Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I Microwave better than i cook"

I think one of the greatest life sustaining inventions would have to be the microwave.
My wife has a little sign in our kitchen that reads, " I microwave better than I cook". I am fascinated by how the heat intensity can change what has been placed within the microwave. One of my favorite things to microwave is a marshmallow circus peanut. At ten seconds, it grows to the size of a loaf of bread!
I was sitting across the table from a couple who were going through some really tough issues. As they poured out the contents of their heart all over the table, I silently poured out my inability to the Lord. They did not need a patent, "God is with you" answer. They needed God to show up.
As soon as they finished speaking, I laid my Bible on the table and just opened it. Here is where God let it open to.

Matthew 5:43-45

VS 43 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy."

This is not a love like we see love, this is a love that is only possible to give through the Lord Jesus Christ. We think of love for others through the traditional lens of "You love me, and then I will love you".
Some are even more mature and see love through the lens of, "I will love you, and then you love me in return."

God says, "I will love you, even though you don't love me. I will love you knowing that you won't love me!" This is the framework   for love that this passage is laid out in.

VS 44 -45 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. "

I read this passage to the couple and the reaction was immediate. Frustration mixed with brokenness.
Life had hit them with the unexpected… Have you ever been blindsided by life? I mean just slapped with something that absolutely stunned you?

 “Why would God do this?”

What the Holy Spirit helped me notice in this passage was absolutely stunning!

"God’s purpose not his fairness settles the circumstances of our lives!"

 It is the Apostle John who records this conversation with Jesus: 

"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also." ~John 15:20 

Life is unfair by nature. It was not fair when Jesus went to the cross, but it was the will of God for Jesus that he go.

I want to do my best to illustrate the truth of this passage to you by making four statements about three very special people. These are people for whom Jesus Died. In fact, as we look at these three people I want to invite you to look for the choices they made to handle the hurt that God allowed into their lives.
1. God may bring Hurt into our lives, but our responses are what causes us harm.
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" ~Matthew 5:44 

If you could imagine a clear glass filled with water. It represents how we start in life. Innocent, pure in the sense of life's experiences. I think of children who need to be told about watching out for strangers, and not taking candy from strangers. They lack experience, and are innocent to life's hurts.

If we were to place a tea bag in that glass, it would represent hurt and pain. The glass becomes cloudy. What was once clear, now looks anything but clear. Hurts come, and disappointments come. The fact is, a clear glass will not stay a clear glass for very long.
2. We can choose to be bitter
The first person I would like to look at is this man Ahithophel.

"And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom."        ~ 2 Samuel 16:23

This Ahithophel was absolutely a valuable man to have on staff. He was trusted. He was trusted because he was proven. If you have acess to a person like this in your life, you are truly blessed!

Something happened in the Life of Ahithophel. Some of that Matthew 5:44 and 45 stuff. Something was allowed by God onto his plate. He was, like many of us have been and possibly some of us may be, stunned and angry.
"Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only:" ~ 2 Samuel 17:1-2 

I will scare everybody but David… This guy I want to Kill!!!

What happened? David went from praying for his men I am sure to a recorded prayer asking God to confuse the counsel of this man?This was family? What happened?

More of this Matthew 5:43- 45 stuff. you have to look in the genealogies to find the answer for Ahithophel's hatred for his one time friend.

"Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,"  ~2 Samuel 23:34
Please notice Ahithophel's son. Got it? Alright, now look at the Matthew 5:43-45 stuff.

"And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"  ~ 2 Samuel 11:3 

David Sinned! God did not condone it, but He gave David the ability to make a choice. The choice had powerful ramifications. It tore Ahithophel's world into pieces. Bathsheba was his granddaughter. What was going through the mind of Ahithophel?
"David, you knew before you acted. How could you do this? This was my family! It was wrong, and it was unfair, and I did not invite this to happen in my life."

When the microwave started Ahithophel somewhere along the way said,  “God, open the door and let me out.”
You see, God's microwave is an uncomfortable place to be. It is constricting, and it is intensely hot. You feel like you are in a circumstance that seems to go round and round, and you feel like you are changing form so rapidly that you cannot stand it. The heat is turned on, and the tea within the glass begins to boil. Most people react to the heat, by demanding God open the microwave door, or forcing the microwave door open to escape the pressure. This will produce a glass of lukewarm tea at best. Bitter to the taste.
We can choose to be bitter, or...

3. We can choose to be better
There is a second person I would like to look at.

"And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. "  ~ Genesis 39:2-3
Joseph had the glass clouded with his brother's betrayal, his father's oversight, and the wife of Potiphar. He was thrown into a prison, or for sake of our thought here, God's microwave.

"But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison."  ~ Genesis 39:21
As the microwave tray went round in circles, notice the effect of the tea in the glass.

"The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper."   ~Genesis 39:23

When the timer for the microwave dinged, the tray stopped and the door opened, you  can almost smell the sweet savor that came from the glass called Joseph.

"And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house."
~Genesis 41:50-51
When he had the power to hurt back, the flavor in the glass was absolutely DYNAMIC!

 "And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them." ~Gen 50:19-21 
I started this post by wanting to do my best to illustrate the truth of the Matthew 5:43-45 to you by making four statements about three very special people. These are people for whom Jesus Died. In fact, as we looked at these three people I wanted to invite you to look for the choices they made to handle the hurt that God allowed into their lives.
A) Ahithophel became bitter in God's Microwave.
B) Joeseph became better in God's microwave.
The third glass belongs to you and to me. The glass started out clear, but over the years, contents have been added that we did not ask for, and the microwave has started to hum. The timer (That we cannot see) has been started, and the 4th statement is ready to be looked at.

4. Ultimately the choice is ours to make…. Bitter or Better

 Matthew 5:43- 45 is impossible to perform outside the person of Jesus Christ in us. God never promised easy, but He always promises possible!
I wish I could say that I have handled every microwave experience better than I cook, but I cannot. It is my goal to stay in until the timer dings, so that, through Christ I can emerge Better not bitter!
Climbing with you,
~ Dan

 p.s. I cannot wait until you see the post this Saturday! "What a way to die!"


  1. I am rarely up this early in the morning but I am blessed by starting my day by reading this post. I will be a faithful follower of your blog. I enjoy the way you bring your messages across. What a great way to fill in the gap between what we get from messages at church. I have read these same scriptures many times and it it awesome to have someone to be able to make the meaning clearer to me. Thank you so much for your dedication to help others.

  2. Thanks buddy. I always enjoy reading. Have a great day.