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!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Study on 2nd Timothy





     The Second book of Timothy is a letter filled with instruction, encouragement, sentiment, and inspiring charges. The book falls in the middle of the New Testament after the gospels and is written by the apostle Paul. Sadly these are his last words as after running the race, and finishing well. His race was one that reflected the most extraordinary and extreme dedication to his Savior and the preaching of the gospel. Paul went through innumerable intense difficulties which include beatings, stoning, stripes, shipwrecks, stuck in the sea, pain often, fasting, peril of every sort, prison all for  the sake of Christ (1 Cor. 11). He truly gave all! In the midst of this, he trained up a young man called Timothy who was like a son to him. He was training him up in the  faith to to be that radical preacher of Jesus Christ. Timothy because a bishop in one of the churches in Asia. This letter is his last words to Timothy, his beloved son in the faith. During the time of this letter, Paul was imprisoned by the Emperor Nero in Rome.

     Paul wrote this book to Timothy as instruction manual before he took the role of bishop in the church of Ephesus. He intended Timothy to be inspired to press all the harder as a soldier of Christ enduring hardships to the end of the course. He prepared Timothy for the role of a bishop by warning him and commanding him. The Holy Spirit I believe is showing us through the faithful life of Paul how we should go about in our Christian walk, how we must cling to God and press ever harder to know Jesus more. We do this through handling the Word of God correctly, also not participating to the perilous of times though allowing even a bit of selfishness or pride to sink in. 

     The Spiritual truths the Lord revealed through the study of this book are Christ in us gives us grace to endure to the end, even through hard times of persecution. He keeps what we commit to Him, He is faithfulness is forever. Out of love for Him, we must cast aside anything that distracts our gaze from Him whether it’s selfless or not placing Him first in our heart. Christians will indeed be persecuted, but the spiritual benefits and relationship with Christ outweighs anything minutely hard here on earth. 

     I spotted Jesus’ tracks in this book! He is right here as He is in every other book of the Bible! He was with Paul giving Him grace and strength in every dark hour, He was inspiring Paul to give these Words not only to Timothy but also to us. He was seen as Faithful, even when we are faithless, Deliverer in hard times, Helper and Sustainer, and Instant Servant, Risen Savior, Teacher of every truth are seen in this book. 

     The application that I have been pressed in upon after this study is to be serious about my faith in Him and allow Him to be King in every area. So often I allow my relationship with Jesus to be an area in my life where He’s part of my life and I sometimes pursue Him, but mostly just do enough to get by. No, He needs to be my constant obsession! One of the days we watched a documentary on what men go through to become a Ranger. It was very sobering to think, do I give all for the sake of the gospel. Paul illustrates how us Christians need to be as soldiers of God. This is not a light thing, and being passionate about the Jesus who possesses my heart is only a small in comparison to the level Paul gave all for the sake of the gospel. In a very real way, I feel much like Timothy, fearful, weak, and insecure, in my faith, but one thing is for sure, I know my God, and I know He is Faithful. 

     My perspective of the doctrine of Christ has been affected as well. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” I learned the importance of going to the Word of God with the attitude of I am under the authority of the Word of God and humbly studying it to see what truths be pulled out of it, as opposed to forcing the Word of God to fit my own ideas or beliefs. According to the above verse the Word of God is also for reproving. I have felt conviction in the area in my laziness and laxness in handling the Word of God. God has used the teaching this week to show me how to study the Word of God correctly, and I am excited about using these tools for His glory. And in the same way I have been instructed in righteousness and heard Jesus through this study of His Word.

     I am confident that as my life is more completely yielded to Jesus that this will be noticed in my life. Because it’s Him working in me and living through me. I can do nothing apart from Him. I am trusting Him to apply these truths to my heart. I am grateful for this chance to know my Savior in an even deeper way!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fortification


Fortification 
The Sacred Shield
 Removing Breaches, Putting the Armor of God.

     When people step into the ministry roll there will be battles because satan hates it when people proclaim God’s glory. Sometimes it’s subtle attacks that come where you don’t see it. Eric and Leslie started up their ministry and the enemy attacked them and they ended up losing their money and having to move a basement. They were under attack and had a Job experience. They did not realize they were in a battle. They did not know to fight it. They were being lied to, and then it became clear and that’s how they started to learn how to fight against the enemy. The enemy’s lies will make sense just because he knows what we would fall for. They thought that the sickness that Leslie had when she would speak was from the Lord. But it was an attack and finally he realized it and started to pray against it. They found out they had breaches in their walls.

     The enemy tests the walls and surveys the perimeter and looks for a breach. He comes up with a plan and then plants a hand grenade to blow up inside the walls. One of Satan’s tactics is to get us to blame his behavior on God. We must know the enemy from our God. James 4:7 - Submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee from you. They started asking God where there was breaches in their life. These are some of the areas God showed them: fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, confusion, insecurity, Family problems, Health problems, Financial problems, Spiritual defeat, etc. We stand on the rock of Jesus Christ and we will be fortified. Nothing could touch Paul, and the enemy couldn’t snuff out his life. If God wants to give your life that is His business. It’s on God’s terms and God’s time table. We submit to God, not the enemy. Fortification does not lead to a life of comfort, but it helps fortify us for the battle. If we cling to the Shepherds ankle the enemy can not touch us.

     So what is God’s pain vs. the enemy’s pain? It’s a matter of Light vs. Darkness 
1 Peter 2:9 says God has called us out of the darkness into His marvelous light. God’s light brings clear, not confused, not blurry, but bright, cheerful and hopeful lives. The opposite of light is darkness. Satan is the prince of darkness, so all things fearful, confused, indistinct, dim and forbidding are from him.

     It’s about Life vs. Death. John 10:10 says that Christ came to give abundant life, not death. The qualities of abundant life are happiness, health, wholeness, strength, purity, spiritual success, and multiplication of blessing. The characteristics of death are disease, sickness, blindness, deafness, muteness, lameness, disorder, feebleness, erosion of strength, erosion of blessing and erosion of resources. 

     God is the Father of lights and Satan the father of lies. In James 1:17 the Father of lights is in whom no shadow of turning. He is the giver of good gifts to His children and is gentle and forgiving. Opposite of those loving Fatherly traits is not of God. There’s Discipline vs. Abuse and the Bridegroom vs. the Harsh Husband. Then there’s the Shepherd vs. Roaring Lion. Jesus is seeking to protect you. God’s pain creates life, enemy’s pain brings shriveled up life. It’s not something you can go after in your own strength. God works through our weakness. 

     The first step to get the place fortified is to start by asking God to identify the breeches. When we don’t take care of the breeches we open the door to the enemy. A breach could be even very small things like turning to movies for rest and refreshment. When God shows what needs to be fortified repentance is in order. Repenting is like realizing your heading to a cliff and turning around and by God’s grace going the other direction. Guard what you put into your mind. Some more common breaches are unconfessed sin, sinful stronghold, and satanic objects or activities. 

     Step two is to make a sacred list wrestle for victory in those areas. Taking back the ground and having faith that God would give the grace to not go back to those things. Step three: The lady who had a demon possessed daughter keep on asking Jesus until she got the answer. It involves wrestling prayer. You can accept the Sovereignty of God. When He is in control there’s a confidence in Him. Our business is to be a believer, and to trust Him. Don’t get tripped over the grand themes, but instead live in the eternal balance. God wants to make us strong so that we can be poured out for others. “I will bless you so you can become a blessing.” We have to pray specific prayers. If you want to progress, into a solider of the cross. You have to be willing to pray specifically. 

     Step 4 is to be on guard against opposition. People would make you want to give up. If you are hit with discouragement, blurry thought, it’s not time to flee to the temple, but instead take up the sword and fight the enemy. They had to put a watch up. Remember the Lord and who He is. Don’t enlarge the enemy. Don’t focus on him, don’t focus on the winds and waves. We must focus on Jesus, believe, abide. We need to know how to employ the armor and how to stand. Walk in faith and know that God wins. There’s a protection. Yes, there’s a lot of noise around. They are exposing his tactics. Jesus, He is able, He longs for our life to be protected. He doesn’t want His children to be harassed. Do not submit to it (like Hudson going out to see the enemy and getting a black eye when he could stay in the protective circle of his father).  We need Jesus in order to grow. Everything that is not of Jesus must be moved out. 

     This was an incredible message to me. It reveals some of satan’s tactics and helps me to know what I need to do to fortify my life. Even as I was listening to this message, the Lord revealed one thing to me that is a breach in my wall. I know that God will strengthen and uphold me if I cling to His ankle. Sometimes satan will attack me and I won’t even notice, but I this message helps reveal some of those tactics and gives me what I need to guard against those. Praise the Lord that He never stops in drawing me close to Him and shows me what I need. 

Solyma


Solyma
The One Who Bears His Hame

     The Rabbis would have the young men wait until they were 30 years old in order to read the book Song of Solomon, because it was a book that needed spiritual maturity in order to apply it spiritually and not be distracted by the physical. They also said that the book of Song of Solomon is like the Holy of Holies. The Rabbis saw it as a picture of God and Israel, but in the New Testament it pictures Jesus and the Church. The veil of the temple was extremely thick. The Holy of Holies was where God lived. When Jesus died on the cross His body was torn, and the veil of the temple was torn in two as well. Believers need the Holy Spirit to unveil the mysteries of this book. That meant that the Holy of Holies was accessible. Just as Jesus had to born of a virgin so that He could be unspotted and pure, we too must be a virgin at heart. The book of Song of Solomon, reveals Jesus as not just a Lord, but a Lover (Psalm 45). Jesus is the Great Bridegroom of our hearts. Isaiah 62:5b shows how a Bridegroom rejoices over his bride so how Jesus rejoices over us. It is a rejoicing that never fades. 

     The fruit of a relationship with a husband and wife is children, and the result of our relationship with Jesus is spiritual fruit. We are not born spiritual virgins but we must let the Lord cut off the flesh and circumcise us. Only then are we spiritual virgins. Names are one’s fame, one’s character, one’s very person. Names are a symbol of relationship, a sign of intimacy. God has a special name written on a precious stone for me (Revelation 2:17). In true marriage, a guy tells the girl that he will die to himself and live for her dreams, fulfillment, and pleasure, then the girl turns and says she will live for Him as well. They are both being fulfilled, but it’s selfless. It’s a picture of Jesus and the church. Christianity is never selfish, ever. It’s a dying to rights that makes it such a giving relationship. The woman goes a step further, and gives up her name (one that defines who she is) to take on His name, and to bear it. Not just to bear His name, but to bear His sufferings, His nature, His character. It’s something not to take lightly. In Song of Solomon, Solomon’s bride take on His name. The feminine version of his name is Solyma. It means Princess of Peace, the Bride of Peace, the one made perfect, the treasure, the reward for the Victor. So as the bride of Christ, who bears the name of Jesus, we are Solyma. We are set-apart for His glory and for Christ alone. She not only bears His name, but also His fragrance, and His beauty. Her King is ravished with her and delights in her.

     In this book there are eight prayers that Solyma prays to her King. Each one can be related Spiritually and each one is a sweet token of love to Him. In each prayer she acknowledges that is not in and of herself and that she is nothing. He is everything to her and she is completely fixated on Him glorious face. 

     I loved this message. Each prayer was so rich and powerful, I definitely have a tendency to focus on myself and how insufficient and miserable I am. But I have to remember to get my eyes back on Him and how wonderful and beautiful He is. My life should be just a declaration of Him and of what He’s done. I long to be beside Him in His work, helping Him in what He is about. My love should find it’s origin in Him alone. Jesus wants a intimate relationship with me. He pursues me and rescues me, and I love and respect Him dearly for Who He is. This beautiful picture of Lover and Loved is so precious because it fills all those little holds my heart that cries out to be loved and to be pursued and protected. He is all of those things! I can lavish all that I have on Him, and one day, cast a crown at His feet. Come Lord Jesus Come!

Consecration


Consecration
Set-apart for His Glory

     The very fact that sold-out Christians look different puts pressure in the world’s lives. People either agree with what they are saying or they have to get rid of them. It’s been the pattern for many generations. Solyma is the bride and the groom rejoices over His bride. As we draw near to His presence, nothing impure can not stand before Him. Not even one little impure thought. One little sin can send us to hell. We are full of junk. Yes, by His blood He has clothed us in His righteousness’ but any junk that remains in our life will be a problem. Christians must count the cost before they come in to this set-apart life because removing what is ungodly may be extremely unpleasant. By His blood He will touch their unclean lips and purge their sin. Every area Christians consecrate to God, it is just for Him. It’s a “yes” before even hearing what He wants done. Sometimes God will ask them to do hard things, like speak when they don’t want to or not speaking when they do want to. Whatever God says goes. Predetermine that you’ll say yes. All my strength belongs to Him, all where I go belongs to Him. Just as the priests consecrated the “right side” of their body to God, Christians spiritually consecrate their strength, direction, their all to Him. 

     Christians have access to the Most Holy Place, the Jews had such a trembling for that most sacred place. But we have our bodies sprinkled with His blood and can come boldly. The veil was scarlet, blue, and purple, which are bruise colors. The presence of God makes one see the junk and say we are so unholy and unworthy. If passing a police officer going over the speed limit causes a huge heart leap, how much more in the presence of God.

     Fear the Lord. Only fear One and tremble before Him. If people tremble before Him, there will be no trembling before others. One would think that if Believers feared Him it would cause them to back up and go away from Him. That’s not true. Even as parents and children, the child trusts the parents. The child draws near because it knows the nature of the parent. The same way it causes us to draw near to Him and say, “Jesus I need you.” He knew that the only way to have right relationship with parent is to run to them and get the punishment. Do not run from God. God wanted the relationship with the people, not necessarily Moses. They should have seen the holiness of God and then longed to climb that mountain. 

     There’s six questions to ask ourselves. If He convicts run to Him not way from Him. Is there anything in my private life I would hesitate to make known here today for the shame it would bring my name? Is there anything in my private life I would hesitate to make known today for the shame it would bring His name? Do I live my private moments carelessly or circumspectly? Do I speak the Gospel in private with my life, my actions, and my purity? -Would they see Jesus in my thought life? A Christian has the life of Christ within. Allow the Living God to radically change my soul so that what is coming out is Jesus. David Livingston went to Africa and a reporter spent a few week with him in order to write about him. When he got back people asked him about David and this is what he said, “He showed me Jesus. And had I been there a moment longer I would have been compelled to become a Christian, although he never spoke a word.”

     Would the world have anything to hold over me? Daniel was a great example of this because there was nothing hidden, the only thing they had against him was that he would pray to God three times a day. The government is now recording everything you are looking at online. Could they hold that over you? Would that dishonor Him?

     Is my private life with God different than my public life with God? When a family gets ready for church and they bicker then when they get out they are acting perfectly. If someone could poke their head in and see you life. Are you living consistently?
As Christians we should have the most reverence because we are the temple of the Living God. We live our lives so flippant, but His perfect righteousness lives within us, so it ought to reflect Him. Jesus is zealous for us as His temple, just as He was when he drove out the money changers and turned over the tables. We are called to be different, holy, other than the world around us. 

     How would we have known sin, except by the law? The law is good, but it cannot bring us into the reality of what we need to be. We are not bound to law, but bound to grace. It’s been fulfilled of the law. It brought us to Jesus. By being in Jesus, we are being brought into a even higher law. The ten commandments are a picture of God. We should want to do those things because we are always showing others who He is. 

     To enter into the Holy of Holies, we must be we must let His holiness purify us. In song of Solomon, the bride is described as clothed in gold, and smelling like frankincense and myrrh. That is a picture of the Holy of Holies. The reality is that I need Grace and I need Jesus. 

     This message goes very well with Solyma because it’s honing it down to an even deeper refinement of Him in my life. What is He calling me to give up so that I can be closer to His presence? As I process this message I am going to be seeking Him to show me what he wants me to give up to Him. “Psalms 19:14: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” All about Him, and less about me. More of my Redeemer, who is Holy and Just!

Laying Down Idols


Laying Down Idols

     When fortifying the walls of the Christian life, God will ask them to lay down idols. The average Christian has dumbed down the evilness of sin to the point where it’s we are confused with the gravity of it. Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.” People can not come with a divided heart. Just like a marriage couple, the wife should not have a divided heart by talking to other men and sharing intimate thoughts. An idol is anything that claims the affections we should have for Christ. What occupies the heart and mind when going to bed or in the morning, shows where someone’s affection lies. It’s putting all their time and thoughts onto something other than Christ. This can quickly become an idol in life. 

     Pop culture entertainment was the first thing that God showed the Ludy’s. The foundation of their relationship was started without Movies and Television. They had only watched the second half of a movie together, but it wasn’t founded on empty distractions. These can become addictions because once someone starts to tamper with things, they can start to get dependent on it. One can tell how much something has a hold in their life by how hard it is to give it up. If they are called to “fast” from movies, music, or food, are they most willing to give it up for the sake of Christ? When they were called to give movies up, they didn’t know how to lean on the strength of God at the time when they were tired. When people get super burned out, it’s “normal” to vegetate and space out. The more the Ludy’s allowed it, it was a slippery slope. It got to be an addiction for them because they thought they needed rely on the world to for “refreshment.” They would justify and excuse the weekly vegetating. Nothing in it would point them to Jesus Christ. They compared their selections with what others watched, so it seemed better.

     Psalm 1:1-2 The Ludy’s said that they were walking in the counsel of the ungodly and standing in the way of sinners, and sitting in the sit of the scornful because they were drinking in the messages of the world. They were not able to delight in the the Lord or meditate on the Lord day and night because the mind and heart were focused on the things of this world. But it is awkward when someone is convicted and no one else is. It’s easy to say, “oh there’s nothing bad in it.” But the question should be, “well is there any Jesus in it?” A pastor said the reason they watched movies was because Eric and Leslie did. To the Christians around, we will be deemed a pattern and a template. We may even feel like really strong Christians when our standards are slightly higher than those around, but that doesn’t make it good or right.

     Why is there weakness and powerlessness in the American church? Because they have turned to movies and spots for reprieve, instead of spending it in Jesus’ presence. Also they have allowed worldliness into their church. It’s like bringing manure into the church and digging in to find a nickel. Then they use the nickel to justify the manure pile.   Content in movies is very important. The more manure is added doesn’t mean that there’s more truth in it. Don’t meditate on the ideas of the culture, because that changes the whole mentality. If it’s not of God, it’s of darkness. We can not lay any foundation and get life-changing results. Hollywood has packaged that lie so nicely. For example, Vampires base is evil and it’s making something demonic and evil look beautiful. The very first vampire story was Dracula “son of the devil.” He persecuted the Christians so much that it put Nero to shame. So why would we willingly take counsel from them?

     Finally, the Ludy’s decided to took out things that would give them worldly pleasure and would spend it praying. Playing games, watching movies, would be their immediate go to for entertainment, in fact, it seemed odd to spend the time in prayer. However, God called them to lay down this idol, so they could find His true rest for them. In the “Cross and the Switchblade” the man gives up the same thing, and finds Jesus to be all he needs. It sounded way too extreme at first, but the time in prayer is what lead him to start the ministry with the gang men. He gave his two hours to God instead of to the world and out of it he got a burden from the Lord. “if you can not imagine giving it up,” that is probably a good indicator that you are addicted to it. For the Ludy’s they had to continually die to self because it felt so tedious to pray. Other times they would turn on worship music and walk around and pray. Soon they began to look forward to this time of refreshment in the Lord. “If you are in Me, you are in My presence.” We are at the right hand of the Father and there is pleasure in Jesus (Psalm 16:11). We can doubt this because of experience and emotions. 

     Laying down idols hurts a lot, because we become attached to them. Pruning does not feel good, but the end result is more abundant fruit. Hardships and difficulties are going to come our way. It may not be attractive to the masses but it is to the remnant. The old man doesn’t want to be convicted, but the new man does. Don’t love the world nor the things in the world (1Tim 5:6, 1 John 2:15-16). ”A pure heart is one to which all that is not of God is strange and jarring (Tauler).” Evilness should bother us and make us uncomfortable.  Deuteronomy 18:10b-12  shows how God revealed their need to cleanse this stuff out of their life in order to seal up breaches. 2 Timothy 2:22 says “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts.“ They had to give it up completely. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell it all, not let a little go at a time (Luke 18:17-23). Take God seriously. Give it up out of a love for Him. The seven steps upward and seven steps downward clearly show how it is progressional. One step downward is taking sin lightly or diminishing it. Going upward on the heavenly bound track would be to renew our minds (Phil 4:8 is our checklist) and taking sin seriously. “It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts.” - Amy Carmichael. 

     This message was such a great reminder of why I try to abstain from certain things. I did realize how many things I had allowed to slip and become my go to when I felt tired though. Also, sometimes I did these things more out of a I do this because it’s right not out of a love for Jesus. I am so grateful to have had this clear teaching on why it’s wrong. Simply put it’s going to the world for rest and refreshment instead of Jesus. That IS an idol in our lives for sure. It’s the type of thing where going deeper for Jesus is what we are called to do, and I am called to. He is more than abundantly able to satisfy my deepest longings and give me that much needed refreshment and filling. May I go to Him for every need.

Power to Reconcile


Power to Reconcile

     We are to be reconcilers. It is a ministry of reconciliation. It’s a work. What does a fig tree have to do with reconciliation? Fig trees are a fairly deep concept in scripture and Jesus references them a lot. A fig tree is a very delectable and delightful tree to run in to, because they offer fruit. The figs are very desirable, and Jesus desired a fig. Matthew 6:10 says, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.” The kingdom is in our souls because Jesus makes His home in us. Matthew 24:32, Mark 13:28, Luke 21:29-30 - When a fig tree puts forth the leaves, it is almost summer. So that is a picture of the kingdom of God coming. What follows leaves? Fruit, figs, the evidence of the kingdom. That kingdom first comes in us. Leaves spout forth, and then figs are about to come. The evidence of summer is at hand. We are that tree. Unless our lives produce very real fruit, then it’s not a real fig tree. What are the fruits of a Believer? 

     Matthew 3:8, Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20 say there is fruits worthy of repentance. They demonstrate the change in our life. Luke 13:6-9 The parable says that a man goes to find fruit on his fig tree, and there’s no fruit, so he said to cut it down. That piece of ground is very valuable. The keeper said to give it one more year to give it another chance while he fertilize it. Then in another passage (Matthew 21:18-19) Jesus comes to a tree and there’s no fruit, so He curses the tree and it withers up. Jesus is looking for something on the fig tree. He has given everything to the tree so that it will bear fruit and repent. Another scripture shows how Jesus goes to look for fruit on the Sycamore (syca = fig), fig tree. He’s hungry and He looks in that fig tree and Zacchaeus was in the the tree. Zacchaeus was the fruit Jesus was looking for. Zacchaeus was a vile person and he was lost. We are so similar to Zacchaeus, because we are utterly unworthy to be with Jesus or to have Him live in our house/body.

    The Reconciler was Jesus. Reconciliation means, “agreement of things seemingly opposite, different or inconsistent” (Luke 19:2), “opposing viewpoints coming to a point of understanding” (Luke 19:5-7), exchange of equivalent values - correcting books, bringing balance to the scales” (Luke 19:8), “adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration of health” (Luke 19:9), “recovering a favor that was lost” (Luke 9:10). All five definitions of reconciliation are found in the story of Zacchaeus. Bringing in the Holy, Holy, Holy, makes one see how utterly vile he is. The key to reconciliation is the cross.

     The sinner must realize the exceeding sinfulness of sin and call out to the Physician and come to the cross. Jesus has to reconcile us with God the Father. Then God in Christ forgiving the sinner. There is only one means to be reconciled to the Father and that is the cross. The sinner will then produce fruits of godly sorrow, repentance, confession, restitution, and patient grace. Then the believer is to be a reconciler, as Christ exampled (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). When we have a humble understanding of the sin and separation, we have a godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow is being upset that one got caught. Godly sorrow is being sorrowful over the sin and recognizing the significance of it. Then repentance is the next response. Repentance is putting off the old man, and putting on the new man. It’s a complete change in directions. It’s believing God and not the devil. We must repent and believe. If you truly believe how could you not repent. 

     Then confession is next. Then restitution is returning or trying to make things right. Christ made restitution for us at the cross. He took the whole punishment and paid it for us. He gave His eye and His tooth and His body for judgement for the wrath of God. It is then making right in whatever way we can what was stolen, in the way of Jesus. We will ask Jesus how He would make restitution. We need grace to make it through this life. So the next is patient grace. To be a reconciler, we need to be reconciled.

     First, we must personally have a working faith in order to reconcile with people around. We must follow God’s pattern for reconciliation. If there is ever a break in the relationship, it must be reconciliation to heal that. All it takes is a slight harsh word, to create breaches in relationship. If there is an offense someone has to make it right, there has to be a death. That’s where the cross comes in. The offender must have a humble understanding or godly sorrow, or repentance, or confession, or restitution or patent grace. If it’s a worldly sorrow then “next time, I’d better be careful with my words.”  That’s not godly sorrow. Some may be more sensitive or more weaker and we must be aware of that. Then there has to be a humble understanding of that, and seek to make restitution. There’s a recovery season to be able to be healed. Patient grace is that waiting and giving time while letting that person heal from how they have been offended. If it’s not done through that humility then the offended person may make space and not trust them any more. In every circumstance, there is restitution at the cross. 

     So to go over the process again. It’s humbly understanding of what we’ve done, produces godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9-11). It’s an attitude of humility. Then repentance is completely turning around. Then confession was agreeing that our behavior was wrong and it was hurtful. In Christ and by God’s grace we have the power to walk forward from there (Romans 10:9-10). The restitution is correcting as best as they can to make it right (Ex 22:6, Luke 19:8). Then patient grace is patiently waiting for the trust to be builded again. It’s realizing that it’s a process of recovering, and the only way to fix it is to live it consistently. There needs to be a living out of the repentance. There needs to be a repair of trust. The cross is the means to salvation. By God’s grace it will be rebuilt. 

     The Holy Spirit is the One who works all this about. He walks us through it, convicting and showing how to work it out. He is the Reconciler, and in turn we can be reconcilers here on earth. By Him reconciling can be done in the right way. “Christianity, being forgiving and being forgivable.” “If it be possible, as must as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

     What a dynamic message packed with rich truth that reaches out to me today. I did not know how to reconcile according to God’s plan, but makes so much sense. Having a humility of mind and action and realizing that it was hurtful to whomever. I also never understood why after someone make restitution how not a lot of times, I did not feel like giving affect, and now I understand that’s the offender needs to have patient grace and wait for healing to complete. Only God can work that in their hearts. How beautiful to know that reconciliation is possible through Jesus Christ!

The Immovable Soul


The Immovable Soul

     Proverbs 30:24,26 tell us about little rock badgers who are very wise little creatures that build their homes in the rocks. God uses these things to teach us a very special lesson. That is to hide ourselves in the Rock of Jesus Christ. When we are hid in Him all the things that He has are ours. He is unshakable, immovable, undisturbable, unfrettable, fearless, impervious and resistant to anxiety, untouchable, impenetrable, immune to foreboding, indifferent to evil tidings, unruffled by criticism, heedless to false accusations, and oblivious to public opinion polls. These all become ours, when we build ourself on Him. In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus tells us the importance of our foundation. If we are built on the sand we will fall and be crumbled, but if we are built on the Solid Rock, we will stand! We must guard our soul to remain in the Rock. Because He doesn’t change and is constant, we can be too. We do not have to heed those emotions or be lead by them. Our job is to look to the Father see His face. If He is worried or concerned then we can be, but since He never is, then we shouldn’t be either! 

    Oh my goodness what a perfect message! It was like a healing balm to my soul! I do not have to worry, fear, or stress, He never is so why should I? I can hide my soul in Him. He is the Rock, I trust and hide in His shadow! What a comfort to know He is my everything, He is the reason I can be strong through the fiercest of storms. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! My soul can be secure in Him! Clear, sharp, calm and peaceable in the storms and winds! Everything in Christ is available to me! Yes, I’m putting lots of exclamation points in this one, but it’s because it’s true and valid! Jesus, keep me strong in You, clinging to the One who never changes and is always stable and confident!

Incorrigibly Cheerful


Incorrigibly Cheerful 

      Incorrigible has a negative connotation, but when used for God’s glory, it can be a good quality. For example: refusing to stop being cheerful. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells Christians to Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in every thing give thanks, because it is the will of God. This isn’t just a suggestion, but it is instead a daily reality. Reckon it yours in Christ Jesus, because God has already given what it takes to rejoice always. It’s a good thing to be incorrigible if it is done for God’s glory. People like Richard Wurmbrand and Eric Liddle were incorrigible, never budging for the Lord. 

     What if we could have this incorrigibility in our cheerfulness? 1 Peter 1:6-8 says when Christians have trials, they can have their eyes fixed on God, and have true joy and rejoicing. Many verses say “and yet.” Meaning that getting feed to lions, and yet, joyful. Sometimes Christians get earthly happiness based on circumstances and situations confused with the heavenly joyfulness which is not based on circumstances. It’s not about a certain feeling. We already have it, we just need to reckon it, not by feelings or emotions but by faith. 

     If we can not get the joy from Christ for small little annoyances and frustrations, then how are we to be joyful while being feed to lions? Like portion sizes, or a lower quality item. Those would be the level 1 “ah shucks” moments. Then level two trials are a little bigger trials called the “gulps,” things like forgotten by people, aches and pains. Level three are the “wowzers” lingering physical weakness, or falsely accusing name. Level four trials are the “Omaha beach” trials. Torture, or people we love being taken to prison  camps. 

     Jesus’ desire is that joy would be full. Even when finding our position in Christ, there’s a joy that comes. However fuller joy may be found in Christ! John 7:38 - “He that believes on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (inner man) shall flow rivers of living water (river of life from the throne).” This water is not a soft little river, it’s a gusher! The secret to the gusher is in the most difficult moments, God says “now” and the water gushes forth. 1 Peter 1:3-8 says that in Him, believing, we can leap for joy unspeakable. In the dark times, we are commanded to leap! In Christ, Christians have the joy of the Lord, and have rejoicing, but they can not wait until they feel like it. 

     There are four rules to leaping. We do have the grace to do it. We do want to murmur and we do not have to enter into frustration. Doing those things, gives into flesh. We have the privilege of being free from the way we would respond to situations. That does not mean necessarily mean that you must physically leap all the time, but the leaping in the soul, must be always. The fire in the temple of the Lord goes out, so neither should the gusting joy in the heart. So the first rule is leap without ceasing. The second is that the leaping must increase in vigor and energy with more difficulty. We do not have this in ourselves, but we do have it in Christ. Three: It must wield its strength and vitality in ALL circumstances (without exception) and remain cheerful. We are not a victim to a bad mood, we can grab it by the scruff of the neck. We have access to His mood because we are in Christ. Paul says “Think on these things.” So do not meditate on those fleshly things. Circumstances are up and down but He is constant. He is always meek and patience, and we can be too. It is an honor to spend time with God, and have a good attitude. Come into the presence of the Holy of Holies. Change the attitude about the alarm clock.

     Rule four is to be constantly aware of the weapon Christians have against the devil. He hates the rejoicing in dark times. God is joyful. It is not just a byproduct but it is something He is. God’s joy must be manifest on this earth, and His nature is joyfulness. Therefore, God must revel His joy, in and through us. Rejoicing is joy over and over again. And that joy is allowing the exceeding great fountain of God’s joy to burst forth in our life. Rejoice always, is not merely a song but a fact of God. Joy is an evidence that God is in you. 

     Joy is not a good feeling, but it is a PERSON. That is Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Why do we rejoice? Because we are in Christ and have access to Him. Joy is made manifest through our trials and weaknesses and sufferings. Rejoicing brings glory to Him. When life is difficult, and someone rejoices, then God is being glorified and shown to all. Jesus made a way to get this joy. As He hung on the cross, out of His belly flowed rivers of water. A soldier pierced His side and blood and water (John 19:34). Blood is life, so a river of living water flows from Jesus. The point of the spear brought out the rivers of living water. We have the Holy Spirit in us bubbling up, but that piercing must happen in order to bring out the living water. When we suffer in a kingdom way, His living water comes flowing out. 

     What a beautiful picture of joy of Jesus! This message flowed like cool water on my soul because it makes sense now, how be truly joyful. It’s not about me feeling like being happy, it’s about obeying Him when the circumstances are hard, His grace is sufficient. I never have to worry or fear, because it is a joy to partake in the sufferings of Christ. It’s not about my feelings, it’s about faith in Him. I am not being happy over the circumstances, but being in His faithfulness and Him! Even when there’s trouble I can rejoice, I can leap, I can praise His Holy name. 

The Proving of the 300


The Proving of the 300

     The appetite. It seems to rule most people in some shape or form. What would the Christian life look like if they were ruled by the Spirit? That the appetites would no longer rule or control them. In Gideon’s time, only a small minority did not let appetites or fear rule them. In fact out of 32,000 warriors that showed up to fight the 135,000 Midianites, and God sent 31,700 home. Only 300 proved themselves worthy of the battle. In the same way 6 appetites tend to control Christians and make them unfit for battle. The six appetites are food and drink, possession of things, sleep, sensual pleasure, expression, information (gossip, or being in the know). Most people tend to give appetite what it wants that’s the first level. There some that stand strong to somethings, but an open door to others. Others that are purposeful to repel, strong at times, yet not totally consistent in all arenas. Then there’s Jesus’ empowered way, that’s empowered to empower and restrain, to say “no,” to keep a sound mind at all times, to stay consistent. Jesus’ way is empowered and freeing, and it’s available for us, in Christ!

     One evidence of the Sprit in the Christian’s life is a fruit of “self control.” It’s a little deceiving, because the meaning is not just “self” controlling the body, we know that doesn’t work to well. What it actually means is dying to ourselves in order to allow the Sprit of God to now be in control.  Our self is crucified yet it was raised with Christ into newness of life. So it’s Christ that controls self, and in order to now control the Body as it ought. When the body does not like that it’s being subjected, and tell self that it has no dominion over the body, self can point to Christ and say, “He’s controlling me now.”