RSS

A Postal Burrito

A drawing of an envelope

A drawing of an envelope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I guess there is a lot to be said for what can happen as a person’s life evolves through time. In a lot of cases, as priorities shift and life takes place, sometimes things can become lost or hidden. They never truly go away, but can become some mired in the muck of not being used, that they almost become alien. Then, when a sudden loss occurs, it sends one scrambling for some semblage of what was known, or into a cycle of chasing what it was that reminds you of what you lost. It seems that’s what must have happened for me. I don’t have a good reason why otherwise. It’s been a fairly complex span of time really. Not all that long, but so very complicated.

Family is one of those things that, as you scion off into making your own, you decide that youre going to mold it certain ways, and of course, its never quite what you claim it will be. For me, though, music was something I always stressed as important. I may not have been playing like I was, but appreciating it was paramount, pretty close to establishing the importance of Faith even. You taught me that.

Throughout my life, I’ve seen stupid fall like snow flakes, and was even dumb enough to stick my toungue out more than a time or two. What I have found though, is that roots are established for a reason. I established roots in music, just like I have established roots in my Faith. I’d even go as far as saying that music is more than just a large tenet of my faith. I’ve gone through all the stages of naïve country to hippie to hipster and all around the spectrum of metal. I always had friends or peers that “only listened to Christian Music”, and I always thought that was outright dumb…still do really, but its for reasons of semantics I guess. Christian defining the genre, dumb, but the feeling you get when making or listening to the music, if that’s not one of if not THE most purest forms of worship you ever experience, you’re doing it wrong. You taught me that.

I guess really the “stages of grief” could be valid for some people, but after stepping back and watching what I did, and what I’m seeing other people do now too in their losses, it has to be so much more complicated than that. Being a 28 year old father and trying to lead a family is an interesting place to be, but when you’ve spent so much time establishing yourself one way, and ignoring the rest of who you are, sin can catch up REALLY fast. It wasn’t that it was something I was trying to do purposely by any means, really just a matter of misplaced priorities of course, but that’s all it takes, right?

I feel good that I found my faith in the way that I have. My ministry brings me a lot of joy. Seeing people light up because something I said meant something to them, just like when I would be up on that stage and see people singing the words to a song I wrote. Indescribable really. Joy? Maybe, but so much deeper and stronger than that. Feeling bigger and more connected to the whole is something that I’ve come to find out is really so much of being a part of the church as it is called to be. Making music has to be that way too. You taught me that.
I know that there was a lot of questions about where you fell on that whole side of things, but finding those lyrics was all that I needed. I pray a lot. A lot of people think I pray more than is needed, but I don’t know that it will ever be enough. Regardless, those prayers include wanting to establish a legacy like yours. My own, of course, but like you did.

In all of it, I messed some things up, watched people hurt, and probably didn’t cope the way or to the level I should have. In the last few days though, I’ve watched other people go through it and again experienced a senario where I saw a parent burying their child. I can’t fathom this, and I’ve watched it happen closely to me three times now. It just makes it all the more clear that staying on top of these things and ensuring that my kids, and my grandkids, and generations past that, can look back and say of me – you taught me that.
Thanks for all you taught me. You’ll probably never know the breadth of the influence it all had in who I am, but one thing being for certain – I will keep it as a part of me. You taught me that.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Ramblings

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Sinner’s Burrito Part 1

The Sinner’s Burrito Part 1

 

It’s a sin cursed world!” If you’ve spent any time around any amount of evangelicals you have probably heard this statement. Maybe they were referring to diseases, or simply talking to someone who may have been wronged in some way. Regardless, it is a true statement, but what has happened in it’s use is that it has become excusatory. It shouldn’t be, but it has. It should be an awareness for sure. You know, kinda like “peeing on an electric fence hurts”. You say it to raise an awareness and provide the education that, should the opportunity arise, you probably shouldn’t pee on that electric fence, but inevitably, somebody is still gonna do it. That’s probably a horrible comparison, but it’s what I got right now.

Now, with that awareness for those of us that will sin (read: everyone), we would hope that it would at least reduce the times we fall victim to these things. For those affected by the sins of others (also read: everyone), however, perhaps it should be a precursor to allow us to exercise that whole “justice, mercy, grace” thing that I’ve talked about a couple times. I reckon its just good practice. Of course, it shouldn’t be without rebuke.

I speak through all of this, of course, from experience. There is a song by dc Talk, that is probably my favorite that they’ve ever done, called “In The Light”, and, without failing, every time I am covered in sin, I hear this song. I’ve had it come on the local radio station, and even randomly pop up while listening to my Pandora station. Every time, I weep through it. The opening lyrics go like this:

I keep trying to find a life
On my own, apart from you
I am the king of excuses
I’ve got one for every selfish thing I do

Each time I hear that, I see more and more that I have done away from my savior. Maybe I’ve gotten better at reading my Bible, or spend more time in prayer, but there is always something that has fallen away. Quite often, I have been downright despicable. Of course, in the Bible Isaiah compares everything we do apart from the Lord to what has often been translated to “filthy rags” or “soiled rags”, but more graphically, he is referring to used menstrual rags. Yeah, that’s gross, but it really is that serious. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul compares everything apart from Christ to what has been translated as “rubbish” or “filth” or even as boldly as “dung” in the KJV, but nonetheless, still more graphically, the original word translates much closer to a word we use today that rhymes with spit. So yeah, I think the point is driven home there. Furthermore, the whole “King Of Excuses” thing, yeah, I’m good at that, like real good. Rationalizing and pointing blame are pretty easy, but it doesn’t matter, I’m still the one that failed.

What’s going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That I’m still a man in need of a savior

I ask myself that question each time. “What’s going on inside of me?” It couldn’t be more of an appropriate question. Further, the despising my own behavior thing, yeah that pretty much hits the nail on the head. I’ve gotten to a point of sickness hurting about what I was doing and how to really get out of it. Afraid of embarrassment, or what the other consequences may be, webs will weave and things get so buried and so tangled, all in hopes that the stench won’t get out, but you can only perfume a rotten soul sandwich so much. The only fix, is my Savior.

I sit and I hurt and I wallow in my grief of what I have done and who I have hurt. The more I do this, the more I let the sin lay, which only feeds it and lets it grow. I have a Savior that took that guilt from me. I’m not guilty of these things after accepting Him, He was as He was nailed to a cross. So why do I continue to fail? Well, it’s a sin cursed world, and I am a part of it. Nope, not an excuse, it’s just something I need to remind myself. I need to be in this world, so I can continue to tell others what He has done, but I have to continue to try and push myself not to be OF this world.

The grace that we have been given is not a blip on the radar of our lives. No, it’s a part of sanctification that we have to go through to reach our true home with God. It’s a process, an ongoing journey in and of itself. So I have to continue to repent, continue to grow, and continue to seek my part of His grace. I have to work out my salvation with fear and trembling as Paul puts it in that same letter to the Philippians. That’s not because I need to be afraid of what my fate is, I know that I have a place in His Kingdom, but I have to be afraid of what I will do next, because these consequences hurt now. I have to want to follow what Jesus said and did.

I wanna be in the light
As you are in the light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, lord be my light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the light
All I want is to be in the light

So, I’ve sinned, again and again, and of course, there’s more than a chance that I will fail again, but what can I do to make sure that it’s not the same failure over and over? Perhaps it will be something with much smaller consequences to people I love, or even something that can be used as an example to keep others from what I’ve done. I’ve got more to say on these things, but that entry is still being written. Meanwhile, the second verse is a reminder:

The disease of self runs through my blood
It’s a cancer fatal to my soul
Every attempt on my behalf has failed
To bring this sickness under control

I’m not going to fix this on my own. I don’t have an answer to my failings. Maybe that’s why I like to ask questions so often, but I also know, that no person on this earth has THE answer either. They may have helpful ideas and advice, but without my Savior, I am nothing, and can accomplish nothing.

So the wrapped up burrito here, friends, is this: Give grace, because you will fail. This IS a sin cursed world, but don’t let that serve as your excuse once you do, let that serve as your warning so that you might stop things before they start. I know this is WAY not my style, but the TV was on late one night while preparing for Christmas, and Joel Osteen came on and he actually said something that’s painfully true. He said your test will become your testimony. So, be ready for some testimony coming soon, because I have plenty of tests to talk about

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Ramblings

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Responsive Burrito

The Responsive Burrito

It has burned in me for days now. I have been assaulted and insulted in a steady stream on my social media feed by folks whom I love. I have wept and avoided the opportunity to weep. I have prayed, meditated, and cried out for guidance, seeking His wisdom and waiting for a response. It seems that in the midst of all that continues to go on in my life, I have things laid to my heart on top of them. All I can think when reading any of it is “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!”

What I have seen in these posts to my various social media feeds, has both hurt me, and taught me. While it is hard to say that I would be shocked by anything that occurs in theis sin cursed world, I still can’t help but not understand why so many choose to politicize and polarize issues when such a heavy loss is accrued by real people. While I was holding and praying over my 7 year old daughter, others were decrying a call to defend. While I was weeping and asking questions to God others were jumping to conclusions and attacking the already-formed polar sides.

Instead of mourning, people were debating. Instead of praying, people were rallying and attaching an unnecessary cause. Where have we gotten lost from what is the most important sermon ever given, some two thousand years ago upon a hillside? How has our line of sight gone from blessing to cursing? Friends, I am a wretched sinner, and I fall short every day, and am constantly undeserving of the grace that I have been shown, but how can we not have our hearts simply break for tragedies?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

When wronged in such a way, and reeling from tragedy, why are we crazy to believe that when Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” He truly meant we are to ensure that His will and His kingdom should be ensured and implemented now, and not only in the afterlife? When broken down to our core, how is it possible that we have such an earthly strength to see our own agendas and values to be attached to tragedy? When faced with loss due to an overwhelming evil that is ever-pervasive in this world, how do we NOT mourn?

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

There are beautiful lives that have been lost, and families that are forever changed, and forever broken from this. In the face of death, we are called to mourn. In mourning we can set our sights on things above, and be comforted. So why have we chosen to rally and fight?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

When we are attacked and damaged, there is not an opposite effect to our resolution in immediate terms. Through damage we are weakened. Once weakened we are called to be patient and submit, so that we might we healed. So how is our cause strengthened by these things?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

When hurting and asking questions, we should seek the answers that heal, restore, and regenerate. We are called to seek after the things we are missing. When covered in evil, we are most missing righteousness. So why do we seek to be filled up on things of material and egotistical comfort?

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

In an often used quote of an author unknown, we are told that Mercy is when you do not get what you deserve. Of course, in terms of punishment, we are oh so quick to seek justice, and more often than not, our definition of “what you deserve” is askew. So often, we are guilty, and of course in James 2:10 we are told that “Whoever keeps the whole Law but fails in one point becomes guilty of it all.” Yet it does not seem that we are given what we deserve for this. So why have chosen to hold others who simply disagree with us to a standard we ourselves are not held to?

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted, from one of his more memorable speeches, that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” In this quote we see that we are charged through this blessing to drive out darkness and hate, but in order to do so, we must be light and love, not different kinds of darkness and hate. So why do attack evil with evil, and hate with hate?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

We hear so often that in order to obtain peace, you must prepare for war, yet all we have done in our lives for so long is prepare for war. All of this preparation for war, has only brought us more war. So if we are to be peacemakers, why are we attacking and targeting each other?

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

In words no plainer we are told that when people do attack us and say harsh things to us, since we are His, these things are blessings. The verse even goes onto say that we should rejoice and be glad, because we will be rewarded greatly for this persecution just as all the prophets have been that have come before us. So why do we choose to retaliate?

In Jeremiah we are told of the story of Rachel, who wept for the loss of the innocents. In the Gospel of Luke, we are told of the slaughter of the innocents. In both of these instances, God was there, and was ready to restore His people. So, I ask you to please UNITE in prayer FIRST. I know that “Faith without works is dead” but works without prayer are worthless, and in fact, given some pretty harsh descriptive terms in scripture throughout the Bible. Once we pray, we can rest assured that we can then act and know that what we are called to do WILL ensure that His kingdom will come and His will shall be done. A faith wrapped, prayer marinated, action burrito, will ALWAYS taste that much better.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Ramblings

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dunkards – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Dunkards – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Day 20: Dunkards – I Am Second Blog

60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at http://www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.

Day 17 by Zach Emerson

“Jesus didn’t bring an entourage. He didn’t dress in glowing robes or a halo. Instead, he lived the simple life of a carpenter, and when the time was right, he stepped into the Jordan River and inaugurated his ministry.” -Live Second, 24.

I remember the day I was baptized extremely well. It was June 8, 2008. The date stays in my mind, not because they gave us towels with the date monogrammed in them, but because that was the day that I felt my calling to what some would consider more traditional ministry. It was the strangest thing. I had known all my life that I was put on this earth to make music, and of course after I came to a solid faith, I figured that I was probably going to end up in a music based ministry. It didn’t work that way.

I had a band that had gone through all of the motions of preparation for signing to a label, recording an album, and touring. We had a following, we had the equipment, and for the most part we had the drive to do pretty much whatever it took to make it to the next level. Then it was over. Poof – No more band. The drummer and myself moved on to another group and recorded another album and played some more shows, but just as quick as that one came it was gone. No more bands. I was pretty confused.

Now interweaved with the whole band timeline is me finding a girl, having a kid, moving in together, getting married (yes, really in that order, we did it backwards, I know) and finally finding a church that we wanted to raise our daughter in. After doing the Sunday syndrome thing for a while we decided it was time to commit to the church and we were baptized. We went through a class teaching about history of the denomination and different belief points, as well as the typical “why baptism matters” stuff and a few more points along the way, but one of the big points made in the class is that in our church denomination we dunk you 3 times. Yep, when Jesus said “…and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” our denomination took that to mean once for each.

Over the years many have coined the nicknamed “Dunkards” for the church, since we dunk ya 3 times. To me, I had heard the term, but didn’t make the connection because I didn’t know any “dunkards”, and growing up in different denominations, all I had ever seen was one dunk heading backwards. When I waded into the baptismal that morning I got on my knees and was dunked three times forward, face first. I can remember between each dunk taking a breath and feeling the air seem different to me. Once I got up, got out, and walked down the steps to receive my aforementioned monogrammed towel, things were just different.

Now, I have no solid comparison on what exactly I felt. Maybe if you’ve been baptized you know what I’m talking about, and maybe you don’t, but either way I went home knowing I was about to start something new. In the scripture for today’s devotional Jesus shows up to have John baptize Him, and as He came out of the water, we see a solid picture of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit co-existing in the same place at the same time. I wish I could say that it was that awesome when I came out of the water, but alas, no doves or shining light, well, short of the super bright light that shines on the baptismal because of the white walls surrounding me. Regardless, what happened next for Jesus, and what happened next for me sorta parallel. Of course, he had that whole 40 days of tempting in the desert by Satan thing, I just had to deal with working a call center job, but if you’ve ever worked a call center job, you may feel that Satan is behind every ziptone.

After my baptism, some time went by where I immersed myself in biblical history, different schools of thought on Christian theology, and all out Bible study, and then one morning after filling in for teaching the youth I was asked by our pastor and told by my wife to be the new youth director. It was a new experience to be sure, but as it all started to unfold, everything came together. I had youth that were interested in learning more about Jesus, and out of nowhere some old friends that were interested in talking God in a new and fresh way. There it was, the start of my ministry, and the birth of the Holy Burrito Crew. I had arrived at the start of my new journey, and I was excited about it.

My name is Zach Emerson. I am a Holy Burrito brother, a sinner saved by grace, a baptized believer, and I am Second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Season’s Meaning – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Season’s Meaning – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Day 19 – Season’s Meaning – I Am Second Blog

60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.

Day 19 by Zach Emerson

“Love is his name, kindness is his reputation” -Live Second, 22.

Read Luke 1:46-55.

Today we come to a piece of scripture from the first chapter of Luke that is known as The Magnificat, or Mary’s Song. In what would be an extremely scary and unsure time for most folks in life, Mary goes to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who has also been blessed with a pregnancy of importance. She will give birth to John the Baptizer, and as Mary enters the house and begins to speak to Elizabeth, John leaps from within the womb. The spiritual presence is palpable between them and Elizabeth tells Mary how blessed she is.

As they talk, Mary begins to speak of the awesomeness of God. The comparisons and allusions she makes are absolutely profound, and you can tell that at this point in her life she is extremely humbled by the fact that she has been chosen by God himself to have this baby. She is praising God and speaking of her thankfulness while pointing to His awesome power. This piece of scripture is absolutely awe inspiring.

When you sit down and truly think about the power that God has, in most cases, you wonder why he has truly chosen to allow us all to continue to share in His creation. He can take it all away in less than the move of a finger. He has brought down empires, and He has created the vast and awesome beauty of this entire world, yet He continues to love us in spite of the fact that we have continued to mar it with our selfish choices and single-minded endeavors. He continues to show us His grace time and time again.

So often we place our selves and our personal wants above Him. We exalt ourselves, and forsake Him. We forget Him, and remember only ourselves. Regardless, He provides. He feeds the hungry, and clothes the naked. He holds down the proud, and lifts up the humble. His might is unmatched, yet His mercy is unfathomable.

So many times I get caught up in what it is I am doing at the moment. Even when I am planning things for His church, I forget Him. When I am planning on glorifying Him, I am focusing on myself. We do it so often. It’s one of the things I love about the I Am Second ministry. It reminds me that someone comes before me. I know that He has done so much for me, and He deserves to be first. I’ve heard it described by using the acronym JOY: Jesus, Others, Yourself. I think it’s brilliant to look at it that way. I know that it’s easy to experience a temporal state of happiness when I focus on myself, but more often than not, when I have truly focused on Him, and given myself to others in His name, my happiness and state of mind just falls into place.

Today, my wife and I helped her mom and step dad rake leaves at their house, and then I cooked lunch for us all. I woke up annoyed that plans for the day had changed, but once I got into the swing of moving and by the time I was cooking lunch, I just felt good. I wanted to keep going. Of course, reality sank in and before I could re-ground myself the everyday hectic pace set in. Place to place and person to person, back and forth. It was right back to being the me that it’s so easy to be.

I’ve got to say that having to sit down and read these devotionals has been a great experience. Quite often I will read the Bible, but I don’t immerse myself in what He is saying to me. Having to add my thoughts to what have been absolutely divinely placed and delivered scriptures for my life right now has brought me to a place where truly wish I could live. Knowing that it’s ever so close to Christmas where we are supposed to celebrate the coming of our Savior, this has helped that much more. After working big box retail management for four years, I’ve got to say that just over five years later, Christmas time is still something I struggle with, but this time with these I Am Second devotionals has helped me further fix my gaze towards Him.

My name is Zach Emerson, I am a Holy Burrito Brother, an ungrateful sinner saved by grace, and I am Second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

Next for the 60-Days-of-Second: Day 20- “Dunkards” by Zach Emerson

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Symphony Of Missteps – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Symphony Of Missteps – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Day 18 – Symphony Of Missteps – I Am Second Blog

“We can wallow in our guilt, run from our past, or hide from our faults; but God offers to wash it all away, if we let him” –Live Second, 21.

How any times have you ever thought about the stuff you’ve done wrong in life? I mean, it’s a depressing endeavor, but it’s something that we get stuck doing a lot more often than we would probably admit. We focus on failure a lot as human beings, but when you think about it, it makes sense. From the first bite of that fruit way back in the garden all the way to now we have lived a symphony of missteps.

All it takes is that one key moment that we see that what we have done is a source of pain or sorrow for someone we care about and we get that nasty, sinking feeling in the pit of our stomach. We start looking back on all the times we’ve done something similar. There are plenty of times that we got away with it, but all the guilt rushes right back. It’s like a jacked up, pain-filled slideshow of ugliness and the worst kinds of deception. We see ourselves as worthless, or worse yet, as an all out plight to those we love.

The sins that we have committed in this life make us liars, thieves, adulterers, idol worshippers, murderers, and so much more. Back in the Old Testament times of the formation of the tribes of Israel, God called for sacrifices of varying types to make up for all the horrible things we were doing. But as time went on, it just wasn’t enough. There wasn’t enough grain or unblemished animals around to make up for it all. Finally, Isaiah started giving prophecy about the coming savior, a spotless lamb, an ultimate sacrifice, an unmatched level of perfect that would be given in our place.

This was unthinkable, that God Himself would send a sacrifice that would eliminate the need for sacrifice, and not only that, but that this sacrifice would come in a form that would understand the pain and hurt that we go through day to day, in labor and toil, in poverty and loss, yet this sacrifice would say nothing of it. This sacrifice would not cry out about the unfairness that though it would see and live our pain without a single transgression it would be despised, rejected, and given the punishment that the same ones who would carry out this injustice deserved. He would be pierced for our transgressions, and by His wounds, we would be healed.

This is a journey in humility, and everyday I see myself spinning in what could only be described as a surreal experience. I’ve watched every I Am Second video so far throughout the last couple years, and now I am given the privilege of reading and interpreting their devotional through the lense of the burrito. I’m just a sinner, and I know I screw up every day, but I go back and I read these words from Isaiah 53:1 – 12 and I see that even though I’ve made all of these mistakes, even though I have been wrong time and time again, that because of that sacrifice, I am free to experience the presence and the love of a perfect and Holy God. That wrecks my life every time I think about it, and it is absolutely awesome in the purest sense of the word.

I am a liar, a thief, a murderer, an idol worshipper, an adulterer, and so much more. I deserve the worst of punishments for all that I have done wrong in this life…but He died in my place. He took on my suffering AND my shortcomings, and because of that I have seen healing through His wounds.

My name is Zach Emerson, I am a Holy Burrito brother, and the Chief of Sinners, but He died in our place, so I am second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

Next for the 60-Days-of-Second: Day 19- “Season’s Meaning” by Zach Emerson

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

War and Peace – 60 Days Of Second Blog

War and Peace – 60 Days Of Second Blog
60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at http://www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.

Day 17 by Zach Emerson

“Jesus succeeds where we all fail” –Live Second, 20.

Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. ~ Isaiah 9:5.

Yep, it’s pretty awesome that I get to start my journey into this awesome opportunity of blogging through the latest book from I Am Second, “Live Second: 365 Ways To Make Jesus First” with the subject being “Prince Of Peace”. The whole scripture for today comes from Isaiah 9: 1 – 7, and is one of the most widely quoted prophetic scriptures about the coming of Jesus that you hear leading up to Christmas time.

So often I’m drawn to the prophetic visions of Christ. Most of what I believe and try to practice is what most refer to as Red Letter Christianity, essentially basing my core doctrine solely on the words that Jesus himself spoke, primarily in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), but these Old Testament verses just ring so true and bring so much peace to me that I have no issue in going back to them to add foundation to what I try to live everyday. The verse I picked out above is one that gets looked over a bit in most circles, but as a practicing member of one of the historic peace church denominations, it just sings to me.

Up to this point in the Bible, all we have seen really is failure on behalf of humanity. We ate the forbidden fruit, we worshipped idols, we lusted for things, and we were HUGE fans of war. I think that a big chunk of non-believers have a big turnoff because of how much bloodshed is involved in the Old Testament, and really, so do a lot of devout folks too, but I think it’s because not enough of the sentiment conveyed in this scripture is conveyed wholly throughout a lot of evangelism efforts these days. We’re getting better about communicating the whole “I’m just as screwed up as you, but Jesus loves us both anyways…” idea, but I think a lot of people still see the Old Testament and New Testament depictions of God as being either two different guys, or some sort of early day angry guy that mellowed out the more time went on. It’s scriptures like this verse, and this whole passage that show the two being one.

I think it is probably safe to say that you have been failed by other people on occasion in your life, and even more so safe to say that you even feel like you have failed others a time or two at least, but the awesome reassurance we get here is that Jesus never failed, he was never “plan B”, and that the full message shows that he didn’t come only to forgive our sins, but to bring a true and long lasting peace. God doesn’t like war, He doesn’t like bloodshed, and any pain or loss we encounter from sin grieves Him to His core, but He sent Jesus to wipe all that away. He sent Jesus to clean us AND restore us. He sent Jesus to show us that even though we had made pretty much every wrong choice ever for ourselves, it was NEVER His plan to let us throw it all away with no chance of ever getting it back.

No person that ever lived could follow every piece of the 10 commandments to their fullest all day every day, but that was the law. So in walked Jesus who did just that and fulfilled every piece of the rules in place to their maximum where we couldn’t, it says it right in the book in this passage, “Jesus succeeds where we all fail.” and then He not only fulfilled them perfectly, but He took all of the punishment we deserved for not fulfilling them perfectly…total atonement. He was guilty of nothing, yet he paid the price for everything. His goal to bring us peace from the wars around us, to burn the tools and spoils of war, to show us to beat our swords into plowshares, and to show us that peace came from Perfect Love, not victory in human battle.

…And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

#princeofpeace

My name is Zach Emerson, I’m a Holy Burrito Brother, and I Am Second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: