Thursday, March 23, 2006

Responding to Jesus - Your Unique Opportunity to Worship

This Week I finished a paper on the discipleship of Christ found in the gospel of John. I had some hilarious mental pictures going on at the end of the book that I wanted to share.

The risen Christ's last moments with His disciples on this side of heaven show us that we can respond to Christ, pleasing Him through unique worship. John does not end his gospel with the ascension of Christ as the others do. He chooses to end his eyewitness account with different responses that the disciples and Christ-followers had when seeing Him anew after His death.

For Thomas it is a moment of doubt followed by the exclamation, "My Lord and my God!" (20:28, NAS) Awe and amazement come from Thomas.

Then, Mary, in good womanly emotion, clings to Jesus so that He must say, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father" (20:17). Mary wanted to never let go of Jesus, and I believe she probably clung to Him in her heart for the rest of her life.

Lastly, in pure Peter style, with boldness and quick action, he threw himself into the sea to swim to Jesus on shore while the rest rowed in the boat with the miraculous catch of fish. (I'm pretty sure it was a cannon ball or belly flop for emphasis.)

Just as John began with the glorified Christ in writing this account, He ends in the same way. The joy of Christ is made complete by those who were once dead in their sins, as they now are made alive in His presence and respond to Him with all of their hearts. Those He discipled are worshipping Him with the gift of their lives, each in their own unique way.

© 2006 by Kendra Hinkle.

Friday, March 17, 2006


When I go to sleep at night, I know that I have a great need. I fall asleep in the arms of God, aware that I am in a very vulnerable and weak state. I can't defend myself when I sleep, nor can I function well the next day without it. I must sleep. I was designed with a physical weakness, a need for rest. It is my daily reminder of my neediness for the One who created me.

God is not like me. He does not need to refuel and detox from the day's events. His energies are endless. His strength without bounds. So, He designed me to need Him at night when I close my eyes. I feel like I am the baby, whose sleep is necessary so often. He is the adult, adoring the weakness and loving the opportunity to watchfully protect.

Each night as I lay down, I look into the heart of God and worship Him for making me weak and needy. In such a state I rely on Him and trust Him for who He is.

© 2006 by Kendra Hinkle.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Unmoved in the Tide of the Jordan

I've begun my adventures in Joshua, and have a really great visual thought to share with you. As Israel begins its first steps into the Promised amazing moment in their history...the Ark goes before them into the Jordan River. As the priests carrying the Ark stand firm in the center of it, the waters have been withheld and stand in a heap. Just as the people of Jericho have feared (they are about to be obliterated), the Israelite people are walking across DRY ground as their God allows them to cross the Jordan onto the desert plains of Jericho.

For those watching this event occur, there are two amazing things to note. First, these people are dependent on the Lord's leadership. Israel, though great in number, is completely reliant on the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to go before them, leading them in places where they have never been. They do not have scouts leading them, but from looks like a box is leading them across the Jordan. What Jericho doesn't know, is that the box is the Ark of the Covenant, representing God's presence among His people. It is the Lord who is leading them to Jericho, the thought of which should make Jericho begin to tremble.

Secondly, what the people of Jericho fear is not so much the people themselves, but the God who is parting the waters of Jericho and who has everything under His command. Jericho has already begun to melt away in courage because they've heard the rumors of a God who split the Red Sea to let this people walk through and to then drown the armies of the great Egyptian Pharaoh. This people is not dependent on a far off God like their false Baal, but He is in the midst of Israel and is headed straight for Jericho. Consider the hundreds of thousands of people crossing the Jordan at one time. A sea of movement around one immovable object at the center of the river. The Ark stands unmoved. It is the Lord's presence that allows these people to move forward, who is commanding the natural elements of the earth to do what they naturally do not do. Everything is operating around the immutability of this one object, this one presence...the Lord of all the earth.

Jericho should be shuddering, and so should we! This is our God! He is not our puppet to bow to our wants. He is the Lord by which we move forward in every endeavor of life. He stands immutable while the movement of our lives crosses the Jordan. I like that visual...that everything else is moving and acting upon the very command and breath of God, while He remains unmoved and unchanged.

Have a sit, and remember that One stands unmoved in the midst of what you face today.

© 2006 by Kendra Hinkle.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Treat Him as Holy

One day this week I was angry with God over my circumstances. In my unbelief, I allowed worry and elevated emotion to overcome the joy that is mine in Christ. I sat with Him in my anger, having liberally spoken what was on my mind. Then, the Holy Spirit began to convict me using scripture.


I am finishing my study of Deuteronomy. Through it I've watched as Moses gave his last words to Israel before they crossed the Jordan to take possession of the land promised to their ancestors (Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob). It was a long road from Egypt, with many learning opportunities as God’s trials allowed them to see what was in their hearts. On the opposite side of the Jordan River and looking across it into their future, anticipation was building. But one man had yet to die on this side of the Jordan before they could enter - Moses.


In His last days, Moses chose to recount to Israel their journey and all that the Lord had done for them. He also challenged them to courageous obedience for the warfare ahead. These last words of a faithful lover of God bring humiliation to my doubting soul. Moses was forbidden to enter the promised land because he failed to treat God as holy before the people (Numbers 20:8-12). God allowed Moses to ascend Mt. Nebo to look over the land where Israel would soon enter, but he could not go in as a consequence of his sin (Deut. 32:48-52).


God is faithful to the glory of His own name, and Moses’ failure to treat God as holy before the people at Meribah could not be overlooked. Imagine that! Moses was the man allowed to be hidden in the cleft of the rock to see God’s glory pass by, whose second nature was to fall prostrate before God and seek His counsel. Such favor with God might bring us to think that Moses got special treatment, but God’s zeal for His own name would not consider it.


Deuteronomy finishes with the faithfulness of Moses. In being disciplined, he does not puff himself up as He did at Meribah, nor did he disregard the specific commands of God. Instead, rebuke successfully taught him to fear and honor God no matter what the circumstances. He stands before the people to raise high the banner of God’s glory, with both them and him aware of his inability to enter into the promised land. There is no zeal for the name of “Moses,” only a love and fear for the name of God.


How much more should I, a woman saved by God’s son, treat Him as holy? Trials have revealed my unbelief and a loose tongue. I am learning to balance fear and transparency before God. He allows me to lay all of my emotions down before Him, as David did in the Psalms. But accusing God according to my unbelief dishonors His name. I was wrong to accuse God of unkindness and forgetfulness in my unbelief.


In contrast to myself, Moses words in his last days show that he believes God. Moses understands that being disciplined does not mean that God has forsaken him, something I previously was confused about. My heart has been challenged to grow in treating God as holy, as well as doing so for his commands for us as the church. My circumstances, my emotions, and even my rationale may seem to justify sinful dishonor…but God is the one who does not change.

In all spiritual wisdom, may you and I be able to revere and laud the holiness of God, just as Moses did in the midst of being disciplined:


There is none like the God of [Israel],

who rides the heavens to your help

and through the skies in His majesty. (33:26)


Ascribe greatness to our God!

The Rock!

His work is perfect, His ways are just…

Righteous and upright is He. (32:3-4)