Undercover Boss

The lights flash overhead – flash flash flash.

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The crimson curtains fall in perfect line across the stage – swish swish swish.

Center Stage Design Challenge

In the crowd, dozens upon dozens of angels stand transfixed – gaze adoringly focused on their Lord. No sound is made, and yet there is an uncanny sense of destiny and heroism about to be embarked upon. The foreboding aura of – wait. A breeze shifts through the auditorium, whispering to the congregation.

Watch. Listen. Believe. 

Another murmur.

See my Son, unblemished and without fault. He now goes to the world below. Our creation, that became riddled with sin and darkness. So lost and desperate for anything real, blinded by their own brokenness. He will become in likeness with them, transforming to be both God and man, trading the riches of His throne, for the dust of the Earth. 

Eyes were wide in the crowd, silence filling the room.

Through Him, the canyon of sin – the gap that separates our creation from us, will finally be bridged. By His sacrifice, they will have a way to come home. Now, let it begin.

Lightening scintillated in shards of electric light, and the clock of eternity ticked on.

Tick. Tick. Tick. 

~~~

The stage is set; the prologue has been written. What will happen?

In nervous anticipation, the heavenly audience watches from above. There is the birth – raw and painful, yet filled with so much beauty and relief. He’s here! God, in the flesh! The trembling hand of a father, strokes the babe’s cheek – held in his mother’s arm. How is this real?

Oh, but it is real. Very real.

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The child, Jesus, grows up. People do not know who he is, not really. They say that he is such a wise young boy, always obeying his parents. The years fast-forward and adulthood has come.

Miracles are performed and lives are saved.

The instrumental music’s tempo dramatically increases. Oh! Oh! Now-now there is pain and betrayal – blood seeps His skin, inch deep wounds scar His body, and agony covers the atmosphere in a dark display of thunder and rain.

The audience holds their breath, watching anxiously to see what will happen next.

There is a stone, a grave. Three days. Seventy-two hours. And, then!

Life.

He lives.

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Jesus was the ultimate “Undercover Boss.” If you have never watched the show, the premise of Undercover Boss is the CEO of a business disguises themselves and works several different jobs that are part of their company. They meet different people, those who are struggling and need help. These individuals show them how to work their specific skill, and so the show goes on.

No one knows that this person is the boss. Not, that is, until the very end. During the last portion of the hour, the CEO – now looking like themselves, meets with each of his or her employees that they worked with.

The employees are naturally shocked, surprised! They had no idea!

But the best part is yet to come. Finally, the boss leans forward – grinning, he references their struggles in life, and what they had gone through. “I want to do something,” he says, “I’m giving you a check for $20,000 dollars.”

Instantly, the recipient is in tears – wondering if this is real. Could all of their anxieties really be over? Did someone actually notice them? All they can do is thank the CEO over and over again.

This is what the Holy Spirit revealed to me.

I was sitting in the bed one night, condemning myself for not reading my Bible enough or feeling like just worshipping God was “enough.” Dratted perfectionism y’all!

Anyway, Undercover Boss was on the TV and the Holy Spirit suddenly told me that’s me. I came to Earth and I am your undercover boss. This person offered financial help to these people, they did not expect it and yet, they accept it. Why then, do you continue to try to prove yourself to me, when I have canceled all of your debt. You are debt free. 

WHAT.

Basically my brain xD

So yeah, the CEO gave them thousands of dollars, sent them on vacations, helped them out of whatever problems life had thrown their way. And Jesus? Oh boy, here comes the surprise! Can you feel the tension? The big reveal is here!

~~~

A hush feels the room. Then…

I am offering you a clean slate. Freedom through me. You will have no more sin debt, I have already paid the price for it. I want you to become my heir – royalty. Everything I have is yours: my righteousness for your robe, my divinity for your soul, my love for your spirit. All I ask is that you trust me with your heart, and all this shall be gifted to you. 

There has to be something more, right? It-it can’t be that easy! That simple? Crazy! No one just offers everything to a stranger. No one could possibly want to give someone like me this!

Your flaws and failures do not frighten me away. I see your greatest potential, the best version of yourself. The natural state of your humanity is nothing compared to the magnitude of my love, with which even the darkest of souls can be saved if they only believe. 

But, me?

I have chosen you. You are my chosen one, my treasure.

The question is…

Will you trust me?

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~ Southern Dreamer

*Scripture references: 1 Peter 2:9, Romans 8:17, 2 Peter 1:4, John 15:16, 1 Corinthians 2:16, Isaiah 61:10, 1 John 4:19, Exodus 19:5

Rest

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Y’all probably know by now that I’m a perfectionist XD

And despite my efforts, I still struggle with wanting to do everything right, everything correct, everything perfect. Logically, I know that is not possible. But for some reason, I can’t quite seem to let my perfectionistic nature go.

"Where perfectionism exists, shame is always lurking." ~ Brene Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection):

Often, this manifests itself around anything having to do with God: what I think, what I say, what I do.

In mid-December, I was once again worrying and feeling guilty that I did not want to read my Bible or devotional after studying for six hours.

Now, you’re probably thinking that me feeling guilty for that is crazy – especially when I had been studying for six hours straight.

Well, in my spirit I felt God reminding me that it is ok for me to just REST in Him.

Jeremiah 31:25, “For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”

Exodus 33:14, “And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Isaiah 30:15, “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” 

Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Christian meme:

Sometimes (or, a lot of times :P) I forget that it is ok to just rest in God. Hopefully, with the Lord’s grace and help, I can begin to grasp the concept of not being perfect and resting in Him.

~ Southern Dreamer

Proclaim

 

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In this world, it is critical for us to remind ourselves of all the Lord has done in our lives. So often, however, we can find ourselves dismissing that notion. Perhaps because of pride, or maybe we truly aren’t sure how God has been at work in our life.

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Psalm 96:2-3 says, “Sing to the Lord; praise His name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does” (NLT).

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I find it interesting that the Scripture specifically says tell others about what Christ has done. I believe he says this for many reasons, and while I do not claim to know them all, I feel that there are a few He has revealed to me.

One, when we tell others about the acts of God, it can not only strengthen our own faith but the Holy Spirit can use what we say to increase the faith of the listener.

Secondly, we never know who around us is being attentive as well. It could lead the way to deeper conversations or cause them to become curious about who this God is. And remember that whoever you are talking to, may not have a reaction. Perhaps their face is completely empty of any emotion. Or they act as though you did not say anything. Even though this is difficult, God is not limited by this. Despite their reaction or lack thereof, the Holy Spirit can prod their heart long after your conversation.

And lastly, when we are constantly speaking in a verbal manner about everything the Lord has done, it creates not only a heart of thankfulness but reminds us of how powerful He truly is. Sometimes in our busy, day-to-day lives, we forget. We forget the strength and power that He has and how He can work, act, and move situations – change people.

In Luke 8:39, Jesus says, “‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’ So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.”

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It can’t get much clearer than that. Jesus literally says, “tell how much God has done for you.” God never does anything just ‘because,’ He always has a reason. Maybe for you, its to strengthen your own faith – or perhaps encourage someone else.

Today, I encourage you to tell one person about something Jesus has done in your life – and remember, it doesn’t have to be a huge act. If you remain uncertain of how Christ has worked in your life, I encourage you to ask a godly mentor or adult who can offer wise insight. If you would like further study, make sure to check out Psalm 145.

~ Southern Dreamer

To Read, To Memorize

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People always wonder how to hear the Holy Spirit – to discern what is their own thought and what is God speaking to them. Obviously there is not an exact “take-home” formula for this, but there is at least one area where God has and can surely use to speak to His children: Scripture.

God can do anything, of course, but if we do not invest ourselves in His Word then the likelihood that Scripture is how we will hear Him speak does lessen, I think. Many times in our busy day-to-day lives it can seem like a tiresome task to sit down and put away everything else, to solely focus on Jesus and the Bible (I myself am guilty of this).

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At the beginning of this year, I started a chronological reading guide to the Bible. For someone who was struggling to make time to read the Scripture – and not just a devotion, and also likes structure/plans, this has proven to be a helpful tool to use.

If you’re like me, and have been struggling to make time to read the Bible, I would encourage you to either make up your own daily reading plan – perhaps a Psalm or Proverb’s a day – or Google one online to utilize.

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I remember a few years ago, when my computer was crashing. I was naturally upset because basically all of my Word documents were lost. And for a writer, that is one of the worst things that can happen.

At some point that day, I can’t remember when exactly, the v came into my mind:

(*part of Matthew 17:20*) “if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Now, I had never memorized that verse before and that’s when I knew it was the Holy Spirit who was telling me that. Yes, I had briefly read it – once, maybe twice – but I had never committed it to memory.

God used that Scripture, that at some point in my life I had read, to encourage me. If I had never read it, would that still have occurred? It very well could have since the Holy Spirit does not have to depend on our knowledge to tell us things. But the point of me saying this, is to show the importance of reading Scripture.

Joshua 1:8 says, “you shall meditate on it [Bible] day and night,” and Psalm 1:2 echoes it, “on his law he meditates day and night.”

Let us all become more invested in the Word of God, so that as Psalm 1 says, we may become, “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.”

~ Southern Dreamer