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, January 26, 2014

A.W. Tozer quote


When I was at Ellerslie, someone wrote this quote out and gave it to me under my door. I love it because it's not just showing that raw
emotion/heart condition, but it shows hope in the Faithful God we serve!!!! Hope in the Savior who daily saves us!
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
– AW Tozer –

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A New Generation of Fathers


A New Generation of Fathers

     “Ab” means Father in the Hebrew language and “Abba” is Daddy. “Ab” means “strength in the house,” which perfectly describes the father. The first sounds that a baby makes are “Ab” and “Abba” and similarly it’s the first sounds in uttered in prayer after new life in Christ. Jesus calls God, Father, and we can too! The fathers in this culture have not demonstrated the love of the Father very well, and some have seen only a skewed picture. Not having time for their children, breaking promises, anxious and stressed, frustrated and harsh, these are some things we think about when we think of the typical dad. But godly fathering is so much more, and just to think we can have a full measure with our Heavenly Father. God shows us true Father traits. Earthly fathers can show a picture of Him by being there for us, being patient and long-suffering, meeting the danger and protecting, doing something for us, when we could not, loving the Word of God, always on their knees praying, showing Christ in every situation. 

     This message warmed my heart. I definitely take for granted how many ways that my dad exemplifies Christ in our family. He always desires to spend time with me, even if I’m just riding along in the car, or holding a flashlight for him, it makes him so happy. How many times, I have something “else” to do, but don’t realize that how I treat my dad is a lot of times how I treat God. My dad is a wonderful dad who desire to know God more, I can not ask for better. He always protects and loves me. In so many situations, God’s used my dad to protect me from harm, and evil things. He teaches me how to love Jesus through his life. I praise God for this wonderful example in Christ, and how I can better trust God because I’ve had the best exampled to me. 

The Cry of the Roman Soldier


The Cry of the Roman Soldier

      After they crucified Him and after they saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, the centurion declared with fear “truly this was the Son of God!” With that statement of agreement to who Jesus was, he was saying “Amen!” In the Hebrew the word was spelled AMN and it carried over into the english only with a slightly different pronunciation. It’s really neat how, even in a small word that we use to end prayers, the rich vast store house of Jesus’ nature, character, and gospel is revealed. The “A” or Aleph (in Hebrew) is the ox, head, father, strong, power, or leader. The “M” or Mem means water, blood, chaos. Then the “N” or Nun means spouting seed, life continuance, heir, son, activity, fish. This pictures the course as A for the father, M for has giving us the blood/water (living water) and N as through His Son. Over and over again it tells salvation message because He puts these little nuggets of gold in there for us to find!

     Amen! I’ll never say that word again as just an end to a prayer. It’s more than an agreement, but it’s stating the true fact about who God is. This really opened my eyes to the right depth of His Word, where even in the Words He put in the language, He has hidden His salvation story! It all leads back to the cross. This really puts things into perspective yet again for me. I’m little and nothing and He is grand and infinite and holy.  Amen, my God is who He says He is, and I can trust Him. If He cares for the small details of words in the alphabet, He cares about me, oh so small. I love Him all the more, for caring to plant mysteries of the cross everywhere for us to search out and understand by His Holy Spirit.

The Bravehearted Man


The Bravehearted Man

     The Bravehearted man is a picture of Jesus Christ. One who is most courageous and victorious when repelling and fighting against the strongest enemy. The bravehearted man had no thought for self-preservation, but instead has a self-expending mindset. They are sharp and focused giving 100% to the task at hand. It could be getting up to “watch” with God, or staying up to talk to spouse or loved one in their time of need, helping weak, giving resources to benefit the kingdom of God, or children needing special attention. The hammer is a great picture of this bravehearted man. Jesus is the head of the hammer, are they are the handle penetrating and pushing through a problem. They can only be an effective hammer if they have Jesus as their head, letting Him do it. 

     What an inspiring picture of Jesus in the life of the bravehearted man or woman! For me that basically boils down to letting Jesus do it through me and not attempting things in my own strength. I must give my all, but allow Him to do what He does very well. In each area the I as an aspiring bravehearted woman, must give my 100% to each task at hand. He alone can do it, but I must give it to Him as I work. It’s showing honor to those around me and deference as well. Jesus did not have a thought of self-preservation, neither should I!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Plain Men Living Intense


Plain Men Living Intense

     If Christians are like athletes in the Christian life, how much dedication and time do they spend working out? It’s many many hours and being fit physically correlates right in with spiritual fitness. Physical fitness requires competence in cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy. It also requires readiness at any time and in any combination, and effective conditioning of the 3 muscle types. These three areas are very similar to the spiritual aspect. Most people are lazy and fact and have no endurance or self-control in any area let alone fitness. Luke 9:62 says that we are supposed to be fit for the kingdom of God. The Lord wouldn’t be flabby bellied physically or spiritually, he was fit and ready for the job He was sent to do. The greek word for exercise is gumnasia and that is similar to the word gymnastics and that is a very intense work out. That is how heartily the Lord would like us to work in the spiritual sense, that raises the standard quite a bit.

     What a level of spiritual fitness for the Lord’s use! I only know that I can not hold up these high standards, but He can. He’s so faithful to do abundantly more than I could ask or think, and I will trust Him even when the level of spiritual fitness is so high that I can not measure up. I do need to be diligent in these areas though, that’s why it is so encouraging that He can do it though me. No need to struggle or wrestle through, although pursuing Jesus passionately is what I should do with all my fervor and strength. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. 

The Decision Man


The Decision Man

     The decision man is what Jim Elliot says, “Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” He wanted to be the fork in the road, where Christ was. We are not to take the stage of this life, but be the stage on which Christ and the cross can be displayed. No one sees the stage, and that’s how we need to be, pointing to Jesus with ourselves out of the picture. We were not created to showcase us, but Jesus and His glory. We have nothing to boast in, save in the cross of Jesus Christ. We are to shine forth Jesus like how the moon reflects the sun, so we reflect Jesus. It basks in the glory of the sun, so we bask in Jesus. 

     How willing am I to be the fork in the road? It’s not an easy life, but it’s taking a beautiful role in the kingdom, by pointing to Jesus. Lord, make me to be your decision woman, always deciding on You, always helping others to make You their decision. Jesus, I can not do it, so I ask you to enable me, I ask you to do it through me. Keep my mind and thoughts centered on You and Your ways. May I be the mirror that reflects You Jesus. I do want others to see You and not me. Jesus Your ways are perfect, thank You that I’m a tool in Your hand!

Charles Spurgeon quote



AMEN!
So, then, poor Christian, thou needest not to go pumping up thy poor heart to make it glad. Go to thy Maker, and ask him to give thee a song in the night. Thou art a poor dry well: thou hast heard it said, that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all, and then you will get some up; and so, Christian, when thou art dry, go to God, ask him to pour some joy down thee, and then you will find them Job’s comforters, after all; but go thou first and foremost to thy Maker, for he is the great composer of songs and teacher of music; he it is who can teach thee how to sing: “God, my Maker, who giveth me songs in the night.”
– Charles Spurgeon –

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hero Training


Hero Training
     In our culture, boys are not being trained to be men. It’s “not-safe” to climb a tree, or do this or it’s “too messy.” What happens when we need a man to climb into a burning building to save someone? It must start with the boys being allowed to romp and play and get dirty. They are in hero training, fearless and brave in the face of danger, willing to give their lives for others. The culture tells them to be careful, but God tells us not to be careful for anything (Phil 4:6). He wants men and women of grit and bravery, not the soft snuggy mindset. Merimnao is the word for careful in the greek. It means to be anxious or riddled with concerns, to be troubled with care. Why would we have this merimnao knowing we have the God of the Angel armies is behind us defending us and keeping our feet from slipping?

      This definitely is a hard area for me. I’m so prone to anxious thoughts and being tempted to be caught up in fear, doubt and worry. In Christ, I do not have to live with this any more! I do not have to be anxious. Christ is caring for me and that is enough for me! His grace is sufficient like a fish breathing in the water of the ocean. There’s plenty for him. I can stand boldly and confidently in the One who takes all on Himself, He’s never worried, so why would I? I can be bold and brave for Him, willing to give my life for others, in Jesus Name.

Edit: Wow, I've had a challenging week, and reading the last paragraph that I wrote not to long ago, encouraged me to press on. Jesus is the Way to true peace and Rest!

The Kingdom


Kingdom
The Ruling Domain

     The Kingdom is a very important concept to the Christ. It is the lens in which they view other subjects taught. It boils down to two kingdoms, the Satan’s kingdom and God’s kingdom. Sometimes it’s hard to discern the spiritual realm, but nevertheless it’s a real one that must be thought of first, not last. People are either apart of one of the kingdoms or the other. The kingdom of darkness is after the flesh, forged by self-reliance. Lucifer holding dominion over the human soul using the flesh to oppose God’s kingly rule. His strategy is to keep humanity self-reliant and self-glorifying and he gains strongholds by sin. Lord Jesus’ kingdom of Light is completely opposite. It’s after the Spirit, forged by self-denial to gain dominion over the human soul and rescuing it for the Glory of God. Faith by operation is yielding to God’s control and preserving God’s kingly rule. The strategy is to reclaim the throne of the human soul and crown Christ as King. The biggest weapon was purchased at the Cross and Jesus making a way for his people to be the temples of the Spirit of God. God glorifying and Him in control. Everything done can be put through the lens of what kingdom is is glorifying. Is it glorying the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? 

     This spells it out very clearly, one side or the other. This sobers up every decision that I make. Even one little “me” thing is being controlled by the flesh and the flesh is in direct alliance with the enemy!  Along with that, every denial of the flesh, I can honor the King of Kings. This ties well in with the message from Sunday about “the Proving of the 300.” They had no fear and they did not give into their own fleshly desires. It makes sense why this is so important to God. Flesh glorifies the enemy, so they would be already losing in the battle before they started fighting. How often do I give in to the fleshly desires and not choose God’s kingdom way? Each day, it’s so important for me to be controlled by His Spirit, for that is the only way to bring glory to the King of Kings!

     

The War Council


The War Council

     Just as the early Christians spent many years in prayer hiding in the secret catacombs, before they were tried in the public arenas, so we must build upon hours in the prayer closet with the Lord. Only out of an intimate love relationship with Jesus, will we be brought into that open arena of testing and be able to stand. That is cultivated by spending time with Him and dwelling in Him. Loving Him fully with all the heart, mind, and strength is crucial as well! It’s being possessed by a Divine love! It’s knowing Jesus, not just about Jesus. The secret to living this life is to hide in the shadow of the Almighty. His solid foundation is what holds us up in times of trouble. 

     Such a convicting message! But also encouraging! I do need so spend many hours in prayer before Jesus, but He’ll be the One teaching me or giving me grace when the hour of testing comes. That is the encouraging part, He does the work! I need to live in humble dependence of Him, just loving and resting in Him, and that He will spill out when someone pokes or prods me. That is very simple. However, it is a bunch of daily little deaths that prepare us in the secret place. I need to just focus on a love for Jesus and knowing Him and He’ll take care of the rest.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Decorum


Decorum

     The world defines decorum as “proper behavior, the way one ought to act in accordance with higher society.” This is only a partial picture of true heavenly decorum. The manner of God as applied to behavior, speech and dress is the true decorum as it would be in heaven with Jesus. Godly men and women know when to draw the cup of compassion and when to draw the sword. All this must be out of purity that comes from the heart and Who lives in that heart. If the inward part of the person is Spirit-filled then the inward matters will be changed like the family and personal life. Even in Decorum, it must be based off the Word of God, because that is the solid Rock. 

    Jesus had great respect for everyone. He turned outward and noticed the un-noticed. That is what Christians are called to do, to treat others more highly than themselves. 1 Corinthians 13:5a says “Love does not behave rudely.” Behaving rudely is the absence of respect. Opposite of that means Christians are to ask how can I make everyone comfortable? This is the first aspect to Etiquette, respecting and valuing others around them. Second aspect is showing honor to cultural etiquette in order to respect those. The third is to first honor God so if the cultural etiquette is going against what the Word of God says, then not to do that. The first and foremost Person to respect is God. 

     Coarseness is not showing deference to others. And if one participates in things that are not honoring it is the same as condoning it. Every part of decorum is trying to bring honor to those around, it could be addressing someone as Mr. or Mrs., or a firm handshake, or opening the door. Those are things that prefer others than ourself. Even moodiness can be a self focused act. Everyone has tough days, but it can become a serious distraction away from Jesus to go on about how terrible things are for you. It would be the same for aches and pains, everyone has them, but is it drawing attention to God or ourself and our woes? Texting while someone is talking to you is rude, it’s communicating that what I am looking at is more important than the person there in physically. Satan can use these electronics as a tools to distract because they are portals into our life, we usually let them take first place, and that’s the position Satan would like to have. How many times have we been trying to focus on the Lord when after getting a text, we can’t wait to check it and our time with Him is ruined? 

     Protecting the dignity of others is another way to show respect to others. When interacting with people, it’s very easy to put people down subtly. Like after they do something you suggested, not to say, “I told you so.” Or even when trying to encourage someone to do something to letting them have the final decision helps protect their dignity. Not forcing someone into making a decision. It requires a selfless act to do this, but it is vital to protecting someone’s dignity. 

     A part about showing decorum is showing respect to God by how we keep up our bodies and resources. A glorifying method in spending money, is splurging on godly things, skimp on secular things, and starve profane things. In every area we should be the first sufferer, just as Christ was. The guy generally needs to be the first to offer himself, but if there’s not a guy around, then a lady should suffer first. Each area in Decorum is to treat others higher than ourselves, show respect and deference to them just as Christ, the King of Kings, did as He took the lowest position to serve us.

     So how can I be respectful and lowly today? I pray that Jesus cultivates an intense love for Jesus that indeed radiates from within. His live in mine, doing the work, loving others and showing respect through me. The mind of Christ is in us, now I can be respectful and lowly for Jesus, by His power. He’s the One who deserved the highest position, He deserved all respect, He deserved to be bowed to and to be treated like the King of Kings that He is, but He took that lowly position and humbled himself to be a servant to man. How much more should I be a servant to those around me by showing respect and decorum.

Christophany


Christophany

     There are a whole bunch of “ology’s” in this world, but if one focuses and pours all attention into those then they will have missed the entire point. Christophany is seeing Jesus and the cross in the entire Bible. Seeing Him in every single scripture verse! Each and everything points to Jesus, from the ark of Noah, to the temple, the tabernacle, many many aspects picture Him! He is the North Star by which things make since! It’s simple yet, the depth of the ocean vast! He is the Key that unlocks the Bible. It won’t make sense without Jesus. If everything were about Jesus (which it IS) how would that change our perspective of the Bible. It opens it up to a whole new light and makes the gospel simple yet profound!

     This message was so incredible. Yes, it seems like each message is about Jesus, because in fact, it IS! How lovely a thought! Simplicity in Christ being fully satisfied! It has given me a renewed energy to look for Jesus in each verse. Who else can fill us full like Jesus can! Falling in love with the Word of God in text, will cause me to fall more in love with Him. Then more in love with the Word of God. He’s everything and everything is about Him! Jesus, give me fresh excitement to fall more deeply in love with you and to look for you in every verse and scripture. For You, I live!

Made Strong


Made Strong

     Being made strong is very different than most would think. Training and being the best usually thinks the average person, but what if it was the opposite way? Hebrew 11:34 says that out of weakness they were made strong. God uses the weak things to confound the wise and glorify Himself. God calls us to give up our way of doing things, to take the spikenard and pour it out on Him. It’s the puddle principle. We have a little puddle with aquifer underneath. When someone comes in our pathway and needs some of that water, we give it all. We have to trust God that when we need that water, He’ll replenish the supply and give us what we need. When we have something, we must give it and trust Him. Even when there’s something we need to use saved money for, at the current moment, God is so trustworthy. There is an ocean of water underneath that can sustain and refill, but when the little puddle is emptied, sometimes it’s hard to keep that perspective. Forsake all we have to prove what He has. 

     This little review could go on for a number of pages, just saying over and over that He is trustworthy and can replenish when we give all to Him. Here again is another kingdom principle. I must trust my God more, and give Him my all. I can know that He’ll take care of me, no matter if I do not have a cent or resource left, He is still God! It’s exciting to know that He’s the ocean on which my little puddle sits on. I trust Him, because He’s proven Himself and can be trusted implicitly! I want to spill out my spikenard of perfume on His feet, to bring glory and honor to Him.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Josiah


Josiah
     King Josiah is one who recognized his great need for the God and forsake every sin and every weight that held him down, to find the God. Josiah was deeply concerned for the the disrepair of the temple. We ought to be more concerned at God’s holy temple. The funds for repair of the temple were taken from the treasury, just how Christ is the only solution for repairing of the temple. The Word of God was found in the temple in Josiah’s reign, just as the Word of God is found in Christ! Josiah not only hears the Word but does it also. He has a holy fear and trembling towards the Word of God and His heart is tender. How are we being responsive to the Word of God? And how highly do we fear and respect it? For each specific area of sin he deals with it properly and does not leave a stone unturned. That is very important to do in our spiritual lives as well, we must not just say, “Lord please forgive me for sin,” but to confess specifics and details. It humbles us and shows the fullness of His Majesty and the depth of His Sacrifice even more. Josiah celebrates the Passover unlike it had ever before been celebrated. He cherishes what God had done and fully embraces that only Christ can save them from their sin. He helps to purify the Holy Temple. It’s not out of self are we supposed to worship God. 

     I had no idea what Josiah went through to honor God in the respect of the temple. He showed great respect and humility before the Most Holy God. I wonder how often I take the gravity of sin and respond promptly before God. It’s definitely not a light thing, and Jesus must be the focus of our life. Each step out of a respect and a “How can I honor You, Jesus?” attitude. May I be more aware of the depth of Jesus’ sacrifice and of His incredible Holy Spirit that can overtake my life, to live one that is glorifying to Him.

Biblical Pedigree


Biblical Pedigree 

     The Bible can be trusted implicitly. God used so many people from all over to write His Words down. Moses a political leader, trained in the universities of Egypt, Peter a fisherman, Amos a herdsman, Joshua a military general, Nehemiah a cupbearer, Daniel, a prime minister, Luke a doctor, Solomon a King, Matthew a tax-collector, Paul a rabbi and that’s only to name a few. It’s the only book that survived through time, through criticism, through much scrutiny and abuse, but it survived, because it’s not just a book, but the Living Word of God. Also the New Testament alone it was written only 18-45 years after Jesus was Crucified. There is over 5700 copies of the New Testament whereas no other book had that many (Homer, Iliad only 643) and it’s proven to be 99.8 percent accurate! 

     I did not need the facts to know that the Bible could be trusted, but it firms my faith in God even more! His Word can stand the test, and prove it’s self. Everything in the Bible is Truth and it’s Trustworthy. It was inspired by a God who is Sovereign and can not lie. He used ordinary people like me and you to write it. He is All powerful and Holy Holy Holy and He can showcase His Glory however He wants. Each fact of the Scripture demonstrated His care in the details and Hs Sovereignty. I can trust Him. I can trust His Word.

Friday Night in the Promised Land


Friday Night in the Promised Land

     Friday Night is the usually the epitome of partying in sin. It’s the night that is looked forward to all week. It’s like the Israelites looking looking back to Egypt and wanting to be there, instead of looking to the wonderful things in the Promised Land. To get to the Promised Land they had to forsake Egypt and go through the wilderness. We can relate this to our lives, as Jesus is our Promised Land, Egypt is sin, and the wilderness is suffering. Through walking in the wilderness, true fellowship with Jesus can be found. Jesus is Someone that know one can ever take away and He is will us in every circumstance that we are praying about this week. 

    Eric told a story when he first saw a glimpse of the joy and delight in serving Jesus through suffering. During a very immoral partying night in Louisiana, Eric and a group went there to street witness. They brought a few large wooden crosses for some to carry. They were spit on and beer thrown on them. Eric stood away from the group, not sure what to think of all of it. Finally, someone asked him to carry the cross for a bit. He did, and found an incredible sharing in the sufferings of Christ. He said it was like a burden lifted off his shoulders as he bore the cross. He was so happy! It was true joy and peace from within. It’s not just enough to do something for Christ out of a fear of punishment like a duty, but genuinely doing it out of a love for the person, out of a relationship with Him. That’s true service of love! 

     In order to have the lasting pleasure in Christ’s presence, one must relinquish the temporal pleasures of this world. We were made for the pleasures the Promised Land, but we cannot get it while looking back to Egypt and focusing on what we’ve left behind. Dumping auto fluids out of our cup and then receiving the living water. Turning to Jesus because He’ll satisfy. And His satisfying pleasure is unending and everlasting! Only Jesus can cross over to the Promised Land, so we need to focus and cling to Him.

     For me, this message firmed up my resolution to give myself wholly to Him, and give up all the temporal pleasures of this world. It’s not “easy” in the moment, but surrender to Him, means unending life and pleasure in Him. It’s a promise that in His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11). If I never die daily deaths, how am I to ever die for Him one day? It’s one decision at a time, even if it seems infinitely small. He alone can satisfy! May Jesus fill each moment with His unending joy and pleasure, as I die daily for Him. To give up my handful of pebbles for His eternal jewels! 

The Growl for Glory


The Growl for Glory
The Purpose of the Mighty

     People should be able to look at us and see Jesus. We are trying to imitate Jesus. Christians take on the very name of Jesus. We are of Christ and we are born of Him. We should be demonstrating the character, the nature, the glory of the Person of Jesus. A Christians ought to make it easy to believe in God. We have the privilege to showcase His glory.  What if we begin to live for His purpose off glorifying Him. Our minds ought to keep popping back to Jesus. The first thought should be Jesus glorify yourself through me today. If the souls of Africa haven’t heard about my God, I’m going. I want to spend my life lavishly on Jesus. Is there anything else I can do to give myself more for you? How much can I give? The Lamb was audacious and bold for the glory of God. 

     So where is my audaciousness for Jesus? Am I going to live bold and radical for Him? I’m so glad that He is going to live it out through me. I can not do it! But I know that He can. Is my passion for Him real and genuine? Jesus, I want to want to love you more. You are so Holy and Perfect. Please Lord, give me a growl for You, that audacious boldness that Peter, Elijah, David, Paul, Caleb and so many others had for You and for Your kingdom. I am in Christ, and therefore have the audacity of Jesus. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Within the Ranges


Within the Ranges

     A range is the extent of their territory, within their responsibility, realm of influence. We have our own range in the spiritual life. The first person in our range is ourself. To take up the ranges in the spiritual sense one must be brave and strong to do what ought to be done. Romans 14:10-12 shows how sober a job this is because one day each action or inaction will have to be accounted for. Our dependence on Him is vital. We should pray “God would you live this out through me?” When the enemy crosses the boundary it is in our responsibility to get him out through the authority we have in Jesus Name. 

     The range in my life is not as big as some, but it still impossible for me to cover on my own. Only sheer dependence on Him to protect this range in and through me will keep this range guarded. Being a tool in His hand means that I have His authority and that the powers of darkness must flee. It’s so wonderful to know that being a little lamb with a territory only means I have a ever-present Shepherd that has already defeated the enemy. On a daily basis, am I being sober minded and praying for those within my range? Am I taking every thought captive? Am I doing spiritual warfare? These are all part of my range. “God, please enable me by Your Spirit to protect this range today.”

The Tree


The Tree

     God’s first command was, “Thou shalt not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” The law of sin and death says, “If you eat of the forbidden tree, you die. That’s the punishment of sin. Death is not a something. It’s not a black ooze that permeates into someones life. It’s an absence of life. If one does not heed God’s Word, they will be cut off from God. Every person has eaten from the fruit of that forbidden tree and they can not redeem themselves. However, to deal with the law of sin and death, God must be perfectly just and righteous, and yet clear sinners of the penalty. God does not violate His law to save sinners, He fulfills it perfectly. And He did it on a tree. The tree that 2,000 years ago had everlasting fruit on it, and if one eats from that tree they will live. This is the cross of Jesus Christ and the fruit is Himself. John 6:47,53 says that anyone that believes on Jesus and eats of His fruit, will have everlasting life.

     How do we access the law of the Spirit of Life? Just as we reconcile, we believe that in Christ is the Spirit of Life and that what he did was sufficient for us. If we believe the Truth, we enter into grace. If we obey, we come under the work of Righteousness. If we heed God’s Word, then we will be brought into right relationship and intimacy with God. We have His Righteous garment as clothing and are justified. 

     There was two trees in the garden (Genesis 2:9,16-17). The tree of life in the midst of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They had legal right to the tree of life but Adam and Eve never ate of it. Because of their sin, God sacrificed the blood of an animal to make them clothes. Then out of love He took them out because if they at of the tree of life, they would live forever in that condition of sin and separation from Him. But God make a way back to the tree of Life. All throughout the Bible, God uses a tree as a symbol of punishment (Deu. 21:22-23). The very worse of people get hung on a tree, they are accursed. A tree is a place of legal matter, of judgement. Jesus became sin for us, was hung on a tree, was taken down the same day, and buried. All pictured the day when Jesus would die on a tree to pay for each penalty of the world.

     God sent fiery serpents as a result for the children of Israel’s complaints. They bit many of the camp, and Moses put a brass fiery serpent on a piece of wood. All who wanted the healing had to humbly see what their sin had done. They had to have godly sorrow over it. As walking through the camp it was a confession of sin and then of faith.  Upon reaching the pole, they would believe that the serpent on the pole would heal him. The brass serpent was a picture of Jesus who was hung on a tree. 

     The best part is that the tree is more than for forgiveness. Joshua had to root out the five kings that had strong holds. We had five strong holds too, Fear, Lust, Greed, Pride, and Arrogance. But nothing shall stand in the way of Jesus! Joshua puts his foot on the next of the kings, then tells the people to put their feet on the neck of the kings (Joshua 10:21-27). Then Joshua kills them and hangs them on a tree and takes then down at evening. He buries them in a cave with a stone to cover the hole. The wrath of God came down upon Jesus and at that moment Jesus reached out and grabbed the five kings, and the head of the enemy was crushed right there. Justice has been dealt with, and they are dead. We do not worry about those 5 kings dead over 2,000 years ago, so why do we worry about the 5 dead strong holds of the enemy? Jesus has already crushed the head of the enemy!

     The serpent is the con artist, the cheat, the cursed, trying to always sting. Because Jesus knows the con man, He wanted the devil to take the bait and come and destroy Him because He was conning the con man! Just like Esther and Haman (Esther 7:10), Haman tried to kill the Jew on the tree, but then he got it back on himself when he got hung on it himself. That is what happened to the enemy at the cross. He thought he had tricked Jesus, but God had a divine plan and triumphed over the devil (Col. 2:15)! In that place of absolute weakness, God showed absolute strength. Golgotha meant “The place of dead heads.” So when Jesus died, the old man died there too, and Jesus rose again, the Victor! Romans 6:6 says because that old man is crucified, in Christ Believers are not servants to sin any more. That is the most amazing news, Jesus defeated death it’s self, and the devil, and the flesh. He’s the Victor and the Savior! Ps 110:5 “The Lord at Thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath.”

     Jesus took my rightful punishment. What happened to Him horrifies me, but also makes me love and appreciate Him all the more. What a wonderful redemptive plan God had from the before the beginning. It all points back to Him. He’s kindness and complete righteousness magnifies His Holy Holy Holy name. I wonder why I distrust Him? Can I not trust the One who gave it all for me? He is the Victor and has conquered  all things that once enslaved me. Every area can be entrusted Him, He has my best interest at heart anyways. I place my future, and my complete confidence in Jesus, my Savior and Lord. Thank you is not big enough Jesus, to show honor to You for what You’ve done and who You are. I give you my life to rule and reign as You will. I trust in Your Holy Holy Holy name!

The Chariot of the Cherubim


The Chariot of the Cherubim 

     The vision that Ezekiel had about the Cherubim carrying God on their wings is a beautiful and humbling picture of us carrying the presence of God in our bodies. He has chosen the weak things to glorify Him. The Cherubs went where the Sprit told them and turned not. In our lives, are we so obedient to Him that we do not turn from the direct He’s told us to go? We tend to have a lightness or flippancy about giving our bodies to be used by God. But it is a privilege about all else to carry the Almighty God! The Cherub are the wheels to the Chariot, but God has control over them. Similarly, we have control over our bodies, but God has control over us. God condescended to have His Son take on the body of a human to do His work on earth. Just as God told Ezekiel to open his mouth so he could eat the scroll that God’s Words were on, so we are to open our mouth and eat His Words. Our job is to obey. We are just the servants of the Most High God who’s splendor shines forth! 

     There was much more I could write about this message, filling pages and pages, but the main point was. God is Holy Holy Holy and I am not. I am simply the wheels on His chariot that He decides to use to carry Him around. It’s humbling to realize that He is going to use me to showcase His Glory. I will obey Him. I will open my mouth wide and let Him fill it. Whatever He says, I will do it for He must be glorified! I have everything to do what Ezekiel did. He was own and operated by God, and I am too. I do not want to be myself anymore, but rather be the vehicle of God. I want to be Holy Sprit controlled. I say, “Yes Lord,” and do as He commands.

Jim Elliot quotes

One doesn’t learn to speak a language in a couple of months. It will be plugging for a good while yet. Seems that I’ll never get through ‘preparing’ for the mission field. But I’ve been comforted this week thinking of our Lord’s thirty silent years of readying Himself at home with His family and bending over a carpenter’s bench. Were those days any less of a fragrance to God than His later work before the eyes of the people? I think not. A well-made piece of furniture and a healed blind man represented the same thing to the Father—a job well done; mission accomplished. So with us here. Nothing great, but what is that to Him with whom there is no great or small?
– Jim Elliot –

Oh, it is gripping to think that our eyes are to be blessed so as to see Him, ‘so coming in like manner’ as He went away . . . How poorly will appear anything but a consuming operative faith in the person of Christ when He comes. How lost, alas, a life lived in any other light!
– Jim Elliot –

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Proverbs 8- Insights


One thing that they taught me at Ellerslie is to look for Jesus in every passage. Look how cool Proverbs 8 is... Jesus is Wisdom. (It's one aspect of Him, but it's Him too) 
"For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it." vs 11, Amen! Jesus is far better than rubies!!! Nothing we could think of could be compared to Him!!!

 "Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength....14
Yes! True counsel and wisdom is found in Jesus alone!

 "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me." 17 Classic verse, but takes on a whole new meaning. I love you too Jesus!!! Thank You that You may be FOUND!

 "Riches and honor are with me; yea durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judment; That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures." 18-21
Amen!! His fruit IS better than gold! He leads us in righteousness. And as it says in a Psalm that at His right hand there are pleasures forever more and in His presence fulness of joy. He is the treasure, that we have the privilege of having!
 
"That Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there was no depths, I was brought forth when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth; While as yet he had not made the earh, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there; when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the wateers should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, as one brought up with him: I was daily his delight, rejoiceing always vefore him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth and my delights were with the sons of men." 22-31 Yes, Jesus was before the world! He was the Creator, and He always existed!
 
"Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instrution, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that hearth me, watching daily at my gates, watiing at the posts of my doors." 32-34
Amen! Drinking from the Everlasting Water daily quenches our thirst! And fills us up to overflowing!!! Yes, Lord, I will come to You the Door, and knock until I know you more!

 "For whoso fideth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongth his own sould: all they that hate me love death." 35-36
Amen again Life, Life, true Life is found in Jesus alone! He's fairest of them all!!! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Man's Call to Significance


A Man’s Call to Significance 

     A man wants to be significant. However, who can find a faithful man (Micah 7:2, Proverbs 26:6, Jeremiah 5:1, Luke 18:8)? A true man is FAITH-full and not full of himself. Most men will proclaim his own goodness. The great secret to to significance is realizing that they don’t have it. Faith is assurance that God is, He is able, He is Truth, and He is Faithful. Full means there’s no more room. Faith and full mean a man who is filled to the brim and overflowing with faith. Faith knows what God is doing and responses to it. He is confident in the Faithful One. Faith is decidedness, assured, convinced, resolute, singular focused. Faith is loyalty, true to the covenant, immovable from position, unwilling to veer away even for a moment, standing firm. Faith is Ardor, (love but with a passion), passionate to defend, hot-tempered toward all that would endanger, aggressive and hostile toward all that may threaten the covenant bond. Faith is an operation (Rom 3:9, Gal 2:16, 20). We are justified in Jesus’ faithfulness. We can not have access to God without faith, but it’s not our faith but it’s His faith. 

     We have a responsibility with the faith we are given. Jesus Christ is the Faithful Man, The Righteous Man. He was faithful to His bride and to His Father. He crushed sin, flesh, evil, and death. He did judge, he judged satan, evil, death and the flesh. A new desire for righteousness will emerge when one is born again in Christ. A man who has exchanged all of his strength and all that he has with the Almighty. “If I could only get that God.” Unfortunately we want people to give us a pat on the back. We want people to tell us that our righteousness is enough. We are thinking of who will give us the kudos for what we are doing/making. We must lay down our significance. In and of himself he’s not a faithful man, but he can change it in for Jesus Christ. Are we willing to become a worm and no man. 

     What is our calling? Proverbs 25:6-7 to take the lowest place. Luke 14:8-10, Proverbs 15:33 Jesus exampled this by taking the lowest place, we out to follow His example. Eph 1:3,10, 2:6 Blessed with all spiritual blessing in Christ. Highest place with Christ. Jesus received the highest calling. We are in Him therefore we are with him. We can’t rely on our own faithfulness. Humility vs. Humiliation. We can either humble ourselves or be humiliated. We can not get ourselves to the highest place. Phil 3:14 says we’ve been called to the high place in Jesus. Measure not up with godly men, but with God. They are just representations of God. Believe the truth and you will live, believe the lie and you will die. Focus on His unique role, focus on knowing Him. Focus on Him, and let Him focus on you. We are supposed to make His life significant. We need need to die, to disappear, to empty self, to put up his cross, to forsake personal glory, to take the lowest place, all DAILY. By the power of Jesus working in them. Matthew 6:33 sums it up well, seek Jesus.

     Am I a faith-full person? Do I have the faith of Jesus in me? He is everything and I am nothing. I need to learn to focus on Him. For so much of my life, I’ve focused on my self, and not on Him. But truly, everything is about Him. I need to die to my will, and instead embrace with faith the will of the Faithful One. He is so worthy of praise, honor, and glory. May I seek His face more and more every day, for He is all that I need and more. Jesus, the Faithful One, I trust in You.

Lenard Ravenhill - message


Lenard Ravenhill - message 

     Jesus came that we might know God (John 17). He came to make the dead live. We can have faith in His deliverance. Faith reckons on God, risks on God, rests on God. When Moses’ mother laid the little baby basket in the water she reckoned His faithfulness, she risked for God, and she rested in God. Moses was a picture of Jesus. Look how impossible Moses’ survival was, look how impossible Jesus’ birth was! Moses and Jesus both were hardly born before kings of the time wanted to have all the children killed. Moses and Jesus were born into an enslaved generation. Moses gave up the pleasure of the world for the kingdom of God. He gave himself wholly for God to use and indeed, God used him. 

    How often do I believe His Word without a doubt? I know before I did not truly believe much of the New Testament was promises that I could claim. That’s where the teaching of being in Christ really helped me grasp it. My part is to believe He can and to get my sticky fingers out of it. So, am I reflecting Jesus in my life? When others see me do they see more of Jesus than myself? Is my life devoted without reserve to the One who owns me twice. Do I let God do the impossible? The three parts of faith was good because it reminded me that Truth is Truth! Yes, I reckon it so, and I can rest on Him. 

The Hard(er) Way


The Hard(er) Way

     Christians need to take the hard way, that the Shepherd leads them in, not in the way that the world drives them in. What are people willing to give up for Jesus? What if each area in our lives were harnessed for God’s glory? Entertainment is a huge area, also sleep, and shopping. What is driving our culture for clothes that rot away? Youtube is less than 10 years old yet 72 hours of new videos are uploaded every minute. Our generation is literally getting entertained to death. These things do not have to rule the Christian though. They can tell Jesus, “I need Your grace to get this area under control,” and He will do it. If we put entertainment on the grand scheme of things it is such a waste. If one is following Christ, they will be persecuted (John 15:20). It IS a hard way on this path with Jesus (Matt 10:38). When Jesus came to this earth, what He had to give up greatly, it would be like going from a human to being a spider. Jesus lived the life style of the cross. He was constantly giving up for others and pouring out.

     Pouring out for others is a selfless act, and it is part of the hard way. Ministry is messy. The people are broken and hurting. This story was shared about a guy who was helping a children’s ministry. He was working with little boy who was hard and a troublemaker. The little boy spat in the young man’s face, and he told the little boy he would hug him and tell him that Jesus loved him and that he did too. He repeated his selfless action of forgiveness and love, while the boy continued to spit in his face. We are called to the least and the worse, the EGR extra grace required people. We are called to love them. 

     What a sequel to the message earlier about not letting the flesh rule and have dominion! The hard way is indeed giving up for Jesus, but instead of losing I can gain because having Him is the greatest thing anyone could have. Jesus, where are you calling me to be your hands and feet and go to the unlovable? May I only serve by your side, completely willing to give up for You and take the hard way. My handful of pebbles, I give to You. Thank you that you trade those for jewels upon jewels of your richest grace.