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*Special thanks to Shila and Pragna for their encouragement and inspiration*

In Each Heart There Is One

A “pedestal” that is. And it’s by divine design, we were all born with one. An internally invisible yet tangible place of spiritually sacred prominence where only the most relevant resides. While there is no doubt we have many areas of importance in our lives that deserve our attention, the “realm” spoken of can only be occupied by one. One of God’s own choosing.

Although vigorously attempted by many, it would seem that shared inhabitancy only confuses the act of living, as has been the experientially based case in my own life for far too long in the past. That’s what happens when you incorrectly find yourself sitting in the honored seat at the party when you aren’t the honored guest! It can get very awkward! May I add: Especially when the “honored guest” is perched next to you waiting for His seat of worthiness to be vacated by you.

The truth? The majority of us humans choose to enthrone ourselves in ourselves. It’s what we do. It’s what we’re taught to do. It’s our natural default. And we will be encouraged to do so by society in general and at times, atmosphere’s that are intended to transcend society in general.

But, what if we were to go against the status quo and choose “not to”? What if we were to take a momentary pause to consider the seriousness of that sacred selection and think it through to a much more profound conclusion? What if we understood that the “pedestal” wasn’t imputed by God for simply anyone, but a singular Someone? By divine design!

The Someone Isn’t A Secret

His name is mentioned 1,310 times in the New Testament. Thus, the name of Jesus is hardly a secret. We first hear it in His announced by an angel heavenly orchestrated plan of conception.

Luke 1 - 26 > 31: In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy ( Elizabeth was John the Baptist’s mother and older sister of Mary ) God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings to you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you”. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son and you are to call him, JESUS”.

Of massive importance and to be referenced later: Mary did not name Jesus, heaven did!

Slightly Off Topic

As a side-note for us all to consider as we sojourn with God: At this stage in the story we have a seriously confused Mary. Have you ever been “blind-sided” by the impossibleness of a message that God is speaking into your life? If so, it’s nothing compared to what Mary is being up-dated with. She’s been promised to Joseph to be his wife. She is a virgin. She lives in a small town thus she is known by all as would be the case concerning Joseph. Culturally speaking: “Pledged to be married” and “virgin” were not negotiable dynamics to be navigated around. They are etched in stone and getting them out of order would have brought great shame to all involved.

So Mary has a question in need of an answer! You see folks: Virgins do not have babies. That is not the way these things work and even though Mary was very young, she knew that much to be true! So her query and the answer: Same chapter verses 34 & 35: “How will this be”, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin”? The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God”.

Do any of us believe that once hearing the angel Gabriel’s response to her question, Mary was any more informed on an intellectual level than before she had asked? Did she now understand the inner workings of this divine procedure? Could she now say: “Oh right, I remember another time when a young lady in the neighborhood had a baby as a virgin”. No, Mary was even more bewildered by the message’s explanation. A virgin giving birth had never happened! She had no reference point to inject a morsel of “common sense” into what the angel was saying.

With the explanation delivered, it still made no sense but I love Mary’s final response, which was made in spite of her “not understanding”.

Verse 38: “I am the Lord’s servant”, Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled”. Then the angel left her.

Isn’t that beautiful? In spite of all the obvious complexities and possible ramifications: “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled”.

Even Moses wasn’t that succinct while chatting with God from the back side of a mountain. All he had was a Pharaoh who wanted to kill him and a speech impediment to consider. Mary most definitely out-shone Moses on her day to shine! Moses gave God a list of “why not’s” while the young Mary gave it the old: “If you say so may it de done”! You’ve got to love her style folks!

Not quite as “off-topic” as thought. Mary had “pedestaled” her God high above all else! Mary didn’t know the whole story but what she did know could have easily threatened her marriage to Joseph and her standing in the community. Her future could have been irreparably soiled!

God’s timing in her life couldn’t have been less appropriate and yet: “May your word to me be fulfilled”. Quite the amazing expression of faith from a vulnerable teen with everything to lose. Interestingly: Thirty three years later that baby would become Mary’s Savior! I doubt that Mary knew the all-inclusive end result of her “yes”. In her own way she was saying: “Thy will, not my will be done”. Further of interest: Her baby would repeat that same refrain from the Garden of Gethsemane as a thirty three year old man as Jesus prepared himself to hang on a cross putting His well-being aside for ours.

Twice Confirmed - Divine Identity And Status

At Christ’s baptism by John we “first” hear these words regarding His introduction to the world: Matthew 3 - 17: And a voice from heaven said: “This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased”. Jesus was thirty years old at the time.

Later, on the mount of transfiguration, heaven spoke a “second” time: Mark 9 - 2 > 4 : After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There He was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

Verses 7 & 8: Then a cloud appeared and covered them and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son whom I love. Listen to Him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them EXCEPT JESUS.

Elijah represented the prophets of old while Moses represented the law. Both seen by heaven as “forerunners” to the only one left standing in a place of mentioned supreme prominence of importance. Jesus, who represented God’s “new covenant”! With this directive for us: “Listen to HIM!”

What A Name!

Psalm 143 - 13: Let them ( us ) praise the name of the Lord, for His name ALONE is exalted: His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.

Ephesians 1 - 21: Far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Philippians 2 - 9 > 11: “THEREFORE” God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name, that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ Is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The “THEREFORE” is prefaced in versus 6 to 8: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage: Rather He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death. Even death on a cross!

You see there’s a “therefore”. A reason why Jesus is most worthy to be pedestaled in our lives. Two thousand years ago He pedestaled us in His!

“Therefore”: Psalm 150 - 6: Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!

Our highest expression of praise won’t be found on our Sunday’s but rather the placement of Jesus as exalted above all else in our everyday’s. Pedestaled 24/7!

Does His Cross - Cross Our Minds

The cross isn’t a once a month as in “Communion Sunday” experience. We are to wear it every day, all day. It’s not “old news”. It’s as relevant as our next breath! It is our “why” we do “what” we do. Thus, the cross of Jesus shouldn’t be seen as a one-way reality for our benefit only . It is “two way” all the way. It’s a disciple’s lifestyle.

I wrote an Ebook quite a while back entitled, “The Second Cross” that speaks to the modern day unimaginable disappearance of “our part” in the heavenly equation of walking with Jesus. Give it a read if you get a chance. You can find it at “Smashwords”.

It takes a little sober courage to do so, but have you ever perused the book of “Acts”, in a study of our early brethren’s “life styles” and then fast-forwarded too today? How in the world did we get here, is the question I’m always left with? Could it be that “the message” has been adjusted to conform more easily to culture?

The answer? It used to be: Come to Jesus because He’s Jesus and He has risen from the dead. That’s not what it is now. The modern version? Come to Jesus and He will be your “Mr. Fix It”. Well, I don’t think Christ changed anything from His initial pre-requisites so it must be WE who are the adjusting culprits. We are also experiencing the unhealthy fruits from our tampering! Let’s revisit the words of Jesus and see if what we read resembles today’s gospel.

Matthew 10 - 38: “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow Me IS NOT worthy of Me”. That’s soberingly clear as I interpret it.

Romans 8 - 12: Therefore brothers and sisters we have an obligation but IT IS NOT to the flesh. Again perfectly clear and preserved by God to be included in the bible for our attention. It’s all there in the book for a reason!

This “laying down of one’s life for Christ” in no way dilutes “grace”. It’s not legalism! Jesus said it as a template for our appropriate response to “grace” not an earning of it! It’s a free gift that demands a response that is indicative of its value! That’s only fair!

If we have to be coaxed and prodded to establish Jesus as our pedestaled “all in all”, then I’m afraid there’s something fundamentally serious missing in the foundation of our understanding and that is dangerous.

Its correction can be easily accessed by a daily heart-felt, realty check, “cross emersion”. We’re to be consumed with thankfulness by what we see. It’s not pretty in the slightest, but it’s there and only there that our souls are exposed to Christ’s concept of our worth to Him.

Left spiritually staggered by the unimaginable visual, what else are we do but reciprocate in kind?

Revelation 5 - 9 & 10: And they sang a new song saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals because you were slain and with your blood you PURCHASED for God, persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on earth.”

Folks, we’ve been “purchased” through the cross! Therefore our lives are not our own. Thus, we shouldn’t behave as if they are. One sacredly placed pedestal reserved for only one person. He has a name. JESUS! Which would mean: It’s not Bill!

Romans 12 - 1: Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship.

Seeing as we were considered worthy of His life, consider how much “more worthy” He is of ours!

There will always be those “talking heads” out there in “never - never” land who infer non-compliance as optional. Paul in writing to Timothy addressed that issue rather harshly:

2 Timothy 4 - 3 & 4: For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Friends, “the time” Paul spoke of is “RIGHT NOW”, in a manner that even Paul couldn’t have imagined in his worst nightmares! It’s that flagrant and that insidiously horrific! So what is a sheep to do? Avoid such people and vigilantly adhere to the three words as prescribed from heaven in our previous scripture reference from Mathew: “Listen to Him!” Him being Jesus!

In closing: John 10 - 1 > 4: “Very truly I tell you Pharisees anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice”.

We are living in a time like no other in history! It’s no longer safe to “free wheel” your walk with Christ in a “shared supremacy” mindset! The many and varied distorted voices for our ingestion strongly confirms that to be so. I frankly don’t understand why there are so many of us who are tentative about “picking up their cross”. I see it as much more “spiritually insightful” and far less “ominous” a choice than to choose not to!

The counterfeit shepherds amongst us are many in number and growing as we speak. Jesus is very big business folks and it is not going to go away any time in the near future! It is massively profitable and popular, so why would it go away? That is unless you believe these imposters are somehow going to grow a conscience.

Our only valid protection as to not be choked by the prevailing toxicity in the spiritual air we are exposed to is to be as closely attentive to our Shepherd as we can possibly be.

That translates into: Jesus getting to run “the show” which we call “our lives”! Make sense?

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: “If there is a problem between myself and God, I am always the source of the problem”. Therefore removing me from the “pedestal equation” is intelligent!

We are encouraged to “pedestal” Jesus in our lives not only because He is most worthy of such a distinction, but also to protect ourselves from ourselves!

After all: We are sheep and it’s wise to keep that in mind! You see, wolves eat sheep! That’s what wolves do. And sheep become dinner when they insist on having their ears tickled!

A return to our roots as disciples of Christ is desperately needed if we are to be taken seriously. Let’s not hesitate! Heaven doesn’t afford us that luxury!

My Ministry - Our Ministry

Mark 6 - 38 & 41: “How many loaves do you have He asked?” “Go and see”. When they found out they said, “Five and two fish”. Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to His disciples to DISTRIBUTE to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all”. ( Five thousand plus, were fed that day! )

In the biblical story of the “fishes and loaves”, I so clearly see three dynamics in play to achieve the desired completion of the heavenly orchestrated equation. The young boy GAVE what little he had, our Lord then MULTIPLIED it, and the disciples then DISTRIBUTED it.

It’s interesting to note that Jesus, after the multiplying didn’t say, “Come and get it”. What He did say was, “Everyone find a place to sit on the grass and I’ll bring it to you, through my own”. Folks, He loves to involve us. He loves to make us matter! We are blessed beyond measure to be written into, His stories! Just imagine: Invited by Him to participate in His plans for others!

From the inception of the idea of writing books to be made available to “all freely”, there has never been a moment when I haven’t been aware of its ministry context. I could easily be seen as the “young boy” in the story. Jesus has most certainly multiplied my meager offering to Him.

So may I invite and encourage you to be a distributor of that which He has multiplied, thereby elevating “My Ministry” into “Our Ministry”, thus completing “His Ministry”. There’s something about that idea that sounds “perfect” to my heart!

We all have friends, family, work mates, school mates, etc. I’ve included a simple directional on “how to find” the “fishes and loaves”. Please feel free to share “what you eat” with others. You have no idea where it could lead to! That young boy’s mother could never have dreamed, what that little lunch she had prepared for her son on that fateful morning, would produce!

To find a full complement of “Free Ebooks” I’ve written: Google - “Smashwords About Bill Taylor”. The provided link can be saved to “favorites” for easy and convenient future use. The link will take you directly to my “Bio” where all titles and covers are displayed. Thanks again for your much appreciated support!

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