Friday, March 29, 2013

I AM SIMON OF CYRENE

Praise the Lord everybody! I pray everyone is enjoying these holy days leading up to Resurrection Sunday. These are days of wonder, days to look back in retrospect at what Jesus did for us. The other night I was watching the "Passion of the Christ" and as I watched I was again appalled by the brutality of His death. I also was intrigued by the plight of Simon of Cyrene who helped Jesus carry His cross. As I meditated on it I was moved to write the following account as seen through Simon's eyes. Luke 23:26
26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27


I am Simon of Cyrene and a heartbreaking but wonderful thing happened to me on a  Friday many years ago as I entered the city. There were crowds everywhere and as I neared the via Dolorosa I heard the sound of woman weeping and wailing mixed with the shouts of men.I could not see to whom or to what all this emotion was directed, so I pressed in closer to get a better view.

It was then that I saw this large wooden cross that seemed to be dragging itself down the stone covered street surrounded by Roman soldiers. I said to myself "how is it that the cross moves?" Then I saw Him, half  hidden by the cross bar a bowed and bloody figure stumbling under it's burden. Blood was pooled in his every foot print as He grunted and groaned with His every step. Every part of him I could see was ripped and bruised, His flesh hung in ribbons.

As I detachedly watched, the agonizingly slow procession I was suddenly thrust into the surreal scene when I heard a voice loudly growl "YOU!! YES YOU! COME HERE AND HELP HIM CARRY HIS LAST BURDEN!" as the soldiers laughed, I hesitated and started to protest, then I thought about running but thought the better of it.
As I approached this poor soul I could feel his pain and anguish, it was weird. I sped up to avoid the lash and arrived at his side just in time as he fell into me placing all his weight and that of the cross on me. I summoned all my strength and somehow kept us both upright.

Just like that I found myself going from onlooker to the eye of the storm, surrounded by a whirlwind of emotions. As I joined in this obvious death march I was conflicted as I looked upon Priest and Pharisees and other devout men cursing this man yelling "blasphemer!! Crucify him!!" as they spit at us as I now shared in his shame. I thought to myself "my God what has he done to deserve this?"

At that point he lifted up his eyes to me and I saw tears, not tears of anger or pain but tears of compassion FOR ME!! FOR ME! OF ALL THINGS!  he was concerned for me even as he was suffering in what was undoubtedly his final moments. He looked at me and never said a word but that look said it all.
He then righted himself and continued on ahead of me leading me and his cross toward Golgotha the hill where hey liked to crucify and leave them hanging to be seen by everyone as an example. He could barely carry his own weight and as we drew nearer stumbled again and again, finally I dragged Him, myself and the cross to the top of the hill.

"OK you can go on your way now!" barked the Centurion as they began to unload the hammers and the nails. They grabbed him out of my grasp and though I wanted to turn and run away I reached out to Him and asked "Who are you?" but He did not speak but again I felt his compassion as I finally turned and walked away covered in his blood. One of the soldiers cried out "YOU SHOULD BE HONORED, He CLAIMS TO BE A KING! KING OF THE JEWS!"

As I walked away I tried to wipe his blood from my person but I am glad I was unsuccessful, even though you can't see it anymore it is always there and the man whose name I did not know, three days later rose from the dead, I know Him now as Jesus the Christ my Lord and my Savior.
                     God bless you all, Simon of Cyrene

     I KNOW IT WAS THE BLOOD!   BROTHER DARRELL, A WATCHMAN


















Tuesday, March 19, 2013

THERE WILL BE BLOOD: REVISITED

Praise the Lord everybody! Sometimes you need to revisit a message for your own edification, this is one of those times. I first posted this in April of last year. I needed it then and I need it now.


THERE Will Be Blood

Praise the Lord! Here we are it's "Good Friday" a day when the body of Christ remembers the body of Christ. The broken, battered body of our Lord and savior that He willingly laid down to be crucified for our sins. The brutality of His death underscoring the beauty of His mission. Jesus fully understood the magnitude of what He was sent to do and the suffering He had to endure, yet He came down from glory and put a flesh suit on and walked the path assigned to Him. The word of God states in Isaiah 53:4-6
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

When you think about what Jesus endured for us and you think about how easily we fall flat on our faces every time we have to suffer a little hardship or endure a little temptation. We say things like "I tried but God knows my heart" or "God gave me these desires, what did he expect?" or even " I'm not perfect, I'm just flesh and blood!" These are excuses a lot of us make when we fall short of the mark.

Over the years we have become wimpy Christians only wanting to receive Gods blessing and rejecting every trial and tribulation as "from the devil" and not part of God's plan for us. The word says in 53:10 Isaiah
10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Some times it is God's will for us to go through certain things in order to bring about His plans for us to grow and even prosper. It is not always easy to be obedient to God's will, even Jesus had his moments when He wanted to turn back in Luke 22:42-44
42Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus asked that God would let him out of the mission He was on, just like we all do when we are going through something but then Jesus gave into His fathers will saying "never the less not my will but thine, be done" This is where a lot of us part ways with God, our flesh wins out. Hebrews 12:4 states
4Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
How many can say that they have travailed in prayer until they sweat blood? How many can say they were broken and bruised because they stood for God against sin? Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians 4:8+9
8We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Today's believer needs to have that same attitude, willing to endure the utmost hardship even to the point of shedding blood knowing that in carrying out Gods will God is pleased and will be with you every step of the way. We need to keep our eyes on the joy that lies before us just as Jesus did as we go through our own "via dolorosa". Remember there will be blood, the blood of Jesus that covers us all.
God bless you, Brother Darrell, A Watchman



Monday, March 11, 2013

THROWING GOD A BONE OR "DADDY I'S MARRIED NOW"


Praise the Lord everybody, for He is worthy to be praised!!! Again I pray everyone is enjoying Gods blessing. My wife and I are experiencing period of relief right now, we can actually see some light at the end of the tunnel. God is positioning us for what He has planned for us. God has called us to a life of holy obedience. I like to tell people that "God has me on a short leash" I can't get away with the things other "Christians" think they can get away with.

A few days ago I was up at 3am praying and this one scene kept playing in my head, if you've seen the movie "the color purple" you may remember this one scene where Shug Avery (a woman burdened down with all kinds of sin) is walking down the road when her estranged father comes riding along on a horse and buggy, he is a man of God and when he See's her he speeds up and passes her without saying a word. As he passes she yells out "daddy I's married now!" as she holds up her left hand showing off her shiny new wedding ring. She seems so disappointed when he ignores her and continues on. I thought to myself "that's strange" I meditated a little longer and the Lord began to deal with me and gave me this scripture,
Matthew 7:21-23   
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity


shug Avery in this scene is like a lot of people I imagine, Think of her father as God, Abba Father, Sugg is estranged from her father just like man, going our own way, doing our own thing, living it up. On one hand we want to please God and on the other we don't want to give up our sins, so what do we do? We throw God a bone.
Sugg's bone was she got married, "I's married now!" she screamed, thinking that would make a difference as she continued to drink, party and sing at juke joints and speak Easy's all over the south. Some of us do the same we might start going to church just to get God off our backs as we continue to live in all kinds of sin. We continue in sin thinking everything is going to be alright but one day as we walk down this road we will see our Father and when He turns His back on us we will say just like Sugg "Daddy I's married now!" thinking that just because we did a little something for God that He will stop and recognize us as righteous children.

God is not interested in our little gestures. It's like that one dollar tip we put in the plate on Sundays when we know we can do better. Jesus is interested in relationship not religious gestures. He wants our love, our obedience, our lives. We can't just throw God a bone and continue to live in sin, lying, stealing, drinking, drugging, fornicating and the rest. God wants our all! not just our fingers.
Stop shouting "I's married now!" as God passes by, give him your all, body, soul and spirit.

             God bless you all, Brother Darrell, A watchman