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!

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. 

The Heavenly Place

The Heavenly Place

     Perspective dynamically changes the Christian’s life. Naturally the Christians perspective looks at the world and earthly things. However, there is a higher perspective of the heavenly realm. Christians are seated in the throne room where God dwells because they are in Christ and Christ sits there (Ephesians 2:6). The church should make known (knowing something through experience) the manifold wisdom of God to all the principalities and powers (angelic or demonic) in the heavenly place (Ephesians 3:10). Believing and reckoning His truths gives glory to Him and even though the principalities already know His glory, it amplifies His might, power, majesty, and glory. When the world looks at a Christian they are supposed to see Jesus. That can only be the case as they live in Christ with a heavenly focus. 

     This message on the heavenly and earthly perspective was the perfect one to go with the Personally Reckoning the Truth with Sandy in the morning. It was confirming all I had heard about being in Christ. Those truths gives me so much peace because if I only die to myself and allow Him to do what He does perfectly, the impossible is possible in Him. Knowing my position in Christ is the true gospel. No longer do I need to come to church feeling depleted and guilty. As I am in Christ, He continually washes me and keeps me from getting dirty. With my eyes on heavenly things, I die daily for the sake of Jesus. 


The Intimacy of Knowing

     Paul said in Philippians that according to normal standards he was the best of the best. He had the best according to so many people too, but all of that, he counted for loss and rubbish. Why would he think that? Because he fully grasped the meaning of “know.” In the greek there’s four words with four different levels of knowing something. Greek is a thick language, so when they said “know” there was a specific meaning for every use. Gnostos is facts, information, data like knowledge of something, like 2 + 2 + 4, like reading a newspaper. Acts 1:18-19 is the example, they had “heard” that Judas had killed himself. Oida is understanding, perception, an “I see.” The light bulb has or hasn’t turned on type of knowing. The example is John 14:5-6 which is Thomas saying to Jesus that they did not know where Jesus was going. 

    Then Ginosko like knowledge but found through experience or relationship an intimate understanding. This one is like a married couple who’s been with each other and it gets deeper and deeper as time goes on. They even start acting alike as they spend more time together. Luke 1:34, Matthew 1:24-25, and John 17:3 are all examples of this type of knowing, a very intimate type and the last one is Jesus’ prayer that we might know God. And lastly, Epiginosko is a higher level, a deeper even more intimate form of ginosoko (1 Corinthians 13:12). 

   Paul counted all the stuff he knew to be counted trash even compared to the smallest meaning of “know.” That means that his entire life was counted for nothings just for the title on a newspaper that says Jesus Christ is Lord. Someone can know about Jesus but  until they know Him it does not mean anything. Have Christians got content just knowing about Jesus, or are they ever pressing to know the One who gave His all for them.

     This message was so profound. To know Him! I had to ask myself do I know Him, but then I thought to what we’ve been learning about believing and reckoning. All I can do is have a simple faith in Him, He has to do the rest, and by the way, that is far above what I could ever ask or think! He wants me to press in and never stop trying to know Him. I could study and search Him out for a life time and just scratch the surface. Praise Him that He desires a deep relationship with me, and in Him I can search for Him with all of my heart! 


The Test to Prove Control 
The Divine Right to Rule and Contol

    The Canon is the Divine Word of God in it’s entirety. Christians study Jesus and the look to find Him in every part of the Bible. Everything must be tested against the Canon. The answer to every query can be found in Jesus Christ. However, in every generation there’s someone who questions authority. In the Old Testament Korah was that person to question authority. He asked Moses and Aaron what make them more holy then the rest of them. It was very plain that God was using them as His tool to be His mouth piece and to lead the children of Israel. He gave them responsibilities but it was not an easy job for sure. The Lord gave them a test to prove which tribe was chosen by God.

     Rods were used to symbolize authority and as a measuring “stick” as well. That’s why the Canon is like a rod. They were the guide which people followed. The test the Lord chose was to have a rod from each tribe laid in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony where God would be. The one that God chose would blossom and prove which tribe was set-apart for that job. The next day Moses went into the tabernacle of witness and found that the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded and blossoms bloomed and there was almonds on that rod. 

     The Rod is Christ, everything a rod does, He does or is. A rod measure the house of God, proving it perfect, righteous, and the fulfillment of the law.  He is the Word of God, profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. He is Grace, Comfort, and Salvation. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. A rod is branch off of a tree, made into a rod and to be verified as authentic by three crucial tests: It must have arisen from the divine root, it must bear likeness to the other branches, and it must bear identical fruit to the rest of the tree. 

   The Canon is divine authority of the Word made flesh, that’s Jesus. Since God created the world and history of man, He could plan out how He was to save them. He made an impossible list of requirements for His Divine Son and then fulfills them. Everything in the Old Testament is a picture of Jesus. It’s all there to point  to Him. Zechariah 3:1-9, 6:9-13 is a beautiful prophetic picture of Jesus. The name Joshua means Jesus so they talk about Jesus there and the BRANCH is mentioned, that’s Jesus. It says that He will remove the iniquity of that land in one day, and that is the cross. They didn’t have the kings be priests back then, so why would they say that Joshua the priest would be crowned? Jesus was the Priest AND King, it’s prophetic of Jesus. Just as the rod of Levi blossomed so Jesus’ rod blooms as He fulfills each prophecy. Since Jesus can be found in the Bible, there’s so much to write about, but the main prophecies will be listed. Isaiah 53 is packed full of Jesus that they would almost think it was written after He lived, but no, each one was another little test that God slipped in to make it even more impossible for just anyone to be Jesus. He must prove the Son of God (Ps 2:6-9 and Luke 1:30-35). Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. His Father was God. He must prove the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:14-15 and Galatians 4:4). He could have come as some glorious fire from heaven or something majestic, but instead He came humbly as a baby from a woman. 

     Kings must fall down before Him offering gifts (Psalm 72:10-11 and Matthew 2:1-11). A baby couldn’t make up this stuff or make it happen; God was in control. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were significant because those were smells and things in the Holy of Holies. He must be called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1 and Matthew 2:13-15). Elijah must come before Him. He must be anointed with the Spirit. His ministry must commence in Galilee (Is. 9:1-2, Matthew 4:12-19). Even this detail was so important and significant in the test of Jesus being the Messiah that if he didn’t start his ministry in Galilee than He wouldn’t have been the Messiah. He must enter Jerusalem riding upon a colt. He must be undesirable to many (Is 53:1-2 and Mark 6:3). He must be meek. His being without guile. He must be consumed with zeal for God’s house. He must bear the reproach.

    He must be betrayed by a friend (Ps. 41:9 and John 13:18-19). Even His enemies helped to prove He was the Son of God. He created each intrinsic test so that people might believe Him. The sheep must be scattered. He must be sold for Thirty pieces of Silver and the Potter’s field must be purchased with the money. He must be numbered with the criminals. His hands and feet must be pierced. They will give Him vinegar to drink. His garments must be divided. He must make intercession for His murderers. He must die. His bones not be broken (Ex 12:46, Ps 34:20). Both criminals legs got broken, so it was unusual that His didn’t get broken. But God had it for a sign. He must be pierced. He must rise again from the dead. He must be ascend. He must sit at the right hand of God. He will return to the mount of Olives.

    All these were hand picked to show Jesus as God. No one else could ever do these exact things. Jesus’ buds bloomed so beautifully and exquisitely that no one can deny He IS the Christ, the Son of God, God Almighty in flesh, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the Lamb of God. Can people trust His Lordship and authority? His rod bloomed and God proved Him. He is the Word of God in person. 

     This was packed message and one thing I realized was how much I take the Old Testament lightly instead of really valuing every Word, because God statically put each Word there for a purpose. I pray that as I continue to love Him more passionately, His Word would become more precious and dear. That I would treat every Word as important and Divine and as a Word search for Jesus. He’s on every page of the Bible. I need to seek Him and His face. He is Wonderful and Mighty and He gave His all so that I could believe in Him and live in Christ.