your dancing.  I engage them with you.
Where you are at is where I am at and where I am at is where you are at.  And Jesus prayed, “All mine are yours, and your are mine… .just as you Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us… .I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one,” John 17.  All together.  With.
Where are you at?  Where you sing, I will sing.  Where you mourn, I will mourn.  Where you dance, I will dance.  Where you suffer, I will suffer.  All suffer.  All rejoice.  Where are you at?  Here I will make my investment.  Selah.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sell All

Immanuel exhorts us, “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.  Provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail…” Luke 12:33.  And in the book of Acts they took this quite seriously, “And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need,” Acts 2:45.  The rational consideration always revolves around how far we take this enthusiasm in our own lives.  Just where does this become a doctrine that draws lines?  Shall I sell everything? 
More than likely you have in your set of belongings a toothbrush and some sort of underwear.  I highly suggest you do not sell these things.  Your friends and neighbors might resist your company and your enemies may find legal means of removing you from society.  I am jesting (and my children would love that I mentioned underwear!) but I hope to make a valid point on the words “sell” and “all”.  
What is the principle that underlies the selling of our possessions?  Is it simply to keep us from losing our souls to material things?  Or, perhaps there is a more enduring purpose than this.  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” Luke 12:34.  Now we see that this enthusiastic action is about the placement of our affections.  Selling our possessions is not much about extravagant garage sales… .no, it is more about investing all of our affections in one particular treasure.  
Let me be more explanatory.  If we flesh and blood individuals are to come up from under the load of another and support them until they recover, we must sell all.  For we are “distributing” our whole person “as any (has) need”.  This is about far more than possessions.  It is about where are heart is invested.  If I am to suffer long under the load of a friend, sister, brother, neighbor… .or enemy, I must cast off any unnecessary load of my own.  If I am truly to minister, as a life-saving intercessor, to the one in need, I must come to where they are.  I must lower myself to their placement and condition.  I must come near.  I must be with them.
Sell all.  It is about gaining an equal footing with your friend - coming to where he or she is at.  When I sell all that is excessive, all that hinders me from meeting you in your place, I am able to intercede for you.  “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted,” Hebrews 2:17-18.  Immanuel is this for us because he has been with us.  He came to our placement and into our condition.  He sold all…

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