Updated: Sep 1
by Jon Reeverts
I had snuck down the hall and crept up to the door at the top of the stairway. Our house had the old skeleton keyhole doors, so with just the right angle you could catch some of what was going on behind that door - I just wanted a peek, a glimpse, a preview of what my gift would be?
I have some friends who have been really helpful at getting me to articulate what is going on inside my head and heart. From time to time I get caught up in circular thinking. I get a thought, image or news brief that engulfs my thoughts like a cyclone. I get sucked into the vortex and it is hard to break free.
Sometimes they call out of the blue to take time to talk; sometimes they pull me aside to ask me about my week and if I’m okay; sometimes we have late night dialogue - the ones where you are too tired to keep up the masks and walls. Always they build me up or help me put a fresh dressing on the wound. I’ve rediscovered sitting quietly is also good healing.
In the last few weeks my thoughts have been engulfed in doubts about my health, images of our country burning like hell and the conversations Jenny and I are not having - life/ministry has been demanding. In that category 4 hurricane, there is little time to hear or see truth. I’ve been too busy numbing myself, bracing for the impact or dodging deep conversation to have any kind of clear vision.
How about you?
These friends I allow to assist me in stepping out of the fire. They know Truth, don’t have to preach or rehearse it and are open about their own challenges and faultlines. None would have to or need to ask, “Were you talking about me, Jon?”
And why did you say faultlines and not faults?
I wrote it that way, because, as believers and receivers of Jesus Christ, our faults have been taken to the cross, reconciled-paid for and replaced with Christ’s Life, so that we can venture into the next day, the next hour, the next minute with confidence in our God and the assurance that He is faithful to meet every obstacle with His grace and might.
Sounds churchy, but it’s just true.
But we also stand on a faultline. At any time, we could make a choice or decision that sends tremors or an earthquake through our lives, full of consequences, repercussions and carnage that will take a lot to rebuild.
Because my friends stand on that same holy ground, when I allow them to speak truth back into my life and attempt to rescue me from the tornado of distraction, I can trust their authenticity.
Hebrews tells me “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
Jesus can and has been “real” with me, because the attacks on His identity and attempts to drag Him to live independently, apart from Father, are the same things I face, yet He did not sin (He didn’t stray or miss the mark);
He showed me that we can live a Life fully dependent on Father through the vine, Jesus Christ (John 15:4-5).
I treasure my circle of family and friends that God has used during some desperate times in my life to lift me up, encourage me, rescue me and protect me.
In high school, I worked at Radio City Music Hall as a doorman. Most of (80%) the staff there at that time was gay. There was a day that I was singled out and invited and repeatedly coerced to join that community. But God had put an older employee on guard for me. He didn’t have the worldly authority to stop it, but he had the spiritual authority to prepare me for the scene, the argument and the support I had to stay strong in my faith and to stand apart from that path. I believe he saved my life.
In college, God sent me specific people who verbally spoke strength, confidence and trust into my life, at a time I was struggling with my direction and the brokenness I had been dealing with. I can see glimpses of the past and where I was, who I was with, and how it changed my life.
When I arrived in eastern Colorado and was trying to figure out who I was, only God could have provided the right moment and time to unveil His Word to me. I struggled with choices, direction and even finding meaning or happiness. He was patient with me - took those experiences and said, “Watch how I mend them and use them for my purposes. I received glimpse after glimpse of how good life could be, forgiven, and resting in Him.
I have spoken to churches about the Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We clarify that Matthew did not turn in his book first, and Mark followed, Luke was too detailed to get his in on time and John, said, “What paper? That was due today?”
The Gospels are not in chronological order, and even separately, are written in topical and logical order, rather than chronological order - spiritually inspired and uniquely crafted to confirm Jesus preeminence
Back to Matthew 5. Jesus is speaking to a crowd of people, something called: the Sermon on the Mount. Here’s what I love about this passage.
We know that Jesus is the Light of the World. The whole book of John expresses that beginning in John chapter 1. Jesus announces this specific truth in John 8:12.
“Then Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’ ”
For me, when I saw this in Matthew 5:14, it helped me get another glimpse.
He says, “You are the light of the world.” Imagine me hearing this truth in “that moment” at Radio CIty. Or when I quit my college basketball career, or thought of quitting school. Imagine it after I broke up or destroyed relationship after relationship when I walked through life in eastern Colorado.
Yet, Jesus didn’t say, “Jon, SOMEDAY, you will be the light.” Before the cross ever became real for us or anyone on that hillside, He announced the reality the cross and especially, His resurrection, would accomplish - A New Life - Not walking in darkness anymore.
Then He subtly drives home the truth of why I should live in this new reality -
In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Let the works, which God prepared ahead of time that we may walk in them (Ephesians 2:10), identify you as sons of God (Romans 8:16, 17), joint heirs with Me, Jesus. Let them show that we have a family resemblance (Romans 8:28, 29)!
That’s why I call Him, YOUR Father, Jon. There is a day coming, Jesus makes known, where you will worship and show yourselves in “spirit and in truth” that regardless of living on the faultlines, You Are His!
Matthew 5 gave them and gives us a glimpse of what Paul and Peter and others, later speak about in the letters, that explain this new reality.
I love how Peter says it in 2 Peter 1:3-11:
3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4 By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.
We now stand on the other side of the door. We don’t have to look through the keyhole to get a glimpse of our Christmas gift. We get to live out the Life (Christ’s Life), that we were promised, gladly trading our old broken life, for His new extraordinary Life.