The God who sees ME

The God who sees ME

El Roi is my favorite name of God because it means the God who sees. He sees me. He wants to have a relationship with me and wants to know every detail of me life even though He is KING of the Universe. He is so good to me. He is my Lord and Savior. Nothing shall separate me from His love. He is All that I need and MORE!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Spiritual Athlete - the Spirit is Willing

Spiritual Athlete
The Spirit is Willing

     We have this idea that we do not have to do any work in the Christian life. His work continues in us, so that we can grow up into full stature. In Christianity we have a bunch of babies that have never been trained. A child left to it’s own devices will not be trained properly. We don’t know how to respond to a spoonful of grace. The parents are supposed to be the church of Christ. Open your mouth wide so God can fill it. We receive grace and God is the God of all Grace. We model what is being shown to us. 

     An athlete is one that trains. They train for 6 hours a day. The goal is the gold medal. The glory set before them is enough to tantalize the soul to abstain from things, so they can achieve their goal. A spiritual athlete is the same. Their goal should not be self-seeking. He says that He’ll train us, but we have to be willing to leave everything. We have to say no to things. No to the world and it’s enticements. If you want to live, and be useful in my kingdom, you must say no to the things of this world. To say yes to anything is to say no to something else. The priority must be straight. It’s not what saves you, it’s trains the soul. We have the opportunity to be a blessing to the world. Jesus does care what we do with our lives, because we bare His name. We’ve been given a rare training opportunity. It’s legalism when not doing something gives salvation. It’s not legalism when you are staring at Him and giving up those things. You are lead by God’s Spirit, not by our fleshly needs. If you don’t have something worth dying for at age 30 then you don’t have anything worth living for. Are we willing to be trained? Those who want to be the best will train for 24 hours a day! Me time, goes. It’s all Him time. It’s ALL His money, it’s ALL of me to Him. 100% for Him. It IS impossible, but we’ve been introduced to the God of the impossible. 

     This message is uncomfortable, because the flesh is comfortable. We must reckon the truth again. A spiritual athlete does not have belly fat. When God shows us jiggle around the middle it is called conviction. Our thoughts are ones that often have that belly fat. They are so lazy and gross, we’re lucky if we get every 5th thought ok. Imagine the privilege of being one of the mighty men of king David. Then the mightiest of mighty men of king David. If we’d only want to be one of these mighty men. Whatever it costs. It is an honor a privilege to be with King Jesus. We must prove it day in and day out. You will not survive unless you let the gravity to sink in and be there day after day. Are we willing to be trained? Old man dead.

     Peter was looking to his own capacity to follow Jesus. He had to fall so he could realize that his dependency was not in himself. Something needs to happen so we can be fixed, and healed. That new name of “Rock” could only be brought at the cross. He only new how to wield his own strength. When he did, he lost confidence in himself. Peter starts out weak, but then becomes a strong spiritual athlete. Be careful not to say bold proclamations of what we will do for Christ, but instead make bold declarations of Jesus Christ. We esteem the Spiritual athlete, but we must realize that we are weak and not there. We can put our confidence in Jesus. We are strong through Him. God has to expose every last bit of self-reliance. 

     Probably the most difficult time in Jesus’ life was there in Gethsemane, but yet he took the ones who had boasted, with Him into the very intimate place. They are asked to do one thing, to watch. The downward pull on our good intentions are so great that they can not hold up. Many times people wanted to do the right thing, but that want-to wasn’t enough to get them through. We can not seem to muster up the strength because we can not do it. But when we allow Him to do it through us, He can do it quite well. Though the process is shaky at first like gripping a slippery bar of soap, as we get in the pattern of relying on Him, it becomes that Solid Rock beneath the feet. Just as Peter cut off the ear of the servant, we easily can cut off the ability for our audience to hear. Peter had an impediment which was the flesh. When you do spiritual labor you have to have spiritual strength. When you are partying with the flesh, you be all awake, but then the moment you start doing spiritual things, the dumb-bells hang on your eyelids. But we don’t need to except this, we are in Christ. We are not a push-over to the flesh anymore. 

     Ekkake√≥ is the greek word for spiritual flab. Like empty of the fighting spirit, exhausted, wearied, tired, and faint. Will we give up our “sleep” to God and trust in Him. I will be healthier when God defines my sleep. Jesus slept. He slept in faith in the boat. Not even worried when that huge storm came in and caused the seasoned fisherman to be afraid. 

     Eleazar’s hand grew weary in the battle and instead of dropping his sword, he clave to it. Clave means to burn with resolve. Then God wrought a great victory.
For which cause (the glory of God) we faint not: but though our outward man perish yet the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). Don’t give way to ekkeke√≥! Luke 18:1 they must always pray and not faint. We have only one way, it must be done by Jesus and by the Spirit. Lean, depend, abide. Turn to God and say, “My confidence is in You!” Believing that He can do it. When it’s late at night and you can’t stay awake, you have to ask God to give you that authority, that you already have in Him, then to command you body in Jesus name. 2 Timothy 2:1-7 The secret is to be strong in the grace in Christ Jesus. Endure hardness as a soldier. God should have access to us 24 hours. If He asks for my sleep all night, will He give me the strength to get through the next? The secret to putting the putting your foot on the neck of the lion is to go in with the Lion tamer. Strengthen yourself with Jesus!

      This message was chalked full of every little thing I needed to hear. I’ve been battling sleep and food cravings for a little while and this gave me an answer to my problem. Jesus can give me His strength to do His will. It’s so freeing and exciting to know there IS hope to these little habitually things I’ve learned to deal with. I don’t have the experience to back up this yet, but I am clinging to the Fact of Jesus Christ, my Savior. I am no longer subservient to my flesh or body, so in Jesus name I present my body to Him and yield control to Him. Old man crucified with Christ, new man risen with Christ. 

The Weeping Prophet's Prayer Closet

The Weeping Prophet’s Prayer Closet

     Where are the men of old with the calloused knees and worn out floor boards? God is often just an accessory to some people. This generation is weak and powerless people and Christians. Jeremiah articulates that same lament in Jeremiah 5:30-31, “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” The message that a dying soul needs to hear is not “You’re beautiful,” instead it’s “He’s beautiful and we are wretches!” What happens when someone puts his all on God? Most people graduating from Seminary they don’t believe in Jesus, they don’t have training in the prayer closet, instead they’ve got a cool band and the latest fashion. 

     We want the joy of resurrection, but do we realize that that means we must go through Gethsemane. We want the good feelings, but do we want the ache of Jesus? Matthew 26:38-39 and Luke 22:44 shows how Jesus wanted God’s will so badly and the gravity of the situation, that He sweat drops of blood. Gethsemane can also be translated the place of olives. Olives when they are crushed, produce oil and they are used oil for anointing, the Spirit of God outpoured. The crushing of the Olive brought forth oil for the people of God. 

     Ezekiel was given the task to agonize and travail over the message that he was to give to the people. In our lives, when have we cried over the millions of babies being killed or the unsaved people, or the orphans? God called him just to sit there astonished among the people. When people behold who God is they become a bur in the saddle of their generation. Hosea was called to marry a harlot to demonstrate how God loves Israel. He even has to go buy her back as she leaves him and gets sold to slavery. God wanted Hosea to weep over the unfaithfulness of Israel. Their heart was far from Him. How often are sermons devoid of Christ? He wants us to know Him. He wants our life upon the alter. Amos was to weep over the famine of the Word of God. All these examples show how God wants us to be serious in prayer, to have His heart in prayer. He would not just lightly pray “Please bless these people.” He would pray with passion and with tears, pray to really change things. He would pray for Himself to be in their lives. That’s the real need out there, not just the physical things, but Jesus Himself. John Hyde had been praying and praying for weeks, and he’d only have to say a few words and that would really convict people, because he had that powerful weeping foundation in secret prayer.

     God can not fail. He can take a generation of dead bones and revive them. He knows what they need. Our tears can be wiped away, when the kingdom of God comes and we are filled with Him. When people have heard the good news! Not our early desires, but You and Your kingdom come! He is the solution to everything situation. Jesus is the answer to abortion, or the crisis of AIDs in Africa, or the lethargic modern church of America. God wants us to ask, weep, and come to Gethsemane were we get crushed in prayer. Our prayer should be, “Come Lord Jesus come!”

     So how desperate am I for Him? Am I willing to weep and agonize in prayer for His sake? This is definitely so convicting! I don’t remember when I last felt the ache in prayer for others. I think I’ve prayed with tears before, but it’s been a long time. I think it’s something, I will have to beg Jesus to give me His heart in prayer, it’s not in my strength, but it’s His. Allowing Him to prayer through me. I am a willing vessel in His hand. I pray that “praying” would be an area subject to Him and His Spirit. 

The 9 Lies

The 9 Lies

     Truth is the shield and buckler. That is Jesus Christ. Disobedience to the Word of God gives legal access to the enemy. God is a Just God. The enemy knows that if he finds the breach, he can hinder the work of God. When he finds a tiny breach, he sets up temptations and lies and things that he knows will get set the Believer off in the access he has gained. The enemy wants Christians to think God set off the explosive. They must ask God to protect them and to be in charge. They must ask Him to search them, try them, test them and see if there’s any breaches in the wall. When He’s showed something, go and make it right. Filling the breach can not be done in our own strength, but it must be given to the Creator of the Universe. Then the enemy will try to prevent the rebuilding of the wall. Christians must not give in to the enemy’s devices. They can know the tactics of the enemy, which are nine lies. Satan can not change his ways, he’s living in sin, so that’s why they get set-off by the same explosives.  Fear is based on the unknown. So when the tactics of the enemy are revealed, there is no more reason to fear. God can not change either, but He can change the heart. Believers are like the wet clay in the hands of a Potter, and He is shaping them after His will.

     Ephesians 6 tells Christians to be strong in Christ. The armor of God is Christ. That is the only way to be fortified against the enemy. Putting on that armor, is a command. Nehemiah rebuilding the wall and having enemy telling him lies is a picture of Christians fortifying their walls. Satan will use lies to distract and get them not to continue building. The first lie is “It is impossible; the wall can never be built.” The defense is truth and that’s what can be used to fight with. When Christians have the truth in their hands it can be wielded with extreme effectiveness. If one is in a fortified city, there is no fear, with full provision. Christians have everything they need to be secure during a siege. Luke 1:37 says that with God nothing is impossible. God gave the assignment, so that promise can be stood on firmly. 

     Second lie: “You are too weak, after all, don’t you realize that you are in captivity? You are not able to undertake such a project as this –it is foolish, scornful, and ridiculous.” This same tactic is used on Christians, “You can’t do it because you are too weak.” We can not do it, but we must remind the enemy of our position in Christ. Philippians 4:13 and Romans 8:31,37 says we can do it in Christ who strengthens us. 

     The Third lie is “All this work is for nothing; the progress you have made is not real. There is no real strength in your wall; even the slightest breeze from the enemy will knock it down. You cannot take the rubbish of your inner life and expect to revive what has already been burned.”  Can you identify with this lie? “You actually think this is real?” But listen to this amazing truth: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)”

     Here’s another lie, number four: “You are too tired to continue: You need your sleep. God knows you need your sleep.” Christians tend to believe this all to easy. Never give way to faintness or weakness, tiredness (2 Corinthians 4:1 and Galatians 6:9). Believers often give way to their bodies and the body rule them. Believers have strength and power in Jesus Christ. Then lie five is “I have the power to sneak up upon you when you least expect it and wipe out everything you have done; all the spiritual steps you have taken will mean nothing when I come in the night to slay you.” No, the devil has no power over the Christian. James 4:7 declares this perfectly, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Ephesians 6:13,16 tells us to hold up the shield of faith and stand firm in Christ Jesus. 

     This lie makes one want to self serve, “You are currently under enemy siege; you’d better stop working and protect yourself.” The truth: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33) Also 2 Timothy 4:18 “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Our job is to stay focused on what God has told us to do.

     Satan tries to condemn us “You are building this wall for your own blessing, to be your own king, to rule for your own glory. You should stop working on such a vain self-aggrandizing project.” God will convict us about sin, not the devil. We do get selfish, but God will help convict us. Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil us from evil” For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” The eighth lie is “Meet me for a coffee in Ono. I’m concerned for your well-being, and I might be of some help in your current endeavors. I know of things that you aren’t privy to know. If you listen to my counsel it will make your work go a lot smoother.”   If you need counsel go to God, He is understanding (Proverbs 8:14). He has a whole room just for things we need.

     Nehemiah was tested from the inside on this last lie. He was tempted to Self preserve! He tried to get him to fear man and to try to protect himself. Nehemiah agreed with God, and put his faith in God for His protection. There was nothing that could distract him from God’s mission.

     In my own life... wow. How do I start in finding these breaches? Little holes seem to cause the greatest trouble for me especially. Things that I do not think are very important, God does, and in fact, He knows the areas that the enemy will try to tempt and distract me. One thing that I was convicted of after listening to this message was in the little things that I do that are slightly unchristian, that I do not think are big enough to go back and make right. Each one is so important though, because that is what makes hypocrites and really turns people off to Christianity. I need to be so sensitive to the Holy Spirit that any little breach will just set off an alarm in my spiritual walls. 

Faith that Works

Faith that Works

     “For by grace are you save through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” 
Ephesians 2:8-9
What do it profit, my brethen, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?... Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead, being alone, yea, a man may say, Thou has faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works... But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?... Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?... Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only... For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:14, 17-18, 20, 22, 24, 26

     In Ephesians 2 it says people are saved by grace through faith and it’s not through works. Then in James it says that it’s not just faith, but works also. Faith that does not do the works of faith is not true faith. People are supposed to work, but a different type of works. Grace is the power of God to accomplish only what God can do. When people are born they are in Adam and dead in sin. They can know about Jesus but still be dead. It’s only when grace works in the heart and they reckoning Jesus’ salvation then they become alive. Reckoning is claiming by faith what He said He has given them. But it even starts back with the work of Grace. After becoming alive it is a reasonable service to give their body to Jesus who gave His for them. Then exerting their faith they become even more alive. Then full of abundant life is when they obey His Word. That’s the life of Jesus can be lived out through them. Faith produces more faith that’s why as Christians believe more in Him and obey Him, they have more faith. 

     This is illustrated well with a person who has his eyes fixed on unhealthy food and doesn’t know that fruits and veggies bring life. He does not know so does not eat it and therefore becomes fat and ultimately dies prematurely. This is ignorant unbelief. Then The another is still fat and eating unhealthy food, but yet knows about the good food. They’ve heard about the fruits and veggies but he’s still dying because he’s not eating it. Believing is not just knowing about something. In the Christian life, we’re living starting over at the cross but not living it or believing it. The final person found true life because they not only looked over to the good fruit, but they repented and left behind the junk and started to eat the healthy food. They are a picture of true Christianity, that works. 

    The soul will either be ignorant of truth, know the truth but without proper soul response (non-functional faith), or a knowledge of the truth with reckoning and responding to it. When faith functions and goes to work, it believes. That sounds overly simplistic, but is the action of faith. It’s an acknowledgement that we can not do it, He can, and fixing our eyes on Him. The best way to illustrate this is by having a car and not using it, or having clothes and not wearing them. We have faith there, but without the work of faith which is belief, then it will not be used. Faith is a gift from God, and we should use it! 

     Believing can be broken down to five things. The knowing is the first step (Romans 6:3,6,8,16). Then the next is the Reckoning (Romans 6:11, explained above). Presenting or yielding our bodies to God; He alone can keep them (Romans 6:12-14,19). Then Exerting His power to do the thing. Only He can do it. Romans 6:12 tell us not to let sin reign, and that only can not happen by Him! The last one is to Obey. He’s given us the power, now obey (Romans 6:17-18). We don’t have the strength to do it, but we do have His grace and He can do it. Our own strength is like fighting with a feather duster. His strength is the sword of the Spirit. He has given us His sword of the Spirit. Knowing is hearing about the sword. Reckoning is calling upon the sword of the Spirit and believing that the sword will save. Presenting is gripping the sword. Exerting is swinging the sword, and obeying is learning to swing the sword as the Master Swordsmen would swing it. 

     Defining faith even further into the action of believing has really helped me understand this concept. Since I’ve lived looking over at the fruit, but not actually eating it, this messaged was so enlightening. It’s given me hope, because I can not do it, but I know Who can. He’s teaching me to swing that sword and each time, I gain more confidence in the One who gave it to me. He is ever-faithful not to let me continue on in the flesh, but to instead show me how to live in Him and He in me. It’s a beautiful picture of dependency on Him. He does it all, I just believe He can. 

Upside Down Crosses

Upside Down Crosses

     True worship is pouring out the all someone has for the One they worship, Jesus. It is fully desiring and focusing on Him. There are five parts of worship. Beholding and really seeing is number one. We can not settle with just seeing a crack of light and saying that they have seen all of God. There’s so much more, do not settle for less than Himself. Trembling in awe of Him. Denying Self is getting you out of the way. There can be no flesh in the way. Demonstrating true affection. Gladly Suffering which is rejoicing in the exchange. When that exchange happens there’s a lot that comes with it. It is the reasonable act of service. When start getting weepy and start complaining we are basically saying God isn’t enough. He’s already given all of Himself and He’s with us.

     Worship is such an opportunity that we do not deserve. It is an honor because of Who He is. He is worthy! It is no accident that we are here and God had given us everything we need for life and godliness. If someone sees God, they’ll see that everything else grows strangely dim. That if they saw God for who He is they would not be asking if it was worth giving up life for Him. He must be everything. That means that Christian’s should forsake all for Christ’s sake. We fill our pantry with all sorts of things, but we let Him only occupy in a tiny corner at the bottom of the pantry. Everything must be laid on the alter. If someone gives up their life, they really are not losing anything special, and they are gaining all the jewels of Heaven! Do you believe that He will satisfy? Do you believe that He will give everything you need? 

     Christians must forsake individuality instead, embrace an identity in Christ. Their identity is in Christ and He is to be the focus so everything be done is for Him. Christians must forsake their earthly course and embrace His control. We make plans in our life and expect us to do that. We are not necessarily excited about His plans. But who do we want to rule our life? Being able to go whenever He wants and wherever He wants. Do not focus on what you are giving up, but instead focus and Him. He is so much better than anything we have. It’s like a handful of pebbles. Christians must forsake earthly comforts and embrace His comforts. Do we want to be that person that won’t give up something that makes it so He can not use us? God is good and He is not just leading people to get lost somewhere. He is enough! We only see Who He is darkly, but one day, face to face. Don’t we want Him to say “Well done, thou, good and faithful servant.” We’ll all so often choose something we want to do than something He wants.  Christians must forsake reputation and embrace identification with Him. The further you step out in your walk with the Lord, the more people will think, that you have gone off the deep end. Christians do not give it up for their own sake, but rather for God’s sake. “I want to know if the Lord was pleased, not what people thought.” 

     They need to forsake earthly friendships and embrace intimacy with the Most High. What is given up for Him is never a real sacrifice for the joy that comes from knowing Him. Forsake early family and embrace His adoption as sons and daughters. These both do not mean that you’re just like “bye family.” But rather it means that He is first place in the heart. We can’t put reserves on God. It’s wrong to tell God that we’ll serve Him but only if He will allow _ . Are will willing to give up all, or have persecutions? They need to forsake freedom of body and embrace the Intercessor’s Call. Do we stop giving praise to God when tribulations come? Paul and Silas were told to stop preaching Jesus and were thrown into prison. So they praised God.  

     They need to forsake health of the body and embrace the power of suffering. Richard Wurmbrand gave up His body for years and years of torture and his feet were so badly beaten up that he couldn’t even wear shoes afterwards. They need to forsake life, and embrace the martyr’s crown. Does Jesus mean that much to us? That we would give up our life for Him? That we would preach Him! We do not have to wait to bring glory to His name. We can start now. 

     The last thing to forsake is the easiest path to death and embrace the Glory of God Almighty. Do we want His glory? If we aren’t giving our bodies to Him, then it is unreasonable. A life of ease or a life of givenness. The enemy is saying, “You have an opportunity to such a pleasant life, easy life.” Then you have the cross and that is a life of victory and a relationship with God. Siding with Him means siding against the world. Will we take it seriously? Give up and deny self!

     In my relationship with Jesus, am I willing to give up all for Him? Is He my everything? And do I treat Him like the King and Treasure that He is? I can’t stop and take it easy. The world needs to hear about the Lord, and here I am Lord. He’s not going to waste my life, but I might waste my life. Lord, I give up to you, all these things. Please take these from me, as I can not even give them up for you without your power. I will focus on You my King Jesus. All of these things to forsake for Christ! 

Voice of God

Voice of God

     How does someone hear the voice of God? Moses heard the voice of God on a daily basis. Moses was not some special person. He was an ordinary person God decided to use for His glory. We too, can hear God’s voice through His Word and in His character and nature. John 1:1, 14, 16-17 Tells us that Jesus was the Word of God and He came to earth to dwell among us, having His fullness and grace. The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 

     This quote from Charles Spurgeon was very powerful on this topic. “God’s word is the soul’s manna and the soul’s water of life. How greatly we ought to prize each word of divine teaching. But, dear brethren, do you not think that many are very neglectful of God’s instructive voice? In the Bible we have precious doctrines, precious promises, precious precepts, and above all a precious Christ, and if a man would really live upon these choice things, he might rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. But how often if the Bible left unread! And so God is not heard. He calls and we give no heed. As for the preaching of the Word when the Holy Spirit is in it, it is the “power of God unto salvation,” and the Lord is pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe; but all believers do not hear the voice of the Lord by his ministers as they should. There is much carping criticism, much boldness of heart, much glorying in man, and a great want of teachableness of spirit, and thus the word is shut out of our hearts. The Lord would fain teach us by his servants, but our ears are dull of hearing...

     Search the Scriptures that no word from the Lord may be inadvertently slighted by you; hear the Word attentively and ponder it in your heart, and daily make this your prayer, “What I know not, teach thou me.” “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Let us strive against prejudice, and never let us dream that we are so wise that we need learn no more. Jesus Christ would have us be teachable as little children and ready to receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save our souls. You will have a blessed fellowship with your Lord if you will sit at his feet and receive his words.” 

     I pray that You dear Jesus would soften my heart to hear your voice and that you would prepare it for your glorious gospel and presence. I can’t listen to you on my own strength, so I ask you to do it for me. Give me a love for your Word and let those refreshing Words wash over my soul, in quiet encouragement in You. Engraft your Words deep in my soul, that when the storms of life get high and daunting, I would stand secure in You, my Firm Rock and Salvation. You alone does my heart desire, Jesus. I am in You, and You in me. I wait to hear Your voice, in Jesus name. Amen.

Christendom by A.W. Tozer

Christendom by A.W. Tozer

     Jesus states in John 8:31-59 that the Truth will make people free. The Jews did not like this because in order to be made free that meant they were slaves. They were bristled at this because according to them they were from the seed of Abraham and were not in bondage. They were able to trace their lines back to Abraham, so they thought that since they were in the physical line of Abraham that meant they were in the spiritual line of Abraham. They assumed they were children of Abraham. We do the same thing and assume we are in the spiritual line of the apostles. If we want to be from the same line as the apostles we need to do what they did. The fruit of our lives would match up with their fruit. They had the Holy Spirit ruling and reigning in their life, and were bearing much fruit for the glory of God. Just because we esteem Christianity doesn’t mean we have it. It’s so easy to hear truth and think we’ve got it. That’s hypocritical. Nothing can be done apart from God. If God is living in us, the gospel will be spilling out.

     This message reminds me how easy it is to esteem truth, yet never let Truth reign in my life. It shows me of my ever-growing need of Jesus. His Holy Spirit must rule and reign in my life, or else no good thing will come from it. Am I trying to incorporate the flesh or imitate the world in my life as the Jew who talked with Jesus were? He’s the Truth that will set me free. That’s why He came, so we can have freedom from sin and be reconciled to the Father. Lord, examine my heart, and show me where I am letting flesh creep in and control me. Show me Father, for it is Your will, I desire, but apart from You, I can do nothing. Jesus, may You be in control of every area of my life. In Your hands, I entrust all of me to all of You. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Mountain of Giants

The Mountain of Giants

     Hebron was a special mountain in which a city was built. It was a a piece of land that many desired. The Lord asked Lot and Abraham to pick out land and Abraham picked Hebron. It was special because it was a place of covenant (Gen 15), place of circumcision and name change (Gen 17), place of promise (Gen 18), place of “home” for descendants of Abraham (Gen 35:27, 37:14), Place of burial - all Patriarchs and their wives (except Rachel). Then later for Priests (Joshua 21:9-13), Refuge (Joshua 20:1-3, 7), The Giant-Slaying King (2 Samuel 2:11, 5:3), Anointing (2 Samuel 2:1-4, 5:3), and Control (2 Samuel 2:11, 15:7-10). It was the a special mountain where that God gave Abraham, so when Israel’s descendants moved off the mountain and to Egypt, it was left. The enemy saw a chance to claim a stronghold and the three giants of Anakim moved in. 

    Years later when the Israelites were heading to the Promised Land they spied out Cannon. Ten of the spies were scared of the 18-foot giants in the land and only two were courageous and believed God would gain the victory. Because of the unbelief they had to wander in the wilderness and die off. Only three from that group lived, Joshua and Caleb, and Moses. Finally after the victory of Jericho and years later, Moses is dividing up the rest of the land and Caleb claims that mountain at 80 years old. The giants still inhabit the mountain, but Caleb knows God will give it to him and he still has the strength as when he was 40 years old. The mountain is given to him and he wins the victory and moves in, reclaiming that special ground. 

    Battling the physical giants relates to spiritual giants as well. Those 18-feet giants were extremely daunting, but God won the victory. How many spiritual giants are encamped in my life? Some of the giants of today would be lust, fear, anxiety, anger, and others seem huge, but they are not to rule and control us. If only the believer could learn to look at the problems and tell them how big God is, instead of the other way around. They are putting more faith in the enemy than Jesus’s power. They should not befriend the giant, but let God kill it. In their own strength they can not slay those giants they are way to huge, but God can. How long is the battle going to go on? It’s not meant  to be forever battle. God wants to deliver the Christian from their giants now. God promises and He delivers! Sure it IS impossible. 

   But I know the God of the impossible! I need to believe my God, that He can do it. I need to claim the mountain with the same passion as Caleb did. Those giants may seem like a special giant that maybe God wouldn’t be able to deliver from those, but no, and they may seem like family when He kicks them out. I need to walk forward and know that I am going to have the victory because He’s given it. We were encouraged to go through some questions and see what “giants” we’ve allowed in our life. He told us to write a list of ungodly things that need deleted and a list of things that need added to our lives. I’ll be working on that list and trusting that He is able! He is the Conqueror!  

The Lineage of Majesty

The Lineage of Majesty 

     Just because God can, He placed so many impossibilities in Jesus’ Lineage. Each time the circumstances would become impossible, He came through and saved David’s seed. It proves over and over again, God’s divine hand in orchestrating each person and timing. He was in control and it magnifies Him and His Sovereignty. There was so many tests that Jesus had to fulfill and combined were impossible. Biological impossibilities were that He had to be from the seed of a woman, the heir of the kingly title, and after the order of Melchizedek. Then the test of the seed were completely impossible as well. He must be the seed of a woman, born in Bethlehem, born of a virgin, must be of the fruit of the body of David, must be in the line of the Davidic kings, must be the line of the Melchizedek priests, His Father God, and He the Son of God, He must be God with us, and He must prove to be from old and everlasting. It was indeed impossible, but with God it was possible. God was building impossible situations, that only He could work out. 

     Six generations after David, Jehoram was an evil man and had an evil wife. Athaliah was the evil queen and when her son died, she went and killed all the descendants, except one. When God talked about His promise of His Son, He would often say “The LORD hath sworn.” That was like having four-hundred exclamation points at the end of the promise. In the Hebrew the word for the Lord is Yehovah, and to swear or promise is Shaba, so together that was Yehowsheba, “the Lord hath Sworn.” When the evil queen killed all the family I’m sure satan was getting excited because he thought he stamped out the seed of David, but remember, God had sworn it. So a princess who’s name happened to mean “the Lord hath sworn” Jehoshabeath, hid the little baby grandson and saved him. The plan for destroying the seed of David was ruined and Joash reigned for the Lord. 

     This was just one of the many impossibilities that the Lord put into the line of Jesus! Another very beautiful picture of His redemption and God’s Sovereignty is how when putting the name meanings in order they spell out the story of Jesus. Even the three names Jacob, Joseph, and Jesus right in a row has a very special message that wraps up the salvation story. “In other words, to the ‘heal-grabbing supplanter (Jacob)’ He will ‘exchange out life for death (Joseph)’ and bring ‘God’s Salvation’ (Jesus).” 

     After listening to this dynamite packed message, I felt light as a feather. Over and over my Savior was tested and proved to be the Son of God, and Salvation, and Holy. I felt like jumping and skipping as I am in Christ, it makes His significance even more significant. He’s my King and my Lord and everything He’s ever said has been true! And just because it’s HIM. Oh and He’s the God the impossible and I can trust Him must most fully and whole-heartedly. He has placed little treasures in His Word that He longs for us, for me to search out and find, just because, He IS.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Who is this Jesus?

Who is this Jesus?

     John 1 tells us that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and that He created the world. He created everything, and it was created for His pleasure. The Word is Jesus and He was God’s Son. He is the Word of God made flesh. Most people think that Jesus is an upgrade of God. That the Father was just mean and only upholding the law. However, the Father so loved us that His nature could be seen through Jesus. The old covenant proves the sinfulness of man. Though Jesus was God, He submitted and obeyed what God wanted Him to do. 

     Jesus is Holy or Hagios in the Hebrew coming from Hagos meaning a something that strikes men with utter awe and wonder. The other root word is Chag and that is a feast, a festival sacrifice, a pilgrim-feast. So together Holy/Hagios means for the Perfect, Unsullied, Awe-striking Purity and Otherness Has Himself become the food for the feast.   We are sinners but He’s made a way, and that’s covenant. Jesus came to this earth and was born in Bethlehem which means House of bread, House of food of God, Body of God become food. In other words, He was laid in a feeding trough in Body of God becomes food. He was laid in a tough where animals that do not exemplify virtue would eat. That sounds like us as humans, but yet, the perfect feast was there for us!

     After giving this message Eric had communion brought out. He emphasized Jesus doing everything and how it’s a covenant with Him. We eat His “flesh” and drink His “blood” as a symbol of swapping our filthy rags for His robe of righteousness, to symbolize His body for our body. It was the sweetest communion I’ve ever had because it was to me acknowledging my weaknesses and that my old man is dead and that I am now in Christ. I accepted Him as being fully in charge and now in covenant with Him forever. It was so much more than my usually rehashing sins before Him to forgive and feeling defeated. Today, I gave Him all whole-heartedly as that was the only thing I could do. He is my Savior everyday and forever!

The Measurement of a Man

The Measurement of a Man

     Jesus was and IS a man. There are some biblical translations that make Jesus seem gender neutral. The Church is the Bride of Christ. Jesus Christ is the measurement. Christians need to measure to Him. They are in Christ and Christ is in us. Jesus builds us to look like Him. He is going to reveal Himself in and through us. Men and women can both have Christ in us and yet they both can showcase Him. When a man is showcasing Jesus Christ, he is a protector and a man to be the first sufferer. A bride allows the man to take the hit. “I accept the fact that you took the hit for me.” Men and women are built differently, but that doesn’t mean that a woman can’t handle a hard challenge. 

     What makes a man marriageable. There are 11 degrees of measurement for guys. Do not marry a “0.” A “0” is a man who has not yet been awakened for God’s vision for manhood. He is the ultimate warrior poet. When he sees injustice He moves. A man who knows when to draw a sword, and a man who knows when to draw the cup of cool water. Jesus had this balance perfectly. A guy who has caught a vision and he’s swung up on a wild stallion is just a “1.” What his life very closely because most likely he’ll fall up in the manure pile. He’s very familiar with the manure pile. If he stays in the manure pile and has gotten back up, is not yet ready and he’s just a 2. A level three is not finished product, but is a man who’s learned the secret to stay in the saddle. He asks, “How can I stay in saddle, how come I can’t do it, but I want to.” Jesus broke the stallion and who can ride the horse. He must climb up into the lap of Jesus and ride righteousness for him. This man is marriageable. 

     Measurement of perfection is Jesus Christ. Let’s behold the glory of God today. Level zero doesn’t know he’s a zero. They’ve never been born again and they are still living in sin. They are creating great havoc in the Church. Just because they go to Church doesn’t mean they are saved. It must start with a new birth. Put off the old way and take on the new one. We’ve grown up in a Church where the clear gospel isn’t preached. We must upload the picture of Jesus Christ in our generation. Proverbs 16:25 they don’t think they are all that bad, but the end is death. Proverbs 7:7, 21-23, a fool is a zero. He does not realize that doing something will end is death. They haven’t been awakened to the exceeding greatness of sin. If you do not have Jesus, you can be a man according to the world’s standards, but true manhood is Jesus.

     Level one men realize that the end IS death. A man lost at sea, awakened will realize his desperate state. The message gets to him and it’s “cry out to Jesus.” Jesus will find you and will rescue you. The moment he cries out he finds his fingers hanging on to a boat. He’s body is still in the water, but he has salvation. This is where most of us live our life where half of our body is still in the water. We are gripping God, but God is gripping us. God has gripped the Christian not that they are to remain there, but to get in the boat. If clinging to boat both hands are busy clinging, but if in the boat the two hand are free to help others. Psalm 18:16-17,19. 

     Level two - the given. Give Jesus your body. When focusing on the big picture the small pictures are solved. Baptism in Christ and Christ in us (Matthew 16:24). This throne belongs to Jesus. This is just basic level Christianity. Jesus Christ must have the bodies.

     Level three - immoveable soul. We are in the mud, and He lifts out of the mud and cleans us up, then puts us on a Rock (truth and Word of God). We will not be moved. We are fixed on the rock and He cannot be moved. Everything is blowing and flying around and melting, but we are fixed on the Solid Rock. I will not be moved. We may not be here yet, but this message is to show us what He has for us. He builds us immovable. Tired of being like a wave of the sea, tossed to and fro? Romans 4:20, Abraham is in strong in faith and immovable. I dwell in the hollow of His hand. Faith is absolute confidence!

     Level four - The harnessed. The things before were just the foundation. Carrying the throne of God. The cherub bears the glory of God and carries the throne of God. They have four faces. Man strength of man, Lion king of beasts, eagle king of air, ox king of strength. God is going to grow us up to be like the cherub. Temple of the living God. Live just to do what God wants. We are not our own, and only living to do what God did. He was obedient as a servant. I live by the faith of the Son of God. We’d like to be in the front seat asking God to be giving the strength, but instead He needs to be in the front seat. You go where He takes you.

     Level Five - The misunderstood. The Humiliated. Who was the humiliated? Where He goes, we go. He learned obedience through what He suffered. He won’t allow you to stay where you are. You are lead the Spirit so He leads and directs you and pushes you forward. Amy Carmichael had a very tough time because no one wanted her there. She was making everyone mad. When we start to move forward in faith, it sometimes will make people mad or uncomfortable. The little pebble thrown into the water will be a rippling effect. You can’t help but create the ripple. When you follow Jesus, part of it, will mean that you lose friends. Jesus despised and rejected. Even when it does not make sense, God may lead us away. Jesus and Lazarus. He wasn’t immune from the aches and pain of this world. It was crushing to heal others than not to heal Lazarus right then. He had to leave so that God could get more glory. There will be times where it seems that He’s not talking. Do you trust me when you don’t know where he’s taking us. To be a worm and no man is Christ. We shared with Christ in His sufferings. The intimacy that we gain with Jesus through those humiliation times is priceless.

     Level six, the hero. Are we will do anything for Him? Backstabbing friends? Are you really doing it for God’s glory. He’s building us into something that will change the world. The only way to build a hero is to break him. A hero takes the blow. A person is training not to think of his own skin. Even to fall down and have no one help him. Are we willing to be forgotten in order to bring Him glory? Job was a level six! He delivered the poor and helpless and broke the jaws of the wicked. That’s a hero! It was a picture of Christ. We do them because He does these things and that He may be known for doing them. Giving Him all the credit. We are being made strong to be poured out for the weak. In this lifetime, we ought not to thinking about “our biography.” All we knew is that Jesus Christ ruled our life. It’s how perfect He is. 
     Level seven - the chief. They wanted George Washington to be the king, but he said no. They wanted something who was not easily corruptible, who was humble. A leader who did not want to be leaders. Are you willing to be the low place so Jesus can raise them up. The men that were broken and that were harnessed by God to only speak His Words of scripture. Why do you like “the chief”? For God or for us? The raw materials must be set before His throne and we must take the low position. 

     Level eight - the dead man. We think we are dead, but then some how we’ve still got a little life. There’s a piece of black construction paper over the window and a little pin prick let’s the light in. That’s like our life and Him pricking us. Are we dead? Are very still frustrated. Your will, not mine. Less of me, more of Him. Don’t just stare at how small we are, but stare at how big is. What we focus on is what we be come.

     Level nine - The Mighty Intercessor. He was tested on the small levels. If you aren’t willing to serve a low person, then we aren’t willing to serve nations. Jesus was the Hero of Heros of Heros! We are still thinking about the photo shoot that we want after saving a little person on the other side of world, let alone being willing to be blotted out for someone else. Completely being willing to taking the blow for someone else.

Level 10 - The measure of perfection. Jesus. The perfect man! Sanctification is where we. We are not like Him fully yet. It must mature over time. It’s a process to get like that 72 year old man who’s walking in His Word and trembling at it.

     This message was convicting and encouraging at the same time. It’s very clear what God wants in His people. To become nothing for Him. Even this morning I was thinking about a situation. I was definitely overwhelmed and tempted to be discouraged. At this point, it has become much smaller after hearing the way our lives are supposed to be. In other words, I’ve gotten focused on my problems and on my smallness. I was able to see the way it’s supposed to be, all of Him and none of me. He is the level ten! He is the Hero!

Law and Grace

Law and Grace

     Satan deceived Eve and she disbelieved God and ate of the fruit. If Adam would have been the man He should have been, He should have said, “Eve, no, I can not eat this, that is disobeying God’s Word.” God would have had to kill Eve, and Adam could have stepped in and took her place. Do you see redemption in that picture? Christians are like the bride of Christ, and we partook of the forbidden fruit and the punishment was death, but Jesus stepped in and took our place. The first Adam was insufficient, but the Last Adam could pay the price. 

    The Law is the behavior of God. It reveals that something is wrong and points us to the Solution. Grace is the work of God on our behalf doing His errands. It is manifold, with lots of aspects. Grace only makes sense under the law though. It’s rich meaning is made rich compared to the high standard of the law. We can’t get out from under the law of sin and death, unless God does something. Eric illustrates this by saying the law of sin death is like a full balloon that’s been cut and it is dead, and no longer able to hold the breath of God, and is trash. Then Law of Grace is a perfect ballon, filled with the Breath of God, untouched by the Cutter, a balloon as a balloon should be, has made Himself the vehicle in which the cut balloons can now find both Righteousness and Breath. We are like the cut balloons. We don’t have the ability to hold breath. We can’t be blown up. 

    This message was a great reminder of why I need Christ. It confirms everything we’ve been learning lately. Some of the clear illustrations just helped me understand law and grace. I’m a cut balloon, just dependent on Him. But when in Him, He heals and restores me to be like Him. We are clothed in grace. The Law is not removed, it is satisfied in Jesus Christ. By faith, I believe in Jesus! I am no longer under that law because He has made Himself the way. I can be made righteous with His robe on me. I reckon that He is the High Priest that stands in the gap for me! 

In Christ

In Christ

     In Christ. The message I’ve been anticipating and wanting to hear. God timed it perfectly though because He lead me through a process of surrendering and believing. If I would have heard this even a week ago, I probably would have been wading through all sorts of emotional junk that I wouldn’t have been able to see clearly the glorious light of the gospel. I learned something so profound. Jesus starts drawing us to Him by Grace. That’s before we even hear about the gospel. That means He gets everything in line and softens our heart so He can work His Grace in our life by the gospel. 

   After a believer reckons being in Christ, then all the rich blessings that Christ has are believers too. This is the most astounding news, yes, all the riches of Jesus’ are believers. They are His Beloved Children, so precious, this is the most beautiful and undeserving gospel that there could ever be. He not only chosen a person, saved them, adopted them into His family, given them all of His inheritance, given them a job, but promised to do it in them. Being in Him, Christians can be clothed in His robe of righteousness, in His blood. That precious blood does so many things that right there is a rich store of blessings. Since Christians are in Christ, they can boldly claim, the WILLS of Christ-clothing. Yes, more blessings and promises! Every promise in the Bible is true and can be claimed in Christ. Praise Jesus for His rich blessings and promises we can claim most boldly in CHRIST. He is Worthy to receive glory and honor forever!

Enduring to the End

Enduring to the End

     In this day and age, there are many men compromising and bringing dishonor to the name of Jesus. Is it possible for a believer to endure to be able to endure to the end? In and of themselves they can not stay faithful to the Lord. However, the Spirit of God brings triumph. In Matthew 24:13 says that the age was full of iniquity and if they will endure to the end they will be saved. If the focus is on the steps people must do to stay close to the Lord, then they will fail. What can be focused on is that God is faithful. He is very good at doing what He already knows how to do best. 

     Christians are like little lambs. They are weak and dumb and slow. What makes them different from the a regular bird though, is that they have a Protector, a Shepherd. They can not fight the wolves, or find their own way in life, but the Shepherd can protect and gently lead them perfectly. He is well seasoned and knows the every move that a little lamb would take, and can keep them from falling. They can not muster up faith, but He has an abundant supply. Jesus will keep the feet of His saints (Psalms 121). He is the Keeper (1 Samuel 2:9). They must believe in His Word. He does not slumber (Proverbs 3:23). He will finish the work He began (Hebrews 12:2, 7:25, Philippians 1:6). He is the Perfecter. A Sheep could wander and can be devoured but if that sheep stays in the shadow of the Shepherd it will be strong. 

     Those those that put their confidence in God, will not be put to shame (Is 45:16-17, Is 54:4). He is faithful and true. Lazarus’s death, shows how though there were four days of waiting, it would have been easy to distrust Jesus in the midst of that. But He WAS faithful. He came and saved! His promises are true and can be believed fully (Is 41:10,14). In Christ, the promises can be claimed. A three cord is not easily broken. And what is the Believer’s cord? 1. God’s Word, which is also the Shepherd’s voice promising salvation, and truth. 2. Our loving response (forsaking flesh, action of believing, faith and obedience). 3. God’s Word again (Shepherds ability to save, empowering grace, faithfulness). That’s Grace and Truth top and bottom. The Christian’s responsibility is to gaze on the Shepherd!
     What an encouraging message after over and over hearing of the deep compromises of Christian leaders. It causes one to think there are not any more godly leaders. This message as another great encouragement and refreshment to stay focused on Jesus. I can not do any thing in my own strength and if I try, I’ll just keep failing. But I CAN put my trust in the ever Faithful One. His Word is true and over and over, people who’ve put their complete trust in Him, He will never fail or leave. Me, a little lamb is vulnerable, but in the shadow of the Shepherd, nothing can touch me.  

The Gospel - Sermon Edition

The Gospel - Sermon Edition

     Christians are called to bear the Name of God. It is an enormous job, an impossible one. One that can not be taken lightly. Outside of Jesus Christ, insufficient and minute does not even come close to describing Christians. However, He is awesome and majestic and He can carry His gospel through His people. Christians must by faith believe as little children. Yes, studying Him is incredibly edifying and wonderful, but they must not take the information and argue about it. He is enough, and that IS enough. Jesus and Him crucified is all that must be focused on (1 Corinthians 2:2) 

     So how should the gospel be shared? Is it a statement or phrase to be repeated to every person or is it unique Spirit-lead words that reach the hearts of each one by Him? It is not about Christians and how they can share the gospel. It’s about Him and only Him. He deserves each soul because He paid for them at the cross. And He along can save. Christians are live Midwives, they get to see the life and help in the birth, but God made life and gave it to them. God does use weakness to deliver the gospel and He gives the increase. Some people are used as Planters and some as waterers. Each situation is different. Fruit will begin to grow, then prayer ripens that fruit. 

     To share the gospel, the audience must be considered. Some may already have some of the gospel preached to them, and some might have never heard of Jesus. The three gospel lenses are important to know about. The Historic Lens is where facts are emphasized. For example the Historic life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and it’s subsequent accomplishments are the discussion. They could say a simple statement such as  “God came and died for you, believe.” The Personal Lens is where a lot of Christians stopped. The truth is none the less important, but not the full beautiful picture of what Jesus’ blood for. This one emphasizes Faith. The power of the gospel and it’s ability to personally save and deliver is the discussion. They tell the gospel as how the soul violates God’s law. Then the Daily Lens. It’s practically living out the triumph of the Gospel. The power of sin is destroyed, old man dead and I have newness of life in Christ Jesus, Christ is exalted to the Highest Place, I am seated in Heavenly Places in Christ, and the Power of the Almighty is resident in me enabling me to live a life that otherwise would be impossible. Asking questions to the individual helps know where they are in this process of believing. As each one IS the gospel, the discretion of the Holy Spirit will give the specific words that they need to hear.

     This was an encouraging message to me because, I had just heard the first two without hearing the glorious message that He has the power to free me from daily things. And it is exciting to know that He will guide me as I share the gospel with others. Many of the people I know, are in the same boat as I was, we didn’t know that He can live the victorious life through me. When I reckon His truth of Jesus and the cross, then I am in Him. And in Christ, His promises can be claimed and the throne room can be accessed. All because Jesus paid for it all at the cross. Truly good news!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Personally Reckoning Truth

Personally Reckoning Truth with Sandy

     For those of us who were still struggling with taking the truth of Jesus’ daily saving and applying to our lives. Mama Sandy went through the gospel with us and lead us back to Jesus. It was an amazing confirmation of what the Lord showed me last week through the teaching and friends and a special verse.

     We started back in Romans 1 and also John 1. She asked us who created the world? Jesus created the world to show us who He is, so we could see Him clearly. All who He is IS His glory and His nature is love. The heavens display God’s glory. What He created things that reflect Himself. He created light and He is the Light. It reveals, warms, and does away with darkness. He created life, like animals, forests, flowers, nature. He created law and order, like the sun, moon, stars, seasons, water cycle, gravity. It all describes His Holiness. Without law the world would fall apart. God told Adam and Eve that they should not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He said if they ate from it they would surely die. They would be separated from God. Satan lied to Eve and caused her to doubt God’s Word and believe that lie.

     It is so important to Love the Word of God. We can’t get out from the law of sin and death. No matter how good we are we can’t get around it. Our righteousness can’t fix it because we are all dead and in sin, without the Spirit of God. God so loved the world before even creation. We were created to glorify God (show who He is). To exhibit Him. Adam and Eve were dead while they yet lived, because when they sinned they died spiritually. Something had come in to mar the glory of God. When we are not glorifying God we are hiding, just as Adam and Eve hid. We do that by believing lies. 

     Three important truths: Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin, The life is in the blood, and the blood of bulls and goats can’t take away sin. Jesus came from a different lineage because He was from the line of God. Humans came from Adam. A Savior for us from death to life. We are dead in our trespasses and sin. We has sightings of Jesus all throughout the Old Testament. The priest atoned for sin, but could not take them away. The Lamb of God takes way the sin. He took care of the curse, the sin, and the penalty. He was separated from the Father and took on sin for our sakes. When He was crucified on that cross, He crucified us there too. The old man is crucified at the cross. We are no longer a slave to sin. Everything that God is, showed up at the cross. We can put on His righteousness and be clothed in His blood. Enter into Him and love Him. The blood of Jesus did so much and He gave it freely. We are risen with Christ. Just has the power of God raised Jesus from the dead, so we now have new life in Christ. Confidently we can declare that we are crucified with Christ. There is a tempter and that’s why we are tempted but, we can stand firm in Jesus. Just as we believe Jesus died for our sin, we can confidently believe that we are crucified with Him and are risen in Him. Believe is Knowing, Reckoning, Presenting to God our bodies, Exerting all power in authority of Jesus, and Obeying unto righteousness. 

   My faith is not from me. It’s His faith in me believing Him and reckoning the Truth He’s already promised in His unchanging Word. I have to stop looking to myself, and just focus completely on the cross of Jesus. I need to declare my position in Christ and His Truth. I am seated in heavenly places in Christ. He is my Savior for salvation and my daily Savior from sin. He is the Faithful One and I’m just resting in Him and His Faithfulness. May His name be praised, the One Who IS, Who was, and Who is to come. I gladly exchange my filthy rags for His robe of Righteousness. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live, in the flesh (body) I live by the faith of the Son of GOd, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).  


Reckoning with Truth

Reckoning with Truth

     The Christian’s basis of belief is founded on two facts. God cannot lie and the Word of God is Truth. These are key because if they cannot be fully believed and trusted in, then the rest of what is believed is unstable. When these two facts are believed in they can change a person’s perspective completely. Faith must be in Fact because Fact is the only One who can do the impossible. Fact represents the Word of God, and that is Holy and perfect and Jesus lived it. 

     God cannot lie is the first fact (Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, and Titus 1:2) Christians can know intellectually this truth and nothing will happen, but impossible things will happen if it is believed in the heart. The illustration that Eric shared was so powerful. Say God gives a person $10 and puts it in a back room for them to go find. When asked if he has the money on him, he says “No, it’s not on me.” They may ask, “but do you have the money?” He can say “yes, because it was given me.” He has to have the money because as soon as he goes to leave the building the Mafia demand $9. How does he get the money though? He goes by faith to find the money in the back room. On his way to the room Satan will try to distract him and try to make distrust that the money is really there. If he continues on he will get the money. He must turn a deaf ear to those lies and press forward in faith. It is the same with God and claiming His promises. God cannot go against his nature; what he says is true. 

     The Word of God is Truth is the second fact (John 17:17 and 1 Thessalonians 2:13). Christians cannot determine that God’s Word is Truth, because it IS Truth. Yes, Jesus is Truth, there is no falseness in Him. Everything He says goes! Christians must claim these facts and reckon it. It’s believing that the $10 is in that room, taking it and applying it to our account. Believing it is called Faith. And it glorifies God when Christians reckon these truths. 

     The blood of Jesus was for so many things, atonement, propitiation, our justification, forgiveness, remission of sins, cleansing, washing, purging of our consciences, peace, reconciliation unto Christ, righteousness, saving us from the wrath, destruction for the devil, overcoming the devil, redemption, giving us life, bring back to life, sanctification, spiritual and physical healing, boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies, and making it possible for Christians to have a home in Jesus.
     Jesus’ blood is applies in three ways. Towards God because it removes the separation, towards Man because it removes the estrangement, purges the conscience, eliminates and eliminates the guilt, and towards Satan to remove the grounds for his accusation. 

   This message was probably the most powerful to me. After writing the summary for Distracted Devotion, I was really struggling with how to have this wonderful victory in Christ and how to believe and have that faith in Him. I struggled for a good couple of days. Finally God showed me that I had not giving up to Him the “results of new life in Christ.” I was so focused on, “would this work” rather than putting complete faith in Him. God knows what I need though, and this message was extremely encouraging because “Reckoning it” is what the answer is. Basically, believing and claiming was is already there in Christ Jesus. I was like, “no, it can’t be that easy.” It is and it isn’t. There’s so many ways that we might be tempted to distrust Him or His promises based of experience. But, going back to the two facts, God is God and he can not lie. He’s signed these promises with His blood. Christians must get “in Christ” and reckon it true. Because it IS!

     There’s three truths Christians must reckon as well.  I am crucified with Christ. That old man was crucified on the cross along with Jesus. It is like if a slave were never told that he were free, he would not know that he could leave his bondage. The freedom papers are there in the desk. He must go and claim them, the master has no power to stop him. If it has not be appropriated that does not mean it is not there. The old man is crucified with Jesus. In the gap between the promises and faith, temptations will be bountiful. Once claimed Christians walk in step with Jesus, where He goes, they go. The little fish says “I’m afraid I’ll run out of water in the ocean” then the Master says, “Oh little fish my water is sufficient.” That pictures the word “Sufficiency.” He is more than able to keep them from falling.

     Second truth: I am resurrected unto newness of life-in the resurrection of Christ. Again, the old man is dead, now the new man is alive. Christians want to see immediate change, but it must start with belief. Feeling does not rule them, but faith in Christ. Claim it through Jesus! The truth through is “I am seated in heavenly places in Christ. Literally IN Him. Not just near the Lord, but actually in. Like a plane, if the passengers ride not inside the plane, gravity will win and they will fall. Ask for the Holy Spirit in Him. Ask for the abundant life. God prayers are always “Yes and Amen” in Him. 

     I am definitely learning this moment by moment, some how I don’t want to relinquish my menial control over my life at times. It’s like YES, He will live this out through me, because I can NOT do it. He is Sufficient like the ocean and more and more precious to me as I learn the fullness of His love.

Ian Thomas - A Grain of Wheat

 Ian Thomas - A Grain of Wheat

     You’ve been trying so hard to live out the life, but you haven’t give up to the One who can do it so naturally. Jesus is only able to live it out. Fullness of life is only in Christ. It is just simply to relay everything on Jesus and get hands off it. That doesn’t mean that it’s inactive but Christ active. Nervous strain come from carrying one own’s burdens and letting Christ carry all. Commit yourself completely to Him, He wants to live life in and through you. A grain of wheat must fall onto the ground and die. If it remains (instead of dying) then it lives alone and grows hard and brittle. It’s sin that separates man from God. We think that the more we study His life that somehow it will rub off on us and we will be able to live victoriously. Romans 10:1, they were deeply religious, even having great sincerity when practicing religion. They were ignorant of God’s righteousness. When we try to make our righteousness higher it is as filthy rags and fails. Every man at His best is insufficient. Whatever is not of faith is sin. 

     Jesus was utterly dependent on the Father. We seek to be justified before God. Expose our sin and then we are ready to show case Jesus. God looked on Jesus just as He had committed all my sin. Who shall deliver me from the body of death? I can no more follow His example or fulfill the law. By the law and by His life. The life He lived qualified the death He died. He became sin for us that we might be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. This is only part of the gospel.  

     He paid the debt that we may go free. Does the knowledge of your sin’s forgiveness in it’s self give you the victory for life? Fit for Heaven but hopelessly inadequate for earth? This second half of that statement above is the full picture of the gospel: The death that He died qualified you to live the life He lived. How freeing! There’s an answer to perpetual trying in our own strength. By Him, in you. It’s the life He lives now that saves you. Christ in you the Hope of Glory. The only Hope. The grain of wheat falls and dies, then can sprout up and live. “You can do all these things that I lived because the me in You. I will come in and live in you. I’m going to keep on doing my work, but through you.” The Father was in the Son and the Son in them, filling their bodies with Himself. Jesus Christ in action and business. That His life might be reproduced in us. Not only a cross on the hill but also in the heart. Did you have hear of a grain of wheat thinking or talking? 

     Unless you are willing to give up what you are, you’ll never become what God wants you to be. It’s not about how important we are for Christ. It mains alone if it puffs up it’s self. The wheat gets hard. Can you imagine being a piece of corn for so many years and never becoming what it’s use was intended to be? And then, it get’s planted and dies and it grows up in newness of life. The roots start growing, controlled by the Lord and go in the right direction. We have gotten dried up. He just needs to be who He is. even tilled up, and turned upside down the roots find their way downward and the shoots upward.

     Paul and Silas believed God never put them somewhere that He wouldn’t have something wonderful for them. They had the right perspective because with Jesus in control it is wonderful. The Holy Spirit was doing the work. But you must be prepared to die and suffer. Only then, can we join in singing praises to God. God redeemed us so that we might be embodied with Jesus Christ. The dying wheat has no say for the future. As long as you try to shape your own ends because the flesh profits nothing, you will not bear fruit. Be prepared for death. If He wants to reach a poor person in a prison camp, He has the right to put you there. You must be ready to die. We are just the flesh and blood inhabited by God. You must die.

     I am much like the little wheat stock striving to bear fruit for Him, when all I need to do is give up to Him and die. He does all the work, I just need to trust and believe that He does all the work. His wonder and grace are so wonderful! This was a powerful message and corresponded exactly with what He has been over and over so gently showing me. The other half of the gospel, the victorious one, in Christ! If I but die, I gain, because of Jesus and living in Him. My self no where in sight, but Jesus in full on sight and Him working.